My dad is old, and he kind of looks like W.C. Fields. He's old enough that there was a time in his life when people probably thought he actually was W.C. Fields. His favorite movie is Doctor Zhivago, and I'm pretty sure he hasn't enjoyed a movie since (he walked out of The Dark Knight in favor of Mamma Mia! And he walked out of Mamma Mia! in favor of a ham sandwich). He's not much of a movie-goer, but if you asked him which recent film is about "A swat team sent into a pitch black apartment building where a virus that turns people into demons is raging," he'd instantly be able to tell you that it's Rec 2, the plot of which he was intimately familiar with a month before its theatrical release. That's because my dad aimlessly watches a lot of television, and in his endless quest to find C-SPAN he rolls his eyes across the Magnolia Pictures "Early Screening" tab embedded in Time Warner Cable's VOD menus several dozen times a month.

In October of 2007 Magnolia inaugurated their "Ultra VOD" program by allowing cable subscribers to watch Brian De Palma's Redacted prior to its appearance in cinemas, and have since made approximately 75 films a year available to rent directly through VOD services. The vast majority of those titles have been made available day & date with their theatrical bows, but only a chosen few have received the "Ultra" service and been beamed exclusively into viewers living rooms for $10.99 a pop ($9.99 in standard definition). And my dad is a perfect example of why Magnolia would be interested in providing customers with early access to much-anticipated titles for less than the cost of a movie ticket.