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July 31, 2007

Video Tapeworm: Releases through Tuesday, Aug. 7

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKSDISTURBIA2007; DVD $29.95-$39.95, PG-13In a star-making performance, Shia LaBeouf portrays a young man, bitter and angry after the death of his father, who gets into trouble with the law. His home incarceration is livened by the unbelievably hot girl next door (Sarah Roemer) and the neighbor they suspect is a psycho-killer. A tweenie “Rear Window” with a lively sense of humor, played against the steely gaze of chilling David Morse as the whack-job. While aimed at a pre-teen audience, his spooky intense-while-doing-nothing stare all but steals the show.THE DRESDEN FILES: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON2007; DVD $39.95, UROur favorite find of the last TV season, this fairly intelligent, warm and literate “adult Harry Potter with poor personal hygiene” series, based on Jim Butcher’s best-selling novels, is one of the SciFi Channel’s high points. Paul Blackthorne is Harry Dresden, a modern-day wizard, and listed as such in the Chicago phone book. A disheveled, comic gumshoe, he uses magic to help an unsuspecting populace when dark forces disrupt peoples lives — all while dodging the bureaucracies of both worlds.8 SIMPLE RULES: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON2002; DVD $23.95, URBy far the best season of this ill-fated sitcom starring John Ritter in his last live TV role, Katey Sagal from “Married With Children” and the stunningly nubile Kaley Cuoco as their the teenage hottie-daughter. The show’s original title, “8 Simple Rules for Dating My Daughter,” referred to a running gag between Ritter and Cuoco’s would-be boyfriends. Three discs; 28 episodes and lots of bonus goodies.BRIGITTE BARDOT COLLECTION2007; DVD $39.95, URWhile not Bardot’s best, this collection contains some of her most underrated early work, during a time when her breathtaking beauty and palpable sexuality were at their freshest. Five flicks ranging from romantic comedies to heavy dramas, each a minor gem: “Naughty Girl,” “Love on a Pillow,” “The Vixen,” “Come Dance with Me” and “Two Weeks in September.”BUBBA HO-TEP2002; DVD $22.95, RA new Special Edition of our all-time-favorite Elvis movie — and he ain’t even in it! The “true” story of how El (Bruce Campbell) — living not-so-comfortably at age 64 in a Texas retirement home — and his friend, JFK (Ossie Davis!), discover that an evil Egyptian mummy has invaded their senior center, butt-sucking out geezer souls! Now with more commentary including a reading by writer Joe R. Lansdale. BTW: We hear that there’s a prequel in the works!ELVIS-O-MANIA!: PART UNO, BABY2007; DVD $69.99, URIn honor of the 30th anniversary of Elvis’ demise on Aug. 16, Paramount is issuing the “Lights! Camera! Elvis!” collection containing “Blue Hawaii,” “Easy Come, Easy Go,” “Fun in Acapulco,” “G.I. Blues,” “Girls! Girls! Girls!,” “King Creole,” “Roustabout” and “Paradise Hawaiian Style.” Also available individually for way-too-cheap.ELVIS-O-MANIA!: PART DOS, LITTLE MAMA2007; DVD; $49.95, URWarner Brothers dives into the Elvis vault and swims out with “Elvis: The Hollywood Collection,” complete with “Charro,” “Girl Happy,” “Kissin’ Cousins,” “Live a Little, Love a Little,” “Stay Away, Joe” and “Tickle Me.” But our favorite is their “Signature Collection” with “It Happened at the World’s Fair,” “Speedway,” “Spinout,” “Harum Scarum,” “Jailhouse Rock” and the immortal “Viva Las Vegas.” Both sets are $49.95 with individual titles available for $12.95 each. We can also recommend the concert docs “This is Elvis” and “Elvis: That’s The Way It Is” for about $20 each.ELVIS-O-MANIA!: PART TRES, THANKYOUVERYMUUUCH2007; DVD $49.95, URAnd for an indie (read “fan obsessed”), look at The King, check out “Memories of the King” ($19.95), the multi-volume “Elvis: Hot Shots And Cool Clips” ($39.95 each) and “Elvis Thru The Years” ($14.95).HOPALONG CASSIDY: COMPLETE COLLECTION2007; DVD $79.95, URIf the daily grind gets you down, we recommend a step back to a simpler day with this wonderful collection of all 52 episodes from TV’s first star and greatest hero. For the uninitiated, Cassidy (William Boyd) was a marshal in the Old West who, with his comic sidekick, would right wrongs and save the day. Also contains 10 well-selected full-length theatrical titles. Wouldn’t you like to ride in and save the day, just once?I THINK I LOVE MY WIFE2007; DVD $29.95, RA sad Chris Rock vehicle in which he plays a spineless husband, tempted by a friend’s ex-mistress. Just not very funny.MUSTANG SALLY’S HORROR HOUSE2006; DVD $24.95, RNo money for writers, no money for talent and — best of all — no money for wardrobe! What more could you want from an inept indie tale of six college guys who go looking for an infamous whorehouse only to find it infested with topless pyscho-chicks? Wonderfully stupid.NEW ORLEANS MUSIC IN EXILE2007; DVD $19.95, UROne of the best made-for-cable docs ever, if only for the music! After the hurricanes of 2005, New Orleans was little more than a fetid pool of driftwood and dead bodies. In any other city, music would have been the least of their concerns, but in the Big Easy, music is as much a part of life as food, water and Internet porn. Highly recommended.THE FILM CREW: KILLERS FROM SPACE2007; DVD $19.95, URIn the second part of this series, heir-apparent to Mystery Science Theater 3000, we find Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett riffing over a classic battle between Peter Graves, ping-pong-eyeballed aliens and miles of stock footage. Is it as good as MST3K? Of course not! How could it be? But you’ll enjoy it.TMNT2007; DVD $28.95-39.95, PGA happy resurrection of the animated “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” franchise that died amid over-promotion back in the early ’90s. Kept alive largely through video games, there seems to be something of a new generation of Turtleheads eager for more pizza-laced sewer-Zen adventures. Fast-paced and corny CGI fun.UNACCOMPANIED MINORS2006; DVD $28.95, PGA so-so kid-hit from Christmas 2006 with Lewis Black and Wilmer Valderrama (“That ’70s Show”) as inept and unwilling guardians to an airport full of kids, stranded during the holidays without their parents. Part “Home Alone” and part “The Breakfast Club,” though not in the same league as either.OTHER DVDS OF INTERESTARE WE DONE YET?2007; DVD $28.95-$38.95, PGDARKWING DUCK: VOLUME 21991; DVD $34.95, URFEASTING ON ASPHALT: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON2007; DVD $24.95, URROME: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON2007; DVD $99.95, URTHAT GIRL: SEASON THREE1966; DVD $39.95, URTHE MUPPET SHOW: SEASON TWO1976; DVD $39.95, GA more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com!