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, May 19, 2014

New Releases - May 20, 2014

3D Blu-ray:

Pompeii [In this fun disaster epic, Kit Harington plays a slave turned gladiator who tries to save his true love from marrying a nasty senator while Mount Vesuvius erupts and wreaks havoc. Harington, who has become a star because of his magnetic portrayal of Jon Snow on HBO's Game of Thrones, leads a better than average cast for this kind of film: Emily Browning, Lee Batchler, Carrie-Anne Moss, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jessica Lucas, Jared Harris, Kiefer Sutherland, and Currie Graham. Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson (the Resident Evil series, The Three Musketeers) with an eye toward non-stop action and spectacular 3D effects. 2014. Rated PG-13. 105 minutes. Box Office: $24 million.]

Blu-rays:

3 Days to Kill [Charismatic Kevin Costner has a lot of fun going the action star route that Liam Neeson, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Sylvester Stallone have patented. He plays a dying hit man who must perform one more job in order to get an illicit wonder drug that may help him survive. All this while trying to bond with estranged daughter Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit). The fine supporting cast includes Amber Heard and Connie Nielsen. McG (Charlie'a Angels, Terminator Salvation) directed with his usual emphasis on stylized violence. 2014. Rated PG-13. 1137minutes. Box Office: $31 million.]

Game of Thrones: Seasons 1 and 2 [We are finally getting the first two seasons of HBO's terrific TV series adaptation of George R.R. Martin's best-selling book series A Song of Fire and Ice. The epic fantasy tells the tale of the Seven Kingdoms, seven very different lands with distinctively varied people and spectacular locations that vary from deserts to ice to lush greenery who live together in peace under one king (well-played by Mark Addy) despite their differences and bloody past wars and rivalries.  However, those ancient grudges  resurface and bubble over when the king falls ill and all of the clans begin to jostle and go to any gory extreme to gain the Iron Throne that rules over the kingdoms. The amazing cast includes Sean Bean, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Maisie Williams, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, Iain Glen, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Charles Dance, Jack Gleeson, Michelle Fairley, Rory McCann, and Richard Madden. Although everyone in the cast is unforgettable in their roles, breakout stars are Dinklage who is a scene-stealer as a multi-shaded character known as The Imp because he is a dwarf and who happens to be the most rational man in the kingdom despite being a womanizer and a drunk, Headey as his dripping with evil Lady Macbeth-like sister, Harington as the dashing bastard son of king Bean who struggles to make a name for himself, and dazzling blonde Clarke as the Mother of Dragons who is determined to win back her rightful throne with the help of sadistic armies and her fiery children.  This remains one of the best shows currently on TV thanks to its rich characters and complex plotting that bear repeated viewing. Add to that a stunningly beautiful production, graphic sex and nudity, and an unhealthy dose of ultra-violence, and you have one of the best shows in TV history...period. Highly recommended! Even if you have seen the DVD versions of this, you should watch the Blu-ray versions, which look incredible! 2011-2012. Unrated. 5 separate rentals per season. If these rent well, we will get Season 3 and subsequent seasons.]

Like Someone in Love {The Criterion Collection] [Acclaimed Japanese romance drama about a beautiful prostitute who develops an unlikely relationship with a widower over a two day period. Starring Rin Takanashi, Tadashi Okumo, and Ryo Kase. Directed by Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami (Certified Copy, Taste of Cherry). 2012. Unrated. 109 minutes.]

Monuments Men, The [In the tradition of classic war comedies like Kelly's Heroes and What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?, this likable WWII heist action hit features a great all-star cast lead by self-effacing George Clooney, who also ably directed. Unlike those other films, this one is based amazingly on a true story. Clooney plays a soldier who cobbles together a motley crew of fellow soldiers to reclaim rare stolen art from Nazi thieves while WWII rages on around them. The delightful cast includes Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, and Dimitri Leonidas. If you miss good, old-fashioned war flicks, this one's for you. Highly recommended! 2014. Rated PG-13. 118 minutes. Box Office: $78 million.]    

Pompeii [In this fun disaster epic, Kit Harington plays a slave turned gladiator who tries to save his true love from marrying a nasty senator while Mount Vesuvius erupts and wreaks havoc around them. Harington, who has become a star because of his magnetic portrayal of Jon Snow on HBO's Game of Thrones, leads a better than average cast for this kind of film: Emily Browning, Lee Batchler, Carrie-Anne Moss, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jessica Lucas, Jared Harris, Kiefer Sutherland, and Currie Graham. Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson (the Resident Evil series, The Three Musketeers) with an eye toward non-stop action and spectacular 3D effects. 2014. Rated PG-13. 105 minutes. Box Office: $24 million.]

DVDs;

3 Days to Kill [Charismatic Kevin Costner has a lot of fun going the action star route that Liam Neeson, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Sylvester Stallone have patented. He plays a dying hit man who must perform one more job in order to get an illicit wonder drug that may help him survive. All this while trying to bond with estranged daughter Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit). The fine supporting cast includes Amber Heard and Connie Nielsen. McG (Charlie'a Angels, Terminator Salvation) directed with his usual emphasis on stylized violence. 2014. Rated PG-13. 1137minutes. Box Office: $31 million.]

About Last Night [2014] [A delightful cast (Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, Joy Bryant, Christopher Macdonald, Paula Patton, and Adam Rodriguez) propels this charming and funny African-American hit remake of the romcom classic about a couple who hook up at a bar, have a one night stand, and then have to decide whether it is more than that. Steve Pink (Hot Tub Time Machine, Accepted) directed this well-reviewed comedy that is at least as good as the Rob Lowe-Demi Moore original, if not better. Rated R. 100 minutes. Box Office: $49 million.]

Call the Midwife: Season 3 [The midwives return for more drama in late 1950's London. Starring Jessica Raine, Miranda Hart, and Jenny Agutter. 2014, Unrated. 3 separate rentals.]

Grand Piano [Elijah Wood plays a concert pianist who is staging a comeback but is taken back by a note on his sheet music just before performing that informs him he will be killed if he plays the wrong note. John Cusack, Alex Winter, Dee Wallace, and Kerry Bishe also star. Eugenio Mira directed this intense thriller. 2013. Rated R. 90 minutes.]

In Secret [In this 1860's period drama, Elizabeth Olsen (Godzilla, Martha Marcy May Marlene) plays a young beauty who is trapped in a loveless marriage thanks to her domineering mom Jessica Lange. Co-starring Tom Felton and Oscar Isaac. Directed by actor-director Charlie Stratton. 2014. Rated R. 107 minutes.]

Like Someone in Love {The Criterion Collection] [Acclaimed Japanese romance drama about a beautiful prostitute who develops an unlikely relationship with a widower over a two day period. Starring Rin Takanashi, Tadashi Okumo, and Ryo Kase. Directed by Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami (Certified Copy, Taste of Cherry). 2012. Unrated. 109 minutes.]

Monuments Men, The [In the tradition of classic war comedies like Kelly's Heroes and What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?, this likable WWII heist action hit features a great all-star cast lead by self-effacing George Clooney, who also ably directed. Unlike those other films, this one is based amazingly on a true story. Clooney plays a soldier who cobbles together a motley crew of fellow soldiers to reclaim rare stolen art from Nazi thieves while WWII rages on around them. The delightful cast includes Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, and Dimitri Leonidas. If you miss good, old-fashioned war flicks, this one's for you. Highly recommended! 2014. Rated PG-13. 118 minutes. Box Office: $78 million.]Monuments Men, The [In the tradition of classic war comedies like Kelly's Heroes and What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?, this likable WWII heist action hit features a great all-star cast lead by self-effacing George Clooney, who also ably directed. Unlike those other films, this one is based amazingly on a true story. Clooney plays a soldier who cobbles together a motley crew of fellow soldiers to reclaim rare stolen art from Nazi thieves while WWII rages on around them. The delightful cast includes Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, and Dimitri Leonidas. If you miss good, old-fashioned war flicks, this one's for you. Highly recommended! 2014. Rated PG-13. 118 minutes. Box Office: $78 million.]

No God, No Master [Based on a true story, this fine period mystery stars David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck and Lincoln) as a 1919 US agent who has to find out who is leaving package bombs at the doorsteps of powerful men, leading to a plot to destroy democracy. Ray Wise and Sam Witwer co-star. Written and directed by Terry Green. 2014. Rated PG-13. 94 minutes.]

Pompeii [In this fun disaster epic, Kit Harington fame, plays a slave turned gladiator who tries to save his true love from marrying a nasty senator while Mount Vesuvius erupts and wreaks havoc around them. Harington, who has become a star because of his magnetic portrayal of Jon Snow on HBO's Game of Thrones, leads a better than average cast for this kind of film: Emily Browning, Lee Batchler, Carrie-Anne Moss, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jessica Lucas, Jared Harris, Kiefer Sutherland, and Currie Graham. Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson (the Resident Evil series, The Three Musketeers) with an eye toward non-stop action and spectacular 3D effects. 2014. Rated PG-13. 105 minutes. Box Office: $24 million.]

Raze [In the tradition of those great, sexy and violent 1970's grindhouse exploitation flicks, this femme centric throwback features a story about 52 kidnapped women who are forced to fight each other to the death bare-handed in a coliseum to save their lives and their families. The hot and sexy cast includes stuntwoman Zoe Bell (Bitch Slap, Death Proof), Rachel Nichols (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and TV's Continuum), Tracie Thoms, Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks), Bailey Anne Borders, Rebecca Marshall, Adrienne Wilkinson, Aliene Quincy, and Rosario Dawson. Recommended for fans of sexploitation drive-in cult films! 2014. Rated R. 87 minutes.]

Stranger by the Lake [In the grand tradition of Claude Chabrol's character-driven film noirs, this thriller stars Pierre Deladonchamps as a lonely man who looks for companionship at a famous male pick up lake in France. He meets Christophe Paou and blindly falls in love, but things and the relationship unravel quickly when a dead body turns up, making both of them suspects. Directed by Alain Guiraudie. 2013. Unrated. 97 minutes.]

Vampire Academy [Fun horror satire starring Zoey Deutch and Lucy Fry as two 17 year olds who go to a secret academy for peaceful vampires and half-humans/half-vampires, so they not only have to deal with high school but also vampire issues. Mark Waters (Mean Girls, Freaky Friday) directed this cult hit based on Richelle Mead's best-selling series. Gabriel Byrne, Danila Kozlovsky, Dominic Sherwood, Olga Kurylenko, and Sarah Hyland also star. 2014. Rated PG-13. 104 minutes. Box Office: $8 million.]

New Arrivals:

Gambit [1966] [Ronald Neame (The Poseidon Adventure, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie) directed this charming heist comedy starring Michael Caine as a slick con artist who masterminds an intricately planned priceless art theft that mainly depends on showgirl Shirley Maclaine, but when the plot unfolds, things go delightfully awry. Herbert Lom, Arnold Moss, and Roger C. Carmel co-star. The recent remake with Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz is coming out on May 27th and is fun but not nearly as much as this colorful and ingeniously twisted classic. Highly recommended! Unrated. 109 minutes.]

Meet John Doe [Frank Capra (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town) directed this superb dramedy starring Gary Cooper as a desperate everyman who agrees to impersonate a non-existent man who threatens to commit suicide in protest and inadvertently becomes head of a social movement. Cooper gives one of his best performances as a man caught between his conscience and powerful men who want to manipulate him and the public. The fine cast features Barbara Stanwyck, Edward Arnold, Walter Brennan, Spring Byington, James Gleason, and Gene Lockhart. Highly Recommended! 1941. Unrated. 122 minutes. Black & White.]

Weekend of a Champion [Rarely seen documentary about the weekend Roman Polanski spent with race car driver/champion Jackie Stewart as he tried to win the Monaco Grand Prix. Frank Simon and an uncredited Polanski directed. This film was largely unseen until 2013 when it was resurrected presumably to cash in on Ron Howard's acclaimed Rush. 1972. Unrated. 80 minutes.]

Notes by manager Steven Y. Mori.

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