August 7, 2007

Video Tapeworm: Releases through Tuesday, Aug. 14

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKSAIR GUITAR NATION2006; DVD $26.95, RA lively and entertaining look at the U.S. Air Guitar Championships where hundreds of would-be rockers climb on stage and rock out to their favorite heavy metal epics for fun and prizes. And babes. You can’t forget the babes.LES PAUL: CHASING SOUND2007; DVD $24.95, URIf all you know about Les Paul is that he has a guitar named after him — or even if you think you know everything about this amazing musician, inventor and human being — you’ll still enjoy this excellent PBS bio-doc. Filled to the brim with fabulous music stretching from the earliest days of radio to the present with humble guests Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Tony Bennett, Jeff Beck, Merle Haggard, Steve Miller and more — many of them jamming with the 90-plus-year-old virtuoso, who hasn’t lost a lick or his famous sense of humor in all that time.AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE COLON MOVIE FILM FOR THEATRES FOR DVD2007; DVD $29.95, RIf you’re not a fan of ATHF, then this little flick won’t help you understand what all the fuss is about, because it is just as obscure and confusing as any TV episode — which is exactly the point! A big-screen goof on brainless anime, cult worship and overblown pop-culture excesses told through heroic tales of a fast-food milkshake, a bag of fries and a talking meatball, all engaged in a battle over an immortal piece of exercise equipment. Nobody knows why.BIOGRAPHY: SATAN — PRINCE OF DARKNESS2007; DVD $9.95, URA&E Channel’s salute to “President” George W. Bush. OK, so it’s not — but it could be! A damned interesting bio-doc on the embodiment of evil in the world, and how effective he’s been at fucking it up. Correction: “They’ve” been.CARVED: THE SLIT MOUTHED WOMAN2007; DVD $19.95, URA damned-scary spooker from Japan about a once-beautiful woman, her face hideously disfigured by a murderous husband, whose spirit roams the night exacting terrible retribution on a town and a school that failed her. Scared the shiitakes out of us.DAVID LYNCH’S INLAND EMPIRE2006; DVD $29.95, URLaura Dern gives an amazing performance in this tale that could only have come from the mind of David Lynch. She is an actress working on a film that she discovers is based on an old, abandoned Polish film, abandoned because both of the leads were mysteriously murdered. Is she going crazy, or is her life beginning to copy the plot of the film? … which could lead to her own death!ELVIS: THE MINI-SERIES2005; DVD $26.95, URRe-release of the excellent bio-drama on the life of The King starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, timed to take advantage of the 30th anniversary of Elvis’ death on Aug. 16. Rose McGowan makes a great Ann-Margret.ESSENTIAL DIRECTORS: MARTIN SCORSESE2007; DVD $30.95, RA phenomenal value on three of Scorsese’s best — “The Departed,” “The Aviator” and “Goodfellas” — in a nice boxed set.FRACTURE2007; DVD $28.95, RAnthony Hopkins is, for wont of a better phrase, Hannibal Lecter, in this brilliant psychological thriller. He murders his wife, confesses and goes to trial where — in a masterwork of clever writing and consummate performance — he quietly causes the case against him to evaporate right before the eyes of Deputy D.A. Ryan Gosling. As good as a movie can get in this world.GRAVEYARD OF HONOR2002; DVD $24.95, URFirst U.S. DVD release of Takashi Miike’s remake of the 1975 crime classic “Jingi no hakaba.” A quiet dishwasher/bartender accidentally saves the life of a mob boss, quickly rising through the ranks to become his most loyal soldier. Subtitled.LESBIAN SEX AND SEXUALITY2007; DVD $29.95, URFirst video release of the late-night cable series that offers an “uncharted and provocative journey where the subject of lesbian sexuality and desire isn’t whispered, but celebrated.” Hell, we celebrate it every chance we get! Lots of sex-talk, a bit of skin, “sexperts,” filming of girl-on-girl porn and an “in depth” look at sex toys, all designed to educate and/or stimulate, depending on who is in the room with you at the time. Recommended.THE FIRST FILMS OF SAMUEL FULLER: ECLIPSE SERIES 51951; DVD $44.95-49.95, URIf you’re not familiar with the films of Samuel Fuller, this is the perfect opportunity to discover one of the world’s most daring filmmakers. A three-disc set beginning with “I Shot Jesse James” (1949), a psychological Western that uses both pathos and humor to tell the true tale of the man who shot James in the back. “The Baron of Arizona” (1950) stars Vincent Price as a conman who tries to swindle the U.S. government out of an entire STATE; and “The Steel Helmet” (1952) — cinema’s first look at the Korean War — was so savage that Fuller found himself in trouble with the FBI!THE LOOKOUT2007; DVD $29.95-$36.95, RA gritty and intense crime drama starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“Third Rock”) as a brain-damaged young man, working as a night janitor at a bank, who is enticed into robbery by low-life criminals who promise him friendship, romance and escape. But the tables are turned when he gets hold of the money. A perfectly conceived and executed suspenser that will have you on the edge of your seat. Highly recommended.VACANCY2007; DVD $28.95-$38.95, RLuke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale do a bit of slumming in this cheap and cheezy — if very entertaining — mad slasher flick. When their car breaks down, they check into a lonely motel. On the TV are crude snuff films that they come to realize were filmed in the very room they are standing in! And the killer is knocking on their door! Bwaahaahaa!WILD HOGS2007; DVD $29.95, PG-13Kinda fun/kinda lame aging-buddy road-picture with Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy, a group of bored suburbanites who decide to hit the road on their motorcycles for a bit of guy-bonding. PG-13 hijinx ensue.OTHER DVDS OF INTERESTDANGERMOUSE: THE COMPLETE SERIES1981; DVD $89.95, URDOCTOR STRANGE: THE SORCERER SUPREME2007; DVD $19.95-$29.95, PG-13DYNASTY: THE SECOND SEASON1981; DVD $38.95, URTHE FUGITIVE: SEASON ONE, VOL. 11963; DVD $38.95, URA more complete listing and free vids at!