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, May 21, 2013

New Releases - May 21, 2013

Blu-rays:

Last Stand, The [2013] [Arnold Schwarzenegger is back as an action hero/star after spending years as the Governor of California in this modern day twist on the western classic High Noon in which a nasty drug boss tries to make it across the border, but sheriff Arnie and his small band of lawmen plan to stop him with major firepower. Plenty of explosions, gun battles, car chases and groan-worthy one-liners that should please Arnie fans who have missed the big lug. Jee-woo Kim directed with a better than average action cast: Forest Whitaker, Eduardo Noreiga, Peter Stormare, Johnny Knoxville, Jaime Alexander and Luiz Guzman. Rated R. 107 minutes.]

Parker [John Boorman fashioned one of the best existential film noir action thrillers of the Sixties with his brilliant 1967 Point Blank starring Lee Marvin as a relentless ex-con who wreaks havoc across L.A. as he gets revenge on all of the crooks who left him for dead after a successful heist. Brian Helgeland wrote and directed a mostly disappointing 1999 remake with Mel Gibson as a softer anti-hero and a muddled, unsatisfying storyline. Thankfully, this 2013 remake is a lot more like the original version with Jason Statham fitting into the role of unrepentant avenger much better than Mel (although still not quite as iconic as Marvin).  The plotline is pretty much like the original with Statham left for dead by his partners after a heist and bouncing from place to place, leaving a trail of dead bodies in his quest for revenge. Jennifer Lopez has one of her better roles since Out of Sight playing the femme fatale who helps Statham. The solid co-star cast includes Michael Chiklis, Nick Nolte and Bobby Canavale. Taylor Hackford (An Officer and a Gentleman) returns to the same noir territory he tread in Against All Odds (which was also a remake of a noir classic, Out of the Past), and he does a first-rate job again.  It is interesting to note that Gibson's character name was changed back to Porter (the name used by author Donald E. Westlake, under the pseudonym Richard Stark, in the original novel) as opposed to Parker, which was the name given to Marvin by Boorman. Fittingly, this version returns to the name from the first film. Rated R. 118 minutes.]

Side Effects [Steven Soderbergh (Contagion, Erin Brockovich) is one of the best and brightest film directors working today, so it will be a sad day in cinema history if this is really his last theatrical film (his Behind the Candelabra Liberace biopic is actually an HBO Film) as he says he wants to do other projects and explore different types of art. The good news is he is going out with an excellent erotic noir thriller starring Rooney Mara as a woman who has anxiety attacks after husband Channing Tatum is released from prison. Things get even crazier when psychiatrist Jude Law prescribes a new drug for her that gives her weird side effects. Catherine Zeta-Jones also stars in this beautifully shot and edited film. 2013. Rated R. 107 minutes.]

Stand Up Guys [Darkly funny gangster satire with Al Pacino getting out of prison after serving 20 years and keeping his mouth shut. He re-teams with wise guy pals Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin for one last job, but will he survive?  Juliana Margulies co-stars. Helmed by actor turned director Fisher Stevens (Short Circuit).  2013. Rated R. 95 minutes.]

DVDs:

Common Man, A [Ben Kingsley gives another intense performance as an angry man who plants five bombs all around a major city and threatens to detonate them if he does not get what he wants. Chandran Rutnam directed this prophetic thriller (that brings to mind the recent Boston Marathon bombings). Ben Cross, Numaya Siriwardena and Patrick Rutnam also star. 2012. Rated PG-13.  86 minutes.]

Ethel [Rory Kennedy directed this moving and revelatory HBO documentary about Ethel Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy's widow. Filled with rare home movies and footage never seen before, this superb documentary is a must for Kennedyphiles and anyone interested in the politics of the Sixties.]

Last Stand, The [2013] [Arnold Schwarzenegger is back as an action hero/star after spending years as the Governor of California in this modern day twist on the western classic High Noon in which a nasty drug boss tries to make it across the border, but sheriff Arnie and his small band of lawmen plan to stop him with major firepower. Plenty of explosions, gun battles, car chases and groan-worthy one-liners that should please Arnie fans who have missed the big lug. Jee-woo Kim directed with a better than average action cast: Forest Whitaker, Eduardo Noreiga, Peter Stormare, Johnny Knoxville, Jaime Alexander and Luiz Guzman. Rated R. 107 minutes.]

Lego Batman the Movie: DC Super Heroes Unite [Campy fun as the Joker, the Riddler, Catwoman, and Two-Face strike when Bruce Wayne gets the Man of the Year award, bringing out Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern to help fight the villains. Clancy Brown, Troy Baker, Christopher Corey Smith and Travis Willington provide the voices. Jon Burton directed. 2013. Unrated. 71 minutes.]

Mel Brooks: Make a Noise [American Masters] [One of the funniest and most talented directors in Hollywood, the iconic stand up comic, actor , writer, producer, and director finally gets a career overview in this long overdue PBS documentary. In addition to Mel, Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Cloris Leachman, Carl Reiner, Joan Rivers and Tracey Ullmann also appear. Directed by Robert Tractenberg. 2013. Unrated. 90 Minutes.]

Parker [John Boorman fashioned one of the best existential film noir action thrillers of the Sixties with his brilliant 1967 Point Blank starring Lee Marvin as a relentless ex-con who wreaks havoc across L.A. as he gets revenge on all of the crooks who left him for dead after a successful heist. Brian Helgeland wrote and directed a mostly disappointing 1999 remake with Mel Gibson as a softer anti-hero and a muddled, unsatisfying storyline. Thankfully, this 2013 remake is a lot more like the original version with Jason Statham fitting into the role of unrepentant avenger much better than Mel (although still not quite as iconic as Marvin).  The plotline is pretty much like the original with Statham left for dead by his partners after a heist and bouncing from place to place, leaving a trail of dead bodies in his quest for revenge. Jennifer Lopez has one of her better roles since Out of Sight playing the femme fatale who helps Statham. The solid co-star cast includes Michael Chiklis, Nick Nolte and Bobby Canavale. Taylor Hackford (An Officer and a Gentleman) returns to the same noir territory he tread in Against All Odds (which was also a remake of a noir classic, Out of the Past), and he does a first-rate job again.  It is interesting to note that Gibson's character name was changed back to Porter (the name used by author Donald E. Westlake, under the pseudonym Richard Stark, in the original novel) as opposed to Parker, which was the name given to Marvin by Boorman. Fittingly, this version returns to the name from the first film. Rated R. 118 minutes.]

Rolling Stones, The: Crossfire Hurricane [Terrific overview celebrating the 50th anniversary of the classic British rock group with rare archive footage, interviews and performances. Brett Morgen directed. 2013. Unrated. 147 minutes.]

Side Effects [Steven Soderbergh (Contagion, Erin Brockovich) is one of the best and brightest film directors working today, so it will be a sad day in cinema history if this is really his last theatrical film (his Behind the Candelabra Liberace biopic is actually an HBO Film) as he says he wants to do other projects and explore different types of art. The good news is he is going out with an excellent erotic noir thriller starring Rooney Mara as a woman who has anxiety attacks after husband Channing Tatum is released from prison. Things get even crazier when psychiatrist Jude Law prescribes a new drug for her that gives her weird side effects. Catherine Zeta-Jones also stars in this beautifully shot and edited film. 2013. Rated R. 107 minutes.]

Stand Up Guys [Darkly funny gangster satire with Al Pacino getting out of prison after serving 20 years and keeping his mouth shut. He re-teams with wise guy pals Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin for one last job, but will he survive?  Juliana Margulies co-stars. Helmed by actor turned director Fisher Stevens (Short Circuit).  2013. Rated R. 95 minutes.]

True Blood: Season 5 [The fate of all humanity is at stake in this 5th Season as Sookie deals with her unpredictable faerie powers, the Vampire Authority calls Bill & Eric into action, Alcide battles new werewolves J.D. and Martha. Starring Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Traaell, and Ryan Kwanten. 2012. Unrated.]
 
Recent Arrivals:

Legend of Billie Jean, The [Solid teen angst film starring Helen Slater and Christian Slater as a pair of siblings who get into trouble with the law while trying to regain Slater's motor scooter and end up on the run. Co-starring Peter Coyote and Dean Stockwell.  Directed by Matthew Robbins. 1985. Rated PG-13. 95 minutes.]

Medium Cool: The Criterion Collection [Cinematographer Haskell Wexler (American Graffiti) directed this brilliant and challenging cult film about enigmatic loner TV reporter Robert Forster who becomes involved with a poor but appealing widow Verna Bloom while covering a story about ghettos and changes his feelings about life and politics. Marianna Hill and Peter Bonerz co-star. This docudrama-style film was a ground-breaker that mixed the real with the unreal as it interpolated actual footage shot at the contentious Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Highly recommended! 1969. Rated R. 110 minutes.]

Notes by Manager Steven Y. Mori.

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