August 1, 2006

Video TapeWorm: Releases through Aug. 8

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKSBRICK2004; DVD $29.95, RA truly daring and original idea: a classic gangster film noir set in a modern SoCal high school. Seeing kids do Bogie and Bacall in sunlight under a maple tree is somehow very unsettling. Maybe you realize — as you’ve always suspected — that all those years of TV and movie violence have left you anesthetized and dehumanized; it has changed you in some measurable way, and not for the better. Or maybe that’s just us. One thing’s for certain: This film is mesmerizing; one you’ll be talking about for days.CSA: THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA2002; DVD $24.95, URA clever, funny and occasionally shocking mockumentary that posits, “Would America be different today if the South had won the Civil War?” A second-rate BBC reporter comes to an imagined Confederate America to film a Ken Burns-style look at daily life — complete with TV ads for slaves! The racist commercials are the funniest bits, made more disturbing when you consider that most of them are for actual products from our past.ARMORED TROOPER VOTOMS — STAGE 4: GOD PLANET QUENT1983; DVD $34.95, URWith the anime “mecha” subgenre being so overexposed — Gundam and its offspring alone must number in the thousands — it’s astounding that this series has stayed so fresh and true to its roots. A two-disc subtitled set of Chirico Cuvie’s latest adventures; we can also recommend the Complete DVD Collection for $149.95.DON’T COME KNOCKING2005; DVD $24.95, RDirector Wim Wenders returns to the site of “Paris, Texas” along with co-writer Sam Shepard as a retired movie cowboy who has partied his life away, leaving him lonely and destitute. When it occurs to him that he might have fathered children along the way, he goes looking for them in this Sundance favorite. Co-stars Jessica Lange, Tim Roth, Gabriel Mann, Sarah Polley, Fairuza Balk, Eva Marie Saint and a living soundtrack by T-Bone Burnett.HOLLYWOOD’S CLASSIC COMEDY TEAMS2006; DVD $19.95, URFrom the cinema’s first comic duo (John Bunny & Flora Finch circa 1912) through Dean & Jerry, Laurel & Hardy, Abbott & Costello and The Three Stooges, this fabulous five-disc set is a veritable time machine of note-perfect comedy. A dozen teams in nearly 12 hours make this the deal of the century!LARRY THE CABLE GUY: HEALTH INSPECTOR2006; DVD $29.95, PG-13LTCG takes his patented redneck shtick to the big screen just a little too quickly. Never one for deep, contemplative humor, the movie is a hodgepodge of toilet jokes and racist gags (if white Southerners are considered a “race,” anyway) wrapped around a threadbare plot of Larry getting a job as ... a Health Inspector. Don’t get us wrong, we love the big goof; we just wish he had taken more of a chance, gone into new territory and maybe found some depth. Ah, screw it; Larry rules!MANDERLAY2004; DVD $24.95, URFollow-up to Lars von Trier’s savage Americans-Do-Suck outing “Dogville.” This one focuses on the residual slavery that survived in the American South circa 1930 with Bryce Dallas Howard (replacing Nicole Kidman, who has dropped out of the planned trilogy) leading Danny Glover, Willem Dafoe, Lauren Bacall, Chloë Sevigny and the always aromatic Udo Kier.NIGHT OF THE BLOODY APES/CURSE OF THE DOLL PEOPLE1961; DVD $14.95, URWhen it comes to entertaining horror movies that won’t interfere with napping on the couch, nothing beats a good ol’ Mexican horror movie ... except TWO Mexican horror movies! “Bloody Apes” is the infamous Masked-Wrestler-cum-Mad-Scientist gore-filled titty-flick. And “Curse” is one of K. Gordon Murray’s mindless imports about miniature voodoo warriors recovering a stolen idol. A steal at this price!PRISON BREAK: SEASON ONE2006; DVD $59.95, URWe never got into this series much; it just seems so contrived, but certainly no more so than, say, “24.” And we know a LOT of people who love both of them, so here goes: A six-disc set, 22-episode compendium, with all the usual commentaries, alternate takes and behind-the-scenes geegaw about a brilliant man who codes a prison’s blueprints into elaborate tattoos in a bid to save his innocent brother from being executed.THE FRAT BOY COLLECTION2005; DVD $26.95, UROddly enough, the original hornboy epic “Porky’s” has never been released on DVD, but it is part of this amazing set that also includes Tom Hank’s “Bachelor Party,” co-starring the amazing Tawny Kitaen (1984), and 1994’s “PCU,” co-starring Jon Favreau. A “where were they then” time capsule in need of a flush lever.THE JAYNE MANSFIELD COLLECTION2006; DVD $49.95, URJane made basically two kinds of films: goofy sex comedies and truly trashy Mondo travelogues of perversity from around the globe. This set is a trio of the former including “Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?” with Tony Randall, “The Girl Can’t Help It” (50th Anniversary Edition), “The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw,” and the raucous bio-doc “Jayne Mansfield: Blonde Ambition.” All are new to DVD.THE LOST CITY2006; DVD $26.95, RAndy Garcia directed, produced and stars in this overlong, if highly personal tale of love during the Cuban revolution. Waaaay too ambitious for a first film, but the results are striking with a largely unknown (to American audiences) Latin cast and walk-ons by Dustin Hoffman and Bill Murray. Sixteen years in the making, the final cut is almost 2½ hours — after discarding over a third of its original script!THE TOOTH FAIRY2006; DVD $19.95, URSorta goofy Canadian-made horror about an insane murderess who gathers children’s teeth — even if she has to kill to get them! With P.J. Soles as “Mrs. MacDonald.”ULTIMATE AVENGERS 2: RISE OF THE PANTHER2005; DVD $19.95, PG-13Captain America and his cohorts travel to mysterious Wakanda, a secret land deep in darkest Africa that is under attack from outer space in this animated comicbooker sequel.OTHER DVDS OF INTERESTBEAUTIFUL PEOPLE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON2005; DVD $49.95, URDANTE’S COVE: SEASON ONE2005; DVD $26.95, URLAGUNA BEACH: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON2004; DVD $39.95, URREVENGE OF THE LIVING DEAD GIRLS1985; DVD $14.95, URTHE BRAK SHOW, VOL. 22000; DVD $24.95, URTHE WIRE: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON2002; DVD $99.95, URXIAOLIN SHOWDOWN: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON2006; DVD $19.95, URA more complete listing and free vids at!