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.
Lawless, the latest collaboration between director John Hillcoat and screenwriter-composer Nick Cave, is a gritty drama based on the true story of the Bondurant boys (Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy and Jason Clarke) who operated a bootlegging operation in Virginia toward the end of Prohibition. The popular outlaws' booming business is threatened by a deadly gangster (Gary Oldman) and a corrupt special deputy (Guy Pearce, rocking the most severely parted hair in movie history) who want to finish them off. The violent drama weaves two compelling love stories into the mix and is definitely worth checking out on cable On Demand for Pearce's unhinged performance alone. Lawless is also available today on DVD and Blu-ray.
The rest of the major new releases on cable On Demand this week have already been available on other VOD services over the previous weeks. They come to cable now the same days that they arrive on disc. The spooky animated feature ParaNorman and the Miami-set dance flick Step Up: Revolution are now also available on cable in 2D or 3D. Premiering this Friday on cable On Demand to coincide with their special Friday disc releases are Men in Black 3 and the musical Sparkle, the latter of which features the final performance of Whitney Houston.
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.
Lawless, the only new movie debuting on cable On Demand that wasn't previously available on these other VOD services, is now available for rent or download on Amazon, Vudu and iTunes.
The animated hit Ice Age: Continental Drift won't drift onto disc until December 11, but you can download the fourth film in the series to own—not rent—right now on Amazon, Vudu and iTunes.
If you can't wait until the DVD and Blu-ray release of the remake of Total Recall starring Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel, the sci-fi action picture can be purchased for download right now on all four services. Len Wiseman's director's cut is also available for download exclusively on iTunes.
The magical Beasts of the Southern Wild won over audiences at the Sundance Film Festival with its story about a tenacious six-year-old girl in an isolated bayou community who sets off on a journey to help her sick father only to encounter an array of prehistoric animals that have been released from the melted polar ice caps. You can't own this movie digitally or on disc until December 4, but you can rent it right now 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.
This Saturday is December 1, and a new month brings lots of early digital Christmas presents to Netflix's Watch Instantly library. Starting this Saturday you'll be able to stream Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando, Best Picture winner The English Patient, Lincoln's Daniel Day-Lewis in The Last of the Mohicans, the original Red Dawn, Wes Craven's Scream, Ben Kingsley in the crime drama Sexy Beast, the horror flick Jeepers Creepers, 1966's Batman: The Movie, Charlize Theron in Young Adult, plus Stuart Little 2, Bully, Monkey Business, Bowling for Columbine, Identity, Bad Boys II, Double Indemnity, Biloxi Blues, Half Baked, Black Widow, The Presido and many more.
You didn't think Netflix would give you all these eclectic movies to stream without taking something back, did you? Going into retirement this week are Deadly Impact, Eye of the Beholder, Bangkok Dangerous, Harry Brown, The Thin Red Line, Donnie Brasco, Mean Girls, Hannibal, The Last House on the Left, The Red Violin, Letters from Iwo Jima and, perhaps most upsettingly, The Big Lebowski. Hey, mind the movie, man!