Welcome to the Home Entertainment Forecast for September 1st, 2009. 

I'm revamping the way I want to do this, and part of that is because I want to encourage you to check out the Forecast feature here on the site.  I think some of you come here from links from other sites, and some of you may have my blog bookmarked, and some of you come in on the front page, where you see everything laid out. 

But if you take a few minutes and sign up as a HitFix user, and you start putting events into your forecast... particularly if you check out a music preview or a movie preview for the rest of the fall... I think you'll get a good idea of how useful it can be as an extension of everything you read on HitFix, from me, or from Dan Fienberg, or Melinda Newman or Katie Hasty, or Greg Ellwood.  The whole point of this site is to, hopefully, present you with a barrage of stuff we feel like we want to share with you, and you decide what you like of it, then customize your experience so that you're getting content about that stuff in particular.

I also think the definition of what home entertainment is changes a little bit each few years now, so I'd like to offer up a look at everything I think is hitting the shelves this week that qualifies.

For example...

[more after the jump]

THE DVD AND BLURA Y FORECAST

I've been sent the two shows I didn't watch on the air last year... "Supernatural: The Complete Fourth Season" (DVD/BluRay) and "Heroes: Season Three" (DVD/BluRay)... but I'm going to have to go out and buy "Desperate Housewives: The Complete Fifth Season" (DVD) for my wife.  I like "Supernatural," but don't love it.  I think it's gotten better each season I've watched.  The third season on BluRay was like a big bag of cotton candy... I just tore right through it, and it went down like air.  Like, "Wow, I'm done?"  I've got a whole stack of things to watch before I'll put in "Supernatual," but that's just incentive to actually watch my way through that stack quicker.  I'm not sure I'm going to rush to watch "Heroes," though.  I will give it a chance, because I keep holding out hope that it's going to fix its issues.  I like the cast, and I like the idea of having a good crazy superhero show on the air.  I just don't like the execution of "Heroes" on any sort of consistent basis.  Did you guys watch Season Three?  If I didn't like Season Two at all and I only sort of tolerated Season One, should I give it another go?

I'm picking this up as soon as I get to the store on Tuesday.  I'm really looking forward to the "Braveheart: Sapphire Series" (BluRay) based on what I'm hearing so far from people who were sent review copies.  It sounds like a really strong, vivid transfer.  Those same reviews have been considerably less kind to the "Gladiator: Sapphire Series" (BluRay) that's also out today.  Both titles represent the start of a signature line for Paramount, a sort of in-house Criterion, and the controversy around this first double-feature of releases is a bit of a fumble as debuts go.  Still, it sounds like that may be because of the joint efforts of Universal Home Video and Paramount more than just some cock-up by Paramount.  Things get dicey when any film changes hands several times or in strange ways.  And if "Gladiator" doesn't sate your Russell Crowe thirst... wait, that image just skeeved me out.  Let's just say that if you missed "State Of Play" (DVD/BluRay) in the theater, it's worth catching up to it now that it's coming home.  It's a solidly built thriller.  The original BBC production, which is also now on home video in the US, is amazing, and I wouldn't use that word for the American version, but I think it's such a strong model that the second iteration works, even as pale copies go.

One of the first BluRays I bought was "Earth," so of course I'm goign to go buy "Disney Nature Earth" (DVD/BluRay) to watch with Toshi.  Immediately.  Much of this is new footage, but it was all shot as part of the "Earth" project originally, and  I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that this is going to be a reference-quality transfer worth showing off when you have someone over to see your system.

I'm excited to finally see "Sin Nombre" (DVD) and "Sugar" (DVD/BluRay) now that they're here in the house, but my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law and my wife... they all kidnapped the movies the moment they arrived, as they do with any Spanish-language titles that sound even remotely interesting.  I missed "Sin Nombre" at Sundance this year, but I heard nothing but praise from everyone who saw it.  And "Sugar" is the latest from the directors of "Half-Nelson," which automatically means I'm interested.

And finally, I know these are just repackagings, but sometimes, if you pick up something like "TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Murder Mysteries" (DVD), "TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Science Fiction" (DVD), and "TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Horror" (DVD), you end up with a sort of great little library without a ton of investment.

ALSO IN RELEASE THIS WEEK AND OF INTEREST

"Rescue Me: Season Five, Volume One" (DVD)

"Doctor Who: The Deadly Assassin" (DVD)
"Doctor Who: Delta And The Bannermen" (DVD)
"Doctor Who: Image Of The Fendahl" (DVD)

"M*A*S*H" (BluRay)

"Fire and Ice" (BluRay)

"Gaumont Treasures: 1897 - 1913" (DVD)

"The Evil That Men Do" (DVD)

"Alien Planet" (DVD)

THE GAMING FORECAST

I'll start by saying that I am, at best, a very, very, very casual gamer.

Like so casual that most of the time, you'd swear that means "none at all ever for even ten minutes."  But occasionally I sneak in a week bit of time.  Recently, I reviewed both "inFamous" and "Ghostbusters: The Video Game" here.

I consider video games in general to be an important part of the home entertainment real estate that not including them in a weekly column round up seems... pointlessly exclusive.  I like games.  I buy games.  I play games.

Having said that, none of what I see here moves me to check it out any further.  I know... there's a new "Guitar Hero," but I've never purchased any version of "Guitar Hero" or "Rock Band."  Never really seen the reason to do so.  I'm not against the games... I just never felt the urge.

Besides, I'm having to put away a war fund just for the big A-list titles coming soon.  I'm still trying to figure out how to explain to my wife that we really, really need to own "Beatles: Rock Band" when I can't even explain it to myself.

Because, damn it, we do.

Keep in mind, I'm a PS3 owner, so I look at that list, and I'm not really moved to act.  If I had a Wii, I might play a whoooooooole lot of this...

 

 

... because that looks f'ing fun.  GameStop shows that shipping on the 3rd, but the e-mail I got about that trailer says the game ships on the 8th.  Be aware if you're out there looking for it.

Here's what else you can look forward to, depending on what system you have, according to Kotaku and GameStop:

Monday (Aug. 31)

"Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Commander's Challenge" (PS3, 360)
"Pinball Hall of Fame - The Williams Collection" (PS3, 360)

Tuesday (Sept. 1)

"7 Wonders II" (DS)
"Cruise Ship Vacation Games" (Wii)
"Guitar Hero 5" (PS2, PS3, Wii, 360)
"Section 8" (PC, 360)
"Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny" (PSP)

Wednesday (Sept. 2)

"Defense Grid: The Awakening" (360)

Thursday (Sept. 3)

"Fate/Unlimited Codes" (PSP)
"NBA 2K10: Draft Combine" (PS3)
"Muramasa: The Demon Blade" (Wii)

Friday (Sept. 4)

"Champions Online" (PC)

Next week, there are over 30 titles on DVD or BluRay I'll be addressing, which is a ridiculous number, and we'll talk about how you handle weeks like this where there's so much at once time. 

Is it ever possible to own everything you want on home video?  Is there anyone who really has everything?

And in terms of games, there's "Dirt 2," "Mini-Ninjas," and... oh, yeah, like I mentioned earlier, "Beatles: Rock Band."

Which I will own.  Oh, yes.  I will.

The Home Entertainment Forecast appears here every week.

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