5. ‘House of the Dead 2: Dead Aim’ – Production values rarely eclipse WOLV-TV, the zombies look slightly more fearsome than your local church’s haunted house and the biggest star on this straight-to-DVD monster mash is Sticky Fingaz, a former mid-’90s rap star most famous for his persona in the “Def Jam: Fight For NY” video game. So, why is the film a small success? Without being too campy, the cut-rate zombie movie packs just the right amount of exposition (zero) into bundles of campy gore, shotguns and humor. You’ll like it, even though you may hate yourself in the morning.
4. ‘The Bachelor: Paris’ – Just flick to ABC and take a gander at a gaggle of beauty-school dropouts and other cerebrally challenged, collagen-stuffed “women” descend upon the City of Light. For the love of Peter, can the next “Bachelor” take place in a developing country? We could watch former nursing students and Hawaiian Tropic models forage for nuts in Sub-Saharan Africa or go spearfishing in the Samoan islands. Or they could just go back to suburbia. Whatever.
3. ‘The Best of Youth’ – The robust Italian epic, new to DVD, follows two brothers – one of whom becomes a conservative policeman, the other a sometime-activist doctor – from their idealistic early days in 1966 and on to some of the most chaotic events in the nation’s history. Yes, it runs a little more than six hours. It’s worth it. Set in an idyllic Italian countryside circa 2000, the calming conclusion is among the most rewarding cinematic finales in years.
2. Rachel Weisz – She studied at Oxford, she still lives in London and she made the “Mummy” series look competent. She’s in “The Constant Gardener,” also new on DVD, and yanked down an Oscar nod for her role as the compassionate, brave yet secretive British activist in Africa. It doesn’t matter that she’s a burning, Old World beauty. She’s brilliant and that’s more than enough.
1. Paris Hilton – She has a birthday on Friday, she got impaled in “House of Wax,” and still, no one seems to care. Is it fair that there are East African children dying each day from dysentery and people waging religious wars when they all essentially worship the same god, and all the while Paris Hilton is still healthy and secure? Is she a symbol, along with the SUV and Starbucks, of everything that’s diseased in our nation?
Ah, who cares. We’ve all seen her privates and she’s five years away from 30. Have a fun trip downhill.