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June 23, 2009

Video TapeWorm

New, encore and low-price DVD releases on Tuesday, June 30

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS

12 ROUNDS

2009; $39.95, UR

Wrasslin’ John Cena stars in this seriously dumb actioner. His girlfriend (Maxim-momma Ashley Scott) is kidnapped by an ex-con who demands his nemesis Cena survive 12 challengers to win her release. So why are we highlighting this stinker? It was directed by Renny Harlin, the man responsible for such solid-if-dumb actioners as “Die Hard 2,” “Deep Blue Sea” and “The Covenant.” OK, and because it’s a slow week. Enjoy.

STREET FIGHTER: THE LEGEND OF CHUN-LI

2009; $29.95, PG-13

“Smallville”’s Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk) stars in this vidgamer with Chris Klein, perennial big-guy Michael Clarke Duncan and Robin Shou from the “Mortal Kombat” movies. An unredeemable mess from start to finish, this ranks up there with “Road House” on the “so bad it’s good” scale. While Kreuk has matured from her dewy teen-dream days into a cool, exotic beauty, her martial arts skills are laughable — and check out her awkward moves in the faux lesbian bar encounter! Get the gang together and crack some foamies, this is a movie to be enjoyed with friends!

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DARK STREETS

2008; $24.95, R

A solid drama set in the ’30s about nightclub owner Gabriel Mann who hires talented singer Izabella Miko at the expense of his current warbler, Bijou Phillips. She hits back with “She can chanteuse my ass!” We love that line.

GETTING STARTED WITH BELLYDANCE

2009; $19.95, UR

With all the turmoil in the Middle East spilling into our peaceful streets, it behooves each of us to form a personal bond with that storied region, to learn about its history, culture and religion. And what better way than to have your girlfriend dance around half-nekkid in front of you until you get a stiffy? See? You’re already learning to appreciate another culture! Personal growth is so rewarding ...

GHOST SHIPS

2008; $24.95, UR

This “History’s Mysteries” cable-TV outing is a serious bunch of nautical fun, taking a stroll through the wondrously bone-chilling apparitions that have terrorized sailors for centuries. From the Flying Dutchman to the Mary Celeste, these are some of the world’s best tales. Arrrgh, watch it with the lights out, mateys.

JOCKEYS

2009; $19.95, PG

A long-overdue look at the world of those hard men and women of slight stature who risk their lives for our entertainment, courtesy of Animal Planet. Takes you into the stables, gyms and way-too-early-morning rituals required to keep a 112-pound person atop a genetically enhanced, 1,200-pound brainless muscle-machine long enough to kill our dreams of paying the rent with the third-race Exacta. An entertaining visit with some of the greatest athletes in the world. Recommended.

OCTANE

2009; $26.95, R

A lively, if generic, street-racer action flick originally titled “Dolphins” for reasons beyond our meager cognitive machinery.

RIP: A REMIX MANIFESTO

2009; $19.95, UR

The most intelligent and thought-provoking “doc” in a decade. The topic? Does combining music/video samples with digital manipulation constitute a new, original work of art? Or is it plagiarism? Outright theft? Could this really be a legitimate and original product in its own right? And, in any case, what is owed the creator of the source material? But far from a passive peek, this mash-up movie becomes part of the discussion by “violating” those very rules at the heart of the matter, making the viewer an unwitting perpetrator of the “crime.” A truly enlightening and entertaining kaleidoscope of a film that you’ll be talking about for weeks.

SEA BEAST

2009; $14.95, UR

Hilariously stupid SciFi Channeler (aka “Troglodyte”) starring their new poster boy, Corin Nemec. A poison-spitting, 2-legged, man-eating, deep-sea creature with the power to camouflage himself a la “Predator,” comes ashore and terrorizes a fishing village populated by the dumbest asses in human history. By the time it all ends in the obligatory BDE (Big Damned Explosion), any and all logic has also been extinguished. Big Dumb Fun with a couple of hotties in the cast. What more do you want?

THE BETRAYED

2008; $26.95, UR

Melissa George (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “30 Days of Night”) is kidnapped and told that her 6-year-old son will die unless she kills her husband, who may secretly be a brutal criminal. A better-than-average distaff crime-thriller co-starring Christian Campbell and Oded Fehr.

THE EDUCATION OF CHARLIE BANKS

2007; $29.95, R

Fred “Limp Bizkit” Durst’s directorial debut is pretty amazing. He brings Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Ritter and Eva Amurri together at an Ivy League school in the ’70s. But only Eisenberg knows that, as a kid, Ritter was violently sociopathic. Can he get over his childhood fear of him to protect Amurri? A terrific adult coming-of-age outing that deserves your attention.

TOKYO!

2008; $24.95, UR

Directors Michel Gondry (“Be Kind Rewind”), Leos Carax (“Lovers on the Bridge”) and Bong Joon-ho (“The Host”) each take the reigns for a segment of this dramatic and surreal look at modern-day Tokyo. At the center of it all is the notion that cities are living, breathing entities formed by — and directing the fates of — the people within it. Artsy-fartsy, but good.

TWO LOVERS

2008; $29.95-$34.95, R

Overrated hack Joaquin Phoenix declared this would be his last film. Yaaaay! It’s a romantic drama with him playing his usual one-note “heartbroken soul” character. He moves back in with his parents and starts banging Gwyneth Paltrow and sexy Vinessa Shaw, which leads to further brow-furrowing and dark rumination because, well ... he’s a dumbass! Worth watching if only to see the last of him.

 

Other DVDs of Interest:

ALI ON ALI: LOST INTERVIEWS: CHAMPIONS FOREVER

2008; $19.95, UR

ENTOURAGE: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON

2008; $39.95, UR

MONSTERQUEST: SEASON 3, SET 1

2008; $24.95, UR

PARKER LEWIS CAN’T LOSE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON

1990; $49.95, UR

REBA: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON

2006; $24.95, UR

THE IT CROWD: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON

2008; $24.95, UR

 

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