February 5, 2008

Video Tapeworm: Releases through Tuesday, Feb. 12

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON2007; DVD $19.95, PGIn the history of mankind, only 12 people have ever set foot on another world. The surviving members of that fraternity (minus recluse Neil Armstrong) gather for this intimate and personal account of that singular honor. Epic in scope, yet as fragile as your next breath, these men — speaking with a wisdom and peace born of 30 years of retrospection — are inspiring, eloquent, funny, very human and very, very lucky. This actually brought us to tears. What more could we say?MARTIAN CHILD2007; DVD $28.95, PGJohn Cusack rules this tale of a newly widowed man who adopts a lost and dysfunctional 6-year-old who claims he’s from Mars. In other hands, this would have been a weepy chick-flick, but the writing here is so crisp and clever, and the cast so charming, that you easily surrender to its charms. With Amanda Peet, little Bobby Coleman, Joan Cusack and Oliver Platt, plus a killer soundtrack featuring “Mr. Blue Sky,” Cat Stevens and Bing Crosby doing “Jingle Bells”!ACADEMY AWARDS ANIMATION COLLECTION2008; DVD $44.95, URWarner Bros. opens the vaults for this compilation of their best animated shorts, including 15 Oscar winners and another 26 nominees from such franchises as Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry, Droopy, Superman and Popeye, featuring the work of such legendary animators as Tex Avery and Chuck Jones. Includes over an hour of bonus features, most of them never-before-seen. (Also available in a Winner’s Only comp for under $20.)BECOMING JANE2007; DVD $29.95-$34.95, PGAnne Hathaway (whom we loved in “Malcolm in the Middle”) is having a ball in this wonderful, lively biodrama based on the life of author Jane Austen. Doomed to a marriage arranged by her parents, she rebels and finds love in the arms of James McAvoy. With Maggie Smith and James Cromwell.COLUMBUS: THE LOST VOYAGE2007; DVD $24.95, PGDespite what you learned in school, Columbus’ discovery of the New World was considered a disaster by the folks back home. He was supposed to find India! Ruined and imprisoned, he escaped from jail to arrange one last, desperate voyage to find the fabled Westward Passage and regain his name. From the History Channel.DEDICATION2007; DVD $19.95, RFrom our own homegrown movie moguls at Hart-Lunsford Pictures, this romantic comedy sparkles with wit as loner kid’s-book author Billy Crudup begrudgingly accepts the help of an illustrator (the effervescent Mandy Moore), as dictated by publisher Bob Balaban. With a brief appearance by Peter Bogdanovich and music by Deerhoof. Deerhoof?DOOMSDAY: THE SINKING OF JAPAN2006; DVD $19.95, URJapan’s most successful disaster movie ever. Based on a 1973 novel, this animated epic examines the relationship between Japan, the sea and their volcanoes, then lets nature take its course until the entire nation, well ... sinks. One terrific movie; too good for kids.FLAMINGO ROAD1949; DVD $19.95, URRe-release of a classic adult potboiler from director Michael Curtiz. Joan Crawford plays a hardened carnival dancer who wanders into town, attracting the ire of politician Sydney Greenstreet. She falls for Sheriff Zachary Scott, but ends up married to nice-guy/big-money David Brian. Then one night, Scott shows up on her doorstep with a gun.GONE BABY GONE2007; DVD $29.95-$34.95, RCo-written, directed and co-produced by Ben Affleck, this tale of murder and mystery surrounding the disappearance of a 4-year-old girl isn’t perfect, but is far better than many lesser efforts that got more theater time. Brother Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan play PIs, hired by the child’s family after the police stop searching. With Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris and Amy Madigan.NO RESERVATIONS2007; DVD $28.95-$35.95, PGCatherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart try to revive the Tracy/Hepburn tradition of feisty, immovable dames and hunky, irresistible guys (updated to the metrosexual 21st century, of course) in this chicky tale of too many chefs for one kitchen.PAUL REVERE: MIDNIGHT RIDE2007; DVD $19.95, URAn innocent kid-vid CGI retelling of Paul’s famous “one if by land, two if by sea” warning — with the help of an eagle named Ellie, who you won’t find in your history books.ROMANCE & CIGARETTES2005; DVD $24.95, RJames Gandolfini in a musical? Somehow we missed the Louisville opening of this big-budget, big-cast tale of a working-class NY’er torn between a tempting mistress and his troubled wife. With the Cast Of The Gods including Susan Sarandon, Steve Buscemi, Mandy Moore, Mary-Louise Parker, Christopher Walken, Kate Winslet, Eddie Izzard, Amy Sedaris and many more; directed by John Turturro.THE SPECIALS: TOO MUCH, TOO YOUNG2008; DVD $14.95, URIf “The Specials” doesn’t ring a bell, how about “The Automatics”? That was an early name for this amazing flash of white-hot talent that single-handedly defined the late-punk genre of “ska,” a fusion of Jamaican sensibilities with the dirty guitar work and tortured vocals of early punk. The commentaries on this compilation go incredibly deep, including The Specials’ relationship with The Clash and The Rolling Stones.THE WIZ 30TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION1978; DVD $19.95, GOK, we’re the first to admit that this “Afro-Centric” retelling of “The Wizard of Oz” starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson is painful to sit through sometimes, but the music — including bits from Lena Horne, Mabel King (whose “No Bad News” is a showstopper!) and others under the baton of Quincy Jones — is worth the pain. With special effects by Stan Winston and a Who’s Who of Soul in the (largely uncredited) choir.TYLER PERRY’S WHY DID I GET MARRIED?2007; DVD $29.95, PG-13We’re officially tired of Tyler Perry putting his name on every damned thing like he’s some sort of black Dymo label maker. His stuff is good enough to stand on its own without that ego crap. Anyway, Tyler stars as a well-worn married guy, hitched to Sharon Leal, who is attracted to Janet Jackson. He is. Not her.WE OWN THE NIGHT2007; DVD $28.95-$38.95, RThe latest in a series of “cop family vs. Da Mob” dramas begotten since “The Departed” went platinum. This one stars Joaquin Phoenix as the black-sheep bar owner becoming embroiled with the Mob, while cop-brother Mark Wahlberg and cop-daddy Robert Duval emote. A good tale, well told; we’re just tired of these things.Other DVDs of InterestBLADE: THE SERIES2007; DVD $39.95, URDALLAS: THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON2008; DVD $39.95, URFAMILY TIES: THE THIRD SEASON2008; DVD $39.95, URROUTE 66: THE TELEVISION SERIES2008; DVD $29.95, URTELL ME YOU LOVE ME: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON2007; DVD $69.95, URA more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com!