As is always the case, there are only a limited number of new DVDs being released a few days after Christmas. Two very good TV series top the short list.
“Ray Donovan: Season Three” ☆☆☆ 1/2 ): The reason film actors are willing to make the move to television is because of shows like this series.
Liev Schreiber has taken a break from films to play the Boston native who makes the problems of celebrities, superstar athletes and business moguls disappear. In this third season, Donovan must face the harsh reality that his actions have consequences.
The power and command that Schreiber brings to the character, whether it be at the the major highs or lows, is the central strength of the series. And he’s not alone.
Along with the work of regulars such as Jon Voight, the series features first-rate guest stars, including Katie Holmes (“Dawson’s Creek”), Ian McShane (“Deadwood”) and Wendell Pierce (“The Wire”).
“Shameless: The Complete Fifth Season” ☆☆☆ 1/2 : This other Showtime series is another superb reason Oscar-nominated actors such as William H. Macy will work on TV. Macy’s Frank Gallagher is an alcoholic father of six close-knit and street-smart kids who will do whatever it takes to survive and stay together. Macy breathes life into the character every week.
In Season 5, along with all their other problems, the Gallaghers are dealing with the stifling heat of a Chicago summer, Fiona (Emmy Rossum) juggles a crush on her new boss (Dermot Mulroney) with a new husband (Steve Kazee) and the return of her old boyfriend (Justin Chatwin).
Frank (Macy) balances his new liver against that old healthy appetite for liquor, drugs and trouble.
There have been no TV families as weirdly interesting as the Gallaghers.
The DVD features all 12 episodes plus bonus content, including two featurettes and deleted scenes.
Also new on DVD Dec. 29
▪ “Heist”: When a casino robbery goes bad, the robbers hijack a city bus. Jeffrey Dean Morgan stars.
▪ “Hitman: Agent 47”: Rupert Friend stars in this thriller based on the video game franchise.
▪ “The Perfect Guy”: An ideal man turns out to have a very dangerous side.
▪ “Night Crew”: Bounty hunters must survive the night in a desert motel.
▪ “The Intern”: Young executive (Anne Hathaway) gets a mature intern (Robert De Niro).
▪ “Mountains of the Wolf”: Two wolves decide to work together.
▪ “Jenny’s Wedding”: Woman (Katherine Heigl) must face some truths when she decides to start a family.
▪ “Bone Tomahawk”: Group of cannibal savages kidnaps settlers from a small town.
▪ “A Walk in the Woods”: Travel writer hikes the Appalachian Trail. Robert Redford stars.
▪ “Some Kind of Hate”: Bullied teen is sent to a remote school where the harassment gets worse.
▪ “God of Thunder”: Max Aria plays the hammer-swinging hero.
▪ “Blood and Lace”: Killer in black murders fashion models.