For half a century, David Attenborough has taken viewers on extraordinary, well-informed, thought-provoking, and moving tours of the rich flora and fauna of virtually every corner of our planet.
The 85-year-old British naturalist provides energetic and stimulating narration on the BBC's Frozen Planet, a stunning, six-hour exploration that takes us, quite literally, to the ends of the Earth: the Arctic and Antarctic.
Produced by Alastair Fothergill and Vanessa Berlowitz, the team responsible for the equally glorious The Blue Planet and Planet Earth series, Frozen Planet opens with a general introduction to the topography and the history of the two polar regions, with stunning views of giant glaciers and the creatures that live in their shadows, including polar bears, Adélie and emperor penguins, albatross, narwhals, even wolves. Later episodes of Frozen Planet concentrate on life at each pole through the four seasons. The seven-part documentary ends with a look at how climate change is making very real and very disturbing changes to life at the poles. (www.bbcamericashop.com/; $39.98 DVD; $54.98 Blu-ray; not rated)
Other DVDs of note
Bill Moyers: Capitol Crimes.
Legendary newsman Moyers presents an intricately researched history of the Jack Abramoff scandal, showing how the high-powered Washington lobbyist's crimes and misdemeanors touched everything from Louisiana casinos to sweatshops in the Mariana Islands to the lush Moscow mansions of Russian oligarchs to Capitol Hill. Acorn Media's two-hour film is supplemented with
Buying the War,
a one-hour documentary about the news media's role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
(www.acornmedia.com/; $49.99; not rated)
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. Tom Cruise teams up with Jeremy Renner in the latest, and most fun, entry in the action franchise from Paramount Pictures. It takes the MI team after a rogue Russian agent out to start a nuclear war. The sequence shot at the Kremlin in Moscow is terrific. (www.paramount.com/dvd; $29.99 DVD; $44.99 Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo; Rated PG-13)
The Iron Lady. Meryl Streep, the woman of a thousand accents, delivers an Oscar-winning performance as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in this biopic from the Weinstein Co. (http://weinsteinco.com/; $29.98 DVD; $39.99 Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo; rated PG-13)
Out. Tom Bell (Prime Suspect) delivers a tour-de-force performance in this exhilarating, hard-boiled British crime series from 1978 about a thief fresh from prison who searches for the man who betrayed him. The five-hour mini-series, released by Acorn Media, is as exciting as on the day it premiered. (www.acornmedia.com/; $39.98; not rated)
Eureka: Season 4.5. Syfy Channel's quirky drama, about an oddball town filled with an oddball group of scientists who are watched over by a very normal sheriff, is coming to an end this year after five seasons. This three-disc box set from Universal Studios features season four's 12 episodes. (www.universalstudiosentertainment.com/; $29.98; not rated)
Girl on a Motorcycle. Two 1960s icons, British singer Marianne Faithfull and French screen idol Alain Delon, join forces in a remastered and uncut edition of the 1968 psychedelic road movie dubbed Europe's Easy Rider. Directed by Michael Powell's Oscar-winning cinematographer, Jack Cardiffe, Girl, from Kino/Redemption Films, is a freewheeling pic about a woman who rides her motorcycle across France to reconnect with an ex-lover after her marriage collapses. (www.kinolorber.com/redemption/; $19.95; not rated)
Let the Bullets Fly. Hong Kong action megastar Chow Yun-Fat stars as a crime lord in 1920s China in this spectacular action comedy from Well Go USA. (http://wellgousa.com/; $32.98 Blu-ray/DVD Combo; rated R)