Issue January 2, 2007

Video Tapeworm: Releases through Tuesday, Jan. 9

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:

CRANK

2006; DVD $28.95-$39.95, R
Jason Statham stars in this shameless uber-actioner about a hitman, poisoned with a toxin that will kill him instantly should his adrenaline level drop to normal. “Fast paced” doesn’t begin to describe the frenetic rush of revenge, sex, acrobatic stunts, gunplay, car crashes, crotch-kicking and any other tool from the edge-of-your-seat playbook that the producers can pile on. Oddly enough, this is the first R-rated hitman flick we ever saw with a “family friendly” bonus audio track, purged of all cuss words!

THE ILLUSIONIST
2006; DVD $29.95, PG-13
Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti, Jessica Biel and Rufus Sewell star in this wonderfully realized mystical costume thriller set in 1900 Vienna. Norton plays the titular magician who attracts the attention of Crown Prince Leopold (Sewell) and his fiancé (Biels). Jealousy leads to obsession and murder, culminating in a slam-bang finale unlike any we’ve seen. A lot of critics crapped on this flick (we think they were influenced by the horrible score by overrated hack Philip Glass), but we enjoyed its originality and intelligence. Worth checking out.


BANDIDAS
2006; DVD $27.95, PG-13
Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz ham it up as a pair of sexy sisters out to avenge the death of their pa at the hands of robber baron Dwight Yoakam in this comic Mexi-Western. With Sam Shepard and Steve Zahn.

CADENCE
1990; DVD $9.95, PG-13
This, Martin Sheen’s directorial debut, was a mixed bag, but lots of fun. He stars with son Charlie Sheen and Laurence Fishburne in a tale of a drunken, rebellious white soldier (Charlie, natch), thrown into an all-black stockade in the 1960s.

COLOR OF THE CROSS
2006; DVD $26.95, PG-13
The last 48 hours in the life of Jesus Christ, sentenced to death for being black. Stars Jean-Claude LaMarre (“Malcolm X”).

DEVELOPING MINDS
2006; DVD $9.95, UR
A video educational series based on the work of Dr. Mel Levine, one of the world’s foremost authorities on how kids learn. More than 15 hours of common sense and straight talk on cultivating the best in your brat, whether that entails behavior, emotion, communication, competitiveness, math skills or socialization. Also available: single-topic disks for under $50 each.

EXTRAS: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON
2005; DVD $29.95, UR
British funnyman Ricky Gervais, fresh from his success in “The Office,” gathered together a huge assortment of famous actors to populate this series about the lives of would-be actors who schmooze celebrities in order to find work.

FINAL MOVE
2006; DVD $24.95, R
Director Joey Travolta has never made a good film, but this one comes damned close. Matt Schulze and Lochlyn Munro star in this tale of a retired psychic detective who returns to work when a dead serial killer seems to be back in business. With help from Daniel Baldwin, David Carradine, Amanda Detmer and Rachel Hunter.

IDIOCRACY

2006; DVD $27.95, R
Mike Judge’s latest and most savage attack on the intelligence-sucking nature of TV. Dim-bulb Luke Wilson, frozen in a lab experiment, is thawed out 400 years in the future where everyone has devolved intellectually due to the banality of mass communication — making him seem like a genius!

LIGHTSPEED
2006; DVD $26.95, UR
Stan Lee’s most embarrassing movie to date — and that’s saying a lot! The Marvel master hooked up with the SciFi Channel to make this ultra-cheezy caped-crusader outing with Jason Connery as a Flash-wannabe, Daniel Goddard in a snakeskin suit, Nicole Eggert as a bit of “Baywatch” tail and Lee Majors for reasons that escape us.

MURDER, SET, PIECES

2004; DVD $26.95, UR
The worst serial-killer/slasher movie ever made, according to an online poll. Stars Sven Garrett as “The Photographer,” Tony Todd, Cerina Vincent as “Beautiful Girl” and Gunnar Hansen as “Former Leatherface, now Unemployable.”

QUINCEAÑERA

2005; DVD $26.95, R
On the occasion of her 15th birthday party, Magdalena reveals to her father that, while still a virgin, she is nonetheless pregnant. El Shitto hits El Fanno. A charming, captivating allegory on womanhood and coming of age in the Chicano neighborhood of Regent Park in L.A.

THE NIGHT LISTENER
2006; DVD $29.95, R
Robin Williams’ latest dramatic snoozer, this one based on the life and works of Armistead Maupin. He plays a gay late-night radio storyteller who attracts the attention of an AIDS-stricken 14-year-old sexual-abuse victim (Rory Culkin) — so he goes to visit him. Paint dries faster.

OTHER DVDS OF INTEREST
A PUP NAMED SCOOBY-DOO: VOLUME 5
1988; DVD $14.95, UR
AMERICA’S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS: SALUTE TO ROMANCE
2006; DVD $9.95, UR
CHICO FREEMAN: LIVE AT RONNIE SCOTT’S LONDON
2007; DVD $19.95, UR
GOOD MORNING WORLD: COMPLETE SERIES
1967; DVD $39.95, UR
MEXICAN WEREWOLF IN TEXAS
2005; DVD $16.95, R
NUDE ON THE MOON/BLAZE STARR GOES NUDIST
1962; DVD $19.95, UR    
THE LOVE GOD?
1970; DVD $14.95, UR
THE RELUCTANT ASTRONAUT
1967; DVD $14.95, UR

A more complete listing and free vids at www.VideoTapeWorm.com!