November 7, 2006

VIdeo Tapeworm: Releases through Tuesday, Nov. 14

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:FORBIDDEN PLANET1956; DVD $26.95-59.95, URWhether you choose the Ultimate Collector’s Edition or the Two-Disc 50th Anniversary Special Edition, you’ll get some of the best science-fiction ever made. This obvious progenitor of “Star Trek” finds Leslie “Police Squad” Nielsen as the heroic captain of a flying saucer full of oversexed space rangers who rescue Robby the Robot (who is obviously mechanical) and edible Ann Francis (who is obviously not) while colorful “sonic tonalities” fill the air. Now with more goodies, toys and makings-ofs than you can shake a Krell at.THE DA VINCI CODE2006; DVD $29.95-80.95, PG-13The book was a real page-turner, but we found this Ron Howard film version just a bit limp, mainly due to badly cast Audrey Tautou as “the woman.” Still a fun romp ’round the ancient world looking for spiritual depth in a system of shallow baptismals and gynophobic theologians as Hanks and Tautou follow a (much dumbed-down) trail of puzzles to find the Holy Grail. Which, we discover, is the remains of Jesus’ true teachings and the existence of his wife, children and bloodline, which basically puts the Catholic church out of business. If that tests your faith, then you’re in the wrong religion.49 UP2006; DVD $29.95, UREvery seven years since 1964, filmmaker Michael Apted has revisited a group of British now-adults, documenting how they see themselves and the world around them. May not sound like much, but this is one of the most intelligent, intimate and thought-provoking movies we’ve ever seen. Recommended.ACCEPTED2006; DVD $29.95, PG-13Justin Long, from the “I’m a Mac” commercials, is terrific in this wild and wacky “Old School”-inspired farce about a slacker who, unable to get into a real university, creates a fictitious one to satisfy his parents — and suddenly finds himself with hundreds of applicants, a campus and Lewis Black as Headmaster! Somehow they kept the raunch factor to PG-13. Lots of fun.FRIENDS: THE COMPLETE SERIES COLLECTION1994; DVD $299.95, URAll 10 seasons in a Collector’s Box, 236 episodes, the original pilot, 25+ commentaries, 25+ documentaries, plus making-ofs, featurettes, gag reels, trivia AND a 60-page commemorative book for the truly obsessed.FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE1973; DVD $14.95, PGOne of Amicus Studios very best horror anthologies. Based on the works of R. Chetwynd-Hayes with Peter Cushing, David Warner, Ian Bannen, Donald Pleasence, Ian Carmichael (“School for Scoundrels”), Ian Ogilvy and more. Highly recommended.HOMICIDE LIFE ON THE STREET: COMPLETE SERIES MEGASET1993; DVD $299.95, URArguably the most realistic police dramas ever on TV, it pioneered the cop-POV techniques that dominate poli-dick shows of today. With a great cast including Richard Belzer, Andre Braugher and Yaphet Kotto — even Ned Beatty looked good! — plus hundreds of big-name guests, most of whom wound up behind bars or dead. Includes all the DVD trimmings.INITIAL D2005; DVD $74.95, URIf you liked “Tokyo Drift,” here’s the real deal: A breathless Chinese/Japanese tale of tofu-delivery drivers (really!) who take on all comers and drift-race across treacherous mountain highways, often resulting in death and destruction. Based on a popular manga, this PG-13-ish tale includes driving drunk, a schoolgirl “love hotel” and teenage prostitutes.JEKYLL & HYDE: THE MUSICAL2001; DVD $19.95, URWhile the distributors don’t draw your attention to it, this live recording of the longest-running show in the history of Broadway’s Plymouth Theatre stars ... David Hasselhoff! Once you get past that, the rest is a hoot, with several hit songs including “Someone Like You” and “This is the Moment.” Gangs of campy fun.JOHN TUCKER MUST DIE2006; DVD $29.95, PG-13This quickly made attempt to capitalize on Jesse Metcalfe’s (“Desperate Housewives”) popularity is not without its charms. Not the least of which are Brittany Snow, Ashanti, Arielle Kebbel and Sophia Bush, three of whom are sexy coeds who discover they are all dating the same guy! They decide to turn the tables on him, setting up the fourth to break his heart. Doesn’t make sense to us, either, but what the hell. Let ’em try!JOYEUX NOEL (MERRY CHRISTMAS)2006; DVD $26.95, PG-13We guarantee you that this is the most effective and exciting Christmas movie you’ll ever see. The true story of a Christmas Day during WWI when Scottish, French and German troops — who had been trying to kill each other just minutes before — called a truce and spent the night together as friends and brothers to escape the brutality and senselessness of war. An instant classic.KING KONG2005; DVD $34.95-79.95, PG-13Peter Jackson’s love letter to the 1933 original, now in an H-D Deluxe Extended Limited Edition Gift Set. Three discs featuring all the stuff from the earlier, two-disc set (which includes the fabulous “spider-pit” recreation) PLUS nearly 40 minutes of deleted scenes, 230 new visual effects shots, the first-ever commentary by Jackson and much more. The higher-priced sets include special packaging and a Kong figurine created by the Weta Workshop.MASTERS OF HORROR: HAECKEL’S TALE2006; DVD $16.95, URJohn McNaughton, of “Wild Things” and TV’s “Without A Trace,” directed this Showtime outing, based on Clive “Hellraiser” Barker’s story of sexual misdeeds, orgies of the undead and plain-old bad memory. Costars the delectable Leela Savasta, whom you may recognize as Spirit from “Smallville.”STRANGERS WITH CANDY2005; DVD $27.95, RLovely, lively Amy Sedaris leads this much-overlooked entry in the comedy-ensemble wars that features Stephen Colbert, Dan Hedaya, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kristen Johnston, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker and others. A prequel to the TV series about a 47-year-old loser (Sedaris) who returns to high school.WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR?2006; DVD $26.95, PGNowhere near as good as the similarly-themed “An Inconvenient Truth” (due out next week), but an overdue look at why we aren’t recharging our cars today.OTHER DVDS OF INTERESTA SESAME STREET CHRISTMAS CAROL2006; DVD $12.95, URADVENTURES OF THE GUMMI BEARS, VOL. 1: SEASONS 1-31985; DVD $34.95, URCARY GRANT: SCREEN LEGEND COLLECTION2006; DVD $29.95, URDUCKTALES: VOLUME TWO1987; DVD $34.95, URFAMILY GUY VOLUME 42005; DVD $39.95, URQUANTUM LEAP: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON2006; DVD $49.95, URTHE GOLDEN GIRLS: SEASON SIX2006; DVD $39.95, URA more complete listing and free vids at!