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


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

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Monday, April 22, 2013

New Releases - April 23, 2013

Blu-rays:

Gangster Squad [Exciting and violent action thriller starring Nick Nolte as a police chief who enlists war hero Josh Brolin and jaded cop Ryan Gosling to try to loosen infamous gangster Mickey Cohen's (played by Sean Penn) grip on Los Angeles in the 1940's. Ruben Fleischer directed this glossy period piece with a first rate cast including Emma Stone, Anthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi and Michael Pena. 2012. Rated R. 113 minutes.]

Impossible, The [2012] [Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor give excellent and moving performances as a couple on a family Christmas vacation in Thailand whose lives are turned upside down when an earthquake across the ocean triggers a massive and devastating tsunami. Tom Holland and Samuel Joslin also star. This disaster film based on the real tsunami (and featuring some actual footage from the event) was directed by J.A. Batona and was considered by critics to be one of the best films of the year. Watts was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. Rated PG-13. 114 minutes.]

Promised Land [2012] [A fine cast headlines this solid drama starring Matt Damon as a gung ho salesman who offers to buy drilling rights in a small, economically depressed rural town, but when teacher Hal Holbrook and likable environmental activist John Krasinski start campaigning against the plan and Damon falls for local cutie Rosemarie DeWitt (TV's Mad Men), an easy sale gets really complicated. Frances McDormand and Scott McNairy also star. Gus Van Sant (Milk, Finding Forrester) directed this feel good movie that is thankfully not maudlin, and this marks a reunion with Damon, with whom he worked on the Oscar winning Good Will Hunting. Damon and Krasinski also co-wrote this script. Rated R. 107 minutes.] 

DVDs:

Any Day Now [Alan Cumming (Circle of Friends, TV's The Good Wife) gives a standout performance in this drama about two gay men (Cumming and Garrett Dillahunt) who take care of an abandoned teen with Down Syndrome (Isaac Leyva) until people find out and force them to fight the 1970's legal system for custody. Based on a true story. Gregg Henry, Jamie Anne Allman, Chris Mulkey, Don Franklin, Kelli Williams, Alan Rachins and Frances Fisher co-star. Travis Fine directed. 2012. Rated R. 97 minutes.]

Gangster Squad [Exciting and violent action thriller starring Nick Nolte as a police chief who enlists war hero Josh Brolin and jaded cop Ryan Gosling to try to loosen infamous gangster Mickey Cohen's (played by Sean Penn) grip on Los Angeles in the 1940's. Ruben Fleischer directed this glossy period piece with a first rate cast including Emma Stone, Anthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi and Michael Pena. 2012. Rated R. 113 minutes.]

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga [Cult director Werner Herzog (Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Grizzly Man) directed this stunningly beautiful documentary embedding himself in the Siberian wilderness to capture a year in the life of the 300 people of Bakhta on the Yenisei River, a place where villagers have been untouched by modernity for centuries. 2011, Unrated. 90 minutes.]

Impossible, The [2012] [Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor give excellent and moving performances as a couple on a family Christmas vacation in Thailand whose lives are turned upside down when an earthquake across the ocean triggers a massive and devastating tsunami. Tom Holland and Samuel Joslin also star. This disaster film based on the real tsunami (and featuring some actual footage from the event) was directed by J.A. Batona and was considered by critics to be one of the best films of the year. Watts was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. Rated PG-13. 114 minutes.]

Iron Man: Rise of Technovore [Stunning Japanese anime feature with Marvel superhero Iron Man preventing an attack from a mysterious foe. Unfortunately, innocents are killed, including friend War Machine, so he is taken into custody until he escapes to find the real culprit and bring him to justice. Directed by Hiroshi Hamasaki. Norman Reedus (TV's Walking Dead), Clare Grant and Matthew Mercer provide voices for the English version. Keiji Fujiwara, Hiroe Oka and Miyuki Sawashiro provide the Japanese voices.  2013. Rated PG-13. 89 minutes.]

Ken Burns: The Central Park Five [PBS] [Another fascinating Burns documentary, this time about a little known 1989 case in which five black and Latino teens from Harlem were convicted for raping a white woman. They spent 6 to 12 years in prison before a serial rapist confessed, leading to the convictions being overturned. 2013. Unrated. 119 minutes. ]

Mr. Selfridge [PBS] [Jeremy Piven (TV's Entourage) shines in this British miniseries as a colorful American entrepreneur  who revolutionizes department store sales in 1990's London. Frances O'Connor, Aisling Loftus, Zoe Tapper, Katherine Kelly, Gregory Fitoussi, and Trystan Gravelle co-star. 2013. Unrated. 490 minutes (3 separate rentals).]

Pawn [An impressive cast highlights this intense thriller about an all night diner robbery that goes horribly wrong and twisted when a cop walks into the middle of it, turning it into a hostage standoff surrounded by cops. Michael Chiklis, Forest Whitaker, Common, Stephen Lang, Nikki Reed, Jessica Szohr, Ray Liotta and Marton Csokas star. Directed by David A. Armstrong. 2013. Rated R. 88 minutes.]

Promised Land [2012] [A fine cast headlines this solid drama starring Matt Damon as a gung ho salesman who offers to buy drilling rights in a small, economically depressed rural town, but when teacher Hal Holbrook and likable environmental activist John Krasinski start campaigning against the plan and Damon falls for local cutie Rosemarie DeWitt (TV's Mad Men), an easy sale gets really complicated. Frances McDormand and Scott McNairy also star. Gus Van Sant (Milk, Finding Forrester) directed this feel good movie that is thankfully not maudlin, and this marks a reunion with Damon, with whom he worked on the Oscar winning Good Will Hunting. Damon and Krasinski also co-wrote this script. Rated R. 107 minutes.]

Raisin in the Sun, A [2008]  [Sean Combs (aka P.Diddy, Sean Puff Daddy Combs, etc., etc.) is surprisingly good in this excellent remake of the classic tale about a struggling black family in 1950's Chicago  who inherit $10,000 when their father dies but argue over how to wisely spend the windfall. Sanaa Lathan, Audra McDonald, Phylicia Rashad, and Justin Martin also star. Kenny Leon directed. Rated PG-13. 131 minutes.]

Recent Arrivals:

Devil and Miss Jones, The [Hilarious screwball comedy starring Charles Coburn as a rich man who goes undercover (decades before CBS' Undercover Boss, by the way) working in a menial job in the department store he owns because he wants to find out which employees are threatening to unionize for better working conditions. However, he finds out they might be right when he runs afoul of a nasty manager Edmund Gwenn and befriends kindly and beautiful shoe salesperson Jean Arthur, who also happens to love the head union activist Robert Cummings. Spring Byington also stars. Sam Wood directed this classic. 1941. Unrated. B/W. 92 minutes.]

Tristana [Catherine Deneuve is luminous as always as a beautiful young woman who goes to live with her rich guardian Fernando Rey when her mother dies. He wastes little time in seducing her, but she turns the tables on him, using jealousy and perverse whimsies to drive him crazy. Franco Nero (Django, Camelot) also stars. Luis Bunuel directed this erotic Spanish drama with his usual signature quirkiness. The film was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award. 1970. Rated PG. 95 minutes.]  

Notes by Manager Steven Y. Mori.

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