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March 13, 2007

Video Tapeworm: Releases through Tuesday, March 20

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS: BLOOD DIAMOND 2006; DVD $28.95, R In the deadly civil war of 1999 Sierra Leone, a smuggler (Leonard DiCaprio) befriends a native fisherman (Djimon Hounsou) who has obtained a rare diamond, valuable enough to buy himself and his family out of the war-torn nation — or cost him his life if he is found with it. But the authorities have taken his son, forcing him into military servitude. An exciting, brutal chess game pitting the hidden treasure, the courage of two men who cannot trust each other, and survival amid man’s most evil acts. ROCKY BALBOA 2006; DVD $28.95-38.95, PG This terrific flick is an indictment against everything wrong with movies today. Sylvester Stallone reprises his greatest role as the aging boxer whose heart still yearns to prove itself by taking on a powerful young fighter at the peak of his career. So what’s wrong with that? Nothing! This is as good a movie as we’ve ever seen — and that’s the problem! Because its themes are foreign to those outside of the moviemaker’s precious 16-24 demographic, it was pulled quickly from the theaters to make room for the latest teen fart-comedy. A crime. Go and buy it. ALWAYS WILL 2006; DVD $24.95, UR A fun cinema experiment: A kids’ movie made by kids. The results are impressive as Will, an unhappy high-schooler, discovers a way to travel back in time to change his past. But who else’s past is he affecting? COMEDY CENTRAL ROAST OF WILLIAM SHATNER — UNCENSORED! 2006; DVD $19.95, UR Cap’n Kirk pimps his legacy one more time, allowing low-rent comics a free shot at his diamond-studded posterior. Andy Dick and Fred Willard are two of the biggest names, with help from George Takei and Nichelle Nichols — though Sarah Silverman and Jimmy Kimmel have the best gags, lambasting not Kirk, but PriceLine.com! With a “Colbert Report” featurette. ERAGON 2006; DVD $29.95-39.95, PG Single-disc or two-disc Special Edition release of the first cinematic chapter in the “Inheritance Trilogy” from author Christopher Paolini. In a mythical Medieval time, a farm boy discovers a dragon’s egg, leading him on an quest for freedom against an evil, invading king. Derivative of everything from “The Hobbit” to “Star Wars,” but not offensively so; a good, old-fashioned boy-and-his-dragon tale that anyone can enjoy. EVERYONE’S HERO 2006; DVD $29.95, G A nice, quiet little feel-good family film that never seems maudlin or pandering. Director/executive producer Christopher Reeve fashioned this tale of a young boy’s 1,000-mile journey to help Babe Ruth and the New York Yankees win the World Series by recovering The Babe’s stolen bat with the help of his talking baseball (Rob Reiner). JOHN RATZENBERGER’S MADE IN AMERICA 2006; DVD $19.95, UR First video release of this oddly entertaining look at everyday items. John “Cliff Claven” Ratzenberger tours the country to see how iconic objects — guitars, motorcycles, Monopoly games, etc. — get made. Includes a visit to Bowling Green’s Corvette plant. KING KONG/JURASSIC PARK 2005; DVD $26.95, PG-13 An amazing pairing by anyone’s measure! If any two films best represent cutting-edge filmmaking and masterful storytelling, it’s the original “Jurassic Park” and Peter Jackson’s remake of “King Kong” — now together on two discs for one cheap price. Also check out “Slither/Shaun of the Dead.” LIVING WITH WOLVES: WOLVES AT OUR DOOR  2005; DVD $14.95, UR A multiple-Emmy-winning documentary about Jamie and Jim Dutcher, filmmakers who spent six years in a tent to live with and study supposedly “ferocious, murderous” grey wolf packs — playing with their pups, feeding them out of hand and sleeping in a pile on sub-zero nights. Jane Goodall for the 21st century. MAUDE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON 1972; DVD $29.95, UR It’s been said that every TV idea generates at least two series: the original and its opposite. Compare “Beverly Hillbillies” and “Green Acres,” for example. This spinoff of “All in the Family” starred Bea Arthur as Edith Bunker’s loudmouthed, uber-liberal cousin — a polar opposite to Archie Bunker’s bigoted rants. A three-disc time-capsule from an era of damned-good TV. MCHALE’S NAVY: SEASON ONE 1962; DVD $44.95, UR Our buddy, Ernest Borgnine, will live forever as Navy Lt. Cmdr. Quinton McHale, carrying on the proud tradition of “Sgt. Bilko,” giving neither aid nor comfort to the enemy ... or to their commanding officer. A roguish crew of madmen are just happy to enjoy the good life in the South Pacific. With Tim Conway as Ensign Parker and a host of Borscht Belt baggy-pancers as his men. NIGHT OF TRUTH 2004; DVD $24.95, UR If your bent runs toward “World Cinema,” then you already know this as the first ever sub-Saharan African feature directed by a woman. A “what if” tale of two warring peoples who decide to lay down arms after decades of genocide. But can they survive dinner? THE HUNT FOR THE BTK KILLER 2005; DVD $24.95, R Made-for-CBS teleflick about Dennis Rader, the quiet, unassuming family man in Wichita, Kan., whose hobbies included binding, torturing and killing people. THE MILTON THE MONSTER SHOW: THE COMPLETE SERIES 1965; DVD $34.95, UR One of our favorite Saturday-morning animated shows of the ’60s, long overdue on DVD, about Professor Kook, his mansion on Horror Hill and his homemade monsters — all of which contained a “touch of tenderness” or they might destroy the good Doctor! But Milton got — oops, too much! — and was born as a laid-back, gentle Frankenstein during the theme song. Tons of fun with friends Fearless and Flora Fly, Stuffy Durma, Flukey Luke and Chester Penguin. THE NATIVITY STORY 2006; DVD $28.95, PG Inconceivably hokey, corny, insulting and anachronistic telling of the “true” tale of the biblical — and fairly Anglo-Saxon — Mary and Joseph, and their journey to give birth to Jesus. Stars Oscar Isaac and Keisha Castle-Hughes (who was pregnant and unwed by the end of the flick — it’s a miracle!) as a carpenter and his bulging bride by an arranged marriage. Un-freakin’-believable. Other DVDs of Interest BATMAN BEYOND: SEASON 3 1999; DVD $26.95, UR CHRISTY: THE COMPLETE SERIES 1994; DVD $39.95, UR DEADLIEST CATCH: SEASON ONE 2003; DVD $29.95, UR MIAMI VICE: SEASON FOUR 1987; DVD $59.95, UR NEWSRADIO: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON 1995; DVD $39.95, UR RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 5: RAVE TO THE GRAVE 2005; DVD $26.95, R STAN LEE PRESENTS: THE CONDOR 2007; DVD $14.95, UR A more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com!