Video TapeWorm

New, encore and low-price releases on Tuesday, June 25

Jun 19, 2013 at 5:00 am
Video TapeWorm


BECK: EPISODES 19-21 & 22-24

2013; $34.99/set; UR

Thanks to everyone who wrote in telling us how much they enjoyed the relatively unknown Danish drama “Borgen” we introduced last month. Here’s a Swedish detective show you’ll also be rabid fans of in short order. Peter Haber stars as the titular and somewhat “Columbo”-ish detective. A man seemingly bereft of social skills whose only goals in life are to put the bad guys away — which he does methodically — and be a better father to his adult daughter (a work in progress). His partner, Mikael Persbrandt, is just the opposite: a flashy renegade cop who eschews protocol, literally torturing suspects to get to the truth. Individually they are trouble, together they are unstoppable. New to video: Episode sets 19-21 and 22-24, though all 18 earlier episodes are also available in various sets. Subtitled and highly addictive.


2013; $44.98-$49.98; UR

To everyone who’s been clamoring for more of this Danish “West Wing,” written large across the icy Nordic sky … leave us alone, already! The 24-hour press-corps continues to hound the first female Prime Minister (Sidse Babett Knudsen), now a divorced mother of two, even as international wars encroach on their fragile sovereignty, threatening the delicate alliances that keep everything afloat. But it is blonde hottie Birgitte Hjort Sørensen — providing much of the welcome Nordic nudity — who remains her deadliest foe: a crafty newswoman who is not above screwing up a crisis when there is nothing else to report. Even more compelling than Season 1.



2013; $14.98-$16.98; UR

These wonderfully hokey docs from Reality Entertainment remind us of Leonard Nimoy’s old “In Search Of” series — quite a compliment! Here we follow Major Jesse Marcel, “commander of the most technologically advanced bomb group in the world,” who “discovered” a downed UFO in the New Mexico desert in 1947, following a “harrowing and record-breaking storm.” You get the idea: Lots of hyperbole and overstatement with flashy, colorful graphics. Of course we liked it! Big dumb fun on a budget.


2012; $19.98-$24.98; UR

After spending 12 years stoned out of his gourd in community college, Ben (Ben Banks) falls hard for lithe barista Mischa Barton (there’s a lot of that going around). When he uncovers her long-hidden secret, he sets out with friends to right a very serious wrong and maybe become an adult in the process. Not terrific by any means, but a change of pace for writer/director Bryce Clark, who writes for “Yo Gabba Gabba!” Aka “Ben Banks.”


2013; $21.98-$29.98; UR

Lara Flynn Boyle is hilarious as the cannibal granny who lures teenagers to her home with killer weed, then eats their flesh to grow young and beautiful. But the actual stars are Michael Welch and Molly C. Quinn, sibs who discover her evil deeds, though no one will believe them. A loving homage to low-rent stoner/slasher movies with cameos by scream-vets Lochlyn Munro and Yancy Butler. Gangs of fun.


2010; $34.98-$49.98; UR

This excellent British private-eye show soars for two reasons: first, the imposing, breathtaking lands of western Ireland, and second, Jack Taylor (Iain Glen, “Game of Thrones,” “Downton Abbey”), as mule-headed and ornery a drunken ex-cop as ever who brawled his way out of a pub. But Jack is the perfect man to wrestle the truth from the rugged crags of Galway. In this set, he’s on the trail of serial murderer, a vigilante group and — our favorite story — a sadistic nun nicknamed “Lucifer.” Beauty, intrigue, fisticuffs, humor and the best of the Ol’ Sod in equal measure. Highly recommended.


2012; $20.98-$26.98; R

This Canadian flick is a minor masterpiece. A First Nations teen (the Canadian equivalent of “Native American”) embodies every young person who ever felt they didn’t fit in. He pulls together with two friends to unearth a dark secret from his past. We won’t say more of the plot, but the real reason to watch this is the relationship between the three teens: It’s as if you, the viewer, are invisible and privy to an intimate world where they are free to be vulnerable and frightened, each gaining courage from the others. One of the best films we’ve ever seen; a perfect indie that succeeds by keeping its story simple but heartfelt and, above all, real. With Benjamin Bratt in a pivotal role.


2013; $19.98-$40.98; R

This Halle Berry/Abigail Breslin vehicle didn’t exactly burn up the box office, but there’s a lot to like. When Breslin gets stuffed in a car truck, abducted, she’s smart enough to keep her cell phone hidden until she can call 911. Berry, still recovering from an emergency gone horribly wrong, is the operator who answers the call. The filmmakers unnecessarily throw in incest and gore to give it an R rating, and Berry’s guilt-trip is more hindrance than help, but the two central actresses crank up the tension while Morris Chestnut and others keep the pot simmering. We liked it.


2013; $14.98-$35.98; PG-13

Steve Carell is the titular magician, part of a Siegfried and Roy-like Vegas team with Steve Buscemi. Once rulers of The Strip, today the two can’t stand each other, and, to make matters worse, their livelihood is threatened by street stunter Jim Carrey. Only an over-the-top stunt of their own can save their act, but has time simply passed them by? This isn’t a “bad” film, per se; there are plenty of laughs and enough dumb physical gags to keep things upbeat. But with this kind of talent, we were expecting so much more. Worth a look; with Olivia Wilde, James Gandolfini, Alan Arkin, Jay Mohr, Brad Garrett and more.

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2013; $12.98-16.98; UR

More crazy reenactments from our buds at Reality Entertaiment. Looking into earthly spots that attract mysterious events, we stumble across a portal to hell when Roxanne Wentworth of Ashe County, N.C., buys a set of iron gates that once restrained the decaying denizens of the local Gallows Hill cemetery. Now these spirits have found a new home. Bwahahahaaaa! A fun compendium of kitschy ghost tales and demonic hauntings, perfect for a late night couch-date.


2013; $20.98-$24.98; UR

Salma Hayek is the most recognizable name in this Spanish comedy-drama about a once successful man who is accidentally injured in a freak accident at a Roman theater. The injury is potentially life threatening, but instead of getting treated, he decides to sell his story to the highest bidder to provide for his family. Hayek plays his wife, who argues that he is worth more alive then dead. We guarantee our wives would NEVER make such a plea.


2013; $29.98; R

Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet was cornered. An international coalition had forced his hand: Either demonstrate popular support among his people or be ousted from power by military force. So he held a “plebiscite” — a vote of confidence to extend his rule — in 1988. His opposition persuaded a handsome, charismatic ad exec named Rene Saavedra (Gael Garcia Bernal) to lead the “NO” faction. With few resources and literally in the crosshairs of Pinochet’s henchmen, it was a suicide mission. And this is the amazing story of what happened next.


2012; $24.98-$26.98; UR

An indie comedy about making indie films. Alex Karpovsky and Tarik Lowe are film editors trying to save a movie that, frankly, is beyond saving. Their real problem is that nearly everyone they know — all their friends and lovers — have a connection to the film and each wants their pet scenes/actors to not be cut. Worth watching just for scenes with Arielle Kebbel (“John Tucker Must Die”) and Melonie Diaz (“Be Kind Rewind”).


2013; $15.98; R

Dermot Mulroney is an ex-con who leaves prison and heads for his long-lost brother’s pony ranch. If you think this is just another modern Oater drama, think again: The way is paved with dirty towns filled with ugly, violent people ... and a VHS recorder that looks into your dreams! A big hit at the Sundance Festival, this dizzying, frightening Fellini-meets-Cronenberg-in-Dodge-City outing costars Lindsay Pulsipher (“True Blood”) and Natasha Lyonne (“American Pie”). Wonderfully weird.