Week in DVDs 9-28-10

Check out this week's crop of DVDs, Blu-rays, and collector's edition ultimate mega sets.
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Check out this week's crop of DVDs, Blu-rays, and collector's edition ultimate mega sets.

Since we know time is money, here's a quick handy reference guide to recent DVD releases that should be on your radar and, in many cases, on your shelf. Immediately.

Iron Man 2 (Blu-ray)

Release Date: September 28

What it is: The sequel to one of the best and most successful superhero movies not called Dark Knight, Iron Man 2 does the usual sequel trick of throwing in kitchen sinks clogged with cameos, but still manages to be fun, funny, and action-packed. And despite some stiff competition from an underrated Sam Rockwell, it remains Robert Downey Jr's show.

Why you need it: Director Jon Favreau fully embraces fan scrutiny (you don't see Sam Raimi posting behind the scenes pictures on Twitter during filming, do you?) and he makes sure this Blu-ray, like the first one, is fully loaded. Want to find out about, say, the Ironette Dancing Girls? Oh, they're covered. And it's rare that we'd go out of our way to emphasize the way a movie sounds, but if you still think the whole notion of Blu-ray/superior surround sound is a lot of hokum, you need to check this out. The rumbles and explosions are seat-rocking, but never at the expense of the movie's true strength¿the rapid-fire dialogue. A blast of a movie, tons of extras, and a better-than-a-movie-theater soundtrack? Yeah, Iron Man 2 is beyond "must have."

Get Him to the Greek (Blu-ray)

Release Date: September 28

What it is: A spin-off of the marginally successful (but generally really funny) Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek follows the exploits of British rocker and former Sarah Marshall paramour Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) as he attempts to revive his career despite falling hard off the wagon.

Why you need it: Usually, taking a bit character and making a whole movie about him is a disaster (The Rise of Taj anyone? Of course not) but Greek just barely manages to pull it off. But, surprisingly, most of the credit goes to co-star Jonah Hill and not Brand. He tones down his usual fat loudmouth shtick and actually makes for a charming and sympathetic hero while Brand, essentially, plays Brand. Again. The movie cooks along at a good pace and features lots of gorgeous eye candy (take a bow, Rose Byrne), so it's a solid recommendation. For extras, check out the Gag Reel to see how Hill responds to an on-set earthquake (hint: not well).

Astonishing X-Men: Gifted

Release Date: September 28

What it is: It's not an "animated film" and it's not a "comic book." So what is it? It's a "motion comic." What that means is that, essentially, the actual panel art and dialogue from the first arc of Astonishing X-Men (written by fanboy icon Joss Whedon and drawn by John Cassaday) are voice-acted and given limited movement.

Why you need it: Granted, this whole concept of a motion comic sounds dodgy from the get-go, but given the chance, this is a decent presentation for not only one of the best X-Men stories ever, but also one of the most cinematic (it's no surprise then that Brett Ratner clumsily cannibalized chunks of it for X-Men: The Last Stand). Of course, we don't recommend firing Gifted up on your big screen TV, because this is almost tailor-made for portable viewing. Comic books - iPad notwithstanding - are clumsy to read on portable devices, so this middle ground between comic and movie fits perfectly. The disc comes with some bonus content on the animation process (headed up by longtime Batman artist Neal Adams, FYI) but the main selling point is the story. We don't think you'll be disappointed. A super-geek writer paired with, hands down, one of the best artists in the business? Easy to see how this went right.