This week there’s quite a variety of films landing on Blu-Ray and DVD, but the highlight has to be the late 2011 blockbuster Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Also arriving on home video is the astounding Born to be Wild (a must for Earth Day watching), Michael Fassbender in his career-making role in Shame and the apocalyptic The Divide, plus Robert Rodriguez’s first studio film -- Roadracers -- arrives on Blu-Ray for the first time.
Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol: The best Mission yet! Tom Cruise is back as Ethan Hunt, and Brad Bird successfully makes the move from animation to live action in the most literal sense of the word action. Cruise is joined in the cast by Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Paula Patton -- who make up his IMF-gone-rogue team. The Kremlin has exploded and Cruise’s team has been blamed. They go underground, thus the “Ghost Protocol,” and try to clear their name. The extras abound on the Blu-Ray, especially the dozen features (called Impossible Missions) on particularly mind-blowing scenes that show how they got made.
Born to be Wild: The documentary follows two women on either side of the earth who share the same goal: Saving orphaned animals from certain death. Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas works with orangutans in the rain forests of Borneo, and Dame Daphne M. Sheldrick saves elephants in Africa. The film is touching, compelling and demands action of its audience, which as we celebrate Earth Day this week… is perfect timing. The extras that truly compel are the webisodes entitled Kenya, Borneo, Camp Leakey and Coming Home to Tsavo. For families or nature lovers, Born to be Wild is a can’t miss and scored on our Top 10 of 2011 (so far).
Shame: Michael Fassbender exposed himself to the world and simultaneously announced that he is an acting force to be reckoned with. The story of his sex addict circumvents some other films that focus on addiction to get to the heart of the people that it affects. Carey Mulligan portrays Fassbender’s sister and matches the actor note for note. It’s hard to argue with who scored Best Actor nominations at the 2012 Oscars, but Fassbender should have been included. Extras worth watching on the film include a documentary on its star and one on filmmaker Steve McQueen.
The Divide: A disaster film that is unfortunately a true disaster, The Divide has a great premise that misses the mark. A nuclear attack has occurred over New York and a few residents of an apartment building find themselves in a shelter deep below the building. They turn on each other and things get truly ugly (which is perhaps what would really happen). We would like to think humans would be more humane to each other in such circumstances. Then again, if that was the case with The Divide, we wouldn’t have a movie!
Roadracers: Robert Rodriguez's first studio film features David Arquette and the U.S. debut of Salma Hayek. The film follows a man who seemingly does what he wants, constantly bucking up against the system. When his life is threatened, his easy ways of living may have to be reconsidered. Be sure to enter now to win a copy of the Blu-Ray!