A true classic and a botched classic mark the Oct. 18 releases.
“Downton Abbey: The Complete Limited Edition Collector’s Set” Grade ☆☆☆☆: One of the finest examples of television production is superb, from the cast led by Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery and Maggie Smith to the incredible writing. This is a must-own set.
The lives, loves and losses of the inhabitants of Downton Abbey unfold in 52 episodes. When it debuted on PBS, it became the highest-rated drama on the channel.
“Downton Abbey: The Complete Collection” will be available on DVD and Blu-ray. Suggested retail price is $129.99 for DVDs and $149.99 for the Blu-ray version.
Also included in the special edition is a working “Downton Abbey” pull-bell and six cork-based coasters.
Alice Through the Looking Glass” Grade ☆1/2: The sequel to the 2010 release “Alice in Wonderland” should have been called “Alice in Blunder Land.” From a complete disregard of Lewis Carroll’s book to a convoluted tale of time travel, the sequel falls apart faster than Humpty Dumpty on a trampoline.
The action picks up three years after Alice’s (Mia Wasikowska) previous trip to Wonderland. Her life as the captain of her father’s ship (the most unbelievable part of a movie where anything is supposed to be possible) is threatened. That problem is put aside while she returns to Wonderland to find The Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) fading away from grief.
Hatter believes his family is still alive, despite reports they were killed years ago. Alice heads back through time to save Hatter’s family from a dragon fire death. It’s a race against Time (Sacha Baron Cohen) to complete the mission.
The sequel faces many of the same problems as the original film, plus some new stumbles of its own.
Also new on DVD Oct. 18
▪ “Independence Day Resurgence”: Aliens take another shot at Earth.
▪ “75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor”: Two-disc set includes archival footage and interviews.
▪ “Cafe Society”: Bronx native finds love in Hollywood.
▪ “Royal Wives of War”: Elizabeth the Queen Mother (Emma Davies) and Wallis Simpson (Gina McKee) are featured in dramatized monologues set in 1967.
▪ “Our Kind of Traitor”: Chance meeting with a member of the mob puts a couple in danger.
▪ “Art 21: Art in the 21st Century: Season 8”: Examination of current top artists.
▪ “Guilt: Season 1”: American exchange student’s roommate is murdered in their London apartment.
▪ “Child’s Play”: Horror film being re-released in a two-disc collector’s edition.
▪ “Doctor Thorne”: Arranged marriage plans get complicated.
▪ “Peppa Pig: Sun, Sea & Snow”: Peppa and her little brother, George, head to the beach.
▪ “The King of Pigs”: Animated tale of murder and revenge.
▪ “Hee Haw: Salute!”: Includes three episodes of the comedy variety program hosted by Roy Clark and Buck Owens.
▪ “The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection”: Includes “The Cocoanuts,” “Animal Crackers,” “Monkey Business,” “Horse Feathers” and “Duck Soup.”
▪ “Morphine: Journey of Dreams”: Documentary on the Boston-born band who made it big on the music scene in the 1990s.
▪ “Jack the Ripper”: Young writers come face-to-face with the murderer.
▪ “What We Become”: Family copes with the collapse of civilization.
▪ “The Fake”: Beloved shepherd forced to work for unscrupulous elder.
▪ “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”: Remixed telling of two warriors who must deal with the 400-year old Green Destiny sword being stolen.