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.
Last week we reported that the fourth Bourne movie, The Bourne Legacy starring Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz, and the raunchy Seth MacFarlane comedy Ted with Mark Wahlberg were available on other VOD services for purchase. Now both movies are available for rent on cable On Demand the same day they arrive on DVD and Blu-ray.
The 2011 documentary Crazy Horse is a look inside the titular Paris club that boasts the world's most magnifique nude dancers. The Fredrick Wiseman film premieres on cable On Demand before its DVD release date.
Premiering in theaters this Friday is the drama Yelling to the Sky, which stars Zoë Kravitz as 17-year-old Sweetness O'Hara who is left to fend for herself in a dangerous neighborhood after her family falls apart. The movie, which also stars Jason Clarke and Gabourey Sidibe, also is available to rent on cable On Demand if you would rather watch it at home.
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.
Vudu will also offer Yelling to the Sky on December 14 for rent, while iTunes has Crazy Horse available for rent or purchase. All the VOD services that had The Bourne Legacy and Ted available for download only last week now offer both movies as rentals.
The much-maligned big-screen remake of Total Recall stars Colin Farrell as Douglas Quaid—a factory worker with a stable life with his wife (Kate Beckinsale)—who seeks an escape with the company Rekall, which can implant the memories of an espionage thriller in his mind. But what is real and is someone really trying to kill him? Jessica Biel and Bryan Cranston also star in this sci-fi thriller by director Len Wiseman that, although lacking the brilliant satirical humor from Paul Verhoeven's original film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, still features some striking set pieces and great action sequences—especially when a Terminator-like Beckinsale relentlessly tracks Farrell and Biel. The DVD and Blu-ray of Total Recall don't become a reality until December 18, but you can download it to own right now on all four VOD services.
Clint Eastwood plays an aging baseball scout who turns to his daughter (Amy Adams) for help in Trouble with the Curve, which also stars Justin Timberlake. The baseball drama directed by Robert Lorenz doesn't hit a grand slam on DVD and Blu-ray until December 18, but you can own it—not rent—right now on either Vudu or iTunes for as low as $14.99 for the standard definition version; $19.99 for HD.
Wimp Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) is back in Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, in which the seventh grader poses as a cabana boy over summer break to get closer to the cute girl from school. The family flick doesn't bark up DVD and Blu-ray until December 18, but you can download it to own—not rent—right now on Amazon, Vudu and iTunes.
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.
As we close in on Christmas, Netflix is still dropping a few stocking stuffers into its Watch Instantly library. New this week are the 2004 thriller The Forgotten starring Julianne Moore as a mother mourning the loss of her eight-year-old son who everyone is telling her is a figment of her imagination, the Tim Burton-produced seasonal stop-motion classic A Nightmare Before Christmas, and three Disney favorites: Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo and Pocahontas. Other additions include the second season of Portlandia, the father-son Australian outback survival adventure Last Ride, and the original The Muppet Movie.
The good news is that Netflix isn't retiring any major movies this week—only a lot of children's fare like Thomas & Friends, Angelina Ballerina, Fireman Sam and Bob the Builder.