HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE // Without a doubt one of the best activism documentaries I have ever seen, “How to Survive a Plague” wholly engages while still educating, built off of archival footage and news programs from the time of the major AIDS outbreak in the ’80s through the battle to save those infected against a hostile, somewhat homophobic government and media, all the way to the effective treatments discovered in the mid-90s. What sets this apart from previous documentaries about large groups of people standing up to the government are the characters, who leave themselves wide open for the world to see in this film, and in doing so, become fully realized and deep, emotional people, with the basic need for survival driving their motivations. Peter Staley, who was one of the major activists for the ACT UP group, was the most enjoyable, with his deadpan reactions during news interviews and unique way with words, especially in public speeches. AIDS in the ’80s isn’t a subject that comes up very often, so to get such a deep look at the epidemic is something new and the harrowing tales, despite their obvious, weighted stance on political issues, are some of the best in recent history.


HOLY MOTORS // Apart from its extreme surrealist nature, “Holy Motors” is an unexpected, visual masterpiece with a strong sense of voice carried wholly by avant-garde director, Leos Carax. Creatively presented like several short films starring the same lead actor, the film’s loose narrative follows the “appointments” of actor Monsieur Oscar. Often humorous, more often baffling, “Holy Motors” simply has to be seen to be believed, crossing a new line in the surrealism movement.


THE MASTER // Paul Thomas Anderson has a way of telling a story that both challenges and entertains its audience in the most unique and interesting ways. Not to mention Anderson’s ability to extract exquisite performances from his leads. Philip Seymour Hoffman delivers what could be his best and most convincing performance to-date while Joaquin Phoenix matches him in complete insanity. At briskly over two hours, the relationship between the two men could carry on much longer, with a constantly changing dynamic, in new and exciting ways. Although the supporting cast often gets lost in the shuffle, there is little need for them, besides backdrops for the unyielding lead performances. There are several key moments of the film, including a powerful, audio-recorded session between Hoffman and Phoenix, that highlight the essence of “The Master” and will live on beyond the viewing of the film. I feel many will take this at face value and regard it as a social piece aimed at Scientology, but this subject matter is merely a vessel to transport this story worth telling. As much buzz as this film has gotten, it will definitely be a contender come awards season, with performances, directing, and cinematography at the top of its game.

New Releases
Chasing Mavericks
The Eye of the Storm
Girls Against Boys
Holy Motors
How to Survive a Plague
The Loneliest Planet
The Master
This is Not a Film

TV Box Set

  • The Client List: Season One
  • Iron Road: The Mini-Series
  • Law & Order: The 12th Year
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season 2 V1
  • Phineas and Ferb: Animal Agents
  • Rocko’s Modern Life: The Complete Series
  • West Point: The Complete Series

Special Editions/Other Releases

  • Barbie in The Pink Shoes
  • Beyond the Clouds
  • Bio-Slime
  • Border Run
  • Chicken with Plums
  • Chronicle of a Summer: Criterion
  • Company of Heroes (2012)
  • Diary of a Chambermaid
  • Escape Fire: Fight to Rescue American Healthcare
  • Falling Uphill
  • Fast Girls
  • Freaky Deaky
  • The Golden Pomegranate
  • The Great Spy Chase
  • House That Dripped Blood
  • I, Marquis de Sade
  • Il Corsaro
  • Lady for a Night
  • Man from Shaolin
  • May I Be Frank
  • Monsieur Gangster
  • Monster from Bikini Beach
  • A New Life
  • Nobody Gets Out Alive
  • Oasis of the Zombies: Remastered
  • Over Your Cities Your Grass Will Grow
  • Plain Clothes
  • The Red Menace
  • Red Tears
  • Sansho the Bailiff: Criterion
  • She Devil (1957)
  • Silent Souls
  • Strangers in the Night
  • Suzune Genesis
  • Total Retribution
  • Zombie Lake: Remasted Edition

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