After a very strong run in theaters at the beginning of the year, "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" is the most prominent new title hitting the home market this week as it looks to once again find action-seeking audiences. Also getting launched on DVD and Blu-ray will be indie favorite "Shame," an NC-17 drama starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan that played well to art house audiences earlier in the year. Those looking for something from the small screen can turn to Discovery Channel's acclaimed nature series "Frozen Planet" or HBO's latest drama "Treme," which is launching its second season this week on DVD and Blu-ray.
Though it looked like the "Mission: Impossible" franchise was starting to slow down after the third installment a few years back, "Ghost Protocol" brought it back with a vengeance after hitting theaters this past December. With Tom Cruise once again starring as super spy Ethan Hunt, "Ghost Protocol" was a big commercial hit both in the U.S. and abroad, totaling more than $200 million domestically and a very strong $693 million worldwide.
Directed by Brad Bird, better known for lauded animated films "Ratatouille" and "The Incredibles," the latest "Mission: Impossible" was a big hit with critics as well as action-seeking audiences, restoring the franchise and setting it up for a fifth installment. Though Bird has recently said that he likely won't return to the director's chair for another "Mission," "Ghost Protocol" showed that he could make the transition to live-action and it ended up as one of the most successful action movies released in 2011. "Ghost Protocol" also stars Jeremy Renner, who will be back in superhero mode in "The Avengers," one of the most anticipated action films of the summer.
While "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" scoops up mainstream action audiences over the next couple of weeks, art house audiences will likely turn to acclaimed drama "Shame." Directed by Steve McQueen, "Shame" stars the suddenly omnipresent Michael Fassbender as a sex addicted man struggling to keep his life from spinning out of control. Fassbender in particularly was praised for a gutsy, bare-all performance, but he was also snubbed for many of the most prominent awards at the end of the movie year.
Due to its adult content and rare NC-17 rating, "Shame" was a difficult sell to mainstream audiences in theaters, though it still drummed up some support from indie filmgoers that should translate to the home market as well. "Shame" also stars Carey Mulligan, who also made waves recently in the indie circuit with acclaimed action-drama "Drive." Fassbender can next been seen on the big screen in director Ridley Scott's "Alien" prequel "Prometheus," which is due out June 8th.
Though there aren't too many other prominent new titles getting released this week, TV lovers will get a chance to see the Discovery Channel's latest acclaimed nature series "Frozen Planet." Similar to Discovery's beloved "Planet Earth" series, "Frozen Planet" shows how life sprouts from even the most extreme parts of the Earth, taking audiences on an unforgettable journey as informative as it is visually striking. Narrated by David Attenborough, "Frozen Planet" is a good fit for nature lovers of most ages, though it might be too intense for younger children.
Also hitting stores this week will be the second season of HBO's "Treme," a harrowing drama series that shows the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina devastation that left the city of New Orleans in disarray. Starring Wendell Pierce and Clarke Peters, who both starred in HBO's enormously successful "The Wire," "Treme" follows the various characters stuck in the nightmare of putting New Orleans back together amidst bureaucratic letdowns and recovery plans gone awry. "Treme" doesn't have the same following as HBO's most popular shows, though it still has a strong enough fan base to launch a third season this fall.
Next week, Mark Wahlberg's gritty action-thriller "Contraband" will be among the top new titles to hit DVD and Blu-ray coming off of a fairly strong box office run, with acclaimed art house film "Pariah" also scheduled to reach the home market.
by RTT Staff Writer
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