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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Monday, November 11, 2013

New Releases - November 12, 2013

Blu-rays:

Frances Ha: The Criterion Collection [Another quirky character study from director Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale, Kicking and Screaming), this time co-written with title star Greta Gerwig, who plays a late twenties New Yorker trying to sort out her ambitions, her finances and her complicated relationship with best pal Mickey Sumner. Adam Driver also stars. As with many of Baumbach;s works, some people may find his characters a bit too far out or odd, but if you enjoy challenging and offbeat indie comedies and if you are a fan of talented Gerwig (Damsels in Distress, Lola Versus), you may want to check this out.  2013. Rated R. 86 minutes. B/W.]

Man of Steel [Although the previous 2006 reboot of the Superman legend, Superman Returns, was a box office hit, both die hard DC Comics fans and critics were disappointed overall with director Bryan Singer's uneven effort (with titular star Brandon Routh getting some of the unfair flak, although I thought he was great and just deserved better material-his performance actually looks better and better as time goes by). With this 2013 re-reboot, we get an even more controversial and polarizing Superman that got really solid reviews from critics overall but turned off some fans with its dark and somewhat cold milieu. That should really not be a surprise if you are familiar with director Zach Snyder's previous exciting but over-the-top fantasies: 300, Watchmen, and Sucker Punch. One plus is that Snyder actually restarts the story from the beginning on Krypton and follows Superman's arrival on earth, unlike Superman Returns, which not only made the mistake of picking up where the 1978 Superman the Movie left off but also gave Lois Lane an illegitimate baby! In this new version, Henry Cavill (The Immortals, Cold Light of Day) stars and acquits himself well if a bit too seriously, but the cape and tights fit him well. The rest of the cast is also impressive: Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire, The Iceman) as villain General Zod, Russell Crowe as Superman's dad Jor-el, Amy Adams as ambitious TV reporter Lois Lane and Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Superman's earth parents Pa and Ma Kent. Despite splitting audiences into lovers and haters, the good thing is that the best may be yet to come in the sequel, which may not only bring Batman together with Supe for the first time in a live action epic but also is rumored to be adding Wonder Woman.  We can all hope. In any case, this new incarnation is still fascinating to watch.  2013. Rated PG-13. 143 minutes.]

Turbo [Though the box office was somewhat disappointing for this DreamWorks animated comedy, the critics loved it and thought it was a hilarious treat for the family. For once, critics may be right, as the story deals with a snail that develops super-speed, and with a little help from his friends, decides to race in the Indy 500. Ryan Reynolds has fun voicing the lead snail, and he's been having more success with his animated films (like The Croods) than his live action ones (R.I.P.D.) lately. The other great voices include Paul Giamatti, Maya Rudolph, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Pena, Luis Guzman, Bill Hader, Snoop Dogg, Ben Schwartz, and Mike Bell. Directed by David Soren. 2013. Rated PG. 90 minutes.]

DVDs:

Attack, The [2013] [In this acclaimed drama, an Israeli Palestinian surgeon's life is turned upside down when his loving wife is killed with many others in a suicide blast and is posthumously accused of doing the bombing. He believes she is innocent and tries to find out what really happened in this tense thriller. Directed by Ziad Doueiri and starring Ali Suliman, Evgenia Dodena, Raymond Amsalem, Dvir Benedek, Lin Gavriel, Ruba Salameh, and Eamzi Makdessi. Unrated. 102 minutes.]

Barabara [Critically praised German drama starring Nina Hoss as a young doctor who is punished for trying to leave 1980 Germany and is assigned to a small pediatric hospital in the country, where she must decide between devotion to duty and an opportunity to escape to the west. Co-starring Ronald Zehrfeld. Directed by Christian Petzoid. 2012. Rated PG-13. 105 minutes.]

Blackfish [Powerful documentary about whether killer whales should be used for entertainment and kept in captivity after one of them kills three people, including a top whale handler in a recent high profile accident. Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite. 2013. Rated PG-13. 83 minutes.]

Citizen, The [2013] [Moving true drama about an Arab immigrant who wins the American green card lottery, arriving in NYC on September 10, 2001, and the event the next day that will forever change his struggle for the American Dream. Starring Khaled Nabawy, Agnes Bruckner, Rizwan Manji, William Atherton and Cary Elwes. Sam Kadi directed. Rated PG-13. 99 minutes.]

Dexter: Season 8 [The Final Season] [Michael C. Hall is once again excellent as the serial killing forensic title cop in this farewell season, but the bittersweet ending drew unsatisfying reviews from both critics and fans. Perhaps they rushed things a bit to get this aired since the previous season seemed not that long ago. Let's hope they do a spinoff series or movie for a much better wrap up. Jennifer Carpenter and Yvonne Strahovski return. 2013. Unrated. 4 separate rentals.]

Family Tree: Season 1 [Christopher Guest (Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show) brought his distinctive and extremely funny but low key style comedy to HBO with this half hour HBO TV sitcom starring Chris O'Dowd as an unsettled 30 year old Englishman who inherits a mysterious box from a great aunt he never knew and discovers a treasure trove of info about relatives he has never met. Since he is still trying to find out where he is headed with his life, he decides to look them up and see if he can find out who he is in the process. Likable O'Dowd is great as always and he is aided by a terrific cast including Guest regulars: Carrie Aizley, Bob Balaban, Ed Begley, Jr., Tom Bennett, Nina Conti, Michael McKean, Jim Piddick, Kevin Pollak, Don Lake, Fred Willard and Guest himself. Highly recommended! 2013. Unrated. 2 separate rentals.] 

Frances Ha: The Criterion Collection [Another quirky character study from director Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale, Kicking and Screaming), this time co-written with title star Greta Gerwig, who plays a late twenties New Yorker trying to sort out her ambitions, her finances and her complicated relationship with best pal Mickey Sumner. Adam Driver also stars. As with many of Baumbach;s works, some people may find his characters a bit too far out or odd, but if you enjoy challenging and offbeat indie comedies and if you are a fan of talented Gerwig (Damsels in Distress, Lola Versus), you may want to check this out. 2013. Rated R. 86 minutes. B/W.]

I Declare War [In this Canadian action allegory, an innocent game of capture the flag turns deadly when jealousy and betrayal enter the mix. Jason Lepeyre and Robert Wildson directed this exciting thriller that explores the blurred lines between kids' fantasy and harsh reality. Sian Yu, Gage Munroe, Michael Friend and Aiden Gouveia star. 2012. Unrated. 94 minutes.]

Ip Man: The Final Fight [In the fourth and final chapter, Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man is drawn into a fight with the Triads in postwar Hong Kong. Directed by Herman Yau. Starring Anthony Wong, Jordan Chan, Eric Tsang, and Gillian Chung. 2013. Rated PG-13. 101 minutes.]

Man of Steel [Although the previous 2006 reboot of the Superman legend, Superman Returns, was a box office hit, both die hard DC Comics fans and critics were disappointed overall with director Bryan Singer's uneven effort (with titular star Brandon Routh getting some of the unfair flak, although I thought he was great and just deserved better material-his performance actually looks better and better as time goes by). With this 2013 re-reboot, we get an even more controversial and polarizing Superman that got really solid reviews from critics overall but turned off some fans with its dark and somewhat cold milieu. That should really not be a surprise if you are familiar with director Zach Snyder's previous exciting but over-the-top fantasies: 300, Watchmen, and Sucker Punch. One plus is that Snyder actually restarts the story from the beginning on Krypton and follows Superman's arrival on earth, unlike Superman Returns, which not only made the mistake of picking up where the 1978 Superman the Movie left off but also gave Lois Lane an illegitimate baby! In this new version, Henry Cavill (The Immortals, Cold Light of Day) stars and acquits himself well if a bit too seriously, but the cape and tights fit him well. The rest of the cast is also impressive: Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire, The Iceman) as villain General Zod, Russell Crowe as Superman's dad Jor-el, Amy Adams as ambitious TV reporter Lois Lane and Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Superman's earth parents Pa and Ma Kent. Despite splitting audiences into lovers and haters, the good thing is that the best may be yet to come in the sequel, which may not only bring Batman together with Supe for the first time in a live action epic but also is rumored to be adding Wonder Woman.  We can all hope. In any case, this new incarnation is still fascinating to watch.  2013. Rated PG-13. 143 minutes.]

Prince Avalanche [Moving dramedy starring Paul Rudd as a serious guy who spends the summer of 1988 painting traffic lanes out in the country with his girlfriend's goofy brother Emile Hirsch and ends up as unlikely besties. Directed by David Gordon Green. 2013. Rated R. 94 minutes.]

Turbo [Though the box office was somewhat disappointing for this DreamWorks animated comedy, the critics loved it and thought it was a hilarious treat for the family. For once, critics may be right, as the story deals with a snail that develops super-speed, and with a little help from his friends, decides to race in the Indy 500. Ryan Reynolds has fun voicing the lead snail, and he's been having more success with his animated films (like The Croods) than his live action ones (R.I.P.D.) lately. The other great voices include Paul Giamatti, Maya Rudolph, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Pena, Luis Guzman, Bill Hader, Snoop Dogg, Ben Schwartz, and Mike Bell. Directed by David Soren. 2013. Rated PG. 90 minutes.]

Notes by manager Steven Y. Mori.

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