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.
Jesse Eisenberg plays a college piano prodigy who tries to get his mother into rehab only to be kidnapped by her drug dealer in Why Stop Now. The dramedy co-starring Melissa Leo and Tracy Morgan will have a limited theatrical run in August, but you can make it a pre-theatrical rental on cable On Demand starting on July 5.
Another pre-theatrical release is Julie Delpy's 2 Days in New York, which is a sequel to 2 Days in Paris. Now the neurotic Marion (Delpy) has ditched Paris and her son's daddy to move to New York with her hipster boyfriend (Chris Rock). The romantic comedy is getting a limited theatrical release in August, but it is premieres on VOD on July 6.
Apple zealots will want to check out the documentary Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview, featuring an unedited and candid interview conducted by former Apple employee Robert X. Cringely recorded in 1995 when Jobs was still CEO of NeXT Computer.
Snoop Dogg stars as a 15-year senior and Wiz Khalifa plays a valedictorian hopeful in the stoner comedy Mac and Devin Go to High School, which featurings plenty of new music by its leads and arrives on cable On Demand the same day as 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 as available on cable On Demand, you can rent and/or download Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview on Amazon and, natch, iTunes as well as Mac and Devin Go to High School on Amazon, Vudu and iTunes. The two pre-theatrical movies are only available on cable VOD.
The whole American Pie gang—including Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Seann William Scott, Mena Suvari, Shannon Elizabeth et al—returns to East Great Falls for an unforgettable weekend in American Reunion. The raunchy comedy is available to own—not rent—on all four services right now, a week before it arrives on DVD and Blu-ray.
VOD junkies will want to check out Vudu's 99-Cent Movie of the Day daily for surprises. Most of the time Vudu will highlight a catalog title that has been available for a while, but today you can rent Underworld: Awakening—the most recent chapter in the vampire-vs.-lycans series starring Kate Beckinsale—for only 99 cents, including the HD version.
Vudu is also running a Paramount Centennial Celebration: Cult Classics promotion during which you can rent or own films like Death Wish, Harold and Maude, Zoolander, Mommie Dearest, Shooter, Up in Smoke and The Warriors for a reduced price. Barbarella, the campy 1968 sci-fi adventure starring Jane Fonda, comes out today on Blu-ray and is available in HD on Vudu at a discounted price.
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.
In the spirit of independence, Netflix is offering Immortals—the recent ancient-Greece action movie featuring Henry Cavill as Theseus and Mickey Rourke as the tyrannical King Hyperion—on Watch Instantly beginning on July 4. Other notable titles debuting this week that can be streamed as often as you like include the 2011 remake of Conan the Barbarian, 12 Monkeys, The Fifth Element and Red Dawn.
Titles being shelved indefinitely from the Watch Instantly library this week include the Jeremy Renner crime drama The Unusuals, Helena Bonham Carter in A Room with a View, Ray Liotta and Linda Fiorentino in Unforgettable, and Rupert Everett and Cary Elwes in Another Country.