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January 30, 2007

Video Tapeworm: Releases through Tuesday, Feb. 6

THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS2006; DVD $29.95, RClint Eastwood/Steven Spieberg’s big-budget ode to WWII, its media-created heroes and the lucky men who died in it. Centering on the six iconic soldiers captured on film as they righted the American flag on Iwo Jima, it expresses the simple truth about war: that a soldier’s true loyalty is to the men fighting beside him. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all wake up one day with that same realization — but without all those bullets whizzing by?HOLLYWOODLAND2006; DVD $29.95-$39.95, RDramatization of the true story and tragic end of TV’s first super-celebrity, George Reeves, Superman. Ben Affleck plays Reeves as a simple, flawed Everyman, caught up in the glitz and glamor and excesses of instant stardom — and its inevitable decline — engaged in a dangerous relationship with an unstable beauty (Diane Lane), who is married to an even more unstable studio head (Bob Hoskins). While officially termed a suicide, P.I. Adrien Brody uncovers the sordid price of stardom in this perfect tale of the perfect crime. Our highest recommendation.BEST PICTURE COLLECTION1972; DVD $69.95, RAn amazing — and amazingly cheap — collection of seven Best Picture Oscar winners: “American Beauty,” “Braveheart,” “Forrest Gump,” “Gladiator,” “The Godfather,” “Titanic” and “Terms of Endearment.” Less than 10 bucks each!DISASTER! THE MOVIE2005; DVD $24.95, R/URThe guys from Motley Crue provide the voices for this seriously stupid — and seriously raunchy — clay-animated riff on “Armageddon.” When an asteroid draws a bead on Planet Earth, only Harry Bottoms, Sandy Mellons and V.D. Johnson can save the human race!FLICKA2006; DVD $29.95, PGAlison Lohman returns to the screen (after waaaay too long) in this far-better-than-it-had-to-be retelling of the original equine coming-of-age tale. She forms a bond and tames an untamable wild horse, despite the danger and the obstructions of her father, Tim McGraw.GALAXY RAILWAYS: THE COMPLETE SERIES2003; DVD $59.95, URAll 26 episodes on six discs of this underrated anime/sci-fi-Western. In a distant future, the SDF, an elite intergalactic police force, protects the passengers on board a wildly imaginative super-space-train, which provides its interplanetary ticket holders travel, adventure and intrigue.HEADING SOUTH2005; DVD $24.95, URCharlotte Rampling, Karen Young and Louise Portal star as sexually bored middle-aged women who pack up their vaginas and take them to 1970s Haiti for something in a size 12. Asks the age-old question, “Why is it ‘prostitution’ when men buy sex, but when women do it we call it ‘entertainment’?”HELLBOY: SWORD OF STORMS2006; DVD $19.95, URProducer/director Guillermo del Toro brought together comic book master Mike Mignola, and actors Ron Perlman, Selma Blair and Doug Jones, to create this wildly entertaining animated franchise. Tons of special features, including a 32-page novel. (For fans: Doug Jones played both The Faun and The Ogre in “Pan’s Labyrinth.” And the theatrical “Hellboy” sequel, “The Golden Army,” is now in pre-production.)INCUBUS2007; DVD $24.95, URThe world’s first direct-to-download film, now available on DVD. Tara “Boom Boom” Reid’s latest, filmed between drunken sex-binges in L.A. and N.Y., would have been the usual “smattering of attractive college students stranded in an abandoned factory with a deranged sadist getting killed one by one,” except for a neat psychic twist: a bizarre, shatterproof glass cell, suspended off the floor containing a comatose patient who seems to be the key to their survival. Better than you’d expect.PAUL MOONEY: KNOW YOUR HISTORY: JESUS WAS BLACK, SO IS CLEOPATRA2006; DVD $19.95, URFans of “Chappelle’s Show” know Paul Mooney as a savagely controversial comedy writer who got his start working for Richard Pryor before creating Homey The Clown for “In Living Color.” Now, in his first stand-up DVD, he takes on black history and the dangers of living in “White America.” Painfully funny.RIDING ALONE FOR THOUSANDS OF MILES2005; DVD $29.95, PGAn old Chinese fisherman is summoned to the hospital bed of his estranged filmmaker-son, who then refuses to see him. His daughter-in-law shows him the documentary that the son was working on when he became ill, and the old man decides to complete the son’s work, an arduous journey into the rural Chinese wilderness, leading to a rediscovery of the family he had lost.RUNNING WITH SCISSORS2006; DVD $26.95-38.95, ROne of those big-cast dysfunctional-family movies that critics love. Stars Joseph Cross with Annette Bening as his bipolar mother and Brian Cox as her therapist, with whom he ends up living. There he meets sisters Gwyneth Paltrow and Evan Rachel Wood, mom Jill Clayburgh and overrated acting hack Joseph Fiennes.STEAL ME2006; DVD $19.95, URA wonderful little indie about an abandoned, self-sufficient 15-year-old (Danny Alexander) who finds a new family in the wilds of Montana. An exciting and compelling tale filled with sex, living on the edge, first love and getting the most out of life.THE AMAZING SCREW ON HEAD2006; DVD $14.95, URFirst seen on the SciFi Channel in a late-night dumping-ground of animation, this sublime study in abject weirdness comes courtesy of comic-booker Mike Mignola. A Civil War secret agent with special abilities serves Abraham Lincoln in the oddest way imaginable. But that hardly describes the fun with voice-work by Paul Giamatti as “Head,” David Hyde Pierce as “Emperor Zombie” and Molly Shannon as “Patience, the Vampire.”THE GRUDGE 22006; DVD $28.95, PG-13/URAmber Tamblyn (“Joan of Arcadia”) flies to sister Sarah Michelle Geller’s Tokyo bedside as the supernatural curse released in “The Grudge” threatens to engulf the world. As in the original, the Japanese version (“Ju-On 2") is scarier, but it’s still a fun little ride that provides more back-story.THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP2006; DVD $27.95, RYou’ve got have a lot of nerve to release a subtitled movie with “Sleep” in the title, but this dreamy French/Italian look at love and desire is a visual treat; occasionally funny, often confusing, but always touching.TRUST THE MAN2006; DVD $27.95, RA look at love among modern city-dwellers starring David Duchovny and Julianne Moore that died at the box office despite a great cast (Maggie Gylenhaal, Billy Crudup, Eva Mendes, Gary Shandling and Ellen Barkin). Not bad, but tries too hard to be Woody Allen.Other DVDs of InterestANYTHING BUT LOVE: SEASON 11989; DVD $39.95, URBEN 10: THE COMPLETE SEASON 12005; DVD $19.95, URCINDERELLA III: A TWIST IN TIME2007; DVD $29.95, GKILLER DRAG QUEENS ON DOPE2006; DVD $24.95, URROSEMARY & THYME: SERIES 32005; DVD $49.95, URA more complete listing and free vids at www.videotapeworm.com!