well, after talking w/a sony rep on my problems, she had me do a full hard reset on my PS3 and then a Full Format. So far that has solved/fixed my freezing problems and i'm now able to watch movies and play games again! joy!
a quickie guide on doing a hard reset will be posted up at http://tech-recipes.com later today and should be live in a few days, i'll post a link to it once its up.
(link here! http://www.tech-recipes.com/rx/2265/ps3_how_to_factory_hard_reset )
i guess i'll see if my problems come back or if my ps3 was overheating. this upcoming weekend will be a true test since i plan to do some major gaming on NBA2K7 and FFXII. :)
btw, here is what my PS3 freezing/problems looked like: