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-Saturday, 12pm-9pm


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

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

New Releases - March 12, 2013

Blu-rays:

Hitchcock [2012] [Anthony Hopkins does a wonderful job as iconic director Alfred Hitchcock in this fun and intriguing dramedy about how and why he made the classic horror movie Psycho. Oscar-nominated Helen Mirren is also great as his acerbic, doubting but doting wife Alma, and the cast is uniformly excellent: Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh, Toni Collette as Hitch's loyal secretary, Danny Huston as his romantic rival, Jessica Biel as Vera Miles, and James D'Arcy as Anthony Perkins. Although it received some baffling negative reviews, it is one of the best films of 2012 and extremely funny to boot, especially for film lovers and Hitchcock buffs. Sacha Gervasi directed with a lot of invention, turning what could have been a dry docudrama into a somewhat campy but factual lark that reveals some of Hitch's neurotic obsessions, his dark sense of humor, and his fears. It is also refreshing that, after years of standing in her husband's shadow, Alma is finally getting some recognition for her contribution to film history. Recommended!]

Life of Pi [Visually dazzling adventure starring Suraj Sharma as an Indian boy who finds himself shipwrecked and left on a lifeboat with a ferocious Bengal tiger. Surprise Oscar winner for Best Director, Ang Lee pulls off a CGI miracle as he chronicles how the two antagonists survive against all odds. The film won 3 other Oscars, including Best Score (by Mychael Danna). Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Gerard Depardieu and Rafe Spall co-star. One of the best and most beautiful films of 2012, this exciting voyage will delight the entire family. Recommended!]

Rise of the Guardians [One of the best animated films of the year, this exciting and fun Dreamworks feature has legendary guardians (Jack Frost, the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and Sandman) reuniting to stop a villain named Pitch from taking over the world. Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Isla Fisher, and Hugh Jackman provide the voices for this acclaimed family film directed by Peter Ramsey. The film started slowly at the box office but turned into a massive hit as it played through the 2012 holidays. Recommended!]

This Must Be the Place [Sean Penn gives an over-the-top performance in this wild dramedy as a long retired goth rocker who lives in England but goes back to NYC to visit his estranged father before he dies. He arrives too late but he decides to take up his father's unfulfilled quest of hunting down a Nazi war criminal living in the US. Paolo Sorrentino directed in 2012. The stellar cast includes Frances McDormand, Judd Hirsch, Eve Hewson, Harry Dean Stanton, Joyve Van Patten and David Byrne.]

DVDs:

First Time, The [2012] [Cute comedy starring Dylan O'Brien as an incurable romantic who falls for the hottest girl in school (Victoria Justice), but his dynamic changes when he meets Britt Robertson, a hottie from a nearby school who begins a red-hot fling with him. James Frecheville, Christine Taylor, Craig Roberts and Joshua Malina co-star. Directed by Jon Kasdan.]

Hitchcock [2012]

How to Survive a Plague [Moving and surprisingly uplifting documentary about the devoted activists who pressed for scientists, the government and pharmaceutical companies to come up with new medications and treatments to help slow down or stop the spread of AIDS. Nominated for a Best Documentary Feature Oscar. David France directed. Peter Staley, David Barr, Larry Kramer and Gregg Bordowitz appear.]

Kumare [Fascinating documentary in which filmmaker Vikram Gandhi poses as an enlightened guru who builds a cult following to debunk the worship of false idols. However, he finds far more in common with his disciples than he thought, both spiritually and emotionally, creating personal conflict when he has to reveal the truth. Purva Bedi and Kristen Calgaro also appear.]

Life of Pi

Perfect Ending, A [Beautiful and hot TV veteran Barbara Niven stars as an elegant and wealthy woman whose unsatisfying marriage leads her to a steamy affair with gorgeous high-class call girl Jessica Clark. Nicole Conn directed this drama, which is one of the most erotic lesbian romance films ever made. Morgan Fairchild, John Heard and Kerry Kruppe also star.]

Rise of the Guardians

Satan's Angel: Queen of the Fire Tassels [Eye-opening and fun documentary about Angel Walker, a burlesque legend whose four decade career spans the sexy streets of San Francisco to glitzy Las Vegas and nights with the Rat Pack, The Doors and the USO. Josh Dragotta directed this sexy look at a bygone era.]

Silicon Valley [American Experience] [Excellent PBS documentary about Robert Noyce, one of the 8 brilliant men who created Fairchild Semiconductor, an innovative company that helped change the face of corporate America. The film shows the rough and tumble early days of the high-tech industry as he founds Intel and helps force a community of radical invention. Directed by Randall McLowry.]

Smashed [Mary Elizabeth Winstead gives a moving performance as a young married beauty who enjoys drinking with her husband a little too much. When her drinking starts to affect her job, she joins AA and faces her problematic relationships, including those with her troubled mom, her employer and even her loving husband. Aaron Paul, Octavia Spencer, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Kyle Gallner and Mary Kay Place also star. James Ponsoldt directed this unpretentious drama.]

This Must Be the Place [due to arrive this week]

Recent Arrivals:

Black Girl [Ousmane Sembene directed this 1966 classic about a Senegalese maid who is taken to the Riviera by her employers and finds out what it is to be African and removed from her people. Mbissine Therese Diop, Anne-Marie Jelinck, Momar Nar Sene and Robert Fontaine star.] 

Palermo or Wolfsburg [Directed by Werner Schroeter in 1980, this epic drama, told in 3 parts, follows a young man as he moves from the poverty of Palermo, Sicily to a hopefully better life in Wolfsburg, Germany. He gets a good job at a VW plant but leads a lonely life until he falls for a pretty local girl. However, things soon spiral out of control. Nicola Zarbo, Ida di Benedetto, Magdalena Montezuma and Giuseppe Fava star.]

Quilombo [Intriguing true story about groups of runaway black slaves in 17th century Brazil who move to mountainous jungle strongholds and create self-governing communities. Carlos Diegues wrote and directed in 1984. Starring Antonio Pompeo, Zeze Motta, Toni Tornado, and Vera Fischer.]

Notes by Manager Steven Y. Mori.

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