This Week in DVDs November 23 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.

The Expendables (Blu-ray)

Release Date: November 23

What it is:Grumpy Old Commandos. Sylvester Stallone wrote and directed this homage to, well, basically his own career and has assembled a Hall of Fame of action heroes to join him including Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, and Mickey Rourke. The plot involves someone doing something they need to be shot for doing, and these are just the guys to do it. So they do.

Why you need it: For sheer novelty value alone, Expendables is (rightfully) pretty high on your DVD/Blu-ray radar. We’d just caution you against building it up too much. Sure, there’s a some fun to be had, it’s just a shame that the thought process behind the movie seems to have begun and ending with the casting. Stallone has gathered a bunch of great people, but hasn’t really written them any characters to play or give a crap about, and the action they half-assedly engage in is mostly plodding and oddly (and distractingly) CGI-enhanced. You couldn’t afford squibs, Sly? And the 2-second Willis/Schwarzenegger cameo comes across terribly forced – especially when Arnold limps in looking all of his 60-plus years pretending he’s still up for missions in the jungle. Funny, but not intentionally so.

I’m Still Here (Blu-ray)

Release Date: November 23

What it is: Remember when Joaquin Phoenix grew a Grizzly Adams beard and went on a cross-country douche-a-thon appearing on talk shows and press events and car shows and bar mitzvahs and state fairs to explain how desperately he wanted to be left alone? Well, here’s the movie about it.

Why you need it: Like Borat made by Hollywood tools, I’m Still Here hopes you go in thinking it’s 100% real only to discover afterwards that – shocker – it was all a stunt! The only problem is, everyone guessed this was a stunt a year ago when they started. Director Casey Affleck and Phoenix think they’re Andy Kaufman, but they’re barely Andy Samberg. Here’s hoping Phoenix officially goes away this time.

The Disappearance Of Alice Creed (Blu-ray)

Release Date: November 23

What it is: Two small time crooks kidnap an heiress in the hopes of wringing cash out of her wealthy father. With the trio locked in a claustrophobic apartment, things unravel quickly.

Why you need it: This under-the-radar British import is a surprisingly taut, surprisingly thriller. With the gorgeous Gemma Arterton as the titular Alice and character actors Eddie Marsan and Martin Compston (you’ll recognize Marsan from Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes) all giving superb performances, this is often tough watching but worth it if you’re in the mood for some serious tension. The Blu-ray features some customary special features including a commentary, deleted scenes, and a gag reel that proves that even violent sequences can erupt into giggles. A solid watch.