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Two films mark this week as a major release date for the young and young at heart. Ponyo was supposed to have been on the shelves before Christmas, and then again in January, but each time they pushed the date back. Unfortunately I can’t read the official Studio Ghibli site, nor do I know which country it is telling us the DVD date is for. But Amazon seems to think it will come out Tuesday, so unless they pull another last-minute reschedule we may hopefully see it this time.

The award for best drama performance while wearing a rug-thick costume with built in animatronics goes to Where The Wild Things Are, the Spike Jonze implementation of the famous children’s book. This live-action film is designed for slightly older kids than the animated Ponyo, but both are wonderful stories that any adult can relate to.

Then there are two made-for-TV programs that you might think were for children, but they aren’t. The 1966 BBC program Alice in Wonderland was definitely built for adults, and even originally aired after 9PM. This masterpiece had such starts as Michael Redgrave, Peter Cook, Peter Sellers, and John Gielgud in it, and its release onto DVD is long overdue.

The other one goes by the shorter title Alice, and was on the Sci-Fi Channel in December. Also designed for adults from the same source material, this one stars Caterina Scorsone, Andrew Lee Potts, Matt Frewer, Tim Curry, Colm Meaney, Cathy Bates, and many others. I don’t think it is any great surprise both of these are hitting the shelves the same week that the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp version opens in Theaters. And that one also has some amazing actors, including Stephen Fry, Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter, and Anne Hathaway; one would think this story draws almost as many quality actors as Hamlet, a tale everyone wants to be in at least once.

For fans of disaster movies, 2012 does its best to kill off the entire planet, and you can’t get much more disastrous than that while we are all stuck in a single gravity well. While this one feels a bit more like a thrill ride than a movie, it is fun.

Speaking of fun, do not miss Gentlemen Broncos; while more a story about a Sci-Fi author than science fiction itself, this one is downright funny.

For classic TV, this time around it is Doctor Who: Dalek War, two John Pertwee era stories. Frontier in Space is grand space-opera told on a tiny budget, and features not only the Daleks but is also the last time we saw Roger Delgado as The Master. Planet of the Daleks may look like a Hartnell story, but it does have some original Dalek background information, plus after the photo layout I just have to grin any time I see Jo Grant with a Dalek.

Besides the previously mentioned Ponyo, there are several other anime titles this week. The Yozakura Quartet don’t play instruments, but are a mixed-blood (demon and human) demon fighting team; this boxed set is the complete collection. Season three of ARIA The Origination is also out, and the 13 episodes are packaged up with the OVA for extra value.

Eureka Seven: Good Night Sleep Tight Young Lovers was a re-imaging of sorts; they took all the same characters from the same world but changed the core premise of Eureka herself. That change to the character’s origin completely changed the dynamic of the plot line. Which means, even if you own the original TV series, you haven’t seen this story yet.

Kurokami The Animation Part 1 show a run time in the product description of 200 minutes, which tells me it is only the first 8 episodes of this 24 episode series. Since that would make the combined total for all three DVD releases somewhere around $90, I think I will watch it on Crunchyroll first and decide if it is worth that much cash, or if I should wait for a less expensive “Complete Series” release.

And I think I finally understand why they delayed Ponyo; because also on Tuesday there will be Special Editions of three other Studio Gibli classics; Castle in the Sky, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and My Neighbor Totoro. If you are missing any of these, now is the perfect time to add them to your collection.

Not really; there don’t seem to be any new genre films hitting the big screen this week, although Shutter Island could be interesting. So you might want to take this weekend and see one of the films that recently came out that you haven’t caught yet. I was planning to see Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, as I hadn’t dug out from the snow last weekend, and based on the trailer it looks like something you really want to see on the big screen.

With one of the longest titles of any film this month, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief looks to be very entertaining. The cast includes Pierce Brosnan and Uma Thurman, and the style looks very Harry Potterish. No real surprise there, as the movie is based on the first book in a series for YA Demi-Gods by Rick Riordan; I am sure they are hoping to tap the same youth market as the Potter films.

Also out this Friday, The Wolfman is a powerful remake of the original Universal movie, staring Anthony Hopkins and Benicio Del Toro. While it doesn’t look as Steampunk as either of the recent Sherlock Holmes releases, it does seem to lean in that direction.

This time around, Legion appears to be the action/adventure film of choice for the weekend. The Archangel Michael teams up with human misfits in an out-of-the-way diner to battle God’s Legions for the survival of mankind. The attack by the demonic grandmother alone is worth the price of admission.

On the MUCH lighter side, Dwayne Johnson stars in Tooth Fairy, along with Ashley Judd, Billy Crystal, and Julie Andrews. I am going to have to hit this one first, just because it looks like so much fun.

There are a few interesting movies coming to theaters this week, including one that was delayed some months while they reworked it: The Road. Another post-apocalyptic world is explored, but recent reviews are very mixed; a number of folks think it was better (truer to the book) in its original version. This one is on the screens Wednesday to take advantage of the holiday weekend box office window. Actually, everything else does that as well.

There seems to be a martial arts release with no element of fantasy in it, called Ninja Assassin. Since I have almost never seen one based wholly in reality, I thought I should mention it here anyways, just in case.

Another one that probably doesn’t belong here I have to mention for its 1938 War of the Worlds connection: Me And Orson Wells, a movie about the creation of The Mercury Theatre on the Air. The original 1938 broadcast of WotW electrified the country, because it realistically simulated a broadcast radio emergency program; many people thought a real Martian invasion was taking place. Now that I have said all that, I guess I’m going to have to re-watch another old favorite, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, which also has a tie-in to that broadcast.

I do see one other actual fantasy movie for this week, this one suitable for the kids as well:The Princess and the Frog from Disney. This animation is only in the Limited release date, for LA and NY, however; the rest of us have to wait until December 11th to see it.

And here is a trailer from a movie currently in production that is going on my see-in-the-theaters list, Season of the Witch

The Lone Star International Film Festival runs from the 11th to the 15th in Fort Worth, TX. The two films that look most interesting at this event are Ichi, not The Killer but another incarnation of Zatoichi, this one female, and Miracle Fish, a fantasy with a dark side. This is also the first festival where I noticed they were playing Herpes Boy, possibly the first big-screen movie to start life as a series of YouTube videos.

The 32nd Starz Denver Film Festival runs from November 12th to the 22nd in Colorado. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus tops the offerings at this festival, as it has at so many others this fall. The other film that looks to have the makings of a cult classic is Who’s Afraid of the Wolf?, a Czech fantasy/family drama. Two films not getting the same widespread festival play but worth noting are The Revenant and Zombies of Mass Destruction, each with a unique take on the undead.