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July 3, 2007

Video Tapeworm: Releases through Tuesday, July 10

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKSTHE LAST MIMZY2007; DVD $28.95, PGA truly original and wildly entertaining kid-vid that actually is “fun for the whole family.” (Man! Can’t believe we wrote that.) Two kids find a box of junk on the beach, including a stuffed bunny that gives them genius IQs and telekinetic powers. But as word of their abilities spread, the plot ventures into time-travel sci-fi territory, and the children learn that the future of Mankind is in their hands! With a delightfully light touch, kids who act like real kids, and a non-preachy message of tolerance and environmental stewardship, this is one of the best films of recent years. A must-see.THUNDERPANTS2002; DVD $19.95, PGBruce Cook and Hupert Grint (“Ron Weasley” from the Harry Potter movies) star in the epic tale of an 11-year-old boy who finds fame, fortune and a future as an astronaut thanks to his amazing ability to ... break wind. Yep, it’s a big-budget FART MOVIE! Co-stars Stephen Fry, Anna Popplewell, Ned Beatty, Paul Giamatti and an uncredited cameo by Keira-freakin’-Knightley! Wow. A fun and funny kid-flick from the director of “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey” that everyone should see — it’s a blast!A MAN AMONG WOLVES2007; DVD $19.95, URNational Geographic special about Shaun Ellis, a remarkable young man who gave up 18 months of his life to live within a pack of wolves to better understand this supposed “cruel, vicious killer” and teach three orphaned pups how to survive on their own.AFTER THE WEDDING2006; DVD $24.95, RA truly odd, original and engrossing tale from Sweden about the manager of a poor orphanage in India who is offered $4 million to attend a wedding in Copenhagen where he is told a unique family secret.BECK: MONGOLIAN CHOP SQUAD: VOL. I2004; DVD $44.95, URA compelling and mystical anime series about a teenage boy who finds his identity through music. Joined by a guitar player, they travel the road to fame — or at least adulthood — as the band “Beck.” Music is life.DESERT PUNK: THE COMPLETE SERIES2004; DVD $89.95, URAnimeonDVD.com calls this “a quirky futuristic post-apocalyptic adventure focused around guns and boobs.” We wished we had said that! A horny cartoon tale that’s part “Mad Max” and part “Porky’s.”GENE AUTRY: TWILIGHT ON THE RIO GRANDE1947; DVD $19.95, URIt’s amazing to us how many people have never seen a Gene Autry movie. Do yourself a favor and check out this wonderful mix of action, adventure, comedy and song — punctuated by the pungent aroma of horseflesh — as Gene investigates the murder of his friend by a gang of border smugglers. Trust us, this is better than anything Hollywood has done lately.ROKY ERICKSON: YOU’RE GONNA MISS ME2005; DVD $24.95, URThe long-awaited doc on rock ’n’ roll pioneer Roger Kynard “Roky” Erickson, who, with his band The 13th Floor Elevators, coined the term “psychedelic rock” in the ’60s. A true tale of the cost of drug addiction and the power of a brother’s love.SAVAGE SPIRIT/THEY FEED2007; DVD $19.95, URA pair of no-budget indies, part of a new Drive-In Horrors series from cult director Cory Turner. The first is a classic “attractive young couple buy their dream home only to find it haunted” schlocker. The second follows six attractive young people alone on a mountain full of flesh-eating creatures.SHARK WEEK: 20TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION1987; DVD $29.95, URCan it really be 20 years since the struggling cable Discovery Channel saved its bacon by exploiting the public’s fear of being eaten? Yep. And to celebrate they’re releasing this huge four-disc set featuring scores of their most popular shark-themed shows. A great gift for someone heading to Florida this year.SHORT FUSE2007; DVD $19.95, URAn overlooked little boxing drama that’s worth your time. A prizefighter, suspended over his bad temper, gets a chance for a major bout, but has to behave himself — and get to the match in time — or his career is over. A mix of drama, sports and romance that belies its humble roots.THE ASTRONAUT FARMER2007; DVD $27.95, PGBilly Bob Thornton is having an absolute ball in this fun tale of an aging NASA astronaut who left the program to save his family farm, now living out his dream by building a rocket in his barn. Silly, sappy and obvious from the get-go, Thornton and co-stars Virginia Madsen, Bruce Dern and Tim Blake Nelson make this a true family treat. Gangs of fun.THE CONTRACTOR (AKA THE SHOOTER)2007; DVD $24.95, RWesley Snipes is a retired government super-assassin, haunted by his inability to exterminate a particularly ruthless terrorist. When he gets his chance to redeem himself, it leads to an explosive, noisy and confusing chase full of double-crosses that leaves Snipes on the run, accused of a murder he did not commit.THE FILM CREW: HOLLYWOOD AFTER DARK2007; DVD $19.95, URMystery Science Theater 3000 fans rejoice! “The Film Crew” is a reunion of Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett — three of MST3K’s writers/stars — who try to catch lightning in a bottle once again with voice-over riffing of bad movies. Their first target is “Hollywood After Dark,” a 1968 drama starring “Golden Girl” Rue McClanahan as a naive young actress who becomes a stripper in the hands of some seedy move producers. A howler in the hands of three cracked masters.THE LAST STAND2006; DVD $24.95, URA drama about the lives and trials of four young stand-up comics, trying to make it to the top. Stars Anthony Anderson and Darrin Dewitt Henson.THE PAGE TURNER2006; DVD $22.95, URAn excellent French art-house thriller about a former piano protégée who fails her career-making Conservatory exam thanks to an obnoxious concert pianist. Later, as an adult, she takes a job working for the woman who wronged her.OTHER DVDS OF INTERESTBEATLES’ BIGGEST SECRETS2004; DVD $19.95, URBEWITCHED: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON1964; DVD $39.95, URHAROLD MELVIN & THE BLUE NOTES: LIVE IN CONCERT2007; DVD $19.95, URMY SUPER SWEET 16: SEASONS 1 & 22005; DVD $24.95, URSWEET LAND: A LOVE STORY2005; DVD $27.95, PGA more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com!