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.
Elizabeth Olsen plays a young woman who becomes trapped in her boarded-up summer home with a serial killer who has badly injured her father in Silent House—a film directed by Chris Kentis and Laura Lau, the duo behind the shark thriller Open Water. As reported last week, Silent House was available to own early on other VOD services, but is now available for rent on cable On Demand the same day as it arrives on DVD and Blu-ray.
Love sushi? If so, you'll want to check out the inspirational documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi about 85-year-old Jiro Ono—a highly disciplined sushi master considered to be the best in the world—and his quest to perfect the art of creating sushi. This compelling story about one's unwavering love of his craft arrives on cable the same day as disc.
Set circa 1950, the British drama The Deep Blue Sea follows the younger wife (Rachel Weisz) of a judge who is having an affair with a reckless RAF pilot (Tom Hiddleston) in attempt to find the passion missing from her life. You can get caught between the devil and The Deep Blue Sea right now on cable VOD—available day and date with the DVD and Blu-ray.
Orlando Bloom plays the eponymous The Good Doctor—a devilishly charming medical student with a god complex who needs a major bedside-manner adjustment if his patients are going to survive his care. This thriller doesn't premiere in theaters until August 31, but you can rent it for a premium price on cable On Demand beginning on July 27.
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 for cable VOD, Amazon and iTunes offer Silent House, Jiro Dreams of Sushi and The Deep Blue Sea for rent or download. Blockbuster only has Silent House on its VOD service, while Vudu has that horror film plus The Deep Blue Sea and The Good Doctor.
Vudu is as batty as you are about The Dark Knight Rises—the thrilling final chapter in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy starring Christian Bale as Gotham's Caped Crusader. For a limited time, users can download Batman Begins and The Dark Knight in high definition for the reduced price of $11.99. Not to be outdone, iTunes is also offering the first two chapters of Nolan's trilogy in HD for the reduced price of $9.99.
Footnote is the story of a great rivalry between father and son, both Talmudic Studies professors, as the father is set to be awarded the coveted Israel Prize. Will the fame-seeking younger professor sabotage his father's career for the advancement of his own? This acclaimed PG-rated Hebrew-language film about a crazy academic completion is available on all four services in addition to cable On Demand.
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 prestigious new addition to Netflix's Watch Instantly library this week is Bullhead, an Oscar-nominated foreign film about a Belgian cattle farmer who gets entangled with violent mobsters and investigating police after he uses illegal growth hormones on his herd. Also new this week for your all-you-can-stream pleasure is the bank heist picture Decisions, the Swedish comedy Sound of Noise about six renegade musicians, and the direct-to-video cheapie Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies, which is unrelated to the theatrical thriller Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
If you want to creep around a haunted manor with Nicole Kidman in The Others, you'd better do so before July 25, which is when Netflix retires the celebrated ghost story from its Watch Instantly archive. Also disappearing like a ghost this week from Netflix are Dogtooth, Ip Man, The Sentiment of the Flesh, Bedways and the 1949 version of The Lone Ranger.