May 16, 2006

Video Tapeworm: Releases through May 23

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:THE GOEBBELS EXPERIMENT2004; DVD $29.95, UROverrated ham Kenneth Branagh reads from the diary of Hitler’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels. The Karl Rove of his day, Goebbels was the man who spun his insane boss’ maniacally cruel edicts into palatable — nay, patriotic! — fodder for the masses, cementing his place in history as the world’s most successful liar. Until present day, of course. An absolutely chilling look into the mind of the 20th century’s first serial-killer-enabler.TRANSAMERICA2005; VHS Rental/DVD $28.95, RFelicity Huffman won major attention at the Oscars for her portrayal of the born-again Christian, pre-operative transsexual, modern L.A. woman (at least at the start of the film) off on a voyage of self-discovery. An amazing feat for what is, at heart, a forgettable low-budget indie of the type we see every day. The secret is Huffman’s amazing physical transformation from the sexy big-boned blonde we saw in “Sports Night” into “Bree,” a man trapped in a woman’s body. Many viewers didn’t recognize her, thinking that the part was actually played by a man! A terrific little movie.ANGEL BLADE2002; DVD $24.95, URNo, not the famous adults-only anime, this is a better-than-it-has-to-be straight-to-vid thriller. David Heavener stars with Marc Singer, Margot Kidder, the incomparable Richard Moll (“Bull” from “Night Court”) and Louis Mandylor in a noir-ish tale of murder and insanity in Vegas.BLOODRAYNE2006; DVD $26.95, R/URThe latest video-game-cum-movie. These things are rarely good (anyone remember “Mario Brothers” with Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo?), but they can be entertaining. Kristianna Loken from “Terminator 3” stars as a half-human/half-vampire/all-babe leather-clad bloodsucker-dispatcher in ancient Romania.BULLITT1968; DVD $13.95, UROne of the best movies ever made, now for cheap! Steve McQueen is simply AWESOME as the no-nonsense cop, caught in a web of intrigue when a mob witness under his protection is murdered. The ensuing hunt is pure cinematic history, featuring an airborne Ford Mustang in the grand-daddy of all car chases. Abso-freakin’-lutely incredible!CANNIBAL2004; DVD $26.95, RStraight to video quickie about a young man, more-or-less normal and well-adjusted, who spies a stunning redhead at a college cafeteria and slowly dissolves into madness. Man, have we ever been THERE!CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN 22005; VHS Rental/DVD $29.95, PGSteve Martin and Bonnie Hunt return in this G-level comedy sequel, peppered with a couple of cuss words in order to raise it up to the larger and more profitable PG demographic. Essentially a mid-’70s “Generic Family Goes On Vacation” sitcom expanded to 90 minutes. Eugene Levy, Tom Welling, Hilary Duff and Piper Perabo pick up a paycheck.FISH AND ELEPHANT2001; DVD $29.95, URApparently, lesbians make good cinema in China, because we’ve seen a butt-load of them lately — and they’ve all been pretty good. In this one, Qun and Ling share a peaceful alternative (and secret) relationship until Qun’s mom arrives for a visit, bringing a list of potential boyfriends with her. Talk about a fish and a bicycle ...HOLLOW MAN 22006; DVD $24.95, RKevin Bacon’s 2000 “Hollow Man” was an eye-popping and original, if flawed, sci-fi blockbuster. This time Christian Slater dons the see-through skin to become a rogue assassin, victim of a secret government program, out to destroy those responsible. While not terrific, it deserved better than this straight-to-video dump-job. A fun CGI-enabled chase; worth checking out.METAL: A HEADBANGER’S JOURNEY2005; DVD $24.95, URWe love this thing! Professional anthropologist and self-professed metal-music junkie Sam Dunn sets out on a global odyssey to study the little-understood culture of Headbangers, like himself. Part concert, part amazingly intelligent interview, part party-film, you can never tell for sure if Dunn is being serious or not because he’s so detached and sophisticated. Includes an additional 87 minutes of special features and interviews with Alice Cooper, Dee Snider, Rob Zombie, Ronnie James Dio, Vince Neil and more!NOVA: THE VIKINGS2000; DVD $19.95, URBecause of savage raids during the 8th century, the Vikings have gained a reputation as little more than brutal barbarians. But the truth, and the reasons for those raids, is much more interesting. This two-hour doc explodes the myths, uncovering a culture of canny (some might say “sneaky”) merchants, expert shipbuilders and artisans with a keen understanding of what it takes to colonize a new land — including America, centuries before the Europeans.THE BOOTH2005; DVD $24.95, URDirected by Japanese newcomer Yoshihiro Nakamura (writer of “Quill”), a DJ in an all-night radio station is forced to temporarily move to an old, and reportedly haunted, broadcast booth in a forgotten part of the building. Subtitled horror at its most cutting-edge.THE CECIL B. DEMILLE COLLECTION2006; DVD $59.95, URFor the clueless, DeMille wrote, produced and/or directed some of the greatest movies ever made, including a number of uncredited executive producer gigs such as “War of the Worlds” (1953) and “When Worlds Collide.” This set contains five of his best, if not best known, wonderfully restored: the 1931 version of “Cleopatra” with Claudette Colbert, “The Crusades” with Loretta Young, “Four Frightened People,” “Sign of the Cross” and the Western romance/drama “Union Pacific,” the only Barbara Stanwyck movie we ever liked.WHO GETS TO CALL IT ART?2006; DVD $26.95, URA fun little arthouse doc about the wild and wacky art scene of 1960s NYC from the viewpoint of Henry Geldzahler, first curator of contemporary art at the Metropolitan Museum. Lot’s of footage of Andy Warhol, etc., from their heyday.WINTER SOLDIER1972; DVD $24.95, URThis famous 1972 doc is the one featuring John Kerry and a panel of Vietnam vets, opening their lives to eternal scorn in a effort to stop the slaughter in Southeast Asia. Their point was simple and was directed at the soldiers, not the military: The senseless killing will stop only when soldiers refuse to participate. Should be required viewing in every high school in the land.OTHER DVDS OF INTEREST:ALL YOU’VE GOT2006; DVD $24.95, PG-13DEADWOOD: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON2006; DVD $99.95, URTHE 4400: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON2005; DVD $42.95, URWINGS: SEASONS 1 AND 21990; DVD $39.95, URA more complete listing and free vids at!