Cable On Demand
Cable offers VOD programming (same-day-as-disc releases, older titles and pre-theatrical exclusives) for rent, usually for 24- or 48-hour periods at prices from about $2.99 for older titles to $9.99 for new or exclusive releases. Since cable offers a direct connection from your cable provider, its VOD offerings are usually less prone to outside interference and can be streamed with surround sound and 3D when available.
A chainsaw-wielding bride fends off a demonic horde in [REC] 3: Genesis, the (supposedly) final chapter in the Spanish found-footage horror series. You can rent it right now on cable On Demand before it even debuts in theaters.
The Stephen Elliott-directed drama About Cherry is about an 18-year-old young woman (Ashley Hinshaw) who runs away to San Francisco and is introduced to the porn industry by a wealthy lawyer (James Franco) and a former adult actress (Rollergirl!) turned director (Heather Graham). You can't pop this Cherry in theaters until September 21, but you can stream it starting August 9 on cable On Demand.
In Goats, 15-year-old Ellis (Graham Phillips) is getting ready to leave Tuscon, Arizona and go off to prep school, leaving behind his flaky new age mother (Vera Farmiga) and the only father he has ever known: Goat Man (David Duchovny). The R-rated comedy premieres on cable On Demand on August 10, which is the same day it debuts in theaters.
The trailers and buzz for the R-rated comedy Bachelorette about three friends (Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan and Isla Fisher) asked to be bridesmaids for a girl they used to ridicule in school has people wondering if this is another female-centric laugher along the vein of Bridesmaids. You can find out on cable VOD on August 10—a month before it debuts in theaters.
These four services stream movies to your TV via computer, Blu-ray player, game console or other compatible connected device. Like cable VOD, they offer new titles for rent from about $3.99 to $6.99, but, unlike cable, they also offer the option of downloading the movie to own from about $14.99 to $19.99. Usually movies presented in HD cost a bit more than streaming a SD version.
Amazon, Vudu and iTunes all offer [REC] 3: Genesis, but all the other pre-theatrical titles listed above are currently only available on cable On Demand.
Cable got the jump on these four VOD services for a lot of pre-theatrical titles this week, but Amazon, Vudu, Blockbuster and iTunes are all weeks ahead of cable with the animated The Lorax based on the Dr. Seuss story. The children's hit comes out on DVD and Blu-ray today and is also available to download to own—not rent, yet—on all four services. Vudu and iTunes also offer a digital bundle of The Lorax and Despicable Me for a special price.
It's Shark Week time over at the Discovery Channel, and Vudu is feeling fishy by offering a free preview of the episode "How Jaws Changed the World," which examines how Steven Spielberg's blockbuster sparked a popular interest in great white sharks.
The hit TV show Grimm is about a Portland cop who inherited the ability to see supernatural creatures, which seem to overrun the Oregon city on a weekly basis. The first season arrives on DVD and Blu-ray today with a selection of bonus features, but you can also download the entire season or select individual episodes on Amazon, Vudu and iTunes. Vudu and iTunes even offer a few free bonus features for download, including one on special-effects makeup and another about how the series is inspired by the dark Grimm's Fairy Tales.
Netflix's all-you-can-stream buffet costs $7.99 per month and gives instant access to thousands of movies and television shows via a computer, Blu-ray player, game console or other compatible device. Don't depend on Netflix streaming for same-day-as-disc releases, however. Instead, Netflix offers catalog titles, vintage movies, indie flicks and TV episodes with unlimited access for one monthly price.
Netflix went crazy with new Watch Instantly titles last week, so there's no way that you could have watched them all already. This week doesn't bring another mammoth wave of titles to stream, but there are a few movies of note. New this week is Glenn Close in the gender-bending tale of a woman who disguises herself as a man for work in Albert Nobbs, Kate Hudson in the tearjerker love story A Little Bit of Heaven, and Danny Trejo doing what he does best in Bad Ass. Also, if you thought trying to understand Tom Hardy in The Dark Knight Rises was a gas, you'll have even more fun trying to decipher his mumblings in the mixed-martial-arts drama Warrior.
Lots of titles are expiring from Netflix this week, but most are lesser TV titles and some WWE compilations. Moviewise, say good-bye to Ferocious Planet, Ned Ned, Oblivion, Courage, My Name Is Khan, Pervert!, Adam & Steve, Dorian Blues, Latter Days and Circuit.