THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:
BELLE DE JOUR
1967; $19.98-$39.98; R
We have long held that the human race hit its peak in the late ’60s. With man landing on the moon, the end to an unjust war, and the Summer of Love, could there ever again be such a decade? Add to that list of accomplishments this erotic/absurdist masterpiece from Luis Bunuel starring the incomparable Catherine Deneuve. This dreamy tale of a frigid — and breathtakingly beautiful — Parisian housewife who secretly spends her days working in a bordello is a mirror to the changing mores of the time — and the inherent nature of men and women — that never fails to entertain. Now available in a perfect Criterion Blu-Ray release with excellent bonus goodies. Our absolute highest recommendation.
2010; $27.98; UR
Isabelle Huppert proves that, even in her late 50s, nothing is more beautiful or arousing than an intelligent woman. Here she plays a prostitute who specializes in custom-made fantasies (including the surprisingly erotic school-girl on the box cover) until she meets a cracked psychoanalyst and the two come to realize that they are both in the same profession! A dark dramedy with very little actual sex or nudity, but smart and fun nonetheless.
2011; $19.98-$39.98; PG-13
A big-budget action/crime vehicle for Taylor Lautner of the “Twilight” movies. A baby photo reveals a secret from his past, landing him and those around him in danger. Set in Europe, newcomer Oriah Acima Andrews literally glows as Riah, as does Lily Collins in a small part; Alfred Molina does his best sneer; and Sigourney Weaver acts as game-master, sending him back into play and repeating the plot points so no one gets lost. With Jason Isaacs, Maria Bello and Michael Nyqvist.
AROUND THE WORLD: ONE MAN’S JOURNEY
2011; $24.98; UR
As a boy, Doug Jones took one of the first transcontinental airplane flights — and never stopped traveling. Today, he has visited every continent, nearly 70 nations (some of which no longer exist) and met thousands of amazing people, much of which he filmed for National Geographic. Here he recounts his favorites in a globe-hopping travelogue unlike anything you’ve seen. Recommended.
BILL MOYERS: AMAZING GRACE
2011; $26.98-$29.98; UR
While Bill Moyers is a national treasure and surely the finest documentarian of our age, this ’90s PBS special stands as his masterpiece. Finally available on DVD, he tells the story of the folk hymn, penned by a repentant slave-ship crewmember who would later become one of England’s preeminent clergymen. The song would change many lives before being rediscovered in 20th century America and adopted as the premier African-American spiritual.
2009; $18.98-$35.98; UR
Animation buffs take note: This Soviet/Japanese/Canadian co-production is certainly one of the most unusual and entertaining things we’ve ever seen. In the early days of WWII, a group of Russian X-Men-like super-teens are drafted by the Army to repel Nazi invaders — including a supernatural 12th-century horde of the undead! Aka “Fâsuto Sukuwaddo,” this is intercut with interviews with real Soviet WWII survivors, adding weight to the tale.
KEVIN HART: LAUGH AT MY PAIN
2011; $12.98-$19.98; R
Little-known standup comic Hart broke ticket-sale records across the country in 2011, appearing in 90 U.S. cities and earning more than $15 million — an unheard of sum for a one-man comedy tour. The entire show is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray, along with personal and revealing backstage conversations and inspired shenanigans. Recommended.
2011; $22.98; R
A fun jab at rock music based on the true story of young Irishman Neil McCormick. He and his pals were determined to be big-time rock stars but could only stand by and watch as school chums Paul David Hewson (better known as “Bono Vox”) and the rest of U2 got all the breaks. Based on McCormick’s 2003 book (a terrific read), it features the final screen performance of the late Pete Postlethwaite.
OVER THE EDGE
1979; $17.98; PG
Matt Dillon, one of the bigger stars of the ’80s, became an overnight sensation because of this flick — which Nirvana credits as the inspiration for “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” He lives in a gated community where the only entertainment is a single rec-center, and it closes at 6 p.m. The bored teens eventually go on nightly PG-rated sprees of vandalism until one of them gets shot by a security guard — then all hell breaks loose! A much-loved culter, now available on DVD.
STORMCHASERS: GREATEST STORMS
2011; $13.98; PG
The Discovery Channel Stormchaser team — Reed Timmer, Joel Taylor, IMAX cameraman Sean Casey and meteorologist Dr. Josh Wurman — handpicked this selection of their most dangerous and exciting encounters with nature. Almost three hours of lightning-infused, extreme-science mayhem.
TAYLOR SWIFT: JOURNEY TO FEARLESS
2011; $17.98-$21.98; UR
If there’s a tween girl in your house, then you’re already well aware that this, Swift’s first-ever headlining concert movie, is about to touch down. We recommend giving the child a 20 before running from the house, vacating the state if possible. A two-hour-plus compilation of 13 live performances, home movie clips and vacuous, interminable interviews about “believing in yourself.” It’s gonna get loud in here.
THE COAST GUARD
2002; $11.98; R
A powerful and compelling look at the corrupting effects of status and fear from South Korea. A patriotic soldier patrolling the coastline kills a pair of innocent and amorous young people he believes are spies. Despite being honored for his deed, grief drives him insane.
THE IDES OF MARCH
2011; $17.98-$35.98; R
George Clooney directs and co-stars with Ryan Gosling in this political drama about an idealistic young man thrust into the rough compromises and dirty deals that stand in for honesty and service in our damaged political landscape. With Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood.
2010; $22.98-$24.98; UR
An excellent indie drama/thriller from the Independent Film Channel. Scott Mechlowicz plays an aspiring documentary filmmaker who takes his camera crew into the desert night to record an illicit border crossing. But this particular night there are predators on the hunt: cruel right-wing “patriots” who intend to see that such “illegals” never make the trip a second time. We’ve always said that the most frightening monsters are the human ones. Scary.
A More Complete Listing and Free Vids at videotapeworm.com.