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.
After his father (Tom Hanks) dies in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, a young boy (Thomas Horn) combs Manhattan to find the owner of a key left by his dad and comes to understand a world much bigger than his own grief in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. An unapologetic attempt to score Oscars (it earned two nominations), this polarizing, syrupy film features a performance by Horn that is mature beyond his years and co-stars Sandra Bullock as his grieving mother.
In the live-action and animated comedy Hop, Russell Brand voices E.B.—a rabbit reluctant to take over Easter business from his father, Mr. Bunny (voiced by Hugh Laurie). James Marsden shamelessly mugs as an unemployed guy who, against all logic, wants to become the next Easter Bunny in this impressively animated but unimaginative family flick that debuts on cable On Demand on March 30.
Director David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen team up yet again for A Dangerous Method, which tells the story of Sigmund Freud (Mortensen), Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and the young woman (Keira Knightley) that puts a wedge between them when Jung becomes intimate with his patient. This talky historical drama tosses around a lot of kinky ideas from the early days of psychoanalysis and features top-notch performances by Mortensen and Fassbender.
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.
Vudu and iTunes have all three movies listed above in cable On Demand available for download and/or rent, while Blockbuster offers Hop and Amazon has Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Hop.
Those rascal rodents return in the live-action and animated sequel Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, in which the situation for the Chipmunks, Chipettes and Dave (Jason Lee) gets squeaky when they fall overboard from a luxury liner and end up stranded on a remote island. This grating family flick is available for masochists of all ages on Amazon, Vudu and iTunes.
The Twilight Saga is an easy target for parody, and one arrives this week in the spoof Breaking Wind in which Edward and Jacob must put aside their differences to save Bella's life. The lowbrow unrated director's cut is available for really cheap giggles on Amazon, Vudu and iTunes.
Two nervous chocolatiers overcome their shyness and find romance in Romantics Anonymous, which was recently a surprise hit in France. This charming rom-com import is available to rent or download on iTunes.
Are you excited for the American Pie cast to get back together on-screen in the upcoming American Reunion? If so, you'll want to check out a free four-minute preview of the new film on Vudu that is available on March 30.
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.
Kristin Scott-Thomas stars as an American journalist conducting a present-day investigation into the Vel d'Hiv Roundup of Jews in France during World War II in Sarah's Key, which is now available for streaming. Also new this week is Robert Carlyle and Kiefer Sutherland in the 2001 based-on-true-events drama To End All Wars, the family drama The Music Never Stopped and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. The latter—a musical comedy by Joss Whedon starring Neil Patrick Harris—was just yanked from Netflix Watch Instantly only a month ago but quietly returns to stream again.
If you want to watch any of the following movies, you'd better move fast because all of them are expiring this week on Netflix Watch Instantly for the foreseeable future. Getting buried this week is The Boondock Saints, Seven Alone, The Touch of the Master's Hand, Sniper 3 and a church's worth of Christian content oddly timed with Easter, including The Tabernacle, In the Arms of Angels, Time Travel Through the Bible, Prince of Peace, Great Souls: Mother Teresa, Footsteps of Goliath, America's Godly Heritage: Wallbuilders, The Fanny Crosby Story, Bless You Prison, Little Shepherd, Jerusalem: The Covenant City, The Cross and the Switchblade, Martin Luther, Untold Stories of Columbine, John Wycliffe and Candle in the Dark.