Warner Brothers made sure they started my 2022 right by getting a 4K copy of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune into my hands to blow my mind. One of my favorite films of the year, this disc is a that you’re going to want to put on anytime you want to demo the beauty and the sharpness of the 4K image.
It was jaw-droppingly beautiful in IMAX, and that is carried over into the realm of the home theatre. The images are sharp, the colors rich and stunning, all perfectly crafted by Villeneuve and his DP, Greig Fraser. The film, faithfully adapts, and reinterprets the first half of Frank Herbert seminal novel introducing us to the characters, the politics, and the manipulations behind the scenes of the universe in the year 10191.
Featuring an all star cast led by Timothee Chalamet, we follow young Paul Atreides (Chalamet) as he and his royal family travel from his home planet of Caladan to Arrakis, also known as Dune, by the orders of the Emperor, to take over the spice harvest from the vile House Harkonnen, overseen by the Baron (Stellan Skarsgard) and his nephew Rabban (Dave Bautista).
With a desert filled with giant sandworms, a reclusive people known as the Fremen, and dangerous political manipulations at work, the young man, who is having visions, his mother, the Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) and his father, Duke Leto (Oscar Isaac) will be surrounded by trouble.
Mix in a little planted mythology by the sisterhood of the Bene Gesserit about a messiah from the outer worlds, as well as a breeding program to bring about a superbeing, and there’s a lot to unpack in Dune, but the film does it smoothly, and captivatingly so that even novices to the realm of Herbert’s creation won’t get lost. But it will leave you begging for more after the film’s two and a half hour runtime.
And while we wait for shooting to begin on the follow-up, film-lovers, and sci-fi fans can soak up the details and the layers Villeneuve and his team created in their version of the film. Boasting a score by Hans Zimmer, you just want to crank up the sound on your home theatre system and just enjoy every moment of the ambience, and locales as seen on the screen.
This is one to talk about, share, and show on your 4K screens again and again, there isn’t a single image in this film that doesn’t feel worthy of framing and putting on a wall. My only real quibble with the entire thing is that there aren’t quite as much meat on the extras as I would have liked.
Running just over an hour, there is a slew of short featurettes that take us behind the scenes, but I would have loved a commentary, and perhaps a full length doc on the making of the film instead of these little glimpses we are afforded.
Perhaps after the second film is released to 4K, we’ll see the inevitable double dip with Dune: The Ultimate Collection, which would have both films, and a whole bunch of new, never released extras (including commentaries), and perhaps a condensed copy of The Art and Soul of Dune by Tanya Lapointe. And honestly, I’ll probably be there for it.
Dune on 4K is an absolutely stunning achievement and is a must own!It is available now from Warner Brothers Canada! Check it out!