New to VUDU: Week of October 23rd, 2011

Whether you’re in the mood for escapist fantasy or gritty, depressing realism, VUDU has you covered this week. The streaming service offers up new movies about alien-fighting badassery and Nazi-busting superhero action, as well as another about one of the most horrific events in Chinese history. I assume that you won’t be watching that last one back-to-back with the others. But hey, whatever floats your boat. I won’t judge. Promise.

The following titles enter the VUDU stream this week:

  • ‘3 Musketeers’ (10/25)
  • ‘Atrocious’ (Dubbed Version – 10/25)
  • ‘Attack the Block’ (10/25)
  • ‘Bear Nation’ (10/25)
  • ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ (10/25)
  • ‘City of Life and Death’ (10/25)
  • ‘Faces in the Crowd’ (10/25)
  • ‘Father of Invention’ (10/25)
  • ‘Fire of Conscience’ (10/25)
  • ‘Janie Jones’ (10/27)
  • ‘Judas Kiss’ (10/25)
  • ‘Last Rites of Joe May’ (10/27)
  • ‘A Little Help’ (10/25)
  • ‘Man on the Train’ (10/27)
  • ‘Outrage’ (10/28)
  • ‘Romantics Anonymous’ (10/27)
  • ‘Shaolin’ (10/25)
  • ‘Spread’ (10/23)
  • ‘Unhappy Birthday’ (10/25)
  • ‘Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings’ (10/25)
  • ‘Zombie’ (10/28)

Attack the Block‘, in which a group of young British thugs fend off an alien invasion from their low-income housing project, was a pretty big hit when it was released in England back in May of this year. In August, hordes of real-life hooligans rioted throughout the country and set London on fire. Is there a connection to be made here, or am I reading too much into this? Probably the latter. Nevertheless, the American distributor turned skittish about promoting a movie that glamorizes rebellious British youth, and so the film never expanded beyond limited release on these shores. Those who saw it said it was a lot of fun, though. I have a feeling that this will grow into a big cult item with time.

Of all the comic book superhero movies to be released this year (and there were a bunch), I least expected ‘Captain America‘ to be such a breakthrough hit. The character is one of the goofiest in the Marvel stable. He wears red, white and blue Spandex tights with stars and stripes on them, ferchrissakes. Somehow, the movie’s costume designers pulled off a miracle and made him a uniform that’s familiar to his iconic image without looking totally absurd in live action. Honestly, I think that was probably the biggest key to the film’s success.

If you’re done with the frivolous summer fluff and want to invest your time in something a lot more serious, the Chinese drama ‘City of Life and Death‘ tells the story of the Nanking Massacre that occurred from December 1937 to early 1938, wherein the invading Japanese army murdered hundreds of thousands of civilians and did horrible things to the ones who survived, especially the women. The Chinese description of this event as the “Rape of Nanking” is not just a figure of speech, unfortunately. The film by Lu Chuan has been described as harrowing and relentless, and also as a masterpiece.

Josh’s Random VUDU Pick:

With Halloween just around the corner, my random VUDU recommendation for this week goes to 1941’s ‘The Wolf Man‘, starring Lon Chaney, Jr. as one of the silver screen’s first iconic werewolves. For some reason, Universal has an aversion to releasing any of its classic horror titles on Blu-ray, but you can watch this one in VUDU’s 1080p HDX now.

All dates provided refer specifically to rental availability. Check VUDU for sell-through availability, if interested. Be sure to also check for VUDU’s $0.99 Movie of the Day offers, which are announced each day on the company’s Facebook and Twitter pages.


  1. Jane Morgan

    Are the Vudu HDX transfers usually the same as the blu-ray sources, except extra compressed?

    Why didn’t Vudu get the rights to ‘Jurassic Park,’ same day as blu-ray?

    • Josh Zyber

      The streaming services all receive their video files from the studios. These are almost always sourced from the same masters as the Blu-ray or DVD editions.

      Title availability is subject to licensing agreements. Universal probably wanted too much money for Jurassic Park, or may be imposing a rental window delay. Netflix doesn’t have it available for streaming either.

    • Drew

      I read somewhere that the Vudu HDX transfers are 1080P upconverted, and highly compressed DVD transfers.

      If that’s true, it means that Vudu’s HDX service might be 1080P, but it’s more like watching a DVD on a 1080P upconverting DVD player, than watching an actual blu-ray.

      • Josh Zyber

        The studio only strikes one video master for each movie, usually at 2k these days, which is then used as the source for all video formats and delivery options. That master will be downconverted to 1080p for Blu-ray and 480i for DVD. These come from the same master.

        VUDU’s “HDX” files are true 1080p. The “HD” files are downconverted to 720p. Neither of these is upconverted from DVD resolution. You can tell by watching them.

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