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.
Amanda Seyfried plays Bonnie to Justin Timberlake's Clyde in the sci-fi thriller In Time set in a dystopian future where people can live forever if they can afford to buy the only currency that matters anymore: time. The intriguing premise calls attention to our current economic crisis and co-stars Olivia Wilde—believe it or not—as Timberlake's mother in this world where no one looks older than 25.
The prequel to John Carpenter's The Thing is about a team of American and Norwegian scientists in Antarctica that thaw out a hostile shape-shifting alien that can take the form of any living creature. This underappreciated sci-fi creep show stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Ripley mode and blends wonderfully into the 1982 film starring Kurt Russell.
Daniel Craig plays a publisher who moves his wife (Rachel Weisz) and two young daughters to a seemingly idyllic New England home where some grisly murders took place in Dream House. Naomi Watts is onboard as the neighbor across the street who knows what really happened, but this thriller crumbles after a hokey M. Night Shyamalan twist is revealed at the midway point.
Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson star as three amateur bird watchers that compete to be the supreme "birder" by viewing the most species in The Big Year, the extended version of which is available on On Demand.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon was the first movie in the series that director Michael Bay shot in 3D, and the result is some unforgettable action sequences involving skydivers, crumbling skyscrapers and giant robots in Chicago. The movie is available on Blu-ray 3D today, but you can also stream the 3D version on cable On Demand if you have a 3D TV and glasses.
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.
All of the movies listed above that are available on cable on Demand can also be rented and/or owned on Amazon, iTunes, Vudu and Blockbuster except the 3D version of Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
A retired CIA operative (Richard Gere) and a hotshot FBI agent (Topher Grace) team up to track down a Soviet assassin who is believed to have killed a U.S. senator in The Double, which is available to stream or own on Amazon, iTunes and Vudu as well as to rent on cable On Demand.
Based on true events, Texas Killing Fields is about a local homicide detective (Sam Worthington) who teams up with a New York cop (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) to investigate a bunch of unsolved murders. The crime drama is available to rent or own on all of the services except Blockbuster, which only has the DVD.
Redbox regulars that frequent the disc kiosks because of the low prices might want to visit Vudu and check out the site's 99-cent "Movie of the Day." Today's specially-priced rental is Death Race, starring Jason Statham and Tyrese Gibson.
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.
Those of you that still have fond memories of Adam Sandler after Jack and Jill might want to stream his 1995 comedy Billy Madison, which is now available as part of Netflix's unlimited streaming buffet.
Car-crazy Los Angeles isn't exactly the most bicycle friendly spot in the world, which is what makes the documentary To Live & Ride in L.A. about a pack of hardcore fixed-gear cyclists so interesting.
You no longer have to hunt for The Hunt for Red October on Netflix Watch Instantly. The tense 1990 thriller starring Sean Connery as the commander of a Soviet nuclear sub that has fallen off the radar and Alec Baldwin as CIA analyst Jack Ryan is now available.
Fear not—the twisty 1996 thriller Primal Fear starring Richard Gere as an arrogant defense attorney and Ed Norton as an altar boy accused of murder can be streamed legally on Netflix.
Stanley Kubrick's celebration of ultra-violence, A Clockwork Orange, stars Malcolm McDowell as teenage hooligan Alex DeLarge—a milk-drinking, Beethoven-listening thief and rapist who wanders a bleak urban landscape with his fellow "droogs" looking for perverse thrills. The 1971 classic is now ready for a bit of the old "in-out, in-out" in your Watch Instantly queue.