New DVD: ‘Alice Through the Look­ing Glass’

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Amy Longs­dorf

From Tim Bur­ton’s lat­est to ‘The Marx Broth­ers’ col­lec­tion, we tell you what’s new and good on DVD.

With­out Tim Bur­ton be­hind the cam­era, “Alice Through The Look­ing Glass” (2016, Dis­ney, PG, $30) is a fran­tic mess, with too many characters and too much eye candy.

As in “Alice In Won­der­land,” Mia Wasikowska stars as the ti­tle char­ac­ter. This time around, Alice is a ship’s cap­tain who sails to Eng­land to visit her former fi­ancé, only to wind up back in Won­der­land where the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) needs some cheer­ing up.

Even though all of the cast mem­bers reprise their roles, in­clud­ing Anne Hath­away and He­lena Bon­ham Carter, the se­quel doesn’t jazz you with the thrill of dis­cov­ery like the orig­i­nal did. It’s no won­der­land. Ex­tras: deleted scenes, fea­turettes, mu­sic videos and com­men­tary by di­rec­tor James Bobin.

Also New To DVD

Blood Fa­ther: Af­ter his daugh­ter (Erin Mo­ri­arty) runs afoul of a drug car­tel, an ex-con (Mel Gib­son) springs into ac­tion, us­ing old con­tacts to try to stay one step ahead of the law and the bad guys. While this is purely a genre ex­er­cise for Gib­son, there’s a dark po­etry to his per­for­mance as a trailer-park-dwelling loner strug­gling to put booze and per­sonal demons be­hind him. It also helps that film­maker Jean-Fran­cois Richet (“Mes­rine”) knows how to give the ac­tion scenes plenty of pow. On Ama­zon, iTunes, Google, Vudu

Café So­ci­ety (2016, Lion­s­gate, PG-13, $20): Woody Allen re­turns to form with a poignant and lovely-to-lookat charmer about a young man named Bobby (Jesse Eisen­berg) who heads to Hol­ly­wood in the 1930s to work for his agent-un­cle Phil (Steve Carell). Bobby even­tu­ally winds up fall­ing in love with his un­cle’s sec­re­tary (Kris­ten Ste­wart) but there are com­pli­ca­tions. Stung by the ro­mance, Bobby re­turns to New York where he finds suc­cess in his gang­ster-brother’s (Corey Stoll) em­ploy. Thanks to a bit­ter­sweet third act, the movie beau­ti­fully il­lus­trates the adage, “be care­ful what you wish for.” “Café So­ci­ety” isn’t per­fect but it con­tains plenty of res­o­nant thoughts about love, suc­cess and dashed dreams. Ex­tras: fea­turettes.

The Marx Broth­ers: Sil­ver Screen Col­lec­tion (1929-1933, Uni­ver­sal,

G, $60): A quar­tet of the Marx Broth­ers’ early clas­sics — “The Co­coanuts,” “An­i­mal Crack­ers,” “Mon­key Busi­ness,” “Horse Feath­ers” and “Duck Soup” — ar­rive in newly re­mas­tered edi­tions. Ex­pect to hear Grou­cho singing “Hooray For Cap­tain Spauld­ing,” the broth­ers pre­tend­ing to be Mau­rice Che­va­lier; and Harpo and Grou­cho’s per­form­ing their much-im­i­tated mir­ror rou­tine. This Blu-ray set makes it of­fi­cial: no one de­liv­ers as much in­spired lu­nacy as this zany four­some. Ex­tras: five com­men­taries, fea­turettes and fea­ture-length doc. Nine To Five (1980, Twi­light Time, PG-13, $30): Leave it to Jane Fonda to pro­duce a so­cially con­scious com­edy about in­equal­ity in the work­place. Fonda, Lily Tom­lin and Dolly Par­ton star as three dis­grun­tled em­ploy­ees who de­cide to take their sex­ist boss (Dab­ney Cole­man) hostage. While he’s tied up, they trans­form their of­fice into a busi­ness that’s not only kindler and gen­tler but also more ef­fi­cient. Thanks to the ac­tress’s re­mark­able chem­istry and the end­less stream of zingers, the new-to-Blu-ray “Nine To Five” is as much fun to­day as when it first re­leased. Ex­tras: fea­turettes and com­men­taries by Fonda, Tom­lin and Par­ton as well as film his­to­ri­ans and scripter Pa­tri­cia Res­nick.

Once Were War­riors (1994, Film Move­ment, R, $40): Set in Auck­land, New Zealand among the na­tive Maori, this hard-hit­ting drama, now on Blu-ray, piv­ots on a man (Te­muera Mor­ri­son) whose drunken out­bursts are get­ting harder and harder for his wife Beth (Rena Owen) to man­age. Sadly, Beth’s de­vo­tion to her hus­band blinds her to the toll the vi­o­lence is tak­ing on her kids. Fea­tur­ing scald­ing per­for­mances from the cast mem­bers, par­tic­u­larly Owen, “Once” is about a wo­man fac­ing the truth about her sit­u­a­tion. You’ll never for­get it. Ex­tras: fea­turette.

Leg­end Of The Lost (1957, Olive, un­rated, $25): Re­leased just a year af­ter “The Searchers,” this Sa­ha­ran desert ad­ven­ture catches John Wayne at his hard-boiled best. The plot isn’t much but the gor­geous widescreen cin­e­matog­ra­phy by Jack Cardiff (“The Red Shoes”) and the ten­sion be­tween the trio of characters keeps you watch­ing. Wayne stars as a griz­zled guide who agrees to help a trea­sure hunter (Ros­sano Brazzi) and a pros­ti­tute (Sophia Loren) find hid­den ru­ins in the mid­dle of the desert. Filmed on lo­ca­tion in Libya and show­cas­ing the lost city of Lep­tis Magna, “Leg­end” proves that Wayne and Loren are worth fol­low­ing any­where. Ex­tras: none.

The Night Of (2016, HBO, un­rated, $50): Based on the BBC se­ries “Crim­i­nal Jus­tice,” this HBO hit un­rav­els the story of a nerdy Pak­istani-Amer­i­can col­lege stu­dent named Naz (Riz Ahmed) who awak­ens to

dis­cover that his one-night­stand (Clifton’s Sofia Black D’Elia) has been knifed to death. The sup­port­ing cast is aces: John Tur­turro as the at­tor­ney who signs up to rep­re­sent Naz; Bill Camp as the de­tec­tive as­signed to the case; and es­pe­cially the scene-steal­ing Jean­nie Ber­lin as the lead prose­cu­tor. Ach­ingly re­al­is­tic, “The Night Of” is nearly as stun­ning a look at crime and pun­ish­ment in Amer­ica as “The Wire” and “The So­pra­nos.” Un­miss­able. Ex­tras: none. Mike & Molly: The Sixth and Fi­nal Sea­son (2016, Warner, un­rated, $25): Dur­ing the show’s fi­nal 13 episodes, the cast mem­bers con­tinue to shine, es­pe­cially Melissa McCarthy and Billy Gardell whose part­ner­ship still passes the chem­istry test. Fit­ness de­vices, heart at­tacks, stolen wal­lets and stray dogs are fod­der for funny busi­ness this sea­son. And the fi­nale, largely set in the hos­pi­tal where Mike and Molly are hoping to adopt a baby, is a sweet-hearted farewell to one of the TV’s most like­able cou­ples. Ex­tras: gag reel.


Sacha Baron Co­hen is Time in Dis­ney’s “Alice Through The Look­ing Glass.”

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