February 28, 2006

Video TapeWorm: Releases through March 7

BETTIE PAGE: VARIETEASE/TEASERAMA2005; DVD $19.95, URLong available through cult-movie sources, these two classic Burly-Q offerings feature lovely pin-up queen Bettie Page introducing the acts and doing a modest “Dance of the Four Veils” — in full color! Now at your local vidstore, complete with bump-and-grind legends Lily St. Cyr, Tempest Storm, Cherrie Knight, Honey Baer, Chris La Chris and female-impersonator Trudy Wayne, plus Borsch-Belt escapees Dave Starr and Joe E. Ross. Considered “adult” in the ’50s, they’d hardly break into PG-13 territory today. Gangs of fun!BREAKING NEWS2006; DVD $19.95, URA terrific and original HK/Chinese crime tale about a TV news crew who broadcast the embarrassing defeat of police by bank robbers, and then are forced by the police to assist in their capture — putting the news crew in harm’s way from both sides!BUSTER KEATON: 65TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION2006; DVD $24.95, URA collection of 10 little-known “2-reelers” (17-minute shorts) from the King of Physical Comedy. Charming, warm and hilarious, Keaton’s stony, hang-dog expression as he wanders from one lethal episode to the next is the very definition of funny. Remastered in HD, it includes a bio-featurette and commentary for each short.HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE2005; VHS Rental/DVD $28.95, PG-13The fourth in the series finds Harry unwittingly drafted into a lethal wizarding tourney that he’s unprepared for, and suspects that it’s the work of Voldemort. Hermione morphs into a major babe and Ron gets a woody as the magic of Puberty catches up with the surprised trio. The quality of this franchise is simply flawless; a guaranteed good time. Also available: All four HP movies in a boxed set for under $75.HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE2005; VHS Rental/DVD $29.95, PGThe latest underappreciated marvel from Hayao Miyazaki (“Spirited Away”) finds his usual Strong Young Woman embroiled with a handsome wizard named Howl. This angers a jealous witch (Lauren Bacall!), who turns her into a 90-year-old crone. To break the spell she must confront the mysteries of Howl’s magical castle — including a fire-breathing dragon voiced by Billy Crystal. Fabulous.JUST FRIENDS2005; VHS/DVD $28.95, PG-13An overly complex, but entertaining Ryan Reynolds romantic-comedy vehicle that kinda tanked at the box office. Not his best, but fun stuff with Amy Smart, Anna Faris and Julie Hagerty.LOLLILOVE2004; DVD $19.95, URHilarious, biting stab at rich, clueless do-gooders out to save the homeless, courtesy of our buds at Troma Studios. Tasteless, tacky and savagely funny, it stars real-life husband and wife James and Jenna Gunn (“Slither,” “The Office”).MIRACLE DOGS TOO2001; DVD $14.95, URSequel to the surprise no-budget family hit “Miracle Dogs,” about a pair of cocker spaniels with magical healing powers affecting the lives of Janine Turner (“Northern Exposure”), Patrick Muldoon (“Stigmata”), Charles Durning (“Evening Shade”), Leslie Ann Warren (“Desperate Housewives”) and Jaleel White (“Family Matters”).OTAKU UNITE!2006; DVD $19.95, UR“Otaku,” for the uninitiated, are fans of Japanese animation, some of the most rabid and obsessively devoted nut-jobs to come along since Trekkies developed prostate trouble. This is the first doc dedicated to the history and scope of their compulsion in the United States, beginning with the first Astro-Boy and Speed Racer imports of the 1960s.PAPER CLIPS2004; DVD $24.95, GA two-disc set of the recent American art-house documentary fave about rural Tennessee schoolchildren raising their awareness of the Holocaust and how it affected their small community.PORNOGRAPHY: THE SECRET HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION2000; DVD $29.95, URA non-exploitive look at how Man’s obsession with his own naughty bits — and those of his neighbor — has driven art and technology since the days of the first cave-perv. Made in Britain as a five-hour miniseries, now available on two discs.PRIME2005; VHS $29.95/DVD $29.95, PG-13Uma Thurman and Bryan Greenberg star in this critics-darling about opposites attracting. It may be old territory, but the surprise is still fresh as the simple, hip-hop-loving young Jew finds himself in love with the older, lapsed-Catholic who travels in the sophisticated, high-end world of fashion. The movie spends way too much time on the problems of her shrink — and his mother — Meryl Streep, but the rest is lots of fun.RICHARD DIAMOND, PRIVATE EYE1957; DVD $9.95, URBefore David Janssen ran from the law as “The Fugitive,” he starred in this very classy detective series that still influences TV today. A pair of very rare episodes from the first season and a short bio on its star.TENNESSEE TUXEDO AND HIS TALES/THE BEST OF GO-GO GOPHERS1963; DVD $12.95 each, URFifteen episodes in the first, 21 in the second. What more could you possibly want to know?!OTHER DVDS OF INTERESTPOLICE WOMAN: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON2005; DVD $49.95, URSTAR TREK: FAN COLLECTIVE — BORG2006; DVD $39.95, URTHE HILLS HAVE EYES1977; DVD $14.95, RWALKING TALL: THE COMPLETE SERIES2006; DVD $29.95, URZU WARRIORS2001; DVD $29.95, PG-13A more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com!