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'Dune' Is the Next Big Movie That's Been Fast-Tracked to Digital While Still Showing in Cinemas

You can now watch sandworms, Timothée Chalamet and a glorious spice-war space opera from your couch.
By Sarah Ward
January 13, 2022
By Sarah Ward
January 13, 2022

The past two years have delivered plenty of trends that no one loves, including supermarket shortages and traipsing around town trying to get tested for COVID-19. But here's one that's made our lives easier during the pandemic: the fast-tracking of big-name movies to streaming.

Seeing a film on the silver screen hasn't been a straightforward experience over this chaotic time, and more and more flicks are quickly making the jump from cinemas to digital — including reaching the latter when they're still showing at the former. The latest is Dune, which looks downright glorious projected on the largest screen you can find, and definitely benefits from the kind of surround-sound setup you'll only get to listen to in a theatre, but is now also available to watch at home if that'll brighten up your January.

One of our best films of 2021, the instant sci-fi classic is available to buy and rent via video on demand from Thursday, January 13, including from digital movie services such as Google Play, YouTube Movies and Amazon Video. Accordingly, if you've already sat down on your couch to watch Timothée Chalamet in Don't Look Up this summer, you can now back it up with another of his recent flicks. Or, there's your next double feature sorted.

Photo credit: Chiabella James. Copyright: © 2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A spice-war space opera about feuding houses on far-flung planets, Dune has long been a pop-culture building block. Before Frank Herbert's 1965 novel was adapted into a wrongly reviled David Lynch-directed film — a gloriously 80s epic led by Kyle MacLachlan and laced with surreal touches — it unmistakably inspired Star Wars, and also cast a shadow over Hayao Miyazaki's Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Game of Thrones has since taken cues from it. The Riddick franchise owes it a debt, too. The list goes on and, thanks to the new version bringing its sandy deserts to life, will only keep growing.

As he did with Blade Runner 2049, writer/director Denis Villeneuve has once again grasped something already enormously influential, peered at it with astute eyes and built it anew — and created an instant sci-fi classic. This time, Villeneuve isn't asking viewers to ponder whether androids dream of electric sheep, but if humanity can ever overcome one of our worst urges and all that it brings. And, in his version of Dune, he's doing so with an exceptional cast that spans Chalamet (The French Dispatch), Oscar Isaac (The Card Counter), Rebecca Ferguson (Reminiscence), Jason Momoa (Aquaman), Josh Brolin (Avengers: Endgame), Javier Bardem (Everybody Knows), Zendaya (Spider-Man: No Way Home) and more.

Dune tells of birthrights, prophesied messiahs, secret sisterhood sects that underpin the galaxy and phallic-looking giant sandworms, and of the primal lust for power that's as old as time — and, in Herbert's story, echoes well into the future's future. Its unpacking of dominance and command piles on colonial oppression, authoritarianism, greed, ecological calamity and religious fervour, like it is building a sandcastle out of power's nastiest ramifications. And, amid that weightiness — plus those spectacularly shot visuals and Hans Zimmer's throbbing score — it's also a tale of a moody teen with mind-control abilities struggling with what's expected versus what's right.

Check out the trailer for Dune below:

Dune is currently screening in Australian cinemas, and is also available to stream online via video on demand from Thursday, January 13 — including from Google Play, YouTube Movies and Amazon Video.

Read our full review.

Published on January 13, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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