Precious

March 3, 2010

Video TapeWorm

New, encore and low-price DVD releases on Tuesday, March 9

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:

CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY

2009; $20.95-$24.95, R

Forget what you’ve been told by the Republican-controlled press: Michael Moore loves the American way of life as much as any man alive, and he demonstrates it in this solid little doc about the corporatocracy that now rules our country — if not the world. In many ways, it’s an update on the work he started in “Roger and Me,” his breakout film. The goofy theatrics may wear a bit thin at times; but, when you’ve been trying to warn people about the wildfire as long as Moore has, you’re bound to get a little shrill. We liked it.

PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL “PUSH” BY SAPPHIRE

2009; $17.95, R

The single most pretentious and insecure title ever put on a film? You betcha! But inside you’ll find a wrenching modern drama that seems in danger of coming off the rails at every turn. Somehow it manages to hang on, and it is this palpable, real-world tension that makes it so moving. Gabourey Sidibe plays the overweight, illiterate teen expecting her second child who looks for hope in an “alternative school” program after being abused by her mother and raped by her father.

•••

 

EDGAR ALLAN POE’S THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM

2009; $19.95, UR

“Saw”-inspired horror with artsy leanings that has pretty much nothing to do with Poe. Seven stupid college students volunteer for an experiment exploring new approaches to pain management. Hmmm. Apparently, it seems that death eases pain. Wonderfully bad.

EXTREME BODIES

2009; $19.95, UR

A Discovery Channel treatise on just how insistent life can be by examining the extremes in the human condition. From America’s tallest man to the world’s tiniest dwarf to a 700-pound athlete to a pair of twins who share a single brain, this is just plain damn amazing.

FIX

2008; $19.95, UR

A frantic-paced tale of two filmmakers rushing to get a man from jail to rehab — or he must go to prison for three years. Not the best thing we ever saw, but it co-stars sexy Olivia Wilde from “House.” What’s not to like?

HACHI: A DOG’S TALE

2008; $17.95-$34.95, G

The director of “The Cider House Rules” returns with this true tale of a professor (Richard Gere) who rescues a puppy, despite the objections of his wife (Joan Allen). Incredibly simple, heartwarming and thoroughly entertaining.

JIMI HENDRIX: LIVE AT WOODSTOCK

2010; $16.95-$22.95, UR

First Blu-Ray release of this legendary performance. Now re-edited back into its original playlist sequence, it contains absolutely every scrap of film shot of Hendrix on stage in August 1969, without interruption, in Dolby 5.1 stereo sound remixed by Jimi’s original studio guy, Eddie Kramer.

JUSTIN TIME

2009; $22.95, UR

A wildly entertaining fantasy flick aimed at pre/young-teens (especially boys), about a young Shoshone who discovers a magic amulet that can stop time. Stars Chris Laird, the lovely Shareece Pfeiffer (Miss Idaho Teen USA 2008) and Danny Trejo.

OLD DOGS

2009; $18.95-$29.95, PG

The worst movie we’ve ever seen. And not in a good way. ’Nuff said.

PLANET 51

2009; $17.95-$39.95, PG

A lively, fun and colorful CGI-animated outing from Sony about an astronaut whose routine assignment to flag a dead planet goes sour. It seems the unexpected residents of the place see him as the harbinger of an alien invasion. The fun, of course, is in showing the comical side of our own lives through the toiling of the little green men and women of Planet 51. The “Alien”-inspired dog who pees molecular acid is pure genius. Lots of great voicework and a fun script. Recommended.

REGOREGITATED SACRIFICE

2010; $19.95, UR

If you’re unfamiliar with the profound and profane works of director Lucifer Valentine (“Slaughtered Vomit Dolls”), here’s a great place to start. Once again featuring Ameara La Vey, we are guided by identical twin demon spirits into the simultaneous suicides of Kurt Cobain and porn star Angela Aberdeen, as seen from her oxygen-starved brain while she drowns. Not for the unadventurous — and you won’t find this one at Blockbuster.

ROY ROGERS: KING OF THE COWBOYS: 20 FEATURE FILMS

2010; $62.95, UR

Regular readers of our column (support groups standing by) know that we love great old Westerns, and these are some of the best. Forget film titles, each is a minor gem and, best of all, each is introduced by Roy and Dale, often with a special guest. And each features their signature plots, songs and action. Six discs with Gabby Hayes, Pat Brady, Pinkie Lee, Gene Autry, Iron Eyes Cody, Pat Brady, Pat Buttram, Bullet and, of course, Trigger. A steal at $10 a disc, pardner!

THE BOONDOCK SAINTS II: ALL SAINTS DAY

2009; $18.95-$34.95, R

It took the writer/director of the original BDS 10 years to get this sequel made, which is surprising considering its popularity. Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flanery, hiding in Ireland with crazed dad Billy Connolly, return to Boston for revenge after a beloved priest is killed. This sets up a reprise of the original’s bloody, violent crusade against sinister forces in the mob. Simply over-the-top excellent with Clifton Collins Jr. from “Star Trek,” Julie Benz from “Dexter,” Peter Fonda and Judd Nelson. Recommended.

TURN THE BEAT AROUND

2010; $17.95, UR

A hokey MTV potboiler that, nonetheless, succeeds through sheer exuberance. Bodacious Romina D’Ugo is a dancer who talks wealthy David Giuntoli into backing her updated disco-era club. But once built, it is threatened by conflicts between the rich guy, her boyfriend, Adam T. Brooks and an ambitious vixen played by stunning Brooklyn Sudano (daughter of disco diva Donna Summer).

VEXILLE

2007; $11.95-$17.95, PG-13

Interesting animated feature from Japan. In the near future, a female agent goes to the remains of Tokyo to investigate whether someone is developing banned robot technology. Filmed using a CGI/motion-capture technique, this is obviously a low-budget affair that steals from many better movies, but we kinda liked it.

 

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