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Die Hard

January 23, 2013

Video TapeWorm

New, encore and low-price releases on Tuesday, Jan. 29

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:

DIE HARD 25TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION

2013; $40.98-$59.98; UR

All four of Bruce Willis’ signature John McClane flicks (lacking only the latest, “A Good Day To Die Hard”) on Blu-ray in one cheap box, plus a feature-length look at the franchise, “Decoding Die Hard” — a total of 5 discs, and each of the movies has its own bonus material! Best of all, unlike some of the crap that lesser studios pull (you listening, WB?), these are complete full-length releases: Each movie is the exact same length as those previously released in other formats. No re-imaginings, no “Director’s Cuts,” no bleeping out of the requisite “Yippee-kye-yay MOTHER FUCKER!” during the slam-bang kill-the-bad-guy climax. The best value in movies today; highly recommended.

SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS

2012; $19.98-$35.98; R

If you love Tarantino or the Coen Brothers, you already know about this criminally funny gangster outing from Irish wunderkind Martin McDonagh. Failing screenwriter Colin Farrell innocently gets himself embroiled in a scheme to steal mafioso Woody Harrelson’s little dog, thanks to friends Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell. Nicely dark and twisted with great performances all around. Watch for Tom Waits as a rabbit-toting hitman, crazy-hot Abbie Cornish, and the always amazing Harry Dean Stanton. We don’t care what anyone says (and this film has its detractors), we loved it.

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AGATHA CHRISTIE’S PARTNERS IN CRIME: TOMMY & TUPPENCE MYSTERIES

1983; $44.98-$49.98; UR

This Christie series dates back to the ’80s, but that doesn’t matter because the fun contained within is timeless. The titular Tommy and Tuppence (Prudence) Beresford are new husband-and-wife owners of a less-than-normal detective agency in London back during the Roaring 20s. The action (and fun) starts while on their honeymoon, running down haunted jewels and chocolates laced with cyanide. Sadly, this lasted only 11 episodes (the first being a two-hour movie and the rest under one hour each), but was clearly the inspiration for America’s 1985 Bruce Willis/Cybil Shepard series “Moonlighting.” Great stuff.

ALL SUPERHEROES MUST DIE

2011; $21.98-$29.98; UR

Originally known as “Vs,” this no-budget indie thriller pits a quartet of costumed superheroes against their arch nemesis, with the lives of trapped innocents hanging in the balance. An earnest and well-done effort, to be sure, that desperately needs a bit of comic relief. But the filmmakers stay true to their vision: wanting to make this a thriller, not a joke, using only a believable script and good actors. Worth checking out.

CITADEL

2012; $9.98-$29.98; UR

This Irish-made spooker/thriller is a real delight, playing off the centuries-old fables and horror-tropes of that land, updated into a modern setting. Aneurin Barnard plays an agoraphobic young dad, terrified of going outside after his wife’s attack by a pack of rat-like feral children. The children are truly creepy, one of the best modern monsters to come along in some time, even if the dad’s constant fear gets tiresome. Oh, and he has a crying baby to protect, a baby that the same rat-gang seems hell bent on eating! It all comes to a head when he must enter their fearful nest: a massive, molding high-rise. Truly scary.

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA

2012; $34.98; PG

In our opinion, one of Adam Sandler’s more watchable efforts. He gives voice to Dracula, owner of the titular hotel where all manner of monsters come to lounge and get away from we pesky humans. And this weekend he’s throwing a big party in honor of his daughter Mavis’ (Selena Gomez) birthday! But among all the invited werewolves, ghosts, ghouls, goblins and whatzits, a lost human (Andy Samberg) crashes the party and hits it off with Mavis. Horrors! Fun, funny and original.

OUT IN THE OPEN

2013; $19.98-$21.98; UR

A powerhouse doc on how to be comfortable in your own skin from filmmaker Matthew Smith, inspired by the unexpected reactions — both good and bad — to his coming out of the closet. An uplifting and sometimes terrifying series of conversations from a Who’s Who of actors and public figures including Eric Roberts, Greg Louganis, Cassandra Church, Ben Milliken (“Gigantic”) and more.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4

2012; $19.98; UR

While we weren’t all that impressed with the original (despite it becoming a phenom at the box office), we think this series has actually gotten better over time. Demonic Katie returns (after killing everyone in PA3 except her baby nephew, Hunter), with a mysterious boy in tow. Nearby, a young girl (Kathryn Newton) begins filming odd events. You know where it goes from there. Spooky note: The girl’s screen parents, Stephen Dunham and former ballerina Alexondra Lee, were real-life husband and wife; Dunham died unexpectedly just days before the movie hit theaters.

TALES OF THE NIGHT

2011; $29.98; UR

We love good animation, but this doesn’t qualify — because it is great animation! The amazing Michel Ocelot created these full-length tales of mystery and wonder for his award-winning French animated series, “Dragons et Princesses.” They all feature his trademark silhouette style, in which the characters are moved on the back side of a back-lit screen, resulting in sharp, clear rich colors and breathtaking effects that create fantasy worlds far more real than the one we live in. Highly recommended.

THE COLD LIGHT OF DAY

2012; $12.98-$24.98; PG-13

OK, right up front: This is one terrible movie. Completely unredeemable on any level save one: A Bad Movie Party! Henry Cavill’s family is kidnapped while sailing in Spain by government agents who think he has a mysterious briefcase. With beautiful Spanish actress Verónica Echegui as the wife; watch for walk-ons by Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver. The best drinking game? Take a drink with each blatantly obvious instance of product placement — you won’t last 10 minutes! We love crap like this.

A more complete listing and free vids at tapeworm.com.