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September 16, 2008

The Video Tapeworm - Releases through Tuesday, Sept. 23

and Bill Raker

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS

LEATHERHEADS

2008; $29.95-$39.95, PG-13

George Clooney and Renee Zellweger are having a ball in this simple, old-fashioned romantic comedy set amid the earliest days of pro football. With his team going down the crapper, George agrees to hire brash, young college superstar John Krasinski. Meanwhile, spunky reporter Zellweger is looking for some dirt to spread on this newly minted sport and smells a story as they both set their sights on her. Add in some shameless slapstick and broad physical comedy, and it all adds up to good, clean fun. We liked it.

RUN, FATBOY, RUN

2007; $27.95-$35.95, PG-13

Simon Pegg of “Shaun of the Dead” and skinny little Thandie Newton of “The Chronicles of Riddick” (and our dreams) star in this fun, low-key romantic comedy about a chunky guy who leaves his pregnant fiancée at the altar, then tries to win her back five years later. To prove he can see something — anything — through to the end, he begins training for a marathon. Obvious? Boy howdy! But done with lots of heart, plenty of laughs, Hank Azaria and the ravishing India de Beaufort as Maya Goshdashtidar.

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AX MEN: SEASON 1

2008; $39.95, UR

First video release of the latest “dangerous jobs” cable offering, a genre that began with “Deadliest Catch.” Follows the exploits of super-macho loggers who risk — and lose — their lives daily to bring down big timber in the Pacific Northwest.

BREATHING ROOM

2008; $19.95, UR

This “Cube”-inspired thriller stars Ailsa Marshall, who starts off the movie being thrown naked into a room with 13 strangers. She is the final contestant in a deadly game that requires they (1) find the exit, (2) understand the reason for their abduction and, most importantly, (3) understand how her nipples can stay erect throughout the entire movie. Nice.

BRYAN LOVES YOU

2008; $19.95, UR

A love song to great indie horror films — based on a true story! Told in vidcorder flashbacks, a psychotherapist (writer/producer/director Seth Landau) becomes aware that his small desert town is being consumed by a religious cult called “The Bryans.” Co-stars Tony “Candy Man” Todd, George “Cheers” Wendt, Tiffany “Abominable” Shepis, Lloyd Kaufman of Troma Studios, Daniel “Bubba Ho-Tep” Roebuck and scream queen Brinke Stevens. 

MOTHER OF TEARS

2007; $19.95, UR

Fans of Giallos already recognize this as the final chapter in Dario Argento’s legendary “Three Mothers” trilogy — the first two, of course, being “Suspiria” (1977) and “Inferno” (1980). While Rome fills with strange, evil-looking young women amid a holocaust, an innocent young American (Asia Argento) is the only hope against the resurrection of “Mater Lacrimarum,” the last of three powerful ancient witches bent on the ruin of mankind.

PATHOLOGY

2008; $27.95, R

If you’re a fan of “Autopsy” or “Crank” — or even “CSI” — you’ll enjoy this seriously warped horror set in a pathology lab, with young doctors who are real … cut-ups! (Barroom-pah-CHINNNNG!) Stars Milo Ventimiglia, lotsa cold bodies and the always warm and welcome Alyssa Milano.

SAMANTHA WHO?: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON

2008; $29.95, UR

This unusual TV series hasn’t really caught on yet, which is a shame because it’s the best thing that Christina “Married With Children” Applegate has ever done. She wakes up from a coma with no memory whatsoever — and learns that she’s not a very nice person! So she sets out to do better this time.

SEX AND THE CITY: THE MOVIE

2008; $28.95-$35.95, R

Those waiting breathlessly for this overrated P.O.S. are welcome to it. We are not so afflicted. Next.

SHADOW

1956; $29.95, UR

A man’s body is found, having been thrown from a moving train. But who is he and how did he end up beside these lonely railroad tracks? That’s the central issue of this controversial Polish tale of murder and espionage made back when Europe was a crossroads of secret agents and dirty dealing. A fascinating look at drama behind the now-fabled Iron Curtain.

THE BOOKS OF JOHN

2008; $29.95, UR

A gay man mourns the loss of his companion of 12 years, then tries to get on with his life. Months later, he finds his partner’s secret diaries, leading him to a quest for understanding in the little town of Cullman, Ala.

THE GODFATHER COLLECTION: THE COPPOLA RESTORATION

2008; $124.95, UR

Now available in a complete box set, personally restored and remixed by Francis Ford Coppola and available on Blu-Ray, the entire Godfather Trilogy. If you need to know more than that, God help you. A five-disc set (four on Blu-Ray) including all the bonus goodies a Goombah could ever desire.

THE LEGEND OF RED DRAGON

2006; $19.95, UR

A fun indie import that deserves more attention (aka “Sekiryû no onna”). It opens with a ruthless Japanese mafia family — armed to the teeth — who are found slaughtered, each cut in half by an extremely sharp sword in powerful hands. The police and mafia both begin searching for the killer as more bodies are found. But the truth behind the killings is known only to a beautiful young woman whose vengeance powers the Red Dragon. Not to be confused with the Jet Li movie of the same name.

THE PRICE OF SUGAR

2007; $29.95, UR

Next time you sprinkle sugar on your Post Toasties, consider this: Much of it comes from the Dominican Republic, where Haitians are forced at gunpoint to man the plantations amid inhuman squalor. Without fresh water, sanitation, electricity, education or simple medical attention, they work as slaves, while American tourists play on the beaches less than a mile away. Narrated by Paul Newman.

THIS AMERICAN LIFE: SEASON 1

2007; $19.95, UR

This wonderfully obtuse look at everyday America worked better back when it was a radio show, but that’s not a slight — this is still fascinating, even when it veers into “Reality TV” territory. A lively, thoughtful, music-filled look at things that somebody else takes for granted; a peak into our country’s soul.


OTHER DVDS OF INTEREST

BROTHERS & SISTERS: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON

2008; $59.95, UR

CASHMERE MAFIA: THE COMPLETE SERIES

2008; $29.95, UR

FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE SERIES: THE FIRST SEASON

1987; $54.95, UR

KEN RUSSELL AT THE BBC

2008; $59.95, UR

ROB AND BIG: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON

2008; $39.95, UR


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