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, June 18, 2013

New Releases - June 18, 2013

Blu-rays:

Cleopatra [1963][50th Anniversary] [Gloriously remastered in hi def, this new, longer cut is a stunning masterpiece of epic film making from Joseph L. Mankiewicz (All About Eve, Sleuth) and showcasing a drop dead gorgeous Elizabeth Taylor as the alluring Egyptian queen who seduced both Julius Caesar (Rex Harrison) and Marc Antony (Richard Burton) and brought the Roman empire to its knees. When the mega budgeted costume drama was released in 1963, it was upstaged by all the ubiquitous publicity surrounding Taylor and Burton's blatant and shocking affair although they were married to others, and the film never really got its critical due until years later despite receiving a number of Oscars and nominations.  It is now considered one of the best and most intelligent epic costume dramas ever made (along with Spartacus, Ben-Hur and a number of others), and it also features a literal cast of thousands (as opposed to CGI thousands as in Gladiator), which is no longer possible thanks to inflationary budgets. The superb supporting cast includes Roddy McDowall, Martin Landau, Carroll O'Connor, Cesare Danova, George Cole, Pamela Brown, Hume Cronyn, Kenneth Haigh, Andrew Keir and Robert Stephens. Unrated. 251 minutes.]

Jack the Giant Slayer [Bryan Singer (X-Men, Superman Returns) directed this imaginative and big budget fantasy reboot of the classic fairy tale. Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies) stars as Jack, a poor young farmhand who accidentally reopens a gateway between the human world and a land of giants, leading to the sprouting of a huge beanstalk and a battle with giants to rescue his beloved princess Eleanor Tomlinson. Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Bill Night and Ian McShane also star, but the stunning special FX are the real stars of this family hit. 2013. Rated PG-13. 114 minutes.]

Quartet [2012] [Dustin Hoffman made his acclaimed directing debut with this delightful comedy aimed at mature audiences and fans of pure character acting. Retired musicians Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins play retired musicians who await a new "star" arrival at their retirement home. When it turns out to be Maggie Smith, their former singer and Courtenay's ex, they question whether they will be able to heal old wounds and become a quartet again in time for a gala concert. Michael Gambon also stars. Courtenay and Golden Globe Best Actress (Comedy) nominee Smith give performances that rank among the best of their careers. Rated PG-13. 98 minutes. Recommended!]

Stoker [Clever and erotic re-working of Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt has Matthew Goode as Mia Wasikowska's charming uncle whom she meets for the first time after her father dies on her 18th birthday. At first, he seems like a godsend as he moves in with Wasikowska and her unstable mother (Nicole Kidman) but his dark secrets soon come to the surface and threaten to derail their lives in this superb film noir thriller from Oldboy director Park Chan-Wook. Dermot Mulroney and Jacki Weaver co-star. Rated R. 120 minutes. Recommended!]



DVDs:

Brass Teapot, The [In this comic homage to Richard Matheson's The Box or Button, Button, Juno Temple and Michael Angarano play an attractive and happily married couple who are constantly in a financial crisis until they stumble upon a brass teapot at an antique store that may be the answer to all of their problems. But how far will they go?  Alexis Bledel, Alia Shawkat, Bobby Moynahan, Debra Monk, Billy Magnussen, and Stephen Park also star. Ramaa Mosley directed. 2012. Rated R. 101 minutes.]

Call the Midwife: Season 2 [Jessica Raine returns as Jenny Lee as she tries to provide the poorest women in London's East End slums with the best possible midwifery. Also starring Jenny Agutter, Pam Ferris, Stephen McGann, Miranda Hart, Judy Parfitt, Helen George, Bryony Hannah, Laura Main, Ben Caplan, and Cliff Parisi. 2013. Unrated. 3 separate rentals.]

Cleopatra [1963][50th Anniversary] [Gloriously remastered in hi def, this new, longer cut is a stunning masterpiece of epic film making from Joseph L. Mankiewicz (All About Eve, Sleuth) and showcasing a drop dead gorgeous Elizabeth Taylor as the alluring Egyptian queen who seduced both Julius Caesar (Rex Harrison) and Marc Antony (Richard Burton) and brought the Roman empire to its knees. When the mega budgeted costume drama was released in 1963, it was upstaged by all the ubiquitous publicity surrounding Taylor and Burton's blatant and shocking affair although they were married to others, and the film never really got its critical due until years later despite receiving a number of Oscars and nominations.  It is now considered one of the best and most intelligent epic costume dramas ever made (along with Spartacus, Ben-Hur and a number of others), and it also features a literal cast of thousands (as opposed to CGI thousands as in Gladiator), which is no longer possible thanks to inflationary budgets. The superb supporting cast includes Roddy McDowall, Martin Landau, Carroll O'Connor, Cesare Danova, George Cole, Pamela Brown, Hume Cronyn, Kenneth Haigh, Andrew Keir and Robert Stephens. Unrated. 251 minutes.][DVD due soon.]

It's a Disaster [Hilarious black comedy that melds disaster movie elements with romantic comedies as a group of friends gather for a couples brunch that turns into an impromptu and stressful therapy session while the city is undergoing a mysterious attack. The fun cast includes David Cross, America Ferrera, Julia Stiles, Erinn Hayes, Jeff Grace, and Rachel Boston. Todd Berger directed. 2012. Rated R. 88 minutes.]

Jack the Giant Slayer [Bryan Singer (X-Men, Superman Returns) directed this imaginative and big budget fantasy reboot of the classic fairy tale. Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies) stars as Jack, a poor young farmhand who accidentally reopens a gateway between the human world and a land of giants, leading to the sprouting of a huge beanstalk and a battle with giants to rescue his beloved princess Eleanor Tomlinson. Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Bill Night and Ian McShane also star, but the stunning special FX are the real stars of this family hit. 2013. Rated PG-13. 114 minutes.] 

Quartet [2012] [Dustin Hoffman made his acclaimed directing debut with this delightful comedy aimed at mature audiences and fans of pure character acting. Retired musicians Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins play retired musicians who await a new "star" arrival at their retirement home. When it turns out to be Maggie Smith, their former singer and Courtenay's ex, they question whether they will be able to heal old wounds and become a quartet again in time for a gala concert. Michael Gambon also stars. Courtenay and Golden Globe Best Actress (Comedy) nominee Smith give performances that rank among the best of their careers. Rated PG-13. 98 minutes. Recommended!]

Rectify: Season 1 [Effective Sundance Channel TV series starring Ray McKinnon as a death row prisoner who is released after 19 years inside. As expected, he has a very difficult time adjusting to the new world he finds despite help from family and friends. Abigail Spencer (Mad Men) also stars. Unrated. 2 separate rentals.]

Stoker [Clever and erotic re-working of Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt has Matthew Goode as Mia Wasikowska's charming uncle whom she meets for the first time after her father dies on her 18th birthday. At first, he seems like a godsend as he moves in with Wasikowska and her unstable mother (Nicole Kidman) but his dark secrets soon come to the surface and threaten to derail their lives in this superb film noir thriller from Oldboy director Park Chan-Wook. Dermot Mulroney and Jacki Weaver co-star. Rated R. 120 minutes. Recommended!]



Recent Arrivals:

House of Cards: The Original UK Series Remastered [The original 3 House of Cards British miniseries (House of Cards, To Play the King, and The Final Cut) have been remastered with much better transfers. Ian Richardson is brilliant as the British politician who will stop at nothing to get what he and his manipulating wife want in this classic British TV series with Shakespearean undertones. Unrated. 3 separate rentals.]

Marketa Lazarov [The Criterion Collection] [Frantisek Vlacil directed this epic Czech classic about the war between two rival medieval clans that reflect the clash between Christianity and paganism, humankind and nature, and love and violence. Starring Joseph Kemr, Magda Vasaryova, Nada Hejna, Ivan Paluch and Vlastimil Harapes. 1967. Unrated. 159 minutes. B/W. subtitled.]

Things to Come [The Criterion Collection] [Writer H.G. Wells, producer Alexandra Korda, and director William Cameron Menzies collaborated on this stunning sci-fi epic that depicted a future century filled with turmoil and progress. Far ahead of its time, the film predicted world wars, dictatorships, worldwide disease, the rise of television and utopia. Raymond Massey, Edward Chapman, Ralph Richardson, and Margaretta Scott starred. 1936. Unrated. 97 minutes. B/W.]

 Notes by manager Steven Y. Mori.

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