A look at some of the DVDs, CDs and books hitting stores this week:
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” (PG-13): When Autobots find out a Cybertronian spaceship is hidden on the moon, the race with the Decepticons is on — to reach the craft and discover its secrets — in the third installment of the toys-to-movies franchise, featuring returnees Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson and newcomers Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Patrick Dempsey and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
Turning to movies that never played local theaters, the thriller “The Ledge” (R) features Liv Tyler, Patrick Wilson, Terrence Howard and Charlie Hunnam in a thriller that’s keyed to the ongoing debate between Christian fundamentalism and atheism, while Eva Longoria and Christian Slater headline “Without Men” (not rated), a battle-of-the-sexes comedy set in Latin America.
Turning to TV transfers (all unrated unless otherwise noted), Charlton Heston as Long John Silver in a 1990 TV version of “Treasure Island” featuring a young Christian Bale, plus a 1988 TV adaptation of “A Man for All Seasons” with Heston, Vanessa Redgrave and John Gielgud. Three series with Las Vegas ties (“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation — The 11th Season,” “Holly’s World: The Complete Seasons One and Two” and “Sister Wives: Season 2”) also make the jump to DVD, alongside “How To Make It In America: The Complete First Season,” “Kojak: Season Two,” “The Middle: The Complete Second Season,” “Army Wives: The Complete Fifth Season” (PG), “How I Met Your Mother: Season Six,” “CSI: NY — The Seventh Season,” “CSI: Miami — The Ninth Season,” “Family Guy, Vol. Nine” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit — The 12th Year.”
Mastodon, “The Hunter”: Their tunes are no longer as mammoth as their namesake and are all the better for it.
On “The Hunter,” the latest disc from Georgia prog metallers Mastodon, the band eschews the 10-plus minute song lengths found on its previous disc, 2009’s “Crack the Skye,” in favor of more succinct and hooky, yet no less heavy, jams.
Working with producer Mike Elizondo, who has collaborated with artists as diverse as Fiona Apple and Eminem, the band has discovered a new side to itself en route to delivering an album-of-the-year candidate.
Join in on the hunt and get this one ASAP.
Also in stores: Anti-Flag, “Complete Control Recordings Session”; Sebastian Bach, “Kicking & Screaming”; The Bangles, “Sweetheart of the Sun”; Blink-182, “Neighborhoods”; Carolina Liar, “Wild Blessed Freedom”; Chickenfoot, “Chickenfoot III”; J. Cole, “Cole World: The Sideline Story”; Daryl Hall, “Laughing Down Crying”; Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa, “Don’t Explain”; House of Lords, “Big Money”; Kasabian, “Velociraptor!”; The Knux, “Eraser”; Seth MacFarlane, “Music Is Better Than Words”; Machine Head, “Unto the Locust”; Mekons, “Ancient & Modern”; LeAnn Rimes, “Lady & Gentlemen”; Switchfoot, “Vice Verses”; Textures, “Dualism”; VHS or Beta, “Diamonds & Death”; and Wilco, “The Whole Love.”
“The Affair” by Lee Child: The latest in the series featuring Jack Reacher delves into the military cop’s history, focusing on a 1997 murder and cover-up in Mississippi.
Also this week, political commentator Bill O’Reilly tries his hand at writing American history with “Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever.”
Also hitting shelves: “Abarat: Absolute Midnight” by Clive Barker; “Aleph” by Paulo Coelho; “A Beautiful Dark” by Jocelyn Davies; “Coup d’Etat” by Ben Coes; “Defensive Wounds: A Novel of Suspense” by Lisa Black; “The End of the Wasp Season” by Denise Mina; “Lost In Time” by Melissa de la Cruz; “Nightwoods” by Charles Frazier; “An O’Brien Family Christmas” by Sherryl Woods; “1225 Christmas Tree Lane” by Debbie Macomber; “Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend” by Susan Orlean; “River of Smoke” by Amitav Ghosh; “The Swerve” by Stephen Greenblatt; “The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer” by Michelle Hodkin; and “The Wedding Letters” by Jason F. Wright.