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.
The power-hungry King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) wants to unleash the Titans and destroy the Greek gods led by Zeus (Luke Evans) in the visually arresting Immortals, which stars future Superman Henry Cavill as Theseus—the peasant who comes forth to prevent a rehash of ancient history between the immortals. The fantastical sword-and-sandal adventure that might also inspire you to renew your gym membership is also available to stream in 3D.
The filmmakers didn't bring home Kevin Bacon for the recent remake of Footloose, but the new version about a big-city boy (Kenny Wormald) who moves to a small Southern town where unsupervised dancing is banned still cuts loose with some spirited dance numbers.
If you watched the obnoxious trailer for the Adam Sandler supposed comedy Jack and Jill and thought it was absolutely hilarious to have Sandler dress up in drag to take on the titular brother-and-sister roles, you'll want to stream the whole mess co-starring Katie Holmes and Al Pacino(!?). If you don't think a man dressing in women's clothing is enough of a gut-busting premise to hang a limp comedy on, let Jack and Jill tumble down a hill of Sandler stinkers to the bottom.
The bizarre Spanish movie The Skin I Live In stars Antonio Banderas as a plastic surgeon who invents a type of damage-resistant skin and the woman who holds the key to his obsession. The film is presented in Spanish with English subtitles the same day it arrives on DVD and Blu-ray.
A British college student (Felicity Jones) discovers her first love in an American classmate (Anton Yelchin) only to be separated from him when she violates the terms of her visa in the romantic drama Like Crazy, which will connect with those who have ever felt the pain of being separated from their soul mate.
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.
Both Amazon and Vudu offer all of the movies listed above for rent and/or download, but Immortals is only available in 2D. Blockbuster currently only offers Jack and Jill and The Skin I Live In, whereas iTunes offers all of the cable On Demand movies except Like Crazy.
Gary Oldman plays a master spy brought out of retirement to expose a mole working for British Intelligence in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. This celebrated film adaptation of the John le Carre bestseller won't be available on DVD and Blu-ray until March 20, but you download it to own—not rent—right now on Vudu, Blockbuster and iTunes.
Fans of movies like The Lord of the Rings will be glued to HBO's Game of Thrones, a show that follows the denizens of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros as they fight for control of the Iron Throne. This epic series filled with swordplay, magic, sex and the shocking beheading of a lead character stars Lena Headey, Jack Gleeson, Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage and many more. The first season of Game of Thrones is now available for rent and/or download on Amazon, Vudu and iTunes.
After the death of his wife and child, an author travels to Barcelona to see his estranged brother and dying father only to learn that his life is being plagued by events that occurred on a specific date in the horror film 11-11-11. Directed by Saw II, III and IV director Darren Lynn Bousman, 11-11-11 won't be available on DVD until April 24, but it can be rented on Vudu as well as rented or downloaded on iTunes right now.
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.
As we reported last week, there was a mass exodus of titles from Netflix's Watch Instantly library due to the expiration of the deal with Starz. So what is filling void? Netflix just added the 1976 David Bowie cult film The Man Who Fell to Earth, Darren Aronofsky's Pi, Akira Kurosawa's Ran, Swimming With Sharks, Beverly Hills Cop III, An American Haunting, The Rules of Attraction, Bill Maher's Religulous, The Lincoln Lawyer, Grizzly Man, Bad Lieutenant, Weird Science and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
After last week's hemorrhaging of titles, the losses this week are less painful. Expiring from Netflix Watch Instantly are Jackie Chan: Kung Fu Master, The Exploding Girl, The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, Videocracy and—hey, hey, hey!—lots of Fat Albert cartoons.