Issue April 15, 2008

Video TapeWorm: Releases through Tuesday, April 22

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS
CLOVERFIELD
2008; DVD $29.95, PG-13
We’ve always held that the best Kaijus (monster movies) were the ones shot from street-level — check out the original “Rodan.” TV vet J.J. Abrams apparently agrees with us, taking this fabulous tale of unexplained monster mayhem down to the pavement — and below — for maximum shock value. Intimately shot from the POV of a hand-held vidcam, it carries us with five 20-something NYCers as they start the night partying and end up running for their lives. Except for the “Blair Witch”-like nausea and a slight overuse of digital, we loved every frame of this flick. And there’s a sequel in the works!

SICK NURSES
2007; DVD $26.95, R
This misogynist mess from Thailand has it all: nasty characters who die in grotesque ways, ghouls, intimations of sex, gallons of blood and cute Asian babes. The horny staff of a dingy hospital secretly traffic in body parts. When one of them decides to blow the whistle, the others kill her on an operating table and toss her into the trunk of a car, wrapped in a garbage bag. She returns from the dead for horrible, bloody vengeance. Yeah, it sucks, but beautifully so! And don’t bother looking at Blockbuster, go to a REAL video store for this one!


CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR
2007; DVD $29.95, R
Tom Hanks, Amy Adams, Philip Seymour Hoffman and especially Julia Roberts sparkle for director Mike Nichols in this serio-comic look at the boozing, womanizing, ’80s Texas Congressman who, with the help of a half-mad CIA agent, began the covert U.S. involvement in Afghanistan (then under Russian control) that lead us to the mess we are in today. Simultaneously hilarious and disturbing, it’s one of the best films of 2007; a must-see.

DOUBLE
2006; DVD $24.95, UR
The oddest of movies: A subtitled Polish mob-comedy that’s actually funny! A pair of dim-bulb, if harmless, tourists from Warsaw go to a wedding in Sicily where they become embroiled with a deadly, comically dysfunctional Mafia family. They quickly scurry back to Poland, thinking it is all behind them, only to find their unwelcome new friends following them home.

FLASH POINT
2007; DVD $24.95, R
First video release of a much-anticipated Vietnamese action/crime flick. Three brothers, leaders of a powerful and ruthless gang, take on a determined agent who risks everything to take them down.

FUNKY VALLEY
2008; DVD $14.95, UR
A wonderfully wacky, colorful and insightful collection of animated learning tales for pre-schoolers featuring a farmyard of daffy animals watched over only by the sun and the moon. Also available, “Return to Funky Valley”
for $14.95.

GUMBY: THE MOVIE
1995; DVD $16.95, G
Originally released direct-to-VHS, this is the first DVD release of a little-remembered blip in American culture. Now digitally remastered with deleted scenes, bonus goodies and an honest-to-goodness Gumby, it’s the surreal tale of Gumby’s band, the Clayboys, who reunite for a concert gig to benefit local farmers, a la Farm Aid. But the Blockheads have other plans involving clones and kidnapping, leading to an all-out Battle Royale!

LAST REQUEST
2006; DVD $24.95, R
Danny Aiello, patriarch of a wacky Italian-American family, wants an heir. One son dies in the attempt (!), and the other, T.R. Knight from “Grey’s Anatomy,” is in the seminary. His resulting semen-ary adventure is inspired lunacy as Frank Vincent, Joe Piscopo, Vincent Pastore, Tony Lo Bianco and even “Get Smart”’ lass Barbara Feldon all join in the fun.

ONE MISSED CALL
2007; DVD $28.95-$35.95, PG-13
Short-lived and shallow — if fun — horror film in “The Ring” mold as Edward Burns, Shannyn Sossamon and Azura Skye run afoul of an updated urban legend. Each receives a voicemail from the near future, containing the sound of their own death.

SEANCE
2006; DVD $26.95, R
The only name of note on the cover is Adrian Paul, TV’s Highlander, who does a cameo, but there’s a lot to like in this upbeat no-budget terror/thriller outing. College babe Kandis Erickson thinks her dorm room is haunted by a tiny spook, so she holds a séance, which only makes things worse, opening the door for a BIG spook.

THE ORPHANAGE
2008; DVD $27.95-$35.95, R
A damned-good spooker from Mexico about a woman who returns to her childhood home, turning it into an orphanage for disabled children. But her son, who feels lost and abandoned in the mix, seems to have found an imaginary friend. Never a good thing.

THE SAVAGES
2007; DVD $27.95, R
Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney are having a ball in this minor gem about the love/hate relationship between adult kids and their parents. They are estranged siblings, forced together to care for their demented, aging father, Philip Bosco, whom they both despise.

TIM & ERIC AWESOME SHOW, GREAT JOB!: SEASON 1
2007; DVD $19.95, UR
First video release from the hit Cartoon Network Adult Swim sketch-comedy/variety show starring Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, featuring shorts, parodies, animations, pranks and musical numbers from Bob Odenkirk, John C. Reilly, Weird Al Yankovic and others.

TRAILER PARK BOYS: THE MOVIE
2008; DVD $24.95, R
Ivan Reitman dreamed up the inexplicably popular redneck TV show that this movie is based on. Now out of prison, Ricky, Julian and Bubbles from the Sunnyvale Trailer Park decide to forgo drugs, booze and strippers long enough to pull off a massive heist of “untraceable” coins that they call “The Big Dirty.”

WETLANDS PRESERVED: THE STORY OF AN ACTIVIST NIGHTCLUB
2005; DVD $24.95, UR
Crazy-good doc on “The Wetlands,” the first ever “activist nightclub” in New Jersey where political debate and environmental action were as much a part of any evening as the incredible music. We recognized Dave Matthews, big John Popper of Blues Traveler, Darius Rucker, Bob Weir of RatDog, Chris Zahn and scores of others in the crowd and on the stage.

OTHER DVDS OF INTEREST

AMBASSADOR SERIES 2
2008; DVD $39.95, UR
FINE DEAD GIRLS
2002; DVD $24.95, UR
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: THE SECOND SEASON
2007; DVD $29.95, UR
LAVERNE & SHIRLEY: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON
DVD $39.95, UR