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January 7, 2009

Video TapeWorm

New, encore and low-price DVD releases on Tuesday, Jan. 13

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS

OPIE GETS LAID

2005; $19.95, UR

A 20-something “Ronnie” Howard from “The Andy Griffith Show” once joked that if his career wasn’t doing well and he found himself down on his luck, he could make a fortune with a porno film. He would call it “Opie Gets Laid.” Andy was not amused. This no-budget sex comedy, aka “Sunnyvale,” has absolutely nothing to do with Howard; we just love that story. Writer/producer/director James Ricardo stars as a 30-year-old TV-addicted virgin who falls for a bisexual pot-dealer-chick named Thai, her leather-clad paramour, Dakota, and a girl from the personal ads. He gets tired; they get jealous.

SPACED OUT

2006; $29.95, UR

Holy crap! A queer sci-fi comedy about a captive Earthling who has endured two years of alien anal probes … and kinda likes it. The outer-space terrorists want to put an end to the human race (snicker), so they beam their prisoner back home — and into a gay community — where he experiences a strange form of déjà vu. A comic tale of passion, paranoia and outrageous inputs with Butch Patrick from “The Munsters,” Robert Z’Dar from “Maniac Cop,” Fred “The Hammer” Williamson, Babette Bombshell and Greg Maurer as Randy Bottom.

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APPALOOSA

2008; $28.95-$35.95, R

Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen, who had such great chemistry in “A History of Violence,” re-team for this excellent old-fashioned Western, co-written, directed and produced by Harris, based on the works of Robert B. Parker. With Jeremy Irons, Renée Zellweger and Lance Henriksen. Lots of Oater fun; a sequel is already in the works.

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S

1961; $24.95, UR

Audrey Hepburn forever changed cinema as Holly Golightly, the madcap, carefree New Yorker whose only desires in life were freedom, happiness and a millionaire husband. One of the greatest romantic comedies ever made, winner of two Oscars, with music by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer (“Moon River”), you simply have never seen a real movie until you’ve seen this. Directed by Blake Edwards and adapted from a Truman Capote short, it costars George Peppard, Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen, Martin Balsam and Mickey Rooney. Now available as part of the Paramount Centennial Collection, with all the requisite goodies.

BRIDESHEAD REVISITED

2008; $29.95, PG-13

Hailed by many as the best adaptation to date of Evelyn Waugh’s veddy, veddy British tale of forbidden love in pre-WWII England. Stars Matthew Goode, Ben Whishaw, Hayley Atwell, Emma Thompson, Michael Gambon and Greta Scacchi.

FATHER OF THE KAMIKAZE

1974; $29.95, UR

Well-deserved resurrection of a little-known biodrama on the tortured life of Onishi Takijiro, the Japanese admiral who invented aerial suicide bombings — the Kamikaze or “Divine Wave” — to force America into a negotiated peace during WWII. His cold logic — one pilot killing hundreds of sailors — became the deciding factor in America’s use of atomic weapons.

GOD ON TRIAL

2008; $24.95, UR

Unlike most religions that teach that God is unknowable, infallible and will bust a cap in your ass for the least offense, Jewish tradition encourages arguing with The Big Guy as a way to learn The Big Plan. In this BBC drama, Jewish prisoners in Auschwitz put God on trial to understand what the heck is going on.

LITTLE BRITAIN, USA

2008; $29.95, UR

While to be honest, we liked the original “Little Britain” a little better, this made-for-the-States import (originally titled “Little America”) is still a major hoot — and Tom Baker returns as the savagely funny narrator. Limey humor at its best.

MIRRORS

2008; $29.95, UR

This quickie Kiefer Sutherland project (actually a remake of 2003’s “Geoul Sokeuro” from South Korea) is based on the premise that a world of evil lurks on the other side of the mirror, which was old before Alice went through the looking glass. Still, a few fun shocks as Sutherland tries to stop the demons from taking his family. Filmed in Romania, if that tells you anything.

MY BEST FRIEND’S GIRL

2008; $29.95, R/UR

Has Dane Cook ever made a good movie? Don’t think so, and he comes damn close to torpedoing this snarky romantic comedy starring Jason Biggs and the ethereal Kate Hudson. A twist on his earlier “Good Luck Chuck,” Cook is the World’s Worst Date, who offers his services to friends as a way to drive wayward women back to their boyfriends. Naturally, he falls for Kate.

SWING VOTE

2008; $29.95-$34.95, PG-13

Just plain dull vanity project from Kevin Costner in which the entire presidential election comes down to his one vote. With lots of bad speeches and cameos by Dennis Hopper, Nathan Lane, Kelsey Grammar, Stanley Tucci, George Lopez, etc.

THE LOST GODS

2008; $24.95, UR

A terrific Smithsonian Network offering that looks at the rise and fall of five of the world’s great civilizations — the Egyptians, Greeks, Celts, Romans and Incas — focusing on how their religions built them up and ultimately lead to their downfall. The most enlightening (and frightening) 200 minutes you may ever watch. Recommended.

THE ORDER OF MYTHS

2007; $29.95, UR

Did you know that the first Mardi Gras in America was held not in New Orleans but in Mobile, Ala.? And for more than 300 years, this celebration has been, and remains, racially segregated? Filmmaker and Mobile native Margaret Brown takes us into both black and white celebrations, and the secret world of mysticism and tradition that keeps them separate. A fascinating look at racial pride, both good and bad.

 

Other DVDs of Interest

DALLAS: THE COMPLETE TENTH SEASON

1976; $39.95, UR

MAN VS WILD: SEASON 2

2007; $24.95, UR

REBA: SEASON 5

2009; $29.95, UR

TYLER PERRY: THE FAMILY THAT PREYS

2008; $29.95, PG-13

WALKER, TEXAS RANGER: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON

1998; $49.95, UR

 

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