Xbox Live Video Marketplace (Xbox 360)
Fringe (240($3) HD, 160($2) SD, to rent)
Am I the only person who hates the new method for browsing videos on the Xbox Live Zune Video Film Movie Marketplace? The website doesn't give you prices, and of course the Zune software doesn't work on a Mac. How about user-friendly, Microsoft? We want to buy and rent these movies from you! This week we're recommending Fringe, which is smack in the middle of a second season. It's an extremely watchable X-Files clone from J.J. Abrams, and despite my resistance, I'm actually loving this show. Especially now that Dexter's season is done and I can catch up. The pilot is an hour and a half long, and should get you nicely obsessed.
Netflix Watch Instantly (Mac/PC, Xbox Live, PS3, subscription required: starts at $8.99 per month)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
While there's a lot of good buzz on Netflix about The Gamers: Dorkness Rising, I haven't seen the flick yet. Yet, it seems tailor made for my friends and I. As a fellow dork alert, they've also added the new Doctor Who seasons two and three to Watch Instantly. To round out a dork triple-threat, we're recommending The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy this week. But not the movie. Instead it's the BBC television version from 1981. It had already appeared as two radio shows, an album and two stage shows, so why not a television series? Although the special effects suffer from the same craptastic quality that ail all BBC shows, this is much better than the movie. The animations from the Guide itself in the show are hand-drawn and awesome, making you wish that thing actually existed. In a way, it does, and we call it Wikipedia.
PlayStation Store (PlayStation 3 or PSP)
Taking Woodstock ($19.99 HD, $14.99 SD, to own, per movie)
The PlayStation Store is having a massive sale over the next few days, marking their "12 full days of holiday savings," and today (Friday) features some movies on sale for 99¢ to rent ... and in standard def only. Plus it's extremely limited, and the only good titles in there are Evil Dead, Hellboy, Crank and Ghost in the Shell. Still, .99 cents ain't bad. However, we're watching Taking Woodstock this weekend: a fun little comedy directed by Ang Lee with a terrific ensemble cast. It's docu-fiction about the roots of Woodstock, and how the festival came to be. Plus it has Dan Fogler in it, so fans of Balls of Fury and Fanboys take note. Both of you.
Blu-ray Disc (PlayStation 3)
The Hangover ($35.99, much lower at many retailers)
This movie was definitely the sleeper hit of the summer. On paper this would have seemed like a direct to video release: Four friends head to Vegas for a bachelor party, then panic when one of them goes missing after a wild night. Fairly boring stuff, right? Plus there aren't any big box office stars attached. Which is why this works so well. You're suckered in (director Todd Phillips said he tried to make the opening look like a Garry Marshall film to fool people) and presented with one of the best comedies in years ... due in no small part to the presence of Zach Galifianakis. That guy is pure hilarity in human form. The movie looks great in HD, of course, but also has a picture-in-picture commentary from the three main stars and the director, and features 100 new photos from the missing digital camera. Great stuff.
What are you watching? We don't care if it's naughty or nice, just let us know to enter to for your chance to win a Blu-ray move prize detailed below:
- Leave a comment telling us what you're watching (on any format).
- You must be 18 years or older and a resident of the US or Canada (excluding Quebec).
- Limit 1 entry per person (replies to other comments won't count as entries, so feel free to chat it up).
- This entry period ends at 12:00PM ET on Monday, December 21.
- At that time, we'll randomly select five "Nice" winners to receive a copy of District 9 on Blu-ray (ARV $39.95); and one "Naughty" winner to receive a copy of Godzilla on Blu-ray (ARV $24.95).
- For a list of complete rules, click here.
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