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The first New Releases of 2012

Happy New Year, everyone!  Here’s the short-but-sweet list of the first New Releases of 2012:

BLU = Also available for rent on Blu-ray disc

@ = Available for sale at the store

SALE = Also available for sale from our online mercantile


CONTAGION—A full roster of stars—Laurence Fishburne, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Ehle, Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Bryan Cranston, Jude Law, John Hawkes, etc.—either take on or are taken down by a nasty H1N1-like virus in Steven Soderbergh’s global epidemic drama. You probably won’t touch your face for an hour or so after viewing.  BLU 


MILDRED PIERCE—Speaking of Kate Winslet, she won an Emmy for her portrayal of a single mother trying to get through the Depression with a bit of help from a suitor (Guy Pearce) and absolutely no help from her difficult daughter (Evan Rachel Wood). The HBO mini-series was co-written and directed by Todd Haynes. BLU  SALE


DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK—Speaking of Guy Pearce, he stars as the father of a young girl (Bailee Madison) being terrorized by ancient spirits in this update of the 1973 TV movie from Troy Nixey and writer/producer Guillermo del Toro. In the latest issue of City Arts, our colleague Bryan says the film capitalizes, “on childhood fears of the dark, the unknown, monsters and not being believed by adults. The creatures - at first hidden, later revealed by flashlight in the worst possible place (under the covers) - are some of the best on screen in years.”    BLU   @   SALE


THE GUARD—An Irish cop (Brendan Gleeson) and an American FBI agent (Don Cheadle) team up to thwart drug traffickers in this highly enjoyable comedy.  BLU   @


JUSTIFIED: SEASON 2—The FX series based on Elmore Leonard’s story keeps getting better as Timothy Olyphant’s Deputy U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens goes head to head with hillbillies Jeremy Davies and Emmy winner Margo Martindale.  BLU   @  SALE


I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT—A typical “it’s-hard-balancing-work-and-family” comedy that's much improved by its cast, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Greg Kinnear, Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Munn, Christina Hendricks, and Seth Meyers.


I AM—Hollywood director Tom Shadyac (Ace Ventura, Bruce Almighty) suffered a bike accident that caused him reconsider everything. In his documentary, he asks people like Howard Zinn and Desmond Tutu, “What's wrong with our world? and What can we do about it?”



Rosario + Vampire: Season 2

Tales of the Abyss 2



Spongebob’s Frozen Face-Off



City Under Siege  @

Pearl Jam: Twenty  @

X: The Unheard Music  @



Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season 5   @

Hell’s Kitchen: Season 3

Hell’s Kitchen: Season 5



Downton Abbey: Christmas at Downton Abbey (2011)(PAL Code 2)--UK

Lavender Castle: The Complete Collection (2005)(PAL)--UK   A series by Gerry Anderson (Thunderbirds).



Edens Lost & Found: Seattle-The Future is Now

The Franchise: A Season with the San Francisco Giants

Frontline: Lost in Detention-The Hidden Legacy of 9/11

Herschel—A documentary on Herschel Walker, part of ESPN’s 30 for 30 series

The Last Lions   BLU  @

Life of Buddha

NOVA: Who’s Helping our Wounded Vets?

Rock Soup—Lech Kowalski’s documentary takes place in the summer of 1989 and follows a group tries to start up a soup kitchen in NYC’s Lower East Side.

Seattle Chronicle-- A DVD version of this title in our Seattle Interest section, reviewed by our colleague Spenser in our Scarecrow on Seattle reviews.

Swastika (1973)



G-Sale—A locally made indie comedy about garage sales and the garage sale-obsessed. It stars Tracey Conway (Almost Live!) and the late great Ted D’Arms.

Puncture—Two lawyers (Chris Evans and Mark Kassen) get in a bit over their heads when they take on a case involving an ER nurse (Vinessa Shaw) who was pricked with a contaminated needle while on the job.

Shark Night—Oh yes it’s shark night, and the feeling’s right for the hungry creatures feasting on young people in a Louisiana lake.

Tune in next week for the first season of BOARDWALK EMPIRE, Jean-Luc Godard's FILM SOCIALISME, Jackie Chan's historical epic 1911, likely future Oscar nominee MONEYBALL, and much more.



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