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Cuban Fury

July 23, 2014

Video TapeWorm

New, encore and low-price releases on Tuesday, July 29

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:

CUBAN FURY

2014; $26.98; R

The great Nick “Shaun of the Dead” Frost is having a ball in this dance-movie parody, playing a fat, over-the-hill former would-be salsa champion who missed his big break due to bullying. Fast-forward to the present, and we meet his new American boss, smokin’/funny Rashida “Parks and Recreation” Jones, who clearly steals the movie. She’s out of his league but secretly yearns for a man who can dance her into ecstasy — and Nick intends to be that man! Lots of fun, and Frost’s dancing is ... well, let’s just leave it at “lots of fun.” Watch for Simon Pegg in a blistering cameo.

FIVE DANCES

2013; $22.98-$24.98; UR

A slow, sensual, up-close and personal tale of a young male dancer trying to forge a new life for himself amid the world of modern NYC ballet. Plagued by doubt, struggling with his sexuality and stained by his Midwest family’s wretched poverty, he wishes only to lose himself in the provocative and demanding world of dance. Seductive and beautiful.

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DRAGONWOLF

2013; $22.98-$29.98; UR

Mozart and Julius grow into men in a depraved hell-hole called The Devil’s Cauldron, becoming the most feared hit-man team of all time, dispatching violent maniacs with cunning and lightning martial arts. All is well in their world until The Girl arrives. Both men desire her and, more importantly, see in her a future free of killing and violence. Stars Kazu Patrick Tang and Johan Kirsten as the men, and Macha Polivka (whom we guarantee you’ll be seeing more of in the future) and Guk Srisawat as the women, both of whom get nekkid. Yay!

LULLABY

2014; $20.98; R

A restorative — and surprisingly funny — indie tale about life, death and honesty starring Garrett Hedlund (“Inside Llewyn Davis”). He hurries home when he hears his estranged father (Richard Jenkins) has chosen to remove himself from life support, reconnecting with family and loved ones, including Amy Adams, Jessica Brown Findlay (“Downton Abbey”), Terrence Howard and Anne Archer. Writer/director Andrew Levitas has crafted a minor masterpiece so full of knowing humor and honest emotion that we can’t wait to see what he’ll do next.

MIDSOMER MURDERS, SET 24

2012; $33.98-$49.98; UR

We love these trips to the “murder capital of England”: that deceptively peaceful county of Midsomer where death hides just around 100-year-old hedges. Our favorite episode in this set has to be “Written in the Stars,” with police inspectors Neil Dudgeon (“Son of Rambow”) and Jason Hughes (“Waking the Dead”) investigating the death of an amateur astronomer during a solar eclipse. In classic BBC style, this devolves into a complex tangle of lies, half-lies and — worst of all — real truths that pierce the heart of a picturesque village. Masterful stuff.

NICOLAS LE FLOCH

2008; $49.95; UR

While we’re not big fans of French TV in general, this is a gloriously entertaining and sumptuous trip back to the days of King Louis VX, courtesy of novelist Jean- François Parot. That’s where the titular young Parisian police commissioner plies his trade, moving in and out of churches and brothels, stately mansions and urine-soaked alleyways, always collecting clues, winnowing suspects and bedding bodacious beauties. Jérôme Robart from “A Burning Hot Summer” plays the sleuth with an exuberant combination of experience and surprise. Engrossing and fun; five episodes.

NOAH

2014; $19.98; PG-13

Many Christians were shocked by director Darren Aronofsky’s supposed biblical “liberties,” which introduced new characters and plot elements into the absolutely true and completely factual tale of a 600-year-old man who builds the largest boat in history to survive a global flood engineered to cleanse the human gene pool. Apparently the plan didn’t work, but it makes a big, noisy, fun movie. Russell Crowe doesn’t look a day over 523 as Noah, with Jennifer Connelly as Naameh, and help from Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins and cute little Emma Watson. Hey baby, whachasay we go forth and multiply?

ON MY WAY

2013; $22.98-$34.98; UR

We’ll watch absolutely anything with Catherine Deneuve, having fallen in love with her in 1964’s “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.” Here she’s a much older and wiser woman — but not a day less beautiful — battered by life to the point she loses her sense of identity, becoming completely unconnected from everything around her. So she impulsively hops in a car with her little grandson and goes off on a road trip to introduce him to his estranged grandfather. It’s not the destination that counts.

SECRET STATE

2012; $22.98-$39.98; UR

Wow! This modern-day Limey political/industrial thriller is a mind-blower! Gabriel “Vikings” Byrne is a Deputy Prime Minister, looking for justice after an “accidental” industrial explosion kills a score of people. Then the PM’s plane crashes, putting Gabe in line for the headman’s job, the selection of which is orchestrated by Charles “Game of Thrones” Dance, a smarmy and ruthless Mitch McConnell-type who corrupts the process, playing all the candidates against each other for his real bosses: the big-money corporations — including the one Byrne is holding responsible for the calamity. Throw in imminent war, financial meltdowns and very personal secrets, and you’ve got one helluva good drama. From the BBC, of course.

THE EAGLE: SEASON 1

2004; $39.95; UR

If you are a fan of the “Dragon Tattoo” films/books, you’ll love this Danish TV international crime detective series starring Jens Albinus (“Borgen”) as Hallgrim Ørn Hallgrimsson, who earned his nickname of “The Eagle” because of his uncanny ability to spot clues others overlook. He assembles a team of experts with an emphasis on data mining and other fascinating computer techniques, magnifying his intuitive skills tenfold. The only techno/thriller show we’ve ever seen that really kicks ass.

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