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.
Moonrise Kingdom, the latest quirky comedy by Wes Anderson, is about two 12-year-old misfits (Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward) who fall in love, make a pact and run away together on a small New England island in the summer of 1965 as a brutal storm approaches. Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton star as the various adults trying to track them down in this acclaimed comedy with a gooey center. It arrives on cable On Demand the same day as DVD and Blu-ray.
Found-footage films are bad enough, but the horror flick Chernobyl Diaries is unforgivable for using found-footage style for its story about six tourists who hire an extreme guide to take them to the abandoned city of Pripyat, former home to the workers of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. When the tourists are stranded and the remaining mutated denizens start crawling out of the cracks, the camera gets even shakier and you never really get a clear shot of what everyone is running from even though there isn't supposed to be someone behind the camera in the context of the movie. Wow—all the "quality" of found-footage cinema without the story necessitating the technique. This radioactive wasteland comes to cable the same day as disc.
If Chernobyl Diaries wasn't scary enough for all the wrong reasons, there's always That's My Boy with Adam Sandler as the irresponsible father of Andy Samberg. The raunchy R-rated comedy has been available on other VOD services for purchase, but now you can rent it on cable On Demand the same day it comes out on DVD and Blu-ray.
Like That's My Boy, the animated sequel Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted has been available for download on other VOD services but now is available to rent on cable the same day the googly-eyed gang drops in on disc.
The French-German ensemble comedy …And if We All Lived Together stars Jane Fonda and Geraldine Chaplin and is about the participants of an alternative-living experiment observed by a graduate student. The movie debuts on cable On Demand before it even arrives in theaters in America.
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 the VOD services that previously offered That’s My Boy and Madagascar 3 for purchase now have a rental option. All four services also offer Moonrise Kingdom and Chernobyl Diaries for rent or purchase.
The Walking Dead just had an intense third-season premiere on Sunday that was a ratings bonanza on AMC. You can already start to purchase episodes of everyone's favorite zombie-apocalypse opus and watch behind-the-scenes special features on Amazon, Vudu and iTunes.
News about the new The Evil Dead remake just surfaced recently, and to add to the excitement Vudu is offering Sam Raimi's original horror classic starring Bruce Campbell for rent for only 99 cents for today only.
The CW has a reputation for courting female viewers with shows like The Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl, but now the network is reaching out to male viewers with the superhero series Arrow that scored big ratings last week. The modern take on the Green Arrow comic book story follows the billionaire archer back to Starling City after he has been stranded on a remote island. You can already start to download Arrow on for as little as $1.99 an episode on Amazon, Vudu and iTunes.
Steve Carell and Keira Knightley lead an all-star cast in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, a heartwarming comedy about the crazy things people do when humanity's last days are at hand due to—what else?—an asteroid hurdling toward Earth. The movie doesn't come out on disc until October 23, but you can download it to own—not rent—on all four VOD services.
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.
Just before the found-footage scarefest Paranormal Activity 4 debuts in theaters this Friday, Netflix has added Paranormal Activity 3—an '80s-set prequel to the previous two entries—to its Watch Instantly library. Also new this week is Robert De Niro and 50 Cent in Freelancers, Ethan Hawke in The Woman in the Fifth, and the sixth season of Rules of Engagement.
Going buh-bye this week from Watch Instantly are Cyberbully, Red State, Holy Rollers, Born to Ride, Scorched, Touched, Gordon Glass, A Song for Martin, When the Lights Go Out, Flip the Script, Fados and Crude Independence—in short, nothing to get scared about losing right before Halloween.