Crimewave

May 8, 2013

Video TapeWorm

New, encore and low-price releases on Tuesday, May 14

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:

CRIMEWAVE

1985; $19.98; PG-13

Nicely cleaned up Blu-ray release of a bloody, all-but-lost slapstick comedy from Sam Raimi. In his follow-up to “Evil Dead” — written by the Coen Brothers! — a pair of dim exterminators quit the bug business and set themselves up as professional hitmen, leading to all manner of inspired Looney Toons comic mayhem. Paul Smith, Brion James and Louise Lasser are crazy fun as the leads, but Bruce Campbell walks away with the film as “Renaldo, ‘The Heel.’” A truly inspired, legendary mess of a film that should be on everyone’s video shelf. Our highest recommendation.

TEXAS CHAINSAW

2013; $24.98; R

To us, well-hootered Alexandra Daddario from the “Percy Jackson” series is the best reason to watch this rebooted horror, originally shown in 3-D. She plays the surprised new owner of an ornate old mansion, the site of historic atrocities that led the townsfolk to exterminate her then-unknown relatives in 1974. But something has survived in the cellar. Bwahahaha! Can’t hold a candle to Tobe Hooper’s 1974 original, but bloody good fun.

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A GLIMPSE INSIDE THE MIND OF CHARLES SWAN III

2013; $19.98; R

Charlie Sheen returns to the big screen, bringing a passel of friends with him. He plays a rich, charming, successful man in love with Maxim babe Katheryn Winnick (Hannah Burley from “Bones”), who summarily dumps him. The rest of the movie is spent swirling the bowl with support from buds Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray, and sister Patricia Arquette. Written and directed by Roman Coppola, this exploration of the notion that you can both love someone and hate them at the same time is an unmitigated mess, but an entertaining one thanks to Sheen’s notorious charm and lots of eye candy. We enjoyed it.

CLOUD ATLAS

2013; $21.98; R

Just about everyone in Hollywood stars in this massive three-hour multi-threaded time-shifting drama that spans multiple generations and 500 years. The overarching theme is that everything in the universe is connected, from a 19th-century ocean voyage, to a murder at a nuclear plant, to life in a nursing home, to a clone escaping her bonds in future Korea, to daily survival in Hawaii after the apocalypse — and that’s just the highlights! A long, complex look at a love literally for the ages from Tom Tykwer and Andy and Lana Wachowski. Good, but best viewed over several nights.

DANCE ACADEMY

2013; $14.98-$19.98; PG

A group of amazingly fresh, beautiful — and let’s just say it: limber — teens from different backgrounds and socioeconomic classes come together at a tough, er, dance academy. The same Aussies who brought us the excellent teen series “H20: Just Add Water” continue their streak as the young people interact in surprisingly realistic ways, selling the innocence and universality of their dreams and fears while dancing their cute little hearts out. You can’t help but love ’em. Seen in America on the Nickelodeon Channel; seasons 1 and 2 now available, each broken into two volumes at $15-$20 each. Great stuff.

DEXTER: SEVENTH SEASON

2013; $44.98; UR

This season finds sister Debra witnessing one of Dexter’s kills, causing Michael C. Hall’s mild-mannered serial-killer killer to take a hard look at himself, while the audience is torn between exploring his (and their own) need for blood and Deb’s reaction to his Dark Passenger, born of their father’s code. Arguably American TV’s best-written drama, this season’s 12 episodes may be hard to top as the series runs headlong into its eighth and final season.

ESCAPE

2012; $19.98; UR

We’re really growing fond of Swedish films, even lesser-budgeted nonsense like this. Too-young-looking Signe (newcomer Isabel Christine Andreasen) has survived the Black Death only to be captured by a murderous gang of Medievals whose intentions for the spunky beauty are clearly unhealthy. She escapes with the hoard in hot pursuit. The crazy cast includes Gaahl (stage name of Kristian Espedal, lead singer of God Seed), and leggy blonde supermodel Ingrid Bolsø Berdal. Entertaining as hell.

LEONIE

2010; $24.98-$26.98; PG-13

Emily Mortimer is absolutely brilliant in this biodrama of Leonie Gilmour, the American journalist, educator and mother to famed architect/artist Isamu Noguchi. Co-star Christina Hendricks (“Mad Man”) is certainly a distraction, but this is Mortimer’s picture from start to finish as she fearlessly strides through wars, cultures and men to experience art and demand freedom in the early 20th century. Empowering.

LIZ & DICK

2012; $12.98-$19.98; UR

This biopic turkey is notorious for three things: (1) Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor, (2) being an overreaching Lifetime cable movie, (3) the unbelievably cringe-worthy writing. That being said, it is also entertaining, something that too few Lifetime movies can claim. And not all that entertainment is due to Lohan’s simply terrible vocal delivery (visually she’s quite remarkable): Grant Bowler’s Richard Burton is good, and we truly enjoyed the always-reliable Theresa Russell as Liz’s mother, Sara.

OF TWO MINDS

2012; $24.98-$29.98; UR

As big-time professional writers (snort), we’re well acquainted with bipolar disorder, a common mental illness caused by a simple chemical imbalance that seems to often afflict artists, particularly writers. This award-winning doc looks at how society stigmatizes its sufferers, leading to isolation and pain — a reaction that would be unthinkable if the disease were, say, cancer or a broken leg. As a result, many hide their condition from even their closest friends and family; left untreated, it can become debilitating. An uplifting and overdue light on a subject too long kept dark.

ROLLING

2012; $19.99-$24.99; UR

This little indie is a delight. A driven teen filmmaker breaks into his high school one night to film his masterpiece. His cast includes his best bud, an oddly cute bookwormy girl, a bouncy cheerleader who never shuts up, a tall, quiet, intellectual girl who looks far older than her age, the local basketball hero, and an obnoxious drug dealer. And over the course of the night, they each reveal more about themselves, occasionally learning something in the process. The “Breakfast Club” references are obvious but loving. A treat.

A more complete listing and free vids at videotapeworm.com.