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t1g3r5fan

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Following the success of The Elephant Man (1980) – which earned him his first Oscar nominations – David Lynch found himself in demand by the major studios. He turned down a chance to direct Return of the Jedi (1983) before he was approached by Italian film producer Dino De Laurentiis for a project that he was developing for Universal. It would turn out to be an adaptation of the expansive Frank Herbert novel Dune, which had been languishing in development hell for some time; the project would change Lynch in ways no one at the time could’ve imagined. Previously released on both DVD and Blu-ray by Universal, Arrow has licensed the movie for a Limited Edition release in both Blu-ray and UHD formats (the latter being the first time the film has ever been released in the format).



Dune (1984)



Released: 14 Dec 1984
Rated: PG-13
Runtime:...

Continue reading...
 
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JoshZ

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Lynch was approached to direct Return of the Jedi (then still known as "Revenge of the Jedi"), not Empire Strikes Back.
 

t1g3r5fan

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Lynch was approached to direct Return of the Jedi (then still known as "Revenge of the Jedi"), not Empire Strikes Back.

Thanks for pointing that out for me and I fixed it; I somehow overlooked that during the editing phase. No matter how many times I've posted a review here that does happen from time to time.
 

Stephen_J_H

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"Noticeably missing from this release is the 190 minute “Alan Smithee” cut of the movie shown on TV that was included in the 2006 Special Edition DVD (Arrow wanted to include it, but wasn’t cleared to do so by Universal)"

And some of us are truly thankful for this. The version included on the SE DVD from 2006 was a bit of a botch job, with the prologue sketches cropped to 2.35:1 to match up with the rest of the film, and it's really a haphazard edit. When Lynch was still on speaking terms with Universal regarding Dune [shortly after the original VHS/Beta release], there was some discussion of him being involved with a director's cut, but things fell apart and MCA TV commissioned the "Alan Smithee" cut to fill a 2-part timeslot in its syndication package. I'm fine if I don't see the Smithee cut again; it's a curio and nothing more.
 

JoshZ

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When Lynch was still on speaking terms with Universal regarding Dune [shortly after the original VHS/Beta release], there was some discussion of him being involved with a director's cut, but things fell apart and MCA TV commissioned the "Alan Smithee" cut to fill a 2-part timeslot in its syndication package.

Universal tried to get Lynch to put together a director's cut or at least contribute to bonus features for the movie at other points as well. In the late '90s, the studio planned to release a deluxe Signature Collection edition of the film on Laserdisc. But Lynch wouldn't return anyone's phone calls, and plans for that were scrapped. I believe they reached out to him again later to do a special edition DVD, with the same result.

Lynch has fully disowned the movie and wants nothing more to do with it. The MCA-TV cut was really the nail in the coffin as far as any attachment Lynch may have had to the film. He felt betrayed by that to a degree that he's never forgiven.
 

TravisR

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Universal tried to get Lynch to put together a director's cut or at least contribute to bonus features for the movie at other points as well. In the late '90s, the studio planned to release a deluxe Signature Collection edition of the film on Laserdisc. But Lynch wouldn't return anyone's phone calls, and plans for that were scrapped. I believe they reached out to him again later to do a special edition DVD, with the same result.

Lynch has fully disowned the movie and wants nothing more to do with it. The MCA-TV cut was really the nail in the coffin as far as any attachment Lynch may have had to the film. He felt betrayed by that to a degree that he's never forgiven.
Re-editing the movie could probably help it but to truly satisfy Lynch, I think you probably need to take a time machine back to when they were shooting.
 

DVBRD

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I'm guessing that the deleted scenes from the TV cut aren't extras on the Arrow release. It would have been nice to have included them, but what do I know? I get the feeling that maybe Universal is suppressing the TV cut in some vain effort for Lynch to do a director's cut, but that's just me.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Re-editing the movie could probably help it but to truly satisfy Lynch, I think you probably need to take a time machine back to when they were shooting.

I have to say, for all of the issues he has with the film and all of the things that might have been done differently with more resources, I still think it’s a heckuva movie that’s unlike anything I’ve seen before or since. My stepdad just saw it for the first time and he was a huge lover of the books and he was genuinely surprised how much he enjoyed the film and how much it got right. He could tell where the budget started running out but he had no idea a 1984 movie would be so wild.
 

TravisR

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I have to say, for all of the issues he has with the film and all of the things that might have been done differently with more resources, I still think it’s a heckuva movie that’s unlike anything I’ve seen before or since. My stepdad just saw it for the first time and he was a huge lover of the books and he was genuinely surprised how much he enjoyed the film and how much it got right. He could tell where the budget started running out but he had no idea a 1984 movie would be so wild.
While I don't care for the movie overall, I can't deny that there are elements of the movie that are great.
 

Stephen_J_H

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While I don't care for the movie overall, I can't deny that there are elements of the movie that are great.
The production design and practical effects are phenomenal. There is some great use of forced perspective to give the impression of scale, and I really like the costume design.
 

JoshZ

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Re-editing the movie could probably help it but to truly satisfy Lynch, I think you probably need to take a time machine back to when they were shooting.

Yeah, Raphaella De Laurentiis ordered Lynch to stand down and stop filming entire storylines that had been scripted. The book has a subplot about a Fremen named Jamis who challenges Paul to a duel and loses. That scene was filmed and can be found in the MCA-TV cut, but the rest of the storyline about Paul then being responsible for Jamis' widow Harrah and two young sons never went before cameras. The actors were cast and can been seen with the rest of the Fremen, but are not identified and have no lines. That explains the two random kids training with the adult Fremen warriors. They're effectively Paul's adopted stepchildren.

That plotline cannot ever be restored to the movie, as it was never filmed.

I'm guessing that the deleted scenes from the TV cut aren't extras on the Arrow release. It would have been nice to have included them, but what do I know? I get the feeling that maybe Universal is suppressing the TV cut in some vain effort for Lynch to do a director's cut, but that's just me.

The Arrow disc release has the same assortment of deleted scenes as the older Universal Blu-ray. It's all footage not found in the TV cut (as Universal had released that version of the movie on DVD separately in 2006).

Rumor is that Lynch demanded that Universal suppress the TV cut, and the current regime at the studio would like to stay on good terms with him. Universal distributed Mulholland Drive in the U.S. Although that movie didn't make a lot of money, it did rack up a lot of high profile award nominations that look very good for the studio.

Lynch threw a fit a couple years ago when Universal licensed the Blu-ray rights for Lost Highway to Kino Lorber rather than Criterion, and I think the studio brass acquiesced on the Dune TV cut to throw him a bone and calm him down.

Anyway, at this point, I don't believe it's even possible to do a director's cut. Between the MCA-TV cut and the deleted scenes on the Blu-ray, I think all the extra footage from the movie we're going to see has already surfaced, and it's not enough to work with. Other scenes were filmed (the "Making of Dune" book has still photos from at least two scenes that haven't turned up anywhere), but that footage was either lost or possibly even destroyed in the 2008 Universal Studios fire. I'd love to be proven wrong on that, but after these UHD discs from Arrow and Koch Films, we may be out of opportunities to lavish deluxe treatment on this movie.
 

noel aguirre

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When Dune was released the reviews were so negative I didn’t bother to see it. Years later on DVD I finally saw it and was amazed at the production design, the scale of the entire project and the performances . And the film while difficult to follow wasn’t impossible and worth viewing more than once. It stands in a league of its own.
IMO it suffered from following a universally acclaimed feature from a relatively new director who’s first film was so brilliant many were just waiting to slam the director’s next feature if it wasn’t as good as- like Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate.
Mine has now shipped and I am very much looking forward to viewing it in UHD.
 
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B-ROLL

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"Noticeably missing from this release is the 190 minute “Alan Smithee” cut of the movie shown on TV that was included in the 2006 Special Edition DVD (Arrow wanted to include it, but wasn’t cleared to do so by Universal)"

And some of us are truly thankful for this. The version included on the SE DVD from 2006 was a bit of a botch job, with the prologue sketches cropped to 2.35:1 to match up with the rest of the film, and it's really a haphazard edit. When Lynch was still on speaking terms with Universal regarding Dune [shortly after the original VHS/Beta release], there was some discussion of him being involved with a director's cut, but things fell apart and MCA TV commissioned the "Alan Smithee" cut to fill a 2-part timeslot in its syndication package. I'm fine if I don't see the Smithee cut again; it's a curio and nothing more.
Alan Smithee is one of my favorite directors - every time I see one of his films it feels like someone else directed it ;)!
 

Josh Steinberg

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I picked up the Blu-ray version of the new Arrow release during the Barnes & Noble sale and just got around to watching it the other night.

I was pretty blown away by what I saw - this is the first time I’ve seen the film where it didn’t look like it was dragged across a floor at the lab. It was significantly cleaner and sharper than the older Universal BD, and a lot steadier too. The opticals are softer where you’d expect them to be but still look better than they ever had. I listened the original 2.0 mix that had been included rather than the 5.1 remix and heard nuances in it that I hadn’t noticed before.

All in all, it looked and sounded better than I ever expected it would or could.
 

JoshZ

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I picked up the Blu-ray version of the new Arrow release during the Barnes & Noble sale and just got around to watching it the other night.

I was pretty blown away by what I saw - this is the first time I’ve seen the film where it didn’t look like it was dragged across a floor at the lab. It was significantly cleaner and sharper than the older Universal BD, and a lot steadier too. The opticals are softer where you’d expect them to be but still look better than they ever had.

I think you misremember the Universal disc. Here are some comparison shots (Blu-ray to Blu-ray, I can't do UHD screenshots).

I may not have hit the exact same frame in all of these. The time codes of the two copies are slightly different for some reason.

Universal:
Dune 1 Universal.jpg


Arrow:
Dune 1 Arrow.jpg


Universal:
Dune 2 Universal.jpg


Arrow:
Dune 2 Arrow.jpg


Universal:
Dune 3 Universal.jpg


Arrow:
Dune 3 Arrow.jpg
 
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JoshZ

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Not at all, I sampled them back to back and am thrilled with the Arrow.

I don't know how you came to the conclusion that the Arrow transfer is "significantly cleaner and sharper than the older Universal BD," given that they look very much alike. If anything, the Universal disc is slightly sharper and has slightly better contrast.

I will give you steadier. The Uni disc has a little gateweave wobble noticeable during on-screen text, but I don't find it distracting during the rest of the movie. YMMV.

I don't say any of this to disparage the Arrow transfer, but I was a bit suprised to watch their 4K UHD disc with HDR and find that it looks nearly identical to the 12-year-old Blu-ray from Universal. Which I guess speaks to how well Universal did with that Blu-ray in the first place.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I don’t understand the argumentative tone here.

I am very satisfied with the new Arrow disc. It looks better to my eyes. The older Universal does not look as good to me. The difference between the two is noticeable to me. I was happy with my purchase and thought other forum members might benefit from hearing that.
 

JoshZ

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I don’t understand the argumentative tone here.

I am very satisfied with the new Arrow disc. It looks better to my eyes. The older Universal does not look as good to me. The difference between the two is noticeable to me. I was happy with my purchase and thought other forum members might benefit from hearing that.

Fair enough. I just don't see much difference between them. I think either copy is satisfying. Arrow has more bonus features, though.
 

OliverK

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I don't know how you came to the conclusion that the Arrow transfer is "significantly cleaner and sharper than the older Universal BD," given that they look very much alike. If anything, the Universal disc is slightly sharper and has slightly better contrast.

I will give you steadier. The Uni disc has a little gateweave wobble noticeable during on-screen text, but I don't find it distracting during the rest of the movie. YMMV.

I don't say any of this to disparage the Arrow transfer, but I was a bit suprised to watch their 4K UHD disc with HDR and find that it looks nearly identical to the 12-year-old Blu-ray from Universal. Which I guess speaks to how well Universal did with that Blu-ray in the first place.

I can understand both you and Josh as I finally peeked into my UHD and was a bit underwhelmed as I did not remember the Blu-ray to look that different and indeed the general look is very similar.
Going back and forth with both synced up I did however find that the UHD is a decent improvement that is probably close to being as much as the elements allowed - it just wasn't possible for the UHD to look that much better.
 

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