Issue November 13, 2007

Video TapeWorm: Releases through Tuesday, Nov. 20

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:

HAIRSPRAY
2007; DVD $28.95-$59.95, PG

This has come a long way from John Waters’ warped little tale of Americana starring Devine to this big-budget, singing-and-dancing extravaganza with John Travolta in a dress. Co-stars hot little Amanda Bynes, even hotter Michelle Pfeiffer and Queen Latifah; but the star of the show is undeniably Nikki Blonsky, the plus-sized embodiment of Tracy Turnblad: a bubbly, lively, dance-crazy ’60s teen who refuses to let the world’s view of her taint her. Too much fun for words. Go and buy it.


LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD
2007; DVD $29.95-39.95, PG-13

The original was an inspired tale of the right guy being in the right place at the wrong time, with Alan Rickman as a smarmy villain. They went downhill from there, so it was a real surprise to see Bruce Willis return to the character of John McClane, old-school NYC detective — and find that it’s a ball! Almost a spoof of his own franchise, this outing goes way over the top, making McClane out to be nigh-invulnerable (and damned lucky) as he slides from one fiery, bizarre predicament to another while protecting the innocent from crazed cyber-terrorists. As much fun as a movie can be.


ANGEL-A
2005; DVD $29.95, R
Director Luc Besson has made some amazing films, from “The Professional” to “The Fifth Element,” but this may be his best romantic comedy. A suicidal Parisian gambler is saved by a gorgeous, sexy — and very mysterious — blonde, who leads him on a leggy quest of repayment, redemption and the healing power of love.

COLMA: THE MUSICAL
2006; DVD $27.95, R
Colma is a funerary town: The dead outnumber the living 1,000 to 1. That’s what makes it so cool when best friends Rodel, Billy and Maribel break into song as they try to find their calling, fresh out of high school. A musical tale of finding yourself, following your dream and finding Mr. Right … even if you are ALSO a Mr. Right.

DANGEROUS ASSIGNMENT: COMPLETE COLLECTION
2007; DVD $44.95, UR
The best espionage thriller from the days of the Cold War was undeniably this offering starring Brian Donlevy. Even those who don’t remember the show remember the opening: Donlevy in a long coat, walking down a dark street at the waterfront; he stops to take a drag on his cigarette when a dagger whips past his face by inches, imbedding in a post. The next shot is his face, showing not fear, but anger, as “Dangerous Assignment” appears on the screen. Great stuff.

IT HAPPENED AT NIGHTMARE INN
1970; DVD $12.95, UR
Cute little Limey Judy Geeson stars in this guilty pleasure from Spain, another rare find from our buds at Cheezy Flicks Entertainment. Searching for her lost sister, she stops at a tiny roadhouse where two psychotic spinsters are secretly at war with the devil — in the form of young girls in inappropriate attire! A great little Euro-horror from the Golden Age.

LED ZEPPELIN: THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME
1976; DVD $20.95-$44.95, PG
A two-disc Special Edition watermark in rock cinema. Filmed in 1973 during Zep’s legendary Madison Square Garden concert, this new release contains, for the first time, all 14 songs, including the never-before-seen “Over the Hills and Far Away” and “Celebration Day,” all remixed and remastered in 5.1 Dolby Digital. Extras include a 1976 BBC interview with Robert Plant and Peter Grant, and a Cameron Crowe radio piece.

LITTLE BRITAIN: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION
2007; DVD $99.95, UR
All 22 episodes of this sketch-comedy series that pokes righteous fun at all things English. Narrated by Tom “Dr. Who” Baker, it stars creators/writers Matt Lucas and David Walliams, with bits by Anthony Head from “Buffy” as The Prime Minister.

PARAMOUNT TV COMPLETE COLLECTIONS!
2003; DVD $49.95 each, UR
Now available in complete-series boxed sets from Paramount Studios: “Chappelle’s Show” ($49.95), “Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist” ($139.95) and “Queer As Folk” ($249.95).

RESCUE DAWN
2006; DVD $39.95, PG-13
Werner Herzog makes what is, for him, a very unusual film — if only because it doesn’t star Klaus Kinski! The exciting, unbelievably true tale of a reluctant U.S. pilot (Christian Bale), shot down in Vietnam, who leads a small group of broken, tortured POWs in the most harrowing escape imaginable. Recommended.

STIR OF ECHOES 2: THE HOMECOMING
2007; DVD $26.95, R
Has nothing whatsoever to do with the excellent Richard Matheson-penned “Stir of Echoes” starring Kevin Bacon from 1999. Instead it’s a treatise on the horrors of war as a pair of U.S. vets return from a disastrous mission in the Middle East with quite literal ghosts in tow, only to find no respite at home.

THE SANTA CLAUSE 3: THE ESCAPE CLAUSE
2006; DVD $29.95, G
Tim Allen returns as Scott Calvin, the guy who became Santa Claus after startling his predecessor, causing him to fall off the roof and die. Martin Short co-stars in this third in the series as Jack Frost, who wants to take over the North Pole. Ask for the original.

TITANIC
1997; DVD $19.95, PG-13
A 10th Anniversary Edition of this wonderfully soggy tale from the director of “Piranha 2: The Spawning.” Leonardo DiCaprio and “Corset Kate” Winslet are terrific as the young lovers who have sex in a car on a boat, just before it sinks. Groundbreaking special effects show Kate’s cute boobs, bereft of sexuality, and Leo’s drowning, thus avoiding the awkward “morning after.” That’s what women call “romantic.” A masterpiece.

ZOMBIE TOWN
2006; DVD $24.95, R
OK, so this is the 10,000th movie with no budget and a plot that goes “a trio of teens’ lives go to hell when their town is infested with zombie-causing parasites.” What’s wrong with that? We love any movie with comic sex, guns and lines like, “It’s a goddamn Grandma Massacre in here!”

OTHER DVDS OF INTEREST
BILL MAHER: THE DECIDER
2007; DVD $19.95, UR
GENE SIMMONS FAMILY JEWELS: COMPLETE SEASON TWO
2007; DVD $34.95, UR
KARAS: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION
2007; DVD $29.95, UR
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: THE THIRD TV SEASON
1966; DVD $49.95, UR
THE BATMAN: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON
2004; DVD $19.95, UR
THE WILD WILD WEST: THE THIRD SEASON
1965; DVD $49.95, UR

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