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I am a big cinema fan and will go and watch a new release pretty much every Friday. Whenever I am at home, no matter what I’m doing around the house, it is likely that I will be watching a film. In fact, as I type this post I am watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010) – I saw it at the cinema and I now have it on DVD.
When given the opportunity to take a three month film rental trail at Cinema Paradiso in exchange for a review on this blog, I couldn’t refuse. I was given a three month rental in exchange for a review, this post is based solely on my own opinion and is in no way influenced by the gift of the trial.
In the past I have been a member of LoveFilm.com (known as LF from here), a rival film rental company to Cinema Paradiso (known from here as CP). Throughout this review I will be comparing my experiences with both to give you a better idea of the quality of service provided.
At first glance, the CP website design does look rather old fashioned, it would probably benefit from a bit of a facelift. I also kept trying to visit http://cinemaparadiso.com which looks to be being squatted on at the moment. If they could get their hands on the .com domain, it would benefit them greatly.
When it comes to movie selection I found CP to have a much broader selection and was able to obtain obscure titles such as F*ck (2005) and Who Killed the Electric Car (2006). These films didn’t even show up when I searched for them at LoveFilm.
I also managed to get myself several new releases during the trial period, it may be because they have smaller member numbers than other services but this was defiantly something that was a big bonus of this service.
With any online DVD rental service, you manage the films you want to receive via a list that you create on the website. This was one place that, for me, CP worked so much better. At LF you can choose to set each film on your list to High, Medium or Low priority. With a list over 50 titles in size, I found that this gave me very little control over what film I was going to receive next. If none of my ‘high priority’ titles were available, I would be sent one of 30+ films from my ‘medium priority’ list. CP on the other hand, allows you to order all of the films by priority and they made it very easy to swap these titles about and add any new release films to the top of my list.
The last thing I wanted to discuss was the delivery times. If I was to post a DVD back to LF, I wouldn’t generally get my next rental until Friday of the same week (if I was extremely lucky) whereas CP would send me a DVD straight back and sometimes I was able to receive my next DVD, watch it and then return it again by Friday of the same week.
I’m not currently a member of any online DVD rental service and did cancel my CP subscription once the free trial was over. This wasn’t a reflection of their service, I was very impressed by it, however in recent times my disposable income has dropped significantly whilst I save for my first property and so film rentals have had to be one of the first things that I cancelled and removed from my monthly outgoings. If I was to resume an online DVD rental service again, I would certainly choose Cinema Paradiso.
You can sign up for your own 14 day free trial at Cinema Paradiso and memberships start at just £4.89 per month.