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.

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New Releases - March 2, 2010

2012 - The best guilty pleasure of 2009, This terrifically entertaining homage to disaster movies of the 1970's moves faster and looks way better than any of its predecessors. John Cusack is perfectly cast as an acerbic failed writer who is working as a limo driver when the world starts to literally fall apart just as the Mayans predicted ages ago. Instead of thinking of himself, everyman Cusack quickly decides to save his ex-wife (Amanda Peet), her new husband (Tom McCarthy) and their kids. What follows is a wild, edge of the seat two hour plus roller coaster ride as this nuclear family [no pun intended since this is not a nuclear disaster] tries to stay ahead of a crumbling earth beneath them along with some other survivors. Collapsing highrises & freeways, air disasters, tsunamis, ocean liner capsizings - they're all here and almost non-stop. Cusack makes a great reluctant hero with Chiwetel Ejiofor nicely sharing the heavy lifting as the scientist who discovers the earth's upcoming destruction and helps advise the President Of the United States {Danny Glover} on how to save the most people. Oliver Platt is fun as always as a pompous politician, Thandie Newton is appealing as Ejiofor's love, and Woody Harrelson steals the show as a hippie conspiracy nut. However, the real stars of the film are the astounding and awesome CGI special effects. Sure, the movie is silly and over the top, but even as ridiculous as it is, you still care about who lives and dies and can't help but be moved at times. Breathtakingly directed and co-written by Roland Emmerich [The Day After Tomorrow and Independence Day] , he wisely has no qualms about killing off characters, likable or not. This could actually be the best disaster movie ever! On a somber note, as if it was a sign, a devastating earthquake hit Chile just 3 days before the release of this film on DVD & Blu-ray. Maybe the end of the world isn't so far away after all, but let's hope the natural disasters stay where they belong: in the movies. With commentary. deleted scenes, featurette, and music video. 2009. 16x9 Widescreen. 158 minutes. PG-13.

$9.99 - In this quirky stop-motion animated R-rated comedy, a young jobless man who lives with his family is searching for the meaning of life, and he thinks he finds just that in a book that he buys for $9.99. An Israeli-Australia co-production with a voice cast that stars Geoffrey Rush, Anthony LaPaglia, Samuel Johnson, Claudia Karvan, Joel Edgerton and Barry Otto. Directed by Tatia Rosenthal. 2008. 16x9 Widescreen. 78 minutes. R.

Bitch Slap - As the title would suggest, this is an all-out sexploitation action flick mostly aimed at male audiences, but this film is a cut above the bormal B flick since the filmmakers are Rick Jacobson and Eric Gruendemann, who worked on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. The story has 3 busty babes - a stripper, an assassin, and a businesswoman fighting a vicious bad guy and each other to see who can kill him first, and it's supposed to be an enjoyably bloody and funny romp. Starring Julia Voth, Erin Cummings, America Olino, Ron Melendez, William Gregory Lee, Minae Noji, Michael Hurst, Lucy Lawless, Kevin Sorbo and Renee O'Connor. . Directed by Rick Jacobsen. With commentary and documentary. 2010. 16x9 Widescreen. 109 minutes. Unrated.

Bollywood Hero - Comedy actor Chris Kattan has finally redeemed himself in his career outside
Saturday Night Live with his amusing appearances on ABC's hit sitcom The Middle and with this genuinely funny IFC miniseries. Kattan finally gets to fully display his talent as a Hollywood actor who decides to stretch and take a starring role in a Mumbai produced film called Pecuiliar Dancing Boy. He gets much more than he bargained for as a fish out of water, learning how to deal with a different culture and absorbing many life lessons along the way. Co-starring Maya Rudolph, Julian Sands, Pooja Kumar, Rachna Shah, Ali Fazal , Neha Dhupia, Jennifer Coolidge, David Alan Grier and Keanu Reeves. 2009. 16x9 Widescreen. 180 minutes. Unrated.

Castle in the Sky: Special Edition
- Disney re-release of the Hayao Miyazaki animated classic also known as Laputa. Remastered plus including a new featurette. Voice actors include Anna Paquin, James Van Der Beek, Cloris Leachman, and Mark Hamill. In Japanese with English subtitles or English dubbed. Directed by Hayao Miyasaki. With featurettes. 1986. 125 minutes. PG.

Cold Souls -
Paul Giamatti basically stars as himself but in an alternate world where people buy and exchange souls. In this wild cult comedy, Giamatti stresses out over taking the role of Uncle Vanya so he temporarily removes his soul in exchange for a Russian actress. However, getting his soul back in its right place is an entirely different matter. David Strathairn, Dina Korzun, Kathryn Winnick, Lauren Ambrose, and Emily Watson also star. Directed by Sophie Barthes. With deleted scenes and featurette. 2009. 101 minutes. PG-13.

Gentlemen Broncos -
The director of Napoleon Dynamite returns with another wacky cult comedy. Flight of the Conchords' Jemaine Clement stars as a sci-fi writer who steals the idea for his next book from a fan played by Michael Angarano. Also featuring Jennifer Coolidge, Mike White, Hector Jimenez, and Sam Rockwell. Directed by Jared Hess. 2009. 16x9 Widescreen. 89 Minutes. PG-13.

Lola Montes - Martine Carol is mesmerizing as the beautiful and notorious true-life circus performer, whose romances were more colorful than her performances. Peter Ustinov, Anton Walbrook and Oskar Werner co-star. This was director Max Ophuls' last completed film, and it is primarily known for its striking use of set design and rich color and for his controversial choice of a heroine or anti-heroine. With 2 discs, commentary, documentary and TV excerpt. 1955. 16x9 Widescreen. 114 minutes.

Motherhood - Lately, beautiful and talented Uma Thurman seems to be taking very strange roles in oddball comedies, and this is no exception. Playing down her stunning looks, she plays a multi-tasking suburban mom who has to prepare for her daughter's sixth birthday party and has a daunting list of things to do that may push her over the edge. Also starring Anthony Edwards and Minnie Driver. Directed by Katherine Dieckmann. With commentary and interviews. 2009. 16x9 Widescreen. 94 minutes. PG-13.

Penthouse, The [2009] - Three guys who want to establish a bachelor pad run into several road blocks when one of the guys' girlfriends wants to get serious in this farce that overflows with relationship & sexual complications.. The very attractive and better than average cast includes Rider Strong, Corey Large, April Scott, Kaley Cuoco, Mya, Kurupt, Ed Begley, Jr.,and Lin Shaye. Directed by Chris Levitus. 2009. 16x9 Widescreen. 89 minutes. R

Ponyo -
Acclaimed Japanese anime director Hayao Miyasaki (Howl's Moving Castle) directed this unusual adaptation of The Little Mermaid. In this beautiful version set in a modern Japanese fishing village, a 5 year old boy falls in love with a goldfish princess named Ponyo, who wants to become human. The voice talent includes Cate Blanchett, Noah Cyrus, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Frankie Jonas, Cloris Leachman, Liam Neeson, Lily Tomlin, and Betty White. In Japanese with English subtitles or English dubbed. With featurettes. 103 minutes. G.

Private Lives of Pippa Lee, The - In this little seen but well-reviewed dramedy, a seemingly bored middle-aged housewife (Robin Wright) with an ideal marriage has her life turned upside down when her much older husband (Alan Arkin) announces that he wants them to move to a retirement home. Not only is she not ready to retire, but she also has a satisfying private life of her own that is jeopardized. Maria Bello, Monica Bellucci, Blake Lively, Julianne Moore, Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Tim Guinee, Mike Binder, and Shirley Knight also star. Directed by Rebecca Miller. With commentary and interviews. 2009. 98 minutes. R.

Vanished Empire, The
- A teenage boy comes age in Russia during the volatile 1970's in this acclaimed drama. Starring Alexander Lyapin, Lidia Milyuzina, Ivan Kupreyenko, Egor Baranovsky, and Yanina Kalganova. Directed by Karen Shakhnazarov. In Russian with English subtitles. 2008. 16x9 Widescreen. 104 minutes. Unrated.

Where the Wild Things Are [2009] - Reviews and box office were mostly kind to this big screen/big budget adaptation of Maurice Sendak's children's classic, but there was some controversy over cult director Spike Jonze's vision of Sendak's world. However, the criticism seems like an over-reaction since everyone virtually has their own idea of what Sendak's world should look like. The story deals with a young boy named Max, who is sent to bed by his parents for misbehaving. While asleep, he conjures up a unique world where weird and wild creatures are his friends and make him their king. No matter what critics may think of the film, it definitely has a unique look thanks to Jonze's vision (remember he also directed the stunning cult fantasy Being John Malkovitch). Starring Max Records, Catherine Keener, Mark Ruffalo, Lauren Ambrose, Chris Cooper, James Gandolfini,Catherine O'Hara, and Forest Whitaker. With featurettes. 2009. 16x9 Widescreen. 101 minutes. PG.

Blu-rays:

2012 - With featurettes only available on Blu-ray. 1080p.

Boondock Saints - Sean Patrick Flannery and Norman Reedus star as Irish brothers who become vigilantes, ridding the world of bad men, in this visual tour de force. Willem Dafoe, Billy Connolly, and Troy Duffy also star in this noir cult favorite. Directed by Troy Duffy. With commentary, deleted scenes and featurette. 1999. 16x9 Widescreen. 1080p. 110 minutes. R.

Lola Montes - Same features as the DVD but on 1 Blu-ray in 1080p.

Two Girls and a Guy - Robert Downey, Jr. is brilliant in this underrated dramedy directed by cult director James Toback [Fingers, Black+White]. Heather Graham and Natasha Gregson Wagner star as two beautiful women who discover that they have the same boyfriend (Downey) when they show up at his apartment at the same time. When Downey arrives, the women ambush him and perform an impromptu intervention, eventually unintentionally making him decide between the two. With an emphasis on Cassavetes style improv, Toback.skillfully lets Downey riff, revealing himself as a broken and flawed artist and man who hides behind his charismatic bravado and skill as a bullshit artist. Graham and Wagner are equally up to the challenge with Graham especially fine as the nurturing sexpot and Wagner adorable as the ditzy charmer. Although the film is somewhat flawed, it is definitely worth watching for the three stellar star performances that keep the film afloat as the story swings back and forth from funny to maddening to tragic to moving. This Blu-ray also features the uncut graphic NC-17 version (featuring a very steamy and possibly real sex scene), which was released on VHS but never available on DVD. With commentary, featurette and both NC-17 and R versions. 1998. 16x9 Widescreen. 84 minutes. R and NC-17.

Wnere the Wild Things Are [2009] - With featurettes only available on Blu-ray.

Descriptions written by manager Steven Y. Mori

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