VIDEO ROOM

Video Room has been serving the Piedmont Avenue neighborhood since 1988. We carry a large selection of movies on DVD and have an ever growing Blu-ray library. We specialize in hard-to-find and obscure cult classics, TV shows, foreign cinema, and film noir, in addition to the latest new releases. Check out our large Directors section and offbeat categories that make us unique. Kids and dogs are welcome. Senior discounts available. We do same day reservations. Free parking.

Hours:

Sunday-Thurday, 12pm-8pm
Friday, 12pm-9pm

Saturday, 10am-9pm

Email (Questions/Feedback/Requests):
info @ videoroomoakland.com

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

New Releases - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NEW RELEASES - TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2014

3D Blu-ray:

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION - Action/sci-fi. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Nicola Peltz, Kelsey Grammer, Jack Reynor, Sophia Myles. Directed by Michael Bay. RECOMMNDED! 2014. Rated PG-13. 165 minutes. Box Office: $246 million.

Blu-rays:

CHEF [2014] - Comedy. Starring Jon Favreau, Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Sophia Vergara, Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt, Amy Sedaris, Bobby Cannavale. Directed by Jon Favreau. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  Rated R. 114 minutes. Box Office: $32 million.

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION - Action/sci-fi. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Nicola Peltz, Kelsey Grammer, Jack Reynor, Sophia Myles. Directed by Michael Bay. RECOMMENDED!  2014. Rated PG-13. 165 minutes. Box Office: $246 million.

DVDs:

CHEF [2014] - Comedy. Starring Jon Favreau, Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Sophia Vergara, Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt, Amy Sedaris, Bobby Cannavale. Directed by Jon Favreau. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  Rated R. 114 minutes. Box Office: $32 million.

COLD IN JULY - Mystery/film noir. Starring Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard, Don Johnson, Vinessa Shaw, Wyatt Russell. Directed by Jim Mickle. 2014. Rated R. 109 minutes. Box Office: $1 million.

DECODING ANNIE PARKER - Drama. Starring Aaron Paul, Alice Eve, Corey Stoll, Maggie Grace, Samantha Morton, Ben McKenzie, Rashida Jones, Helen Hunt, Marley Shelton. Directed by Steven Bernstein. 2014. Rated R. 91 minutes.

HELLION - Drama/mystery. Starring Aaron Paul, Juliette Lewis, josh Wiggins, Deke Connor. Directed by Kat Candler. 2014. Rated R. 94 minutes.

IVORY TOWER - Documentary. Starring Andrew Delbanco. Directed by Andrew Rossi. 2014. Rated PG-13. 90 minutes. 

THIRD PERSON - Drama/romance. Starring Liam Neeson, Mila Kunis, Adrien Brody, Maria Bello, Kim Basinger, Olivia Wilde, James Franco. Directed by Paul Haggis. 2014. Rated R. 137 minutes. Box Office: $2 million.

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION - Action/sci-fi. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Nicola Peltz, Kelsey Grammer, Jack Reynor, Sophia Myles. Directed by Michael Bay. RECOMMENDED! 2014. Rated PG-13. 165 minutes. Box Office: $246 million.

Monday, September 22, 2014

New Releases - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

NEW RELEASES - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

BLU-RAYS:

IDA - Foreign Drama. Starring Agata Kulesza, Agata Trezebuchowska, Dawid Ogrodnik, Jerzy Trela, Joanna Kulig. Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski. 2013. Rated PG-13. 82 minutes. Box Office: $4 million.

NEIGHBORS [2014] - Comedy. Starring Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Dave Franco, Halston Sage. Directed by Nicholas Stoller. 2014. Rated R. 97 minutes. Box Office: $151 million.

ROVER, THE [2014] - Mystery/Drama. Starring Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson, Scoot McNairy. Directed by David Michod. Rated R. 2013 minutes. Box Office: $2 million.

SIGNAL, THE [2014] - Sci-fi. Starring Brendon Thwaites, Olivia Cooke, Beau Knapp, Laurence Fishburne, Lin Shaye. Directed by William Eubank. Rated PG-13. 97 minutes.

DVDs:

CALLING, THE [2014] - Mystery. Starring Susan Sarandon, Gil Bellows, Ellen Burstyn, Topher Grace, Donald Sutherland, Christopher Heyerdahl. Directed by Jason Stone. 2014. Rated R. 108 minutes.

IDA - Foreign Drama. Starring Agata Kulesza, Agata Trezebuchowska, Dawid Ogrodnik, Jerzy Trela, Joanna Kulig. Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski. 2013. Rated PG-13. 82 minutes. Box Office: $4 million.

LAST OF THE UNJUST, THE - Documentary. Starring  Benjamin Murmelstein. Directed by Claude Lanzmann. 2013. Rated PG-13. 220 minutes.

MODERN FAMILY: SEASON 5 - TV comedy. Starring Ed O'Neill, Sofia Vergara, Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, Eric Stonestreet, Jesse Tyler Ferguson.  2013-2014. Unrated.

NEIGHBORS [2014] - Comedy. Starring Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Dave Franco, Halston Sage. Directed by Nicholas Stoller. 2014. Rated R. 97 minutes. Box Office: $151 million.

ROVER, THE [2014] - Mystery/Drama. Starring Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson, Scoot McNairy. Directed by David Michod. Rated R. 2013 minutes. Box Office: $2 million.

SCANDAL: SEASON 3 - TV Drama. Starring Kerry Washington, Tony Goldwyn, Darby Stanchfield, Katie Lowes, Guillermo Davis, Jeff Perry, Joshua Malina, Bellamy Young, Columbus Short. 2013-2014. Unrated.

SIGNAL, THE [2014] - Sci-fi. Starring Brendon Thwaites, Olivia Cooke, Beau Knapp, Laurence Fishburne, Lin Shaye. Directed by William Eubank. Rated PG-13. 97 minutes.

WER - Horror. Starring A.J. Cook, Sebastian Roche, Vik Sahay, Stephanie Lemelin, Oaklee Pendergast. Directed by William Brent Bell. 2013. Rated R. 89 minutes. 


Sunday, September 14, 2014

New Releases - Tuesday, September 16, 2014

3D Blu-ray:

GODZILLA [2014] - Sci-fi/horror/action. Aaron Taylor Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, Sally Hawkins, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn, Richard T. Jones. Directed by Gareth Edwards. Highly Recommended! 2014. Rated PG-13. 123 minutes. Box Office: $201 million.

Blu-rays:

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS - Drama/romance. Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort,  Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Willem Dafoe. Directed by Josh Boone. 2013. Rated PG-13. 126 minutes. Box Office: $125 million.

GODZILLA [2014] - Sci-fi/horror/action. Aaron Taylor Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, Sally Hawkins, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn, Richard T. Jones. Directed by Gareth Edwards.  Highly recommended! 2014. Rated PG-13. 123 minutes. Box Office: $201 million.


DVDs:

BURNING BLUE - Drama/Biography. Trent Ford, Tammy Blanchard, Morgan Spector, Rob Mayes, Willard Lee Scott, Cotter Smith. Directed by D.M.W. Greer. 2014. Rated R. 96 minutes.

BURNING BUSH - Czech TV miniseries. Tatiana Pauhofova, Jaroslava Pokorna, Petr Stach. 2013. 231 minutes.

DCI BANKS: SEASON 2 - British TV. Stephen Tompkinson, Jack Deam, Andrea Kowe. 2011.

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS - Drama/romance. Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort,  Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Willem Dafoe. Directed by Josh Boone. 2013. Rated PG-13. 126 minutes. Box Office: $125 million.

GODZILLA [2014] - Sci-fi/horror/action. Aaron Taylor Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, Sally Hawkins, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn, Richard T. Jones. Directed by Gareth Edwards.  Highly recommended! 2014. Rated PG-13. 123 minutes. Box Office: $201 million.

KEN BURNS' THE ROOSEVELTS: AN INTIMATE HISTORY - PBS documentary. Voices by Meryl Streep, Paul Giamatti, Edward Herrmann. Highly recommended! Directed by Ken Burns. Unrated. 14 hours.

A LONG WAY DOWN - Comedy/drama. Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Imogen Poots, Aaron Paul, Sam Neill, Rosamund Pike. Directed by Pascale Chaumeil. 2014. Rated R. 96 minutes.

THINK LIKE A MAN TOO - Comedy. Kevin Hart, Gabrielle Union, Wendy McLendon-Covey, Michael Ealy, Meagan Good, Regina Hall, Dennis Haysbert, Taraji P. Henson, Jenifer Lewis. Directed by Tim Story. 2014. Rated PG-13. 106 minutes. Box Office: $66 million.

Monday, September 8, 2014

New Releases - Tuesday, September 9, 2014

3D Blu-Ray:

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER - Superhero action. Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Sebastian Shaw, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Emily VanCamp. Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo. 2014. Rated PG-13. 136 minutes. Box Office: $260 million. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Blu-Rays:

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER - Superhero action. Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Sebastian Shaw, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Emily VanCamp. Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo. 2014. Rated PG-13. 136 minutes. Box Office: $260 million. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

HOMELAND:  SEASON 3 - TV series. Drama/Suspense. Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, Mandy Patinkin, Morena Baccarin, Rupert Friend. 2013. Unrated. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

DVDs:

BORGMAN - Foreign. Jan Bjivoet, Hadewych Minis, Jeroen Perceval, Sara Hjoret Ditlevsen. Directed by Alex Van Warmerdam. 2013. In Dutch with English subtitles. Rated R. 113 minutes.

BRICK MANSIONS - Action. Paul Walker, David Belle, RZA, Catalina Denis, Ayisha Issa. Directed by Camille Delamarre. 2014. Rated R. 90 minutes. Box Office: $21 million.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER - Superhero action. Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Sebastian Shaw, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Emily VanCamp. Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo. 2014. Rated PG-13. 136 minutes. Box Office: $260 million. HIOHLY RECOMMENDED!

FED UP - Documentary. Directed by Stephanie Soechtig. 2014. Rated PG. 92 minutes. Box Office: $2 million.

GOD'S POCKET - Drama. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christina Hendricks, Richard Jenkins, John Turturro, Eddie Marsan. Directed by John Slattery (MAD MEN). 2014. Rated R. 88 minutes.

GO FOR SISTERS - Drama. LisaGay Hamilton, Yolanda Ross, Edward James Olmos, Harold Perrineawu, Isaiah Washington.  Directed by John Sayles. 2013. Unrated. 123 minutes.

HOMELAND:  SEASON 3 -  TV series. Drama/Suspense. Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, Mandy Patinkin, Morena Baccarin, Rupert Friend. 2013. Unrated. HIOHLY RECOMMENDED!

KORENGAL - Documentary. Directed by Sebastian Junger. 2014. Rated R. 84 minutes.

LOUDER THAN WORDS - Drama. Adelaide Kane, David Duchovny, Hope Davis, Timothy Hutton, Xander Berkley, Craig Bierko, Victoria Tennant. Directed by Anthony Fabian. 2014. Rated PG-13. 95 minutes.

MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.: SEASON 1 - TV series. Superhero Action. Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Bill Paxton, and guest appearances by Cobie Smulders, Samuel L. Jackson, and Patton Oswalt. 2013-2014. Unrated. HIOHLY RECOMMENDED!

PALO ALTO - Drama+Local Interest. Emma Roberts, James Franco, Val Kilmer, Olivia, Crocicchia, Claudia Levy. Directed by Gia Coppola. 2014. Rated R. 100 minutes. Box Office: $1 million.

REFUGE - Drama. Krysten Ritter, Brian Geraghty, Logan Huffman, Madeleine Martin. Directed by Jessica Goldberg. 2014. Unrated. 84 minutes.

WILLOW CREEK - Horror satire. Alexie Gilmore, Bryce Johnson, Laura Montagna. Directed by Bobcat Goldthwait. 2014. Unrated. 77 minutes.

WORDS AND PICTURES - Comedy/romance.  Clive Owen, Juliette Binoche, Bruce Davison, Amy Brenneman. Directed by Fred Svhepesi (ROXANNE, SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION). 2014. Rated PG-13. 111 minutes.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

New Releases - Tuesday, September 2, 2014

HAPPY LABOR DAY!

Blu-rays:

DRAFT DAY -  Sports Drama. Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Chadwick Boseman, Chi McBride. Directed by Ivan Reitman. 2014. Rated R. 110 minutes. Box Office: $29 million.

FOR NO GOOD REASON - Documentary. Johnny Depp, Ralph Steadman, Richard E. Grant, Terry Gilliam, Jann Wenner. Directed by Charlie Paul. 2014. Rated R. 89 minutes.

DVDs:

DRAFT DAY -  Sports Drama. Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Chadwick Boseman, Chi McBride. Directed by Ivan Reitman. 2014. Rated R. 110 minutes. Box Office: $29 million.

FOR NO GOOD REASON - Documentary. Johnny Depp, Ralph Steadman, Richard E. Grant, Terry Gilliam, Jann Wenner. Directed by Charlie Paul. 2014. Rated R. 89 minutes.

MOM'S NIGHT OUT - Comedy. Sarah Drew, Sean Astin, Patricia Heaton, Trace Adkins. Directed by the Erwin Brothers. 2014. Rated PG. 98 minutes. Box Office: $11 million.

THEY CAME TOGETHER - Comedy. Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Cobie Smulders, Christopher Meloni, Ed Helms, Kenan Thompson, Ellie Kemper, Max Greenfield. Directed by David Wain. 2014. Rated R. 83 minutes.

WHITEWASH - Film noir/thriller. Thomas Haden Church, Anie Pascale. Directed by Emmanuel Hoss-Desmaris. 2014. Unrated. 90 minutes.



Monday, August 25, 2014

New Releases - August 26, 2014

Blu-rays:

Belle [2014] [Fascinating true story starring newcomer Gugu Mbatha-Raw as the mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral who is raised as an aristocrat by her great-uncle  in Eighteenth Century England. The fine cast includes Matthew Goode, Emily Watson, Alan McKenna, Penelope Wilton, Tom Wilkinson, Sarah Gadon, Miranda Richardson, and Tom Felton. Directed by actress turned director Amma Asante ( A Way of Life). Rated PG. 104 minutes. Box Office: $11 million. THIS IS AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY ONLY!]

Double, The [2014] [This witty and darkly comic thriller stars Jesse Eisenberg as a meek government agency clerk whose life becomes a living nightmare when his new co-worker turns out to be his exact physical double but a polar opposite when it comes to personality. Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, Noah Taylor, James Fox, Cathy Moriarty, and Phyllis Somerville also star. Actor-director Richard Ayoade (Submarine) directed this British film that bears a resemblance to Jake Gyllenhaal's recent Enemy but is more tongue-in-cheek. Rated R. 93 minutes.]

Normal Heart, The [Moving true HBO movie about a gay activist trying to raise HIV/AIDS awareness in the early Eighties. The stellar cast features great work by Mark Ruffalo, Matthew Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, and Julia Roberts. Ryan Murphy (Eat Pray Love) directed. Emmy winner for Outstanding TV Movie. 2014. Unrated. 132 minutes.] 


DVDs:

Blended [One of Adam Sandler's better recent farces, this benefits from his chemistry with his 50 First Dates co-star Drew Barrymore. This time they play a couple who go on a disastrous blind date but start to fall in love with each other when they end up at the same resort with their families in tow for a vacation. Co-starring Kevin Nealon, Terry Crews, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Joel McHale, and Shaquille O'Neal. 2014. Rated PG-13. 117 minutes. Box Office: $47 million.]

Double, The [2014] [This witty and darkly comic thriller stars Jesse Eisenberg as a meek government agency clerk whose life becomes a living nightmare when his new co-worker turns out to be his exact physical double but a polar opposite when it comes to personality. Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, Noah Taylor, James Fox, Cathy Moriarty, and Phyllis Somerville also star. Actor-director Richard Ayoade (Submarine) directed this British film that bears a resemblance to Jake Gyllenhaal's recent Enemy but is more tongue-in-cheek. Rated R. 93 minutes.]

Elementary: Season 2 [Jonny Lee Miller is as OCD as ever as the modern day Sherlock Holmes who resides in New York in this even better second season. Lucy Liu reprises her fun take on the female Dr. Watson as they deal with more shocking murders and encounter the return of Sean Pertwee's desperate and envious Lestrade and seductive Natalie Dormer as Sherlock's evil ex-love Moriartyy.  Rhys Ifans also makes a very pleasant extended guest appearance as Sherlock's mysterious brother Mycroft, and beautiful Olivia D'Abo plays a memorable ex-lover. Regular co-stars include Aidan Quinn and Jon Michael Hill. Highly Recommended! 2013-2014. Unrated. 6 separate rentals.]

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return [Delightful animated sequel to The Wizard of Oz with Dorothy returning to Oz after the tornado to save her friends: the Scarecrow, the Lion, the Tin Man, and Glinda. The great voice cast features Lea Michele, Kelsey Grammar, Dan Aykroyd, James Belushi, Tracey Adams, Martin Short, Bernadette Peters, Oliver Platt, Hugh Dancy, and Brian Blessed. Directed by Will Finn and Dan St. Pierre. 2014. Rated PG. 83 minutes. Box Office:$9 million.]

Love Punch [Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson have a great time and fine chemistry playing a divorced couple who plot to get back the retirement money that was stolen from them. Tuppence Middleton, Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie, Louise Bourgoin, and Marisa Berenson also star. Writer-director Joel Hopkins also did Last Chamce Harvey. 2014. Rated PG-13. 94 minutes.] 

Normal Heart, The [Moving true HBO movie about a gay activist trying to raise HIV/AIDS awareness in the early Eighties. The stellar cast features great work by Mark Ruffalo, Matthew Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, and Julia Roberts. Ryan Murphy (Eat Pray Love) directed. Emmy winner for Outstanding TV Movie. 2014. Unrated. 132 minutes.]

Portlandia: Season 4 [The hilarious and affectionate lampooning of overly politically correct Portland continues with Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen. Highly Recommended! 2014. Unrated. 2 separate rentals.]

Promise, A [Patrice Leconte (The Girl on the Bridge, The Hairdresser's Husband) directed
this period romantic triangle about a married beauty who falls in love with her husband's protégé just before WWI. The excellent cast is lead by Alan Rickman, Rebecca Hall, Richard Madden, Tony Murray, and Jessica Steed. 2014. Unrated. 98 minutes.]

Sons of Anarchy: Season 6 [Shocking twists await fans of this brutal biker action drama starring Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Kim Coates, Ron Perlman, Ryan Hurst, Mark Boone Junior, Tommy Flanagan, and Maggie Siff. 2014. Unrated. 5 separate rentals.]

Stream, The [Set in 1981, this charming and underrated family film has five kids whose simple trip following a stream to the mall and back turns into an unexpected comic adventure. Mario Lopez, Christopher Gorham, Kelly Rutherford, Rainn Wilson, Jacob M. Williams, and Noura Jost star. 2013.PG. 82 minutes.]

Trust Me [Clark Gregg (Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) directed, wrote, and starred in this quirky comedy in which he plays a struggling talent agent and ex-child star who tries to sign a top Hollywood starlet despite many adversities. The great all-star cast includes Felicity Huffman, Allison Janney, William H. Macy, Niecy Nash, Amanda Peet, Sam Rockwell, and Molly Shannon. 2014. Rated R. 90 minutes.]

Walking Dead, The: Season 4 [In this exciting season, chaos reigns as Rick's community is scattered from the prison into separate groups fighting to still survive the ever-present zombies while making new and interesting friends as well as making vicious an mysterious new enemies. Starring Andrew Lincoln, Steven Yuen, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, and Emily Kinney. Highly Recommended! 2013-2014. Unrated. 5 separate rentals.]

Young & Beautiful [Sexy Francois Ozon (The Swimming Pool, 8 Women) drama starring Marine Vacth as a young beauty who secretly becomes a call girl for no discernible reason. Geraldine Pailhaus and Frederic Pierrot co-star. 2013. Unrated. 95 minutes.]

Notes by manager Steven Y. Mori.

Monday, August 18, 2014

New Releases - August 19, 2014

3D Blu-ray:

Amazing Spider-Man 2, The [The first film was a thrill-packed and pleasant surprise reboot, and this sequel is even better as Spider-man (Andrew Garfield) battles nasty villains from Oscorp, including Jamie Foxx as chilling Electro and Dane DeHaan (Kill Your Darlings, Chronicle) as the Green Goblin. Emma Stone, Colm Feore, Felicity Jones, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field, Embeth Davidtz, and Campbell Scott also star in this exciting hit sequel. Highly Recommended! 2014. PG-13. 142 minutes. Box Office: $203 million.]

Blu-rays:

Amazing Spider-Man 2, The [The first film was a thrill-packed and pleasant surprise reboot, and this sequel is even better as Spider-man (Andrew Garfield) battles nasty villains from Oscorp, including Jamie Foxx as chilling Electro and Dane DeHaan (Kill Your Darlings, Chronicle) as the Green Goblin. Emma Stone, Colm Feore, Felicity Jones, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field, Embeth Davidtz, and Campbell Scott also star in this exciting hit sequel. Highly Recommended! 2014. PG-13. 142 minutes. Box Office: $203 million.]

Fading Gigolo [John Turturro directed and stars in this hilarious Woody Allenish romantic comedy with Turturro as a New York guy who decides to become a gigolo to help his cash-challenged pal (played by Woody Allen, of course) who also becomes his manager with unexpected results. The terrific cast includes Sofia Vergara, Sharon Stone, Vanessa Paradis, Live Schreiber, and Tonya Pinkins. Fans of both Turturro and Woody should be pleased with this delightful farce. Highly Recommended! 2014. Rated R. 90 minutes. Box Office: $4 million.]

Only Lovers Left Alive [After a 4 year absence from the big screen, cult director Jim Jarmusch (Ghost Dog, Dead Man) returned with this typically quirky and fascinating tale of centuries old vampire lovers Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston who reunite but are rudely interrupted by Swinton's sexy and wild younger sister Mia Wasikowska who shakes things up. Co-starring Anton Yelchin, John Hurt, and Jeffrey Wright. 2013. Rated R. 123 minutes. Box Office: $2 million.]

DVDs:

Amazing Spider-Man 2, The [The first film was a thrill-packed and a pleasant surprise reboot, and this sequel is even better as Spider-man (Andrew Garfield) battles nasty villains from Oscorp, including Jamie Foxx as chilling Electro and Dane DeHaan (Kill Your Darlings, Chronicle) as the Green Goblin. Emma Stone, Colm Feore, Felicity Jones, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field, Embeth Davidtz, and Campbell Scott also star in this exciting hit sequel. Highly Recommended! 2014. PG-13. 142 minutes. Box Office: $203 million.]

Auction, The [Elegant but simple Canadian drama about a farmer with no sons and two daughters who decides to sell his farm when one of them has financial woes. Starring Gabriel Arcand, Lucie Laurier, Gilles Renaud, Johann-Marie Tremblay, and Sophie Desmaris. Directed by Sebastian Pilote. From Film Movement. 2013. Unrated. 111 minutes.]

Boardwalk Empire: Season 4 [This season, Steve Buscemi's Nucky is laying low after surviving another battle for power, but don't worry, he's still up to his neck in corruption and bootlegging. Patricia Arquette makes a welcome and memorable guest arc. Kelly Macdoanld and Michael Shannon also return. 2013. Unrated.  4 separate rentals.]

Fading Gigolo [John Turturro directed and stars in this hilarious Woody Allenish romantic comedy with Turturro as a New York guy who decides to become a gigolo to help his cash-challenged pal (played by Woody Allen, of course) who also becomes his manager with unexpected results. The terrific cast includes Sofia Vergara, Sharon Stone, Vanessa Paradis, Live Schreiber, and Tonya Pinkins. Fans of both Turturro and Woody should be pleased with this delightful farce. Highly Recommended! 2014. Rated R. 90 minutes. Box Office: $4 million.]

Good Wife, The: Season 5 [One of network TV's best dramas returns with one of its best seasons with title character Juliana Margulies giving another superb performance as she goes through shocking twists, changes,  cast exits, and guest stars galore. The excellent cast includes Josh Charles, Chris Noth, Matt Czuchry, Alan Cumming, Nathan Lane, Christine Baranski, Michael J. Fox, and Archie Punjabi. Highly Recommended! 2013-2014. Unrated. 6 separate rentals.]

Only Lovers Left Alive [After a 4 year absence from the big screen, cult director Jim Jarmusch (Ghost Dog, Dead Man) returned with this typically quirky and fascinating tale of centuries old vampire lovers Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston who reunite but are rudely interrupted by Swinton's sexy and wild younger sister Mia Wasikowska who shakes things up. Co-starring Anton Yelchin, John Hurt, and Jeffrey Wright. 2013. Rated R. 123 minutes. Box Office: $2 million.]

Sacrament, The [Creepy, better than average horror thriller about a news team that follows a man looking for his missing sister. Their search leads them to a community where the leader may not be what he seems. Joe Swanberg, Amy Seimetz, Kate Lynn Sheil, AJ Bowen, Gene Jones, and Donna Biscoe star. 2014. Rated R. 99 minutes.]

When I Saw You [Moving Middle Eastern drama focusing on a boy who is separated from his parents in Jordan, circa 1967, and tries to reunite with them even though they are in separate refugee camps. Mahmoud Asfa, Ruba Blal, and Saleh Bakri star, and Annemarie Jacir directed. 2013. Unrated. 98 minutes.

Notes by manager Steven Y. Mori.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

New Releases - August 12, 2014

Blu-rays:

Disneynature: Bears [Another beautiful, must watch Disney nature documentary, this time about an Alaskan bear family's cubs as they grow to maturity. Narrated by John C. Reilly and directed by Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey. 2014. Rated G. 78 minutes. Box Office: $18 million.]

Locke [Tom Hardy (Lawless, Warrior) gives an extraordinary performance in this film noir thriller that is virtually a one man show as Hardy plays a family man and successful construction manager who receives a phone call that could ruin his life and goes driving through the night. Writer-director Steven Knight (Redemption) helmed this novel film that is a bit similar in concept to the Ryan Reynolds film Buried. Recommended! 2014. Rated R. 85 minutes. Box Office: $2 million.]

Muppets Most Wanted [The rejuvenated Muppets return in this wild and funny (and a bit darker than the previous film) farce in which they are thrown into a European prison thanks to a jewel heist masterminded by Kermit's exact double.  Of course, there are a who's who of cameos and lots of one liners that will have adults laughing maybe more than kids. The all-star cast is lead by Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey, Tony Bennett, Hugh Bonneville, and Jemaine Clement. James Bobin, who directed the hit 2011 reboot, reprises. Recommended!  2014. Rated PG. Box Office: $52 million.]

Railway Man, The [Acclaimed Australian-British-Swiss co-production starring Colin Firth as a British officer who was tortured in a WWII Japanese POW camp and finds out that the main soldier who tormented him wants to confront him again years later. This is based on the real story of Eric Lomax. Nicole Kidman, Stellan Skarsgard, Jeremy Irvine, Michael Mackenzie, Tanroh Ishida, and Tom Stoke also star. Jonathan Teplitzky (Burning Man) directed. 2014. Rated R. 116 minutes. Box Office: $5 million.]

DVDs:

Around the Block [Aussie-US co-production about an Aboriginal boy who is caught between his love of acting and his dysfunctional family. Starring Christina Ricci, Jack Thompson, Matt Nable, Mark Coles Smith, Daniel Henshall, Trevor Jamieson, Madeleine Madden, and Hunter Page-Lochard. Written and directed by Sarah Spillane. 2014. Unrated. 104 minutes.]

Blacklist, The: Season 1 [James Spader (TV's Boston Legal) gives a mesmerizing performance as a criminal mastermind who turns himself in to the FBI and agrees to give up a list of lethal personal enemies in exchange for working with young but effective and attractive agent Megan Boone. As this terrific noirish series progresses, we learn that Spader's obsession with the agent is very personal and also involves a conspiracy within the government as well as Boone's dubious teacher-husband.. In addition to the great work by Spader and Boone, there is exceptional work done by co-stars Diego Klattenhoff, Ryan Eggold, Parminder Nagra, Harry Lennix, Jane Alexander, Hisham Tawfiq, Amir Arison, and Alan Alda. This was the highest rated new series of the 2013 season and also drew the most buzz of almost any show, for good reason. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! 2013-2014. Unrated. 5 separate rentals.]

Breathe In [Mostly improvised romantic drama about an attractive foreign exchange student who moves in with an upscale NY family and changes their dynamic forever. Although this movie polarized audiences and had both lovers and haters, the superb cast cannot be denied: Guy Pearce, Felicity Jones, Mackenzie Davis (the breakthrough star from AMC's Halt and Catch Fire), Amy Ryan, Matthew Daddario, Ben Shenkman, and Alexandra Wentworth. Directed by Drake Doremus (Like Crazy, Spooner). 2014. Rated R. 98 minutes.]

Dancing in Jaffa [Uplifting documentary about acclaimed ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine, who returns to his hometown and teaches natural enemies to compete without animosity in ballroom dancing competitions. Directed by Hilla Medalia. 2013. Unrated. 90 minutes.] 

Disneynature: Bears [Another beautiful, must watch Disney nature documentary, this time about an Alaskan bear family's cubs as they grow to maturity. Narrated by John C. Reilly and directed by Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey. 2014. Rated G. 78 minutes. Box Office: $18 million.]

Filth [James McAvoy channels his dark side in this black comedy as a corrupt cop who will do anything to get a promotion and win back his family. Co-starring Jamie Bell, Imogen Poots, and Jim Broadbent. Jon S. Baird (Greet Street Hooligans) directed. 2013. Rated R. 97 minutes.]

Frankie & Alice [Halle Berry gives a memorable performance as a go-go dancer with multiple personalities who goes to a psychotherapist to try to get to the root of her problem. Also starring Stellan Skarsgard, Phylicia Rashad, Chandra Wilson, Roselyn Coleman, Joanne Baron, and Brian Markinson. Directed by Geoffrey Sax. 2014. Rated R. 101 minutes.]

Girl on the Train, The [Fascinating thriller about a documentary filmmaker who meets a mysterious young woman who changes the course of his current project. Starring Henry Ian Cusack, Nicki Aycox, and Stephen Lang. Larry Brand directed. 2014. Rated R. 80 minutes.]

God's Not Dead [Faith-based drama starring Kevin Sorbo (TV's Hercules) as a philosophy professor who shocks students when he proclaims God is dead, but a new student challenges his lack of faith. Shane Harper and David A.R. White star in this big hit. Directed by Harold Cronk. 2014. Rated PG. 113 minutes. Box Office: $61 million.]

Hateship Loveship [Interesting casting highlights this drama about a wild teen girl who sets up her recovering addict father with her nanny. The impressive cast includes Kristen Wiig, Guy Pearce, Hailee Steinfeld, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Sami Gayle, Christine Lahti, and Nick Nolte. Directed by Liza Johnson. 2014. Rated R. 104 minutes.]

Locke [Tom Hardy (Lawless, Warrior) gives an extraordinary performance in this film noir thriller that is virtually a one man show as Hardy plays a family man and successful construction manager who receives a phone call that could ruin his life and goes driving through the night. Writer-director Steven Knight (Redemption) helmed this novel film that is a bit similar in concept to the Ryan Reynolds film Buried. Recommended! 2014. Rated R. 85 minutes. Box Office: $2 million.]

Muppets Most Wanted [The rejuvenated Muppets return in this wild and funny (and a bit darker than the previous film) farce in which they are thrown into a European prison thanks to a jewel heist masterminded by Kermit's exact double.  Of course, there are a who's who of cameos and lots of one liners that will have adults laughing maybe more than kids. The all-star cast is lead by Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey, Tony Bennett, Hugh Bonneville, and Jemaine Clement. James Bobin, who directed the hit 2011 reboot, reprises.  Recommended! 2014. Rated PG. Box Office: $52 million.]

Railway Man, The [Acclaimed Australian-British-Swiss co-production starring Colin Firth as a British officer who was tortured in a WWII Japanese POW camp and finds out that the main soldier who tormented him wants to confront him again years later. This is based on the real story of Eric Lomax. Nicole Kidman, Stellan Skarsgard, Jeremy Irvine, Michael Mackenzie, Tanroh Ishida, and Tom Stoke also star. Jonathan Teplitzky (Burning Man) directed. 2014. Rated R. 116 minutes. Box Office: $5 million.]

New Arrival:

Love Streams: The Criterion Collection [Emotionally draining and well-acted drama about two close but emotionally wounded siblings who reunite years later. John Cassavetes directed and stars in this classic that is making its DVD debut. Gena Rowalnds, Seymour Cassel, and Diahanne Abbott also star. 1984. Rated PG-13. 141 minutes.]

Notes by manager Steven Y. Mori.

Monday, August 4, 2014

New Releases - August 5, 2014

Blu-rays:

Divergent [In this fun, thrill-filled start of a new femme-centric action franchise, Shailene Woodley stars as a plucky teen who is branded "Divergent," a person who does not fit into the norm of a future utopia. She is targeted for extinction when she discovers a plot to kill all the Divergents, and with the help of militant dissident Theo James, she literally fights to survive. It's nice to see Kate Winslet in a villain role for a change, and she heads an interesting cast including Ashley Judd, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoe Kravitz, Miles Teller, Tony Goldwyn, Ansel Elgort, and Maggie Q. This promising start of a new series was directed by Neil Burger (Limitless, The Illusionist). Highly recommended! 2014. Rated PG-13. 139 minutes. Box Office: $151 million.]

Need for Speed [Based on the popular video game, this non-stop car chase film features Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul driving cross-country at breakneck speed (shades of the car crash/chase classic Vanishing Point) to get revenge against rich jerk Dominic Cooper, who set him up for a crime he did not do. Imogen Poots, Scott Mescudi, and Dakota Johnson co-star. Gearheads waiting for the next Fast & Furious film should find satisfaction with this high octane action flick directed by Scott Waugh (Act of Valor). 2014. Rated PG-13. Box Office: $44 million.] 

DVDs:

Bicycling with Moliere [Fun French comedy Starring Lambert Wilson as a soap opera star who wants to be taken seriously as an actor, so he tries to coax respected and retired stage icon Fabrice Luchini to return to the stage with a new production of The Misanthrope, but which one will play the coveted lead?  Co-starring Maya Sansa, Camille Japy, Geo Marlon, Stephan Wojtowicz, and Josiane Stoleru. Directed by Philippe Le Guay (The Women on the 6th Floor). 2013. Unrated. 104 minutes.] 

Divergent [In this fun, thrill-filled start of a new femme-centric action franchise, Shailene Woodley stars as a plucky teen who is branded "Divergent," a person who does not fit into the norm of a future utopia. She is targeted for extinction when she discovers a plot to kill all the Divergents, and with the help of militant dissident Theo James, she literally fights to survive. It's nice to see Kate Winslet in a villain role for a change, and she heads an interesting cast including Ashley Judd, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoe Kravitz, Miles Teller, Tony Goldwyn, Ansel Elgort, and Maggie Q. This promising start of a new series was directed by Neil Burger (Limitless, The Illusionist). Highly recommended! 2014. Rated PG-13. 139 minutes. Box Office: $151 million.]

Finding Vivian Maier [Compelling documentary about nanny Maier who had a hidden cache of 100, 000 photos and was one of the most accomplished but unknown street photographers. Directed by John Maloof and Charlie Siskel. 2014. Unrated. 83 minutes. Box Office: $2 million.]

French Minister, The [Star Thierry Lhermite gives a brilliant and magnetic performance as the title character, an attractive but arrogant and quirky Minister of Foreign Affairs who drives his co-workers and rivals crazy. French master Bertrand Tavernier ('Round Midnight, Coup de Torchon) directed this witty and pointed political satire that also stars Raphael Personnaz, Niels Arstrup, Julie Gayet, Anais Demoustier, Bruno Raffaelli. and Thomas Chabrol. 2013. Unrated. 113 minutes.] 

Need for Speed [Based on the popular video game, this non-stop car chase film features Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul driving cross-country at breakneck speed (shades of the car crash/chase classic Vanishing Point) to get revenge against rich jerk Dominic Cooper, who set him up for a crime he did not do. Imogen Poots, Scott Mescudi, and Dakota Johnson co-star. Gearheads waiting for the next Fast & Furious film should find satisfaction with this high octane action flick directed by Scott Waugh (Act of Valor). 2014. Rated PG-13. Box Office: $44 million.]

Oculus [Better than average horror chiller in which a young man is released from a mental institution after being there for years for killing his parents, and creepy terror ensues when he reunites with his sister. She blames an antique mirror for her family's tragedy and vows to destroy it, but the evil reflection that lives in the mirror has more sadistic violence in mind. Starring Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwartes, Katee Sackhoff, Rory Cochrane, Annalise Basso, and Garrett Ryan. Mike Flanagan (Absentia) directed. 2014. Rated R. 104 minutes. Box Office: $28 million.]

Trip to Bountiful, A [2014] [Well-cast black TV movie version of the classic drama about an elderly woman who befriends a much younger woman while on a long trip. Cicely Tyson plays the lead that earned Geraldine Page a Best Actress Oscar in 1985. In addition to Tyson's moving performance, co-stars Vanessa Williams, Blair Underwood, Clancy Brown, Keke Palmer, and Devon Abner also deliver memorable work. Michael Wilson made his directing debut here. 2014. Unrated.]

Notes by manager Steven Y. Mori.

Monday, July 28, 2014

New Releases - July 29, 2014

Blu-rays:

Noah [2014] [Epic and well-mounted telling of the famous Biblical story in which family man Noah builds a huge ark to hold two of every animal and as many people as possible who want to survive an upcoming huge flood he predicts, but most of his neighbors and friends do not believe him or think he is crazy. The great cast is lead by Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly (in her third film with Crowe), Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Anthony Hopkins, Logan Lerman, Nick Nolte, Douglas Booth, and Mark Margolis. The expensive action drama drew a typically polarizing response from audiences and critics for a Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan) film but was considered a hit and a worthy film overall. Highly recommended! Rated PG-13. 138 minutes. Box Office: $102 million.]

Other Woman, The [2014] [Darkly funny comedy in which Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, and Kate Upton play beauties who discover they are all sexually involved with the same handsome man (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays the equally sexy Jaime Lannister on Game of Thrones)
and decide to get nasty revenge. What they don't expect is the fun friendship that develops. Taylor Kinney and singer Nicki Minaj also appear. This is one of Diaz's biggest hits (although not quite as big as 2011's Bad Teacher) and is worth a look for it's attractive and talented cast even if it bears a strong resemblance to Chasing Papi and John Tucker Must Die. Actor-director Nick Cassavetes (The Notebook, Alpha Dog) directed. 2013. Rated PG-13. 109 minutes. Box Office: $84 million.]

DVDs:

Half of a Yellow Sun [Moving Nigerian-UK drama starring Thandie Newton and Anika Noni Rose as two very different sisters who move back to Nigeria in the 1960's and find common ground when a civil war breaks out and both support the nation's search for independence. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rob Davis, Joseph Mawle, John Boyega, Onyeka Onwenu, and Genevieve Nnaji also star. 2014. Rated R. 111 minutes.]

Killing, The: Seasons 2 and 3 [We finally have rental DVD sets of seasons 2 and 3 of the popular and excellent film noir AMC TV series. In Season 2, Mireille Enos returns as troubled Seattle detective Sarah Linden along with her streetwise partner detective Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman from the 2014 Robocop), and they finally solve the murder of teen Rosie Larsen from Season 1 that leads to a dark, twisted, and shocking cover-up. Enos and Kinnaman give brilliant performances along with a fine supporting cast that includes Billy Campbell, Michelle Forbes, Brent Sexton, Kristin Lehman, Eric Ladin, and Jamie Anne Allmann.  In Season 3, Detective Holder reunites with ex-partner Linden when a gruesome serial killer who targets vulnerable teen runaways may be connected to a previous case Linden thought she solved.  The terrific guest cast features Peter Sarsgaard (in a dazzling performance), Elias Koteas, Amy Seimetz, and Gregg Henry. Highly recommended! 2012-2013. Unrated. 3 separate rentals for each season.]

Lullaby [An incredible all-star cast (Amy Adams, Garrett Hedlund, Jessica Brown Findlay, Terrence Howard, Jennifer Hudson, Daniel Sunjata, Anne Archer, Frances Shaw, and Richard Jenkins) highlight this drama in which Hedlund stars as a young man who reunites with his estranged family and friends when his cancer-stricken dad Jenkins announces he is committing suicide in two days. Actor Andrew Levitas made his writing-directing debut with this film. 2014. Rated R. 117 minutes.]

Noah [2014] [Epic and well-mounted telling of the famous Biblical story in which family man Noah builds a huge ark to hold two of every animal and as many people as possible who want to survive an upcoming huge flood he predicts, but most of his neighbors and friends do not believe him or think he is crazy. The great cast is lead by Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly (in her third film with Crowe), Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Anthony Hopkins, Logan Lerman, Nick Nolte, Douglas Booth, and Mark Margolis. The expensive action drama drew a typically polarizing response from audiences and critics for a Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan) film but was considered a hit and a worthy film overall. Highly recommended! Rated PG-13. 138 minutes. Box Office: $102 million.]

On My Way [Catherine Denueve is luminous as a woman who goes on a trip with her grandson while facing a failed relationship and her struggling restaurant in this French comedy-drama co-starring Nemo Schiffman, Gerard Garouste, Camille, Claude Gensac, Paul Hamy, Mylene Demongeot, and Hafsia Herzi. Directed by actress-director Emanuelle Bercot. 2013. Unrated. 116 minutes.]

Other Woman, The [2014] [Darkly funny comedy in which Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, and Kate Upton play beauties who discover they are all sexually involved with the same handsome man (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays the equally sexy Jaime Lannister on Game of Thrones)
and decide to get nasty revenge. What they don't expect is the fun friendship that develops. Taylor Kinney and singer Nicki Minaj also appear. This is one of Diaz's biggest hits (although not quite as big as 2011's Bad Teacher) and is worth a look for it's attractive and talented cast even if it bears a strong resemblance to Chasing Papi and John Tucker Must Die. Actor-director Nick Cassavetes (The Notebook, Alpha Dog) directed. 2013. Rated PG-13. 109 minutes. Box Office: $84 million.]

Protector 2, The [aka Warrior  King 2] [Magnetic martial arts phenom Tony Jaa stars as an innocent man who becomes the main suspect when the owner of an elephant camp is murdered and is hunted both by the police and the victim's twin nieces. Co-starring Pechtai Wongkamiao, RZA, Marrese Crump, Yayaying Rhatha Phongam.  Another Thai action hit directed by Prachya Pinkaew (Ong-Bak, The Protector, Chocolate).  2013. Rated R. 103 minutes.]

When I Walk [Inspirational documentary about a 25 year old man who was vacationing with his family on a beach when his legs stopped working due to his encroaching MS. He then picked up a camera and started documenting the affect the disease had on him and how he stayed positive against this adversity.  Directed by and starring Jason DaSilva. 2013. Unrated. 84 mins.]    

Notes by manager Steven Y. Mori.