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Breaking Bad

May 28, 2014

Video TapeWorm

New, encore and low-price releases on Tuesday, June 3

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:

BREAKING BAD: THE COMPLETE SERIES

2008; $113.98-$230.99; UR

It would be an insult to our readers to review any aspect of this amazing, genre-busting cable-TV drama about high school chemistry teacher Bryan Cranston, who discovers he has lung cancer and turns to cooking meth to provide for himself and his family. One of the most popular cable series in history, all 62 episodes and a plethora of unseen special features, now available on 21 DVDs or 16 Blu-rays. Pace yourself, bitch.

ROBOCOP

2014; $19.98; PG-13

This unnecessary re-imagining of Paul Verhoeven’s masterpiece about a murdered cop in a brutal future being resurrected against his will as a half-human cyborg lacks the original’s dark comedy, charisma or damning — if prescient — take on the fall of consumer society, but it does have Gary Oldman, Michael “Batman” Keaton, Jackie Earle “Rorschach” Haley, Samuel L. Jackson and Abbie “Suckerpunch” Cornish. Joel Kinnaman puts on the suit and, in a departure from previous versions, remembers his past life, suffering greatly the loss of his humanity.

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BARBARY COAST

1975; $49.98-$59.98; UR

To be honest, we had never heard of this show, but after seeing it, we feel compelled to tell the world! A year after “Star Trek” was canceled, William Shatner joined with Doug McClure for this rip-off of “The Wild Wild West” as Old West secret agents fighting world crime from a ritzy San Francisco casino. With big Richard “Lurch” Kiel as “Moose,” an ever-changing palette of TV guest-stars from the day, and plenty of eye-candy for the guys to woo, this playful, lighthearted adventure was canceled after only 14 episodes. Way too soon; a hoot.

BREAKING THROUGH

2012; $17.98-$19.98; UR

A very personal doc on the rise of openly LGBT elected officials throughout America, each telling their own tale from their unique perspective, with minimal use of news footage. There’s little if any discussion of politics (in the dirtiest sense of that word), keeping the focus squarely on the individual’s personal struggle and how it might apply to the viewer’s own experience.

GHOSTLIGHT

2013; $22.98-$24.98; UR

We enjoyed this talky, low-rent horror for its nice sense of style, with a classic retro plot and artwork reminiscent of Charles Addams’ famous pen-and-ink sketches. Movie buff Brian Sutherland (“Grimm”) will win $50K if he can spend one night in a long-abandoned haunted theater, the scene of a gory murder/suicide long ago. He’s not afraid, but his psychic wife (Lisa Coronado) is terrified, which really ratchets up the sense of dread. Includes the short, “Morella,” and an entertaining making-of. Co-stars underrated actor Russell Hodgkinson, also from “Grimm”; worth your time.

IN THE BLOOD

2014; $20.98; R

A nice turnabout on the “frenzied hubby rescues his kidnapped wife/daughter” actioner, Cam “Twilight” Gigandet is the abducted husband of MMA star Gina Carano (“Fast and Furious 6”) who oh-so femininely dismantles a Caribbean island when Cam disappears during their honeymoon. And let us tell you, this gal can kick butt! The always entertaining Treat Williams shows up briefly, as does Danny “Machete” Trejo. Lots of fun.

NEW TRICKS, SEASON 10

2013; $21.98-$39.98; UR

Another of those entertaining-as-hell, long-running BBC cop shows you never heard of but will be addicted to in the near future. A trio of retired police officers are dragged back into service kicking and screaming to help solve the most baffling of cold cases. Beautiful Amanda Redman stars (for most of this season) as the Super in charge of the three, and despite their individual flaws and fears, the four generate some of the best, most human laughs imaginable while up to their elbows in bloody mayhem. This thing rawks.

RAVENOUS

1999; $22.95; UR

While this tanked at the box office, it is still one of our favorite straight-out lights-on horror films — even if it does star (ugh) Guy Pearce. He and Robert Carlyle duel to the death — or at least desert — in this darkly humorous tale of cannibalism, madness and murder in the isolated Sierra Nevadas of 1847. Now on Blu-ray.

SON OF GOD

2014; $14.98-$29.98; PG-13

Frankly, these American-made Bible stories always crack us up; Jesus did not look like a buff-white Euro surfer-dude, he looked like those swarthy guys you always see being strip-searched at the airport! That being said, this is a heartfelt telling of the Jesus myth starring a bunch of largely white folks we never heard of, spun off from last year’s “The Bible” TV miniseries. Roma Downey returns as Mary, with Diogo Morgado as Jesus.

TINY: A STORY ABOUT LIVING SMALL

2013; $24.98; UR

An intimate and very personal doc/diary about the nascent human desire to be self-reliant and the joy of being unencumbered by possessions. Christopher Smith buys 5 acres of rugged land high in the Colorado Rockies and sets out to build a home — a tiny home, on par with the average shed — despite having no real experience. He and his girlfriend are part of a growing movement away from our runaway consumer society, enjoying healthy self-sufficiency over rampant sloth. Remarkably good, despite (like everything else in the film) being a first-time DIY project.

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

2012; $24.98; UR

A damn-funny French comedy about a young man (Patrick Bruel), about to become a first-time dad, pondering what to name his expected son. When he mentions his choice to the family over dinner, comments ensue, escalating brilliantly until everyone is in an uproar — just like in real life! Lots of love and laughs; lighthearted, knowing and wise: the very definition of a good indie movie.

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