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Paranormal Activity

December 23, 2009

Video TapeWorm

New, encore and low-price DVD releases on Tuesday, Dec. 29

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:

9

2009; $19.95, PG-13

Awesome visuals and a profoundly original style drive this cool CGI-animated feature from director Shane Acker and nine — count ’em NINE! — producers, including Timur Bekmambetov and Tim Burton. The overpriced voice talent — Christopher Plummer, Martin Landau, Elijah Wood, etc. — don’t detract much (the original short upon which this is based had no voices), letting the story proceed at its own pace without any grandstanding. A living rag doll awakens to a ruined world, all the people are dead, and the number “9” painted on his body is his only clue to who he is and what purpose his life may have. Perfect.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY

2009; $29.95-$57.95, R

A very well-done (and EXTREMELY low budget) spooker/shocker that’s been oft compared to the “Blair Witch Project” because of its use of hand-held video cameras. Luckily for the hurl-enhanced viewer, the camera stays on a bedroom dresser during most of this blissfully simple tale of a young suburban couple who come to believe that there is an invisible demon living in their home. Scary? Hell yeah! In all the right ways, without resorting to cheap gore or torture effects. Original, fun, a little cheezy and entertaining; the “R” rating is BS.

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A PERFECT GETAWAY

2009; $29.95-$39.95, UR

On their honeymoon, newlyweds Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich are exploring a sexy isolated Hawaiian paradise when they meet two other attractive couples (Timothy Olyphant, Kiele Sanchez, Marley Shelton and Chris Hemsworth) — and hear that a psychopath is killing vacationers! Hmmm, we wonder if it could be ... dumm dah duh DUMMMM! … one of the new strangers! Hey, it’s not Shakespeare or anything, but we liked it.

BE MINE

2009; $26.95, UR

A painfully shy gay guy with a chocolate obsession meets a mysterious hunk who absconds with the last of his beloved coffeehouse scones. Then they cross paths again at a Valentine’s Day party. Can a Jiffy Lube be far behind?

CARRIERS

2009; $39.95, PG-13

Chris “Captain Kirk” Pine, Piper Perabo and two others are fleeing a full-fledged end-of-the-world viral pandemic. Racing across the desert, they discover that the most threatening danger may be themselves. Needed to be an “R” to really explore this fully, but worth a gander.

DIAGNOSIS: DEATH

2009; $19.95, R

A seriously cracked no-budget indie-horror-comedy about two people who meet at an experimental drug trial. Features small parts by the guys from “Flight of the Conchords.” May be hard to find but worth the effort.

FACING ALI

2009; $19.95, R

This doc’s greatest strength is its simplicity: 10 of Muhammad Ali’s boxing rivals — including George Foreman and Joe Frazier — sit down and give props to the greatest boxer to ever beat the living snot out them. The soundtrack’s a killer.

GLEE: SEASON 1: ROAD TO SECTIONALS

2009; $24.95-$39.95, UR

We have to admit that we secretly love this hokey “High School Musical”-inspired bit of fluff. Jane Lynch is perfectly over-the-top as the bitchy nemesis of a group of shy, awkward nerds who can sing and dance like Broadway vets! If you haven’t succumbed to this guilty pleasure, you owe it to yourself to get some “Glee.” With four discs, 13 episodes including a Director’s Cut of the pilot and other goodies.

JENNIFER’S BODY

2009; $26.95-$27.95, R

Not since “Showgirls” has a film title so succinctly described a movie’s plot. The amazing musculature of Megan “Holy Shit!” Fox stars in this silly tale of a demonically possessed 23-year-old high-school cheerleader out to off all the guys who keep hitting on her. Can cute little Amanda Seyfried stop her before she eats all the man-meat in town? Entertaining as hell with lots of teeny flash-in-the-pan stars and cameos by Amy Sedaris, the always aromatic Lance Henriksen (as “Passing Motorist”) and Bill Fagerbakke.

LESBIAN VAMPIRE KILLERS

2008; $17.95, UR

Completely unredeemable and damned funny ode to boobs, blood and more boobs. When their women become slaves of lesbian neck-biters, the menfolk of the village convince a pair of losers to become “virgin sacrifices” in hopes of getting them back. A full 90 minutes of over-endowed strippers showing their ta-tas before getting their heads lopped off. It’s pure genius!

SPACEBALLS: THE TOTALLY WARPED ANIMATED ADVENTURES!

2008; $19.95, UR

We had never heard of this animated take on Mel Brooks’ 1987 “Star Wars” spoof, but it’s just as stupid as the original — which is a good thing! Here he produces and provides the voice of President Skroob in four episodes from the series. The best bits, however, are the many shorts that make fun of Coming Attractions and “let’s go out to the lobby” intermission come-ons. Lightly demented.

THE MARINE 2

2009; $15.95-$20.95, R

WWE wrassler Ted DiBiase stars in this tale, “inspired by a true story” (yeah, right) of a Marine sniper on vacation with his hot wife (Lara “Damn, Girl!” Cox), when murderous guerillas invade their posh hotel and hold everyone for ransom. Of course, in the best modern movie style, he single-handedly kicks baddie butt and saves the pretty ones.

UNITED STATES OF TARA: SEASON ONE

2009; $38.95, UR

Diablo Cody, the force behind “Juno” and “Jennifer’s Body,” created this odd Showtime series starring Toni Collette as a woman with four different personalities, each of which is suffering a total meltdown. Part comedy and part drama, it’s had a rough time finding its audience, but seemed to really get legs late in this first season. Worth checking out.

 

Other DVDs of Interest:

EMILY OF NEW MOON: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON

2009; $11.95, UR

LAST CUP: THE ROAD TO THE WORLD SERIES OF BEER PONG

2009; $19.95, UR

THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE SEASONS 1& 2

$27.95, UR

TIME WARP: SEASON 2

$22.95, UR

WHALE WARS: SEASON 2

$17.95, UR

 

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