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.
On the surface, George Clooney plays the smooth-talking presidential candidate you'd probably cast a vote for in The Ides of March. Ryan Gosling plays his enthusiastic junior campaign manager who gets a crash course in dirty politics when he becomes intimately involved with the cover-up of Clooney impregnating an intern in this dark political drama.
Twilight wolf-boy Taylor Lautner puts his abs to work in Abduction, in which he plays a teenager who discovers that the people he calls his parents are not. After their violent murder, a woefully miscast Lautner goes on the lam and learns the shocking truth about his real father in this shameless star vehicle that wastes the talents of co-stars Sigourney Weaver and Mario Bello.
A childlike Midwest man (Nick Swarsdon) moves to Hollywood to follow his parents' footsteps and become a porn star in Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star. The tragically flaccid comedy co-starring Christina Ricci, Stephen Dorff and (insert laughter here) Pauly Shore currently enjoys a zero percent Rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Juno Temple and Jeremy Dozier play the high school tramp and resident closet case, respectively, in Dirty Girl, an R-rated road-trip comedy that starts off revving and then takes a sharp turn on the Earnest Highway as the unlikely duo head off to California to find Temple's real father.
In the award-winning Portuguese drama Mysteries of Lisbon, director Raul Raiz adapts the eponymous novel by Camilo Castelo Branco and evokes the work of both Charles Dickens and Victor Hugo.
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.
Of the five films listed above that are available today on cable On Demand, iTunes has them all available to rent or own, Amazon and Vudu have them all except Dirty Girl, and Blockbuster offers Ides of March, Abduction and Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star.
Ryan Gosling plays a Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a wheelman for criminals until a job gets botched and a contract is put on his life just as he strikes up a relationship with his neighbor (Carey Mulligan) in Drive. The stylish and acclaimed action movie isn't available on disc or for rent until the end of the month, but you can download it to own right now on iTunes, Amazon and Vudu for as little as $14.99.
Four cops wrestle with how to raise their children in a God-honoring way in Courageous, an indie Christian drama produced by Sherwood Pictures—the studio responsible for Fireproof and Facing the Giants. Courageous is available to rent or own on all four services as well as to stream on cable On Demand.
A 315-pound man moves from the city to a trailer in the woods to battle his food addiction in the acclaimed comedy Lbs., which is available to own or rent on iTunes and Vudu.
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.
Watch Diane Lane go from housewife to the "first lady of racing" in Disney's Secretariat, based on the true story of the thoroughbred that won the 1973 Triple Crown. The equestrian drama is being promoted on Netflix as Steven Spielberg's War Horse gains awards attention in theaters.
If you were onboard for Robert Downey Jr.'s updating of Sherlock Holmes on the big screen, check out season one of the British TV series Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the eccentric sleuth from Arthur Conan Doyle's mystery tales who prowls modern-day London for clues.
An aspiring novelist encounters a young boy alone on the subway and must decide whether or not to take him back to foster care in the ensemble indie comedy HappyThankYouMorePlease.
Elvis Presley plays an ex-soldier who just wants to chase girls and sing instead of work in the family pineapple business in the goofy 1961 comedy Blue Hawaii, which says "aloha" on Netflix Watch Instantly.