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March 11, 2008

Video Tapeworm: Releases through Tuesday, March 11

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKSENCHANTED2007; DVD $29.95, PGWe predict an amazing career ahead for Amy Adams, star of this light-hearted, kinda ditzy satire on Disney by Disney. She plays Giselle, a fairytale princess shot into our “real” reality by an evil queen, and wherever she goes, her goodness and love cause everyone around her to burst into song and dance and laughter. Well, maybe not EVERYONE, this being NYC for cripesakes. With James Marsden as her heroic Prince Edward, Patrick Dempsey and a happy host of others. One of the best things Der Mouse has done in years.I AM LEGEND2007; DVD $35.95, PG-13This is a taut and well-made sci-fi/vampirer with a charismatic star (Will Smith) and amazing special effects ... but we HATED IT! Why? Because it steals the name and characters from an amazing work by Richard Matheson, turns it into just another noisy CGI horror flick and completely misses the point of the story! Frankly, we don’t give a tinker’s dam whether you watch this DVD or not, but if you do — for the love of your own soul, people! — read Matheson’s novella and enjoy one of the best tales in modern literature.AFTER DARK HORRORFEST2007; DVD $159.95, URThe 2007 outing of this annual traveling spookfest featuring eight new full-length tales of terror including “Borderland,” “Crazy Eights” and “Unearthed.” Also available individually for under $20 each.BIONIC WOMAN: VOLUME ONE2008; DVD $29.95, URThis is the resurrected BW from the executive producer of “Battlestar Galactica,” David Eick, starring Michelle Ryan as the gal with “special parts.” The new Jamie Sommers is much less likable than that played by Lindsay Wagner, and the shows are dark and full of conspiracies and government nastybusiness, but the production values are high, and there are hopes that, with the help of sister Lucy Hale, this thing could become more human. Worth a look.DEAD COOL2004; DVD $24.95, RYou can ignore the horror-film cover art, this is the story of a pair of dysfunctional families, combining into one BIG dysfunctional family, through the eyes of a wounded 15-year-old boy. At one point he imagines what it would be like if his late father came back from the grave to set things right. A good little movie with Rosanna Arquette that doesn’t deserve the R rating.IN THE PLACE OF THE DEAD2007; DVD $19.95, URDougray “Desperate Housewives” Scott leads a crew of would-be adventurers in this supposedly true story of terror and discovery deep in the unexplored jungles of Borneo.JACK KETCHUM’S THE LOST2005; DVD $26.95, URAn immensely powerful and violent film, based on a true story. A bored suburban kid grows up amid a culture of sex, drugs and endless ennui. It all comes to a head one night in an act of savage depravity that shocked the entire world — and that was just for starters. Stars Michael Bowen (“Kill Bill”), Dee Wallace-Stone (“The Hills Have Eyes”), Katie Cassidy (“Black Christmas”), Erin “Misty Mundae” Brown and Shay Astar (“3rd Rock from the Sun”).JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE NEW FRONTIER2008; DVD $29.95, URAnimation legend Bruce Timm helmed this re-imagining of the classic Justice League genesis — a teaming of Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Flash and Wonder Woman — based on Darwyn Cooke’s graphic novel.LIFE AFTER PEOPLE2008; DVD $24.95, URWe absolutely LOVE this simple, clever History Channel outing, based on the popular book with special effects by Industrial Light and Magic. What happens if (when) Man disappears from the Earth? Watch as dams crumble, cities fall and fires rage unchecked, removing all but select traces of our prideful technology within a few brief years. You’ll be amazed at what remains.LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA2007; DVD $27.95, ROne of those epic costumers that all but died with the demise of Merchant/Ivory. A young man is rejected by his suitor in South America at the turn of the century, sending him on a lifelong quest for carnality. (Sounds like every dude we ever met.) But after 50 years, he finds her again and fans the flame of love. What a load of bollocks. With Benjamin Bratt, Gina Bernard Forbes, Giovanna Mezzogiorno and Javier Bardem.PUCCA: KUNG FU KISSESDVD $14.95, URWonderfully spry, innocent and playful animated tales that began as an Internet Flash favorite called “Pucca Funny Love.” Pucca is a young girl, smitten with the ninja Garu, and each episode centers around the lengths she will go to steal a kiss from the hapless Garu. Several episodes available, including “Ninjas Love Noodles” for $14.95 each.THE DRAGON PAINTER2008; DVD $29.95, URSessue Hayakawa’s lost masterpiece, now available on DVD. Set in Japan, but filmed in Yosemite, this silent B&W vision tells of a half-mad old hermit (Hayakawa), shunned by the locals, who secretly paints fanciful scenes of his lost princess/fiancée being stolen by a wicked dragon. When his art is discovered, a young girl comes to learn his technique and he recognizes her as his lost princess. A beautiful restoration.THE PEBBLES AND BAMM-BAMM SHOW: THE COMPLETE SERIES1993; DVD $26.95, URThis short-lived Flintstones-babies-as-teenagers spin-off only lasted 16 episodes, but they featured Sally “You Gonna Eat That?” Struthers as the voice of Pebbles, Jay North (TV’s “Dennis The Menace”) as Bamm-Bamm, and the immortal Mel Blanc as daddy Barney.THE SEEKER: THE DARK IS RISING2007; DVD $29.95, PGFirst in an expected franchise based on the books of Susan Cooper. Young Alexander Ludwig learns that he is the last of a warrior race, dedicated to prevail against the forces of Darkness. With short-lived Dr. Who, Christopher Eccleston.THE SICKHOUSE2007; DVD $19.95, URA shameless exercise in B-horror that’s worth checking out. Archaeologist Gina Philips (“Jeepers Creepers”) unearths the undead spirit of a mad 17th century plague-doctor who sets off to bring back the good ol’ days, beginning with Gina and the four comely teen trespassers who so conveniently show up.OTHER DVDS OF INTERESTA PUP NAMED SCOOBY-DOO: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON1988; DVD $19.95, URAUTOPSY: POSTMORTEM WITH DR. MICHAEL BADEN2007; DVD $19.95, URBATTLESTAR GALACTICA: SEASON THREE2005; DVD $59.95, URSOUTHLAND TALES2006; DVD $24.95, URTHE WILD WILD WEST: THE FOURTH SEASON1965; DVD $49.95, URA more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com!