Team member David Mahone here; I’d like to talk to you about a relatively unknown DVD rental company Cinema Paradiso, one that I think has just as much to offer as the big dogs.
Free Trial Period: 14 days (2 weeks)
Number of Titles: Over 40,000 (Plus Blu-Ray)
Game Rentals: No
Adult Titles: Yes
Phone Support: No
Min: £4.89, 1 Disc at a time, with 2 Discs per month
Max: £14.99, 3 Discs at a time, Unlimited Discs per month
Whereas Lovefilm and Blockbuster are the “commercial” giants, Cinema Paradiso DVD Rental is the cool underground alternative that has all the tools to be with the big guys, but is held back by a lack of marketing power.
Its main advantage over the other two is that it stocks lots of rare arthouse cinema and foreign DVDs (covering over 65 countries), making it a good choice for the film student or those looking to explore cinema beyond the hollywood blockbusters. That being said they are by no means lacking in commercial tastes, offering over 40,000 titles and several hundred Blu-Ray DVDs; making it perfect for the free trial cyclers out there.
The Cinema Paradiso website does its job well. It’s not as advanced nor content stuffed as the other companies that often fill their sites with unnecessary amounts of rankings, celebrity interviews etc. Although I do like reading those sorts of things, I understand that the masses just want their DVDs and nothing else. That’s not to say their site is bare. They have detailed info on each movie, ratings, along with all the specifications, disc extras etc, as well as trailers and customer reviews. They are also one of the only companies to understand that some movies fall in to more than one genre! Searching for a movie is simple with their advanced “film explorer” and search functions.
As far as receiving the DVDs, Cinema Paradiso does a great job of sending them out on time by first class post. If you sign up or select a movie before noon, they will dispatch the disc on the same day. If you happen to like a movie you can also purchase lots of titles from their DVD sake section to keep for life. They also offer gift subscriptions to their service, which you can buy for friends and family. In line with their cool, “underground” factor they have managed to keep up with the “kids” and implement an RSS feed which allows you to be alerted anytime in your web browser when your movies have been dispatched and when new DVDs are in.
DVD Paradiso does not have phone support and because I have never had a problem with them I had to pretend a disc was broken (sorry guys). So I sent out an email to see how fast they would respond and they did within about a day. Still if you want some kind of official contact you can mail them a letter to:
PO Box 323
Cinema Paradiso has the following packages to suit all of your rental needs. If you are just doing the free trial then the most expensive one makes the most sense. Just remember to cancel your subscription from the account options before you are billed.
It must be noted that unlike other services, Cinema Paradiso requires that all discs be returned before the next batch.
1 Rental at a time, 2 Rentals Maximum per month, £4.89
1 Rental at a time, 3 Rentals Maximum per month, 5.99
2 Rentals at a time, 4 Rentals Maximum per month, £7.99
1 Rental at a time, Unlimited Rentals per month, £9.49
2 Rentals at a time, Unlimited Rentals per month, £12.49
3 DVD Rental at a time, Unlimited Rentals per month, £14.99 (cheapest out there)