A look at some of the DVDs, CDs and books hitting stores this week.
“The Descendants” (R): Writer-director Alexander Payne (“Sideways”) returns with another ruefully observant, Oscar-winning character study, this one about a Hawaii land baron (George Clooney) who tries to reconnect with his daughters following a family tragedy.
Continuing the Academy Awards connection, stars Michelle Williams and Kenneth Branagh earned nominations for “My Week with Marilyn” (R), as Hollywood goddess Marilyn Monroe (Williams) and master thespian Laurence Olivier (Branagh) try to overcome tension on a 1957 movie set. And plenty of people thought Charlize Theron deserved an Oscar nod for “Juno” screenwriter Diablo Cody’s “Young Adult” (R), about a divorced writer who returns home with utterly unrealistic expectations.
Director Steven Spielberg, meanwhile, tries his hand at animation with “The Adventures of Tintin” (PG), which sends the title comic-strip character (voiced by Jamie Bell) on a hunt for sunken treasure. An eco-crisis threatens penguin survival in “Happy Feet Two” (PG) . And “The Three Musketeers” (PG-13) revisits Alexandre Dumas’ oft-filmed adventure classic, as young D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman) joins his musketeer mentors (Ray Stevenson, Matthew Macfadyen, Luke Evans) in 17th-century France.
Today’s TV-to-DVD transfers (all unrated) include Pierce Brosnan in Stephen King’s “Bag of Bones,” plus “The Killing: Season One,” “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys — Season Three” and “Xena: Warrior Princess — Season Three.”
Meat Loaf, “Hell in a Hand Basket”: A meat loaf is a greasy hodgepodge of crap.
And the latest album from Meat Loaf is, true to form, a greasy hodgepodge of crap.
Calm down! We’re just kidding, Mr. Loaf.
With guests such as Lil Jon, John Rich, Patti Russo and the dude from Sugar Ray, we’re sure the album will be just as tasty as the namesake of the guy who made it.
Also in stores: Delta Spirit, “Delta Spirit”; Shooter Jennings, “Family Man”; Lucero, “Women & Work”; Say Anything, “Anarchy, My Dear”; Soulfly, “Enslaved”; Ruben Studdard, “Letters From Birmingham”; The Ting Tings, “Sounds From Nowheresville”; and Twin Atlantic, “Free.”
“Infamous” by Sherrilyn Kenyon: Nick Gautier’s story continues in the latest series installment, in which the teen, who has learned divination, clairvoyance and how to kill zombies, must survive while everyone — including his dad — tries to kill him.
In another young adult series continuation, L.J. Smith adds to “The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters” with “Moonsong,” which finds Elena pretty happy to be attending Dalcrest College, until students start disappearing from campus.
Also hitting shelves: “Another Piece of My Heart” by Jane Green; “Arcadia” by Lauren Groff; “A Crown Imperiled” by Raymond E. Feist; “Hell Above Earth: The Incredible True Story of an American WWII Bomber Commander and the Copilot Ordered to Kill Him” by Stephen Frater; “Island of Vice: Theodore Roosevelt’s Doomed Quest to Clean Up Sin-Loving New York” by Richard Zacks; “My Cross to Bear” by Gregg Allman; “The One: The Life and Music of James Brown” by R.J. Smith; “Out of Sight, Out of Time” by Ally Carter; “Running the Maze” by Jack Coughlin; “Spell Bound” by Rachel Hawkins; “Star Wars Fate of the Jedi” by Troy Denning; and “The Vanishers: A Novel” by Heidi Julavits.