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.
Over the past few weeks, a few big movies—Total Recall, Trouble with the Curve, Ice Age: Continental Drift and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days—have been available for purchase only on other VOD services. Now all four are available for rental on cable On Demand, the same day they debut on disc.
There are a few Friday new releases this week because next Tuesday, the traditional release day, is Christmas. First up is Resident Evil: Retribution, the fifth entry in the zombie apocalyptic saga starring Milla Jovovich as heroine Alice. Thanks to the inventiveness of the sci-fi genre, Retribution brings back some familiar faces from the series that were killed off in previous movies, including Michelle Rodriguez and Oded Fehr. Also back is Sienna Guillory who played Jill Valentine in the second film, Resident Evil: Apocalypse. Retribution rises on cable On Demand this Friday, the same day it arrives on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D.
Tis the season for slow-paced, talky kitchen-sink dramas, so thankfully there is Premium Rush for a jolt of cinematic energy. The fast-paced thriller follows a New York City bike messenger (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) as he weaves in and out of traffic to get a package to Chinatown while being pursued by a crooked cop (Michael Shannon) who wants to intercept it. Premium Rush delivers on cable On Demand this Friday, the same day it is released on disc.
The ensemble romantic dramedy 10 Years follows a group of friends (including Channing Tatum, Rosario Dawson, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Ari Graynor, Justin Long and many more) that still have a lot of growing up to do on the night of their high school reunion. It premieres on cable On Demand, DVD and Blu-ray today.
David Cronenberg's latest film, Cosmopolis, stars Robert Pattinson as a billionaire executive drifting around the city in his limo when information comes down that someone is trying to kill him. The uneasy drama costarring Juliette Binoche, Paul Giamatti, Kevin Durand and Sarah Gadon is now available on cable On Demand as well as on disc.
In Killer Joe, Matthew McConaughey plays the titular cop/hit man who is hired by a desperate drug dealer to kill his mother for her insurance policy in this twisted trailer-park drama directed by William Friedkin and based on a play by Tracy Letts. The NC-17 Southern-fried movie featuring memorable performances by Thomas Hayden Church, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple and, especially, Gina Gershon drops in on cable On Demand and disc this Friday.
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 new releases listed above that are debuting on cable On Demand are also available for rent and/or purchase on Amazon, iTunes and Vudu, with the latter even offering a free 10-minute preview of Premium Rush to check out. Blockbuster currently only offers Resident Evil: Retribution, Premium Rush and Killer Joe on its digital service.
Beca (Anna Kendrick) isn't cut out for any clique at her new college but finds herself mixed up with an eclectic group of gals that sing well together in musical competitions in the comedy Pitch Perfect, costarring Anna Kamp, Brittany Snow and Rebel Wilson. The Glee-ful ensemble effort is available for rent and/or purchase on all four VOD services.
Liam Neeson is back and, in a role reversal, is the guy who ends up being kidnapped along with his ex-wife (Famke Janssen) by those angry Albanians in Taken 2. When his daughter (Maggie Grace) helps them escape, all hell breaks loose in this thrilling sequel that doesn't even arrive on disc until January 15 but can be downloaded to own—not rent—right now exclusively on Vudu.
Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper) has a loving wife, critical success and a best-selling novel in The Words, but he didn't write it. As past wrongs start to haunt him, it becomes difficult to discern fact from fiction in this slow-burn romantic thriller that is available for purchase—not rent—on Amazon, Vudu and iTunes before its disc release on Christmas Eve.
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.
Netflix doled out its holiday gifts earlier this month on Watch Instantly, leaving precious little stirring in its house this week before Christmas. There are still a few new titles being added this week, including George Lopez in Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2, Bruce Willis and Josh Duhamel in the action thriller Fire with Fire, and Spike Lee's family drama Red Hook Summer starring Clarke Peters and Jules Brown.
Unfortunately Netflix wants something in return for the holidays, so titles going into retirement this week include Heartbreakers, Beyond the Mat, Che, Summer Hours, Oyster Farmers and a bunch of children's series like Bob the Builder, Angelina Ballerina and Thomas & Friends.