THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:
BATMAN: THE MOVIE
1966; $39.95, PG
Holy Blu-Ray, Batman! Adam West and Burt Ward — the original TV Caped Crusader and Boy Wonder — finally make it to HD in this unbearably embarrassing ode to Bops! Biffs! and Bad Ideas! The first and, mercifully, last time that the true Dynamic Duo graced the big screen, setting the stage for Tim Burton, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, etc., etc., ad chiropterum. When The Penguin, The Joker, The Riddler and Catwoman — Burgess Meredith, Cesar Romero, Frank Gorshin and Lee Meriwether — join forces to take over Gotham City, only gratuitous overacting can save us!
THE BUSY BODY
1967; $14.95, UR
This obscure comedy classic — a situation that we pledge to resolve — finds master showman William Castle directing a who’s-who of funnymen including Sid Caesar, Anne Baxter, Jan Murray, Dom DeLuise, Bill Dana, Godfrey Cambridge and Marty Ingels in a frantic mob-comedy about a missing cash-stuffed stiff who really gets around. Best of all, this features the screen debut of the one and only Richard Pryor! Not Castle’s best, but required viewing for any fan of film.
’TIL DEATH DO US PART
2006; $29.95, UR
All 13 episodes of director John Waters’ short-lived Court TV series based on true tales of marriage ending in murder. The producers ignored the all-too-obvious humor elements, playing each half-hour crime drama straight, except for Waters’ sardonic introductions … as “The Groom Reaper.”
CITY OF MEN
2008; $29.95, R
Producer Paulo Morelli’s follow-up to the Fernando Meirelles arthouse darling “The City of God,” based on a long-running Brazilian TV series of the same name. A pair of teenagers, friends since childhood, come of age amid the poverty and violence of Rio de Janeiro’s “favelas” — gang-run tenements and hillside shanties in the shadow of luxury high-rises.
2008; $34.95-$39.95, PG-13/UR
Simply awful Owen Wilson vanity project about a trio of high-school freshmen, the target of a psychopathic bully, who hire homeless Wilson — who they think is a professional soldier-of-fortune — to act as their bodyguard/life-coach.
FIREMAN SAM: TO THE RESCUE!
2008; $14.95, UR
If your carpet is infested with noisy, juice-boxing little ankle-biters clamoring for more Bob The Builder tales, try expanding their tiny horizons with this fun series from England. Sam is the local hero of Pontypandy, Wales: always prepared, always vigilant, always ready to save the day when someone needs help. From the PBS Kids Sprout series.
GET SMART’S BRUCE AND LLOYD OUT OF CONTROL
2008; $27.95-$35.95, PG-13
This quickie spin-off of the new Steve Carell “Get Smart” movie finds his two favorite techies off on their own straight-to-video adventures, filled to the brim with more dim-bulb, yet infinitely useful gadgets.
2006; $24.95, UR
Simply the worst CGI effects ever put in any SciFi Channel movie, EVER. Which is a shame, because the attractive cast — with D.B. Sweeney as an undercover Black Ops soldier and Danica McKellar as a model-cum-photog on a tropical paradise with a pair of bulbous bikini models — is kinda fun. Makes not one fucking bit of sense, of course, in the best traditions of the alien-hunting/save-the-world genre, but fun … until you see the cartoon monster. A great offering for your next Bad-Movie Party.
MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS
2007; $19.95, PG-13
Overrated hack Jude Law and Grammy warbler Norah Jones lead a fun cast (Rachel Weisz, Natalie Portman, David Strathairn) in this blatantly romantic chick-flick from arthouse wunderkind Wong Kar Wai. In a clever reversal of gender roles, when she gets jilted, he offers her some pie.
RAW SPICE: THE UNOFFICIAL STORY OF THE MAKING OF THE SPICE GIRLS
2008; $14.95, UR
Hilariously misguided “unauthorized” look at the 1994 formation of the Spice Girls, posturing them as “five ambitious, determined and infinitely talented singer-songwriters destined to change music forever.” Yeah, right. Dumb as a box of rocks, but fun to look at, they paved the way for such aural delights as The Pussycat Dolls and “American Idol.”
SEX AND DEATH 101
2008; $29.95-$99.95, R
An incredibly strange and entertaining tale of, well, sex and death! One day, Simon Baker of “The Devil Wears Prada” gets an e-mail listing of (1) every woman he’s ever slept with, and (2) every woman he ever WILL sleep with before he dies, ending with Winona Ryder. But how does the sender know they’ll do him? And what happens after he completes that second list?!
THE PIED PIPER
1972; $14.95, G
A dark, surrealistic masterpiece from another age. Seventies troubadour Donovan stars as the flute-guy who rids Hamelin of its rats and its children (or is that redundant?) for director Jacques Demy. With creepy Donald Pleasence, dirty John Hurt, the Black Plague, bizarre sets that remind us of H.R. Pufnstuf, and Diana Dors as “Frau Poppendick,” this thing is unforgettable. Highly recommended.
TYLER PERRY’S MEET THE BROWNS
2008; $29.95-$34.95, PG-13
We refuse to review any more Tyler Perry movies until he takes his damned name off the front of them. His work is good enough to stand on its own, which is all the encouragement you need to see them.
2008; $24.95-$38.95, PG-13
Short-lived but clever tale of modern-day assassination and intrigue obviously inspired by Kurosawa’s “Rashomon.” When the President of the United States is shot, eight unrelated strangers come forward with eight distinct and wholly different observations of the scene. A unique political action-thriller with Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, Forest Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver, William Hurt and more.
WALKER, TEXAS RANGER: THE COMPLETE SERIES
2008; $281.95, UR
All six seasons of the unapologetic tough-guy-with-a-heart modern-day Western from Chuck Norris. Don’t dismiss this if you haven’t seen it: a fun, family action series that updates the classic Oater with humor, wit and good — if not perfect — values.
WHERE THE LIGHT IS: JOHN MAYER LIVE IN LOS ANGELES
2008; $19.95, UR
By far the best John Mayer concert footage we’ve ever seen. Includes three sets: one a raw acoustic set, largely Mayer and guitar; one with his full band; and the last — our favorite — finds him with his original John Mayer Trio (Steve Jordan and Pino Palladino). Twenty-two songs, available in Blu-Ray, from December 2007 — a real treat for Mayer fans.
OTHER DVDS OF INTEREST
30 DAYS: SEASON TWO
2007; $29.95, UR
HELLBOY ANIMATED BOX SET WITH CIGAR
2007; $34.95, PG
MAD MEN: SEASON ONE
2007; $49.95, UR
THE CLOSER: SEASON THREE
2008; $39.95, UR
THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO: THE SECOND SEASON, VOL. 1
1972; $39.95, UR
TORI & DEAN INN LOVE SEASON 1
2007; $29.95, UR
A more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com!