Dune appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. I expected a brand-new big-budget flick like this to look positive, and the Dolby Vision Dune did.
Overall definition worked well. Some effects shots could be a little soft, but those instances were infrequent and minor.
The vast majority of the flick offered tight, accurate delineation. I saw no shimmering or jagged edges, and the image lacked edge haloes or print flaws.
Like many modern flicks, Dune opted for a fairly amber palette, with more than a little teal tossed in at times.I would’ve liked something that deviated from the norm, but within its parameters, the hues seemed positive – and given the sandy setting for so much of the movie, the amber made more sense than usual. The disc’s HDR added emphasis and impact to the tones.
Blacks were deep and dark, while shadows showed nice clarity and smoothness. HDR contributed range and power to whites and contrast. Across the board, the movie looked quite good.
Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, I also felt consistently pleased with the appealing Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Dune. Though not packed with action, the soundscape used all the channels on a frequent basis. This led us to an exciting sonic experience much of the time.
The various speakers provided lots of information that filled out the movie and blended together in a seamless manner. This formed a dynamic soundscape with a lot to offer, even without a lot of overt “action”. The material created an engrossing sense of place that really excelled.
In addition, when the story did move toward more traditional sci-fi/action sequences, these prospered. The speakers blasted the information at us in a dynamic manner.
In addition, audio quality seemed strong. Music was bold and full, and even with a lot of looped lines, dialogue remained crisp and natural.
Effects appeared lively and vivid, with clear highs and deep lows. I felt pleased with this impressive soundtrack.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? Both provided the same Atmos audio.
As for the 4K’s Dolby Vision image, it offered superior delineation, colors and blacks compared to its predecessor. This turned into a nice little upgrade.
We find a slew of video programs on the included Blu-ray disc, and The Royal Houses spans eight minutes, 12 seconds. It provides comments from producer Mary Parent, director Denis Villeneuve, and actors Oscar Isaac, Timothée Chalamet, Jason Momoa, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Chang Chen, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, David Dastmalchian, Javier Bardem, Rebeccca Ferguson, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Zendaya, and Dave Bautista.
“Houses” looks at various Dune characters. It’s a decent primer but it doesn’t really tell us anything we don’t find in the movie.
Under Filmbooks, we get five segments that occupy a total of 10 minutes, 27 seconds. These offer basics about the House Atreides, House Harknonnen, the Bene Geserit, the Fremen, and the Spice Melange. These work as ways to help less-Dune knowledgeable viewers grasp some of the details.
Inside Dune splits into three sections. These take up a sum of 12 minutes, 24 seconds and involve Villeneuve, Brolin, Chalamet, Isaac, Parent, Momoa, fight coordinator Roger Yuan, concept artist George Hull, editor Joe Walker, visual effects supervisor Paul Lambert, and property master Doug Harlocker.
In these clips, we learn about fight choreography, various design choices, and some production notes. Though somewhat superficial, these add a mix of decent insights.
Building the Ancient Future runs six minutes, 26 seconds and offers info from Villeneuve, Bautista, Chalamet, Momoa, Duncan-Brewster, set decorator Richard Roberts and production designer Patrice Vermette.
“Future” looks at set design. It delivers some good notes, even if it leans toward self-praise at times.
Next comes My Desert, My Dune, a four-minute, 50-second reel with Villeneuve, Momoa, Vermette, Lambert, director of photography Greig Fraser, visual effects producer Brice Parker, and concept artists George Hull and Deak Ferrand.
“Desert” examines the design of Arrakis and the use of various locations. It becomes another fairly engaging piece.
Constructing the Ornithopters lasts five minutes, 38 seconds and gives us comments from Villeneuve, Ferguson, Vermette, Hull, Duncan-Brewster, Chalamet, and Lambert.
As expected, it looks at the design and construction of the movie’s airborne transportation. Like its siblings, the program mixes useful notes with happy talk.
After this we get Designing the Sandworm, a five-minute, 40-second piece that involves Villeneuve, Parent, Duncan-Brewster, Parker, and supervising sound editors Mark Mangini and Theo Green.
We get notes about how the movie achieved the iconic sandworms. It turns into a fairly solid overview.
Beware the Baron spans five minutes and delivers remarks from Villeneuve, Skarsgård, Bautista, Dastmalchian, executive producer Tanya Lapointe, makeup department head Donald Mowat, prosthetic designer Love Larson, and prosthetic makeup designer Eva Von Bahr.
This one looks at Skarsgård’s performance and the makeup effects required to transform him into the character. Expect another decent summary.
With Wardrobe from Another World, we find a two-minute, 52-second segment that features Villeneuve, Lapointe, Ferguson, Dastmalchia, Zendaya, Duncan-Brewster, Chalamet, and costume designers Jacqueline West and Robert Morgan.
Unsurprisingly, “Wardrobe: gives us a look at the movie’s costumes. It seems too short to tell us much of value.
Finally, A New Soundscape fills 11 minutes, 12 seconds with statements from Villeneuve, Mangini, Green, Walker, Lapointe, composer Hans Zimmer, and re-recording mixer Ron Bartlett.
The featurette lets us know about the movie’s score and audio. It provides some good insights.
37 years after David Lynch created a version of the Frank Herbert story that stunk up the screen, Dune returns with a vastly superior adaptation. Though not without issues, the 2021 Dune becomes a largely compelling take on the narrative. The 4K UHD boasts strong picture and audio as well as a long but semi-lackluster set of supplements. Dune works pretty well and makes me look forward to Part Two.
To rate this film visit the prior review of DUNE