April 17, 2007

Video TapeWorm: Releases through Tuesday, April 24

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS: THE ODD COUPLE: SEASON ONE 2006; DVD $42.95, UR A bit of phosphor-dot history with the exquisite team of Tony Randall and Jack Klugman, led by some of the best writers ever to grace The Tube, in a four-disc set from back in the day when “a TV season” lasted six months. Based on the play by Neil Simon, Randall was Felix, a nerdy, anal clean-freak, who is forced to share rent with his equally unlucky jock-slob of a friend played to the hilt by Klugman. So simple, yet so damned funny that it remained one of the most-watched shows in TV history for five years. A bargain at any price. WKRP IN CINCINNATI: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON 1978; DVD $39.95, UR We absolutely loved every moment of this goofy sitcom, inspired by the movie “FM,” but we particularly liked the first season. The attitude was almost breathless, the whole thing an experiment in social engineering as a hip, younger generation literally took the world from the aging Old Guard at a failing radio station, energizing it with rock music, sex, drugs and live turkeys. Made a star out of Howard “Doctor Johnny Fever” Hesseman, Tim “Venus Flytrap” Reid and forever burnt the Monroe-like image of Loni Anderson into our brains. Man, do we miss this show. A PUG’S LIFE: THE DOG-UMENTARY 2003; DVD $19.95, UR We keep hearing that “pugs,” those ugly little dogs who look exactly the same from the front or the back, have “wonderful personalities.” They must. And the makers of this little dog-doc want you to become one of their converts as they revel in books, art, clubs and more dedicated to the squat little poop-machines. One helluvalotta fun. CODE NAME: THE CLEANER 2007; DVD $27.95, PG-13 Lucy Liu and Cedric the Entertainer make a better team than you’d expect in this spy-spoof that never seems to find its legs. Cedric plays a janitor with amnesia who believes he’s really a super-secret agent with a hot, blond wife (Nicollette Sheridan) and a sexy butt-kicking partner (Lucy Liu). We’ve seen worse. DANIEL BOONE: SEASON 3 1967; DVD $49.95, UR By Season 3, circa 1967, “Daniel Boone” was a bona fide national obsession. Kids wouldn’t be caught dead in public without their coonskin caps — we wouldn’t, anyway! Now available digitally restored in vibrant color with a raft of special features. DEJA VU 2006; DVD $24.95-34.95, PG-13 Denzel Washington’s sci-fi/time-travel/crime-thriller that sank at the box office. Far better than you’ve heard as directors Jerry Bruckheimer and Tony Scott spin the tale of a Fed, looking for clues to a bombed ferry via a top-secret time-shifting gizmo. Denzel decides to use the device to prevent the crime from ever happening. HISTORY CHANNEL: CANNIBALISM SECRETS REVEALED 2007; DVD $24.95, UR We don’t know why, but cannibals to us are just plain funny, so we loved this edutaining look at the facts and fiction concerning the eating of flesh — literally and at church on Sunday — courtesy of cable TV. HOLLYWOOD SOUND: MUSIC FOR THE MOVIES/MAX STEINER, FRANZ WAXMAN, DAVID RAKSIN 2007; DVD $24.95, UR One of the best things about the great films from the “studio days” of Hollywood was the music. This fun look at the guys behind the sounds of “Gone With the Wind,” “Bride of Frankenstein” and — our all-time favorite film! — “The Adventures of Robin Hood” includes scores recreated by a live orchestra. Gangs of fun. JOHN CLEESE COMEDY COLLECTION: HOW TO IRRITATE PEOPLE/ROMANCE WITH A DOUBLE BASS/STRANGE CASE OF THE END OF CIVILIZATION 2007; DVD $29.95, UR Arguably the funniest man alive, John’s off-the-wall humor has been a staple of British humor since the days of “I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again,” long before Monty Python’s Flying Circus. These three well-chosen offerings are the perfect introduction to John’s more savage solo work. “Irritate,” in particular, can make a grown man pee on his own couch. We got proof (and we got “SPAMALOT” TICKETS!). NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2006; DVD $29.95-39.95, PG Ben Stiller is put upon by all manner of misdeeds in this “Jumangi”-like exercise for the wee-ones. He’s a down-on-his-luck night guard at a museum where the displays come to life. With Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Robin Williams, a walking T-Rex skeleton and a host of cameos. THE DREW CAREY SHOW: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON 1995; DVD $39.95, UR Where do we begin? Cleveland’s greatest son — a guy who went to the library to learn how to be a comic — was the cure for every bland thing that TV had become by the mid-’90s. It was funny. It was real (sorta). It was your life, if you just had the right attitude. And it had the greatest cast of unknowns, layabouts and lovable losers ever assembled! Four discs with a mere 22 episodes — plus a great gag reel — of the record-breaking show that went on for nine seasons before some shmuck at Disney shut it down. THE QUEEN 2006; DVD $29.95-.”95, PG-13 Big-time modern weepy-costumer about the tribulations of the British Royals following the death of Princess Diana. May not sound like much, but it’s terribly moving, don’t you know, with Helen Mirren (who looked great naked in 1980’s “Hussy” — check it out!), Michael Sheen and James Cromwell. THR3E 2007; DVD $26.95, PG-13 Ted Dekker’s hellacious serial-killer novel is ham-handedly turned into a PG-13 Polish-American joke in this disappointing, if very watchable, movie starring Marc Blucas from “Buffy.” He plays a seminary student trying to unscramble insane clues left by a madman who has already killed his brother. Better title? “Shoulda Been An ‘R’!” WONDROUS SECRETS OF THE OCEAN REALM 2007; DVD $59.95, UR We’ve probably seen 100 of these “lazy swims through a tropical ocean while a famous narrator intones” travelogues, but this six-disc set is something different altogether! Taking pains to find those hidden realms and unknown paradises that even veteran scuba divers never see, this is a step into a truly unknown world. Other DVDs of Interest AL FRANKEN: GOD SPOKE 2005; DVD $26.95, UR FLIPPER: THE ORIGINAL SERIES, SEASON 1 1964; DVD $39.95, UR HISTORY CHANNEL: TRUE STORY OF CHE GUEVARA 2007; DVD $24.95, UR IRONSIDE: SEASON 1: VOL. 1 1967; DVD $19.95, UR ONE DAY AT A TIME: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON 1975; DVD $29.95, UR PLANET EARTH: THE COMPLETE BBC SERIES 2007; DVD $79.95-$99.95, UR A more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com!