This Week in DVDs: November 2, 2010

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.

Centurion (Blu-ray)

Release Date: November 2

What it is: The story of Rome’s legendary Ninth Legion, who ventured into the unsettled wilderness beyond the empire’s borders to get revenge on a clan of savage Picts after a raid on a Roman outpost and – historical spoiler – disappear.

Why you need it: Part historical epic, part small-band-on-the-run-for-their-lives adventure a la The Warriors, Centurion is a thoroughly satisfying actioner. Directed by Neil Marshall (Doomsday, The Descent) and starring a strong British cast (Inglorious Basterd Michael Fassbender, The Wire‘s Dominic West, Quantum of Solace‘s Olga Kurylenko), it doesn’t let little things like historical accuracy and strong dialogue get in the way of its blood-soaked fun, and that’s OK. Not every movie has to be Gladiator. Need proof, check out the names of some of the disc’s featurettes: “Getting Down and Dirty,” “Guts and Gore,” and “Fireballs, Stunts, and Mayhem.” Unleash Hell, indeed.

The Goonies: 25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray)

Release Date: November 2

What it is: One of the greatest kids’ movies ever made, hands-down. When some wealthy land developers threaten their homes, a gang of kids (Sean Astin, Ke Huy Quan, Corey Feldman, Jeff Cohen, Josh Brolin, Kerri Green, and Martha Plimpton) battle booby-trapped caverns, small time hoods, and giant muscle-bound freaks to save the day.

Why you need it: Although you’d expect The Goonies to arrive on Blu-ray with a ton of fanfare, and it does, the goodies are mostly of the collectible variety. With the exception of the “Video Treasures” viewing mode (which seamlessly weaves in the video cast commentary as you watch the movie), most of the special features on this disc are recycled from the DVD. However, you are getting a reprint of the Empire magazine Goonies reunion special, a sized-down reprint of the official Goonies collectible magazine, and a board game. Normally, we’d be hard-pressed to make a double-dip just for some swag, but we’re making an exception here. The extra stuff is fun, and the Blu-ray transfer is gorgeous.

Toy Story 3 (Blu-ray)

Release Date: November 2

What it is: They took their time, but Pixar finally got around to revisiting the franchise that put them on the map. Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and the rest return for one final adventure, and the results are spectacular (as if “Pixar” didn’t already tell you that).

Why you need it: You can’t have 1 and 2 on your shelf without rounding out the trilogy, could you? Luckily, Pixar continues its tradition of loading up on special features, which makes a purchase worthwhile. The TS3 disc gives you a peek inside every facet of production (as well as including the shorts that open their feature films¿in this case, “Day and Night”)¿and check out the Cine-Explore mode, which includes story boards, conceptual drawings and other material in the film commentary. Not just the best animated trilogy, ever but possibly one of the best movie trilogies period. If you can’t enjoy Toy Story, you are broken.