Cinema paradiso review – eco friendly entertainment!

cinema-paradiso-online-dvd-rentalMr Green and I don’t do many of the ‘usual’ recreational activities. We don’t drink, smoke, go to the pub often but we do like to sit down and watch a good dvd. This form of entertainment is lighter on the earth than some – it uses minimal electricity consumption, doesn’t involve us driving anywhere and it can be educational about eco living too! (See our reviews on 2012, Age of Stupid and Black Gold.)

This week we watched “End of the line” courtesy of Cinema Paradiso, who offer online DVD rentals.

End of the line is the world’s first major documentary about the devastating effects of overfishing and scientists predict that if we continue fishing as we are now, we will see the end of most seafood by 2048. This doesn’t simply mean that fish is off the menu but it effects the whole food chain and eco system that supports life on the planet.

As we’ve used several dvd rental companies in the past, I was eager to compare cinema paradiso for quality of service and price.

The Good

The sign up process is very straight forward. You enter your details, including credit card details (although no money is taken until your free trial ends) and you can start choosing the films you want to watch.

If you hover over a film cover, a pop up tells you a little bit about the film. This means you can get an idea if it’s something that interests you without needing to click onto another screen

If you see a DVD you want to rent you can add it from any screen; you don’t need to be on a particular ‘rental’ screen

Speed of confirmation – in less than an hour my details had been processed and my membership authorised.

Excellent delivery time. I signed up and put a few dvds onto my wishlist one day and by the next morning 2 films had arrived!

Great selection of rental packages to suit your viewing requirements. Packages range from 1 DVD at a time with a maximum of 2 DVD’s per month for light users to an unlimited number of DVDs per month with up to 3 a time for film fanatics .

The Bad

The choice is very limited. In the past I have used three other online DVD rentals companies and found the choice to be much wider. As we have pretty ‘fringe’ tastes anyway, we struggled to find the recommended 20 films to put on our list.

A couple of the films I wanted to watch were available on blue Ray only. I cannot play blu ray on my machine, so this further limited my choices.

Several films stated ‘description coming soon’ which meant I had to find a description of the films on another website such as Amazon.


A really helpful function missing from this site is ‘viewers who watched this also rented’ or ‘If you like this you might like …’ suggestions. This makes it much easier to find interesting and relevant films otherwise it can take you a long time to wade through titles to see what they are about.

Once you are on a page that tells you about a film there is no way to navigate back to the genre you were looking at except to use the ‘back key’. This could be improved with a better menu system. I have found on several pages there is no obvious way to get back to the home page with a single click, so navigation needs to be improved.


All in all cinema paradiso works well. The delivery time is excellent which, if you’re impatient like me is a big bonus! Over time, if cinema paradiso can increase their choice of films and build up their film descriptions and recommendations, while retaining their speed of service, they’ll be a match for any dvd rental company!

What about you? Have you watched any good dvds lately?

Disclosure. I was given a 3 months trial worth £8.16 per month in exchange for writing this review.