January 8, 2008

Video Tapeworm: Releases through Tuesday, Jan. 15

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS1956; DVD $24.95, PG-13Now available in a pristine b&w release (along with an unfortunate colorized abomination), the greatest sci-fi movie ever made! Heroic scientist Hugh Marlowe defends the Earth and racks up millions in property damage in this ’50s fave, resplendent with Ray Harryhausen’s nifty animated FX, plus the really nice gams of Joan Taylor. And we got bonus stuff! Commentaries! Featurettes (including “A Present Day Look at Stop-Motion”)! Interviews (including “Tim Burton Sits Down With Ray Harryhausen”)! And sneak peaks at Sony’s upcoming digital comic book “Flying Saucers vs. the Earth”!IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA1955; DVD $24.95, URB-movie vets Kenneth Tobey and Donald Curtis lust after scream-queen Faith Domergue and occasionally save the city of San Francisco from a giant radioactive octopus. This was the first collaboration between stop-motion legend Harryhausen and producer Charles Schneer. Together they would go on to create the phenomenal Dynamation movies of the ’50s and ’60s with creatures that populated many a young man’s bedroom. With all the bonus materials you could wish for and a colorized version that makes a nifty coaster.ALEX HALEY’S QUEEN1992; DVD $24.95, URAfter “Roots” became a cultural touchstone, Haley cranked out this miniseries sequel of sorts, dramatizing seven generations of his mother’s family. Stars 26-year-old Halle Berry — with Jasmine Guy (who is only four years older) as her mother and Tim Daly as her white papa — along with Ann-Margret, Danny Glover and Ossie Davis.FAMILY GUY PRESENTS: BLUE HARVEST2007; DVD $22.95, URThis FG animated spoof of “Star Wars” was a love letter from creator Seth MacFarlane to his fans — and a kick from Seth Green (the voice of Chris Griffin), whose Cartoon Network “Robot Chicken” series did the same thing the previous season! Loaded with special features, collectibles, commentaries, an interview with George Lucas and lots more goodies.GOOD LUCK CHUCK2007; DVD $29.95-$39.95, R/URDane Cook plays a guy cursed to be the last man a woman sleeps with before she lands a husband. Voted one of the 10 worst films of 2007. Sorry, we don’t agree. How could ANYTHING with Jessica Alba in it be bad?HE WAS A QUIET MAN2007; DVD $29.95, URDid you see that Christian Slater and buxom Elisha “24” Cuthbert did a movie last year with William H. Macy? No? Hmmm, what could that mean? Anyway, humble Slater accidentally saves Cuthbert’s life, turning him into a media hero. ... Then she asks him to kill her.HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS 20TH ANNIVERSARY1988; DVD $14.95, RWhat more could we possibly say? Shot over two weekends in 1988, this is the gentle, passionate tale of topless bimbos and blood-splattered garden implements starring lovely Linnea Quigley, Michelle Bauer and Gunnar “Leatherface” Hansen. Only a director with the sensitivity and social conscience of Fred Olen Rey could whip up this insane mix of naked nymphs, Raymond Chandler PI’s and two-cycle silliness. Our highest recommendation.MR. WOODCOCK2007; DVD $28.95-$35.95, PG-13Seann William Scott finds out that his mom (Susan Sarandon) is about to marry Billy Bob Thornton, the high school PE coach who made his teen years a living hell in this very physical comedy.MURDER IN MISSISSIPPI1990; DVD $14.95, URA made-for-TV version of 1988’s “Mississippi Burning” about the disappearance of Civil Rights activists in the deep South during the 1960s. Stars Tom “Amadeus” Hulce, Jennifer Grey from “Dirty Dancing,” Blair Underwood, C.C.H. Pounder and Andre Braugher.OSWALD’S GHOST2007; DVD $24.95, URAn excellent Dan Rather/PBS look at the impact that presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald had on the world. His single contribution to history brought down America’s most popular president and gave birth to today’s culture of mistrust and apathy between the American people and their government. Worth checking out.PERSUASION2007; DVD $19.95, URThe BBC pulled out all the stops for this lush romance, considered by many to be Jane Austen’s masterpiece, but kept it to two hours, including commercials. Stars lots of Limeys with hyphenated names, plus Alice “Queen of the Borg” Krige and Anthony Head from TV’s “Buffy, The Vampire Slayer.”THE MATRIMONY2007; DVD $19.95, URA fabulous ghost tale from China. When a man’s true love dies, his mother arranges a marriage to a beautiful young neighbor. After the man rejects her on their wedding night, she is visited by the ghost of his dead lover. The two make a deal: The ghost will help the new wife win her husband’s affection if she agrees to let the ghost possess her body for one last romantic boink. All goes well until the man falls in love with his new bride, and the ghost gets pissed.THE TEN2007; DVD $26.95, RA warm, goofy spoof of Bibliana using the 10 Commandments as a launching pad. Sometimes crude, sometimes holy and sometimes drop-dead hilarious as Paul Rudd juggles both a wife (Famke Janssen!) and a girlfriend (Jessica Alba!). While Adam Brody, Gretchen Mol, Oliver Platt, Winona Ryder, Liev Schreiber and others deconstruct Christian morals in ways that even Pat Robertson’s kids never dreamed of.WENT TO CONEY ISLAND ON A MISSION FROM GOD: BE BACK BY FIVE1998; DVD $19.95-$24.95, RA well-done, if little-known comedy from Jon Cryer (“Two And A Half Men”) and Rick Stear that may be hard to find, but worth the effort. They are a pair of life-long buds who learn that a childhood friend (Rafael Baez) has been spotted living in the dumpsters at Coney Island.WHEN HARRY MET SALLY1989; DVD $19.95, RNow available in a Collector’s Edition with all the requisite bling-bling, one of the best date-flicks ever. Billy Crystal and yummy Meg Ryan are the platonic pals who mess up a perfectly good relationship by falling in love. The “fake orgasm in the restaurant” scene is a true cinema classic. Imagine that? A comedy that’s actually funny!OTHER DVDS OF INTERESTALEXANDER THE GREAT AND THE DEVASTATING CATAPULT2008; DVD $24.95, PGCRISS ANGEL: MINDFREAK: THE COMPLETE SEASON THREE2005; DVD $34.95, UREXTRAS: THE COMPLETE SERIES2005; DVD $49.95, URTHE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON2006; DVD $29.95, URA more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com!