Home4k Blu-rayReview: Dune: Part Two On 4k Blu-ray Delivers Excellent Video, But The...

Review: Dune: Part Two On 4k Blu-ray Delivers Excellent Video, But The Audio Surpasses Expectations

Dune Part Two 4k UHD Blu-ray
Dune: Part Two (2024) 4k Blu-ray/Digital Buy on Amazon

Dune: Part Two released in digital formats mid-April but those of us who hold out for the higher quality physical media formats now have access to the film on 4k Blu-ray. 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray is currently the best way to view movies in a home theater with the exception of premium digital distributors such as Kaleidescape. In comparison to Dune: Part Two in Digital 4k, the 4k Blu-ray averaged about a 50 Mbps bitrate rate with somewhat higher rates depending on the scene and a momentary peak noted at 132 Mbps. Digital 4k streams offer about 25 Mbps at best, although some Apple TV+ shows and movies get closer to 30 Mbps. 

Dune: Part Two picks up where Dune (2021) left off, with Paul Atreides and Lady Jessica having escaped the destruction of their home, House Atreides, by House Harkonnen. Along with returning cast members The film has been a global success, earning over $710M worldwide on an estimated $190Mm budget. 

As expected from the high quality of Dune, Dune: Part Two also delivers a gorgeous, earthy image that is highlighted by the saturated blue eyes of the Fremen. The images of the worm are spectacular in detail, as are the ships and harvesters of House Harkonnen that have been exploiting planet Arrakis. The textures of the set design and details of costumes impress in the home theater environment. 

Dune: Part Two on 4k Blu-ray offers an almost perfect video image. There is some banding within the first 10 minutes of the film though when the subjects are backlit by the orange sun. These, what you might call extreme gradients, have traditionally been difficult for video imagery to render in perfect, smooth transitions. Otherwise, the first long scene in the film presents a beautiful warm color palette with the subjects mostly silhouetted against the darkened sky. 

Contrast ratio definitely tests the limits of TV screen, computer, and mobile device screens. The cave scene at 22 minutes is certainly one of the most challenging scenes, with bright skies contrasting dark cave dwellings. In comparing the Blu-ray on an LED, the detail does not hold up. A similar challenge is found at 30 minutes when Stilgar advises Paul. The bright sky loses some detail on Blu-ray, but holds up on 4k Blu-ray with HDR. The colosseum battle with Feyd at 1:13:00 presents another high contrast image with bright whites that easily blow out on screens that can’t handle the wide color gamut. 

One thing that is a bit disappointing is the lack of variable aspect ratios, as Dune: Part Two was presented in IMAX theaters at 1.43:1 and 1.90:1, but in wider formats including 2.20:1 and 2.39:1. It seems Director Denis Villeneuve preferred to keep a consistent image ratio rather than switch, and the 2.39:1 seems the most appropriate for home applications. 

The audio experience in Dune: Part Two could overshadow the visuals though. Averaging just over 3 Mbps, the Dolby Atmos / Dolby True HD 7.1 sound is a multi-layered and complex mix that never fails in delivering a perfect audio experience for any given moment. The movie transitions from effects to dialogue to soundtrack seamlessly, never giving the viewer (listener) a chance to question what is happening or what is being said. 

Subwoofers deliver incredible effects throughout Dune: Part Two. The harvesters in particular deliver incredible low frequencies when they land on Arrakis, as well as the sandworms that tunnel through the desert like traveling earthquakes. The oversized worm that Paul calls At 53 minutes is just as impactful as it was in the movie theaters, filling the sound space with wind, sand, and the sound of pure power. The Height speakers are activated with special environmental effects that add to the immersive qualities of Dune: Part Two. Gunshots and lasers shift left to right as if in the same space as the viewer. In Chapter 5, the RPG Chani shoots at the thopter and subsequent explosions during the battle present an onslaught of audio sources that seem to find every speaker location. But the scene is just one several in the movie that were masterfully executed. By the way, we should note the HD Blu-ray also offers Dolby Atmos sound.

The Blu-ray Disc in the 2-disc 4k Blu-ray edition includes both the Feature Film and Special Features. Extras on the Blu-ray Disc include “Creating the Fremen World,” “Chakobsa Training,” “Worm-Riding,” “Finding the Worlds of Dune,” “Buzz Around the New “Thopter”,” “Becoming Feyd,” “A New Set of Threads,” “Deeper into the Desert, The Sounds of Dune” (also available on Apple TV). The bonus material offers viewers a deeper look into the creation of Dune: Part Two from the perspectives of the actors, filmmakers, and Director Denis Villeneuve.

We’re scoring Dune: Part Two on 4k Blu-ray a perfect 5/5 for Movie, 5/5 Video, 5/5 Audio (if only we could go to 6), and 4/5 Bonus Features. The film is highly recommended for its storytelling, worldbuilding, and reference-quality presentation.

Dune: Part Two Film Stills

HD Report
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HD Report provides news, commentary, and information about home entertainment media and technology. HD Report has been a Google News partner since 2006, and can also be found on Twitter, Apple News, and Facebook.

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