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.
Three high school students stumble upon a buried alien power source that gives them extraordinary telekinetic powers and the ability to fly until the most bullied of the group taps into his dark emotions and becomes dangerous in Chronicle. This stellar found-footage film—arguably the best one to date—features a freaky mutant smackdown in downtown Seattle and some dizzying footage as the boys soar through the clouds. Chronicle is available on cable On Demand the same day as DVD and Blu-ray.
Whereas Chronicle is a clever use of found footage, the schlocky horror film The Devil Inside uses the gimmick as little more than an excuse to keep production costs down. This documentary-style shocker follows a woman investigating exorcisms in an effort to learn more about her mother who, while possessed, killed three people back in 1989. Due to lots of shaky-cam work that indicates "terror" and one of the dumbest endings in years, the devil would have to make you rent this on cable On Demand.
She's ba-ack. Katherine Heigl—the young Meg Ryan of our time—returns to her rom-com comfort zone in One for the Money, in which the actress plays a newly divorced and laid off woman who accepts a job at her cousin's bail-bond office. Her first big assignment is—what else?—to track down an old flame (Jason O'Mara) who is on the lam. This PG-13 date flick comes to cable VOD the same day as disc.
Tilda Swinton gives a powerhouse performance as a mother grappling with the increasing malevolence of her first-born son (Ezra Miller) in the psychological thriller We Need to Talk about Kevin. You can't see Kevin do anything on DVD or Blu-ray until May 29, but you can rent the movie right now on cable VOD.
We previously reported that the Liam Neeson man-vs.-wolf thriller The Grey and the Woody Harrelson dirty-cop drama Rampart were available on other VOD services in previous weeks, but now both are also available on cable On Demand as well as Blu-ray and DVD.
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.
Chronicle, One for the Money, The Devil Inside and We Need to Talk about Kevin are all available to rent and/or own on Amazon and iTunes. Vudu also offers them all except We Need to Talk about Kevin, while Blockbuster has all of them except The Devil Inside.
Daniel Radcliffe stars as widowed lawyer Arthur Kipps who travels to a remote village to settle the affairs of recently deceased eccentric only to find the house is haunted by a terrible entity in The Woman in Black. The hit period ghost tale doesn't arrive on DVD and Blu-ray until next Tuesday, but you can download it to own—not rent—right now on Amazon, Vudu and iTunes.
Chloë Moretz plays a small-town teen who runs away from her abusive parents and takes off to Vegas only to discover a dangerous world of drugs, seduction and murder in Hick. This road-trip adventure co-starring Blake Lively just opened in theaters in limited release, but you can rent it right now for a premium price on Vudu, Blockbuster and iTunes.
The three-part Filipino horror film The Road is about the mysterious disappearances that happen on a lonely stretch of abandoned road over a 20-year period. The film just opened in limited release in domestic theaters, but you can rent or buy it right 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 exciting new addition to Netflix's Watch Instantly this week is the modern action hit Drive, starring Ryan Gosling as a Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver and is lured from his solitary life when he gets to know his neighbor (Carey Mulligan) and her young son. Also new this week is the sports drama Paan Singh Tomar, the French biographical drama Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life, and the horror flick Splintered.
Driving away from Watch Instantly this week is the restored version of Fritz Lang's Metropolis, the musical The Producers, That's What I Am, Rule of Three, Train, Deadly Shooter and Dane Cook: Rough Around the Edges—Live from Madison Square Garden.