I got a Roku recently--a $100 little settop box that streams Netflix to my television. I have been (ab)using my streaming privileges a lot lately, and I noticed a cool trend: streaming movies on Netflix that haven't been released yet to DVD.
I first noticed it when I put Ishtar on my queue. That's right, Ishtar. I wanted to go back and see if that movie deserved all the crap it got on its first release. I found, though, that Ishtar has not been released to DVD yet (hard to believe) but it IS available on Watch It Now, Netflix's streaming service. I haven't watched it yet, but I will.
I also noticed that Steven Soderbergh's "Che" is being released to Watch It Now next week, and it's not being released to DVD until January 20. That seems like a Soderbergh thing to do, though, considering his habit of releasing films to, say, the Sundance Channel and theaters at the same time.
Most importantly for me, though, is the inclusion of two 2009 movies on the Watch It Now list. Many end-of-the-year best-of lists have Summer Hours and Still Walking on them. While they haven't been released to DVD yet, they are being posted to Watch It Now next week. Netflix's services just keep getting better. It's the best $8.99/month deal around.