“MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL,” starring Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner. Already widely considered to be the best installment of a generally outstanding action series, “Protocol” finds Cruise in fine form despite pushing 50, dangling off buildings and leaping from speeding automobiles with as much confidence and aplomb as ever. Providing able support are the ultra-cool Renner, the lovely yet brutal Paula Patton and returning resident techno-geek Simon Pegg. Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence. Running time: 2:13

Suggested retail price: $29.99; Blu-ray $44.99

“SHAME,” starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan. Uncompromising and, some might say, unpleasant, director Steve McQueen’s aggressively unflinching character study gives us a couple of hours in the company of Brandon (the mega-talented Fassbender), a young NYC socialite whose sexual addiction finds him seeking release at all hours of the day, in whatever form he can achieve it. Enter Sissy (Mulligan), Brandon’s younger sister in need of a place to stay and intent on crashing with big brother, with not terribly harmonious results. “Shame” is just about as explicit as Hollywood offerings get, dropping the fearless Fassbender in one erotic encounter after another while ruminating on the compulsive behavior that both drives and destroys him. Rated NC-17 for some explicit sexual content. Running time: 1:41

Suggested retail price: $39.99; Blu-ray $39.99

“FROZEN PLANET: THE COMPLETE SERIES,” narrated by David Attenborough. From the wizards behind “Planet Earth” and “The Blue Planet,” this typically eye-popping exploration of the Arctic and Antarctic wildernesses captures heretofore unwitnessed events both above and below the ice, taking the viewer inside a polar bear’s den and joining a pack of killer whales on their daily hunt. As before, it’s “Wild America” on steroids, with revolutionary camera work throughout. Special features include making-of featurettes and production diaries. Running time: 5:50

Suggested retail price: $39.98; Blu-ray $54.98


“HIGH ROAD TO CHINA,” starring Tom Selleck and Bess Armstrong. One of Selleck’s better cinematic efforts, this long-unavailable 1983 adventure-romance remains good clean fun, pairing Armstrong’s spoiled flapper with Selleck’s long-suffering pilot and sending them all over Asia on an ill-fated mission to track down her missing father. Running time: 1:45

Suggested retail price: $34.95

“LATE SPRING,” starring Setsuko Hara and Chishu Ryu. An early masterwork from Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu (“Tokyo Story”), this classic 1949 drama concerns young Noriko (Hara), a very eligible bachelorette but for the fact that she’s devoted to her ailing father (Ryu) and seemingly content with her current lot. As with the majority of Ozu’s work, “Spring” is a meditative and quietly powerful study of familial relationships, beautifully shot and performed. Special features include a commentary from film scholar Richard Pena and “Tokyo-ga,” a feature-length Ozu doc directed by Wim Wenders. Running time: 1:48

Suggested retail price: $39.95


“THE FLAW,” documentary. Impressively deconstructing our ongoing financial crisis in the course of a tidy 78 minutes, this lean and mean doc from David Sington (“In the Shadow of the Moon”) assembled a wide variety of interviewees — ranging from Wall Street fat cats to bankrupted homeowners — to explore what factors led to our situation and why it isn’t improving nearly as swiftly as we need it to. Blessedly pitched at a layman’s level, Sington lays out the facts plainly and with just enough humor to prevent boredom and/or depression from sinking in, providing an entertaining and very necessary blueprint of a disaster and a stirring portrait of economic disparity besides. Not rated; contains some language. Running time: 1:18

Suggested retail price: $29.95

“TREME: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON,” starring Wendell Pierce and Steve Zahn. Creator David Simon’s (“The Wire”) acclaimed HBO drama revolving around the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is a sprawling portrait of human struggle, following normal people just trying to get through their day in an environment harsher than most. Dickensian in scope and brilliantly acted, “Treme” is a leisurely paced but rewarding experience, with far and away the best soundtrack on TV. Not rated; contains language, violence, sexual content and drug content. Running time: 10:00

Suggested retail price: $59.99; Blu-ray $79.98

– Courtesy of Videoport