THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
2013; $17.98-$35.98; R
This popular Coen Brothers indie stars Oscar Isaac from “The Bourne Legacy” as a young folk singer on a 1961 journey to discover … well, we’re not sure what he’s trying to discover, but being former plunk-and-wheezers ourselves, we found it very entertaining. True to life, Llewyn spends most of his days trying to scrounge a ride or a couch for the night from a dwindling collection of equally unpromising friends, and trying to get laid using his guitar. Beyond that, the story arc concerns the usual ephemera: big breaks, the constant penniless humiliation and brutal Greenwich Village winters. Man, does this sound like life or what?
THE BOOK THIEF
2014; $17.98-$39.98; PG-13
In an abbreviated version of Markus Zusaks’ overreaching young adult novel, Sophie Nélisse plays the courageous heroine, forced to live with foster parents Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson in a small German village. She comes to love books just as the Nazis start burning them, setting in motion a series of very real events leading to the girl and her foster family harboring a young Jew from Nazi persecution. But this isn’t an action flick; it tells its story in a meandering, laid-back fashion, letting each participant’s tale become flesh, then bond with the others. Rush couldn’t really make a boring film, now could he?
DOCTOR WHO: THE TIME OF THE DOCTOR
2014; $12.98-$19.98; UR
The end of the line for Matt Smith’s very human 11th Doctor; a one-hour follow-up to the “Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special.” Here he rescues gorgeous Jenna Coleman from a deadly dull family Christmas dinner to visit an insignificant planet/town called Christmas, under siege by the Doctor’s worst enemies. And it’s there in a rather dense time-travel plot that we see how the show finally deals with the immutable Time Lord law limiting him to 12 regenerations. And thus we meet the 12th Doctor, Peter “World War Z” Capaldi. Goodbye, Matt, you will be missed.
END OF THE WORLD
2013; $17.98-$19.98; PG-13
Classic SyFy Channel crapola of the best sort. Greg “Heroes” Grunberg and Neil “Eureka” Grayston are disaster-movie nerds who see an apocalypse on the horizon, even if no one else does. So they “rescue” their favorite end-times movie actor (Brad Dourif) from the asylum and — with help from a handy nuclear freakin’ warhead! — set out to save the day. Lots of neat cameos from other SyFy veterans and the usual uber-cheezy digital effects are lifted by the banter, innocence and asininity of the two leads.
2013; $21.98; PG-13
This gay teen comedy has become a respected hit, taking “Glee” audiences a bit further into their continuing infatuation with queer romance. Cameron Deane Stewart dates girls while quietly spooning quarterback Justin Deeley (“Drop Dead Diva”). Gorgeous babes Meaghan Martin and Ally Maki are quietly more than just BFFs. These and others form a club as a cover to get together privately — calling it the Geography Club so no one else will crash the party! Then others discover it is the perfect place to open the doors to their own closets. Fun, funny and romantic. What’s not to like?
2013; $24.98-$34.98; R
Jason Statham plays his usual hard-as-nails deadly action-guy to perfect effect, helped by a great supporting cast including Winona Ryder, baddie James Franco and dream-date Kate Bosworth. He’s a widowed ex-DEA agent who retires to a seemingly quiet little town to raise his daughter (cute Izabela Vidovic from TV’s “Zombieland”), which would have been great, except for all the crime and drugs going on under Sheriff Clancy Brown’s watch. An exceptionally rousing actioner; written by Sylvester Stallone.
OUT OF THE FURNACE
2013; $16.98-$29.98; R
What do you get when you combine the talents of Woody Harrelson, Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard, Willem Dafoe and Forest Whitaker under the command of the writer/director of “Crazy Heart”? One seriously interesting movie! Bale works in a steel mill and takes care of his dying father. His brother (Affleck), fresh from Iraq, makes some bad choices, then vanishes mysteriously. The cops haven’t a clue, so Bale dedicates his life to finding his bro — dead or alive — and exacting justice. Is it any good? With this pedigree, how can it not be good?
SCHOOLGIRL REPORT VOL. 12: IF MOM ONLY KNEW
1978; $24.98; UR
Better known in some circles as “Carnal Campus,” this was apparently the final outing for this series of embarrassing and unredeemable ’70s softcore wonders from Germany, filled with playful Teutonic romps with huge-breasted blondes built to titillate and entertain. The set-up this time is 20-something “high schoolers” reading erotic student letters aloud, providing introduction to each vignette. The most outrageous finds a young woman who desperately yearns to fly a hunky older airline pilot. In his plane. Silly slop from the late Golden Age of Porn.
THE HUNGOVER GAMES
2014; $16.98-$30.98; UR
Yeah, it’s a quickie mishmash of tropes from “The Hunger Games,” “The Hangover,” “Ted,” “Thor,” “The Hobbit” and several other pop-culture touchstones starring no one in particular. Our favorite bit involves “The Johnny Depp District,” which takes a very brief and loving — if disrespectful — poke at Depp as pirate, scissorhand, singing demon barber, Indian, etc. Won’t change your life or anything, but gangs of goofy fun.
THE SCIENCE OF MEASUREMENT
2014; $29.98-$34.98; UR
The guys behind BBC’s “The Story of Math” return to show just how absolutely fascinating simple scientific concepts can be. Here they look at how man, watching the seemingly chaotic miasma of seasonal change, has distilled an ever more precise understanding of time, motion, gravity, geometry, mass, energy and ourselves. In fact, we now understand that all of “reality,” including our history and culture, is based on just seven precisely measurable things. It’s like holding all the answers to the universe in your hand. Buy it.
A more complete listing and free vids at videotapeworm.com.