2022 is the year in which streaming services have been revolutionized and have started asking for more money already offer ad-supported versions to look a little more like linear TV. That is why it is appreciated that there are totally free services that come with good intentions. Better intentions than quality, everything is said. This is the case of Runtime, which, like Pluto TV did some time ago, offers a little video on demand and a few linear channels where to discover some jewels of the past. The problem is that, unlike Pluto TV, Runtime is not even the macaroni and tomato of streaming.
Runtime has ten live channelsseven dedicated to movies and three to series. The problem is that it is noted that they have bought a wholesale catalog and they issue it without control. At Runtime we have movies like ‘Meeting Julia’, ‘Nine’, ‘Postscript: I love you’ or ‘Valkyrie’, on a channel that try to collect the best of the rest of the channels. This is the best indeed.
Runtime Action will offer us well-known films such as ‘Champion of Champions’, ‘Hired to Kill’ or ‘The Bombing’, becoming the 2022 version of direct-to-video cinema. It’s not much better Runtime Comedy, where the lack of a catalog leads us to unknown or forgotten films like ‘The chaperone’, ‘The bride of my dreams’ or ‘Chuecatown’. You can get an idea of what Runtime Thriller, Runtime Crime or Runtime Romance are like, where you can scratch a ‘Scream 4’, ‘Shall we do a porn?’ or ‘The Last Patriot’ among a bunch of third-tier movies. Basically, if you don’t have a catalog, why do you get into these scrubs?
There is redemption in the channel dedicated to the classics: Over the course of a couple of days, the channel programs ‘Night of the Living Dead’, ‘The Last Time I Saw Paris’, ‘Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’, ‘Gulliver’s Travels’, ‘The Little Shop of Horrors’ or ‘Battleship Potemkin’. It is still a catalog sold per kilo and a halfbut at least there is something there for everyone who wants to enjoy a good movie from decades ago but can’t afford Filmin.
What is Ana dancing?
There are three live channels, those dedicated to television series. One of them broadcasts 24 hours ‘Ana and the seven’so that the most fans of its 91 episodes can watch them on loop over and over again. I hope they sneak into one of these the episodes never broadcast by TVE that took place after Ana Obregón left the series and that a judge prohibited from ever showing it to the public: at least that way this channel would make sense.
The other channel dedicated to a series is another mythical one from Hispanic television, but this time from the 70s: ‘Curro Jimenez’. I’m not sure that its 40 episodes will stand the test of time so well as to justify giving them their own channel, but there they are, repeating on a loop. In its defense, I will say that Pluto TV also has these two channels, but it combines them with dozens of channels dedicated to other series and programs (from ‘Vaya semanita’ to ‘Doctor who’), which spruces it up very well.
Runtime also has a series channel, where it has scratched at the bottom of the barrelairing episodes of ‘Crusoe’, ‘The Wanninkhof Affair’, ‘White Glove’ and ’23-F: The King’s Hardest Day’. Of course, its competition is not exactly HBO Max. But The cinephile lives not only from live channels (and seriéfilo). Especially since we are no longer in 2005.
video on demand
Runtime also has a section of movies and series on demand that, like its live channels, leaves a lot to be desired, although there are some salvageable gems. We have, for example, ‘The mercenaries’, ‘Precious’, ‘Fragile’, ‘REC’, ‘The fighter’, ‘Hachiko’ or ‘The driver of the general’. Okay, you’re not going to hear about the latest Hollywood blockbusters and they are more like what TVE could broadcast on any Tuesday nightbut at least they are solvent films.
The series section is indeed much sadder, especially because it is difficult for us to hear any: ‘They love, they lie’, ‘Journey to the ends of the earth’ (with a Benedict Cumberbatch before ‘Sherlock’ and Marvel), ‘XIII The conspiracy’, ‘Conan’ or ‘The truckers’, with a Sancho Grace in the 70s. If in movies he still had something redeemable, it is very difficult to say that we feel like watching a Runtime series.
Most likely, once the service has been set up for several countries, Runtime has pulled the cheapest catalog background it has caught to automate their broadcasts and charge something for advertisers. If something good falls off the rebound, well look, that’s what we all take with us. For now, Pluto TV is the alternative to beat, but you know what they say: a gift horse, do not look at what is programmed.