PICK OF THE WEEK

Holy Flying Circus

This biopic of the Monty Python comedy troupe concentrates on the period in their career when they made the film The Life of Brian, which paralleled the life of Jesus Christ but brought them outrage and controversy by many who believed it ridiculed Christianity. Spot-on casting of the familiar lead characters of John Cleese (Darren Boyd), Michael Palin (Charles Edwards) and the others with the added touch of Python-esque humour make this a light-hearted look back at the situation. (Acorn)

DVDs

The Five Year Engagement

After Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) get engaged, she is offered an important job out of town that delays their wedding - repeatedly, which seems to cause all sorts of friction between them and their families in this romantic comedy from director Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall).

Answers to Nothing

Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost), Dane Cook and Julie Benz star in this multi-leveled drama surrounding several people’s involvement in the abduction of a child and its different effect on each of them. (eOne)

Route Irish

This British drama from director Ken Loach and starring Mark Womack and John Bishop looks at the emotional consequences of soldiers-for-hire after they return home from fighting overseas. (eOne)

My Trip to Al Qaeda

This documentary from filmmaker Lawrence Wright attempts to paint a fair and unbiased picture of how a member of an organization like Al-Qaeda becomes a terrorist and what drives them to this extreme view. (eOne)

Piranha 3DD

In this gory fun-fest of a sequel, the prehistoric killer fish from the first film somehow find their way into a water-park during its busiest season and feast on a series of hot girls and B-level actors including Gary Busey and David Hasselhoff. (Anchor Bay)

Touchback

Kurt Russell and Christine Lahti star in this uplifting fantasy about a man (Brian Presley) whose possible football career was ruined by an injury in the final game of his high school senior year. Fifteen years later, he magically gets the chance to relive that life-changing moment and maybe history. (Anchor Bay)

High School

In the unluckiest move ever, a high school valedictorian decides to take his first ever hit off of a joint on the same day that the school conducts a drug test that may ruin his chances to go to college. With the help of the school stoner, he comes up with an elaborate plan to get the entire student body high and ruin the outcome of the test. (Anchor Bay)

TV ON DVD

Criminal Minds: Season 7

David Rossi (Joe Mantegna) and his BAU team return for another season of stomach-turning corpses and nightmare-inducing serial killers in the seventh season of this hit crime procedural. This 6-disc set features all 24 episodes including the two-part season finale. (Paramount)

The Good Wife: The Third Season

As this Emmy-winning series enters it’s third season things haven’t gotten any less dramatic for the staff of Lockhart/Gardner and features an array of great guest stars amid its 22 episodes including Michael J. Fox, Matthew Perry and American Pie’s Jason Biggs on this 6-disc set. (Paramount)

Young James Herriot

This 2011 three-part drama chronicles the early years of All Things Great and Small author James Herriot (Iain de Caestecker) as he enters his first years of veterinary college. (Acorn)

Vexed: Series 1

If you prefer your British mysteries to be like Midsomer Murders or A Touch of Frost, then you may not enjoy this American-style police series in which the two mismatched stars (Lucy Punch and Toby Stephens) share an undeniable sexual chemistry and witty repartee. This set features all three episodes from the series 2010 season. (Acorn)

Kidnap & Ransom: Series 2

Waking the Dead’s Trevor Eve lends his glowering toughness to this 3-part British mini-series about a professional hostage negotiator who is brought in to lend his expertise when a busload of tourists is kidnapped while on vacation in India. (Acorn)

Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation: Vol. 1

Finally, the short-lived Vancouver-shot live-action TV series about the TMNT gets released on DVD. The first 13 episodes of the series (on this 2-disc set) sees the turtles and new addition Venus de Milo facing off against a new foe Dragonlord and his Rank as well as their old enemy Shredder. This is the first of several Saban series expected to hit DVD over the next few years including Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Beetleborgs and others. (Shout Factory)

Thomas & Sarah

Maybe this will give you something to watch until the new season of Downton Abbey appears in North America next year. This 1979 spin-off of the hit British series Upstairs, Downstairs stars John Alderton and Pauline Collins as the title characters – a chauffer and a housemaid – and picks up several years after the end of the other series. Once a couple and now separated, things look like they might be rekindling when Thomas shows up in the village where Sarah now lives. This 13-episode series is being released on 3 DVDs. (Acorn)

The Adventures of Chuck and Friends: Monster Rally (Shout Factory)

This animated series features an ambitious dump truck named Chuck who longs to be a race truck and his pals – including a garbage truck, a fire truck and a backhoe. This DVD features 10 episodes from the series (which currently airs on Treehouse here in Canada). (Shout Factory)

The Borgias: Season 2

This dramatic, violent (and often sexy) look at the Borgia family of 16th century Italy (starring Jeremy Irons as the newly elected Pope) returns for a second season of deceitful power struggles with this 3-disc set featuring all 10 episodes.

Haven Season 2

This Stephen King-inspired supernatural series stars Emily Rose as an FBI agent who discovers countless unexplainable phenomena happening in and around a small coastal New England town. This 13-episode season (available on this 4-disc set) features recurring guest star appearances by Jason Priestley and WWE star Edge. (eOne)

Cloudstreet

Based on the novel by Tim Winton, this 3-episode Australian mini-series chronicles the decade-long struggles of two poverty-stricken families – the Lambs and the Pickles - who band together and leave rural Outback for the suburbs of Perth and a big house called Cloudstreet - in hopes of bettering their lives. (Acorn)

MUSIC ON DVD

Etta James: Live at Montreux 1993

Etta James, the blues/jazz/pop singer who passed away earlier this year, is remembered fondly with this new restored version of her 1993 performance at the prestigious music festival. Although she appeared on that stage many times beginning in 1975, this is James at the top of her game belting out her hits like “At Last” and “Hold On I’m Coming”. (Eagle Rock)

Stratovarius: Under Flaming Winter Skies – Live in Tampere

For those who like their music loud and Scandinavian, check out this live concert performance from Finnish symphonic metal band Stratovarius. Although they have been around since 1982, the band no longer has any of its original members, but still manages to assault the eardrums of anyone within listening distance. This concert marks the final tour of long-time drummer Jorg Michael and features “Legions of the Twilight”, “Hunting High and Low”, “Winter Skies” and much more. (Eagle Rock)

Queen: Greatest Video Hits

As anyone who has seen the video for their song “Bohemian Rhapsody” knows, Queen was as cutting edge with their promotional music videos as they were with their music. This new 2-disc collection pulls together all of their classics (“Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, “We Will Rock You” and “Killer Queen”) as well as some of the more obscure later numbers (like “The Invisible Man” and “Hammer Fall”) for the first time in one set. (Eagle Rock)