Release recap for Sept 21st, 2010

CASTLE: The Complete Second Season (2009-10) Stana Katic, Nathan Fillion, Seamus Dever, Jon Huertas, Tamala Jones. $45.99. Extras: “On Set With Seamus & Jon,” “On Location With Nathan,” “Manhattan’s Most Unusual Murders,” deleted scenes, “Misdemeanors: Bloopers & Outtakes.” (Disney).

TV’s most engaging and unlikely crime-solving duo is back in the spectacular second season of ABC’s Castle. The banter flies faster than the bullets in this unique series, loaded with drama, romance, and laughs.

Best-selling mystery novelist Rick Castle’s unique approach to crime solving may have won over Detective Kate Beckett, but after crossing her, Castle is going to have to do his best work to get her back on his side. Relive all your cases in this 5-disc set. Packed with never-before-seen bonus features, including inside secrets from the set, this collection is a must-have for every Castle fan.

CHARADE: The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray) (1963) Cary Grant,Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau, James Coburn, George Kennedy $39.95 Extras: Restored high-definition digital transfer, Audio Commentary featuring Stanley Donen and Peter Stone, Original theatrical trailer, booklet featuring an essay by film historian Bruce Eder (Criterion)

In this deliciously dark comedic thriller, a trio of crooks relentlessly pursue a young American, played by Audrey Hepburn (Roman Holiday, Breakfast at Tiffany’s), outfitted in gorgeous Givenchy, through Paris in an attempt to recover the fortune her dead husband stole from them. The only person she can trust is a suave, mysterious stranger, played by Cary Grant (Bringing up Baby, North by Northwest). Director Stanley Donen (On the Town, Singin’ in the Rain, Two for the Road) goes splendidly Hitchcockian for CHARADE, a glittering emblem of sixties style and macabre wit.

THE EXPERIMENT (2010) Adrien Brody, Forest Whitaker, Clifton Collins Jr., Cam Gigandet, Maggie Grace. DVD: $24.96, Blu-ray: $39.95 (Sony).

Oscar winners Adrien Brody (Best Actor, The Piano, 2002) and Forest Whitaker (Best Actor, The Last King of Scotland, 2006) star in this mind-shattering psychological thriller from the creator of TV’s Prison Break. Selected to participate in a two-week research project, a group of men agree to play inmates and guards in a simulation of life within a state prison. But as the 24 volunteers slip deeper into their roles, power corrupts, fears escalate and the experiment spins horribly out of control. Cam Gigandet (Twilight), Clifton Collins Jr. (Crank: High Voltage) and Maggie Grace (TV’s Lost) co-star in this intensely shocking film.

HUMAN TARGET: The Complete First Season (2010) Mark Valley, Chi McBride, Jackie Earle Haley $39.98. Extras: Two featurettes, gag reel, commentary. $39.98. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Warner).

This is the thinking of Christopher Chance, a mysterious security agent for hire who assumes different identities, at times literally becoming a human target on behalf of his clients. Using the popular DC Comics title as a springboard for riveting and intelligent action and adventure, Human Target provides a thrill ride with no clear boundaries. Resourceful, driven and compelled by a force known only to him, this take-charge antihero will barter his services for an aged bottle of scotch, much to the chagrin of his shadowy associates. If someone is threatened or a life is in danger…leave it to Chance.

THE MENTALIST: The Complete Second Season (2009-10) Simon Baker, Robin Tunney $59.98. Extras: “Art of a Mentalist,” “Mentalism — A Subliminal Art” (11 pods with cast and producer), deleted scenes. (Warner).

California Bureau of Investigation consultant Patrick Jane (Simon Baker in his Emmy-nominated role) has a blatant lack of protocol but is self-assured and driven. The former “psychic” uses his talent for seeing the clues everyone else misses to solve the most baffling crimes. But there’s more than crime that makes this season a must-see: Lisbon and Cho reveal hints about their troubled pasts. Violence fells one CBI boss, and the new boss seems more interested in authority than teamwork. And as the Van Pelt-Rigsby relationship heats up, it threatens to cool down their careers. Match wits with the hit series that balances nimble humor with dark thrills.

MODERN FAMILY: The Complete First Season (2009-10)Ed O’Neill, Julie Bowen, Sofia Vergara, Ty Burrell. DVD: $49.98, Blu-ray: $69.99 Extras: Cast interviews; behind-the-scenes featurettes (“Real Modern Family Moments,” “Before Modern Family,” “Fizbo the Clown,” “Modern Family: Making of Family Portrait,” “Modern Family Hawaii”); deleted, extended and alternate scenes; deleted family interviews; gag reel Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Fox).

Come join the family for the hilarious and critically acclaimed breakout hit of the year! Featuring an all-star cast led by Ed O’Neill, Sofia Vargara, Julie Bowen, and Ty Burrell, Modern Family takes a refreshing and funny view of what it means to raise a family in this hectic day and age. Multi-cultural relationships, adoption, and same-sex marriage are just a few of the timely issues faced by the show’s three wildly-diverse broods. No matter the size or shape, family always comes first in this hilariously “modern” look at life, love, and laughter.

SPARTICUS: BLOOD AND SAND – The Complete First Season (2010) Actors: Andy Whitfield, John Hannah, Lucy Lawless, Manu Bennett, Rob Tappart DVD: $59.97, Blu-ray: $79.97 Extras: Featurettes, commentaries, behind-the-scenes footage, bloopers. Also available on Blu-ray Disc, which adds four “Directors’ Cut Extended Episodes” selected by executive producer Rob Tapert. (Anchor Bay).

Betrayed by the Romans. Forced into slavery. Reborn as a Gladiator. The classic tale of the Republic’s most infamous rebel comes alive in the graphic and visceral new series, Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Torn from his homeland and the woman he loves, Spartacus is condemned to the brutal world of the arena where blood and death are primetime entertainment. But not all battles are fought upon the sands. Treachery, corruption, and the allure of sensual pleasures will constantly test Spartacus. To survive, he must become more than a man. More than a gladiator. He must become a legend.