Issue November 27, 2007

The Video Tapeworm: Releases through Tuesday, Dec. 4

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:
20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH
1957; DVD $25.95-28.95, UR
In honor of the 50th anniversary of this breakout film from stop-motion master Ray Harryhausen, the studio has pulled out all the stops to present the best-possible viewer experience. Now available in its original widescreen format in pristine black-and-white (as God intended), or on colorized Blu-ray HD for Philistines, this tale of an American spaceship that crash-lands off the coast of Sicily with the egg of a bipedal 20-foot Venusian aboard is a classic. Befriended by a young boy, the wildly sympathetic creature is one of Ray’s most underrated achievements.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END
2007; DVD $29.95-$34.95, PG-13
Just in time for Christmas, Der Mouse is releasing this (final?) installment of arguably its most entertaining live-action franchise, ever. Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom and the rest of the scurvy gang return to rescue Depp, stranded by Davy Jones in a maddening, netherworld of sand. But who cares about a plot when we’re having this much fun! Keira dresses like a guy and looks gooood, Bloom makes a romantic sacrifice, the Cajun witch turns into a demigod, and Depp escapes … just in case there’s some sequel booty to be made. Arrrgh! Gangs o’ fun, mateys.


2057: FUTURE CAR
2007; DVD $14.95, UR
They promised us flying cars when we were kids and we’re all still rollin’ in the dirt, but this episode from the Discovery Channel series “2057” says our kids may yet be winging it to work. A fun look at a favorite topic.

60 MINUTES ON DVD
2007; DVD $17.95 each, UR
CBS began the long-awaited release of “60 Minutes” — without peer as the greatest news magazine ever put on the tube — back in November. As usual, we missed it. Sorry. Now available: 10 episodes including our fave, “The World’s Greatest Fakes (January 1, 2004).”

ALFRED HITCHCOCK GIFTBOX COLLECTION
2007; DVD $14.95, UR
A perfect gimme for your favorite film fan with 13 of Hitch’s efforts — ranging from classic to just amazing — on six discs for about a buck-a-flick! Includes “The Lady Vanishes” (1938), “The Man Who Knew Too Much” (1934), “The Skin Game” (1931) and “The 39 Steps” (1935).

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: RAZOR
2007; DVD $26.95, UR
Yes, BG fans, you read that right! An unrated, extended version of the latest in the franchise — just days after premiering on the SciFi Channel! Provides back-story on the “lost” battlestar Pegasus and inhuman Cylon medical experiments.

DANTE’S COVE: SEASON 1-2 & ORIGINAL PILOT
2005; DVD $49.95, UR
Imagine a campy, gay “Dark Shadows” filled with naked, hunky guys with no chest hair, and you get the idea behind this original production of the here!Channel. Explicit, oily sex and nudity of every persuasion (including underrated babe Tracy Scoggins) permeates this queer cult hit.

EXILED
2006; DVD $26.95, R
A terrific action/crime drama set in 1998 Macau, just before the Chinese take over the Philippines. A former HK hitman has retired there with his wife and newborn son, but his past returns in the form of two pairs of assassins whose missions conflict with each other and with his new life.

FORD AT FOX: THE COLLECTION
1933; DVD $299.95, UR
Legendary director John Ford worked at Fox Studios from 1920 through 1952, turning out some of the best films in Hollywood history. This collection contains 24 of them including “The Iron Horse,” “My Darling Clementine,” “Tobacco Road” and “The Grapes of Wrath.” A stunning instant library for the film buff. We can also recommend the three Fox/Ford mini-collections: “Essential,” “American Comedies” and “Silent” for $49.95 each.

JACK KETCHUM’S THE GIRL NEXT DOOR
2007; DVD $26.95, UR
A gruesome and disturbing tale — in the best sense; free of torture porn — about a teenage girl sent to live with her unhinged aunt in 1958, and how child abuse, when kept secret, spreads to infect other families.

LADY CHATTERLEY
2006; DVD $29.95, UR
While there have been thousands of porn knockoffs of this D.H. Lawrence potboiler, this is by far the best mainstream version we’ve ever seen. A vital young wife (the stunning Marina Hands), her husband rendered impotent by a war injury, finds sexual, spiritual and emotional release with a hunky gameskeeper. While the sexcapades are undeniably erotic, the power of the work is in its exploration of how class structures rob us of our humanity. Yeah, right. Three-plus hours; in French with subtitles.

SUPERBAD
2007; DVD $28.95-$43.95, R/UR
This latest incarnation of the “teens wanting to lose their virginity” comedy has a lot more heart — and humor — than most, thanks to the production team that also brought us “Knocked Up” and “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.” A pair of loser-buds want to get laid before they go to college. Their only hope? Alcohol, and lots of it, via a friend’s fake ID.

THE LAST MAN ON EARTH
1964; DVD $14.95, UR
The perfect Vincent Price telling of Richard Matheson’s “I Am Legend” — currently in theaters with Will Smith, though first filmed as a comedy in 1924 — may not have the budget of its children (see “The Omega Man”), but none of them have Vincent Price, either! A terrific b&w version with lots of heart.

THE NANNY DIARIES
2007; DVD $29.95, PG-13
A young woman from a working-class family finds life, love and wisdom as a nanny to a spoiled wealthy family in Manhattan. A nice little film, based on the best-selling tweenie book series, with a big cast including Scarlett Johansson, Laura Linney and Paul Giamatti.

WALLACE AND GROMIT: THREE AMAZING ADVENTURES
2007; DVD $14.95, UR
A welcome price reduction on this wonderful collection of W&G shorts. Includes “A Close Shave,” “Grand Day Out” and “The Wrong Trousers.” The perfect stocking-stuffer for kids of any age.

WEREWOLF: THE DEVIL’S HOUND
2007; DVD $26.95, R
A cool mix of black comedy, gore, sex and — best of all — colorful explosions as a pyrotechnician with a beautiful wife and family is bitten by a sexy, savage lycanthropess. When he joins forces with a whacked-out werewolf hunter, it all goes wonderfully off the rails. You’ll love it.

OTHER DVDS OF INTEREST
24: SEASON SIX
2007; DVD $59.95, UR
HISTORY OF INDIANA BASKETBALL
2007; DVD $19.95, UR
HISTORY OF KENTUCKY BASKETBALL
2007; DVD $19.95, UR
THE BEST OF CRANK YANKERS
2002; DVD $19.95, UR
TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL: THE FOURTH SEASON
1994; DVD $79.95, UR

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