Issue June 4, 2008

The Video Tapeworm – Releases through Tuesday, June 17

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS

BE KIND REWIND

2008; $27.95-$35.95, PG-13

Jack Black and Mos Def are having a ball with this goofy little love letter to movie-geeks everywhere. They work in the last VHS rental store on the planet, where a freak accident erases EVERYTHING. Rather than give up (and tell the boss), they shoot their own mini-versions of all the movies, which become bigger hits than the originals among their wacky patrons. If the moviemakers had focused on these spoofs, this would have been a killer flick, but they let too much plot get in the way of the story. Still, vid-junkies will love it.

WELCOME HOME ROSCOE JENKINS

2008; $29.95, PG-13

We despise Martin Lawrence — the guy’s just not funny — but we liked this. Why? ’Cause he gets his ass kicked repeatedly! A killer cast — including Louis C.K., Michael Clarke Duncan, Mike Epps, Mo’Nique, Cedric the Entertainer and James Earl Jones — demonstrates how comedy is supposed to work in a throwaway tale of a spoiled mega-star (Lawrence) who returns to his Southern hometown after a long absence. A full-on gang of good-ol’, butt-whoopin’ family fun.

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AMERICAN STAG

2006; $19.95, UR

A time capsule of Americana, using the humble “stag film” as a mirror of the changing mores of the 20th century, and how these “smokers” were embraced by the women’s movement of the period as a statement of female empowerment.

CALIFORNICATION: SEASON ONE

2007; $39.95, UR

David Duchovny returns to TV as a dark and self-destructive single father, struggling to raise a too-smart 13-year-old daughter, in a series that somehow manages him to have sex with a different Hollywood starlet each week. Nice work if you can get it.

FOOL’S GOLD

2008; $28.95-$35.95, PG-13

This flick went absolutely nowhere at the box office, and most critics dumped on it. We, however, thought that the chemistry between Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson was perfect as a bickering, just-divorced couple who stumble onto a fortune in sunken treasure. Stupid? Boy, howdy! But fun and sexy. A great date flick.

IF I’M LUCKY

1946; $14.95, UR

This moldy oldie (also available as part of a Carmen Miranda boxed set) is a long-standing guilty pleasure of ours. Politico Edgar Buchanan is running against fast-talking Gov. Phil Silvers, and both use great period performers to bolster their campaigns. Features such delights as Harry James and band with Vivian Blaine, Perry Como and the always-superb Miranda. Only 80 nonsensical minutes, but each is a treasure.

IT’S A BOY GIRL THING

2006; $26.95, PG-13

Tweenie take on the “oops, we somehow exchanged bodies” comedy, this time between a horndog high-school quarterback and the nerdy, virginal girl-next-door who hates his guts. Stars lots of well-known (to some) TV faces from a couple of years ago and a killer (to us) soundtrack.

JERICHO: THE COMPLETE SERIES

2008; $84.95, UR

Only in America could you film the impending Apocalypse and sell it as entertainment. The residents of Po-dunk, Kan., see a mushroom cloud and wonder why they can’t get “Gilligan” on TV anymore. Panic hits when the local Starbucks — all 2,512 of them — run out of frappacino, while others find an inner strength and march into that Brave New World of heroic starvation and slow, painful death. Hey, it still beats “American Idol.”

PHOENIX MARS MISSION: ASHES TO ICE

2008; $24.95, UR

As we write this, the Phoenix Mars Lander has just touched down on that fabled red soil. Is there any higher purpose for Man than to explore? This vid chronicles the exhaustive preparations leading up to the launch, and some history on the political misdealings that lead to its creation and multiple abandonments and reinstatements over a decade. Is there any intelligent life on THIS planet?

RAILS & TIES

2005; $27.95, PG-13

A terrific movie that we doubt you ever heard of. Kevin Bacon and Marcia Gay Harden give the performances of their careers for director Alison Eastwood in this tale of a suicidal woman who parks her car on the railroad tracks, and the ill-fated engineer who finds an unexpected survivor after the crash.

SUPER HIGH ME

2008; $24.95, R

An understandably unfocused doc from standup comic Doug Benson. He wants to know whether marijuana is truly bad for you, so he first stays sober for 30 days, then tokes his brains out for 30 days. He rolls, the cameras roll, the DEA rolls by, etc.

THE GRAND

2008; $29.95, R

Woody Harrelson, Jason Alexander, Ray Romano, Mike Epps, Judy Greer, Werner Herzog, Gabe Kaplan and Michael McKean star in this over-the-top comedy about a guy trying to win back the family hotel in a high-stakes poker game.

THE RESTLESS

2006; $24.95, UR

No one makes fantasy actioners like Japan — that’s why South Korea copies so many of them! This SK outing, however, is an original: a classic Good vs. Evil adventure set in a medieval world, something of a way station for souls between reincarnations. Lots of fun.

THE SWORD IN THE STONE

1963; $29.95, G

The 45th anniversary re-release of one of Uncle Walt’s best, telling the tale of Wart, a young boy who dreams of being a knight, accidentally freeing the fabled Sword in the Stone to become King Arthur. Along the way, he learns lessons about life with the help of his friend Merlin the Magician. A masterwork by uber-animator Wolfgang Reitherman.

OTHER DVDS OF INTEREST

BLOOD: VOLUME TWO

2008; $24.95, UR

BURN NOTICE: SEASON ONE

2007; $49.95-$69.95, UR

ER: THE COMPLETE NINTH SEASON

2005; $49.95, UR

MEERKAT MANOR, SEASON 3

2008; $24.95, UR

POPEYE THE SAILOR: 1938-1940, VOL. 2

2008; $34.95, UR

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