THE DEFINITIVE DVD SPECIAL EDITIONThis two disc DVD of Dune from Sanctuary Visual Entertainment was originally due for release September 2003, but the release date was pushed back to April 2004 to give them more time to sort out extras. Although released in the UK, the discs are Region 0, meaning they will play on any DVD player, but they are in the PAL format, so people outside of the UK should ensure their TV can deal with PAL. They will play fine in your computer though, provided you have a DVD drive.
I won't bother reviewing the content of the movie, but suffice to say that Frank Herbert's 600 page novel crammed into a little over two hours results in film that is hard to follow to those not familiar with the book. But David Lynch still manages to fill the film with amazing images and characters which produces a beautiful and memorable film, even if it is a bit confusing.
The sound on the new 5.1 mix is clear and crisp, with many subtle noises being audible, but without overpowering the dialogue. The low bass sounds are used to good effect in thumper scenes, where you can feel the vibrations from the subwoofer speaker. The picture quality looks great, taken from the High Definition archive copy held in LA. On other Dune DVDs I've seen, the desert scenes often seem to be colour 'corrected', destroying the strange, other-worldly light that the film makers worked so hard to produce. But on this DVD, Freddie Francis' amazing work, which added a tint to the film, can be enjoyed in all its glory.
|1||Universal - An MCA Company||0:23|
|2||A Very Delicate Time||4:02|
|3||The Guild Navigators Orders||5:42|
|6||The Conqueror Worm||16:33|
|7||The Harkonnen Attack||19:52|
|9||The Weirding Way||3:40|
|10||The Worm Conqueror||3:38|
|11||The Coming of Muad'Dib||4:26|
|12||The Water of Life||6:52|
|14||The Descending Storm||3:11|
|15||Alia The Avenger||1:08|
|16||The Last Harkonnen||3:51|
|17||The Word of God||2:08|
|Total Running Time:||2:10:59|
[Note: Although the running time seems shorter than the American DVD this is due to the fact PAL runs at 25 frames per second (fps), while NTSC uses 24 fps. This results in PAL films being slightly speeded up. No scenes have been edited or removed from the theatrical release.]
Impressions of Dune
This is the main extra on the DVD and is a excellently produced series of interviews with cast and crew, intermixed with footage from the movie, and behind the scenes images. Mike Goodridge (author of Directing [Screencraft Series]) arranged and conducted most of the interviews, which took place in LA, New York and London.
Featured are Kyle MacLachlan (Paul Atreides), Raffaella De Laurentiis (Producer), Freddie Francis (Cinematographer), Antony Gibbs (Editor), David Ansen (Film Critic), Harlan Ellison (Screenwriter), Golda Oppenheim (Production Supervisor), Frederick Elmes (Cinematographer - 2nd Unit) and Gordon Hayman (Camera Operator).
Conspicuous by his absence is David Lynch, who rarely talks about his films, and given that, ultimately, Dune was an experience he'd soon as forget it is no great surprise that he isn't part of the interview. But even without the director we still hear from many of the other people who shaped Dune into the movie that it was.
Impressions of Dune
Watch Chapter 1 of "Impressions of Dune" on YouTube
Image & Iconography
Watch "Dune: Image & Iconography" on YouTube
Casting & Acting
Watch "Dune: Casting & Acting" on YouTube
Watch "Dune: Frank Herbert" on YouTube
Watch "Dune: Pre-Production" on YouTube
Watch "Dune: Heat" on YouTube
Special FX / The Shoot
Watch "Dune: Special FX" on YouTube
Watch "Dune: The Shoot" on YouTube
Watch "Dune: The Cut" on YouTube
Raffaella & Dino
Watch "Dune: Raffaella & Dino" on YouTube
Watch "Dune: Off Camera" on YouTube
Working With David Lynch
Watch "Dune: Working With David Lynch" on YouTube
Watch "Dune: The Reviews" on YouTube
Watch "Dune: Conclusions" on YouTube
|Total Running Time:||38:02|
In Ed Naha's 'Making of Dune' book, and in the Cinefantastique Dune special (Volume 14, Issue 4-5) there are mentions of the behind-the-scenes documentary, written/edited/produced/directed by Paul M. Sammon, and it became something of a holy grail for Dune fans, well, for me at least. Thankfully Sanctuary Visual Entertainment took the time to source the extras, and obtained a copy of the documentary to include on the DVD.
The documentary, known as 'Destination Dune' was used for publicity and to show at conventions, and so is designed to be short, running at just under 6 and a half minutes. But in this short time we get to see several scenes being rehearsed and filmed (including a couple of cut scenes) plus get a peak inside the model shop with David Lynch discussing designs with Carlo Rambaldi. Dino De Laurentiis, and of course, Frank Herbert also make an appearance. The film was transferred from 3/4" tape, and has been digitally enhanced, but obviously the quality isn't comparable to that of the movie.
If Dune was filmed today it would no doubt have a team of people recording everyone and everything just for the DVD release,
as it is we are lucky that we get this glimpse into the production process of Dune.
A must see look at the making of the movie Dune.
Running time: 6.21
Frank Herbert Interview
At under 2 minutes this isn't the longest extra, but it is interesting as it features Frank Herbert (minus beard) on UK breakfast TV talking about Dune. This interview, along with Frank Herbert's brief appearance in the 'Destination Dune' documentary also on this DVD is the first time I've seen any video footage of Frank Herbert, and is a welcome addition to the DVD.
Running time: 1.24
Ah, the obligatory trailer. Nothing special about it, and it has been on just about every Dune DVD. But good to have for the sake of completeness. Notice the style of the 'Dune' logo, which was changed when the film was released.
Running time: 3.03
Special mention needs to be made of the animated menus. Normally I hate the animated menus on DVDs, in which you have to sit through pointless 3D animations just so you can select an option. Not so on this DVD, the menus on the extras disc are almost special features themselves, with high quality images of preproduction artwork, and the main menu builds up from sketches, concept artwork through to footage from the film. Lovely.
32 page booklet
This contains a new two page essay by Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson, writers of the new Dune prequel novels. But more enjoyable is the much longer essay, "Dune: The Filming of a Masterpiece", by Paul M. Sammon. Written from first hand experience, these notes contains a lot of informative nuggets about the Dune movie, from before, during and after its production.
The booklet is also littered with preproduction illustrations, provided by Ron Miller, and makes you wish that "The Art of Dune" book wasn't cancelled back in 1984. Coincidentally, the cover of "The Art of Dune" bears a striking similarity to that of the booklet, see images below.
So is this DVD truly "The Definitive DVD Special Edition" is claims to be? Well, it is certainly the best Dune DVD to date, and as David Lynch doesn't do audio commentaries for any of his films, let alone for Dune, and that the cut scenes seem destined to remain either lost or trapped in the poor quality 4:3 ratio of the "TV Edition" of Dune this could truly be the best Dune DVD we'll ever get. If that is the case, at least we finally have a DVD that has proper extra features, and not just the static content taken from websites as was the case for the various German Dune DVDs. Highly recommended for Dune fans everywhere.
The DVD was released Monday April 5, 2004, and is available to order from Amazon.co.uk.
Also released on the same day was the special edition of Blue Velvet, which David Lynch directed after Dune.