Criterion Collection now streaming on Hulu Plus, maybe Sanjuro and Hanbei will settle differences (update: Netflix and Hulu won't)

Hulu Plus just got a whole lot more appealing for cinephiles. The streaming service just rolled out 150 properties from the Criterion Collection, perhaps the premiere pusher of amazing films, with that number expected to top 800 in "the coming months." It'll include the regulars, like plenty of offerings by Kurosawa, along with some films "so rare that they have never been seen in the U.S. in any medium." Indeed this deal is available only in America, so we'll send our apologies to our friendly neighbors to the north, but you're certainly welcome to come on down on movie night. Just bring some popcorn. Naturally the quality here won't match a Blu-ray and we're guessing the usually epic Criterion special features won't be streaming, but you can't have everything for $7.99 a month.

Update: We got a note from Hulu indicating that, yes indeed, special features will be here too. Director commentary, deleted scenes, and lots of other bonus goodies will be coming to the mix. Maybe there'll be something in there explaining the deep, hidden meanings of Sans Soleil. Oh, and it's an exclusive deal, which is a bummer for Netflixers.

Update 2: Netflix is losing out in more ways than one: "All of the films that are currently on Netflix streaming will be down by the end of the year," reads a somewhat bitter Criterion Collection post on Facebook. Criterion will continue to ship Netflix discs, but we all know that Netflix doesn't care about those so much anymore.

[Thanks, Dan]