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.
Steven Soderbergh casts MMA fighter Gina Carano as an assassin gunning for her boss (Ewan McGregor) after being set up by him in Haywire. Carano does her own stunts and fighting in this choice action film co-starring Michael Fassbender, Michael Douglas, Antonia Banderas, Bill Paxton and Channing Tatum that is available on VOD the same day as DVD and Blu-ray.
Garry Marshall cranks up the schmaltz again in the ensemble holiday-themed romantic comedy New Year's Eve that follows several intertwining romances on the titular holiday. Starring Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hilary Swank and more, New Year's Eve comes to On Demand the same day as DVD and Blu-ray.
Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton play two Georgia ladies each with very different ideas about how to help their church choir win a national competition to help their struggling small town in Joyful Noise, a feel-good flick available on VOD the same day as disc.
Madonna directs the vanity project W.E. about the lives of two passionate women separated over 60 years as Wally Winthrop (Abbie Cornish) researches the relationship between King Edward VII (James D'Arcy) and Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough) and discovers that their romance was not quite a fairytale. W.E. earned an Oscar nomination for its costume design and comes to On Demand the same day as DVD and Blu-ray.
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, iTunes and Vudu have all the movies listed above on cable On Demand available for streaming and/or purchase, while Blockbuster only offers Haywire on its streaming service.
Woody Harrelson plays a corrupt cop whose life begins to unravel when he is caught on tape beating a suspect in Rampart, a tense drama co-starring Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright, Ice Cube, Steve Buscemi, Ned Beatty, Anne Heche and more. Rampart won't arrest viewers on DVD and Blu-ray until May 15, but you can download it to own—not rent—right now on Amazon, Vudu and iTunes.
The latest equestrian drama following Flicka the wild horse, Flicka: Country Pride, has Toby (Clint Black) taking on a managing job at a troubled stable where the owner's daughter (Kacey Rohl) quickly bonds with the titular horse. This family flick is available to rent—not purchase—on Amazon, Vudu and iTunes.
EPIX is a premium entertainment service that offers blockbuster titles from Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate as well as original programming. The VOD service is available on Roku, select Samsung Smart TVs and Blu-ray players as well as other portable devices, like the iPad. EPIX is a streaming subscription channel for renting movies only.
Marvel maven Stan Lee showed up at a press luncheon last week in Los Angeles to promote EPIX, on which you can currently watch Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger in preparation for the theatrical release of The Avengers. EPIX also created the original documentary With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story in anticipation of The Avengers.
Other original programming coming up this summer announced at the luncheon include the original comedy event Jim Norton: Please Be Offended, the Star Trek documentary William Shatner's Get a Life! and the EPIX original movie Roger Corman's Attack of the 50-Foot Cheerleader in 3D.
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.
There are no splashy debuts this week on Netflix's Watch Instantly, but titles that are expiring from the service include Once Fallen, Good Luck Charlie, The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), Benny and Joon, A Somewhat Gentle Man, Art & Copy and A Ripple of Hope.