Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Fantasy > Action > Literature > Dune - Extended Edition

Dune – Extended Edition


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: A     Film: B



David Lynch’s sci-fi classic Dune (1984) re-emerges in this double-edition, which marries the original theatrical release with a littler seen television version that includes extra scenes.  This second version is shrouded in some controversy, as director Lynch removed his name from it over the inclusion of some of this material.


Readers of Frank Herbert’s novel will remember the author’s frequent use of character exposition through the use of blocks of “thought” text.  Lynch carried this device over into his version of the film, a decision met with some controversy by fans and film critics alike.  Many found it jarring to hear a character’s thoughts as he or she moved about a scene, and Lynch’s decision to go ahead with the device is one of the primary things that differentiate his version from the Sci-Fi Channel mini-series released several years ago (2000) and issued on DVD by Lionsgate.


Powerful performances from Kyle MacLachlan and Virginia Madsen lead a solid ensemble cast that also includes the great Max Von Sydow, Brad Dourif, Jose Ferrer, Linda Hunt, Freddie Jones, Richard Jordan, Everett McGill, Jurgen Prochnow, a lesser-known Patrick Stewart, Dean Stockwell, Alicia Witt, Sean Young and Sting.


Major differences in costume and casting further distance the two versions, but no matter which one the majority of fans prefer, Lynch’s version is peppered with strokes of his frenetic genius.  The second version of Lynch’s film on this disc provides additional scenes that for the most part serve only to muddy the already convoluted plot.


The technical aspects of this disc package are mixed.  Sound and picture do the job but offer little in the way of innovative presentation.  Both versions are available in anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 presentations, with both about even in definition and detail, though the shorter Lynch version has a slight advantage.    These look better than copies on home video in the past, not perfect.  Though Lynch has not been thrilled with how this production turned out, the one important relationship he did continue in this film that began with The Elephant Man is his relationship with the legendary cinematographer Freddie Francis, B.S.C., who is a fine director in his own right.  They even reunited on The Straight Story (1999) and Francis is a master of the scope frame.  The film was made available in 70mm blow-ups and remains a favorite to the extent that Universal intends to issue some kind of HD-DVD version in the nears future among the first back-catalog choices.  Whether Lynch will participate is another question.


On the original DVD, the sound was warped, but the Dolby Digital soundtracks here are in better shape, with the 5.1 mixes doing a decent job of capturing the kind of sound design intended by the 4.1 6-track Dolby 70mm Magnetic sound.  The score has work by Brian Eno, Roger Eno, Daniel Lanois and Toto that has remained a popular score.  There was no room for DTS, but the regular Dolby is still not bad.  The HD-DVD should support the soundtrack in better Dolby Digital Plus, which would be more like DTS or Dolby Magnetic, but fans will not want to wait for that.


The disc also features a bevy of extras including deleted scenes, design notes, special effects secrets, inside looks at the models that helped bring scenes to life, costuming notes, and a photo gallery.  The handsome metallic snap-case even includes a pullout glossary section that helps newcomers to Dune quickly get up to speed on its complex verbiage and history.  This box will prove a must for any hardcore Dune fan.



-   Scott Pyle


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com