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September 2, 2008

Video Tapeworm

Releases through Tuesday, Sept. 9


THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS

BABY MAMA

2008; $29.95, PG-13

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler — two of SNL’s brightest lights of recent years — come together in this damn funny look at the path to modern-day motherhood. Fey is perfect as the successful career woman, too busy to be fertile, who hires Poehler as her ditzy, free-spirited surrogate, and together they go through all the hilarious “training” and other mind-altering experiences that modern child-bearing demands. A perfect topic handled with excellent comic timing by two masters of the art; this is an instant classic.

THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM

2008; $29.95, PG-13

A wonderful kung-fu fantasy starring Jet Li and Jackie Chan, together on the screen for the first time. The characters form a Who’s Who of Chinese literary classics with Li as The Monkey King, warrior/sage/monk from “Journey to the West” (also the inspiration for “Dragon Ball Z”!), and Chang as Lu Yan, a Taoist saint better known as Iron-Crutch Li, one of the Eight Immortals. When an American teen finds a magic relic, he is transported to ancient China, where he must free The Monkey King and kick a lot of people in order to save Eternity. A love song to those of us who grew up on Shaw Brothers movies.

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BRIAN REGAN: THE EPITOME OF HYPERBOLE

2008; $19.95, UR

Laid-back and lazy, but incredibly intelligent, Brian Regan is one of our favorite stand-ups. In this Comedy Central special, he takes a stab at the stupidity of the world around him — including psychics, criminals and, our favorite, the opera — offering his own brilliantly clever solutions.

FOX HORROR CLASSICS COLLECTION, VOL. 2

2008; $19.95, UR

We don’t usually bother with “Volume 2” stuff like this, but this one is exceptional. First, a new release of “Chandu The Magician,” progenitor of a popular serial from the ’30s, directed by William Cameron Menzies, with Bela Lugosi as the evil Roxor. Then, “Dr. Renault’s Secret” plays like “Frankenstein” meets “Beauty and the Beast” with George Zucco as the doc and J. Carrol Naish as his foil. Finally, “Dragonwyck” may be Vincent Price’s best film. Made very early in his career, it’s the perfect tale of Gothic madness, with Price lounging in a massive throne-like chair while beautiful Gene Tierney begs for his love — or freedom. All are wonderfully restored and contain never-before-seen bonus material highlighting the historic nature of the films.

LIGHT AND THE SUFFERER

2007; $19.95, UR

A pair of loser brothers in NY decide to commit a crime to raise money, then move to California to escape their dead-end existence — but then something unexpected happens. It seems their world is shared by “Sufferers” — Sphinx-like cat-aliens who move about quietly observing troubled members of the human race. They’ve long become so much a part of the fabric of life that no one pays them any attention — but one decides to pay attention to them, complicating their criminal efforts. What kind of movie is this? Hell if we know, but it is worth checking out.

NYMPHA

2007; $24.95, R

Splatter-babe Tiffany Shepis (soon to appear in “Bonnie & Clyde vs. Dracula” — really!) stars in this Italian-made tale of a young woman entering a convent that hides a history of pain and perversion. Yeah, sounds like every Catholic Mass we’ve ever been to, too, but this one’s got lesbians and nekkid boobs! Recommended.

SEED

2007; $26.95, UR

Horro-wunderkind Uwe Boll wrote and directed this Canadian tale of a supernatural serial killer who — after three eye-boiling tries — lives through his execution and is buried alive. Now thoroughly P.O.’ed, he claws his way out of the grave and picks up where he left off — torturing and killing everything in his path. We can’t wait for Boll to pen a ballet.

SHELLEY DUVALL’S FAERIE TALE THEATRE: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION

2008; $99.95, UR

Shelley gathered such luminaries as Tim Burton and Francis Ford Coppola to write and direct a Cast of the Gods — Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Mick Jagger, James Earl Jones, Howie Mandel, Christopher Reeve, Susan Sarandon, etc. — for these 26 perfect adaptations of the greatest tales of all time. Comes complete and remastered on seven discs, along with lost episodes, a 112-page illustrated booklet, game cards and much more.

SOMETHING BENEATH

2007; $14.95, UR

Kevin “Hercules” Sorbo — who must really be hurting for work — joins forces with Natalie “Dawn of the Dead” Brown for this environmental cautionary tale about an intelligent, toxic-sewer-slime creature that causes hallucinations. Yeah, of course it’s from the SciFi Channel.

TAKING 5

2007; $24.95, PG

A pair of HOT high-school chicks (or is that redundant?) kidnap a popular boy-band in order to satisfy some sort of social obligation. It never made any sense to us, but then this is PG, and PG rarely does.

TERROR FROM ABOVE TRIPLE FEATURE

2008; $19.95, UR

A killer bargain for under 20 bucks! The original “Alien” in widescreen, the Donald Sutherland “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and Tobe Hooper’s simply extraordinary “LifeForce.” One of about a dozen new themed triple-features from Fox, all of them terrific.

THE LAST DAYS OF LEFT EYE

2008; $19.95, UR

In 2002, the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes of the R&B group TLC went to her second home in Honduras to face down some personal demons away from the constant eye of the media, recording her thoughts on a home-video camera. Those tapes form the core of this doc, along with home movies and her private journals. First video release of the VH1 special.


OTHER DVDS OF INTEREST

GREY’S ANATOMY: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON

1994; $59.95-$96.95, UR

IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA: SEASON THREE

2008; $39.95, UR

SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON

2007; $59.95-$79.95, UR

SYLVESTER AND TWEETY MYSTERIES: SEASON 1

2008; $19.95, UR

UGLY BETTY: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON

2008; $59.95, UR


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