New, encore and low-price releases through Tuesday, Nov. 18
GONZO: THE LIFE AND WORK OF DR. HUNTER S. THOMPSON
2007; $26.95, R
Oscar winner Alex Gibney brings us this biographical treatise on Louisville’s most infamous native son, narrated by Johnny Depp. What always attracted us to Thompson was his amazing luck. A brilliantly lazy layabout with antisocial tendencies bordering on psychotic, he was nonetheless able to capitalize on these supposed “flaws” by letting it all flow out on paper — warts, hookers, excess and all. No disrespect: He was talented as hell, but we know lots of talented people who aren’t lucky enough to submit a drunken pile of unedited notes and have an editor who could turn it into “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” Great stuff.
PHILIP K. DICK:
THE PENULTIMATE TRUTH
2008; $24.95, UR
A profound — and long-overdue — biodoc on arguably the world’s greatest sci-fi writer. The author of “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” (made into the movie “Blade Runner”), “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” (“Total Recall”) and “Minority Report,” Dick was mentally ill, often unable to recognize the difference between dreams, hallucinations and “reality” (whatever that is). His true genius, however, was in his ability to transcribe the madness onto paper. A must-own for any fan of sci-fi.
1989; $24.95, UR
How many of you remember Pippi Longstocking, that Nordic nitwit with the impossible hair-braids? The author responsible for that boy’s nightmare, Astrid Lindgren, created many other kid-characters, including this self-sacrificing little girl who takes care of her injured grandma by selling peppermint sticks at Christmas. We hate to say it, but it’s pretty good.
CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL:
13TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION
1996; $24.95, R
Trey Parker, creator of “South Park,” dreamed up this singing, dancing cannibal comedy — based on the true story of Alferd Packer — and it may well be the funniest thing he’s ever done. With now-legendary Japanese Indians, Confederate Cyclopes, painfully funny songs (especially the one about building a snowman, which will stay in your head for days), gruesome gore and hundreds of little in-jokes that now populate “South Park,” this is simply a must-own. Up there with “Young Frankenstein” and “Blazing Saddles.”
ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD
2007; $27.95-$35.95, G
Werner Herzog (“Nosferatu,” “Fitzcarraldo”), who has made some of the most enigmatic movies of all time, has recently been focusing on documentaries, all but reinventing the genre. This look at the scientists and locals who inhabit Antarctica would have been little more than a “Dirty Jobs” outing in lesser hands, but it is Herzog’s unique perspective that turns these people (and penguins) into something as defiant and unique as the land itself. It’s hard to explain just how profoundly beautiful this film is without seeing it. Do yourself and favor and check it out.
GUNSLINGER GIRL: BOX SET
2008; $39.95, UR
A three-volume set from this underrated anime series. Orphaned girls are “conditioned” by The Social Welfare Corp and turned into RoboCop-like cyborg warriors, each with a male “handler.” Hard to explain, but hypnotic.
THE STAX RECORDS STORY
2007; $24.95, UR
A jumpin’, soulful, made-for-TV look back at Stax Records, the legendary home of such greats as Isaac Hayes, Booker T. & the MGs, Arthur Conley (“In the Midnight Hour”), Sam & Dave, Otis Redding and The Staple Singers. Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson.
THE ADVENTURES OF SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON/THE RIVERS RUN
2008; $19.95, UR
Don’t overlook this simple family fare, probably floating in the cut-out bin at Wal-Mart. The first is an introduction to a little-known literary series starring Richard Thomas; the second finds Parker Stevenson pursuing a riverboat adventure in Australia. Six hours of live-action fun and adventure. What a deal!
THE ODD COUPLE:
COMPLETE SERIES PACK
2008; $109.95, UR
The first complete DVD release of the flawless Emmy-winning Jack Klugman/Tony Randall sitcom. Two wildly mismatched, divorced middle-aged men are forced to move in together and survive “without driving each other crazy.” Still one of the funniest TV shows ever.
THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS 2
2008; $28.95-$35.95, PG-13
Blake Lively, America Ferrera, Alexis Bledel and Amber Tamblyn, a bit older, wiser and — yes, we’ll say it, damn hot! — take on new life adventures in this fun, if not exactly original, sequel to 2007’s distaff buddy-movie. The final scenes, suggested by fans, are worth the price of admission.
THE UNIVERSE: THE COMPLETE SEASON 1
2007; $79.95, UR
One of our favorite science series from the History Channel, now on Blu-Ray. A love-child of Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” and a Dell quad-core graphics processor, lacking only an avuncular on-screen host to make it perfect. Thirteen episodes.
2008; $29.95-$39.95, R/UR
Has Ben Stiller ever made a good movie? Not that we can think of, so this one is probably his best thanks to buddies Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. They are part of a self-absorbed and kinda dim acting troupe, shooting a war movie on-location in Southeast Asia, unaware that their director has gone insane, the studio has canceled the movie and the bad guys shooting at them … are for real! One helluvalotta fun.
2008; $29.95-$40.95, G
Pixar once again proves why it is the undisputed King of Animation. Wall-E is a mobile trash compactor, the last one left on Earth after centuries of diligently cleaning up the mess left behind by man. And where is man? He’s grown fat, lazy and stupid aboard a massive orbiting spa. Then one day a girl robot arrives, and nothing will ever be the same again. Simply wonderful.
Other DVDs of interest
CHARMED: THE COMPLETE SERIES
DOCTOR WHO: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON
2008; $99.95, UR
HAWAII FIVE-O: THE FIFTH SEASON
MCHALE’S NAVY: SEASON FOUR
1962; $39.95, UR
STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES: SEASON 3 REMASTERED
A more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com