Xbox Live Video Marketplace (Xbox 360)
9 (480($6) HD, 320($4) SD, to rent, 1200 ($14.99) SD to own)
Director Shane Acker turned his 2005 short film of the same name into this feature film after Tim Burton saw it, and it's a wonderfully imagined, animated fantasy film that takes in a fully-realized world. The ragdoll "stitchpunks," as they're called by fans, look like they're distantly related to the Sackboys in LittleBigPlanet, and without giving too much away, let me sum it up like this: Post-apocalyptic world, Humanity = almost dead, stitchpunks to the rescue. Okay, it's not quite that simple, but it's close. It's very surreal, beautiful, sad and has impressive voice talent like Christopher Plummer, Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Crispin Glover and more. Watch Acker's original short film right here, it'll put you in the frame of mind to give the feature a whirl this weekend.
Netflix Watch Instantly (Mac/PC, Xbox Live, PS3, subscription required: starts at $8.99 per month)
Some parts of the country are buried in snow (just ask our own Griffin "Mr. Plow" McElroy), so what better time to dream of warm temperatures and tropical beaches? If you can get past the bizarre artwork on the Netflix page featuring a shirtless and incredibly hirsute Robin Williams, Club Paradise is a kooky film straight out of the 1980s: directed by Harold Ramis and co-written by Ramis and Brian Doyle-Murray. It doesn't have a deep plot, it's not going to change your life, but damn ... Rick Moranis and Eugene Levy are the highlight of this thing. Levy's line about diarrhea is a classic that I pull out every time I go diving. Which, thankfully, is not that often. Save it for a snowy couple of hours this weekend, and wonder why in the world Robin Williams made Old Dogs.
PlayStation Store (PlayStation 3 or PSP)
Heroes: Season 4 ($2.99 HD, $1.99 SD, to own)
Heroes is like that scab you just can't stop picking at. You know it's bad for you, yet you keep going back to it, picking away. There's just something disgustingly addicting about it. That's Heroes for me. I keep saying "Enough, I'm giving this show up," yet I'm always back for more every Monday. This year has been just like the others with ups and downs, and I'm still on the fence about this whole carnival/circus thing. But all of those moments with Sylar somehow seem all the more perfect since Star Trek came out. "Look! Spock killed someone!" Anyhow, the storyline with Sylar out of his own body wasn't that bad, and it'll be interesting to see what happens now that he's back in it. With any luck, he'll continue his head-opening, power-eating rampage.
Blu-ray Disc (PlayStation 3)
Paranormal Activity ($48.99, much lower at many retailers)
I saw this movie at a film festival without knowing much about it, and it scared the bejeebers out of me. I don't think I've been scared in a theater since Friday the 13th Part 2, or perhaps 27 Dresses, so that was fun. But is this going to go down the same road that The Blair Witch Project did? That movie built up to a fever pitch, and then people late to the game were underwhelmed. If you haven't seen it yet, pick this up and invite some friends over. It was made on a shoestring budget (you'll see why when you watch it) and shows why story is more important than special effects. Lack of CGI aside, the night I saw this I kept hearing creaky noises around the house. Spooky? Yes. Good movie? You bet. Now someone, somehow, please turn this into an enjoyable game. Please.
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