“Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” (PG-13): In ancient Arabian-nights territory, the rascally title character (Jake Gyllenhaal) and a rival princess (Bond girl Gemma Arterton) run for their lives, hoping to keep a magical dagger from falling into villainous hands. Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina co-star in this lumbering, video game-inspired adventure.
Back in 21st-century territory, “Letters to Juliet” (PG) follows an American tourist (Amanda Seyfried) to Verona, Italy, where she finds a 50-year-old letter — and writes a reply to the once-lovelorn correspondent (Vanessa Redgrave), who arrives, accompanied by her skeptical grandson (Christopher Egan), to search for her long-lost flame. Also in the realm of romance, a physical therapist (Queen Latifah) falls for the NBA superstar (hip-hop star Common) she’s helping recover from a career-threatening injury in “Just Wright” (PG). And in “Princess Kaiulani” (PG), the title Hawaiian (“The Lost World’s” Q’orianka Kilcher) returns from exile in Victorian England to fight for her homeland’s future. Barry Pepper and Will Patton play U.S. boosters in this 19th-century historical drama; Shaun Evans co-stars as the princess’s British beau.
Turning to titles that never played local theaters, art-house heroes David Lynch (who produces) and Werner Herzog (who directs) team up for “My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done” (R), inspired by the true-crime tale of a young actor who, obsessed with the Greek tragedy he’s rehearsing, slays his own mother with a sword. Michael Shannon, Chloe Sevigny, Willem Dafoe and Brad Dourif lead the cast. And the British art scene provides a satirical target for “Boogie Woogie” (not rated), featuring Gillian Anderson, Heather Graham, Alan Cumming, Danny Huston and Christopher Lee. On the documentary front, “Casino Jack and the United States of Money” (R), from Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney (“Taxi to the Dark Side”) chronicles the rise and fall of super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff from Republican operative to imprisoned pariah.
On the oldies-but-goodies front, Gilbert and Sullivan’s delightful “Pirates of Penzance” (G) finally swashbuckles onto DVD, with Kevin Kline, Linda Ronstadt and Rex Smith re-creating their acclaimed Broadway performances — and Angela Lansbury joining the madcap musical fun. Among a slew of Blu-ray Disc debuts: the animated “Monster House” (PG), “Se7en” (R), “Return of the Living Dead” (R), the 1978 version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (PG), “Jacob’s Ladder” (R), “Delicatessen” (R) and Laurel and Hardy’s “March of the Wooden Soldiers” (not rated).
Tuning in to TV transfers (all unrated unless otherwise noted), “The Twilight Zone: Season One” makes its Blu-Ray debut. The fact-based TV-movie “Amish Grace” (PG) focuses on the 2006 shooting at an Amish school in Pennsylvania — and its unexpected aftermath; Kimberly Williams-Paisley leads the cast. And Cybill Shepherd plays the title role of a divorcee heading back to college in “Mrs. Washington Goes to Smith” (not rated). Series arriving on DVD today include: “America: The Story of Us,” “The Good Wife: The First Season,” “Glee: The Complete First Season,” “The League: The Complete First Season,” “Fringe: The Complete Second Season,” “The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Third Season,” “Private Practice: Complete Third Season,” “Rules of Engagement: The Complete Third Season,” “Lark Rise to Candleford: Season Three,” “Leave it to Beaver: Season Four,” “Designing Women: The Complete Fourth Season,” “Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job: Season Four,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season Five” and “Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Sixth Season.”
Weezer, “Hurley”: Weezer get “Lost” on their latest disc, “Hurley,” which is named after the supersized character from the cult TV show, who is also featured on the album’s cover.
Nevertheless, the CD has nothing else to do with the show, instead, it’s much less of a mystery: more scruffy, hook-happy power pop with choruses as big as the album’s namesake.
Also in stores: Accept, “Blood of Nations”; Trey Anastasio Band, “TAB at the Tab”; The Black Angels, “Phosphene Dream”; Michelle Branch, “Everything Comes and Goes”; Chrome, “Business Casual”; Brandon Flowers, “Flamingo”; James, “The Morning After the Night Before”; Jamey Johnson, “The Guitar Song”; Linkin Park, “A Thousand Suns”; Of Montreal, “False Priest”; Robert Plant, “Band of Joy”; Trey Songz, “Passion, Pain & Pleasure”; Underworld, "Barking”; and Armin Van Buuren, “Mirage.”
“Safe Haven” by Nicholas Sparks: Beautiful Katie tries to escape her past by moving to a small North Carolina town, but as she’s reluctantly drawn into relationships, she must balance the safety gained from keeping secrets with the risks of allowing herself to love.
On the paranormal fiction front, fans of Janet Evanovich will find some familiar characters in her new series which begins with “Wicked Appetite,” featuring Diesel and Lizzie and their race to find the seven stones representing the deadly sins.
Also hitting shelves this week: “The Berlin-Baghdad Express: The Ottoman Empire and Germany’s Bid for World Power, 1898 to 1918” by Sean McMeekin; “Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom” by Mary Bateson; “Fallout” by Ellen Hopkins; “Forever Young: The Science of Nutrigenomics for Glowing, Wrinkle-Free Skin and Radiant Health at Every Age” by Nicholas Perricone; “Her Daughter’s Dream” by Francine Rivers; “The House of Dead Maids” by Clare B. Dunkle; “Jimmy Carter: The 39th President, 1977-1981” by Julian Zelizer, Arthur Schlesinger and Sean Wilentz; “The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption” by Jim Gorant; “My Lost Daughter” by Nancy Rosenberg; “Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make A Difference” by Max Lucado; “Patti LuPone: A Memoir” by Patti LuPone; “Pinheads and Patriots: Where You Stand in the Age of Obama” by Bill O’Reilly; “Power Thoughts: 12 Strategies to Win the Battle of the Mind” by Joyce Meyer; “Reckless” by Cornelia Funke; “Rot & Ruin” by Jonathan Maberry; “A Secret Kept” by Tatiana de Rosnay; “Some Sing, Some Cry” by Ntozake Shange and Ifa Bayeza; “The Wake of the Lorelei Lee: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, on Her Way to Botany Bay” by Louis Meyer; “Warlord” by Ted Bell; and “The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean” by Susan Casey.