Death of a Superhero
The Giant Mechanical Man
Available on VOD beginning Tuesday
The Tribeca Film Festival opens Wednesday, but three of the fest's entries will be available to watch a day earlier, for attendees and non-attendees alike. Those movies are: "Death of a Superhero," a melancholy coming-of-age drama about a teenage cancer patient (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) who is just coming to terms with his own mortality when he falls in love with a rebellious classmate (Aisling Loftus); "The Giant Mechanical Man," a low-key romantic comedy starring Chris Messina as a starving artist who connects with a directionless sad sack (Jenna Fischer); and "Sleepless Night," a breakneck French thriller about a well-meaning cop (Tomer Sisley) who makes a bad choice and ends up on the run from the police and the mob while trying to retrieve his kidnapped son from a drug dealer. These aren't run-of-the-mill festival slot-fillers; they're quality films, representing the variety of genres and styles that Tribeca-goers can expect. And if enough home viewers take advantage of the opportunity to watch them, this may be the future of festivals, opening them up to people who can't afford to travel to New York or other key movie-loving destinations.
Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol
Paramount, $29.99; Blu-ray, $44.99
Even though the "Mission: Impossible" franchise was starting to feel played-out, and Tom Cruise's stardom had been sputtering, and Brad Bird had never directed a live-action feature film, "Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol" became an international blockbuster. Simply put: The fourth "Mission: Impossible" is the best since the first, and maybe the best of them all. As Cruise's Ethan Hunt goes rogue across Eastern Europe and the Middle East — accompanied by a team that includes a wisecracking tech expert (Simon Pegg), a sexy super-agent (Paula Patton) and an earnest data analyst (Jeremy Renner) — Bird and his team assemble one breathtaking action sequence after another, always making sure they advance the main plot. The result is an action movie that's smart, tense, witty and sincere. The DVD and Blu-ray add deleted scenes and hours of behind-the-scenes featurettes. Available on VOD beginning April 17.
20th Century Fox DVD/Blu-ray combo pack, $39.99
Steve McQueen's moody, edgy drama "Shame" stars Michael Fassbender as a successful New York businessman who tries to compensate for the hollowness he feels inside by compulsively pursuing impersonal sexual encounters. "Shame" has been tagged as a movie about sex addiction, but that's not entirely apt. As the hero avoids all emotional entanglements — including the entreaties of his visiting sister, played by Carey Mulligan — "Shame" becomes less about sex and more about a deeply damaged person trying to lose himself in the anonymity of the city. The arc of misbehavior feels overly familiar from movies about alcoholism and drug abuse, but what elevates the material is McQueen's impressionistic approach to depicting a life of torturous need. The DVD and Blu-ray add a quintet of featurettes. Available on VOD beginning Tuesday.
Starz/Anchor Bay, $26.98; Blu-ray, $29.99
The Man Nobody Knew: In Search of My Father, CIA Spymaster William Colby
First Run, $27.95