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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Monday, February 18, 2013

New Releases - February 19, 2013

Blu-rays:

Anna Karenina [2012] [Lavish and beautiful R rated remake of the classic Leo Tolstoy novel starring Keira Knitghley in the title role as the lovely wife of high-ranking official Jude Law who falls in love with dashing officer Aaron Taylor-Johnson with tragic results. Kelly Macdonald, Matthew Macfadyen, Olivia Williams and Emily Watson also star in this multi-Academy Award nominated drama directed by Joe Wright. 2012.]

Argo [Terrific true-life thriller recreating the CIA's bold attempt to 6 escapees out of the US embassy in Tehran during the Iranian revolution. Ben Affleck (The Town, Gone Baby Gone) directed brilliantly and does a solid acting job as Tony Mendez, the unconventional CIA agent who came up with an outrageous plot to get them out by pretending to make a fake sci-fi movie. Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin and John Goodman lend excellent support. One of 2012's best films and probably the most acclaimed award-wise, having won the Golden Globe for Best Drama, the Critic's Circle award for Best Director, the ensemble cast SAG award which is their equivalent to Best Picture, the WGA award for Best Adadpted Screenplay, the DGA award for Best Director, and the BAFTA for Best Foreign Film. Ironically, Affleck's snub in Oscar's Best Director category is actually working in Affleck's favor as far as a Best Picture win is concerned. I expect it to win Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay in something of an upset over Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty. Win or lose, it still remains one of the year's best.]

Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome [In this exciting TV film prequel to the recent reboot series, Luke Pasqualino plays a young fighter pilot Adama who butts heads with officer Ben Cotton aboard the Galactica during the first Cylon war between humans and their creation. Lili Bordan, Mike Dopud, and John Pyper-Ferguson co-star.Jonas Pate directed.]

DVDs:

American Girl, An: McKenna Shoots for the Stars [Another uplifting entry in the popular American Girl series, this time focusing on Jade Pettyjohn as a talented teen gymnast who suddenly finds adversity when she needs a tutor and suffers a bad fall. Co-starring Kerris Dorsey, Ysa Penarejo and Cathy Rigby. Directed by Vince Marcello.]

Anna Karenina [2012]

Argo

Atlas Shrugged Part II [Ayn Rand's cautionary and controversial bestseller concludes as brilliant creators continue to disappear and the world's energy is about to run out unless the inventor of a motor that can power the world is found. Starring Samantha Mathis, Jason Beghe, Esai Morales, Patrick Fabian, Kim Rhodes, Richard T. Jones and D.B. Sweeney. Directed by John Putch in 2012.]

Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome

For Ellen [Versatile Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood, Little Miss Sunshine) shines once again as an aspiring rock star who signs divorce papers with his estranged wife but discovers that he loses custody of his 6 year old daughter, and he decides to fight it in this emotional drama directed by So Yong Kim. Jon Heder, Jena Malone, Margarita Levieva, Dakota Johnson and Julian Gamble also star.] 

Fun Size [Cute Nickelodeon star Victoria Justice headlines this slapstick Nick comedy about a smart teen who wants to attend the event of the year but is saddled with babysitting her little brother instead. Things get frantic when he goes missing and can only be found with the help of 3 offbeat friends. Chelsea Handler, Johnny Knoxville, Ana Gasteyer, Jackson Nicoll, Thomas Mann and Jane Levy also star. Josh Schwartz directed this family friendly 2013 Nickelodeon film.]

Game of Thrones: Season 2 [More twists, turns and nefarious machinations await viewers as the leaders of the seven noble families joust for the throne and the power of the mythical continent of Westeros, both physically and politically. Starring Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, Harry Lloyd, Mark Addy, Alfie ALlen, Emilia Clark, Michelle Fairley and Maisie Williams.]

Sinister [In this truly scary psychological horror thriller, Ethan Hawke plays a true crime writer who writes a best seller and moves into a home where occupants were executed and a child vanished so he can derive inspiration for his next book. When he finds some terrifying home movies, he gets more than he bargained for. Also-starring Fred Dalton Thompson, Juliet Rylance, James Rasone, and Claire Foley. Scott Derickson directed.]

Small Apartments [Jonas Akerlund directed this crazy all-star farce in which an unfazed Matt Lucas is found in a seedy LA apartment with a dead landlord on his floor and surrounded by nutty neighbors. None of this phases him until an expected letter from his institutionalized  brother does not arrive and sends him over the edge. The fascinating and eclectic cast includes James Caan, Dolph Lundgren, Billy Crystal, Juno Temple, James Marsden, Peter Stormare, Amanda Plummer, Saffron Burrows, Rosie Perez and Rebel Wilson.]

Special Forces [Tense and well-acted French action war thriller starring Diane Kruger as a war correspondent taken hostage in Afghanistan by the Taliban. When a Special Forces unit is sent to rescue her, her captors viciously fight to hold onto their captive.

Sushi Girl [Wild action comedy about a con who gets out of prison and is invited to a dinner by his four ex-partners/robbers to celebrate. They eat sushi off a naked girl's beautiful body but, as the meal progresses, things get out of hand as they all want the loot they never got. Tony Todd, Noah Hathaway, James Duval, Andy Mackenzie, Mark Hamill, Sonny Chiba, Jeff Fahey, Danny Trejo and David Dastmalchian star. Kern Saxton directed this cult film.]


Recent Arrivals:

On the Waterfront [The Criterion Collection] [Elia Kazan directed this 1954 masterpiece about an ex-boxer turned waterfront muscle, who falls in love and decides to blow the whistle on his corrupt mob boss. Marlon Brando gives one of his greatest performances in the lead and the superb cast includes Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, Eva Marie Saint and Karl Malden. This has been given a pristine remaster in two different aspect ratios. The movie won 8 Academy Awards including Best Picture, director, actor, and supporting actress and is considered one of the best films of the Fifties.  Kazan, although a brilliant filmmaker, was later reviled for testifying during the Communist blacklist hearings and was greeted with a mix of boos and cheers when he received a lifetime achievement Oscar in the 1990's. It is interesting to compare Brando's actions (branded a stool pigeon in the film) to Kazan's real-life drama that occurred only a few years before he made this film. Regardless of any hidden meanings or symbols mirroring real life, the film is a striking and moving drama that is flawlessly acted and realized.]

That Cold Day in the Park [Robert Altman (M*A*S*H, Gosford Park) directed this fascinating and little seen chiller early in his film directing career. Sandy Dennis (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Up the Down Stairacse) gives a mesmerizing performance as a lonely spinster who meets cute young drifter Michael Burns in the park and offers him a place to stay. He takes advantage of the situation, but he soon finds out that she is obsessed with seducing him and she has all the power.] 

Notes by Manager Steven Y. Mori.

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