One night a few months ago, I settled into one of those huge theater recliners.
I had read story after story about “Hustlers,” a movie about a group of dancers who decide to scam the financial bros who brought about the Great Recession. The movie starred a group of women led by Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. It was based on a fascinating magazine article written by Jessica Pressler, a writer I’ve followed since her college days in Philly.
A year ago, there would have been little stopping me from buying a ticket to see how Pressler’s story changed on the big screen. However, I have a baby girl now and I want to spend every possible minute with her. That night in an empty theater was the only time I’ve seen a movie since she came into my life.
I’m OK with waiting a while to fit moviegoing back into my new life. Lately, I’ve waited until a film comes out in a streaming service or a DVD so I can watch at home after bedtime. As long as people don’t ruin it by blurting out spoilers, that’s worked for me.
I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Fandango has its own streaming option for films that are still in theaters. Just in time for Oscar nominations, here was the chance to catch up and not be so behind. Top on my list were “Parasite” and “Little Women,” two movies that each received six Oscar nominations. I’ve also heard lots of glowing reviews.
So I looked into FandangoNow, an on-demand video service with more than 90,000 movies and TV shows available. There are no subscriptions. You rent or buy a movie at a time.
How does it work?
You can do the same on iTunes, Amazon and YouTube not too long after they leave the theaters. But I was interested in watching movies that were still on the big screen.
You can watch TV shows and movies through FandangoNow on a smart TV. My TV wasn’t smart enough so I had to use my Chromecast, a $35 device you can use to stream from your phone.
I download the free FandangoNow app. In the app, I could search for what I wanted to watch. “Parasite” was easy to find in a 2020 Oscar nominee group but I had to go online to make the purchase. There I found three options of streaming quality. I could buy any of those for $14.99. A rental wasn’t available.
This was the same price as Amazon Video. To avoid going through yet another sign up, I ended up watching “Parasite” on Amazon.
The movie was dark with lots of twists and left me wondering about the dynamics between the Kim family and the Park family.
I went back to FandangoNow and saw “Little Women” was labeled “available to watch soon.”
There are more than two dozen movies on this service listed as “still in theaters.” You can rent them for $2.99-$6.99 but I didn’t recognize a single one.
So while I wanted to watch a movie at home when it was still in the theater, this app seems more like another streaming service with lots of options after movies leave the theater.
This quest wasn’t a complete waste. It pushed me to realize that buying a movie at home is an option. My budget blinders at first saw $14.99 as a big price. But that’s actually cheaper than a movie ticket and a soda.
And I can watch after bedtime.