The Video Tapeworm: Aug, 2008 - Releases through Tuesday, Aug. 19
by David B. King and Bill Raker
THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:
MISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY
2008; $29.95, PG-13
Amy “Enchanted” Adams and Oscar-winner Frances McDormand both sparkle in this charming, old-fashioned comedy. Adams is the high-society singer/actress who hires shy, mousy, middle-aged and unemployed governess McDormand as her new social secretary, launching her into the glamorous, uncharted waters of high-town London. What happens next is pure movie magic — something seen rarely nowadays. Gangs of fun and the perfect Date Flick.
THE LIFE BEFORE HER EYES
2008; $26.95-$34.95, R
Uma Thurman is spellbinding in this heavy drama. Haunted by memories of a high school Columbine-like shooting, the adult Thurman begins to lose her grip on reality as the 15th anniversary of the massacre approaches. Taking her daughter to school triggers flashbacks — with Evan Rachel Wood incredible as her younger self — and hallucinations as her once-perfect life begins to unravel on mental, physical and spiritual planes. From the happy-go-lucky Vadim Perelman who brought us “House of Sand and Fog.”
Given the Crusades, Inquisition and genocide of untold civilizations, Christians always seem surprised to learn that theirs is arguably the most bloodthirsty religion on the planet. This doc by author and former priest James Carrol takes us on a journey where the Ten Commandments are carved in blood, threatening our very world.
DISNEY/PIXAR ULTIMATE 8-MOVIE COLLECTION
2008; $219.95, UR
This deal is being offered by Der Mouse only through a particular retailer whom we shall not name, but any good local vidstore should be happy to fix you up. Includes “Toy Story I & II,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Monsters Inc.,” “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles,” “Cars” and “Ratatouille.”
HANNAH MONTANA/MILEY CYRUS: BEST OF BOTH WORLDS CONCERT: THE 3-D MOVIE
2008; $34.95, G
That two-legged ATM, Miley Destiny Hope Cyrus, squeaks into a microphone and dances up a storm for Der Mouse in this limited-edition, two-disc Blu-Ray extended version of her sold-out concert tour — complete with 3-D glasses. Warning: Glasses are designed to cause tweeny girls to force their parents into a Wal-Mart at gunpoint to buy Smiley merchandise. With the Jonas Brothers, as if that mattered. And notice how we didn’t say a thing about her boobs? Man, are we tired of these court orders.
HOUSE, M.D.: SEASON FOUR
2008; $59.95, UR
Yet another great season of the Best Damned Show on TV — now with extra Kal Penn! Season 3 ended with his entire staff fired or quit, so this season he hires a score of would-be fellows/victims — on a budget for three — putting them through humiliating, yet perfectly logical, learning situations, then sits back and laughs while they tear each other apart. What fun! Meanwhile, his old staff shows up again in unexpected, yet perfectly logical, places. We love this show!
JOHN OLIVER: TERRIFYING TIMES
2008; $19.95, UR
A long overdue standup special from Comedy Central featuring The Daily Show’s resident Redcoat. Our favorite bit is where he, with proper British aplomb, politely explains how to invade a country and take slaves without hurting anyone’s feelings. Brilliant.
LOVE AND MARY
2006; $24.95, PG-13
A terrific no-budget indie vehicle for the vastly underappreciated — and cute as a bug — Lauren German (“Hostel II,” “Chainsaw Massacre” remake, “A Walk to Remember”). With her business failing and her fiancé getting cold feet, her life is spiraling down until she meets his jail-bird twin brother, along with the rest of his demented family. Yeah, it’s a chick-comedy, but it’s not fanatical about it.
2008; $24.95-$28.95, PG-13
Jamie Lee Curtis starred in the 1980 original, a splatter flick that so revolted critics it was banned in scores of cities throughout America and most of Europe — making Jamie a superstar in the process. Blonde and bubbly Brittany Snow dons the taffeta for this outing, which does little to improve on Jamie’s legacy … though we have to admit, the gal knows how to go strapless.
QUID PRO QUO
2008; $26.95, R
Nick Stahl stars as a wheelchair-bound reporter investigating people who will do anything to deliberately become cripples or amputees. Very noir-ish at times, it channels the best of Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly at others; this is a terrific indie effort. Highly recommended.
2008; $29.95-$39.95, R
A short-lived cop drama starring Keanu Reeves and Forest Whitaker. Neo plays a brutal detective with a penchant for doing whatever it takes to get information. But when a fellow cop winds up dead, all fingers point to Reeves, who realizes he’s being framed from within his own department. With Hugh Laurie, Chris Evans, Cedric the Entertainer and Jay Mohr.
TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON
2008; $29.95-$39.95, UR
This series hasn’t caught the public’s eye, probably because it is too dark and intense, but it is their loss. As good a sci-fi series as has ever appeared on television, with a strong dramatic focus and great characters, including Lena Headey as the titular butt-kicking uber-mom and sexy little Summer Glau as a nice bit-o-robotail.
THE SCORPION KING 2: RISE OF A WARRIOR
2008; $29.95, PG-13
UFC muscle-head Randy Couture picks up the sweaty mantle of The Rock (who turned this down) for an el-cheapo, strictly-for-the-Piasters straight-to-the-video-toilet prequel to “The Scorpion King.” Of the eight credited cast members, two are identified only as “Concubine.”
THE WIZARD OF GORE
2007; $19.95, UR
Not the wicked “hypnotist who causes nekkid women to kill themselves in creative ways” 1970 masterpiece from the creator of the genre, Herschell Gordon Lewis — all praise his name! — but a remake starring … Crispin Glover? Yep, the human Wheat Thin leads Bijou Phillips, the incomparable Jeffrey Combs, Brad Dourif and monomonikered soft-porn suicide-babes Cecelia, Cayenne, Dell and Rexina. We’ve seen worse, but why remake a classic that still delivers?
OTHER DVDS OF INTEREST
DEXTER: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON
2006; $39.95-$42.95, UR
GOSSIP GIRL: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON
2007; $59.95, UR
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA: SEASON 1
2008; $59.95, UR
LOST CONCERT SERIES: PRESLEY CASH ROAD SHOW
2008; $12.95, UR
MARRIED WITH CHILDREN: THE COMPLETE NINTH SEASON
2008; $39.95, UR
A more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com