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Showtime launches a streaming service and ‘Ex Machina’ and ‘It Follows’ debut on VOD

Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac in “Ex Machina.”
Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac in “Ex Machina.”
Sean Axmaker

Showtime has created a streaming service with a greater range of options and a lower price tag than HBO’s service. Subscribe through Apple TV, Roku, or PlayStation Vue for $10.99 a month, or add it to your Hulu subscription for $8.99 a month. It comes with the complete library of Showtime’s original shows and there’s a 30-day free trial. Just long enough to get hooked on “Masters of Sex” or “Penny Dreadful.”

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand

“Ex Machina” is science fiction as chamber drama, a clever game of wiles between a socially naïve programmer (Domhnall Gleeson), a sophisticated artificial intelligence (Alicia Vikander), and a manipulative software genius (Oscar Isaac). The simple but effective American horror film “It Follows” is less cerebral but just as smart and much creepier. Both rated R for violence and nudity. Also on Blu-ray and DVD.

Juliette Binoche shines in “Clouds of Sils Maria” as a 40-something actress struggling with a new role and Kristen Stewart matches her scene-for-scene as her savvy assistant. R for language and brief nudity. Also on DVD.

Also new: the Kevin James comedy “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” (PG) and the Oscar-nominated documentary “The Salt of the Earth” (PG-13). Available same day as select theaters nationwide is the revenge thriller “Lila & Eve” with Viola Davis and Jennifer Lopez (R).

Netflix

Looking for distractions for the kids? Add the animated spin-off movie “Penguins of Madagascar” (2014) to your list. Just say these are the minions of Madagascar.

Strictly for adults is BoJack Horseman: Season 2,” the animated Netflix original that skewers showbiz and celebrity culture.

Also new: Spike Lee’s Kickstarter-funded horror film “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus” (2014) and Clint Eastwood’s “Changeling” (2008) with Angelina Jolie.

Amazon Prime Instant Video

More seasons of HBO shows roll out: “Boardwalk Empire: Season 3takes us to the halfway point of the prohibition-era gangster drama and True Blood: Season 5steers the hot-blooded vampire melodrama into its most ridiculous season yet. Both for mature audiences.

Hulu Plus

East Los High: Season 3continues the Hulu original series about life in East Los Angeles from the American Latino perspective, and this season singer Christina Milian and Oscar-nominated actress Catalina Sandino Moreno join the cast.

Other streams

Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser,” the sequel that nobody asked for, debuts exclusively on the free streaming service Crackle.

Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. His work appears in Parallax View, Turner Classic Movies online, Keyframe, and at http://streamon demandathome.com.
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