THIS WEEK’S TWIN PEEKS:
AN AWKWARD SEXUAL ADVENTURE
2012; $24.98-$26.98; UR
At first glance, this looks like any other asinine sex-comedy for the masses, and it has all the necessary trappings: A stripper helps an inexperienced man find the sexual maturity he needs to woo his girlfriend. But it delivers a far more intelligent, funny and entertaining ride than you’d believe possible. Jonas Chernick (“DeGrassi: The Next Generation”) plays the man, with curvy Emily Hampshire as his “sex Yoda,” and Sarah Manninen as the girlfriend, but the real star is director Sean Garrity, who refuses to let this be a giggly adolescent titty-fest. That rarest of things: a very good adult comedy-romance.
2011; $14.98-$24.98; R
A trio of major hotties — Kate Bosworth, Katie Aselton and Lake Bell — stretch out on a supposedly uninhabited New England island for a personal reunion. All alone. Just the three of them. (You know this isn’t going to go well, don’t you?) That’s when they run across a trio of rugged, virile hunters, who they invite down to the beach for drinks! Hey, what could possibly go wrong? A gratuitous human prey flick, co-written by Aselton, with a welcome “three naked girls snuggling together under a blanket for warmth” scene. The movie’s actually much better than our lame review might suggest.
1956; $16.98-$24.98; UR
One of the most underrated works of Marilyn Monroe, now available on Blu-ray. She plays a saloon singer dallying with an immature young rodeo rider (Don Murray), who immediately becomes infatuated with her. Frightened, she runs, only to be found by Murray and forced onto a bus bound for his Montana home. But the police know of the kidnapping — even if the rest of the passengers don’t — and are waiting just up the road from their next stop at a little café called “Grace’s Diner.” As adult and intelligent as any romantic drama ever made — and surprisingly funny at times.
2013; $19.98; UR
Legally blind Brenda Fricker and all-but-deaf Olympia Dukakis are a smart, funny, longtime lesbian couple who hit the road rather than be placed in a nursing home in this pee-yourself crazy comedy-drama with lots of heart. Their goal is Canada, where they can get married; along the way they pick up a handsome young hitchhiker (Ryan Doucette) with a lot of baggage of his own. A terrific cast, brilliantly directed by writer Thom Fitzgerald, with a surprise at every turn. The perfect date movie for adults; highly recommended.
G.I. JOE: RETALIATION
2012; $16.98-$54.98; PG-13
The producers of this sequel wisely pumped up the cast with gags by Bruce Willis, James Carville (as himself) and a handful of other aging hams, giving this actioner some much-needed gravitas. The real stars, of course, are Channing Tatum and Dwayne Johnson, leading the decimated JOE team against both COBRA and a hidden threat within the free governments of the world (Arnold Vosloo). The climactic money-shot, where a city of 8 million lies obliterated, is gratuitous, over-the-top and right on the money. Too “out there” to be taken seriously, this gleefully appeals to the 8-year-old boy in all of us.
LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF ROSALIND LEIGH
2012; $19.98; UR
The legendary Vanessa Redgrave lends depth to this low-rent spooker as the titular Leigh. Her estate consists of an old house, the site of unspeakable rites by a secret cult. Her son, Aaron Poole (“Copper”), digs through it looking for antiques, but instead finds his mom’s overbearing presence reaching out from the grave, warning him of … Well, we won’t spoil it.
2011; $24.98; UR
Tibet’s leading director, Pema Tseden, brings us this drama based on real events. A poor family, scratching out a nomadic existence in the Himalayas, discovers that their herd-dog is potentially worth millions. (This type of mutt, the Tibetan nomad mastiff, has become a priceless status symbol among wealthy modern Chinese businessmen. Really!) The family’s son sells the dog — for enough money to let them live in luxury for generations — but without the permission of his father, who sets off to buy the dog back. A fascinating look into our own near future.
THE ANGRY BEAVERS: THE COMPLETE SERIES
2013; $24.98-$29.98; UR
If you have any memories of the late ’90s at all, they’re bound to include this wildly popular off-the-wall animated hit from Nickelodeon. Norbert and Daggett are, well, beavers, and they’re angry because their parents had another litter, forcing them out. They settle in a new pond where literally anything can — and does — happen, from 100-foot walking splinters to evil telepathic pond scum to Mexican wrestlers to big, fat, hairy, naked Canadians! The karmic predecessor to “Courage the Cowardly Dog,” now available in a complete boxed set.
2013; $11.98-$29.98; R
Full-lipped Maxim dream machine Kayla Ewell from “The Vampire Diaries” leads a 20-something TV cast in this no-budget nearly bloodless zombiefest. It’s the usual “group of buds go away for a bucolic romp in the woods only to stumble upon angry undead” plotline, but with an exceptionally attractive cast including Sarah Butler from the “I Spit On Your Grave” remake, and winsome Brittney Alger, who had a small part in “21 Jump Street.”
VENUS & SERENA
2012; $24.98-$29.98; PG-13
A cutting-edge doc on arguably the finest athletes of a generation, during the hardest year of their lives. Frankly, a lot of people hate them. Why? Probably because they are black and ruthlessly aggressive in a historically demure pasty-rich-white-person’s game. Which makes 2011 even more impressive, as Venus competes despite the ravages of an autoimmune disease, and Serena recuperates from a deadly pulmonary embolism. A great doc on two of the most interesting humans on the planet.
A more complete listing and free vids at videotapeworm.com.