There is one simple fact: It isn't easy to be a fan of quality and classic films. For starters, tracking down the limited releases that fuel the Oscar season can be problematic if your local theater doesn't offer the solution. Beyond that, there's not too many digital opportunities that are cheap. Even Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other online streaming resources aren't as reliable as they used to be (Netflix in particular has recently come under fire for decreasing movie content in the past few years). This is why, despite being another streaming service, you should be very excited about FilmStruck. Launching on October 19, the service will offer the largest source of classic, independent, and foreign cinema available anywhere. If that doesn't get you excited, please keep reading to understand why you should give it a chance.
The following two names will tell you if FilmStruck will be for you: Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and The Criterion Collection. To loyal cinephiles, these two resources have provided several years of quality entertainment. The fact that they are joining forces should be considered a big deal, especially for those who have a long list of films that have been inaccessible, whether due to limited resources or (in the case of Criterion) out of print DVD's. This is a great opportunity to finally fill in those gaps of classic and cutting edge cinema alike in ways that services like Netflix have been failing to achieve.
There are three tiers for FilmStruck subscriptions:
1. FilmStruck Subscription: $6.99/mo
2. FilmStruck + Criterion Channel Subscription: $10.99/mo
3. Annual Subscription: $99/year (a $30 value in savings)
Beyond the films, there will be special curated content, such as films focusing on great directors (The Masters), Contemporary Israeli Cinema, Neo Noir, cinema exploring various countries (Cinema Passport), Political Documentaries, and many more. The selection is promising and even features bonus content, such as introductions and behind the scenes features by curators such as director Mike Leigh and comedian Bill Hader.
This is only scratching the surface of what FilmStruck will offer. However, it does have a lot of promise, especially if you haven't been able to see Criterion Collection films based on their pricey hard copies. I for one am looking forward to this service and hope that it ends up being a runaway success. Considering that it will be the home to online streaming of The Criterion Collection's massive oeuvre, it only sweetens the deal. Add in the equally insatiable TCM library (whose collaborations with Fathom Events have been equally as worthwhile), and it would be impossible to not at least take them up on their 14-day free trial. I know I will.
For more information, please visit their website here.