April 24, 2007

Video Tapeworm: Releases through Tuesday, May 1

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS: ALPHA DOG 2006; DVD $29.95-39.95, R With all the hoopla and back story — based on the real-life murder of an innocent teen; the case against his kidnappers having just come to trial — it’s easy to lose sight of the central issue: Is this movie any good? Simple answer: Hell yes! Director Nick Cassavetes tells the shocking tale of a low-life teen drug dealer (Emile Hirsch, “Lords of Dogtown”) who kidnaps the 15-year-old brother of a man who owes him money. The youngster comes to love the attention of the druggy’s posse, until the police start closing in and he becomes a liability. DREAMGIRLS 2006; DVD $29.95-39.95, PG-13 All hail the rebirth of the movie musical! A fabulous look at the days of Phil Spector and his “Girl Groups” — perfectly portrayed by Jennifer Hudson, Anika Noni Rose and Beyonce Knowles — and all the wonder, hopes and heartaches that come from living out your dreams. Jamie Foxx is the manager who gets them a gig opening for headliner Eddie Murphy, but the star is clearly “American Idol” loser Hudson, who acts like she’s done it all her life and sings with a power and passion that’ll send shivers up your spine. A must-own. EL TOPO/THE HOLY MOUNTAIN/FANDO Y LIS 2007; DVD $49.95, UR If you’ve never heard of “El Topo,” then mark today on your calendar. It’s worth remembering. This trio of films directed by and starring Alejandro Jodorowsky are simply the most fantastic, surreal and mesmerizing flicks you’ll ever see. As El Topo (“The Mole”), he plays a gunslinger whose exploits begin in the Old West before sailing off into religious allegory, Dadaism, avant-garde socialism and grotesquely psychedelic blasphemes — and always to a killer soundtrack! Also available separately for $24.95 each, you’d be a fool to pass up this boxed set that also includes his never-before-on-video first film “The Tarot” and TWO audio CD soundtracks! You’ll thank us. ILLEGAL ALIENS 2007; UR While this could be written off as just another way to cash in on Anna Nicole Smith’s death, the truth is that this, her last flick, was a vanity project that she and her son — also now deceased — put together to have some fun. It’s a no-budget howler about three aliens who come to Earth a la “Charlie’s Angels” to protect us from intergalactic baddies. Yeah, it’s a bad, bad, campy rehash of every corny sci-fi B-movie cliché in the book — we LOVED it! JOYS OF JEZEBEL/MY TALE IS HOT 1970; DVD $19.95, UR A pair of super-stinker nudies from the Golden Age of drive-in porn, courtesy of bad-movie maven Bethel Buckalew. Both have something or other to do with the devil and lots and lots and lots of beautiful nekkid women. While not as good as his masterpiece, “The Pig Keeper’s Daughter,” the man knew how to make sex damned funny. MICHAEL PALIN’S AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS 1990; DVD $49.95, UR Monty Pythoner Palin — whose “Walking Across” series for PBS ranks as one of the most entertaining travelogues imaginable — first found his wanderlust in this BBC special in which he tries to repeat the exploits of Phileas Fogg. Gangs of fun. NOVA: KABOOM!: THE SIZZLING STORY OF EXPLOSIONS 1997; DVD $29.95, UR NOVA sinks to our level with this completely gratuitous look at things that go BOOM! Lots of behind-the-scenes shots of modern fireworks plus fun recreations of ancient uses — including eternal life! — and some science on how to lose your eyebrows. OLD JOY 2005; DVD $29.95, UR Local actor/composer/musician Will Oldham’s latest indie outing has gotten terrific reviews from the mainstream press. Surprising, since the movie is so incredibly low-key: two friends on a walking trip through the forest discover that they are growing into quite different people than they were when they first met. Oldham is the laid-back, no-pressure slacker to Daniel London’s soon-to-be new daddy, struggling with the specter of responsibility. Told with very little dialogue — but a fabulous soundtrack by Yo La Tengo — this quiet, relaxing film is the perfect antidote for all the noisy big-budget, big-studio pabulum of late. THE HITCHER 2007; DVD $29.95-39.95, R Sophia Bush and Zachary Knighton star with Sean Bean in this unnecessary but not unwelcome remake of Eric Red’s 1986 original. Red returned to co-write this version that, with the addition of Bush, has a lot more tension and eye-candy than the original. The two lovers hit the road for a Spring Break that goes completely to hell after picking up psychopathic hitchhiker Bean. TYRONE POWER: THE SWASHBUCKLER BOX SET 2007; DVD $49.95-$59.95, UR While Errol Flynn will always be synonymous with “swashbuckling” in our house, Tyrone Power holds the record for most ’buckler outings, and five of his best are found in this fun set. Includes “Captain from Castile,” “The Black Rose,” the underrated “Blood and Sand,” “Prince of Foxes” (one of our personal faves) and “Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake.” Resplendent with enough bonus material to send even the most courteous of men out after their neighbor, sword raised high. WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON 2002; DVD $39.95, UR While this silly teen “Odd Couple”-ish TV series will never win any awards, we’re not ashamed to admit we watched it. What was it about? Oh, about 30 minutes. All we know is that it starred two of the hottest women we ever saw in our lives — Jennie Garth and Amanda Bynes — always dressed in coquettish too-small little outfits and talking about guys. Most of the time we had the sound off. Damn. WHO THE FUCK IS JACKSON POLLOCK? 2006; DVD $27.95, PG-13 An absolutely hilarious doc about Teri Horton, a 73-year-old former trucker with an eighth-grade education who bought an ugly painting at a thrift store for $5 — and later found out it was worth $50 million! The Art Snobs were outraged and refused to recognize the work, but they didn’t reckon on Teri. Other DVDs of Interest BEVERLY HILLS 90210: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON 1991; DVD $59.95, UR HAPPILY N’EVER AFTER 2006; DVD $28.95-39.95, PG LITTLE CHILDREN 2006; DVD $27.95, R MELROSE PLACE: THE SECOND SEASON 1992; DVD $54.95-$61.95, UR SIX FEET UNDER: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON 2006; DVD $59.95, UR SUICIDE KILLERS 2006; DVD $24.95, UR A more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com!