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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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

New Releases - November 5, 2013

Blu-rays:

Hobbit, The: An Unexpected Journey-Extended Edition [As with Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, he has provided fans an even better Extended Edition of the dazzling prequel. The theatrical version ran 169 minutes while this one runs 182, and it has hours and hours of new extra material. We are carrying this on Blu-ray only. Starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis and Graham McTavish.]

Lovelace [Amanda Seyfried gives a fine performance as Linda Lovelace, the brunette girl next door (while Marilyn Chambers was the blond girl next door X star) who became a symbol of oral sex after starring in X-rated hit Deep Throat. This controversial biodrama covers how she became a porn icon, her abusive marriage, how she turned to religion post porn and her tragic final years. The all-star cast includes Peter Sarsgard, Hank Azaria, Adam Brody, Bobby Cannavale, James Franco, Debi Mazar, Chris Noth, Chloe Sevigny, Sharon Stone and Juno Temple. Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. 2013. Rated R. 92 minutes.]

Mad Men: Season 6 [Another terrific and chaotic season as anti-hero ad man Don Draper's personal and professional lives implode, setting off some amazing crises and a time for self-reflection. Jon Hamm has his most brilliant and complex year as Draper as his excesses in sex, alcohol, drugs, and hubris finally catch up with him, forcing him to try to find out who is the real Don Draper.  Elisabeth Moss, Jessica Pare, Vincent Kartheiser, Christina Hendricks, January Jones, Aaron Staton, Rich Sommer, John Slattery, Robert Morse, Kiernan Sipka and Linda Cardellini return. 2013. Unrated. The Blu-ray version is 3 separate rentals. Highly recommended!]

Parkland [Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman produced this riveting docudrama that follows the tragic events that immediately follow the shooting of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, taken from the point of view of those who were directly affected: the young doctors and nurses of Parkland Hospital who valiantly try to save the president; the unwitting cameraman who captures a history changing moment on film; the chief of Dallas secret service immediately thrust into the middle of a crucial manhunt and investigation, the FBI agents who track the gunman; and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson as he is forced to take control of a mourning country. Zac Efron, Marcia Gay Harden, Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton, Jacki Weaver and Colin Hanks star. Peter Landesman wrote and directed this acclaimed indie film. 2013. Rated PG-13. 87 minutes.]

Passion [2013] [Director Brian De Palma made a welcome return to the erotic thriller genre that made him famous with films like Dressed to Kill and Body Double. This time, beautiful Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace play executives whose corporate rivalry turns deadly. Co-starring Paul Anderson, Karoline Herfurth, Rainer Bock and Benjamin Sadler. Rated R. 101 minutes.]

White House Down [Although the similarly themed Olympus Has Fallen stole some of the box office thunder due to its earlier release, this over-the-top action flick is equally fun if not moreso as Capitol cop Channing Tatum appears to be the only one who can save president Jamie Foxx from kidnappers. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins and James Woods co-star. Every one's favorite current disaster movie director Roland Emmerich (2012, Independence Day) directed with an eye toward non-stop action and a lot of buddy humor.  And when was the last time you saw the President of the US wielding a rocket launcher? That alone makes it worth renting. 2013. Rated PG-13. 131 minutes.] 

DVDs:

As I Lay Dying [Ubiquitous but talented Bay Area native James Franco (isn't he appearing in everything this year?) directed and stars in this moving period piece adaptation of a William Faulkner story about a grieving family traversing the Mississippi countryside to bring the body of their dead mother to her hometown for burial. Tim Blake Nelson and Danny McBride also star. 2013. Rated R. 110 minutes.]

Clear History [If you are in the mood for something light and funny with an amazing cast, check out this HBO comedy starring Curb Your Enthusiasm's Larry David as a marketing exec who gives up his share of an electric car firm after a heated argument with boss Jon Hamm.  Years later, the company has made billions and Larry has changed his identity to avoid humiliation, but when his new life is threatened, his past comes back to haunt him. The impressive cast includes Bill Hader, Philip Baker Hall, Kate Hudson, Michael Keaton, Danny McBride, Eva Mendes, Amy Ryan and J.B. Smoove.  David as co-wrote the script. Directed by Greg Mottola. 2013. Unrated. 100 minutes.]

Girl Most Likely [2013] [Bridesmaids' Kristen Wiig stars as a failed NY playwrights who awkwardly navigates the transition from The Next Big Thing to Last Year's News in this farce directed by Sherri Springer. Annette Bening, Matt Dillon, Darren Criss, Natasha Lyonne, and Bob Balaban also star. Rated PG-13. 104 minutes.]

Grown Ups 2 [After a few rare box office duds, funnyman Adam Sandler finally returned to form with this big summer hit that turned out to be one of those rare sequels that is better and funnier than the original. In this outing, Sandler moves back to his hometown and gets a blast from the past and the present thanks to his old friends and enemies. Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Salma Hayek return, as does ex-actor turned director Dennis Dugan.  Rated PG-13. 101 minutes.]

Lovelace [Amanda Seyfried gives a fine performance as Linda Lovelace, the brunette girl next door (while Marilyn Chambers was the blond girl next door X star) who became a symbol of oral sex after starring in X-rated hit Deep Throat. This controversial biodrama covers how she became a porn icon, her abusive marriage, how she turned to religion post porn and her tragic final years. The all-star cast includes Peter Sarsgard, Hank Azaria, Adam Brody, Bobby Cannavale, James Franco, Debi Mazar, Chris Noth, Chloe Sevigny, Sharon Stone and Juno Temple. Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. 2013. Rated R. 92 minutes.]

Mad Men: Season 6 [Another terrific and chaotic season as anti-hero ad man Don Draper's personal and professional lives implode, setting off some amazing crises and a time for self-reflection. Jon Hamm has his most brilliant and complex year as Draper as his excesses in sex, alcohol, drugs, and hubris finally catch up with him, forcing him to try to find out who is the real Don Draper.  Elisabeth Moss, Jessica Pare, Vincent Kartheiser, Christina Hendricks, January Jones, Aaron Staton, Rich Sommer, John Slattery, Robert Morse, Kiernan Sipka and Linda Cardellini return. 2013. Unrated. The DVD version is 4 separate rentals. Highly recommended!]

Magic City: Season 2 [In the second and final season of this solid Starz! drama TV series, Jeffrey Dean Morgan tries to rid his plush 1960's hotel of gangster Danny Huston with violent results. Also starring James Caan, Olga Kurylenko, Steven Trait and Christian Cooke. Starz! seems to be having trouble getting a TV series to last more than two years since they also cancelled Boss after season 2, and both series seemed to be hitting their strides in the sophomore stretch. 2013. Unrated. 2 Separate rentals.]

Parkland [Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman produced this riveting docudrama that follows the tragic events that immediately follow the shooting of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, taken from the point of view of those who were directly affected: the young doctors and nurses of Parkland Hospital who valiantly try to save the president; the unwitting cameraman who captures a history changing moment on film; the chief of Dallas secret service immediately thrust into the middle of a crucial manhunt and investigation, the FBI agents who track the gunman; and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson as he is forced to take control of a mourning country. Zac Efron, Marcia Gay Harden, Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton, Jacki Weaver and Colin Hanks star. Peter Landesman wrote and directed this acclaimed indie film. 2013. Rated PG-13. 87 minutes.]

Passion [2013] [Director Brian De Palma made a welcome return to the erotic thriller genre that made him famous with films like Dressed to Kill and Body Double. This time, beautiful Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace play executives whose corporate rivalry turns deadly. Co-starring Paul Anderson, Karoline Herfurth, Rainer Bock and Benjamin Sadler. Rated R. 101 minutes.]

Under the Dome: Season 1 [The biggest TV hit of the summer of 2013, this addictive sci-fi/horror series adaptation of Stephen King's best seller is a fascinating and dark view of middle America as a huge dome mysteriously enshrouds a small bucolic town and literally cuts off its citizens from the outside world and vice versa. As King posits, this scientific experiment drives the townspeople crazy and reveals the worst in mankind for the most part, not the best. But who put the dome there?  And why?  Mike Vogel (Bates Motel) is very good as the lead anti-hero with the unlikely name of Dale "Barbie" Barbara, a mysterious stranger who shows up in town the day of the dome landing and becomes a hero despite being a possible killer. However, it is Dean Norris (Breaking Bad) who steals the show as mayor James "Big Jim" Rennie, a seemingly nice guy who tries to hide a bottomless pit of nasty secrets.  It is the good (Barbie) vs. evil (Big Jim) dynamic that is the heart of the show, but there are fascinating supporting characters as well: Rachelle Lefevre as the attractive woman reporter whose husband is missing and is drawn romantically to Barbie; Natalie Martinez as the rookie cop who has to take charge; Alexander Koch as Big Jim's handsome but psychotic son Junior and Britt Robertson as cute Angie, the girl he obsesses over; Colin Ford as Angie's nerdy brother Andy and Mackenzie Lintz as Norrie, the teen stranger he bonds with when the dome gives them both seizures. Then there are the sterling guest stars like Samantha Mathis, Leon Rippy, Beth Broderick, Natalie Zea, Mare Winningham and more.  Like many of King's works, the series is an intricate tapestry of otherworldly occurrences, society gone mad, dark humor, cold blooded murder, apocalyptic anxiety, political corruption, endless conspiracies, and surprising romances. All this and one of the best TV villains ever in Big Jim.  Hopefully, Season 2 will be just as good and finally answer the many questions that remain unanswered. 2013. Unrated. 4 separate rentals. Highly recommended!]

White House Down [Although the similarly themed Olympus Has Fallen stole some of the box office thunder due to its earlier release, this over-the-top action flick is equally fun if not moreso as Capitol cop Channing Tatum appears to be the only one who can save president Jamie Foxx from kidnappers. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins and James Woods co-star. Every one's favorite current disaster movie director Roland Emmerich (2012, Independence Day) directed with an eye toward non-stop action and a lot of buddy humor.  And when was the last time you saw the President of the US wielding a rocket launcher? That alone makes it worth renting. 2013. Rated PG-13. 131 minutes.]

Notes by manager Steven Y. Mori.

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