“What Just Happened” (R): Robert De Niro reteams with “Wag the Dog” director Barry Levinson for another Hollywood satire, this one about a fading producer struggling to get his latest movie made. Bruce Willis and Sean Penn play themselves, joining Stanley Tucci, John Turturro, Kristen Stewart, Catherine Keener and Robin Wright Penn in an adaptation of “Untouchables” producer Art Linson’s memoir.
Also on the recent-release road, “Sex Drive” (R) follows a beleaguered high school senior (“Kyle XY’s” Josh Zuckerman), daunted by the prospect of starting college as a virgin, who “borrows” his brother’s vintage Pontiac GTO for a cross-country hook-up with an obliging Internet hottie (Katrina Bowden). James Marsden co-stars as the cocky older brother, while Seth Green steals the show as a sarcastic Amish dude who’s also an ace car mechanic.
Also on the teen beat: “The Haunting of Molly Hartley” (PG-13), in which the title character (“Music and Lyrics’ ” Haley Bennett) survives her mother’s psychotic attack, only to be plagued by eerie visions and even eerier experiences.
Topping today’s unseen-and-unknown lineup: “Frame of Mind” (not rated), a conspiracy thriller with Chris Noth investigating evidence in the John F. Kennedy assassination. “Take” (not rated) features Minnie Driver as the beleaguered mother of a special-needs student and Jeremy Renner as a gambling addict caring for an ailing father. Chad Allen returns as detective Donald Strachey in the mystery “On the Other Hand, Death” (R). And U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan face a deadly supernatural force in “Red Sands” (R), featuring Shane West and J.K. Simmons.
Turning to documentaries, “60 Minutes” revisits the “Miracle on the Hudson” in “Saving Flight 1549” (not rated). “Chris & Don: A Love Story” (not rated) recounts the three-decade relationship between British writer Christopher Isherwood (whose “Berlin Stories” inspired the musical “Cabaret”) and American artist Don Bachardy. In “Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father” (not rated), filmmaker Kurt Kuenne follows a twisty trail as he memorializes a murdered friend. And “Fidel! A Film By Saul Landau” (not rated) profiles Cuban leader Fidel Castro a decade after the Communist revolution catapulted him to power.
Elsewhere in our vintage file, Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep star in the 1987 Depression-era drama “Ironweed” (R), while the 1971 Oscar-winner “The French Connection” (R), with Gene Hackman in his signature role of dogged detective “Popeye” Doyle, arrives on Blu-Ray. And 1972’s “F.T.A.” (not rated) provides a blast-from-the-past look at Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland’s agitprop, anti-Vietnam theater tour for GIs stationed in the Pacific.
Tuning in to TV transfers, Noah Wyle returns as the intrepid title character in “The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice” (not rated), while Helen Mirren plays a semiretired rock singer plunged into an art-world mystery in “Painted Lady” (not rated).
Series arriving on DVD (all unrated) include “Summer Heights High,” “Canterbury’s Law: The Complete Series,” “Breaking Bad: The Complete First Season,” “My Wife & Kids: Season One,” “Just Shoot Me: The Complete Third Season” and “Girlfriends: The Sixth Season.”
Lamb of God, “Wrath”: The first single is called “Set to Fail,” which begs the obvious question, just what exactly are new school thrash pugilists Lamb of God setting themselves up for with their latest record, “Wrath”?
Some divisiveness, most likely.
For the first time in the band’s career, frontman Randy Blythe adds some touches of melodic singing in with his trademark, grizzly-bear-with-indigestion growl, which is sure to annoy some hard-liners.
It shouldn’t, though, as “Wrath” is one of the band’s most concussive discs, with drummer Chris Adler once again outdoing himself behind the kit with some of his fastest, most pummeling playing and lots of buzz saw riffing coming at you from all angles.
It all culminates in a dense, demanding record that takes more than a few listens to fully digest, but, like a 2-pound T-bone, has plenty of meat on its bones.
Also in stores: Black Lips, “200 Million Thousand”; Joe Bonamassa, “The Ballad of John Henry”; Joe Budden, “Padded Room”; Clem Snide, “Hungry Bird”; Shemekia Copeland, “Never Going Back”; God Forbid, “Earthsblood”; Hatebreed, “For the Lions”; Chris Isaak, “Mr. Lucky”; Jonas Brothers, “Music from the 3D Concert Experience”; Kinky, “Barracuda”; Van Morrison, “Astral Weeks Live at the Hollywood Bowl”; and Steven Wilson, “Insurgentes.”
In “Promises in Death,” best-selling author J.D. Robb’s latest in her “In Death” series, Lt. Eve Dallas is on the hunt for a cop killer in New York City in the year 2060.
Eve will have to question the victim’s co-workers, informants and neighbors while digging into her past. While she continues her investigation, the killer takes notice, sending Eve a personal message — and it isn’t a love note.
In another series continuation, “Night and Day,” Robert B. Parker’s latest installment in his series featuring Jesse Stone, the police chief finds himself on the trail of The Night Hawk, a voyeur tormenting the women of Paradise, Mass.
Also hitting shelves this week: “Abraham Lincoln: A Life” by Michael Burlingame; “One Day at a Time” by Danielle Steel; “Terminal Freeze” by Lincoln Child; “White Witch, Black Curse” by Kim Harrison; “Above the Law” by Tim Green; “If I Grow Up” by Todd Strasser; “American Rust” by Philipp Meyer; “Blood and Ice” by Robert Masello; “The Caryatids” by Bruce Sterling; and “Safer” by Sean Doolittle.