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post #1 of 18 Old 07-02-2014, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Jodorowsky's Dune (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review



The story of cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky's ambitious but ultimately doomed film adaptation of the seminal science fiction novel.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

83



Details:

Studio and Year: 2013 Sony Pictures Classics
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 88 minutes
Genre: Documentary

Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s):
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Michel Seydoux, H. R. Giger, Chris Foss, Nicolas Winding Refn, Amanda Lear, Richard Stanley
Directed by: Frank Pavich
Music by: Kurt Stenzel
Written by: Frank Pavich
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: July 8th, 2014


"The Greatest Movie Never Made."


My Take:

Jodorowsky's Dune is the story of ambition, of belief, of art, but inevitably of failure in the pursuit to make a film of the likes yet to have been seen. The year is 1975 B.S. (before Star Wars), and other than Kubrick's 2001, a grander idea and production had yet to be greenlit. After success in Europe for his films El Topo, and Holy Mountain, filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky was offered money to do whatever he wanted. He chose Frank Herbert's Dune. It was to be his first big budget film and he went searching high and low for his band of "spiritual warriors". Jodorowsky ended up with a team that included a cast of Orsen Wells, David Carradine, Salvador Dalí, Amanda Lear and Mick Jagger. Music by Pink Floyd, art design by H. R. Giger (Alien) and Jean 'Moebius' Giraud (Alien, Tron, the Abyss), as well as special effects by Dan O'Bannon (Alien, Dark Star). Though never coming to fruition, this project has its DNA all over Sci-Fi with design elements popping up in Alien, 1980s Flash Gordon, Prometheus, even in comic books. Sounds pretty awesome?? Well Hollywood never funded the filming of Dune, based mostly on Jorodowsky reputation, and based on rumored 14 hours of storyboards. Ironically all that is left today of the project are 2 copies of the books that include the film in those detailed storyboards. The beginning of this documentary has Director Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive) being interviewed about having dinner with Jodorowsky, and a late night viewing of the storyboards. He says that he is the only one to get to see Jodorowsky's Dune and that it is "Awesome".

As a documentary I found Jodorowsky's Dune well done, informative and edited in way that I felt excited for the project along with the excitement the gentlemen talking of the story some 40 years later had. I also enjoyed the peek into Jorodowsky, who thought coming off as a bit of a kook (trying to make dune like an acid trip that didn't need drugs), also came of as really humble and OK with this dream project never being fully realized. He is OK with using elements in comic books instead of film, and is OK that his huge book of labored storyboards that years of work, travels to many countries, and part of his soul was poured into is still just the book that Hollywood denied. About when hearing that David Lynch would be making Dune in the early 80s, he was heartbroken, but at least happy someone he considered an artist would be doing it. It was universally panned and did he express a bit of relief. Towards the end he humbly says someone should make it one day, even if he is dead. Come on then Nicolas Winding Refn, you did say it was awesome...

Parental Guide: Rated PG-13 for some violent and sexual images and drug reference



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**



Audio: 80
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:

Video: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:

Jodorowsky's Dune comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 26.8 Mbps and DTS-HD MA lossless that has an average bitrate of 3.8 Mbps.

I found no complaints with Jodorowsky's Dune's A/V quality. Images shot in HD showcased nice definition on its interviewed subjects as well as impressive delineation when it came to shots of the films concept art and storyboards. Old celluloid footage was crisp with nice grain,stable blacks and contrast, showing once again that Sony knows how to encode and not tinker with it's HD content. The lossless audio track is pedestrian, though it never calls for much. I never longed for dialogue and its musical passages seemed dynamic and spacious.



Bonus Features:

  • DVD Copy
  • (HD) 47 minutes of Deleted Scenes
  • (HD) Trailer




Final Thoughts:

Jodorowsky's Dune is well worth a viewing, not only for fans of Sci-Fi, Jodorowsky, Dune or film-making, but also for fans of great documentaries. I am glad for Jodorowsky that this is out, as some sort of glimpse into this labored project. Sony's presentation is superb and I see no reason not to give this a viewing.






Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews


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Last edited by Lee Weber; 07-04-2014 at 02:09 PM.
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post #2 of 18 Old 07-02-2014, 11:38 AM
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Sounds tragic, inspirering all at once!

Thanks for bring it to light Lee, great review.
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post #3 of 18 Old 07-02-2014, 01:03 PM
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That is a really unfortunate first frame to display for that YouTube video.
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post #4 of 18 Old 07-02-2014, 03:55 PM
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It was not long after finishing the third DUNE book that I heard a movie version was coming from Jodorowsky. Lemme tell ya, I couldn't friggin' wait! So I was VERY disappointed when it didn't happen (particularly after seeing Giger's work on DUNE published in Cinefantastique magazine. I was hopeful when Lynch was announced, but the project just might have been too big for him at the time. So this documentary is the closest we will ever come to imagining what could have been. (Acid trip without the acid? I'd buy that for a dollar.) Already added to my NF queue.

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post #5 of 18 Old 07-02-2014, 04:09 PM
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Thanks Lee, I'm really looking forward to watching this.

Looky here!
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post #6 of 18 Old 07-02-2014, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Djoel View Post
Sounds tragic, inspirering all at once!

Thanks for bring it to light Lee, great review.
Thanks DJoel!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Actionable Mango View Post
That is a really unfortunate first frame to display for that YouTube video.
I noticed that as well..thought it was perfectly fitting to Jodorowskys personality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robnix View Post
Thanks Lee, I'm really looking forward to watching this.
Np. Let us know what you think!
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post #7 of 18 Old 07-02-2014, 06:47 PM
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Greetings,

Nice review partner. Thanks..!


Regards,
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post #8 of 18 Old 07-03-2014, 07:40 AM
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post #9 of 18 Old 07-03-2014, 07:45 AM
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Watched this last night, loved it. I was laughing so hard at some parts that I almost choked, some sad parts as well with thoughts of what might have been. Probably for the best that this never got made as I don't know that Dan Obannon (GRHS) could have pulled off what Jodor had envisioned.

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post #10 of 18 Old 07-03-2014, 09:22 AM
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Jodorowsky is definitely on another level(take that how you will). His first film, El Topo("The Mole"), came out in the late 60's and was exceedingly graphic in its violence and sex for the time. It can only be accurately described as a metaphysical western. The hero has to seek out and kill a certain number of mystical gunslingers. The last one(only halfway through the film, mind you) sits in the desert ascetic and catches bullets with his butterfly net.

It caught the attention of John Lennon, who bought the rights to the film. After his hiatus from film, he went into writing graphic novels. I'm pretty sure he is at least partially responsible for launching the careers of Moebius, Enki Bilal and others.
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post #11 of 18 Old 07-03-2014, 10:39 AM
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Been looking forward to viewing this film ever since I heard of it. Thanks for the review, Lee!
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post #12 of 18 Old 07-03-2014, 05:35 PM
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What is the picture at the top of the thread supposed to illustrate? I can't really figure it out. I've read the complete series a couple times, and I don't remember much about spaceships tethering to asteroids.

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post #13 of 18 Old 07-03-2014, 06:09 PM
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That is one of Chris Foss' works. He was hired by Jodor and convinced to move to Paris and provide illustrations for the pre production work. He had never read Dune and had no idea what it was about. I believe he mentions in the movie that to this day he still doesn't know what it is about. So if you don't necessarily recognize how some of his work ties into Dune, that wouldnt be very surprising. He is a brilliant artist though.

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post #14 of 18 Old 07-03-2014, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nebrunner View Post
That is one of Chris Foss' works. He was hired by Jodor and convinced to move to Paris and provide illustrations for the pre production work. He had never read Dune and had no idea what it was about. I believe he mentions in the movie that to this day he still doesn't know what it is about. So if you don't necessarily recognize how some of his work ties into Dune, that wouldnt be very surprising. He is a brilliant artist though.
Thanks for the back story...that probably explains it. Although I'm surprised he would not want to study the subject matter.

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post #15 of 18 Old 07-03-2014, 11:26 PM
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Amanda Lear? Wow,more then 30 years that I've heard that name.
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post #16 of 18 Old 07-04-2014, 04:52 PM
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It's like Terry Gilliam's Man of La Mancha, though Dune was a much more ambitious project which Hollywood was not going to fund. MofL is another great "unmaking of a movie" documentary to watch anyway.

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post #17 of 18 Old 07-04-2014, 06:30 PM
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Added to Netflix queue, thanks Lee!

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post #18 of 18 Old 07-05-2014, 08:39 AM
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I saw this in theaters a few months back. It needs to be seen. Its a really inspirational film. At the same token I'm not entirely sure that I would have wanted to see his version of Dune. While David Lynch's version of Dune made a lot of changes to the book, Jodorowsky's version would have been completely changed it.

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