Denis Villeneuve's Dune comes to 4K UHD as his brilliant and epic vision for the beloved and iconic book is second to none. Villeneuve and his cast and crew are firing on all cylinders to tell this tale and it works beautifully. The 4K UHD picture with Dolby Vision is stunning from start to finish and the Dolby Atmos track is the best sounding audio on any release ever. The extras are worth watching as well. MUST-OWN!
Read our Dune 3D Blu-ray Review
Read our Dune 1080p Blu-ray Review
Revisiting Dune since its initial run in IMAX theaters is a fantastic time for a few reasons. One element is that it's official that there will be at least one if not more sequels in this epic Dune universe. This allows the first film to breathe and take its time exploring the different houses, characters and of course, set up all the conflicts and battles that will be coming to a head in those future movies.
After the initial shock and awe at all the visuals throughout the film, it's easier to focus on the nuanced performances by the actors and learn some of the culture and reasoning behind the actions that take place in Dune. It's still a long film that takes things nice and slow spending more time with world-building than having a ton of fun like a Star Wars outing. But that's the tone for this particular sci-fi epic and it works well. This is the first part of a longer movie that will only get better with age and after repeat viewings.
For the full review, Read Bryan's Theatrical Feature Here.
Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
Dune spices its way up to 4K UHD from Warner Bros. in a 4K + Blu-ray + Digital Code set. The discs are housed insides a hard, black plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. The artwork looks like a film from the MCU or Star Wars with the main cast positions around each other looking gout into the distance. It's got the superhero vibe for sure. There is an insert for a digital code as well.
Denis Villeneuve's Dune heads to 4K with a 2160p UHD transfer with HDR10 and Dolby Vision with an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 that is exclusive to this Warner Bros. release. For this 4K Blu-ray, the image was captured digitally at 4.5K with IMAX cameras, which was then scanned out to 35mm stock, then re-scanned back to digital in native 4K. The reason for this was the achieve the pitch-perfect look for the film that wasn't too glossy and new or too vintage and old, but a good middle ground. This element has carried over to this 4K Blu-ray and is the ultimate way to watch this film at home.
The color palette is almost similar to that of Mad Max: Fury Road in that the contrast of a blue sky and orange sand is rampant. Dune takes several steps further though has tons of nuanced, gloomier colors to go around. The stone structures are perfectly gray, silver with elements of black that almost look ominous. But once on the dangerous sandy planet, earthier tones prevail. The Dolby Vision upgrades the golden sand dunes and brings out the bold richness of the red and blue energy shields. The blue eyes on the native people are eye-popping as well along with some of the lighting used within the confines of the sandy castle complex.
A lot of the film takes place in dark, moody hallways and corridors, but this Dolby Vision really accentuates the cool, steely rooms bringing out every ounce of detail and color within its own world. It really is a fantastic-looking image. The black levels on this 4K release are excellent. There are a ton of sequences in darkness or low-light settings, and every piece of black coloring is deep, inky, and rich. There are no murky shadows or bleeding to be found. The skin tones are natural as well. The detail is never hindered by the darker scenes here. Instead, the Dolby Vision allows for all the textures to come across easily and nicely. The stitching and textures in the costumes look amazing and reflect their unique craftsmanship whether it be fur, cloth, or something that resembles leather.
Closeups reveal individual hairs, pimples, freckles, wounds, beads of sweat, and practical makeup effects nicely. Wider shots all look excellent as well and are never soft. The big CGI sequences are incredible as well with a wealth of detail in every shot, especially during the big attack in the middle of the film. There are virtually zero video issues with this release, making this 4K presentation an ultimate demo-worthy looking film.
This release comes with a Dolby Atmos mix and is quite possibly the BEST sounding Dolby Atmos track thus far out of any release ever. This is the perfect immersive-sounding film and all of its theatrical elements have transitioned over to this 4K Disc.
Sound effects are booming and nuanced at the same time. Fight choreography packs a punch and has different sounding impacts each time that sounds real and leaves a lasting effect. The low end of bass is astonishing as well. When the helicopter crafts fly from the sandworms, they emit an intense bass frequency that will rumble everyone's bones. The same nuanced low end is evident when the voice is used within the witch's magical dialogue. This voice element explores some tremendous low end that utilizes otherworld voices that create this amazingly haunting sound. The lasers from the spaceships the impact from the energy shields are beaten all sound wonderful and full. Dream sequences also explore different audio themes as well. The height speakers are in a constant state of use as well whether it be sand blowing around, a low rumbling hum of bass, or other haunting elements from within the sandy walls.
Bigger action sequences such as the attack or the sandworm scene utilize every bit of sound from all angles, including human voices, footsteps, the natural elements and, even the alien-like giant worm. The score is just as impressive that uses a mix of choral voices and instruments that soak in the dread and action of what's to come. This whole Dolby Atmos mix is organic, full, rich, and strives for excellence, which it succeeds in. This audio component is almost a character in itself. Dialogue is clean, clear, and easy to follow along with, and free of any problems. This is the best-sounding Dolby Atmos track on the market.
There are 73 minutes of bonus material here, all of which are worth watching. However, most of this content is made for newbies to the franchise and story as an introduction course into this world, rather than any real big information. That being said, it's highly bankable there will be future releases with tons of commentary tracks, deleted scenes, and bigger behind-the-scenes featurettes. Still, these are all worth watching.
This remake of Dune is utterly amazing, beautiful, and excellent on all levels. This is by far the ultimate telling of this beloved book and it's only one-third of the story. The performances, visual effects, score, camera work, and storytelling are all stunning and wonderful. The 4K UHD image with Dolby Vision is demo-worthy for sure and the Dolby Atmos track is probably the best sounding audio mix ever to come out on a home-video disc. There is over an hour of extras that introduce the world to newcomers where the meat and potatoes of other bonus material are being saved for a bigger release. Watch it proudly and turn it up loudly, because Dune is a MUST-OWN.