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.
Think of the hilarious Danish import Klown as a mash-up of The Hangover, Deliverance and any buddy movie, except way raunchier. The movie follows two clueless guys, one of whom is forced to bring along his young nephew on a canoe trip where the ultimate goal is to arrive at an annual upscale brothel located deep in the wilderness. This gut-busting comedy crosses all kinds of lines, but the less politically correct will appreciate its audaciousness. Klown is available on cable VOD while it is playing in limited release in theaters.
OMG… Miley Cyrus navigates the treacherous world of high school romance in LOL, a teen romance for Generation Text that stars Demi Moore as Cyrus' overprotective mother. This remake of the French film, also written and directed by Lisa Azuelos, debuts on cable On Demand the same day as disc.
Feeling meta? The SXSW festival favorite Detention starring Josh Hutcherson is a hipster teen horror-comedy about a serial killer named Cinderhella who is preying on the students of Grizzly Lake. Dane Cook stars as the principal in this '90s-obsessed self-aware flick that doesn't come near movies like Scream or The Cabin in the Woods, but still gets an A for effort. Detention comes to cable the same day as DVD and Blu-ray.
The majority of ATM takes place in—you guessed it—a remote parking lot ATM hut on a cold night where three people (including Alice Eve) are trapped inside while a killer dressed in a parka lurks outside. Before you can scream, "Just f**k with the machine so the cops come, you idiots," the cheapie horror flick dispenses itself on cable day-and-date with the disc versions.
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.
The only service that has all four movies listed above on cable On Demand is iTunes. Amazon offers all of them except Klown, while Vudu and Blockbuster carry LOL and Detention for rental or purchase.
One of the most insane action movies in years is the must-see The Raid: The Redemption, which follows a SWAT team as it storms a derelict building that houses some of Jakarta's most dangerous criminals. The Indonesian import doesn't come to DVD and Blu-ray until August 14, but you can download it to own—not rent, yet—on Amazon, Vudu and iTunes. The latter even has an unrated version of the film available for purchase, which is scary since the R-rated theatrical release is already about as violent as movies get.
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.
If you are a Netflix Watch Instantly subscriber, then you just hit the summer jackpot. Dozens upon dozens of movies have been added to the library this week—enough to keep you streaming until winter. Some of the most notable titles include The Avengers (No, not that one—the one with Uma Thurman as Emma Peel), Sphere, the original Arthur, the horror anthology Creepshow, Sly Stallone in Demolition Man, Morgan Freeman in Driving Miss Daisy, Michael Keaton in Mr. Mom, Tom Cruise in Risky Business, Bonnie and Clyde, Somewhere in Time, Little Shop of Horrors, Quest for Fire, the original Sabrina, Superman II, Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt in Heartbreakers, Prince's Under the Cherry Moon, John Waters' NC-17 comedy A Dirty Shame with Johnny Knoxville and the Razzie-winning sci-fi disaster Battlefield Earth starring John Travolta. Trust us when we say this is only a taste of new additions to Netflix' all-you-can-stream banquet.
Something's gotta give after all of these additions, right? The titles being retired this week include The Evil Dead, Die Hard 2: Die Harder, The Addams Family, Boys Don't Cry, Battle Beyond the Stars, Network, Drugstore Cowboy, Mississippi Burning and The Net.