This week's DVD releases include some popular crime-fighting teams.
"The Avengers": Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and the rest of the gang come together to fight Loki and an alien invasion. Chris Hemsworth and Jeremy Renner star.
The real hero of "The Avengers" is not Iron Man, Thor or even Nick Fury. It's Joss Whedon. The film's director managed to pull off the Herculean task of blending four huge Marvel Comics film franchises to give each time to shine individually and as a group.
He even found time to toss in some of the trademark humor that made Whedon a king of the geeks with his "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" series. There's not a wasted frame.
"American Horror Story: The Complete First Season": The creative team behind "Nip/Tuck" and "Glee" have taken aim at reinventing the family dramas with "American Horror Story." The FX series slips between sadomasochism and the supernatural to examine the horrors of everyday life from adultery to a weak economy.
It all starts with a creepy house where Vivien (Connie Britton) and Ben (Dylan McDermott) Harmon are trying to start a new life with their teenage daughter, Violet (Taissa Farmiga). The house comes with spooky neighbor (Jessica Lange), scarred naysayer (Denis O'Hare) and a mysterious housekeeper (Frances Conroy and Alexandra Breckenridge) who appears either old or young depending on who is doing the viewing.
The show is terrifying and addictive.
If all that good writing and acting isn't reason enough to make you want to own the entire series, it's also a special tribute. The series Leary and Peter Tolan created three years after 9/11 was meant as a continuing memorial to the 343 firefighters who died in New York the day of the terrorist attack. It's a reminder that firefighters run into burning buildings when everyone else is running out.
Also out this week
Oct. 2: "Dark Shadows," "People Like Us."
Oct. 9: "The Raven," That's My Boy."
Oct. 16: "Moonrise Kingdom," "That's My Boy."
Oct 23: "Savages: Unrated Edition," "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter."
Nov. 13: "Brave."
Nov. 30: "Men in Black 3."