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Best bets: ‘Alice’ falls down the rabbit hole

Did you hang on to those 3-D glasses from "Avatar"? "Alice in Wonderland" hits theaters this week, also in IMAX 3-D. Plus: The Oscars award the past year's movies; an "Office" baby is born.
/ Source: msnbc.com

Movies
It's fair to call "Alice in Wonderland" the most-anticipated film of the year so far. Like "Avatar," it will be released in IMAX 3-D and will combine live action and animation. The similarities end there. "Alice" is from the minds of the loopy and uber-talented Tim Burton, and takes the famous childhood story a step further. In it, Alice is now a young woman, who's somehow managed to forget her adventures in Wonderland, until she takes a second tumble down the rabbit hole and reunites with her old friends. And of course, Burton's pal Johnny Depp is expected to steal the show as the loony Mad Hatter. (Opens March 5.)

TVLast year, "Slumdog Millionaire" was the big winner at the Academy Awards. Which film will reign supreme this year? "Avatar," "The Hurt Locker," and "Up in the Air" are your three best-picture favorites, and it looks good for Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock in the main acting categories. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, who play rivals for Meryl Streep in "It's Complicated," will share hosting duties. (March 7, 8:30 p.m., ABC)

Babies are known for ruining sitcoms (hello, "Mad About You"), but fans of "The Office" are hoping that Pam and Jim's baby will be different. The show was able to get its super-couple married without wrecking their romance, so maybe the baby storyline can also be handled well. The arrival was supposed to be two episodes, but it's now airing as an hour-long show. Please don't let Michael Scott anywhere near the delivery room. (March 4, 8 p.m., NBC)

Will "Bachelor" Jake choose Vienna, one of the most controversial women in the show's history? The pilot may very well propose to her on the season finale, but the other women on the show have despised the Florida woman since the season began. If you could not care less about Jake and Vienna, you still may want to tune in, because ABC will be trickling out the announcements of the new cast members of "Dancing With the Stars" while the finale airs. And after the show, the next "Bachelorette" will be announced. Will it be Alli, who left the show to return to her job at Facebook, then tried to come back? (March 1, 8 p.m., ABC.)

DVD
The animated film "Ponyo," inspired by "The Little Mermaid," was a huge hit in its native Japan, but hasn't been as popular or as easy to find in theaters in the U.S. Now you can rent or buy it on DVD. Wrote Roger Ebert, "There is a word to describe Ponyo, and that word is magical. This poetic, visually breathtaking work by the greatest of all animators has such deep charm that adults and children will both be touched." (Out on DVD March 2.)

"The Beaches of Agnes" is one of those movies that never makes the cover of Entertainment Weekly, but that has critics raving. Even if you've never heard of 81-year-old filmmaker Agnes Varda, you may want to dig into her oeuvure after watching the documentary. The Philadelphia Inquirer calls it "a captivating cine-memoir, impressionistic and surrealistic." (Out on DVD March 2.)