Check out what's new to rent and own this week on the various streaming services such as cable On Demand, Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, Blockbuster and, of course, Netflix.
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.
Pixar's latest animated adventure, Brave, features a princess who doesn't need to be rescued. Imagine that in a Disney movie! Set in the Scottish highlands, Brave follows the strong-willed archer Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald) who unleashes chaos on her kingdom by defying a sacred custom. She sets out with her triplet brothers to undo a beastly curse and learn the true meaning of bravery in this kid-friendly flick that comes to cable On Demand the same day as disc.
Last week we reported that Oliver Stone's Savages and the sci-fi comedy The Watch starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill were available for purchase on other VOD services. Now both movies are available for rental streaming on cable On Demand the same day they both arrive on DVD and Blu-ray.
Red Hook Summer is cowritten and directed by Spike Lee and is the sixth film in his Chronicles of Brooklyn series, following such movies as Do the Right Thing and He Got Game. Red Hook Summer is about a 13-year-old Atlanta boy who is sent to live with his preacher grandfather in Brooklyn. The movie doesn't hit disc until December 21, but you can stream it right now on cable On Demand.
Adrenaline junkies and Jackass connoisseurs will want to check out Nitro Circus: The Movie, in which motor sports legend Travis Pastrana and his thrill-seeking buds travel the world in search of high-risk extreme sports. Watch as the group pushes themselves and their motorcycles, jet skis, bicycles, buses, cars and more to the limit. Nitro Circus crashes onto cable On Demand the same day it arrives on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD.
In the horror comedy Vamps, Clueless director Amy Heckerling reunites with Clueless star Alicia Silverstone for a story about two socialite vampires living in New York City. The movie began a limited theatrical release on November 2 and is already available on cable On Demand the same day it draws blood on DVD and Blu-ray.
Famke Janssen makes her directorial debut with Bringing Up Bobby, a movie for which she also wrote the screenplay. The drama stars Milla Jovovich as a Ukrainian con artist who moves to Oklahoma with her 10-year-old son to start a new life only to find that her criminal past is catching up with her. Bringing Up Bobby debuts on cable on Demand on November 16, a few days before it is released on disc.
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.
Of all the movies listed above on cable On Demand, iTunes offers Brave, Red Hook Summer, Nitro Circus: The Movie and Vamps for rent and/or download. Amazon and Vudu have all of those four except Red Hook Summer, while Blockbuster strikes out this week with none of these being offered on its On Demand service.
From the makers of Coraline comes ParaNorman, an animated story about a boy named Norman who uses his ability to talk to the dead to save his town from a centuries-old curse. The family film doesn't scare up sales on disc until November 27, but you can download it to own—not rent—right now on all four services. You can also buy ParaNorman bundled with Coraline for as low as $19.99 (if you're OK with standard definition) on Vudu; $27.99 for HD.
The latest Step Up film, Step Up: Revolution, takes place in Miami where an aspiring professional dancer (Kathyrn McCormick) moves, falls in love, and uses her talents of gyrating to club music as a form of protest art. The movie doesn't dance its way to disc until November 27, but you can buy it now on all four 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.
The most caliente new addition to Netflix's Watch Instantly library this week is Casa de mi Padre, a Spanish-language comedy starring Will Ferrell as a cowboy trying to rescue his ranch from greedy creditors. Also added this week is the horror classic Re-Animator, Madison County, Radio Rebel, Dead Season, The Heart of Christmas, Airborne and the romance Like Crazy.
New additions mean that other titles must be retired. Going buh-bye this week are Steven Soderbergh's The Girlfriend Experience, Jennifer Lynch's Surveillance, John Carpenter's original Assault on Precinct 13 and Denzel Washington in The Siege.