“Sherlock Holmes” (PG-13): In Victorian-era London, the title sleuth (Robert Downey Jr.) and his faithful companion Dr. Watson (Jude Law) take on a sinister serial killer (Mark Strong) in a hyperkinetic adventure that emphasizes the action side of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary detective.
The smashing coming-of-age drama “An Education” (PG-13), set in early ’60s Britain, focuses on a college-bound teen (best actress Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan) who becomes involved with a smooth-talking sophisticate (Peter Sarsgaard) almost twice her age. In “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” (PG), the title trio (voiced by Justin Long, Jesse McCartney, Matthew Gray Gubler) faces competition from rival cuties the Chipettes (Amy Pohler, Anna Faris, Christina Applegate) in a follow-up to the 2007 hit. And in the Bollywood comedy-drama “Three Idiots” (not rated), two friends (R. Madhavan, Sharman Joshi) search for a lost friend (Aamir Khan) — and, along the way, encounter a forgotten bet, a wedding they must crash and an out-of-control funeral.
Turning to movies that never made it to local theaters, the Oscar-nominated “The Baader Meinhof Complex” (not rated) focuses on the radical terrorist organization, also known as the Red Army Faction, that shook up 1970s West Germany. And Danny DeVito stars as a frustrated father trying to get his slacker sons to move out in the comedy “House Broken” (R). In our documentary file, “Afghan Star” (not rated) explores how contestants on Afghanistan’s answer to “American Idol” risk their lives to perform. In “Yes Men Fix the World” (not rated), the title troublemakers create more hoaxes to blow the whistle on corporate excesses. And “The Story of Fashion with Karl Lagerfeld” (not rated) chronicles more than a century of couture.
In keeping with “Sherlock Holmes’ ” DVD debut, more detective stories materialize in this week’s TV transfers. (All titles are unrated, unless otherwise noted.) Holmes himself (as played by Charlton Heston) investigates “The Crucifer of Blood,” while Ian Carmichael stars in “The Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries: Set One.” Derek Jacobi, Judy Geeson, Jean Marsh, Robin Ellis and John Thaw are among “The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes: Set 2.” Other TV titles hitting DVD include “Robin Williams: Weapons of Self-Destruction,” “The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty,” “iCarly: iFight Shelby Marx,” “The Abbott & Costello Show: The Complete Series (Collector’s Edition),” “The Real Housewives of New Jersey: Season One,” “Judge John Deed: Season One & Pilot Episode,” “Steven Seagal, Lawman: The Complete Season One,” “Teen Mom: The Complete First Season,” “MysteryQuest: The Complete Season One,” “Rhoda: Season Two,” “Celebrity Rehab: Season Three” and “Deadliest Catch: Season Five.”
Usher, “Raymond v. Raymond”: It’s Raymond v. Raymond, so who’s gonna be the victor, here?
Fans of oversexed, leg-humping R&B, of course.
Comin’ with more radio-friendly, bedroom-bound, hormonal hits, Usher is sure to get the ladies salivatin’ like one of Pavlov’s pooches.
Also in stores: Joan Armatrading, “This Charming Life”; Erykah Badu, “New Amerykah, Part II: Return of the Ankh”; Barenaked Ladies, “All in Good Time”; Black Francis, “NonStopErotik”; Ferry Corsten, “Once Upon a Night”; Holly Golighty & the Brokeoffs, “Medicine County”; Alan Jackson, “Freight Train”; Joe Rogan, “Talking Monkeys in Space”; Seabear, “We Built a Fire”; Seasick Steve, “Man From Another Time”; and Turin Brakes, “Outbursts.”
“Silver Borne” by Patricia Briggs: The latest installment in this urban fantasy series finds shapeshifter Mercy Thompson with her hands full.
Mercy, after trying to return a powerful Fae book, discovers the tome she borrowed contains secret knowledge that the Fae will do anything to keep under wraps, ultimately putting Mercy and her friends in danger.
Author Ian McEwan also has a book expected out this week. “Solar” centers around Nobel Prize-winning physicist Michael Beard, whose career is stagnant and marriage is crumbling. But as his professional and personal lives unexpectedly intersect, Michael has a chance to turn things around — and possibly save the world from environmental disaster.
Also hitting shelves: “Beautiful Assassin” by Michael C. White; “Deception” by Jonathan Kellerman; “Fireworks over Toccoa” by Jeffrey Stepakoff; “Giada at Home: Family Recipes from Italy and California” by Giada De Laurentiis; “Hungry Girl 1-2-3: The Easiest, Most Delicious, Guilt-Free Recipes on the Planet” by Lisa Lillien; “I Am Not A Serial Killer” by Dan A. Wells; “Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working Mom” by Kristin Van Ogtrop; “Little Nuggets of Wisdom: Big Advice from the Small Star of Chelsea Lately” by Chuy Bravo; “Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts” by Martha Stewart Living Magazine; “Pearl of China” by Anchee Min; “The 10 Laws of Enduring Success” by Maria Bartiromo; “31 Bond Street: A Novel” by Ellen Horan; “What’s New, Cupcake?: Ingeniously Simple Designs for Every Occasion” by Karen Tack; “Whiter Than Snow” by Sandra Dallas; and “Without Mercy” by Lisa Jackson.