THIS WEEKS’S TWIN PEEKS
BRADDOCK: MISSING IN ACTION III
1988; $19.98; R
Chuck Norris was part and parcel of the American mindset of the ‘80s, a time when every long-haired bubba and tank-topped blondie reveled in alcohol, violence, racism and low-brow humor — he was the Donald Trump of his generation! But mainly it was a time of war, a war between Sylvester Stallone and Chuck Norris to see who could make the noisiest rescue-movie. In this, the last in the series, Norris returns to Vietnam to rescue his believed-dead wife and the child he didn’t know he had; but when he gets there, they aren’t really too happy to see him since he, uh, you know, left them alone in the jungle for a dozen years. Big dumb fun.
RAGE OF HONOR
1987; $19.98; R
Shô Kosugi’s followup to the groundbreaking, genre-defining 1985 hit, “Pray For Death” (available on Blu-Ray and reviewed here just weeks ago). This time he plays a narcotics officer who parts from the straight and narrow after his partner (Richard Wiley, in his first film), is killed, launching him on a bloody quest for vengeance in Buenos Aires. “Rage” marked the end of Kosugi’s fabled “Ninja vengeance” series directed by master outre’ filmmaker Gordon “The Golden Voyage of Sinbad” Hessler, though the two reunited one last time in 1991 for “Ninja Assassin.” “Rage” remains a must-own for any fan of action cinema; now available in a special edition Blu-Ray.
OTHER DVD’s OF INTEREST
2015; $17.98-34.98; R
Cate Blanchett is a well-off, mature, married woman and mother, resigned to live out her days in a loveless marriage in 1950’s New York City. Rooney Mara is young, single and bored, working behind the counter at a department store. They have nothing whatsoever in common until they cross paths and recognize a profound — and completely unexpected — attraction. Thus begins a love affair forbidden by society, based on Patricia Highsmith’s “The Price of Salt.” Exceptionally well written and acted, the focus is on romance: it’s source, it’s need, and it’s cost. Highly recommended.
GAME OF THRONES: SEASON FIVE
2015; $34.98-79.98; UR
This season was something of a departure for the wildly popular HBO series based on the works of George R.R. Martin, a move which some fans found objectionable. At least one character who died in the book was resurrected here, and season four’s slow “rebuilding year” had left some viewers burnt out. But season five finally found its legs again in the episode, “Kill The Boy,” in which Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) arrests the heads of Meereen’s great families while Theon (Alfie Allen) stands up to Sansa (Sophie Turner). And if you don’t understand what we’re talking about, you should hie thee to the Simp Outlet Mall and buy a life.
2013; $25.98; UR
This Limey TV miniseries evokes thoughts of both “The Wicker Man” and “Twin Peaks.” A simple, rural village in modern Britain is about to celebrate the return of Spring the old-fashioned way: with a May Day parade. All is joyous and sweet until 14-year old Hattie (gobsmacking beauty Leila Mimmack from “Son of God”), the requisite virginal May Queen, is found dead — murdered! — shocking everyone into suspecting their neighbor. The ensuing fear and finger-pointing builds quickly, though we have to admit that the final act, revealing the murderer, wasn’t as exciting as the build-up. Still, an evocative and sensual trip.
THE BIG SHORT
2015; $19.98-39.98; R
This may be our favorite movie of 2015; it’s certainly the best-written, somehow taking the complex machinations of Wall Street and making them not only understandable by dim-bulbs like ourselves, but damned entertaining thanks to writer/director Adam McKay, an Saturday Night Live alum and one of the most bankable comedy writers in Hollywood. Here, a quartet of real-world financial newbies realize what should have been obvious to everyone: huge banks and investment firms had rigged the system for so long that the world’s economy was about to collapse. So they bet that it WOULD collapse — “selling short” — making them a bundle. Stars Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Brad Pitt and Steve Carell.
WHEN THEY CRY: SEASON ONE
2006; $34.99-49.99; TV-MA
The very best horror-anime ever made for TV, finally available on subtitled, widescreen Blu-Ray. The plot (avoiding spoilers) centers on a peaceful village’s annual cotton festival where one person dies and another disappears — arguably the work of a madman, the town’s traditional “ogres,” or an ancient god with a known grudge against the area. These and other theories are played out one at a time, each coming to a conclusion before time is reset and a different story is told. It’s much harder to explain in 100 words than it is to watch, so just sit back and immerse yourself in a unique, original, deep, disturbing and very adult mind-game unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
*** More Recommended Videos for our On-Line Readers, Only!
1985; $22.98; R
Another frantic outing for Chuck Norris, this time joined by great 80’s TV bad-guy Richard “The Sword and the Sorcerer” Lynch. A Ruskie (Lynch) plans to invade the US, but first he needs to settle an old score with the former CIA agent (Norris) who had once captured him, so he stages a series of bazooka-enhanced terrorist attacks to draw him into the open. Norris, meanwhile, is still PO’d because his superiors wouldn’t let him kill Lynch when he had the chance. Seems kinda petty to us, but with all the bloodshed and action going on you won’t notice. Watch for the great Billy “The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.” Drago as Mickey.
NEW TRICKS: SEASON 12
2015; $25.98; UR
Britain’s largest export seems to be long-running TV cop shows – they turn out a new one every few minutes apparently – but this one is the single most popular. With a focused (and often comic) eye on solving cold cases – many of them implicating cops, including their own superiors – the ever-evolving cast applies cutting-edge science and cold, hard logic, then follow the trail wherever it leads. This season starts with Inspector Gerry Standing (Dennis Waterman, who also sings on the soundtrack), investigating a missing corpse … the body of his first commanding officer! The evidence clearly links this theft to the man’s investigation of mobster Dominic Chapman (Garry Cooper) and a number of dirty cops on his payroll. What happens next is too good to spoil here. Addictive as hell.
2015; $22.98; UR
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler … do we really need to go on? This match made in Comic Heaven brings the two together as long-disassociated adult sisters, called home when their ‘rents decide to sell the family home. This, of course, spawns one last “Hangover”-style mega-party so the two leads can indulge in all manner of hedonistic, over the top behavior. A bit long, but the crowd of 20-something women at theater seemed to relish each bad life-choice. Not perfect, but we can’t wait to see what they do next.
THE NANNY: THE FINAL SEASON
1998; $34.98; UR
America’s last Bortsh Belt sitcom came to a close in 1999, beginning the season with Fran (Drescher) and Maxwell (Charles Shaughnessy) washing up on the beach of a desert island after having fallen overboard from their honeymoon yacht in the cliffhanger ending of Season 5. After rescue, much of the season was dominated by Fran’s inability to conceive – only to deliver twins in the series finale. One of TV’s most common false-memories is that Drescher was actually pregnant while filming: not true, though statuesque beauty Lauren “C.C.” Lane was not-so-secretly pregnant throughout all of the previous season. Jewish humor will live forever.
WAITING IN THE SUMMER: COMPLETE COLLECTION
2012; $42.99; UR
It is truly embarrassing how much we love this slice-of-life anime that follows a group of young teens who – after one of them has an alien encounter – spend a long, warm summer filming homemade movies and dealing with burgeoning adult feelings. The parallels with J.J. Abrams’ “Super 8” are obvious, but with more focus on what’s going on in the character’s minds and bodies during this always confusing point in life. Voyeuristic? Yeah, maybe, but you can’t learn from what you don’t experience – and the real focus here is on friendship and what it means to be human. Highly recommended.
A More Complete Listing and Free Vids at VideoTapeworm.com