RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and Shame

Plus, an acclaimed doc, a psycho-horror flick, and a Japanese classic.

This week, pickings are slim yet again, but at the very least, most of the choices we do have are pretty good ones. As usual, we will note that there are some other things hitting home video shelves, like Frozen Planet, the BBC nature series by the same guys who brought you the stunning Planet Earth and Life; and a new Criterion of ˇAlambrista!, the 1977 Robert M. Young film about immigration. Aside from those, though, we'll be covering the latest Ethan Hunt adventure, the Michael Fassbender-powered film about sex addiction, a doc about animal orphans, a post-apocalyptic thriller, and a classic from Japanese auteur Yasujiro Ozu. Click through for the full list!

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

93%

The biggest question about the fourth installment in the Mission Impossible franchise was probably whether or not accomplished animation director Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille) could translate his talents into a live action hit. The answer, as it turns out, is a resounding "yes." Tom Cruise reprises his role as agent Ethan Hunt, who must assemble a new team and go undercover when the Impossible Missions Force is implicated in a terrorist bombing at the Kremlin and subsequently shut down. Supported by a cast that included Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, and Paula Patton, Ghost Protocol earned the highest Tomatometer of any Mission: Impossible at a Certified Fresh 93%, with critics calling it stylish, fast-paced and full of gripping set pieces. If you're looking for a fun popcorn movie, you're probably safe here.

Shame

79%

When Sleeping Beauty came out last week, we talked a little bit about erotic drama and mentioned Shame as an example of a success, despite its NC-17 rating. Though the former split critics, the latter had two very important factors in its favor: Michael "he's so good, he's in everything" Fassbender and Best Actress Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan. Fassbender plays Brandon, a successful bachelor with a hidden sex addiction. When his wandering younger sister Sissy (Mulligan) unexpectedly moves in with him, memories of a painful shared childhood force him to confront his condition. Nothing is ever quite spelled out for the audience in Shame, but its two outstanding central performances help make the film a powerful examination of addiction, earning it a Certified Fresh 80% on the Tomatometer. Don't count on this one to be a pick-me-up, but if dark and brooding is what you're after, you'll find what you're looking for.

The Divide

26%

Post-apocalyptic stories are often bleak, touching on the dark places we may explore in dire circumstances. The best movies, however, know to ground such stories in humanity or risk becoming exercises in sheer depravity, and according to most critics, this humanity was missing in The Divide. Set almost entirely in a basement fallout shelter, The Divide follows a group of apartment tenants who find themselves trapped together underground when an unexplained nuclear explosion rocks the city. As the hours grow into days and tensions begin to rise, the motley crew slowly descends into madness, preying upon each other with deadly and disturbing consequences. Director Xavier Gens, who previously explored similarly dark themes in French horror flick Frontiers, allowed his actors to ad lib quite a bit in The Divide, resulting in some real on-set tension that found its way into the film. Unfortunately, critics found little to like in any of the characters, and the escalating physical and sexual brutality simply left a bad taste in many a mouth.

Born to Be Wild

98%

Nature footage is sometimes so spectacular that efforts to build narratives around it can feel tacky or superfluous. Luckily, Born to Be Wild features a built-in story, fascinating and remarkable enough on its own that, even with a brisk 40-minute running time, critics have declared it a triumph. With the aid of voiceover specialist Morgan Freeman, this Certified Fresh documentary focuses on young orangutans and elephants orphaned by human encroachment upon their territories, covering their journey back to the wild through their interactions with the caregivers who nurture them. Critics agree that the combination of the human story here with the charming nature footage makes this a captivating film, and it currently sits at an impressive 98%.

Late Spring - Criterion Collection Blu-Ray

100%

With their stately pacing, measured edits, and subsumed passions, Yasujiro Ozu's films may try the patience of modern filmgoers. But give them time, and they're bound to burrow into your psyche. One of Japan's greatest cinematic stylists, Ozu perfected a kind of minimalist storytelling style that befitted his domestic dramas: the subjects of his films are often families that find themselves butting against tradition and the modern world. One of Ozu's finest works is Late Spring, the tale of a widower who pretends to be engaged so he can convince his lonely daughter to enter into a marriage of her own and leave the family nest. It might not sound like the most dynamic of plotlines, but with Ozu, it's all about the telling, and Late Spring is one of the master's most quietly devastating pictures. A swanky new Criterion Blu-ray disc features a new transfer of the film, plus Wim Wenders' Tokyo-ga, a feature-length documentary portrait of Ozu.

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