September 10, 2008

The Video Tapeworm - Releases through Tuesday, Sept. 16

and Bill Raker

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS

88 MINUTES

2008; $28.95, R

One of the dumbest movies we ever saw. Originally set for an ’05 release, this turkey sat on a shelf until they simply had to do something, but why it didn’t go straight to the video heap will forever remain a mystery. A far bigger mystery than the plot of this turkey, in which Al Pacino gets a phone call telling him he has 88 minutes to live. What happens next is too bizarre — and boring — to relate, but let’s just say it wastes the talents of Alicia Witt, Amy Brenneman, Leelee Sobieski and a host of others. Our favorite part was watching Pacino’s eyes: He knew it was a turd.

SPEED RACER

2008; $28.95-$35.95, PG

We’re big fans of dumb movies, but this one even stretches our limits — a glorious, neon-glitzed, visual 16-speed Warning blender-flicker, whirring out every 5-year-old’s automotive fantasies. Cars jump; cars dance; cars emote, while Emile Hirsch and Christina Ricci lead the disposable plastic-people through some lost story arc. In other words: It was perfect! With killer bonus material from the Wachowski Brothers, who brought you “The Matrix.”

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ALL OVER THE PLACE

2008; $19.95, UR

One of today’s top stand-ups — and master comic impersonator — Frank Caliendo can be seen on everything from Letterman to the Fox NFL pre-game to “MadTV.” But this fall he gets his own show, “Frank TV.” This vid’s a great warm-up while we wait — 60 minutes of classic Frank and a peek at what’s to come.

GET THRASHED: THE STORY OF THRASH METAL

2006; $19.95, UR

Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Pantera, Exodus. What more could you possibly want to know? Feed your head.

HOLLYWOOD HOTEL

1937; $19.95, UR

Warner Bros. is sending out a number of great 70-year-old romantic/musical Busby Berkeley chestnuts this week, but this one item is worth extra mention. “Hotel” is a classic for the ages, with singer Dick Powell running afoul of a spoiled movie star (Lola Lane) and her lovable twin (Rosemary Lane) amid the comic soap-opera turmoil of a juggernaut movie studio. With lots of great musical numbers, Benny Goodman’s Orchestra and Ted Healy — soon to form “and his Stooges.”

I-SEE-YOU.COM

2006; $19.95, UR

First video release of a popular cable comedy from a few years back. A teen wires his house with webcams, broadcasting the daily life of his dysfunctional family — and making a ton of money — without telling them. Stars Beau Bridges, Rosanna Arquette, Mathew Botuchis, Shiri Appleby and Dan Castellaneta.

MADE OF HONOR

2008; $28.95, PG-13

Patrick Dempsey humiliates himself for a woman. Yeah, we’ve all been there! In this case, it’s his best friend of 10 years, Michelle Monaghan, who asks him to be her “maid of honor” when she suddenly decides to get married — just as Patrick is about to reveal his love for her. Can you say Chick Flick? 

NATURE: SUPERFISH

2008; $19.95, UR

This cable-TV offering is the perfect gift for the sportsman: an exciting look at the dangerous sport of billfishing. The catch includes massive sailfish, the savage swordfish and — at 60-plus mph and half-a-ton — the grand marlin.

PROTEUS

2004; $24.95, UR

Before there was space travel, people dreamed of the unknown wonders beneath the world’s oceans. For 19th century biologist/painter/poet Ernst Haeckel, it became a spiritual quest. After discovering a one-celled life form called a “radiolarian,” he eventually described and painted 4,000 separate species. This excellent animated doc reveals the wonders of science, technology and imagination — and their cleansing effect on the human soul. Highly recommended.

SNOW ANGELS

2007; $27.95, R

A big hit at the Sundance Film Festival, this family drama brings together a teen, his old babysitter and her daughter, now separated from her husband/father. Stars Kate Beckinsale, Sam Rockwell, Michael Angarano, Griffin Dunne, Amy Sedaris and Olivia Thirlby.

THE ABSENT-MINDED PROFESSOR/SON OF FLUBBER

2008; $19.95, UR

If all you know of the “Absent-Minded Professor” or “Flubber” was that awful Robin Williams version, you so owe it to yourself to see real humor: These two beautiful B&W Fred MacMurray Disney live-action classics, now together for cheap. Life doesn’t get any better than this.

THE LOVE GURU

2008; $39.95, PG-13

Mike Myers spoofs his own movies in this fun fan film about an American child (that you just gotta see), raised in India by a pair of wacky gurus, who comes to the States to make it big as a self-help wizard. But none of that has anything to do with the sight-gags, pratfalls, bell-ringing erections and hundreds of other little bits that pepper this harmlessly raunchy ode to mischief. Justin Timberlake goes completely off-the-hook, Jessica Alba is too hot for words, and Ben Kingsley completely destroys his “Gandhi” cachet as “Guru Tugginmypudha.” Hilarious.

WILL AND GRACE: THE COMPLETE SERIES

2008; $249.95, UR

Eric McCormack is a lawyer who lives with his best friend, skinny/sexy Debra Messing. And the fact that he’s gay and they’re both randy as hell only adds to the merriment. A glorious updating of Jewish Borscht-Belt traditions ranging from smart, effervescent dialog to broad physical comedy — usually when Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally roar into the room. Brilliantly written and performed, this is simply The Best Sitcom Ever Aired. We have spoken. 186 episodes from 8 seasons on 33 discs.

YOUNG@HEART

2007; $27.95, PG

An absolutely brilliant and incredibly entertaining documentary about a group of British singers who cover the likes of Hendrix, Coldplay and Sonic Youth — and their average age is 81! Not only can they sing their asses off, but these old folks RAWK. Hey, hey, my, my / rock ’n’ roll will never die.


OTHER DVDS OF INTEREST

MEERKAT MANOR: THE BEST OF SEASON 3

2008; $12.95, UR

PRIVATE PRACTICE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON

2008; $39.95, UR

PUSHING DAISIES: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON

2007; $29.95-39.95, UR

THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR: SEASON 3

2008; $49.95, UR

TORCHWOOD: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON

2008; $79.95, UR

 

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