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Models & Miniatures
“Dazzling special effects, unforgettable images and powerful performances highlight David Lynch’s stunning film version of Frank Herbert’s classic science fiction epic about an intergalactic warrior’s messianic rise. Starring Kyle MacLachlan, José Ferrer, Max von Sydow, Oscar winner Linda Hunt and Sting, Dune is the ultimate adventure experience that goes beyond the imagination.”
Dune is rated PG-13.
Ten minutes of the 40 minutes of additional footage consists of an alternate prologue. It shows concept paintings for the film as a male narrator explains the complex history of the Dune universe. It gives a little better explanation of some of the politics and factions, but otherwise it’s a bit dry (no pun intended) and confusing. The film then proceeds into credits and we see David Lynch’s name is replaced by Alan Smithee (the pseudonym used for any director not wanting his name attached to a movie). It’s not a good sign. The male narrator continues his dialogue as he gives in-depth explanation of almost everything seen on the screen. It helps explain everything from the diamond on Dean Stockwell’s head to the Fremen. However, if you have to explain that much about what’s going on, there’s obviously a problem. The rest of the 40 minutes of additional footage consists of little scenes spread here and there throughout the movie. Not many of them are terribly noteworthy.
Despite being a special edition of Dune, this DVD is light on the bonus features. There’s no commentary and none of the actors contribute to any of the featurettes. However, what remains is decent. A few deleted scenes are introduced by Raffaella De Laurentiis who explains that there was never a 4 hour cut of the film, but they had intended to do a 6 hour version. This is followed by a few deleted scenes. One shows Paul crying for a man he has killed. Another scene shows Kyle MacLachlan as Paul offering himself as a sacrifice to the family’s traitorous assistant. This is followed by him taking on Virginia Madsen who plays Princess Irulan as his wife. The other deleted scenes are less noteworthy.
The rest of the extras are featurettes discussing the design of the film, the special effects, the models and miniatures, and the wardrobe. The original artists and crew are interviewed for these pieces. It’s very interesting and you begin to really appreciate the design work that went into the film. It’s a shame it all had to get bogged down by a bad script.
Dune: Extended Edition is mainly for established Dune fans. It’s more footage that they’ll definitely want to add to their collections. And anybody that’s a fan of sci-fi and hasn’t seen this version of Dune will probably want to check out this DVD. It gives them the opportunity to watch both versions, but it makes little difference as far as clarity.