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Jodorowsky's Dune (2013) - Blu-ray Review

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Jodorowski's Dune - Blu-ray Review

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5 stars

Mad genius. Visionary. Prophet. Egomaniac. Whatever word you use to describe cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky would probably be correct. This Chilean-French filmmaker is also a playwright, an actor, an author, a musician, a comic book writer, and a spiritual guru. He is all of these things but his attempt to bring Frank Herbert's seminal science fiction novel "Dune" to the silver screen in 1974 resulted in the most influential film never made. Confused? The documentary Jodorowky’s Dune will straighten you out.

As if pulled out of thin air after the underground successes of El Topo and The Holy Mountain, Alejandro Jodorowsky announced to his backer, producer Michael Seydoux, that Dune would be he his next feature. Ambitious, yes, and a tad delusional but that doesn’t ever stop the dreamer as artist. Had he read it? No. But he knew enough to know it was the epic his ego wanted to take on and so, as documented in this interview heavy documentary by filmmaker Frank Pavich, he assembled his creative warriors.

In the months following the acquisition of the property, Jodorowsky was busy assembling the dream team. Artists like H. R. Giger, Chris Foss and Jean Giraud for set and character design, Dan O'Bannon for special effects, and Salvador Dalí, Orson Welles, Gloria Swanson, David Carradine, and even Mick Jagger joined his side. Inspired by his creative madness, they all moved to Paris and started their sojourn. Storyboards were created, designs were drawn up, and a book was put together for all the studios to oogle and throw their money behind.

Except no studio did. They liked what they saw in the book. They just didn’t like Jodorowsky, the 14-hour running time, and the price tag for the masterpiece presented in the book. Several times throughout the documentary, Jodorowsky can be seen thumbing through the storyboards and the similarities in movies like Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Flash Gordon, and Terminator are striking. Every studio was sent a copy of the book and it’s no doubt these books made it into a lot of creative hands’ to steal from because it is certifiably genius on every level.

Going into the documentary, we already know the movie never got made. We know David Lynch made his producer-trampled cut in 1984. How that happened is explained here and, ever the egoist, Jodorwsky cheered when that version failed. But some dreams don’t need to become real to be effective. As explained in the movie, the creative bug – when all these forces and artisans came together – was enough to inspire all sorts of films and art to come. That is the lasting effect of the most influential movie never made.

Highlighting the ups and downs of a two-year production that resulted not in a film but a cosmic connection of consciousness, Jodorowsky’s Dune should not be overlooked by anyone with any amount of interest in Science Fiction films or our popular culture in the last forty years.

Jodorowski's Dune - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some violent and sexual images and drug references.
Runtime:
90 mins
Director
: Frank Pavich
Cast:
Alejandro Jodorowsky, Michel Seydoux, H.R. Giger
Genre
: Documentary
Tagline:
The greatest science fiction movie never made.
Memorable movie quote:
Distributor:
Sony Pictures Classics
Official Site:
Release Date:
March 21, 2014
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
July 8, 2014
Synopsis: The story of cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky's ambitious but ultimately doomed film adaptation of the seminal science fiction novel.

Jodorowski's Dune - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - July 8, 2014
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, French
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); DVD copy
Region Encoding: A

Jodorowsky's Dune arrives on Blu-ray with a 1080p, 1.78:1-framed transfer courtesy of Sony Pictures. The image doesn’t pop out and is quite standard for a talking heads feature. Clothing appears undefined and faces, too. Color is sharp. No defects there. Blacks are solid and reds are quite bright. There are some nice animated moments with some of the artwork from Giger and Foss. Overall, it’s a good transfer. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack; however, is incredibly ambient and provides a good boost to the picture.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

The Blu-ray/DVD combo pack does come with nine deleted scenes, which clock in at a hearty forty-six minutes. For the most part, they’re just more of Jodorowsky talking, sometimes ranting, occasionally while storyboards or concept art is shown, which makes them well worth watching. It also includes original trailer for this documentary.

Deleted Scenes (46 min)

Theatrical Trailer

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