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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Sunday, September 8, 2013

New Releases - September 10, 2013

Blu-rays:

Chasing Ice [Beautiful and stunning documentary following nature photographer James Balog, who was assigned to take photos in the Arctic showing climate change for the National Geographic. Although skeptical at first, he was soon convinced and has spent years, risking his career and his life, trying to prove that it is fact not fiction. Svavar Jonatsson and Adam LeWinter also appear. Jeff Orlowski directed. The Blu-ray edition has many more bonus features than the DVD. 2012. Rated PG-13. 75 minutes.]

Homeland: Season 2 [One of the best series on TV returns with another amazing season full of twists and shocks as bi-polar ex-CIA agent Claire Danes is brought back to duty and discovers a new terrorist threat that leads back to her original suspect and lover Damian Lewis, who is now a Congressman! Regulars Morena Baccarin, Jackson Pace, Morgan Saylor, Jamey Sheridan, and Mandy Patinkin all return, joined by new cast member Rupert Friend. Highly recommended! 2012-2013. Unrated. 4 separate rentals on DVD. 3 separate rentals on Blu-ray.]

Love Is All You Need [If you are looking for a delightful and little known recent romantic comedy, you could not do better than this film. Pierce Brosnan (in full Mamma Mia! mode) plays a lonely and bitter British widower and estranged father who lives in Denmark. Trine Derholm stars as a Danish hairdresser, a cancer victim who has lost her hair and who has just been left by her husband for a younger woman. This unlikely couple embarks on a trip to beautiful Sorrento,  Italy to attend the wedding of Brosnan's son and Derholm's daughter, sparking an unexpected relationship. Susanne Bier (Best Foreign Film Oscar winner In a Better World) directed, and Sebastian Jessen, Molly Blixt Egelind, Paprika Steen and Kim Bodnia also star. Recommended! 2013. Rated R. 115 minutes.]

Star Trek Into Darkness [Director J.J. Abrams (Super 8, Mission:Impossible III) continues his ascent into the stratosphere of the hottest directors around these days (including Joss Whedon, Sam Mendes, Christopher Nolan, Zack Snyder, and David Fincher) with this terrific sequel to his original Trek reboot. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto once again return as the formidable buddy team of the reckless but triumphant Captain Kirk and the conservative but logical science officer Spock. Surprisingly, the movie owes more to Skyfall than Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, as Kirk and Spock have to go rogue along with the rest of the Enterprise crew to try to catch one of their own ex-Starfleet operatives John Harrison (brilliantly played by the elegant and intelligent Benedict Cumberbatch), a cool and calculated super villain who has decided to bring down the entire Starfleet from the inside out.  The Trek favorites (Karl Urban as Bones McCoy, John Cho as navigator Sulu, Zoe Saldana as communications officer Uhura, Simon Pegg as engineer Scotty, and Anton Yelchin as neophyte Chekhov) all have great setpieces, and Peter Weller (Robocop) has a standout guest role. The film is an exhilarating ride from start to finish and is one of the best of the summer films of 2013 as it combines depth of character with state of the art special effects and non-stop action. Much of the praise belongs to Abrams who keeps the entire enterprise (pun intended) from crashing. It's also a major hoot for Bay Areans to watch Kirk and Spock trying to save future San Francisco from destruction once again. The timing of this Blu-ray and DVD release is also ironic as the US decision on whether to attack Syria or not looms over the entire world just as this film deals with the controversy over interfering with the "Prime Directive, " which promotes leaving other civilizations to their own devices.  Highly recommended! Rated PG-13. 132 minutes.]

DVDs:

Blood [2013] [Police detective brothers Paul Bettany and Stephen Graham try to nail a killer, but their interrogation of a suspect goes violently out of control, threatening their reputations and reflecting on the reputation of their ex-chief father Brian Cox. Mark Strong (Low Winter Sun, Sherlock Holmes) plays the officer investigating their actions. Nick Murphy directed. Unrated 92 minutes.]

Chasing Ice [Beautiful and stunning documentary following nature photographer James Balog, who was assigned to take photos in the Arctic showing climate change for the National Geographic. Although skeptical at first, he was soon convinced and has spent years, risking his career and his life, trying to prove that it is fact not fiction. Svavar Jonatsson and Adam LeWinter also appear. Jeff Orlowski directed. The Blu-ray edition has many more bonus features than the DVD. 2012. Rated PG-13. 75 minutes.]

Homeland: Season 2 [One of the best series on TV returns with another amazing season full of twists and shocks as bi-polar ex-CIA agent Claire Danes is brought back to duty and discovers a new terrorist threat that leads back to her original suspect and lover Damian Lewis, who is now a Congressman! Regulars Morena Baccarin, Jackson Pace, Morgan Saylor, Jamey Sheridan, and Mandy Patinkin all return, joined by new cast member Rupert Friend. Highly recommended! 2012-2013. Unrated. 4 separate rentals on DVD. 3 separate rentals on Blu-ray.]

Love Is All You Need [If you are looking for a delightful and little known recent romantic comedy, you could not do better than this film. Pierce Brosnan (in full Mamma Mia! mode) plays a lonely and bitter British widower and estranged father who lives in Denmark. Trine Derholm stars as a Danish hairdresser, a cancer victim who has lost her hair and who has just been left by her husband for a younger woman. This unlikely couple embarks on a trip to beautiful Sorrento,  Italy to attend the wedding of Brosnan's son and Derholm's daughter, sparking an unexpected relationship. Susanne Bier (Best Foreign Film Oscar winner In a Better World) directed, and Sebastian Jessen, Molly Blixt Egelind, Paprika Steen and Kim Bodnia also star. Recommended! 2013. Rated R. 115 minutes.]

Mary and Martha [Moving HBO drama starring Hilary Swank and Brenda Blethyn as two mothers who both lose their sons to malaria while traveling in Africa. They form an unlikely friendship when they decide to bring awareness to the disease, which is preventable and treatable. Also starring Sam Claflin, Frank Grillo, LuxHaney-Jardine and James Wood. Philip Noyce (Dead Calm, A Clear and Present Danger) directed. 2013. Rated PG. 95 minutes.]

Parade's End [2013] [Sumptuous HBO/BBC miniseries starring a fine Benedict Cumberbatch as a nobleman who is caught between spoiled and flight socialite wife Rebecca Hall and sexy and more substantive suffragette Adelaide Clemens while dealing with the onset of WWI and big changes in England's lifestyles and political climate. Two separate rentals. Unrated.]

Peeples [Wacky comedy in which Craig Robinson (The Office) decides to ask girlfriend Kerry Washington (Scandal) to marry him while at his family reunion, creating chaos. David Alan Grier, S. Epatha Merkerson, and Tyler James Williams also star, Directed by Tina Gordon. 2013. Rated PG-13. 95 minutes.]

Star Trek Into Darkness [Director J.J. Abrams (Super 8, Mission:Impossible III) continues his ascent into the stratosphere of the hottest directors around these days (including Joss Whedon, Sam Mendes, Christopher Nolan, Zack Snyder, and David Fincher) with this terrific sequel to his original Trek reboot. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto once again return as the formidable buddy team of the reckless but triumphant Captain Kirk and the conservative but logical science officer Spock. Surprisingly, the movie owes more to Skyfall than Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, as Kirk and Spock have to go rogue along with the rest of the Enterprise crew to try to catch one of their own ex-Starfleet operatives John Harrison (brilliantly played by the elegant and intelligent Benedict Cumberbatch), a cool and calculated super villain who has decided to bring down the entire Starfleet from the inside out.  The Trek favorites (Karl Urban as Bones McCoy, John Cho as navigator Sulu, Zoe Saldana as communications officer Uhura, Simon Pegg as engineer Scotty, and Anton Yelchin as neophyte Chekhov) all have great setpieces, and Peter Weller (Robocop) has a standout guest role. The film is an exhilarating ride from start to finish and is one of the best of the summer films of 2013 as it combines depth of character with state of the art special effects and non-stop action. Much of the praise belongs to Abrams who keeps the entire enterprise (pun intended) from crashing. It's also a major hoot for Bay Areans to watch Kirk and Spock trying to save future San Francisco from destruction once again. The timing of this Blu-ray and DVD release is also ironic as the US decision on whether to attack Syria or not looms over the entire world just as this film deals with the controversy over interfering with the "Prime Directive, " which promotes leaving other civilizations to their own devices.  Highly recommended! Rated PG-13. 132 minutes.]

War Witch [Nominated for a 2013 Best Foreign Film Oscar, this offbeat Canadian drama focuses on 12 year old girl Rachel Mwanza who is kidnapped by rebel soldiers and forced to fight for the guerrillas in Africa. She then forms a bond with fellow soldier Serge Kanyinda and they try to escape. Alain Bastien, Ralph Prosper, and Mzinga Mwinga co-star. Directed by Kim Nguyen. 2012. Unrated. 90 minutes.]

We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks [Exciting documentary done thriller-style about Julian Assange and the creation of Wikileaks, the controversial website that facilitated the largest security breach in US history. Alex Gibney directed this fascinating film about a man who is equally thought of as an ethics hero and an arrogant criminal. 2013. Rated R. 130 minutes.]

Wish You Were Here [2013] [Solid Aussie thriller about four friends (Joel Edgerton, Teresa Palmer, Felicity Price, and Antony Starr) who go on a Cambodian holiday that turns into a nightmare when one of them disappears. Is one of the friends responsible?  Kiernan Darcy-Smith directed. Rated R. 89 minutes.]

Notes by manager Steven Y. Mori.

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