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.
Stifler and the rest of the East Great Falls gang reunite for a wild weekend of MILFs, raunch and post-high school hijinks in American Reunion, the fourth and final film in the theatrical American Pie franchise starring Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Seann William Scott, Thomas Ian Nicholson, Eugene Levy, Jennifer Coolidge, Mena Suvari and many more. The comedy comes to cable the same day as disc.
The ensemble comedy Friends with Kids is about a close-knit group of friends—played by Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Jennifer Westfeldt and Adam Scott—whose lives change once they have children. Written and directed by Westfeldt, Friends with Kids doesn't arrive on DVD and Blu-ray until next week, but you can stream it on cable starting this Friday the 13th.
Robert De Niro returns to form in Being Flynn, in which he plays a con man who checks into a homeless shelter and encounters his estranged son (Paul Dano). This slice-of-life drama about the unbreakable bond between parent and child also stars Julianne Moore and arrives on cable On Demand the same day as disc.
Before you see him play Batman one last time in The Dark Knight Rises, check out Christian Bale in The Flowers of War as an American caught in the chaos of the war between Japan and China in 1937. The period drama streams on cable the same day as DVD and Blu-ray.
A nugget from Anna Paquin's past finally resurfaces in Margaret, a drama filmed way back in 2005. Long before Paquin played with supernaturals on True Blood, she played a Manhattan teenager whose life is profoundly altered after a bus strikes a pedestrian and the victim dies in her arms. Matt Damon and Mark Ruffalo co-star in this long-delayed film that arrives on cable the same day as DVD and Blu-ray.
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 movies listed above on cable On Demand are also available to rent and/or own on Amazon, Vudu and iTunes. Blockbuster offers all of the titles listed above except Friends with Kids, which is only available on its disc-by-mail service.
In the sci-fi thriller Lockout, Guy Pearce stars as a renegade CIA agent betrayed by his government and facing a cryogenic prison sentence until he is offered a pardon if he rescues the president's daughter (Maggie Grace) from an orbiting prison. Luc Besson's spirited B-movie in the tradition of Escape from New York isn't available on DVD and Blu-ray until July 17, but you can download it to own—not rent—right now on Vudu and iTunes. Vudu also offers a free 10-minute preview so you can try before you buy.
Miami's finest blood-pattern analyst/serial killer, Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), returns to battle the Doomsday killers (Colin Hanks and Edward James Olmos) in Dexter: Season Six, which is now available to rent or own on Amazon, Vudu and iTunes a month before it arrives on DVD and Blu-ray. Fun game: see if you can count how many "imaginary friends"/plot devices it takes before the long-running series finally jumps the shark.
Based on the true story about a scientist who looks to fulfill a sheikh's dream of bringing fly-fishing to the Yemen, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen stars Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt and Kristin Scott Thomas. The British romantic dramedy doesn't bite on DVD and Blu-ray until July 17, 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.
The most noteworthy addition to Netflix's Watch Instantly library this week is Rampart, a gritty drama starring Woody Harrelson as a dirty LAPD officer sinking fast in a corruption scandal. Also new this week is the mid-life crisis comedy About Fifty, Josh Hartnett in Stuck Between Stations, and the recent TV miniseries Titanic.
There isn't a whole lot to cry about that is leaving Netflix this week, but if you want to watch classic David Bowie and Rolling Stones interviews or see the Dalai Lama teach The Four Noble Truths, you have until Friday the 13th before they get axed.