Recommendation of the Week:
Star Trek: The Original Series (Blu-ray, all three seasons, prices vary)
All three seasons of Star Trek: The Original Series will be available as of December 15, which is when Season Three comes out. Besides the awesome bloopers and flubs, it also has the entire unaired original Trek pilot in the set. Bizarrely, this was the original opening monologue: "Enterprise log, Captain James Kirk commanding. We are leaving that vast cloud of stars and planets which we call our galaxy. Behind us, Earth, Mars, Venus, even our sun are specks of dust. A question: What is out there in the black void beyond? Until now, our mission has been that of space law regulation, contact with Earth colonies and investigation of alien life. But now, a new task. A probe out into where no man has gone before." Seems like a good thing they changed it. "A probe out into" is a bit much. Trek has never, ever looked or sounded (there's a new 7.1 mix!) better, and you can pick this up in a box set, or get the individual seasons. Beam us up.
Read on for the rest of the recommendations, and as usual, we'll see you at the popcorn sta -- well, actually, we won't see you at all. But you catch our drift. Plus, be sure to tell us what you'll be watching, or what you've seen recently that bowled you over.
Xbox Live Video Marketplace (Xbox 360)
Funny People (1200($14.99) SD, to purchase)
Okay, take this one with a grain of salt. When I saw this movie in the theaters, I didn't like it. However, there's something good buried in here. This movie is best when it's Adam Sandler exploring his own mortality. What happens when a comedian finds out he's probably going to die? There are some real moments of acting here from Sandler, but then it quickly turns into a festival of penis jokes and other raunch. If you're into that sort of thing, you'll love Raaaaaaandy (Aziz Ansari) in the movie. I watched this again recently, and it's probably Judd Apatow's weakest film, but it's worth watching for the gems from Sandler.
Netflix Watch Instantly (Mac/PC, Xbox Live, PS3, subscription required: starts at $8.99 per month)
Doctor Who: The Talons of Weng Chiang
It seems like every time you turn around, Netflix is adding boatloads of programming to Watch Instantly. Soon you won't even need to buy DVDs or Blu-rays anymore, and then they'll try to conquer the multiplexes. This week, it's a British invasion! They've added all eight seasons of Red Dwarf, all four of Coupling, two of Little Britain, and a boatload of Doctor Who, including three seasons of the "new" Doctor Who. As a longtime Who-fan, I'm recommending The Talons of Weng Chiang. First of all, it has Tom Baker in it, the best Doctor ever. Also, it has Leela in it, and she's his hottest companion. And third, it's a Sherlock Holmes-style mystery. That's probably enough reasons, now go watch it.
PlayStation Store (PlayStation 3 or PSP)
Paper Heart ($24.99 HD, $14.99 SD, to own)
I'm going to sell this one to you straight: you'll either hate it, or love it. Some people find it incredibly irritating, and other people adore it. But give it a shot before you judge it. After all, it has Michael Cera in it, and that kid is amazing in pretty much everything he's in. Granted, I haven't seen Year One yet, but I'm a massive Arrested Development fan. And I saw a screening of his upcoming Youth In Revolt, which is fantastic. Charlene Yi, who wrote the screenplay, is adorably quirky. The film is intercut with actual interviews of couples in love, which could have been a great documentary on its own. If you love Michael Cera and offbeat comedy, this is going to hit on all cylinders. If you think Transformers is the greatest movie ever made, well ... move along.
Blu-ray Disc (PlayStation 3)
Lost: Season 5 ($79.99, lower at many retailers)
Lost has had it's share of ups and downs, but this past season was one of the best. So it just figures that this Blu-ray release would be one of the best. Lost seriously sets the bar for what television should look like on Blu-ray. The transfer is crystal clear and amazing, the sound is incredible and the extras are all top notch ... and there's a lot of them. Including the "Mysteries of the Universe" faux show from the 1980s about the Dharma Initiative. Even the menus look like static shots, until you'll notice that it's live, and something will happen. For instance, on Disc 1 it's a shot from inside a microwave oven. If you wait long enough, Hurley comes along, drops a hot pocket in, and lets it cook while he walks off. Then he returns to fetch it, burning his hand in the process. If you've been waiting to jump back into the show, this is really the best-looking television show on Blu-ray right now, so what are you waiting on?
What are you watching?