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November 9, 2011

Video TapeWorm

New, encore and low-price releases on Tuesday, Nov. 15

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2

2011; $29.95-$35.95; PG-13

After only 10,000 years, the HP franchise is finally finished! Yes, with all the child actors now battling ED and menopause, and the old-guard thesps apparently stuffed with straw and twitchy animatronics, we can finally bid a fond farewell to the entire cast and hope — pray! — we never have to see them again. Except babe-a-licious little Emma Watson, of course. Niiiiiice. Anyway, Harry must die at the hands of Voldemort in order for his friends to rid the world of that wizard’s evil. This means that every member of the cast (all 50 jillion of them) get to have one more big scene before credits roll. Gangs of fun.

LARRY CROWNE

2001; $29.95; PG-13

Tom Hanks wrote, directed and stars in this just-barely romantic, very quiet comedy co-starring Julia Roberts. Hanks plays a recently divorced unemployed guy who rides his scooter to the local college where he hopes to improve his job-hunting skills. Good luck with that, buddy! Roberts plays one of his teachers, formerly married to Bryan Cranston, and they all emote “jocular,” with bits from Cedric the Entertainer, Wilmer Valderrama, George Takei, Nia Vardalos (who co-wrote) and Jon Seda thrown in for good measure. Those under 45 need not bother.

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BECOMING CHAZ

2011; $19.95; UR

Intimate and painfully honest (heavy on the pain), Sonny and Cher’s little girl goes through hormone treatments, psychological counseling and way-too-graphic surgery in order to become a dude. And we know this is all for real, because his girlfriend doesn’t shut up once. A personal portrait of what it takes to be a man in the 21st century.

BEING HUMAN: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON

2010; $44.95-$49.95; UR

American version of a very interesting British series about three mismatched roommates trying to get by in a world where they just don’t fit in. In this case, of course, they don’t fit in because they are a ghost, a werewolf and a vampire! But it’s played for drama and humor, not horror — well, most of the time — making it fun to watch.

BELLFLOWER

2011; $29.95-$39.95; R

A savage tale of Generation Y from certifiable director Evan Glodell, who built the homemade flamethrowers and fireball-belching ’72 Buick Skylark that’s so integral to the plot. Three friends build Mad Max-y contraptions and wait for the Apocalypse until a pretty girl comes along and fouls everything up, leading to violence, bloodshed and — worst of all — full-frontal angst!

DISCOVERING HAVANA: IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF HEMINGWAY

2011; $19.95; UR

Ernest Hemingway, model for “The Most Interesting Man in the World” in those beer commercials, loved to hang out in Havana, Cuba. That’s where he’d go in between earning the Nobel Prize, fighting in the Spanish Civil War, reporting from the ground on D-Day, hunting wild game in Africa, and boinking thousands of women. This doc tells of his life and loves amid the bars and hotels and brothels and docks he called home.

FLYPAPER

2011; $24.95-$29.95; UR

An upbeat indie comedy/crime caper with a great cast. Ashley Judd works in a bank and is unaware that Patrick Dempsey is secretly in love with her. But can he protect her when the bank is simultaneously robbed by two different sets of bank robbers? Actually, this is part whodunit and part who’s-doin’-who, but still a fun ride with Jeffrey Tambor, Tim Blake Nelson, Mekhi Phifer and Curtis Armstrong.

LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION: VOLUME ONE

2011; $59.95; UR

To call this a “video collection” is an insult — it’s a Ph.D. course in how to produce animation, plus a collector’s trove of great, limited-edition Looney Tunes swag! Fifty cartoons, all on three Blu-ray discs, plus souvenir glassware, tin signs, framed cells, and a guidebook by animation historian Jerry Beck. Trust us, this is a must-own for anyone with a love for great, old shorts from the likes of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, etc. In-friggin-credible, doc!

MY FAIR LADY

1964; $29.95; G

A breathtaking Blu-ray version of the greatest musical ever made. Street-urchin Audrey Hepburn becomes a proper lady, she does, with the ’elp of Rex ’arrison and the music of Lerner and Loewe. A colorful, tune-filled eye-popper like they just don’t make anymore. Our ’ighest recommendation.

SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE SERIES

2011; $339.95; UR

While it lasted an impressive 10 seasons, this series clearly jumped the shark at about season four. After that, stars Tom Welling and crew were simply getting too old to pull off the “high school” gag, and people were tired of waiting for Clark Kent to learn to FLY for crap’s sake! But somehow the creators reinvented the series — several times, actually — and even strayed from the accepted Superman mythology just enough to generate renewed activity in the blogosphere (aka “The Phantom Zone”). Pretty amazing. A 62-disc set with all 218 episodes and five hours of bonus goodies.

THE TOM CRUISE COLLECTION

2011; $57.95; R

One damn nice set of flicks showcasing local-lad Thomas Cruise Mapother IV at his running, jumping, grinning best. As if the Michael Mann thriller “Collateral,” the race-car drama “Days of Thunder” and the generation-defining macho-bravado of “Top Gun” weren’t enough, this set includes sci-fi thrillers “Minority Report” and “War of the Worlds.” Not a clunker in the bunch on five Blu-ray discs. Recommended.

THE WAVY GRAVY MOVIE: SAINT MISBEHAVIN

2011; $29.95; UR

We pity those who don’t know Wavy Gravy. This toothless, stoned-out head of The Hog Farm, which famously fed the Woodstock Nation on “granola” made from horse feed, became a media celebrity before the phrase was invented and used this exposure to promote social activism. Preaching peace, justice and understanding, he proved that one person can make a difference: Simply go where the need is and try. A terrific doc on a truly exceptional American.

THE WEIRD WORLD OF BLOWFLY

2010; $19.95-$24.95; UR

Never heard of Blowfly? How ’bout Clarence Reid, soul singer and songwriter behind the best of the ’60s and ’70s R&B stars? Same guy, except that as Blowfly, he likes to get really freaky, spouting profane and hilarious X-rated rap. This quirky doc captures the 69-year-old Reid/Fly in all his bipolar best, traveling around the world in a gold lamé superhero costume, spewing raunchy lyrics and kissin’ all dem womens, hah! Wonderful.

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

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