This Week’s New Releases:

SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN:

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Heartfelt documentary from first-time director Malik Bendjelloul on the mysterious – and hitherto totally unknown – musician Rodriguez. One of the biggest success stories of the year, the film is part detective story, part ode to a singer-songwriter many in the business considered to be greater than Bob Dylan.

TOTAL RECALL:

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Re-make of the classic 90s sci-fi film originally starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, but now starring Colin Farrell. If you have a total recall of the original, then perhaps best to stick to the original…

THE WATCH:

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American Comedy. A group of guys form a neighbourhood watch and uncover an alien plot to destroy the world. Will they save the Earth? Who cares. Who comes up with this crap???

If you feel let down by having survived the end of days and are still longing for an alien invasion, maybe watch Mars Attacks! instead. Or the fantastic 1956 McCarthyite Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

2013 Oscar News: Shortlist For Best Foreign Film Announced

It’s the category that sets most of us to head-scratching as often by the time the winner is announced half the films have yet to reach our fair, Hollywood-saturated shores. None-the-less, out of a record of 71 submissions here are the ones that have made the shortlist. Of these, only 5 will be nominated…

A ROYAL AFFAIR (DENMARK):

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Directed by Nikolaj Arcel, who wrote the screenplay for the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Period drama based on a true story of Enlightenment woe. IN STOCK NOW TO RENT OR BUY

AMOUR (AUSTRIA):

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Directed by Michael Haneke (Hidden, White Ribbon etc) and starring Jean-Louis Trintgnant and Isabelle Huppert. The favourite?

THE INTOUCHABLES (FRANCE):

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Based on the true story of a French quadriplegic aristocrat and his ALGERIAN carer… Indescribably popular French ‘feel good’ comedy, despite being bad, obnoxious and offensive. Even the poster is annoying.

SISTER (SWITZERLAND):

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Directed by Ursula Meier, director of 2008’s intriguing Home starring Isabelle Huppert.

THE DEEP (ICELAND):

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Directed by Baltasar Kormakur, director of this year’s Contraband (with Mark Wahlberg), Jar City and 101 Reykjavic.

BEYOND THE HILLS (ROMANIA):

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Directed by Christian Mungiu, director of Tales from the Golden Age and 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days.

KON-TIKI (NORWAY):

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Directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg, the duo that brought you Max Manus: Man of War and the less-than-fantastic Bandidas with Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek…

NO (CHILE):

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Directed by Pablo Larrain, director of Post Mortem and Tony Manero and starring Gael Garcia Bernal.

WAR WITCH (CANADA):

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Directed by Kim Nguyen and set in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Christmas Spook-tacular From The Crypts Of The BFI

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Have a ghoul yule with the BFI’s latest box-set  – a collection of 12 tales both macabre and malignant, including 9 adaptations of stories by M.R. James. These stories were originally aired by the BBC on a Christmas Eve throughout the ’70s and they are now back (safely bundled together in a tight box where you can keep an eye on them) to chill your spine whilst your belly warms on pies and pud. Enjoy!

NEW THIS WEEK: The Killing Season 3 and Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing (It’s A Veritable Slaughter – Merry Christmas)

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Just when you thought it was safe to put away your jumpers. Just when you thought it was safe to lay off the Rosetta Stone tapes in a vain attempt to speak Danish as well as Eddie in a recent episode of Absolutely Fabulous. Just when you thought it was safe to read a book. Just when you thought it was safe to close your eyes – The Killing is back with more Power, Politics, Murder and Deception, and more Danish than ever before.

If you thought you knew Sarah Lund, think again. If you thought you were over watching subtitles until you’ve gone cross-eyed, think again. The Killing Season 3 will change your mind. And your life.

***Also Out This Week:***

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Stanley Kubrick’s stunning noir, The Killing (1956), has been newly added to our shelves. Starring Sterling Hayden as the driving force behind a daring heist, The Killing features fantastic dialogue that is at times classic snappy-noir and other times anachronistically natural –  full of hesitations and interruptions, with one character played by Kola Kwariani  (a professional wrestler in his only film appearance) whose Georgian accent is so thick he’s almost incomprehensible. The cinematography is beautiful, at times having the gritty and honest, no-frills grain of a high-contrast photocopy, at other times almost drowning the actors in swirling black velvet and inky shadows. Not least of all, the film is note-worthy for its unusual narrative structure and back-and-forth timeline, playing out various scenes from beginning to end that we are told are happening simultaneously adding to the sense of tension and drawing the film to its heist-climax. And then ultimately, having drawn us up, it lets us roll back down again in what must be one of the great under-stated, unheroic, unglamorous endings of any noir ever.

Over all The Killing stands up as a classic noir, but with more than just a touch of the renegade and maverick to it, which should come as no surprise to any seasoned Kubrick fan.

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NEWS FLASH: ‘POPCORN’ DISCOVERED IN STORE (The Snack – Not The Film)

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According to the BBC World Service, strange kernels scientists are calling ‘corn’ have recently been discovered scattered in fields all over the world. It is believed they have been dormant, nestled amongst the seeds of our staple produce for centuries, possibly longer, their purpose unknown. But in a strange twist, these ‘corns’ have come to be linked to an epidemic of such tremendous proportions that only a third-rate horror movie plot could make any sense of it… In places of entertainment, all over the world, anywhere where people gather; in stadiums; in cinemas; at the circus; in the bank; waiting in line for the bathroom in a run-down strip-joint, and yes, even at home these innocuous kernels of ‘corn’ have been turning into these:

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Apparently, these puffed-up cardboard-like, feather-light squeaky snacks have become THE inestimable entrée, the pinnacle of pabulum and everyone’s MUST-HAVE repast. No-one cares any longer for fine vittles like boar with chocolate ganache or ox-snout stew. This ‘popping corn’ is all the rage.

And we must have it.

And so we do.

We at Video City are now the proud purveyors of the finest popped corn in town, as supplied by Pop (15 Blenheim Crescent) – available in extra special Sweet and Salty flavours. Ask in store.

Just to be clear, this is popcorn the snack, not Popcorn the movie, classic as no doubt it is:

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NEW RELEASES: 10TH DECEMBER

EXPENDABLES 2:

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Will we miss them when they’re gone? No, because they’re EXPENDABLE. So, let’s put them all together in a film and be done with it. Fine. It’s like putting all the world’s waste on a single uninhabited island thousands of miles from anywhere else and nuking the whole lot. The plan is flawed, but you can see the creaky cogs of someone’s brain turning. But Expendables TWO?? Pretty sure expendable means something to be used once and then discarded. Or at the very least, something that’s not worth keeping hold of. But, then, this is Hollywood after all, where the expendable lasts for ever. Expendable: they were the first time and they still are. Except maybe Bruce – we’ll keep him, the rest can sign up to be governors of various deluded states… Starring Bruce Willis (Die Hard), Sylvester Stallone (Rocky), Arnold Schwarzenegger (ex-governor of California), Jean-Claude Van Damme (Universal Soldier), Dolph Lundgren (Masters of the Universe). Directed by Simon West (Con Air). Cert. 15

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YOSSI:

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Out from Peccadillo this week is this Israeli drama about Yossi, a closeted gay man leading a solitary life in Tel-Aviv.

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KEITH LEMON:

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Could be hilarious. Could be atrocious. All bets are off…

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Also Out This Week:

LIFE JUST IS:

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ICE AGE 4:

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CHRISTMAS GIFT RECOMMENDATIONS:

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So, once again, it’s that time of year that makes your brain explode. 15,000 people to buy presents for and not a single clue for any of them – it’s a miracle if you won’t end up accidentally wrapping the Christmas tree and stuffing the dog in the oven. So. What to do? OBVIOUSLY, we recommend you don’t go out of your mind this Christmas and instead relax and have a chat with our oh-so-chatty staff who will have loads of ideas and can help you pick a good selection of pressies for all.

On top of that, a number of customers have asked us for a list of Christmas gift recommendations, so here we are:

***Box Sets For Lovers of Classic Cinema:

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HITCHCOCK (VARIOUS AVAILABLE inc. EARLY YEARS)

POWELL AND PRESSBURGER COLLECTION (without a doubt one of the best box sets in the shop – can’t go wrong with this one – inc. Matter of Life and Death, Red Shoes, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, Black Narcissus + 7 others)

BETTE DAVIS (VARIOUS AVAILABLE)

JAMES BOND (every Bond except the latest, obviously)

DAVID LEAN COLLECTION: (inc. Brief Encounter, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist + 7 others)

FILM NOIR COLLECTION (inc.: The Killers, Double Indemnity, Out of the Past + 6 other classics)

BILLY WILDER (VOLS 1&2)

***Box Sets For Lovers of Foreign Cinema:

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MICHAEL HANEKE

LOUIS MALLE (1&2)

FRANCOIS TRUFFAUT

NEO-REALIST COLLECTION (inc. Rome, Open City, Bicycle Thieves, Miracle in Milan, Umberto D, I Vitelloni)

FELLINI (VARIOUS AVAILABLE)

HERZOG/KINSKI (inc.Aguirre, Fitzcarraldo +3 others + the exceptional documentary, My Best Fiend)

***Box Sets For Lovers of More Contemporary Cinema:

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SPIKE LEE COLLECTION (inc. Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever + 3 others)

MIKE LEIGH COLLECTION (inc. Secrets and Lies, Naked, Vera Drake + 6 others)

SCORSESE COLLECTION

JIM JARMUSCH (VOL1&2)

***Box Sets For Children:

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TINTIN

HOME ALONE

ASTERIX

MADELINE/MATHILDA

STAR WARS (BLU-RAY ONLY)

***TV Series Box Sets:

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BREAKING BAD

SPIRAL

MAD MEN

THE KILLING (SERIES 3 WILL BE IN STORE VERY VERY SOON)

MODERN FAMILY

THE BRIDGE

DEADWOOD

DOWNTON ABBEY (1-3)

***Box Sets for Lovers of Non-Fiction:

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DAVID ATTENBOROUGH (VARIOUS AVAILABLE i.e. Life of Mammals, Planet Earth etc)

THE STORY OF FILM

ANDREW MARR’S HISTORY OF THE WORLD

LONDON 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES

PRIVATE LIFE OF A MASTERPIECE

**Individual Titles for The ‘Quick Gift’:

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LONDON THE MODERN BABYLON

SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN (AVAILABLE FROM THE 22ND)

MARLEY

ARTHUR CHRISTMAS

DARK KNIGHT RISES

ROYAL AFFAIR

ICE AGE 4

DIANA VREELAND – THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL

PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC (CARL DREYER)

***AND IF YOU’RE STILL STUCK AFTER ALL THAT, THERE’S ALWAYS THE TRUSTY GIFT VOUCHER***

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