New on DVD: September 25

It's superhero week! The Avengers assemble on DVD as well as the much-anticipated Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1

Credit: Amazon

The biggest superhero spectacle to ever hit the screen comes to DVD this week


Marvel’s The Avengers

Almost the entire Marvel Comics universe (including Iron Man, Captain America and the Incredible Hulk) come together for this epic superhero action flick in which Thor’s evil brother Loki and his minions come to earth intent on destroying it. Thanks to a great script (co-written with Zak Penn) and tight direction from Joss Whedon, this film manages to pull off the almost impossible task of combining so many characters, but giving each of them their own moments in the sun without making it come off feeling forced. (Disney)

Damsels in Distress

Artsy filmmaker Whit Stillman returns with his first film in 13 years with this comedy about a group of female students at a male-dominated East Coast Ivy League college who decide to even out the odds. (Sony)

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1

In this animated adaptation of the 1986 Frank Miller graphic novel, the now retired Batman is driven to put the cape and cowl back on when a gang of criminals calling themselves The Mutants begin terrorizing Gotham City. Now facing a different political world (some of whom see Batman as a police-state fascist) and assisted by a teenage girl as the new Robin, Batman must fight more than the evil destroying his beloved city. Part Two of this epic mini-series is planned to be released in the spring of 2013. (Warner)

The Samaritan

Samuel L. Jackson stars in this drama as an ex-con who is released from prison after serving 25 years for killing his best friend. He is instantly tempted back into the criminal life by his friend’s son, but finds redemption when he attempts to change the path of a young woman (Ruth Negga). (eOne)

388 Arletta Avenue

In yet another variation on the “found footage” horror film genre, Nick Stahl plays a man whose wife disappears and whose life is slowly unraveling due to an unseen stalker who has hidden dozens of cameras throughout his home, car and office. This is an original idea that takes full advantage of its meager budget, but ultimately fails for that same very reason. (eOne)


American Horror Story: The Complete First Season

This U.S. cable series is remarkable for several reasons. First of all, it is actually shocking and terrifying, which is extremely rare for a TV series. Secondly, it is designed to be a stand-alone miniseries each season so that the fate of any character is always left precariously hanging. In downtown L.A. stands an beautiful old mansion with a dark past and the victims of this past still walk its halls. When psychologist Ben Harmon (Dylan McDermott), his wife Vivien (Connie Britton) and their teenage daughter Violet (Taissa Fermiga) move in looking to escape their own problematic past, they soon find that they are far from alone. Jessica Lange (who won an Emmy for this role) co-stars as their nosy neighbour Constance, who has her own personal history with the house. This 4-disc set features all 12 disturbing episodes. (Fox)

Desperate Housewives: The Complete Eighth and Final Season

This darkly comic drama’s eighth and final season picks up where the previous season ended with the ladies of Wisteria Lane gathering together to try and cover up the murder of Gabrielle’s (Eva Longoria) step-father. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of scandals and troubles that these women get up to in the final 23 episodes (all here on this 6-disc set). (Buena Vista)

The Crimson Petal and the White

Based on the novel by Michael Faber, this four-part Victorian miniseries stars Chris O’Dowd (the Irish cop from Bridesmaids) as William Rackham, a disillusioned heir to a perfume business who is disinterested in his work and whose home life is far from perfect with a mentally ill wife and a young daughter to care for. When he meets a young prostitute named Sugar (Romola Garai of the BBC’s Emma), she becomes his inspiration and his muse and he sets her up in her own apartment. (Acorn)

Family Guy: Volume 10

The Griffin’s start this volume of episodes rolling in it thanks to one of Peter’s hair-brained schemes (spending their entire savings on lottery tickets) actually working out in their favour. But, in typical Family Guy fashion, that will certainly all change before the end credits roll as they immediately find it difficult to behave normally. This set features the final 14 episodes of the series ninth season. (Fox)

GI Joe: Renegades: Season 1, Vol 2

After their mission is sabotaged, the men of G.I. Joe – including Roadblock, Scarlett and Tunnel Rat – are forced to become fugitives in order to clear their names in this animated action series based on the Hasbro toys. This 2-DVD set contains the final 13 episodes of the series premiere season. This is also available in a 3-disc Blu-ray set. (Shout Factory)

CatDog: Season Two, Part 2

This late 1990s-early 2000s Nickelodeon series continues to be released on DVD, which has fans of absurd animation rejoicing This strange cartoon about a best friend dog and cat that are conjoined twins is a wild, hysterical romp. This 2-DVD set contains the final 10 episodes of the season. (Shout Factory)

Gossip Girl: The Complete Fifth Season

As the fifth season of this drama picks up, we find Serena (Blake Lively) still in sun-drenched Hollywood after landing a job with a film director while Blair (Leighton Meester) begins planning her royal wedding to Prince Louis (Hugo Becker). This is just the beginning of a shocking and entertaining season featuring 24 episodes (in a 6-disc set). (Warner)

Touched by an Angel Season 6

In this spiritual drama’s sixth season (which aired during the 1999-2000 season), angels (Roma Downey and Della Reese) sent from God and Andrew (John Dye), the angel of death, continue to visit people with messages from above. During this 26-episode season, they managed to visit some fairly familiar faces including supermodel Kathy Ireland, Welsh singer Charlotte Church, boy band N SYNC, Kenny Rogers and Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas. (Paramount)

Key & Peele Season 1

Former MadTV regulars Keegan-Michael Key (who created the breakout Coach Hines character) and Jordan Peele (whose impressions of Forest Whitaker and Morgan Freeman were unrivaled) team up again for this new sketch comedy series which promises to showcase their edgy comic styles to good use once again with new creations like President Obama, who gets some help from his “anger translator” and Lil’ Wayne showing off his rapping skills while serving time behind bars. (Paramount)