November 5, 2008

The Video Tapeworm

Releases on Tuesday, Nov. 11

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:

HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY

2008; $29.95-$69.95, UR

With all the great adult comic-bookers out recently (Iron Man, Hulk, etc.), we were glad to see director Guillermo del Toro let Hellboy grow and evolve a bit. With his live-in girlfriend demanding he clean up his act, Ron Perlman’s HB has to face adulthood — and more — while saving the world from an elfin prince determined to wrest the universe from the human scum that infests it. We recommend the three-disc Special Edition, which contains some of the best bonus material on the planet.

SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO

2007; $28.95, UR

Cult master Takashi Miike takes on Spaghetti Westerns — and nails them! — in this East-meets-West entree with a side of pasta, sprinkled with odd bits of Moulin Rouge. A pair of warring clans, battling over a legendary treasure, are interrupted by the arrival of a mysterious and mystical lone gunman. They both try to draft him in into their cause, but he has other plans. Wildly entertaining on so many levels; with Quentin Tarantino and Hideaki Ito.

 
 
 

BEER FOR MY HORSES

2008; $27.95, PG-13

A just-plain-fun comedy about two best-friend deputies — corn-try crooner Toby Keith and comedian Rodney Carrington — in a small town who head out to save a girl from kidnappers against the wishes of Sheriff Tom Skerritt. With Ted Nugent as “Skunk,” Brit Morgan as “Harveyetta,” Claire Forlani, the immortal Willie Nelson and Gina Gershon. Recommended.

CHRISTMAS ON MARS

2008; $19.95, UR

Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips cast his friends and bandmates in this psychedelic take on the need for tradition in society, filmed in his backyard on homemade sets. Chaos mounts at Christmas as the first-ever baby is about to be born to a Mars colonist. Watch for Elijah Wood in a cameo.

CHUCK: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON

2008; $49.95, UR

First release of a fun, Emmy-winning geek/spy show with Zachary Levi as a big-box electronics-store nerd who accidentally downloads secret government files into his brain. Nice slapstick and a bit-o-romance. What more could you want?

DRIVE-IN CHEEZY MOVIE COLLECTION

2008; $49.95, UR

The Best Video Deal Of The Decade! Our buds at Cheezy Flicks created this collection of 12 digitally remastered B-flicks on 12 discs with LEO readers in mind. Like what? How ’bout “Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter”? Or “Robot Monster”? Ten more wonderfully bad titles, plus a great bunch of trailers and concession-stand commercials! Life just doesn’t get any better than this.

I DREAM OF JEANNIE: THE COMPLETE SERIES

1965; $174.95, UR

Sid Sheldon, the mind behind “The Patty Duke Show,” dreamed up this little bit of ’60s T&A gold, making stars of Larry Hagman and, of course, Barbara Eden as the leggy, well-hootered, navel-less former cheerleader who calls astronaut Hagman “Master” and teases the audience that she’ll grant his every desire. Yeah, that’s always how it starts, isn’t it, guys? All 139 episodes from five seasons on 20 discs.

KUNG FU PANDA

2008; $29.95-$39.95, PG

Jack Black leads the all-star voice-cast in this fun, animated slapstick ode to the martial-arts dreamer in all of us. Fat and clumsy, he is inexplicably chosen to train alongside his heroes and their legendary master — but only he can defend them all from a vengeful Kung Fu leopard. Too good for kids.

LEGENDARY PERFORMANCES: MERLE HAGGARD

2008; $14.95, UR

A collection of rare live performances courtesy of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum covering some 20 years. Many of these date back to ’60s TV, were recorded live and have never been seen since. A perfect Xmas gift for the true country music fan.

M SQUAD: THE COMPLETE SERIES

2008; $119.95, UR

Now all but forgotten, “M Squad” was one of the first TV police dramas. Starring Lee Marvin and premiering on NBC in 1957, its characters and plotlines have been recycled by lesser talents ever since. Complete with a CD soundtrack featuring music by a young John Williams, Benny Carter and Count Basie — 117 killer episodes.

MISTER PEEPERS: SEASON 2

1953; $39.95, UR

The immortal Wally Cox (voice of “Underdog”) is the titular Mr. P., a shy, retiring junior-high science teacher who is forever finding himself embroiled in some sort of wacky trouble, usually while trying to do the right thing. No big horse-laughs here — just good, old-fashioned fun in the best possible sense. A classic.

SHAUN THE SHEEP: OFF THE BAA

2008; $14.95, UR

Shaun from “Wallace and Gromit in a Close Shave” (one of our favorite flicks of ’95), stars in this Limey TV series not shown here in the States. Now in its second season, this eight-episode video is the perfect introduction to Shaun’s world of W&G-style adventures, pig-bullies and easily-led friends. We loved this thing!

STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS

2008; $28.95-$35.95, PG

Most people fall somewhere among the three categories of Star Wars Fan: 1) The geek who loved all the movies and all the versions, director’s cuts and re-imaginings, even the ones that sucked; 2) the average movie-goer who enjoyed some of the movies but doesn’t own any action figures; and 3) Those too young to know any better than watch this computer-generated piece of crap. If you like your Skywalkers animated, welcome to The Dark Side.

THE PARAMOUNT CENTENNIAL COLLECTION

$24.95 each

If you love great movies as much as we do, then get thee to a vidstore and invest in this new line of exceptionally fine films from Paramount. This first release contains three titles. “Sunset Boulevard” (1950) was Gloria Swanson’s greatest achievement, playing faded silent-screen star Norma Desmond for Billy Wilder in this simply incredible dark Hollywood masterpiece. Then, Audrey Hepburn is a wayward princess and nubile Force of Nature, accompanied by Gregory Peck in “Roman Holiday” (1953). Finally, Humphrey Bogart, William Holden and the irrepressible Hepburn again crackle across the screen in Billy Wilder’s ode to Cinderella, “Sabrina” (1954). These are some of the greatest films ever made, all digitally remastered with all the best bonus material and packaged for proud display.

 
Other DVDs of Interest

LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE: THE COMPLETE TELEVISION SERIES

$279.95, UR

LIVE FROM ABBEY ROAD: THE BEST OF SEASON 1

2008; $19.95-$26.95, UR

MIND OF MENCIA: UNCENSORED SEASON 4

2007; $26.95, UR

SCRUBS: THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON

2008; $29.95, UR

SUPERNATURAL: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON

2008; $79.95, UR

THE SOPRANOS: THE COMPLETE SERIES

2008; $399.95, UR

 

A more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com