August 6, 2008

Video TapeWorm

Releases through Tuesday, Aug. 12


THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS

BRAND UPON THE BRAIN!

2006; $39.95, UR

Wow! Where to begin? The films of Guy Maddin defy both description and categorization; they are quite literally beyond film as we have come to know it. Here he takes us on a trip through his alternative childhood: a gothic, b&w, sci-fi-horror-comedy set in a lighthouse on a dark, spooky island. Originally to be presented as a live event complete with full orchestra, multiple narrators (some pulled from the crowd) and sound effects, this “theatrical” version is a near-masterpiece. A must-own for any adventurous film lover.

CJ7 (CHEUNG GONG 7 HOU)

2008; $28.95-$38.95, UR

Director Stephen Chow stars in this simply bizarre and wonderfully amazing sci-fi/family comedy. A poor Chinese family man scratches out a meager living amid grinding poverty when his son finds a mysterious orb in a junkyard. The sphere turns out to be an otherworldly “pet” with bizarre, uncanny powers, sending Chow on a voyage of understanding. A major hit in Hong Kong, China and the Philippines, this new American DVD includes some of the best bonus material imaginable, including “Make Your Own Giant Lollipop” and a Mission Control video game.

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DAVE’S WORLD: THE FIRST SEASON

1993; $44.95, UR

We were big fans of this late, lamented TV show that CBS pulled WAY too early. Harry “Night Court” Anderson was perfect as Dave Barry, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, living the easy life, writing syndicated humor from his suburban home and suffering through all the foolishness that American life, a wife — the stunning DeLane Matthews –— and two sons entail. Written, of course, by Dave Barry himself; 23 episodes on three discs.

DC SUPER HEROES: THE FILMATION ADVENTURES

2008; $24.95, UR

A fabulous set of 18 cartoon shorts from the mid ’60s featuring The Atom, Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Teen Titans and Justice League of America. If all you know of such wonders is “Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law,” you owe it to yourself and your children to check out these excellent adventures.

JANE GOODALL’S WHEN ANIMALS TALK

2008; $14.95, UR

Answer to the question, “How do you know when to stop drinking?” Well, yeah, but more importantly, a fun and lively outing for kids from Animal Planet starring the transcendent Ms. Goodall.

LEGACY

2008; $19.95, R

Hottie Haylie Duff — big sis to Hilary — stars in this kinda horny/funny tale of three sexy sorority babes under suspicion for murder who use their feminine wiles — plus boobs, legs and lips — to throw moronic police inspectors (including Tom Green) off the scent.

MUHAMMAD ALI: MADE IN MIAMI

2008; $19.95, UR

While Louisvillians love our native son, his transition from talented fighter Cassius Clay to the worldly Muhammad Ali took place largely while training in Miami. Check it out for yourself in this PBS special.

SCHOOL RUMBLE: SEASON ONE BOX SET

2008; $69.95, UR

Right up front: There is no rumble in this school, but you won’t miss it thanks to everything that is going on. A wildly entertaining anime look at high school through the eyes of a geeky, shy 16-year-old who quietly yearns for his true love amid all the usual teen follies — cranked up to 11! When a simple “ask her out for a date” becomes a nightmare of giraffes, crazy dream sequences, trucks full of pigs and a flying saucer, you know it’s all too good to explain. Just check it out.

SMART PEOPLE

2008; $29.95-$34.95, R

Romantic comedy art-houser with Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, Thomas Haden Church and Ellen Page emoting through a lightly comic tale of a widowed college prof who learns to love again amid an unexpected visit from his adopted brother. Better than it sounds (it’d have to be).

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE: ROCKABERRY ROLL

2008; $14.95, UR

Is it just us, or is Strawberry Shortcake kinda, you know, hot? OK, so it’s just us. That little tart and her juicy pals form their own band — Strawberry Jam, in honor of Canned Heat — to compete in the Strawberryland Talent Show when a 20-inch Zildjian falls and cuts the lamps. Hey, it was either this or another damn Bob The Builder review. 

THE KILLING GENE

2007; $19.95, UR

One seriously vicious and disturbing serial murder tale with two bodies at every crime scene. Stellan Skarsgard, Melissa George and Selma Blair are bound together in the search for a demented killer who carves “W-Delta-Z” into the bodies of his victims — which turns out to be the motive behind his deeds. Can you balance the equation? Aka “WAZ.”

TRU CALLING COMPLETE SERIES

2003; $59.95, UR

Series star — and mega-babe — Eliza Dushku couldn’t shake off the dark “Buffy” trappings that this ham-handed series wallowed in. That being said, there are some excellent stories here as morgue-worker Liza speaks to the dead, then sets out to prevent their deaths. A good way to get ready for her new sci-fi series, “Dollhouse,” coming this fall from “Buffy” creator Joss Whedon. 

WGBH: FLYING THE SECRET SKY

2008; $24.95, UR

In 1940, the Nazis had bombed Britain into near-submission while the United States — ever brave and fearless — remained “neutral.” Our only assistance being to sell them airplanes, which they had to come and get. U-boats quickly sank the carriers. That’s when American and Canadian civilian pilots, disgusted at U.S. cowardice, walked off their jobs, met in Canada and arranged a clandestine operation to deliver the planes themselves by flying them across the Atlantic — despite the fact that the planes could not hold enough fuel for the trip! An inspiring and tragic first-ever look at true heroism.

WIDE AWAKE

2007; $24.95, UR

A young boy goes mental after suffering through heart surgery fully aware due to botched anesthesia. Decades later, his doctors and nurses begin to die in strange and horrible ways. Could there be a connection? If we know anything about South Korean horror films, there is.


OTHER DVDS OF INTEREST

CAROLINE IN THE CITY: THE FIRST SEASON

1995; $42.95, UR

HUSTLE: COMPLETE SEASONS 1-4

2008; $99.95, UR

PRISON BREAK: SEASON 3

2006; $49.95, UR

THAT GIRL SEASON 4

1970; $39.95, UR

THE WIRE: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON

2008; $59.95, UR


by David B. King and Bill Raker

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