Which Dune (Lynch) DVD should I get, and when?

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Redstar
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Which Dune (Lynch) DVD should I get, and when?

Postby Redstar » 10 Nov 2009 00:10

As you all know, I enjoyed the Lynch adaptation more than the miniseries, despite its faults. I've been considering buying it for myself for a few years now, and I've finally decided that I will. But there are still a few problems I'd like some advice on so I make the best decision.

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Released worldwide in 1984, it was edited by 37 seconds to a total running time of 137 minutes. Though this 137-minute version was not David Lynch's intended cut, it is the only director-approved version and the only official version he ever made of the film for release. It is widely available on both VHS and DVD. In 2006 it was remastered for a special DVD release, and as of late 2006 has been released on HD-DVD with many of the special features seen on other discs.


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The 189-minute "Alan Smithee" version was released in 1989. Prepared originally for syndicated television by Universal's MCA division (and later seen on basic cable television networks) for a two-night broadcast, it was prepared without either participation or authorization by David Lynch. It includes a new narrator and a new prologue with a montage of painted pictures. It also reinserts approximately 40 minutes of cut footage, extending some existing scenes and adding others that were, until this version, entirely unseen. This television version also includes some repeated shots throughout the film.

Lynch objected to this version and petitioned the Director's Guild of America to have his name removed from the credits (which were replaced by the pseudonyms Alan Smithee and Judas Booth). It is now available worldwide on DVD as the "Extended Edition," but 13 minutes shorter because it was originally presented on television in two parts, with the opening and closing credits repeated on the second night with a Part 1 recap. Only Universal's Region 1 release from 2006 presents the Smithee version of Dune in the film's original widescreen 2.35:1 aspect ratio.

While the theatrical cut is cheaper, the Extended version has a better box visual as well as special features and previously deleted scenes. I'm big on special features as well as decent menu screens, otherwise I feel ripped off.

Do any of you have either version? If so, thoughts, opinions? Extended seems the way to go, though special features have a habit of being exaggerated and not really being that good. I know that I prefer the Irulan prologue of the theatrical cut, which is really the only reason I'd prefer that version.

My other concern is the upcoming Dune remake. If it ends up getting done, then a new release may came out that fixes a lot of the problems as well as does that whole remastering thing. So, would it be wiser to wait just in case a better deal comes along? But if I do wait, there's the possibility that a new release doesn't come around, but the price still goes up to cash in on the new adaptation.

Again, thoughts, opinions, advice? (And please, "Don't get it, it sucks" is not something I want to hear)

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TheDukester
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Re: Which Dune (Lynch) DVD should I get, and when?

Postby TheDukester » 10 Nov 2009 00:27

The Extended is nothing special. The disc is a two-sider, the booklet is meh, and the extras ... well, let me just say: does it have extras? If so, they made zero impact on me. I literally can't remember what they were.

Whatever you do, don't pay full price. Amazon lists it at $28 retail (laughable), $23 with discount (absurd), and $15 from third-party sellers (still too high, but whatever). Watch for sales. I got mine for free, essentially, as I added it to my basket during one of Amazon's huge DVD sales a couple of years ago (buy 2, get 1 free; that sort of thing).

Anyway, the bottom line: there is nothing special about the Extended version. It is not a quality release. If you're looking for Lord of the Rings-type packaging, extras, and attention to detail, you will be one disappointed fanboy.
"Anything I write will be remembered and listed in bibliographies on Dune for several hundred years ..." — some delusional halfwit troll.

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Redstar
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Re: Which Dune (Lynch) DVD should I get, and when?

Postby Redstar » 10 Nov 2009 05:34

I'm not willing to go any higher than $20, though $15 is a good price for me if I can find it around there. I like the film, but it's definitely not worth a lot of my money... Just something I'd pop in once every three years for nostalgia.

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Re: Which Dune (Lynch) DVD should I get, and when?

Postby inhuien » 10 Nov 2009 05:42

The Alan Smithee version is a train wreck. Get the theatrical and grab the fanedit you mention in another thread and also the "3rd stage navigator" one, if you can find it anywhere.
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Redstar
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Re: Which Dune (Lynch) DVD should I get, and when?

Postby Redstar » 10 Nov 2009 06:45

I would grab the one on Fanedit, but the site is wonderfully obtuse on how exactly to download and play the edit due to copyright laws and their attempt to sidestep them.

I found the Third Stage Edition you mentioned, but it's a bit overwhelming dealing with it. There's various edits out there, and all are attempting to bring back Lynch's "vision". Which one does that best, by editing in the right scenes and remastering them just right, is hard to tell. I'm about ready to go ahead and start work on the "Orthodox Herbertarian Edition" and ignore the rest, official and fan.

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Re: Which Dune (Lynch) DVD should I get, and when?

Postby Freakzilla » 10 Nov 2009 07:13

TheDukester wrote:The Extended is nothing special. The disc is a two-sider, the booklet is meh, and the extras ... well, let me just say: does it have extras? If so, they made zero impact on me. I literally can't remember what they were.


That's where I found out about the Fremen hats, from the costume designer. Six months, they spent on hats, for nocturnal people.

:x

Whatever you do, don't pay full price. Amazon lists it at $28 retail (laughable), $23 with discount (absurd), and $15 from third-party sellers (still too high, but whatever). Watch for sales. I got mine for free, essentially, as I added it to my basket during one of Amazon's huge DVD sales a couple of years ago (buy 2, get 1 free; that sort of thing).

Anyway, the bottom line: there is nothing special about the Extended version. It is not a quality release. If you're looking for Lord of the Rings-type packaging, extras, and attention to detail, you will be one disappointed fanboy.


I got mine for $17 at Walmart.
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Redstar
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Re: Which Dune (Lynch) DVD should I get, and when?

Postby Redstar » 11 Nov 2009 09:29

As per inhuien's suggestion, I've begun downloading the Third Stage Edition fan edit. I did a little research and found that it's widely considering the very best edition, both official (easily enough) and fan. It's free, so that's about as good a deal as you can get when it comes to Lynch.

I'll watch it soon and do a comparison to the theatrical cut, possibly posting a review in case it's good enough that I'd care to recommend it.

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Re: Which Dune (Lynch) DVD should I get, and when?

Postby chanilover » 11 Nov 2009 12:29

Get the original version, not the extended version which has crappy deleted scenes where they haven't bothered making the Fremen eyes blue and also has a crappy voiceover in the beginning about the Butlerian Jihad and the founding of the Great Schools, with some gravelly-voiced American bloke talking over crappy looking cartoon pictures of robots killing people.
"You and your buddies and that b*tch Mandy are nothing but a gang of lying, socially maladjusted losers." - St Hypatia of Arrakeen.
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