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 otherwise average teenage boys decide to throw a birthday party that Pasadena, California will never forget in Project X. Part birth-control incentive, part parental cautionary tale and part celebration of youthful spirit, this raunchy found-footage comedy shows the end result of a house party that goes viral in the Twitter age. Project X is ready to stream "till the break of dawn" on cable the same day as DVD and Blu-ray.
Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd play a young married couple that is forced to abandon their tiny Manhattan loft and retreat into the country where they join a free-spirited hippie commune in Wanderlust. The largely improvised comedy co-starring Justin Theroux and Alan Alda is available in both its theatrical cut as well as the Bizarro cut, the latter of which is an alternate edition of the movie with different jokes in every scene. Both versions come to cable the same day as disc.
Big Miracle—the Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski family flick based on a true story about a group of people working together to free a family of trapped whales—is now available to rent on On Demand. As previously reported, it had been available to download to own on other VOD services for a few weeks.
Eddie Murphy plays a literary agent afflicted with a curse that will cause him to die after he utters the titular A Thousand Words. The widely panned comedy-drama doesn't arrive on disc until June 26, but you can stream it four days earlier on cable On Demand.
Even if Rock of Ages hit a sour note with critics, your cable company is betting that you still want to sing and dance this summer. Available to stream right now on cable are Grease, Across the Universe, Dreamgirls, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, West Side Story, Rent, Saturday Night Fever and Singin' in the Rain.
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.
Project X, Wanderlust and A Thousand Words are available to rent and/or own on all four services, while Blockbuster offers only Project X and Wanderlust. You also have the option of renting Big Miracle on all four services now that it is available on disc.
Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill play former high school foes turned rookie cops who go undercover as students to bust a drug ring in 21 Jump Street, which is based on the '80s TV show starring Johnny Depp. The surprisingly hilarious comedy isn't available on DVD and Blu-ray until June 26, but you can download it to own—not rent—right now on Amazon, Vudu and iTunes.
In the Tyler Perry play Aunt Bam's Place, Cassi Davis plays the titular family matriarch who is called in to straighten out a dysfunctional family. The unrated comedy is available to rent or own on all four services.
Nicolas Cage plays a family man whose wife is attacked, prompting him to make a deal with Guy Pearce who exacts revenge on her attacker in exchange for involving Cage in a dangerous vigilante operation in Seeking Justice. The R-rated action flick is available to rent or own on Vudu and iTunes the same day as it arrives on DVD and Blu-ray.
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.
Can't wait for The Hunger Games to arrive on disc or VOD? Netflix offers a teen-hunting-teen appetizer in the form of Battle Royale and Battle Royale 2—two Japanese films that clearly inspired The Hunger Games. Also new this week on Netflix is GasLand, Young Goethe in Love and Let the Bullets Fly.
The only major title expiring from Netflix this week is Brothers starring Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman. If you want to stream this love triangle on Netflix, make sure you do so by June 23 before it gets shelved indefinitely.