I like movies. I like watching them, discussing them, writing about them, and reading about them. Unfortunately, many otherwise great films have been ruined by unnecessary sex scenes and an exorbitant amount of profanities. Fortunately, there are some services that help with that. ClearPlay is one of those services, but it requires a DVD, which with the coming death of the video rental store, typically means either buying it or borrowing it from a friend. There is, however, a service that will allow you to rent a filtered movie: VidAngel. I recently tried it out, and this is a review of my experience.
VidAngel filters movies, much like ClearPlay does. The difference is that it’s an online service. The movies you buy or rent are purchased or rented through Google Play and YouTube. After being directed to Google to purchase a rental, you are redirected back to the VidAngel website, where they host the video from Google (I only did the rental, so I can’t speak as to how a purchase works). Once you begin the rental period, you have 48 hours to view the movie.
The service works by subscription, with $15 per month, which gives you, according to their website, 5 rentals per month, a $10 value. The free trial works by giving you a Google Play credit.
The coolest feature of this service is the filter. On ClearPlay there are filters for different kinds of content and you can choose a level of sensitivity. VidAngel’s filter has a lot more detailed options than that, which is by far the thing I like most about the service. It has a pretty strict default setting (including a tight restriction on violence, which some users may want to turn off), but has potential for a lot of customization. You can choose whether or not to mute specific words, and even gives a brief description of specific sexual scenes to let you decide whether or not to skip them (terms similar to rating descriptions, such as “female nudity” or “sex scene”).
When playing the rental, problems were at a minimum. There were some small problems getting the video to buffer, but that was due to YouTube and not the service. After giving it a couple of minutes to begin buffering, we were able to watch the film all the way through without interruption (your success with this will depend on your internet service. It will only stream as well as YouTube normally does; this is dependent on YouTube itself, not VidAngel. VidAngel only applies the filter). The filter worked beautifully, not missing a beat. If you’re familiar with ClearPlay, this filter worked equally well, shifting seamlessly through the film.
In short, the service is a great option for those who want to rent filtered movies.