Sorry, What to Watch took a turkey day break as last week was really light on new product worth mentioning. This week? Pretty much the same but we don’t want you to miss us too badly. Here’s five recent Blu-ray, DVD, and streaming releases that may have caught your attention on new release shelves lately, ranked in the order we’d add them to our holiday wish list.
Alice in Wonderland
CHICAGO – The games have begun, and the box office numbers are ever in “The Hunger Games” favor. The new film, an adaptation of the first book in Suzanne Collins Hunger Games trilogy, set box office records all weekend, and has been estimated to earn $155 million at the box office when Sunday’s showings play themselves out. That total is good enough for number three all time at weed box offices, just behind “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” ($169.2 mil) and “The Dark Knight” ($158.4 mil).
CHICAGO – If you weren’t sure “The Hunger Games” was going to be as big as predicted, the news this morning may change your mind. Midnight showing totals for the new film are estimated to be $19.7 million. This record breaking number lands just above “The Dark Knight” at number seven in all-time midnight showing totals, and sits behind six other films with the words “Harry Potter” or “Twilight” in their titles.
CHICAGO – Film adaptations of classic literature are often lose-lose scenarios. The ardent admirers of the source often sour on what is left out, and the average filmgoer might wonder what the fuss is about when experiencing a truncated interpretation. There is obvious passion behind the latest adaptation of “Jane Eyre,” with performances that follow that lead.
CHICAGO – According to IMDB, there are over 20 film and TV versions of the Charlotte Bronte novel, “Jane Eyre.” Director Cary Fukunaga (”Sin Nombre”) and lead actress Mia Wasikowska (”Alice in Wonderland”) take on the latest remake of the literary legend.
CHICAGO – If you watched the Oscars on Sunday night and ran to your local Redbox or whatever you use to watch Blu-rays and DVDs in 2011, you may have been struck by a bit of a shock — none of the acting winners are currently available on Blu-ray and DVD. Get your calendar. We’ll let you know when to expect the 2011 Oscar winners.
CHICAGO – Last week, Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” notched a couple of Academy Award nominations. Do me a favor. Don’t allow your children to only know Johnny Depp’s portrayal of the Mad Hatter when it comes to Lewis Carroll’s timeless tale.
CHICAGO – “It really doesn’t matter which direction you go,” counsels one of Wonderland’s mischievous denizens at the onset of Alice’s most transmogrifying of journeys. For David Catlin, the cunningly innovative adaptor and director of Lookingglass Theatre’s take on Lewis Carroll’s treasured canon, it matters not whether the real Alice Liddell traveled upward, downward, backward or sideways on the famed rowing boat trip that would later bear her whimsical stories. At Lookingglass, adventure is the only direction worth taking.
CHICAGO – Most adolescent boys do away with their freshly-acquired Bar Mitzvah money before you can say “Haftorah”. But not David Schwimmer. Instead, the Lookingglass Theatre Company co-founder and “Friends” superstar mounted what was to become his theatre company’s most illustrious and withstanding production, “Lookingglass Alice”, based on the cherished novels of Lewis Carroll. The company’s Artistic Director David Catlin recently caught up with HollywoodChicago.com to discuss the adaptation and production process for Alice’s latest journey (now playing through August 1, 2010 at the Water Tower), and why this fourth trip down the rabbit hole just may be the best yet.
CHICAGO – In so many ways, Tim Burton’s entire career has been building to “Alice in Wonderland”. The mega-hit (it’s still the #1 film of the year at the domestic box office although will likely be passed, just barely, by “Iron Man 2”) contains so many of Burton’s themes of individuality through a fantasy film lens while it also came under criticism for displaying the shallow lack of dramatic weight of his recent output. With a lovely Disney Blu-ray release, it’s easy to see both sides of one of the most critically divisive films of the year to date.