Johnny Depp is mad as a Hatter while things get hairy for Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins.
Alice in Wonderland: Whenever director Tim Burton calls on main man Johnny Depp, box office magic happens. Here Depp plays the Mad Hatter in this fantastical interpretation of Lewis Carroll’s classic novels that features Alice (Mia Wasikowska) as a young woman who runs away from her engagement party and falls down the rabbit hole to Underworld. An empowering story for young women, Alice in Wonderland is filled with weird and wonderful characters like the bulbous-headed Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter), the Cheshire Cat, Caterpillar and White Queen (Anne Hathaway). The movie is a surreal visual feast that bears Burton’s signature style. Extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray have three making-of featurettes, but the BD has additional exclusives, including “The Futterwacken Dance,” featurettes on the two queens, “Scoring Wonderland,” “Cakes of Wonderland” and more. Blu-ray Bob’s Verdict: Buy Me
The Wolfman: In this remake of 1941’s The Wolf Man Benicio Del Toro plays Lawrence Talbot, a theater actor who returns to his father’s (Anthony Hopkins) vast estate after his brother’s murder by a savage beast. When Talbot goes hunting for the monster and survives an attack by it, he soon discovers that the curse of the werewolf has affected his family in more ways than he imagined. This troubled and much-delayed movie isn’t destined to become a classic like its forbearer, but it is still a handsome and eerie production with some ghastly gore effects for lycanthrope lovers. Extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain deleted and extended scenes, but the BD also has alternative endings and several behind-the-scenes featurettes. The best BD bonus is the ability to stream the original The Wolf Man starring Lon Chaney Jr. right through your Blu-ray player if you have BD Live connectivity. Blu-ray Bob’s Verdict: Rent Me
Life: The awe-inspiring Planet Earth series is the Holy Grail of natural history series and its follow-up, Life, is perhaps even more impressive. This 11-part BBC/Discovery Channel series that took four years to produce is narrated by Oprah Winfrey and features astonishing footage of the world’s creatures that will have you wondering, how on earth did they film that? From a pack of Komodo dragons on the hunt for buffalo to the mating dance of humpback whales, 54 of the 130 stories have never been filmed before. If you’re looking for demo material to show off your big-screen TV, it really doesn’t get more beautiful than this. Extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray have deleted scenes and “Life on Location,” a collection of 10 video diaries that chronicles the efforts of the filmmaking team. Blu-ray Bob’s Verdict: Buy Me
Wild Things: Foursome: This latest straight-to-video sequel to 1998’s trashtastic Wild Things piles on more hardbodies for leading man Ashley Parker Angel, who plays Carson, the son of a murdered hotel magnate. As a detective (John Schneider) digs deeper into his death, Carson gets caught up in a lot of double-crossing, scheming and seduction that culminates in a raunchy romp with three women. If your movie night simply calls for sex and boozing instead of story, this Foursome provides the requisite flesh for fantasy. Extras: Neither the unrated DVD nor the Blu-ray have any special features. Blu-ray Bob’s Verdict: Rent Me (if you’re planning one of those nights)
Also New This Week: The Stranger, Undisputed III: Redemption, Rescue Me: Complete Fifth Season, The Red Baron and The Cleaner: The Final Season