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 19, 2013

New Releases - March 19 and 22, 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013:

Blu-rays:

Dementia 13 [Effective and shocking low budget 1963 horror classic directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Luana Anders as a young widow who visits the spooky Irish estate of her late husband's family and has to deal with demented in-laws and an axe-wielding serial killer. William Campbell, Bart Patton, and Patrick Magee co-star. This was one of Coppola's first films to gain attention (he also directed an obscure soft-core porn film while at UCLA), and he does a fine job of delivering some real jolts and shocking gore, influenced by both Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and his early mentor Roger Corman's grindhouse films. It's also fun to note that the main bloody murder scene is showcased in Coppola's first studio film, You're a Big Boy Now, as footage shown in a go-go dance club. Recommended.]
Hobbit, The: Unexpected Journey, An [Visually amazing prequel to the acclaimed The Lord of the Rings series showing how unassuming Bilbo Baggins becomes a hero and gains possession of the powerful ring. Martin Freeman gives a winning performance as Baggins, and the film was shot in a new higher definition format that brings even more clarity to the home screen, especially in Blu-ray. Ian McKellan, Richard Armitage, James Nesbitt, Ken Stott, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood and Andy Serkis star. Peter Jackson once again directed this first of a trilogy, taking over for Guillermo Del Toro (who was set to direct but eventually bowed out).]

Rust and Bone [Moving if French drama featuring phenomenal Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose, The Dark Knight Rises) in a tour de force performance as an orca trainer whose life is transformed by a tragedy that occurs during a show. Faced with unbearable circumstances, she turns to street boxer Matthias Schoenaerts for understanding and love in this acclaimed but tough film. Jacques Audiard directed in 2012. Cotillard was nominated for a Best Actress Drama Golden Globe.]

Zero Dark Thirty [Stunning, exciting and shocking re-creation of how an elite team of intelligence and military operatives finally tracked down and killed main Afghan war villain Osama Bin Laden. Although the graphic torture received most of the headlines unfairly, this great war thriller will mainly be remembered for an amazing performance by Jessica Chastain as the tough and beautiful team leader. The rest of the cast (Jason Clarke, Chris Pratt, Joel Edgerton, and Kyle Chandler) are excellent as well. Nominated for several Oscars, including Best Picture and Actress. Director Kathryn Bigelow was oddly not nominated although many considered it the best film of the year, but she did historically win the Best Director Oscar for superb The Hurt Locker two years back. Recommended!]

DVDs:

5 Broken Cameras [Palestinian farmer and non-violent resister Emad Burnat made videos of 5 years of living in Bil In, a West Bank village threatened by encroaching Israeli forces and most of the footage was shaped into this moving 2012 Oscar-nominated documentary by Guy Davidi. The title refers to the five cameras that were violently broken during the course of filming.]

All Together [A great cast brings vigor to this senior citizen French farce about five aging friends who decide to ditch assisted living to move in with each other and start their own commune. Things start well but deteriorate when old jealousies and physical ailments start to pull them apart. Jane Fonda, Geraldine Chaplin, Daniel Bruhl, Guy Bedos, Claude Rich and Pierre Richard star. Directed by Stephane Robelin.] 

Bachelorette, The [Following in the large footsteps of Bridesmainds comes this rude chick flick comedy starring Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, and Isla Fisher as pals who go to extremes to celebrate the upcoming marriage of put-upon friend Rebel Wilson (the scene-stealer from Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect). Co-starring Horatio Sanz, James Marsden, Kyle Bornheimer, and Adam Scott. Leslye Headland directed in 2012.]

Big Picture, The [2010] [Roman Duris plays a successful lawyer and family man who is restless by nature but represses that side of himself. However, his life is turned upside down when he is implicated in the murder of his photojournalist neighbor. It sends him on a crosscontinental odyssey of soul searching and identity re-invention in this intriguing film noir thriller that brings Michaelangelo Antonioni's The Pasenger to mind. Catherine Denueve co-stars. Eric Lartigau directed.]

Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away [A dazzling sort of "Best of" compilation show in which segments of 7 of Cirque's Las Vegas shows are included: O, Ka, Mystere, Criss Angel Believe, Zumanity, Viva Elvis and The Beatles Love. The varied highlights are interwoven as the main story follows a young woman who falls into an ethereal world where she searches for a man she only glimpsed and is convinced is the love of her life.]  

Hobbit, The: Unexpected Journey, An

Price Check [Parker Posey is hilarious as the ambitious new manager of a supermarket who is crazy and domineering, turning mundane supermarket clerk and family man Eric Mabius into a nervous wreck. Michael Walker directed this funny work place farce co-starring Annie Parisse, Josh Pais, and Edward Herrmann.]

Ripper Street: Season 1 [In this film noir British TV series, Matthew Macfadyen is memorable as Inspector Reid, who is haunted by the failure to catch serial killer Jack the Ripper and now tries to keep law and order on the bloodstained streets of Whitechapel.]

Rust and Bone

Strange Frame [Offbeat adult sci-fi animated feature set in the 28th century on one of Jupiter's moons as lesbian heroines Claudia Black and Tara Strong fall in love and try to form a band, leadiug them to try to make it as musicians and fight for their freedom. Gorgeous animation and a solid voice cast (Tim Curry, Ron Glass, Cree Summer, Juliet Landau, Alan Tudyk, and Michael Dorn) are highlights. Directed by Shelley Doty.]

Zero Dark Thirty

Recent Arrivals:

Dementia 13 [Effective and shocking low budget 1963 horror classic directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Luana Anders as a young widow who visits the spooky Irish estate of her late husband's family and has to deal with demented in-laws and an axe-wielding serial killer. William Campbell, Bart Patton, and Patrick Magee co-star. This was one of Coppola's first films to gain attention (he also directed an obscure soft-core porn film while at UCLA), and he does a fine job of delivering some real jolts and shocking gore, influenced by both Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and his early mentor Roger Corman's grindhouse films. It's also fun to note that the main bloody murder scene is showcased in Coppola's first studio film, You're a Big Boy Now, as footage shown in a go-go dance club. Recommended.]

Ministry of Fear [Terrific WWII film noir thriller starring Ray Milland as a man recently released from a mental hospital who goes to a small village fair on the way to London and finds himself embroiled in a bizarre spy conspiracy that may involve Nazis. Directed by noir master Fritz Lang (M) in 1944. From The Criterion Collection. Recommended.]

Friday, March 22, 2013:

Blu-rays:

Les Miserables [2012] [Powerful and beautifully filmed musical epic based on the hit Broadway show set in 19th century France and starring Hugh Jackman in one of his best performances as Jean Valjean, an ex-convict trying to start a new life but forced to move from place to place due to the pursuit of a relentless policeman (well-played by Russell Crowe). He meets the frail and dying prostitute Fantine (Anne Hathaway in the hallmark performance of her young career) and promises to care for her daughter (the lovely Amanda Seyfriend) in a decision that will change his life forever. Tom Hooper directed and did a great job, filming on location, capturing the contrast of pomp and poverty, and giving the brilliant music a dramatic urgency and depth by filming live performances.  The film was justifiably nominated for several Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor, and is one of the best film musicals of the last few decades. Hathaway's astonishing performance earned her a well-deserved Best Supporting Actress Oscar. 2012. Recommended!]

This Is 40 [Judd Apatow directed this typically funny and rude sort of sequel to his Knocked Up starring Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann as a happily married couple who turn 40 and have a mid-life meltdown. The talented and fun cast (John Lithgow, Megan Fox, Maude Apatow, Melissa McCarthy, Jason Segal and Albert Brooks) keep things hopping despite the film's length.]

DVDs:

Les Miserables [2012]

This Is 40

Notes by manager Steven Y. Mori.

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