Issue January 14, 2014

Video TapeWorm

New, encore and low-price releases on Tuesday, Jan. 21

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:

BEST MAN DOWN

2012; $27.98; PG-13

Atherton grad Jess Weixler (“The Good Wife”) is Justin Long’s bride-to-be in Phoenix — when the best man, Lumpy (Tyler “Tucker & Dale vs. Evil” Labine), drops dead. They cancel their honeymoon and begin funeral planning in this knowing comic drama that’s filled with neat surprises — like discovering how little they really knew about their best friend. Or each other. Among the great cast, watch for young Addison “Odd Thomas” Timlin who nearly steals the movie, Shelley Long and Frances O’Connor. A great date flick — and you can win one free from LEO and Magnolia Home Entertainment: Just click Free Stuff at videotapeworm.com/video.php. You’re welcome.

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS

2013; $19.98-$40.98; PG-13

Tom Hanks is superb, as always, as the seaman at the center of this true tale of murder and piracy off the coast of Somalia. But the real star has to be Barkhad Abdi as the lead pirate, Muse, forced into this desperate act by war lords who will mutilate, rape and kill his entire family if he doesn’t obey. (Previously seen in 2010’s “Conan,” Abdi was born in Somalia but raised in Yemen before coming to America at the age of 14.). Director Paul “Bourne” Greengrass kept Abdi and Hanks apart until filming was nearly over to increase the sense of uncertainty and alienation between the two, resulting in one of the most chilling and effecting movies we’ve ever seen. Recommended.

•••

CAT PEOPLE

1982; $26.98; PG-13

Nastassja Kinski is just plain hot in this famous reworking of a Val Lewton favorite, now on Blu-ray. She’s a troubled young woman, terrified she’ll turn into a savage black leopard when aroused — making her only safe sex partner in the world her similarly afflicted brother, Malcolm McDowell! So she keeps would-be boyfriend John Heard at arm’s length, lest he get eaten, pushing him right into the arms of willing Annette O’Toole. A kinky time capsule from director Paul “American Gigolo” Schrader.

COMEDY BANG! BANG! SEASON 1

2014; $27.98-$29.98; UR

Scott Aukerman (“Between Two Ferns”) and Reggie Watts (“Conan”) created and star in this most unusual “talk show” that isn’t. Yeah, it looks and feels like a talk show, and there are guests and they do talk, but this show resides in the beating heart of the alt-comedy scene, with such talents as Zack Galifianakis, Amy Poehler, Patton Oswalt and Seth Rogen providing the ever-collapsing structure and moronic segues that simply die for comic effect. Hard to describe but brilliantly executed. Not for every taste, but some of the sharpest comedy available today.

DOLMEN: THE COMPLETE SERIES

2005; $39.98; UR

This little known French drama in six 90-minute episodes deserves a bigger audience. Thirty-something knockout police officer Ingrid Chauvin (who does a topless scene) returns to her childhood home, a ruggedly beautiful island, to marry her childhood sweetheart. But then a series of bizarre, mysterious deaths take members of her own family, along with others on the island. And at the time of each death, the local menhirs (standing stone monoliths) begin to bleed! And the blood matches that of the victim! It all harkens back to a dark day when the locals’ ancestors deliberately wrecked ships to consume their cargo and, it is rumored, sacrificed their crews to pagan gods. Nice.

FREEZER

2013; $27.98; R/UR

Hollywood stars must do a number of low-budget films to pay their studios back for making them stars in the first place. This one belongs to Dylan “Hostages” McDermott, playing an NYC mechanic who wakes up after his birthday party inside of a walk-in freezer (been there). He can’t get out and it all has something to do with Russian mobsters and deranged cop Peter Facinelli from “The Twilight Saga.” Meanwhile, McDermott is slowly freezing to death all alone (making it easier to splice his scenes into their scenes). A good little drama with a few fun surprises.

LIFE’S AN ITCH

2012; $22.98-$24.98; UR

Hunky hubby Rossi Morreale has yoga-inspired woman troubles in this squeaky-clean comedy/romance that features some of the most strikingly beautiful women working today. Watch for Ali “Look” Cobrin, Andrea “General Hospital” Bogart and “The Price is Right” model Jesse Golden, to name a few.

MACHETE KILLS

2013; $24.98; R

As if everyone in the world didn’t already know, action star and real-life former gangbanger Danny Trejo returns for another over-the-top turn as former Federale, Machete. This time the president of the United States (Charlie Sheen!) sends him after a crazed revolutionary and a billionaire buddy who intend to start profitable wars from space. Writer/director Robert Rodriguez creates a much shallower film this time, filled to overflowing with great cameos, hot women, guns, explosions, sex, bigger guns, more women and MORE GUNS! A live-action Chuck Jones cartoon filled with blood. Don’t miss it.

NEVER SLEEP AGAIN: THE ELM STREET LEGACY

2010; $16.98-29.98; UR

That “bastard son of a hundred maniacs,” Freddy Krueger, owned ’80s cinema as the once-human monster who carves children apart from within their dreams — resurrected/rebooted yet again in 2010. But, surprisingly, this is the first “official” documentary ever to explore the Elm Street films. Creator Wes Cravens opens his vaults and provides access to more than 100 actors, artists, special-effects gurus, musicians and conceptualists, with Heather Langenkamp serving as our guide with help from Robert England, Jackie Earl Haley and everyone in between. Lots of fun.

NYPD BLUE: SEASON FIVE

2013; $29.98-$34.98; UR

Simply put: America’s best-ever cop show. This 1997-98 season found NYC’s finest, Dennis Franz and Jimmy Smits, dealing with fallout from the murder of mobster Joey Salvo (Peter Onorati), while Kim Delaney goes looking for body snatchers, all under the knowing eye of show creator Steven Bochco. But what everyone remembers most about Season 5 was that the long-simmering romance between Smits and Delaney finally boiled over, providing audiences with some of the hottest adult action ever seen on broadcast TV. A must-own.

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