Issue September 24, 2008

The Video Tapeworm – Releases through Tuesday, Sept. 30

and Bill Raker

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS

FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL

2008; $29.95-$39.95, R

Jason Segel of “How I Met Your Mother” is terrific in this romantic comedy/disaster flick, which he also wrote, for producer Judd Apatow. When the titular Sarah — an absolutely stunning Kristen Bell — dumps him for a demented rock star, Jason takes a trip to Hawaii where he meets nubile Mila Kunis. Unfortunately, Sarah and her brain-dead beau are staying in the next room! With a terrific cast and script, this is a fractured gem. The three-disc unrated Collector’s Edition includes extra penis screen-time for “Little Jason,” if you’re into that sort of thing. Also available in an Ultimate Unrated Comedy Collection with “Knocked Up” and “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” for $64.95.

IRON MAN

2008; $34.95-$39.95, PG-13

We have to admit, when we first heard that Jon Favreau was going to direct Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, we thought, “going down in flames.” But, man, were we wrong! Downey is perfect as genius-industrialist-asshole Tony Stark who creates a super-soldier suit to escape from a terrorist camp and save the world from his own creations. Gwyneth Paltrow looks gooood, but doesn’t have enough to do as his assistant/would-be girlfriend Pepper Potts. Very possibly the greatest comic-booker ever made, it succeeds on every level. Also available in a two-disc edition with lotsa extra bonus goodies.

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL

1938; $19.95, UR

A clean, new pressing of our favorite holiday chestnut: the Reginald Owen version of the Charles Dickens classic. Owen is Scrooge, a gloriously bent and crotchety old sinner whose reanimation is a joy to behold. Gene Lockhart and wife Kathleen play the Cratchits, with daughter June Lockhart as one of the uncredited daughters. June, of course, went on to play the mom on “Lassie” and “Lost in Space.” We’re ready for presents!

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: THE COMPLETE SERIES

2008; $89.95, UR

First full-series release of the Emmy Award-winning show starring Linda Hamilton as the crusading DA who falls in love with sensitive-yet-dangerous sewer-dwelling lion-man “Vincent,” played by Ron “Hellboy” Perlman. A sappy, hopelessly romantic chick-fantasy about passion and tickly pussy whiskers. Enjoy.

BIGGER STRONGER FASTER

2008; $26.95, PG-13

A killer doc about the steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs that so permeate American culture that gallons of clean urine samples are pumped into the country each week. An unflinching look, not just at sports, but every aspect of U.S. life with Hank Aaron, next-VP Joe Biden, Barry Bonds, Stan Lee, John Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Tiger Woods and many others.

LARRY FLYNT: THE RIGHT TO BE LEFT ALONE

2008; $19.95, UR

A welcome look at America’s third-best-known smut publisher (after Hef and Bob Guccione) and free-speech advocate. His battle against the pandering hypocrisy of political leaders has landed him in jail several times, cost him his health (confined to a wheelchair after an attempted assassination in 1978) and a sizable fortune. But make no mistake: His story is as American as apple pie and as rooted in the beliefs of the founding fathers as any patriot. He just uses more pink ink.

LEWIS BLACK’S ROOT OF ALL EVIL

2008; $26.95, UR

First video release of Black’s terrific Comedy Central show, built around his righteously angry observations of pop culture and its brain-draining effect on the world. What is the Root of All Evil? You’re reading it right now!

LOU REED’S BERLIN

2008; $22.95, UR

A singular treat for Reed fans. His 1973 concept album, Berlin, has been a touch-point for critics since its release. Here he performs it as he “saw it in his mind,” with background projections of Emmanuelle Seigner and others telling an abstract tale of drug-addicted lovers. But the “movie within” is not a continuous film, allowing Reed and band (including the incredible Steve Hunter on guitar) to become part of the action — and the action to become part of the band during this live performance from 2006.

SHIRLEY TEMPLE EARLY YEARS VOLUMES 1 & 2

2008; $9.95 each, UR

This series is a must-own for fans of early film. Culled from her personal collection, Volume 1 contains rare shorts from as early as 1932 (most never before on video), and those first studio flicks that made her a household name. Volume 2 continues with more classics and some never-before-seen bonus material. All are beautifully restored and (unfortunately) colorized.

SHORT TRACK

2008; $24.95, UR

A wildly overdramatic look at driven, good-ol’-boy stock-car racer Pepper Sweeney, who dreams of the big time while trying to protect his nubile teenage daughter from the dead-end low-lifes around the track. A fun tale, but the best reason to watch this is the daughter, played by blonde honey-yummy Ann Bratton — who also served as associate producer.

SOCCER MOM

2008; $19.95, UR

We are big fans of Missi Pyle, who played Miss Pasternak, Jake’s sexy teacher on “Two and a Half Men,” and Laliari on “Galaxy Quest.” Here she helps her daughter’s losing soccer team by impersonating a famous Italian male soccer legend. Yeah, it’s corny as hell, but she has fun with it. Recommended for tweens.

TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE

2007; $27.95, R

If you don’t think your country has lost its soul, check out this devastating documentary about Moazzam Begg, an innocent taxi driver and family man in Afghanistan who was kidnapped and then quite literally tortured to death, slowly, in 2002. By America. You authorized it, paid for it and took a hand in his screaming, blood-choked last moments. Yeah, vote Republican again this year, dumbass.

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HALLOWEEN STARTER PACK

2008; $59.95, UR

A perfect start to your spooky-doins Blu-Ray collection, containing “Land of the Dead,” “Dawn of the Dead” and the John Carpenter version of “The Thing.”

OTHER DVDS OF INTEREST

B.L. STRYKER: THE COMPLETE SERIES

2008; $54.95, UR

BANACEK: THE COMPLETE SERIES BOX SET

2008; $49.95, UR

CLICK AND CLACK’S AS THE WRENCH TURNS

2008; $29.95, UR

LAREDO: SEASON 2 PART ONE

2008; $29.95, UR

MY NAME IS EARL: SEASON THREE

2008; $49.95, UR

SPORTS NIGHT: THE COMPLETE SERIES 10TH ANNIVERSARY

2008; $69.95, PG

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