Dune Part Two – BLU-RAY /DVD

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Dune Part Two blu-ray - disc review

It is always a gamble to adapt epic fantasy books into films. For every Lord of the Rings there’s a John Carter and the undertaking to make Dune as a potential two parter with Dune Part Two only being made if the first film was a success was an immense risk for Warners bros. But it paid off handsomely with the first film opening to both critical and commercial acclaim. Dune Part Two which, filled IMAX screens, now comes to home entertainment formats with the release of Dune Part Two Blu-ray & DVD

The sequel and closing half of the saga sees Paul Atriedes (Timothee Chalamet) uniting with Chani (Zendaya) and the Fremen while seeking revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family.

For composer Hans Zimmer a sequel was always going to happen and he continued writing the score for Part Two even after the first film had opened in cinemas in 2021 and his score he is haunting with its archaic chants sending shivers up the spine whenever it plays over so many of the memorable scenes. It is recounted in a featurette on the blu- ray – one of many that covers each facet of the films production.

Those featurettes cover the films production design, the language created by author Frank Herbert – a nightmare for actors to learn and required an on-set linguist, the locations, Austin Butler transformation into the killer Feyd and of course the worm riding. Each of these offer a decent insight into their respective areas and Patrice Vermette’s production design is one of the films many high points having constructed 40% of the films sets on sound stages including an incredibly claustrophobic one only 3’ 6’’ high. The sets alone have so much detail that they alone make the film worth re-watching. With locations in Italy, Jordan, Abu Dhabi and Namibia his job was immense and many of the desert locations were shut off for weeks so that the wind could restore the dunes to their natural state free of vehicle tracks and footprints.

Perhaps it is the featurette about the sand worms that might interest audiences most. Titled ‘Worm Riding’ it’s not an account of Stormy Daniels sexual antics with Donald Trump but a behind the scenes look at the huge rigs that the crew built for a dedicated second unit to shoot Chalamet ( or at least his stunt double) taking the reins of the enormous beasts. Despite the huge set pieces in both films director Denis Villeneuve regarded those scenes as the most complex sequences he had to shoot involving  the co-ordination of stunts, complex rigs, and visual effects combining to make iconic set pieces.

After the catastrophe of David Lynch’s 1984 version of Dune which saw him never to take on a commercial studio project ever again these new 2 part version of the epic novel firmly  banishes any memories of that version in its wake.  Villenieuve has made a  masterful interpretation of the book and would surely have been an Oscar contender had it been released in November 2023 as originally intended. However the SAG strikes saw studios pulling their tent pole releases and when it was released in early 2024 it missed the cut off date for nominations. It’s a great shame as a second viewing  of the film suggests that Villeneuve, the films production design, Hams Zimmer’s score and Austin Butler’s Feyd would surely have been contenders.

This Dune Part Two blu-ray makes an necessary addition to the Home Ent release of the first film (reviewed HERE) and the featurettes are all worth a look and provide an interesting insight. What it does obviously miss is a director’s commentary which would seem to be an essential for such an epic production. Nonetheless this is epic film making that will stand the test of time and multiple re-watches.

related feature : Those visual effects in Dune Part Two

related feature : Terry Gilliam talks to us about a Time Bandits sequel

Here’s the Dune Part two trailer……

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