February 7, 2006

Video TapeWorm: Releases through Tuesday, Feb. 14

Video TapeWorm: Releases through Tuesday, Feb. 14THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:SAW II2005; VHS Rental/DVD $28.95, RFrankly, these dismemberment-and-torture movies don’t entertain us much (something our parole officers are kinda happy about), but we understand the appeal. In this better-than-the-original sequel to 2004's unexpected hit, the disturbed mastermaniac is back for another round of “games” in which contestants mutilate themselves for a chance at survival. Donnie Wahlberg is great, as usual, as the police inspector who easily captures the madman, leaving the fate of eight victims in limbo.CHARLES IN CHARGE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON1984; DVD $34.95, URBut for REAL fear, check out this savage regurgitation of every implausible sitcom cliché ever written. “Charles,” of course, is Scott Baio: writer, producer, director; he just sucked at everything. Fresh from his triumphant “Happy Days” spinoff, “Joanie Loves Chachi,” Scott plays a penniless, unknown, possible-pedophile college student who is immediately taken in by a pair of rich idiots to be live-in housekeeper and babysitter to their son and daughters. Makes sense to us! Wrenching, vomit-inducing horror at its most cruel.FEUILLE2004; DVD $29.95, URSomething for everyone! A subtitled Chinese-language tale of two women — one an artist from the banks of the Yangtze River, the other a French photographer — who meet and share a lesbian affair in Paris (everything’s cheaper when you share). But social pressures separate them, leading to death for one and causing the other to wax poetic in Mandarin. No, we are not making this up.LIVING SINGLE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON1993; DVD $29.95, URAll 27 season-one episodes of WB’s breakthrough Afrocentric sitcom, often backhandedly remembered as the Black “Friends.” Stars Queen Latifah, Kim Coles, Erika Alexande, John Henton and Kim Fields.MIRRORMASK2005; VHS Rental/DVD $26.95, PGBritish comic-book/fantasy writer Neil Gaiman (“Sandman,” “Neverwhere,” “Anansi Boys”) penned this too-good-for-kids tale about a 15-year-old circus performer who wishes for a normal life. Her desire leads her to become lost in The Dark Lands; a mysterious realm of giants, flying monkeys and death-dealing sphinxes where her only escape is to find the iconic Mirrormask.NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: SKY MONSTERS2006; DVD $19.95, URWe love these “Walking with Dinosaurs”-inspired things, and this one is a cut above. A CGI-recreated look at the mysterious lives of pterosaurs, flying monstrosities who dominated the world’s skies for 150 million years. We especially liked all the techie bits where engineers try to create flying machines based on skeletal remains, just to see how they might have looked soaring above us.PROOF2005; VHS Rental/DVD $29.95, PG-13One of those artsy-fartsy Pulitzer-fueled tales of adult children trying to come to understand their parent’s lives after they’ve died. (News Flash: By then it doesn’t matter.) Gwyneth Paltrow bemoans the loss of brilliant-mathematician-daddy-turned-insane-asylum-resident Anthony Hopkins, while student Jake Gyllenhaal searches through her father’s notebooks in hopes of discovering a way out of this chick-flick. Jake is, of course, brilliant throughout.R-POINT2004; DVD $24.95, RA real nice, icky Korean-made Vietnam War horror flick. Six months after they disappeared from a desolate war zone, an army base receives radio transmissions from a missing patrol. But when the war-weary commander and his troops rush to their aid, all they find are empty buildings, graves of the missing men and a single sign that says “No Return.” Subtitled, but worth the read.THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON1964; DVD $39.95, URFor non-Mayberrites, this was Don Knotts’ last regular season as Deputy Barney Fife. Knowing that he wanted to make movies, the writers and producers went to extra lengths to try and give ol’ Barn more screen-time, resulting in one of the best seasons of the entire series. Five discs of eye-popping, swivel-hipping, foot-shootin’ fun! ‘Nnneeeeta ... Juuhuuhuuaaaaneeeta ...’THE COMEDY CENTRAL ROAST OF PAMELA ANDERSON: UNCENSORED2006; DVD $19.95, URPlastic Pam — whose greatest assets have always been her, uh, sense of humor — has a ball as a ribald collection of comedic buds take turns leering and damning her with faint praise. Best of all, she has on a see-through top that showcases her surgeon’s awesome silicone successes! Trust us, this is Funny As Hell.THE JOURNEY (SANCHARRAM)2004; DVD $24.95, URNOT your usual Bollywood offering, this loving and fascinating tale from India takes place in an Eden of nice homes and arranged marriages. The proper and sophisticated Kiran is horrified to discover that she has sexual feelings for her best friend since childhood, the bohemian Delilah, and at first tries to remove her from her life by fixing her up with a suitor. When the ruse is discovered, the two consummate their union, which resembles a pile of fancy laundry.THE THING ABOUT MY FOLKS2005; VHS Rental/DVD $26.95, PG-13Paul Reiser wrote this semi-autobiographical tale specifically for Peter Falk, and it was obviously a labor of love. Peter and Paul play dad and son, thrown together for an unexpected Road Trip To Uncomfortable after mom Olympia Dukakis leaves “to find herself.” If you like Reiser’s patented brand of humor, you’ll love this.ZATHURA2005; VHS Rental/DVD $28.95, PGWe always said that “Jumanji,” the “kids-destroy-their-house-while-playing-a-board-game-come-to-life” action/comedy from a decade ago, would have been a lot better without Robin Williams distracting us from all the neat special effects. We were right! In this outer-space retread, dad Tim Robbins says, “I’m off to work!,” leaving the kids to fend for themselves — as the house gets blasted into space. Gangs of groovy fun.ZOMBIE HONEYMOON2004; DVD $26.95, URThis Showtime-developed horror/comedy deserves to be better known. A loving couple on a beach honeymoon (duh) is attacked by a decaying corpse that rises from the Jersey surf. The husband, of course, becomes a flesh-eating ghoul as his body begins to leprously decay — and the wife has to make him promise not to eat their friends! Very, very good stuff!Other DVDs of InterestGREY’S ANATOMY: SEASON 12005; DVD $29.95, URHARDWOOD DREAMS/HARDWOOD DREAMS: TEN YEARS LATER2006; DVD $19.95, URMASTURBATION MEMOIRS, VOL. 1 AND 22000; DVD $29.95, URSIGNIFICANT OTHERS: THE COMPLETE SERIES2004; DVD $29.95, URTHE GOLDEN AGE OF CARTOONS: CULTOONS! — RARE, LOST AND STRANGE CARTOONS!2005; DVD $14.95, URA more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com!