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


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info @ videoroomoakland.com

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Releases - January 8, 2013

Blu-rays:

Dredd [Based on the popular comic book about a future where urban society is filled with nasty criminals, and cops are deemed to be judge, jury and executioner, this well-reviewed sci-fi action thriller introduces Karl Urban as a gritty and much better cast Dredd than Sylvester Stallone, whose 1995 version became an instant camp classic. Fans of the original comic will be much more pleased with this dark and more realistic reboot with Dredd trying to rid the city of a lethal drug that is being used by a sadistic prostitute to take over the entire town. Lena Headey, Olivia Thirlby and Wood Harris also star. Peter Travis directed this surprise 2012 hit.]

Frankenweenie [2012][Tim Burton began his film career making a short film called Frankenweenie, a fun homage to Frankenstein with a young boy bringing his beloved dead dog back to life with unnerving results. He revisited his story in 2012 and resurrected it as a great, glossy big screen animated feature, including state of the art animation and voices by Martin Short, Winona Ryder, Catherine O' Hara, Martin Landau and Robert Capron. Due to arrive sometime this week.] 

Game Change [Julianne Moore won a well-deserved Emmy for playing clueless 2008 Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin in this hilarious and chilling HBO recreation of the botched Republican campaign. Ed Harris is equally great as Senator John McCain, but Woody Harrelson steals the show as McCain's main campaign strategist.  Jay Roach, the director of the Austin Powers trilogy, is becoming an old hand at directing political satires after doing HBO's Recount and the Will Ferrell farce The Campaign. Recommended!]

House at the End of the Street [Superhot Jennifer Lawrence plays a teen who moves into a house in the suburbs with her equally hot newly divorced mom (Elisabeth Shue). Their hopes for a fresh start are quickly dashed when they discover that the crazy girl  next door killed her parents and disappeared. The girl's older brother (Max Thieriot) befriends Lawrence, but it isn't long before shocking events start happening. Mark Tonderai directed this chilling horror 2012 hit.]

Samsara [Another visual feast from Ron Fricke, the director of Koyaanisqatsi, again capturing stunning scenes of nature, man, and the interaction and synergy between the two. 2011.]

DVDS:

After Fall, Winter [Auteur Eric Schaefer returns with a sequel to Fall. He again stars as a NY writer who decides to spend winter in Paris with his new squeeze, Lizzie Brochere, a lovely French nurse with a secret.]

Arts & the Mind with Lisa Kudrow [Riveting PBS exploration of the connection between arts and the human mind. Kudrow hosts.]

Compliance [In this intense thriller, Ann Dowd stars as a fast food manager who believes pretty blonde Dreama Walker stole money from a customer. She decides to investigate and the film meticulously follows each step. Craig Zobel directed and Pat Kealy and Bill Camp co-star.] 

Day He Arrives, The [Sort of a Korean Groundhog Day, this wry comedy is about a director who no longer makes films and shows up in Seoul to meet an old friend. When the pal does not show up, he runs into an actress friend and some film students on the way to his ex-girlfriend's place. Each subsesquent day plays out the same way, but why? Sang-Soo Hong directed. Starring Jun-Sang Yu., Sang Jung Kim, Seon-mi Song and Bo-kyung Kim.]

Dredd

Enlightened: Season 1 [Hilarious HBO black comedy with an amazing performance by Laura Dern as a beautiful woman who tries to start over again after going to0 a holistic healing center to deal with her mental breakdown. Things do not go well. The fine cast includes Luke Wilson, Diane Ladd, Sarah Burns and Timm Sharp. Recommended!]

Frankenweenie [due sometime this week]

Game Change

Hour, The: Season 2 [In this second season of the immensely popular British TV drama, the staff of The Hour continue to try to cover the new stories they feel passionate about in 1957. ]Starring Romoloa Garai, Ben Whishaw, Dominic West, Tom Burke, and Peter Capaldi. ]

House at the End of the Street

Inventing David Geffen [American Masters][Intriguing PBS documentary about one of the most powerful and innovative music and film producers in Hollywood.] 

Midsomer Murders, The: Set 21 [Neil Dudgeon and Jason Hughes star in this immensely popular and tongue in cheek British murder mystery TV series. The four stories are Death in the Slow Lane, Dark Secrets, Echoes of the Dead, and The Oblong Murders. 2013.]

Momma's Man [In this quirky indie comedy, Matt Boren plays a married family man who is bumped from his flight home to L.A. and ends up at his parents home and starts reliving his childhood, making it hard for him to break away from the past. Ken Jacobs and Flo Jacobs co-star. Azazel Jacobs directed.]

Now Is Good [Dakota Fanning is exuberant as a teen girl who knows her days are numbered so she lives life to the fullest, getting her in trouble and driving her family crazy. But she does find her true love in Jeremy Irvine. Ol Parker directed this moving British drama co-starring Paddy Considine and Olivia Williams.]

Putin's Kiss [Fascinating documentary about a Russian girl who joins Nashi, a nominally anti-facist group  that vows total allegiance to Putin, but as she becomes politically aware she finds Putin's regime more and more alarming. Lise Birk Pedersen directed. Oleg Kashin and Vladimir Putin star.]

Samsara



Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden [The Weinstein Company's low budget
competing version of Zero Dark Thirty fortunately does boast a surprisingly good and interesting cast (Cam Gigandet, Anson Mount, Freddy Rodriguez, Kathleen Robertson, Robert Knepper, and William Fichtner) as it presents its take on how Osama Bin Laden was finally stalked, captured and killed. Blue Crush's John Stockwell directed. 2013.] 

Smash: Season 1 [Two terrific and beautiful lead singers and actresses (American Idol's Katharine McPhee and Broadway's Megan Hilty) vie for the lead role of a new high proile Broadway  musical about the life of Marilyn Monroe in this stunning NBCTV series. For the first time, the viewer gets to see how a musical is created from the first songs and writing of the book to the casting to the rehearsals to the final show, with all the twists and turns of a real life show.  The amazing cast includes Debra Messing, Anjelica Huston, Jack Davenport, Christian Borle and Uma Thurman, The song performances alone are worth watching, but the innovative editing and the wonderful mix of humor, soap opera romances and bitchiness make this a must see. Highly Recommended!  NOTE: For some bizarre reason, the studio is not releasing a Blu-ray of this visually dazzling series so we obviously cannot get that format at this time, but if they change their minds and do release it, we will try to get it.]

Touchback [Inspired sports drama with Brian Presley as a former football player turned farmer and family man who is given a second chance to play the state championship that he won but also cost him his career. Melanie Lynskey, Marc Blucan, Kurt Russell and Christine Lahti also star. Don Handfield directed in 2012.]

Trial & Retribution: Set 6 [David Hayman and Victoria Smurfit return for a final season of the popular British detective TV series.]

  
New Arrivals:

Solomon Northup's Odyssey: Twelve Years a Slave [Gordon Parks (The Learning Tree) directed this excellent but little seen true drama starring Avery Brooks as the title character, a freeborn black fiddler and carpenter in America's 1800's who was kidnapped and forced into slavery, struggling to survive for over a decade. John Saxon and Mason Adams co-star.]

Notes by Manager Steven Y. Mori

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