+++ Opinion +++
There are many reasons toDune’ to watch: Whether you’re just in the mood for a blockbuster that’s really visually and visually stunning, or you’re just a big fan of Frank Herbert’s book and looking for a worthy film adaptation. In my case “DuneBut in 2021 I hit the bull’s eye for another reason: Two years earlier I was introduced to my two favorite franchises “Game Of Thrones” and “Star Wars” so badly disappointed (2019 released “GoT” season 8 and “Star Wars 9”) that since then there has been a big hole in my fan heart. I thought I would never be able to fall in love with a fictional universe again – but then came “Dune“.
“Dune’ is a film made for the cinema. If you have the chance to see the sci-fi blockbuster on the big screen, then do it. In fact, there are still occasional screenings, at least in big cities like Berlin or Munich. But if you don’t have a possibility in your area, the stream is at least a useful alternative. “Dune“ is currently available as a subscription to WOW and is also available to regular Sky subscribers via Sky Go at no additional cost.
›› “Dune” at WOW*
Of course, Denis Villeneuve’s masterpiece (“Arrival”, “Blade Runner 2049”) benefits from having a large screen diagonal and a rich sound system. At WOW, the sci-fi blockbuster is only available in Full HD. The 4K Blu-ray delivers even better picture quality.
›› “Dune” 4K Blu-ray on Amazon*
Yet “Dune’ has more to offer than great visuals, so you’ll get a lot of enjoyment out of it even in less than ideal conditions.
Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) moves to the desert planet of Arrakis with his parents, Duke Leto (Oscar Isaac) and his wife Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson). They were hired by the Galactic Emperor to take over the production of the drug Spice after House Harkonnen failed to do the job satisfactorily and are now being pulled from the lucrative revenue stream. But Baron Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård) doesn’t let it sit so easily and plans his counterattack. Meanwhile, the native desert people of the Fremen await a redeemer who will rid them and their planet of all exploitation…
As mentioned at the beginning, I was a huge “Game Of Thrones” and “Star Wars” fan before I was badly disappointed in both cases. “Duneactually manages to bring some of the qualities of the two franchises together. In case of “Star Wars“ this is no wonder, after all the “Dune” book template has been one of the greatest sources of inspiration for the popular star saga. Also in “Dune’ play large parts of the action on a desert planet, there is a sinister emperor (who, like in the first ‘Star Wars” movie also acts in the background here for the time being) and a supernatural ability that adds a fantasy touch to the science fiction.
Despite the “Star Wars” related settings, feels “Dune’ but more like ‘Game Of Thrones’. Because the classic hero’s journey, which the protagonist goes through, is embedded in power struggles between various large noble houses, which sometimes want to increase their influence with political skill, sometimes with brute force and sometimes with insidious intrigues. As with “Game Of Thrones”, it is more the rule than the exception that individuals who are of moral integrity or loved ones often die an early death.
That alone would be gripping enough, yes Anyone who knows director Denis Villeneuve knows that his films are always accompanied by opulent images and a haunting sound design. No wonder, then, that “Dune’ won his six Oscar trophies and four other nominations, mostly in technical categories. There just wasn’t another movie of this magnitude that looked so damn good and real in 2021. You’d think a sci-fi blockbuster like “Dune’ would be overloaded with half-baked CGI in this day and age. Yet the effects in the Frank Herbert adaptation fit so perfectly into the real scenes that you don’t even notice the difference.
But that’s not just down to Denis Villeneuve’s own talent. At his side, with Greig Fraser, he had what is currently perhaps the best blockbuster cinematographer of all, who with “The Batman“ has also made the most visually impressive high-budget film of 2022. Villeneuve and Fraser partnered with visual effects supervisor Paul Lambert (“Blade Runner 2049,” “Moon Escape”) to create the gritty, realistic style that “Dune’ into an incredibly immersive experience.
Instead of blue or green screens, “DuneFor example, “sandscreens” are used, i.e. sand-colored backgrounds that are more difficult to replace with computer-generated backgrounds in post-production than the usual blue and green variants, but reflect the light on the actors and sets in the way it is supposed to would expect on a desert planet. The reserved camera also lends “DuneAn extra dose of authenticity, as it often stays very close to the people involved and shows the events from their point of view, instead of flying around completely unleashed in digital space and completing unrealistic maneuvers.
The costumes, the set design, the constantly churning sand: it all contributes to the impressive visuals of “Dune” at. But the sci-fi blockbuster is also a treat for the ears. Hans Zimmer delivers his best score in years here, with the usual Zimmer bombast, but also unusual elements such as the throat singing of the Sardaukar or the menacing whispering of the Bene Gesserit. In general, every larger group has its own musical characteristics, which differ significantly from one another, are sometimes subtly combined and have a lot of the atmosphere of “Dune“, which seems equally futuristic and ancient.
All of this (and probably much more) has contributed to the fact that “Dune“ not only secured the top rating of 5 stars in the DashFUN review, but also came first in our editorial ranking of the best films of 2021 (together with our sister site Moviepilot). There can’t be a clearer recommendation. Whether in the cinema, on Blu-ray or as a stream: “Dune“ is an absolute must!
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