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Bridesmaids

September 14, 2011

Video TapeWorm

New, encore and low-price releases on Tuesday, Sept. 20

 

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:

BRIDESMAIDS

2011; $29.95-$34.95, R

This year will be remembered as the year of the wedding picture. At last count, there have been more than a million of them (OK, maybe it just seems that way), but this is the only one that rose above its chick-flick roots to become real entertainment. Kristen Wiig leads a great cast as the head bridesmaid for BFF Maya Rudolph. But fate and Rose Byrne have other plans in this well-written and raunchy old-fashioned comedy. Damn funny, with Melissa McCarthy from “Mike & Molly,” Wendi McLendon-Covey, Chris O’Dowd, Jon Hamm and more.

TODAY’S SPECIAL

2009; $19.95, UR

Fans of “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” will recognize Aasif Mandvi as the star of this comic tale of a chef who dreams of leading some tony Manhattan restaurant, only to get stuck working in the family’s bankrupt cookery in Jackson Heights. Better yet, it co-stars local cutie and River City Players alum Jess Weixler, who graduated Atherton High in 1999. Watch for her in “Free Samples” with Jesse Eisenberg later this year, and “Lumpy” with Justin Long sometime in 2012 — she’s terrific!

•••

AREA 51

2011; $19.95, R

A good, old-fashioned, low-budget monster flick. Tired of all the public speculation, the Air Force allows two reporters to visit the base to prove that there are no aliens living there. But one of the aliens living there disagrees. Scary fun.

BLUE SUNSHINE

1976; $24.95, R

Re-release of a largely forgotten masterpiece of cult filmmaking from the maker of “Squirm.” Everyone is stumped when ordinary people suddenly lose their hair and go on murderous rampages. Could it have something to do with the LSD they took a decade earlier? Stars modern-day master of late-night cable porn Zalman King. Recommended.

CIRCO

2010; $27.95, UR

A look at the beautiful, forgotten villages of Mexico as seen by members of a generations-old family circus struggling to survive in the modern world. The music of Calexico runs throughout. Simply terrific.

DUMBO

1941; $29.95-$39.95, G

The 70th Anniversary Special Edition Blu-ray/DVD combo release of — in our humble opinion — Uncle Walt’s most moving motion picture. As kids in a darkened theater, we recoiled in horror as Dumbo’s mom was locked away for trying to protect her little one. And we remember screaming happily as the big-eyed, big-eared pachyderm learned to fly with the aid of a fast-talking mouse and a “magic” feather. It’s a shame kids won’t have memories like that any longer, but thank God and Corporate Drones they can at least own the DVD.

MICKEY SPILLANE’S MIKE HAMMER: THE COMPLETE SERIES

2011; $89.95, UR

This was the first-ever Mike Hammer TV series, now available for the first time on DVD. Most of the episodes were written by novelist Spillane himself, and all starred Darren McGavin as the hard-nosed, sadistic and usually drunken PI whose abuse of women seemed only to make him more lovable. Dames! Go figger. Cited at the time as the most violent show ever put on the air, it was a smash hit in 1958-59 and made a star of McGavin. Very entertaining.

MIKE & MOLLY: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON

2010; $44.95-$59.95, UR

A truly warm and welcome comedy about two exceedingly fat people who simply want to be loved, just like the rest of us. Stand-up comic Billy Gardell channels Jackie Gleason at his boisterous best, but does it all with so much heart that you can’t help but love the big lug. And as his girlfriend, Melissa McCarthy shows great comic chops, especially when trying to be supportive of the clearly clueless Mike. We’ve never seen a better — or funnier — sitcom.

SAVAGE

2010; $24.95, UR

A wonderfully earnest no-budget action/monster outing set in a blazing national park. As firefighters try to contain the damage and save endangered wildlife, at least one large, hairy bit-o-wildlife endangers the firefighters. Neat.

SLUGS

1987; $9.95, R

This little-known late-’80s horror flick is a no-budget hoot from director Juan Piquer Simón, who also made such legendary dreck as “Supersonic Man,” “Mystery on Monster Island” and “The Pod People.” It’s your basic “thousands of slimy mutated man-eating slugs kill people then move on” churner: no explanations, no social commentary, no highfalutin ax to grind. Brainless movie mayhem at its finest. Enjoy.

TERRY PRATCHETT: GOING POSTAL

2010; $39.95, UR

Fans of Pratchett’s “Discworld” novels will recognize this immediately. Based on his 33rd entry in the franchise, this lavish, two-part, made-for-limey-TV miniseries follows the adventures of con artist Moist von Lipwig (Richard Coyle), who gets conned into accepting the post of Postmaster General in Ankh-Morpork, an impossible position that hasn’t been filled in years.

THE KENNEDYS

2011; $29.95-$39.95, UR

This is that eight-part miniseries the Kennedy clan tried to keep off the air. Not really worth all the hoopla, but a good, solid modern bio-drama with Greg Kinnear as Jack Kennedy, Barry Pepper as Bobby and Katie Holmes, doing a surprisingly good Jackie.

THE STRANGE CASE OF ANGELICA

2010; $29.95, UR

This enchanting — if kinda weird — movie from Portugal has been an art-house sensation. A Sephardic Jewish photographer is dragged out of bed during a raging storm to take a picture for a wealthy man. The subject? His breathtaking young bride, now dead — smiling, still in her wedding gown. The photographer becomes enchanted with the image, imagining that she opens her eyes and lives again. But that is just one of the rare joys in this masterful visual puzzle.

TIMMY TIME: HIDE & SEEK

2011; $14.95, UR

As readers of this column (and at least one court-appointed mental health professional) can avow, we are big fans of the Shaun the Sheep clay-animated kid’s series. This “Timmy Time” spin-off for younger kids is equally fun and probably violates our parole as well. In this one, Timmy teaches the noisy Paxton how to hide quietly — too quietly!

WE ARE THE NIGHT

2010; $24.95, UR

A much sought-after German import about a trio of sexy female vampires who recruit a youthful new member, played by Karoline Herfurth, best known for her work in the underrated “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” (2006). Nothing new, but head and shoulders above all that tweeny “Twilight” crap.

A More Complete Listing and Free Vids at www.videotapeworm.com.