Over 150 films from the historical Criterion Collection can now be streamed online via subscription service Hulu Plus, swiping digital movie distribution rights from rival Netflix, which will still rent DVD and Blu-ray releases.
Fans of groundbreaking art house, classic and foreign films by Kurosawa, Chaplin and others will eventually be able to access the entire vault of over 800 movies in a dedicated section on Hulu’s website. While the motion pictures are, famously, restored and beautifully packaged and presented, it nevertheless remains to be seen whether the archive can sway prospective viewers to part with $7.99 a month. Meanwhile, overall video quality, up-front ads and a lack of lavish extras may deter Blu-ray collectors. Bonus features such as commentaries, essays and interviews will be digitized and made available in time, however.