December 30, 2009

Video TapeWorm

New, encore and low-price DVD releases on Tuesday, Jan. 5

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:

CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS

2009; $16.95-$39.95, PG

A wacky scientist accidentally seeds the clouds with a concoction that turns water into food, causing it to rain entrees in this wonderfully goofy CGI animation based on the popular children’s book by Judi and Ron Barrett. But the visuals are just half the fun: Hundreds of food-puns and sly asides to the audience make this just as much fun for adults as the wee-ones, particularly those from Mr. T, who plays Earl Devereaux, a bad guy with a “T” shaved in his hair. Bill Hader and Anna Faris provide the leads with help from James Caan, Andy Samberg, Bruce Campbell, Benjamin Bratt, Neil Patrick Harris and many more. Not available in 3-D.

THE FINAL DESTINATION

2009; $17.95-$35.95, R

The fourth in the series (officially known as “FD: Death Trip”) and the first to be filmed in 3-D finds the usual group of overly attractive young adults escaping catastrophe via a premonition, only to be stalked by invisible, relentless Death in splattery, creative ways. The cast is largely vapid and forgettable — the exceptions being leggy Shantel “Yow!” VanSanten and former “Baywatch” babe Krista Allen — allowing you, the viewer, to relish in their horrific 3-D passings without sadness. Available in both standard 3-D and Blu-Ray 3-D with appropriately cheap and tacky glasses. Enjoy.

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BARNEY: PLEASE & THANK YOU

2010; $10.95, UR

When Baby Bop stops saying “Please” and “Thank You,” Barney breaks into song — 19 in all. Let the punishment fit the crime. Man, is it a slow week or what?

CHAINS OF GOLD

1991; $19.95, UR

Here’s one that John Travolta doesn’t put on his resume: He dreamed up and partially wrote this just plan BAD tale of an alcoholic social worker (Travolta) who sets out to save a crack-dealing kid ... Joey Lawrence! Could it get any more ’90s? Well, add Marilu Henner as the MILF, ’70s stalwart Bernie Casey as a cop, and, best of all, then-unknown Benjamin Bratt as an evil drug lord! Unbelievably entertaining, with the great Conchata Ferrell, late of “Two and Half Men.” You’ll laugh your ass off!

FALLING UP

2009; $26.95, UR

A great cast — Sarah Roemer, Snoop Dogg, Rachael Leigh Cook, etc. — livens this romantic dramedy about a young man (Joseph Cross), on his way to becoming a nurse, who must take a job as a doorman after his father’s death. There he tempts fate by falling for the daughter of the building’s wealthiest tenant. A good little film that deserved better than to be dumped straight to video.

FLEXING WITH MONTY

2009; $17.95, UR

An odd indie mix of comedy, drama and horror. Monty is one major asshole — a self-absorbed bodybuilder/bigot with a mean streak. His bookish, emotionally wounded brother Bertin lives in his shadow until they meet Lilith (Sally Kirkland), a nun collecting donations for an odd and mysterious cause. This meeting triggers something in Bertin that leads to Monty’s gruesome comeuppance. With characters named “Hooker,” “Caged Man,” “Granny” and “Inflatable Doll,” you know this isn’t “Gone With The Wind.”

GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN

1985; $13.95, PG

A new pressing of one of our favorite guilty pleasures. Foot-faced Sarah Jessica Parker never looked better than in this ’80s sparkler inspired by the Cyndi Lauper song. She’s new in town and dreams of dancing on the Bandstand-like TV show with her new friend, Helen Hunt. With Ed Lauter, Jonathan Silverman, Shannen Doherty and — if you look quick! — an uncredited cameo by Robert Downey Jr.

NOVA: LIZARD KINGS

2009; $22.95, UR

No, not another animated doc on dinosaurs, this is a live-action look at the largest lizards on the planet today, the monitor lizards. And the largest of these is the Komodo dragon, a creature with a surprisingly unreptile-like anatomy. In many ways, they are almost mammals, and their lifestyle is not like anything you might imagine. Terrific.

THE CIRCUIT

2008; $13.95, UR

OK, we’ll try to get through this without laughing. A young racecar driver, Michelle ... Michelle ... Michelle Trachtenberg ... Pffffftttt. Whew! Oh, man! We tried! Anyway, Michelle, estranged daughter of master racer Bill Campbell, gets caught up in the glitz and glamour of being a big-time cola-sponsor, challenging her superstar-racer boyfriend (Drew Fuller) to a race. From ABC Family, as if you couldn’t tell. What a howler.

THE PHILANTHROPIST: THE COMPLETE SERIES

2009; $20.95, UR

The morons at NBC/Universal dumped this series after only eight episodes, despite (or because) it was the most intelligent, engaging, expansive, educational and world-wise show we ever saw on broadcast TV. Inspired by the real-life philanthropy of Bobby Sagar, James Purefoy plays a do-gooding adventurer/playboy who travels the world helping people by rolling up his sleeves and inspiring others to do the same. Brilliant, but completely abandoned by the network from day one. This is why we never, ever watch NBC, and the reason that cable is kicking broadcast TV’s ass.

TWO FOR THE SEESAW

1962; $19.95, UR

An all-new pressing of one of the very best movies of ’60s. The immortal Robert Wise (“The Sound of Music,” “West Side Story”) directs Robert Mitchum as a former Midwest lawyer, now wandering the streets of NYC looking for .... something. There he meets free-spirited Greenwich Village dancer Shirley MacLaine, and together they try to find their place in the world. Trust us, if you’ve never seen this excellent romantic drama, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

WELCOME TO WOOP WOOP

$19.95, UR

Neato dark comedy from the director of “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.” An American conman on the run is tricked into marrying a woman in Australia who holds him hostage in her barn. There he finds the remains of her other “husbands” — all shot in the back while trying to escape. Great stuff.

 

OTHER DVDS OF INTEREST:

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: SEASON ONE

2004; $62.95, UR

BEAUTIFUL WORLD WITH JIM BRICKMAN

$22.95, UR

BIG LOVE: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON

2009; $38.95-$59.95, UR

CHUCK: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON

2008; $38.95, UR

DRAGNET 1967: SEASON 1

1967; $27.95, UR

TALES FROM THE CRYPT: SEASON 1 & 2

$17.95, UR

THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE SEASONS 1 & 2

$20.95, UR

 

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