October 16, 2007

Video TapeWorm: Releases through Tuesday, Oct. 23

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY1968; DVD $26.95-$28.95, URA Special Edition widescreen release (DVD, HD and Blu-Ray) of one of the least understood films of all time. An epic tale of Man as an insignificant animal, manipulated in its infancy by extra-dimensional intelligence to become sentient, and our eons-long search to end our lonely cosmic childhood. Based on work by Arthur C. Clarke, it rewrote the rules of cinema and pioneered new moviemaking technologies, changing forever the art of filmmaking. Plus, the ending is really cool with lots of flashy lights and stuff, that is, like, WOW, you know, when you’re stoned. Also available in a Stanley Kubrick Collection with “Barry Lyndon,” “A Clockwork Orange,” “Full Metal Jacket,” “The Shining,” “Lolita,” “Eye’s Wide Shut” and “Dr. Strangelove.”FANTASTIC PLANET (LA PLANÈTE SAUVAGE)1973; DVD $24.95, URA wonderfully European (read: “got tits”) French animated wonder that’s been nearly impossible to find on uncut video. Mesmerizingly simple animation tells the tale of tiny humans who suffer as domesticated pets/slaves to giant blue aliens, until they master their keeper’s “education machine” and use it to free themselves. But at what price? Wildly imaginative and sensual, with surreal artwork and a killer soundtrack; this is one of our favorite films. (A remake is currently in production, slated for a 2008 release.)APARTMENT 13032007; DVD $19.95, URThe Japanese have the BEST ghost stories! A young woman welcomes her friends to her new apartment — then jumps out the window to her death. Sprat! Her sister then learns this wasn’t the first time someone has made Mu Shoo Me from that apartment, leading her to a date with Evil. Brahahaha!BLACK SUNDAY2007; DVD $19.95, URHorro-meister Mario Bava’s 1960 directorial debut stands as one of the best films we know, regardless of budget, genre or star power. Beautiful Brit Barbara Steele — whose less-than-stellar career at home was exchanged for overnight international stardom in Italy — stars as the innocent modern-day descendant of an evil ancestor, burnt at the stake for being a witch, but not before having a spiked iron mask hammered into her face. A beautiful horror film, the very definition of “Gothic,” in a restored, must-own print.BREATHLESS1960; DVD $39.95, URThe definitive French film, now available with all the Criterion Collection trimmings. Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg crackle across the screen under the guidance of director Jean-Luc Godard in this early arty ode to American crime stories with a killer jazz score. Crude, posing and unforgettably pretentious, it single-handedly launched the French New Wave cinematic movement.HELLRAISER1987; DVD $24.95, UR20th Anniversary Edition of a true watermark in cinematic nightmares. Clive Barker crawls out from under Stephen King’s shadow to write and direct this tale of sex, blood, sex, flesh and sex, obviously inspired by his frustration with the Rubik’s Cube. (A full remake by Barker is in the works.)HOSTEL PART II2007; DVD $28.95-38.95, RQuentin Tarantino and splatter-meister Eli Roth crank things up a notch — which is pretty amazing when you consider that the original birthed the “torture porn” genre — for this terrifying sequel with Richard Burgi paying big money to tie up, torture and dismember a trio of helpless American college gals in Slovakia. With gore effects by our buds at KNB Effects, who are starting to worry us ...I LOVE LUCY: THE COMPLETE SERIES2007; DVD $241.95, URWow. It’s like the first time you see the Grand Canyon. Or Mount Rushmore. Or a Sweet Daddy Burger at Genny’s Diner. All 179 episodes on 35 discs — nearly 90 HOURS of Lucy and Rick and Little Ricky and Fred and Ethel. What a time to be alive.MEET THE ROBINSONS2007; DVD $29.95, GWhile it shrieks across the screen like a terrier on crack, there’s a lot of fun in this colorful and imaginative CGI-animated time-travel adventure from Disney. A wiz-kid orphan/inventor finds himself launched into the wonderfully retro-future world of 2037 where he finds ... well, we won’t spoil it. With “The Bowler Hat Guy” villain, who should be given his own show.MR. BROOKS2007; DVD $29.95-$39.95, RThere’s something wonderfully old-fashioned about this Kevin Costner/William Hurt/Demi Moore thriller, almost a throwback to the days of the “studio system.” Costner and Hurt play a mild-mannered, successful businessman and his psychopathic alter ego. Moore is the determined police detective out to stop his escalating murder spree. With Dane Cook and sexy cougar Marg Helgenberger. Supposedly the first in a trilogy. Recommended.NEARING GRACE2006; DVD $26.95, RThe profoundly smokin’ Jordana Brewster runs away with this flick, supposedly a coming-of-age opus starring Gregory Smith as a 20-something “high schooler” mourning the loss of his mother. With the always aromatic Brian Doyle-Murray from “Caddyshack.”ROUTE 66: SEASON ONE1960; DVD $31.95, URVery simply: the coolest TV show ever made. Martin Milner and George Maharis will live forever as co-stars of this seminal TV drama — behind the REAL star, a sweet ’50s-era Corvette! Why the hell this hasn’t been picked up by TVLand is beyond us. Get your kicks with this four-disc, 15-episode first-ever video release.THE ADVENTURES OF YOUNG INDIANA JONES: VOLUME 11992; DVD $129.95, URProbably the best written, most exciting, least appreciated TV series ever to come down the tube. Sean Patrick Flanery and Corey Carrier star as Harrison-Ford-In-Training in this George Lucas-penned adventure series that pulled out all the stops to bring movie-quality stories to the small screen. Twelve discs worth of masterful historical backstory, easily worth twice the price.THE CASE OF HOWARD PHILLIPS LOVECRAFT1998; DVD $29.95, URWhy are we suggesting you go looking for a subtitled French documentary, spliced together from an unsuccessful, artsy 1995 TV series (“Un siècle d’écrivains”)? Because the subject is H.P. Lovecraft! Told in an odd, unearthly manner, it successfully invokes the decadent horror and cosmic madness at the heart of much of Lovecraft’s best work. Weird in the best sense.UNBORN IN THE USA2007; DVD $24.95, URThe scariest doc we ever saw. Why? Man, you simply won’t believe the deep pockets — and wild-eyed, violence-prone lunatics — behind the anti-abortion movement. And forget any notion of moral high ground, the real driving forces are simply greed and power.OTHER DVDS OF INTERESTBAVA BOX SET: VOLUME TWO2007; DVD $49.95, URJUPITER MOON: NEW FRONTIER1990; DVD $49.95, URMIND OF MENCIA: UNCENSORED SEASON 32007; DVD $26.95, URTHE L WORD: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON2006; DVD $55.95, URA more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com!