While remakes are often frowned upon by movie fans, there’s no denying that sometimes they can turn out to be just as good as (if not better than) the original. We’ve picked our top three, which are all currently available on your Roku streaming player.

Happy streaming!

The Italian Job (2003. Dir. F. Gary Gray)
More of a ‘homage’ than a direct remake of the 1969 version, Gary Gray’s Italian Job is an action-packed heist movie which is every bit as exciting as the original. With the setting switched from Turin to Los Angeles, Mark Wahlberg replaces Michael Caine as Charlie Croker, while Ed Norton takes on the role of chief villain. Add Charlize Theron as a sassy safecracker and Donald Sutherland as a veteran mastermind, and you have a pretty clever interpretation of a cinema classic.

Available to watch on Now TV.

True Grit (2010. Dir. Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)
With this brooding 2010 remake the Coen Brothers have taken an iconic American Western and repurposed it to create a classic of their own. The plot stays fairly true to the original; a tough U.S Marshal named Rooster Cogburn (played here by Jeff Bridges) is hired by 14-year-old Mattie Ross to help track down her father’s killer. While the original was very much anchored by John Wayne’s excellent performance as Cogburn (he deservedly won an Oscar for the role in 1969), the Coen version brings other characters to the fore, namely Mattie (played by Hailee Steinfeld), with powerful results.

Available to watch on SkyStore

 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005. Dir. Tim Burton)
1971’s ‘Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’ will always be the ultimate film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s novel, but Tim Burton’s 2005 remake comes in as a close second.  Staying true to the adventures of young Charlie Bucket inside the chocolate factory of eccentric candy-maker Willy Wonka, Burton’s version is weirdly wonderful and totally surreal. Johnny Depp fits perfectly as the unconventional inventor while the visual effects inject a healthy dose of psychedelia.

Available to watch on Sainsbury’s Entertainment

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Looking for something to keep you entertained this weekend? Look no further – we’ve got you covered! These new releases simply can’t be missed.

What are you streaming this weekend?

  • Cinderella (Movie, 2015) – A cruel stepmother reduces her dead husband’s only child to the role of scullery maid, but a kindly beggar woman and some helpful mice bring about a change in the young woman’s fortunes. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video and M-GO.
  • SMOSH: The Movie (Movie, 2015) – SMOSH duo Ian and Anthony must remove an embarrassing online video before it ruins Anthony’s chances with his high-school crush. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, CinemaNow, M-GO, Netflix and Vudu.
  • San Andreas (Movie, 2015) – When the San Andreas fault triggers a magnitude 9 earthquake, a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot must navigate the destruction from Los Angeles to San Francisco to bring his estranged wife and daughter to safety. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, M-GO and Vudu.
  • Zoo (TV Show, 2015) – When animals worldwide attack humans, a zoologist investigates what seems to be coordination. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, M-GO and Vudu.
  • Moonrise Kingdom (Movie, 2012) – In 1965 New England, a peaceful island community descends into turmoil when two love-struck 12-year-olds run away together just before the approach of a violent storm. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, CinemaNow, M-GO, Netflix and Vudu.
  • The Loft (Movie, 2014) – Paranoia grips a group of married men, who find the dead body of an unknown woman in the penthouse they share for extramarital trysts. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, CinemaNow, M-GO, Netflix and Vudu.
  • Iris (Movie, 2014) – Filmmaker Albert Maysles tribute to nonagenarian Iris Apfel, the quick-witted, longtime interior designer and outspoken champion of eclectic fashion. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, Netflix and Vudu.
  • Pixies (Movie, 2015) – Joe has to undo a bad deed he did long ago to end a curse and win back the love of his life. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, Netflix and Vudu.
  • Draft Day (Movie, 2014) – On the day of the NFL Draft, general manager Sonny Weaver has the opportunity to save football in Cleveland when he trades for the number one pick. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, CinemaNow, HBO Go, M-GO and Vudu.
  • The Bank Job (Movie, 2008) – In 1971 London, a car dealer and his gang of thieves break into a bank vault and find far more than cash and jewelry. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, CinemaNow, M-GO, Netflix and Vudu.
Posted in New to Watch, US | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Time for a little celebration: we just announced that we are launching our popular Roku streaming players in Mexico! The launch officially marks our entry into Latin America. We are very excited to bring America’s favorite streaming player to consumers in Mexico!

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Starting next week the Roku Streaming Stick, Roku 1 and Roku 2 are expected to be available from Best Buy, Walmart, RadioShack, Amazon and Linio. At launch the Mexico Roku Channel Store will contain 1500+ channels including popular services like Netflix, Google Play, YouTube, and soon Crackle and Cinépolis Klic – the first local channel in the Mexico Roku Channel Store.

Consumers in Mexico will soon be able to enjoy the simplicity of our streaming players and stream great movies and TV shows to their TV. Wondering what to watch? I am personally looking forward to watch Netflix’s first Spanish original series: Club de Cuervos.

We are looking forward to a successful launch in Mexico. Streaming is hot and happening and with a Roku streaming player Mexican consumers can now start watching TV on their terms!

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Great news for streamers who are not afraid of a good kick or tackle, the Rugby World Cup kicks off today! Whether you’re a fan of the Eagles, All Blacks, Red and Whites or Springboks you can now follow every single game of the Rugby World Cup in beautiful HD. Today the six week long tournament starts with the match between England and Fiji. In total you can stream 48 games live or on demand through the WatchRWC2015 channel, including the big final on October 31st!

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The 2015 edition is the 8th RWC and England is hosting the tournament this year. The teams will play in 12 stadiums across England as well as the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. The final is played in the Twickenham stadium in London, the home of England rugby.

Invite your rugby loving friends over and enjoy a good game. You can pay per match or sign up for the entire tournament through http://www.rwc2015ppv.com/roku. All your purchases will be available to view on-demand through December 1, 2015. You can find the WatchRWC2015 in the Roku Channel Store in the sports category.

Happy Streaming!

Posted in New to Watch, Roku Channels, US, US Channels | Tagged , , ,
Image courtesy of ABC

Cast of ‘Modern Family’ Image courtesy of ABC

The 67th Annual Emmy® Awards are Sunday and there’s no better place to catch-up on all the nominated shows than on Roku. We’ve placed our bets on the winners, so now it’s your turn to sit down, binge and make your pick. Word of warning: it’s almost impossible to stop watching these once you’ve started!

Which nominees are you choosing as this year’s winners?

Outstanding Comedy Series

Outstanding Drama Series

  • Game of Thrones – The show dominated the Emmy Award nominations with 24 nods. Outstanding Drama was just one of the several categories the addictive HBO show was recognized for. Watch the new season exclusively on HBO Go and catch up on past seasons on Amazon Instant Video, CinemaNow and VUDU.
  • Downton Abbey – Fans are hoping the fifth season proves to be the charm to win the Emmy for Best Drama. Check it out on PBS, Amazon Instant Video and VUDU
  • Better Call Saul – An attorney of questionable reputation defends criminals in this “Breaking Bad” prequel. Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks also received nominations for their roles as Saul and Mike, respectively. Available to watch on Amazon Instant VideoCinemaNowM-GOand VUDU.

Lead Actor in a Drama Series

  • Jon Hamm, Mad Men – Jon Hamm has been previously nominated seven times and this is his last shot, making him a big sentimental favorite. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, M-GO, Netflix and VUDU.
  • Kevin Spacey, House of Cards – Next to Hamm, Spacey has the most nominations and no wins for his celebrated work. Available on Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and VUDU.

Lead Actress in a Drama Series

  • Taraji P. Henson, Empire – This freshman series was the highest-rated debut in three years and was the first series in 23 years to have viewership continually increase between episodes and yet, it only had one nomination: best actress for Taraji P. Henson. Available to watch on Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, FoxNow and VUDU.
  • Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black – An orphaned outsider, Sarah witnesses a woman’s suicide. She decides to assume the identity of the dead stranger who looks just like her, then learns that the dead woman is her clone. Tatiana Maslany brought at least 10 different clones of the same character to life in her role. Available to watch with Amazon Instant Video and VUDU.
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It’s been 40 years since the first episode of Fawlty Towers was broadcast in the UK but the popularity of this classic sitcom still endures today. Series 1 & 2 are available to stream on Roku via Netflix and Google Play and to mark the occasion, we’re encouraging Roku users to stream both series in all their glory!

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We also caught up with Graham McCann, author of a book on the success of Fawlty Towers, to find out why he thinks the comedy remains so popular across the world.

Here’s what he had to say…

Q: Only 12 half-hour episodes of Fawlty Towers were made yet it remains one of the greatest sitcoms in TV history. What do you think is behind the success of Fawlty Towers?

A: It has the key combination of great scripts, great performances and the simple but inspired situation of a hotel (which ensures that the main characters remain rooted to the spot while a fresh set of guests arrive in each episode).  It also helps that each self-contained storyline is structured so rigorously and intricately that it’s absorbing from start to finish.

Q: Fawlty Towers has been broadcast in 60 countries, succeeding where other British programmes have failed. Why do you think the series translates so well to audiences outside of the UK?

A: The obvious point is that, wherever we might be in the world, we’ve all experienced rudeness and bad service, but there’s something deeper than that. At the heart of the show are two universal emotions: fear (especially of being found out) and frustration (especially when failing to avoid being found out).  It always begins for Basil with that fear about a secret being discovered, whether it’s the absence of a chef in the kitchen or the presence of a corpse in one of the rooms.  Then frustration pops up as he struggles frantically to save face.  That’s something with which everyone can identify, and it makes us root for Fawlty in spite of all of his faults.

Q: In your book, Fawlty Towers: The Story of Britain’s Favourite Sitcom, you say the benchmark set by the show still remains unsurpassed. Which show, if any, do you think has the potential to replicate the success of Fawlty Towers?

A:  I think even to start to emulate the success of Fawlty Towers, you’d need tremendous discipline as a writer: many sitcoms today are more like soaps, with a romantic ‘journey’ for their characters to travel along, and that takes away much of the intensity that each and every Fawlty Towers episode possessed.  Also, it was gloriously, remorselessly, cruel in its comedy.  I think today that only Larry David has a similar focus and sensibility, so I hope he returns to Curb Your Enthusiasm, or creates something else for TV, at some point soon.

Q: Thanks to boxsets / Netflix / classic comedy channels etc, the sitcoms of yesteryear are now more accessible than ever. Which other shows do you enjoy revisiting?

A: There are so many: Dad’s Army, Yes Minister, Hancock, Steptoe and Son, Porridge, Alan Partridge, Father Ted, Ever Decreasing Circles, as well as such American greats as The Phil Silvers Show, Cheers, Frasier and Seinfeld – the list goes on and on.

Q: Finally, which is your favourite Fawlty Towers episode and why?

A: It’s hard to single one out, because I love them all, but I think it would have to be ‘The Hotel Inspectors’ – partly because it has a perfectly-constructed plot that really exploits the show’s basic situation, but mainly because of the brilliant performance by Bernard Cribbins as a man even more pompous, fastidious and pedantic than Basil himself.  There are so many funny lines in this but the acting takes it to an even higher level.

For more information on Graham McCann and his work click here.

Posted in Roku Channels, UK Channels | Tagged , , ,

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As you know, we’ve been spending a lot of time over the past few weeks letting you know how you can catch up on this year’s best Emmy® nominated shows. We’ve taken a look back at memorable lines from this year’s nominated series, we’ve discovered which of the nominated actresses we identify most closely with and we relived all of the most swagger-filled moments from our favorite leading men.

All of this catching up made us think, if we were the Television Academy, which of these nominees would we choose as this year’s winners? Luckily, we just happen to have an amazing resource to help us answer that question – all of you awesome streamers! Using aggregate data from our Roku Search feature, we took a look at what YOU, our customers, are searching for on the Roku platform and predicted who might grab that coveted statue based on the actors/actresses and shows you’ve searched this year.

Behold, the winners of the 67th Emmy Awards as predicted by us…we mean, you!

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Of the major categories we reviewed, approximately 97% of the Emmy nominated shows are available for streaming on the Roku platform. You can easily search for these shows and more using the Roku Search feature, which offers a comprehensive and unbiased way to search across 20 top streaming channels such as Netflix, Hulu, CBS All Access, and more.

With so many amazing nominees, we think the real winners here are all of the dedicated viewers. We’ve laughed, cried, yelled, screamed and now we wait in anticipation to see who takes the Emmy home this Sunday. A big congrats to all the nominees! Who do you think is going to win big on television’s big night?

Posted in Industry News, Roku, US, US Channels | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We know a lot of you are huge Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars fans, so today we have some news you’re definitely going to love. I’m happy to share that Disney’s cloud-based digital movie service, Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA) just launched on the Roku platform, allowing you to stream any of the movies within your DMA library on your Roku players and Roku TV models. That’s right, your entire DMA library, no matter where you initially purchased your movies, can now be accessed on your Roku device.

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And if that news wasn’t great enough, the launch of DMA on the Roku platform coincides with the release of Disney’s live action Cinderella, so you can add the movie to your DMA library today and be huddled up with the kids and your Roku device to watch this great movie tonight.

You can find Disney Movies Anywhere within the Movies & TV category in the Roku Channel Store.

Happy streaming!

Posted in New to Watch, Roku, US, US Channels | Tagged , ,

This month marks 40 years since British comedy series Fawlty Towers first appeared on our TV screens. Set in a fictional seaside hotel, the sitcom centres on the short-tempered, obtuse owner Basil Fawlty (John Cleese), his domineering wife Sybil (Prunella Scales), level-headed chambermaid Polly (Connie Booth) and the hapless but loveable Spanish waiter Manuel (Andrew Sachs).

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Although only twelve half-hour episodes were made (that’s just six hours of streaming!) Fawlty Towers remains a firm favourite with audiences across the globe. Indeed, in a list drawn up by the British Film Institute, the sitcom was named the best British television series of all time.

To mark the occasion, we’re encouraging Roku users to stream both series in all their glory by September 19th (the date that marks the broadcast of first episode 40 years ago).

Here’s a look at our top three episodes to get you started…

 ‘Gourmet Night’ (Series 1, Episode 5)

Eager to attract a better class of clientele, Basil arranges a gourmet food night with the help of Fawlty Towers’ new chef, Kurt. Unknown to the Fawltys however, Kurt has fallen in love with Manuel and when his advances are spurned he takes solace in the drinks cabinet. With his chef now in no fit state to cook and guests starting to arrive, Basil turns to his friend André for help.

Best moment: When Basil loses his temper and gives his broken down car a “damn good thrashing” with a tree branch.

 ‘The Builders’ (Series 1, Episode 2)

When renovation work is needed at Fawlty Towers, Basil goes against Sybil’s requests for a reputable builder and instead opts for the cheaper (and far less capable) Mr O’Reilly. Ushering Sybil away on holiday, Basil leaves Polly in charge of making sure O’Reilly and his team get the job done. Unfortunately for Basil however, Polly uses the absence of the Fawltys as an opportunity to take a well-earned nap, leaving Manuel to temporarily hold the fort. Revelling in his new-found managerial status (and not wanting to disturb Polly) Manuel decides to instruct the builders with predictably disastrous results.

Best moment: When Manuel, under Basil’s orders, calls one of the builders a “hhhideus orang ootang”…. and suffers the consequences.

‘Basil the Rat’ (Series 2, Episode 6)

Mr Carnegie, the local health inspector, issues Basil and Sybil with a warning notice for failing to meet hygiene requirements. The Fawltys are instructed to make the necessary improvements within 24hrs, -or face being closed down for business. As the staff rally round, Basil discovers Manual has been hiding a pet rat (also named Basil) in his room. Polly hides the furry creature in the shed but it isn’t long before it escapes, pushing Basil over the edge as he tries to hunt down the rodent before Mr Carnegie returns.

Best moment: When Mr Carnegie eventually comes face to face with Basil the rat.

Fawlty Towers, Series 1 & 2, are available to stream on Roku via Netflix and Google Play

Posted in Roku Channels, UK Channels | Tagged , , ,

Do you have junior streamers at home? Or maybe you’re just looking for a bit of nostalgia from your childhood? If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you’ll be sure to love today’s news that Popcornflix has expanded its line-up of FREE kids content to include titles such as Inspector Gadget (gogogadget arms!), Sonic The Hedgehog, The Adventures of Super Mario Bros 3 and more. Now you don’t have to wait for Saturday morning to watch cartoons, you can watch these classics anytime you want on your Roku player or Roku TV.

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As many of you probably know, Popcornflix is a great channel to watch free movies and TV shows. That’s right, free, full length content to stream whenever you want. And it’s not just cartoons. Popcornflix currently has films such as Battle in Seattle starring Channing Tatum and the comedy Meet Bill with Elizabeth Banks, Aaron Eckhart and Jessica Alba. You can also watch great documentaries, TV series and kids programming. There really is something for everyone on Popcornflix!

So what are you waiting for? Check out what’s new on the Popcornflix channel by adding it from the Movies & TV category in the Roku Channel Store!

Happy streaming!

Posted in Canada Channels, New to Watch, Roku Channels, UK, UK Channels, US, US Channels | Tagged , , , ,