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, February 24, 2014

New Releases - February 25, 2014

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT TO VIDEO ROOM CUSTOMERS:

Beginning this week, I am pleased to announce that we will start carrying 3D Blu-rays of some of the bigger upcoming film releases. The first titles will be GRAVITY and THOR: THE DARK WORLD. To view these 3D films, you must own a 3D TV, special 3D glasses,  a 3D ready Blu-ray player and use a high speed HDMI cable. If you do not own a 3D system, you may want to check out a demo at your local Best Buy because the picture is amazing, brighter and much better than watching it in a theater, especially if the 3D theater experience bothers you because of lack of brightness or poor digital projection. Of course, at home, you can also always temporarily stop the movie if you get eye strain, which you obviously cannot do in a theater. If you already own a home 3D system  and like the idea of renting 3D movies, please let our staff know or email us. Of course, the best way to  vote  is with your dollars and/or rental blocks.  If the 3D films do well over the next few months, we will continue buying them for rental. Unfortunately, there are no major 3D titles coming in March, but in the next few months to come, huge hits like The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and other big titles are on the way!

3D Blu-rays:

Gravity [One of the best films of 2013 and one of the best sci-fi thrillers ever made, this instant classic is tied with American Hustle for the most Academy Award nominations (10 each) of the year. With only two main stars, state of the art special effects and a superb screenplay and no sight of any monsters or giant robots, director and co-screenwriter Alfonso Cuaron (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Children of Men) has created an unforgettable film experience that is akin to Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey in its ground-breaking use of digital effects and the 3D format. On top of that, Sandra Bullock gives the performance of her career as a first-time astronaut/medical engineer who goes on a routine spacewalk when the space shuttle is destroyed leaving her and veteran astronaut George Clooney stranded in space. Although Clooney gives a solid performance, it is clearly Bullock who dominates the film with her extraordinary and emotionally moving performance. Cuaron, who has won the Directors Guild Award for Best Director among other honors, is a favorite to win the Oscar for keeping audiences on the edge of their seats. The film is also favored to win the most Academy Awards (mostly technical but probably at least one major one as well). Another reason to rejoice is the fact that the film runs an economical 91 minutes (in this day and age of most movie epics running 120-180 minutes) and not a frame is wasted. Highly recommended! 2013. PG-13. Box Office: $269 million.]

Thor: The Dark World [This second film in the Thor franchise is even better than the original. Charismatic Chris Hemsworth returns as the hunky superhero/god who has to reluctantly team with his evil brother Loki (again wonderfully played by rising star Tom Hiddleston) to battle an ancient enemy who threatens to destroy the cosmos: the Dark Elves. Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins and Stellan Skarsgard return as well, and the new guest cast is terrific: Idris Elba (Pacific Rim, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), Christopher Eccelston (G.I. Joe, Rise of Cobra, Shallow Grave), Kat Dennings (TV's 2 Broke Girls),  Zachary Levi (TV's Chuck), and Rene Russo. Alan Taylor (TV's Game of Thrones) directed this Marvel film that was one of the biggest crowd-pleasing hits of 2013.  He is slated to direct the next Terminator film too. Highly Recommended! 2013. Rated PG-13. 112 minutes. Box Office: $206 million.]

Blu-rays:

Blue Is the Warmest Color: The Criterion Collection [Controversial but acclaimed and moving French gay love story starring Adele Exarchopoulos as a high schooler who meets a sexy young woman with blue hair (hot Lea Seydoux from Mission:Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Farewell, My Queen) who changes her life and becomes her first love. From Tunisian director Abdellatif Kechiche (The Secret of the Grain). Although this ground-breaking film has won many awards, including one at the Cannes Film Festival, it is ironically not up for a Best Foreign Film Oscar because the distributors released it too late in France to qualify. Highly recommended but very graphic. 2013. Rated NC-17. 179 minutes. Box Office: $2 million.]

Gravity [One of the best films of 2013 and one of the best sci-fi thrillers ever made, this instant classic is tied with American Hustle for the most Academy Award nominations (10 each) of the year. With only two main stars, state of the art special effects and a superb screenplay and no sight of any monsters or giant robots, director and co-screenwriter Alfonso Cuaron (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Children of Men) has created an unforgettable film experience that is akin to Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey in its ground-breaking use of digital effects and the 3D format. On top of that, Sandra Bullock gives the performance of her career as a first-time astronaut/medical engineer who goes on a routine spacewalk when the space shuttle is destroyed leaving her and veteran astronaut George Clooney stranded in space. Although Clooney gives a solid performance, it is clearly Bullock who dominates the film with her extraordinary and emotionally moving performance. Cuaron, who has won the Directors Guild Award for Best Director among other honors, is a favorite to win the Oscar for keeping audiences on the edge of their seats. The film is also favored to win the most Academy Awards (mostly technical but probably at least one major one as well). Another reason to rejoice is the fact that the film runs an economical 91 minutes (in this day and age of most movie epics running 120-180 minutes) and not a frame is wasted. Highly recommended! 2013. PG-13. Box Office: $269 million.]

Nebraska [Bruce Dern (The King of Marvin Gardens, Black Sunday) gives a career defining performance as a dad who goes on a wild goose chase road trip with son Will Forte for a million dollar prize. The trip itself turns out to be the true reward as the aging father and son reconcile past differences. Dern is great as always in an Oscar-nominated performance. The fine supporting cast includes June Squibb (nominated for Best Supporting Actress), Bob Odenkirk, and Stacy Keach.  Alexander Payne (Sideways, About Schmidt) did a great job directing this amiable and very moving dramedy, which he wisely chose to shoot in black and white, giving it a Seventies feel. Another one of the best films of the year and nominated for 6 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Highly recommended! 2013. Rated R. 115 minutes. Box Office: $16 million.]

Thor: The Dark World [This second film in the Thor franchise is even better than the original. Charismatic Chris Hemsworth returns as the hunky superhero/god who has to reluctantly team with his evil brother Loki (again wonderfully played by rising star Tom Hiddleston) to battle an ancient enemy who threatens to destroy the cosmos: the Dark Elves. Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins and Stellan Skarsgard return as well, and the new guest cast is terrific: Idris Elba (Pacific Rim, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), Christopher Eccelston (G.I. Joe, Rise of Cobra, Shallow Grave), Kat Dennings (TV's 2 Broke Girls),  Zachary Levi (TV's Chuck), and Rene Russo. Alan Taylor (TV's Game of Thrones) directed this Marvel film that was one of the biggest crowd-pleasing hits of 2013.  He is slated to direct the next Terminator film too. Highly Recommended! 2013. Rated PG-13. 112 minutes. Box Office: $206 million.]


DVDs:

Above Suspicion: Set 3 [In this popular British TV crime series, DI Kelly Reilly comes to terms with old boss Ciaran Hinds while they solve the murder of an actress. Shaun Dingwall, Michelle Holmes, Celyn Jones, and Amanda Lawrence also star. 2011. Unrated. 140 minutes.]

Barfi! [Ranbir Kapoor stars as a lovable deaf prankster whose life is thrown for a loop by two beautiful women in this irresistibly goofy Bollywood comedy. Also starring Priyanka Chopra, Ileana D. Cruz, and Rupa Ganguuly. Anurag Basu directed. 2012. Unrated. 151 minutes.]

Blue Is the Warmest Color: The Criterion Collection [Controversial but acclaimed and moving French gay love story starring Adele Exarchopoulos as a high schooler who meets a sexy young woman with blue hair (hot Lea Seydoux from Mission:Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Farewell, My Queen) who changes her life and becomes her first love. From Tunisian director Abdellatif Kechiche (The Secret of the Grain). Although this ground-breaking film has won many awards, including one at the Cannes Film Festival, it is ironically not up for a Best Foreign Film Oscar because the distributors released it too late in France to qualify. Highly recommended but very graphic. 2013. Rated NC-17. 179 minutes. Box Office: $2 million.]

Crash Reel, The [Exciting sports documentary timed for the Sochi Winter Olympics as it follows the rivalry between extreme snowboarders and pals Kevin Pearce and Shaun White. Mason Aguirre, Jake Burton, Danny Davis, Scotty Lago, and Jack & Luke Mitrani also appear. Directed by Lucy Walker. 2013. Unrated. 108 minutes.]

Gravity [One of the best films of 2013 and one of the best sci-fi thrillers ever made, this instant classic is tied with American Hustle for the most Academy Award nominations (10 each) of the year. With only two main stars, state of the art special effects and a superb screenplay and no sight of any monsters or giant robots, director and co-screenwriter Alfonso Cuaron (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Children of Men) has created an unforgettable film experience that is akin to Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey in its ground-breaking use of digital effects and the 3D format. On top of that, Sandra Bullock gives the performance of her career as a first-time astronaut/medical engineer who goes on a routine spacewalk when the space shuttle is destroyed leaving her and veteran astronaut George Clooney stranded in space. Although Clooney gives a solid performance, it is clearly Bullock who dominates the film with her extraordinary and emotionally moving performance. Cuaron, who has won the Directors Guild Award for Best Director among other honors, is a favorite to win the Oscar for keeping audiences on the edge of their seats. The film is also favored to win the most Academy Awards (mostly technical but probably at least one major one as well). Another reason to rejoice is the fact that the film runs an economical 91 minutes (in this day and age of most movie epics running 120-180 minutes) and not a frame is wasted. Highly recommended! 2013. PG-13. Box Office: $269 million.]

Human Experience, The [Uplifting documentary about brothers who travel the world trying to find the answers to why we humans exist and what is the meaning of life. Jeffrey Azize, Clifford Azize, Michael Campo and Matthew Sanchez are featured. Directed by Charles Kinnane. 2008. Rated PG-13. 90 minutes.]

IT Crowd, The: Season 3 [The wackiness continues in this Britcom about quirky geeks who work in an IT department. Starring Chris O'Dowd (Bridesmaids), Richard Ovade, Katherine Parkinson and Matt Berry. 2009. Unrated.]

Mr. Nobody [2009] [Fascinating sci-fi drama starring Jared Leto (The Dallas Buyers Club) as the last mortal on future earth where everyone else now has quasi-immortality.  The 118 year old tells his unique story to a reporter. Sarah Polley, Rhys Ifans and Diane Kruger also star. Belgium director Jaco Van Dormel (The Eighth Day, Toto the Hero) helmed this unusual, character-oriented  fantasy which is a Belgium-German-Canadian-French co-production. 2009. Rated R. 141 minutes.]

Nebraska [Bruce Dern (The King of Marvin Gardens, Black Sunday) gives a career defining performance as a dad who goes on a wild goose chase road trip with son Will Forte for a million dollar prize. The trip itself turns out to be the true reward as the aging father and son reconcile past differences. Dern is great as always in an Oscar-nominated performance. The fine supporting cast includes June Squibb (nominated for Best Supporting Actress), Bob Odenkirk, and Stacy Keach.  Alexander Payne (Sideways, About Schmidt) did a great job directing this amiable and very moving dramedy, which he wisely chose to shoot in black and white, giving it a Seventies feel. Another one of the best films of the year and nominated for 6 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Highly recommended! 2013. Rated R. 115 minutes. Box Office: $16 million.]

Thor: The Dark World [This second film in the Thor franchise is even better than the original. Charismatic Chris Hemsworth returns as the hunky superhero/god who has to reluctantly team with his evil brother Loki (again wonderfully played by rising star Tom Hiddleston) to battle an ancient enemy who threatens to destroy the cosmos: the Dark Elves. Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins and Stellan Skarsgard return as well, and the new guest cast is terrific: Idris Elba (Pacific Rim, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), Christopher Eccelston (G.I. Joe, Rise of Cobra, Shallow Grave), Kat Dennings (TV's 2 Broke Girls),  Zachary Levi (TV's Chuck), and Rene Russo. Alan Taylor (TV's Game of Thrones) directed this Marvel film that was one of the biggest crowd-pleasing hits of 2013.  He is slated to direct the next Terminator film too. Highly Recommended! 2013. Rated PG-13. 112 minutes. Box Office: $206 million.]

Tonight You're Mine [Cute UK rock musical romance comedy starring Luke Treadaway (Clash of the Titans, Attack the Block) as a headlining pop singer and Natalia Tena as the leader of a punk band that get handcuffed together by a security guard at a 48 hour rock festival. Also starring Matthew Baynton, Ruta Gadmintas, Kari Corbett, Alastair Mackenzie, Sophie Wu, and Al Green. Directed by David Mackenzie. 2011. Rated R. 80 minutes.]

Twice Born [Moving Italian-Spanish drama starring Penelope Cruz as a widow who takes her teen son to Sarajevo where his father died during the Bosnian conflict years ago. While they are there, memories of her lover come back to Cruz and reveal a secret. Emile Hirsch, Pietro Castellito, Adrian Haskovich, and Jane Birkin co-star. Directed by Sergio Castellito (Don't Move). 2012. Rated R. 127 minutes.]

You Will Be My Son [French drama about the patriarch of a family vineyard who bypasses his disappointing son as heir apparent in favor of the son of the estate manager, whom he chooses to take over the business. Starring Niels Arestrup, Lorant Deutsch, Patrick Chesnais, Anne Marivin, and Nicolas Bridet. Gilles Legrand directed. 2011. Rated R. 102 minutes.]    

New Arrivals:

Profumo Di Donna [aka Scent of a Woman][1974] [aka Scent of a Woman] [Long before Al Pacino won his Best Actor Oscar for Scent of a Woman, Vittorio Gassman played the same character of a blinded, embittered ex-army captain who is accompanied by a naive young army private on a trip from Turin to Naples in this generally superior original.  In addition to Gassman's deeper performance, there is excellent work from Alessandro Momo, Agostina Belli, Moira Orfei, and Franco Ricci. Directed by Dino Risi (The Priest's Wife, How Funny Can Sex Be?). Rated R. 103 minutes.] 

Vampire Collector's Set [4 vampire horror flicks for one rental: The Shadow Zone: Undead Express, a 1996 TV movie starring Chauncey Leopardi as a horror  film nut who befriends real vampire Ron Silver who leads him to a coven; Vampire Wars: Battle for the Universe aka Bloodsuckers, a 2005 TV movie about humans trying to save a world overrun by vampires with stars Joe Lando (TV's Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman), Natassia Malthe and A.J. Cook (from TV'S Criminal Minds); Nadja, a 1994 goth horror film about twin brother and sister vampires who battle each other in modern NYC starring Elina Lowensohn, Jared Harris and Peter Fonda; The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire, a 2002 TV movie starring Matt Frewer (Max Headroom) and Kenneth Welsh as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as they try to solve murders that may have been caused by a vampire.]

Notes by manager Steven Y. Mori.

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