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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Fantasy > Action > Literature > Dune (1984/HD-DVD/David Lynch)

Dune (1984/HD-DVD/David Lynch)


Picture: B†††† Sound: B†††† Extras: B†††† Film: B



After films like Ridley Scottís Blade Runner (1982) had been tampered with as studios closed in on open creativity, Hollywoodís continued stranglehold on creative filmmakers in particular was about to see its final two battles before genre films became completely infantilized.Two battles in particular happened at Universal Pictures over two 1984 releases.One was the well-documented battle over Terry Gilliamís Brazil and the other was the shorter and possibly bitterer fallout between David Lynch and the studio over the first major adaptation of Frank Herbertís Dune.


Lynch barely kept his name on the theatrical edition but condemned the elongated TV version with footage he never approved of or even seems to have shot in some cases.Both were issued on DVD recently and covered on this site; a review you can find at this link:





Now I am not as big a fan of the film as Scott is, but do appreciate the ambition and attempt at having a vision when you make an epic film, especially in a genre that still does not get enough respect or is treated as so with so many junk projects marketed as such.Rumors were circulating that a better lynch cut was being negotiated as the new DVD and then this HD-DVD were to follow.However, only the original theatrical cut remains and that is what we get here.


Shot in beautiful and always-impressive Todd AO 35mm by Freddie Francis, B.S.C., the 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image is an improvement over event he newest DVD edition since this is a very wide, very big-screen shot production and standard DVD just cannot cut it.Besides having so much detail that 70mm blow-ups were made, the Francis/Lynch team knows how to make a film that looks great and have proved this in every team up.New depth, better color and improved detail are like nothing you have seen of this film outside of 35mm presentations.Far superior to lame Super 35mm shooting, Todd AO 35 was used on the original Loganís Run (1976), first Mel Gibson Mad Max (1980), spoofy Max Von Sydow Flash Gordon (1980) and first Schwarzenegger Conan The Barbarian (1981).Sadly, Dune would be the last film to use these amazing lenses.Only some minor flaws hold back the rating and some shots are very impressive.


The Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 mix is a step above the standard Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on the standard DVD, with richer dialogue and surrounds remastered from the original Dolby Magnetic 4.1 mix included on 70mm blow-up prints.Attempts as splitting the mono surrounds are not bad.Also, this HD-DVD has the same extras as that DVD set save the longer cut of the film, but the performance of the film is the biggest highlight.Fans will want both releases, though this HD-DVD will make for a very interesting comparison to the upcoming Lionsgate Blu-ray version of the 2000 TV mini-series, which we look forward to when it arrives.



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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