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June 1, 2011

Video TapeWorm

New, encore and low-price releases on Tuesday, June 7

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:

THE PHANTOM EMPIRE

1935; $34.95, UR

We are big fans of “serials,” that now-forgotten art form of short high-action episodes shown each week before the main flick at neighborhood movie houses. They were the inspiration of such terrific franchises as “Indiana Jones” and “Star Wars,” and this one is a real hoot! Gene Autry (one of America’s first media superstars) stars with sidekick Smiley Burnett and our pal Bob Burns in an “O.K.-Corral-meets-Flash-Gordon” adventure about a technologically advanced civilization that lives secretly and conveniently underneath Autry’s ranch. In 12 parts with the requisite cliff-hanger at the end of each episode.

TRUE GRIT

2010; $29.95-$39.95, PG-13

We normally avoid remakes, retreads, reimaginings and other movie regurgitations like the plague, but how can you go wrong with the Coen Brothers and Jeff Bridges? Bridges takes on the John Wayne roll of eye-patched, drunken, once-great Marshal Rooster Cogburn, with newcomer Hailee Steinfeld tearing up the Kim Darby role as the hard-as-nails young girl who seeks vengeance on her father’s murderer. And make no mistake, despite a cast that includes such heavyweights as Josh Brolin, Matt Damon and Barry Pepper, it is Steinfeld’s “Mattie” you will remember. Truly excellent.

•••

AC/DC: LET THERE BE ROCK

1982; $21.95-$44.95, PG

Now available in a Limited Collector’s Edition and Blu-ray, our favorite AC/DC concert movie! Filmed in 1979 during their infamous “Highway to Hell” tour, connoisseurs of such things know that this features lead singer Bon Scott at the peak of his savage power, just weeks before his death. A must-own.

HAIR

1979; $19.95, PG

Filmmaker Milos Forman slipped this minor miracle in between Oscar-winners “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Amadeus”: a perfect ode to the Summer of Love. It’s the musical journey of one young man (John Savage), who’s on his way to do his patriotic duty during the 1960s when he falls in with the free spirits of Central Park, who teach him that he’s “Got a Life” during the “Age of Aquarius” if only he can “Let the Sunshine In.” Now on Blu-ray.

JUST GO WITH IT

2011; $28.95-$38.95, PG-13

Adam Sandler, Brooklyn Decker and Jennifer Aniston star in this throwback to the screwball pretend-we’re-married-so-no-one-will-know-I-lied rom-com. Sandler and Aniston are a flood of happy chemistry that easily carries the film, while damn-good-looking Sports Illustrated model Decker walks around looking damn good.

MOTHER’S DAY

1980; $19.95, UR

Of all the crap-tacular killer-rapist movies of the ’80s, this one is the single most disturbing — and the best! A pair of degenerate backwoods brothers kidnap, rape and murder innocent young women. But the kicker is their mom, who spreads a whole “Leave it to Beaver” vibe across the proceedings, resulting in a twisted sort of ick-comedy that will haunt you for days. The revenge-climax is simply breathtaking. From Troma, of course.

MRS. BROWN, YOU’VE GOT A LOVELY DAUGHTER

1968; $26.95, G

British pop groups that sprung up after the Beatles hit our shores had long given up the “mod” look by the time Herman’s Hermits recorded this movie’s titular song. But that didn’t stop lead-Hermit Peter Noone from giving it one last lace-trimmed go while starring in this harmless, brainless tale of romance, music and dog racing that would have made Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland blush. Fun.

QUEEN OF THE LOT

2011; $21.95, R

Veteran actor/director Henry Jaglom directs this terrific little indie movie starring Tanna Frederick as an ambitious B-list actress who gets fitted with an ankle bracelet and put under house arrest for her crazy antics. So how is she going to climb the Hollywood ladder wearing that? An off-the-hook, ribald and wacky tale with some surprising guest stars.

RUBBER

2011; $26.95-$29.95, R

While we can’t call this a great movie, it is certainly one of the most unique and ambitious films we’ve ever seen. It’s about a brilliant psychopath who also happens to be an automobile tire. Yep, a killer tire: He can make your head explode just by thinking about it. Sounds nice and cheezy, right? Not exactly. Made for adventurous movie mavens.

SANCTUM

2011; $29.95-$49.95, R

An ode to the ego of James Cameron, available in 3-D and Blu-ray. He dreamed up this undersea/cave adventure to showcase how low-cost 3-D digital film equipment has empowered the modern filmmaker. Ioan Gruffudd, Rhys Wakefield, Alice Parkinson and Richard Roxburgh jump into a flooded cave system just as a typhoon hits.

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SWIMSUIT 2011: THE 3-D EXPERIENCE

2011; $19.95, UR

What more could you possibly want to know?

THE COMPANY MEN

2010; $29.95, R

An indie drama about how people react when they get laid off — or are doing the laying off — starring the most amazing cast ever assembled. Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, Maria Bello, Rosemarie DeWitt, Craig T. Nelson and more emote buckets in this extremely well written and directed tale from director John Wells (“ER”).

THE HOUSEMAID

2010; $24.95, UR

One simply terrific flick from Korea, a remake of the equally amazing 1960 version, also from Korea. Lovely and innocent Jeon Do-yeon (“Secret Sunshine”) is hired to care for a wealthy pregnant woman, but the master of the house has baser plans. He forces her into an affair, which catches the eye of an older maid who knows too many of the man’s secrets. From there, it gets very, very dark. Highly recommended.

THE WILD HUNT

2009; $24.95, UR

A nice, low-budget drama/thriller about a man who loses his girlfriend to another in the detached world of live-action role-playing. She winds up a pawn in an ersatz medieval society in which the rabid participants have lost all touch with reality, and her former boyfriend is her only hope for escape or sanity. Good stuff.

 

A More Complete Listing and Free Vids at www.videotapeworm.com.