Water for Elephants (Twentieth Century Fox)
Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson get big-top billing in this love story set in the 1930s circus world. But Christoph Waltz (so good as the scheming, strudel-eating Nazi in Inglourious Basterds) steals the movie as the not-too-nice ringleader. So does the period dressing, which coats everything in dusty, golden hues that sparkle under the Depression-era drama unfolding onscreen. The story isn't much — a young veterinarian joins the circus and falls in love with one of the performers — but it puts on quite a show.
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (Twentieth Century Fox)
The latest by The Joy Luck Club director Wayne Wang travels a similar path toward female enlightenment, telling the parallel stories of two friends in 19th-century rural China and in modern-day Shanghai. Neither tale is particularly interesting, and both are smothered in super-thick sap.Transformers: Beast Wars: The Complete Series (Shout! Factory)
The Emmy-winning animated TV show from the mid-'90s is way better than the last two big-screen Transformers movies. This eight-DVD set includes all 52 episodes about the next-gen Decepticons and their plan to conquer the universe. Bonuses include art galleries and no Shia LaBeouf.
Joel Schumacher, the guy who ruined Batman before Christopher Nolan took over, directed this thriller that opened in theaters just three weeks ago. Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman play a filthy-rich married couple terrorized by criminals in their home. Surprisingly, it's not Cage's worst movie this year.