Starring Dr. Birute Galdikas, Daphne Sheldrick
Available on: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D
This documentary, made for IMAX theatres to be presented in 3D, runs the length of a one-hour television show sans commercials. Few babies are more endearing than an orangutan or elephant. Since wild populations of both species are in decline, the film functions as a love letter to women helping wild animals to survive and return to the wilderness. In Kenya, Daphne Sheldrick raises orphaned baby elephants while in Borneo, Dr. Birute Galdikas labors to restore orangutan orphans to their native rain forest. Forty minutes is insufficient to chronicle such heroic deeds, or to see enough humorous, touching and gorgeous footage. Richard Leakey serves as creative consultant to this documentary that depicts raising and freeing the orphans. Afterwards, we wish for more. Perhaps that's the idea. DVD features: Digital copy, Webisode #1 - Borneo, Webisode #2 - Kenya, Ultraviolet, English, French, Hebrew, Spanish or English language tracks. Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack features same plus: Film on both DVD and Blu-ray, Digital copy, Webisode: Camp Leakey, "Wild" filmmaking, Caregivers.
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - The '89 TV Season DVD
* * (C)
Created by Bruce Geller
Starring Peter Graves, Thaao Penghlis, Antony Hamilton, Phil Morris, Jane Badler, Terry Markwell
Voice of Bob Johnson
Paramount //Not Rated//Action//772 Minutes
Available on: DVD
Not to be confused with the superior "Mission: Impossible" TV series that ran from 1966-1973, this resurrection is silly and irritating, but occasionally adorable. A visibly lined Peter Graves returns as Jim Phelps, leader of the Impossible Mission force. Briefed via cassette tapes and photographs in the 60s, in 1989 each episode opens with Phelps meeting a character who guides him to a portable laser disc player. The new technology allows Phelps to see the target doing bad-guy stuff while listening to narration by Bob Johnson, who returns from the original series to explain the nuts of bolts of each new mission. Filmed in Australia to save money, the show suffers the loss of Martin Landau as the team's resident impersonator, but nepotism thrives in the casting of Greg Morris's real-life son Phil Morris as the team's technical expert. Jane Badler appears as its less than convincing femme fatale, but the show's main weakness are scripts that fail to drum up much-needed tension. More special effects are incorporated, but this final season, and its 1988 predecessor, constitute a sad end to an otherwise enchanting fantasy series. 4-Disc DVD features: Episodic promos on select episodes, Holiday promo.
Directed by Steve McQueen
Starring Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale, Nicole Beharie
Fox //Rated NC-17//Drama//101
Available on: Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack
A New Yorker's compulsive sexual behavior becomes an issue when his needy sister (Mulligan) arrives for an extended stay. Brandon (Fassbender) fears intimacy, but is addicted to sex. He seeks casual sexual encounters, and possesses the income to afford call girls. When time constraints prevent either of these, Brandon relies on Internet sites and pornography. The level of Brandon's addiction prompts him to take regular breaks from work. Meanwhile, his sister's self-destructive practices are expressed differently. She's insecure, cuts herself, and has attempted suicide. We may not understand how they reached this point in their lives, but writer/director Steve McQueen demonstrates a keen understanding of their behaviors and the manner in which these control everything the siblings say and do. 2-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack features: Film on both DVD and Blu-ray, shorts on Fassbender and McQueen, several making-of features.
YOUNG GOETHE IN LOVE
Directed by Philipp Stolzl
Starring Alexander Fehling, Miriam Stein, Moritz Bleibtreu, Volker Bruch, Burghart Klaubner, Henry Hubchen
Music Box Film//Not Rated//Drama - German with English subtitles//102 minutes
Available on: DVD
Based on the early experiences of German poet Johann Wolfgang Goethe (Fehling), when we meet the writer after he's failed his law exams in 1772, and has been sent to the quiet town of Wetzlar to study by his disappointed father (Hubchen). The young man's future in law appears brighter when he is befriended by a local, high-ranking court official (Bleibtreu), but Goethe strays from the subject at hand and falls for the lovely Lotte (Stein). She returns his affection, unaware her father has made a secret bargain to marry her to another. Goethe's efforts to deal with this blow helps him to find his voice on paper. DVD features: Making-of featurette, Visual Effects, theatrical and international trailer, German language track with English subtitles.