What starts out as a ballroom dancing mockumentary soon becomes something more once the dancing actually starts. You know right from the beginning that this movie is going to feature some over-the-top hair and hysterics, thanks to main character Scott's mother crying into the camera, wondering just where she possibly went wrong! Scott, you see, is an up-and-coming star in the Australian ballroom dancing world, but he's bored with the same old dance steps and his partner just can't abide by his experimentation! If he doesn't follow the rules how will they win the Pan-Pacific Grand Prix? I can't tell you that this movie defies tropes or presents unexpected plot twists. Once Scott is paired with newcomer Fran you'll probably be able to guess where it's headed, but that doesn't take into account the fantastic dancing, flashbacks to the 1967 Grand Prix, Fran's family schooling Scott on the proper way to do the Paso Doble, or co-writer and director Baz Luhrmann's fantastic sense of humor. Check Our Catalog 
Written, directed, and starring Chris Rock, this is a genuinely funny film. Chris plays a comedian who acheived fame with several very stupid movies but is trying to break out and do a serious film about the Haitain revolution, while also preparing to get married to a reality television star. A reporter (Rosario Dawson) is tagging along and pines for his long-past days of stand-up. To say more would give too much away - and this is more than a funny movie. It is also satire and love story, all set in one incredibly long day in New York City. Lots of star power joins the ride as well, including Tracy Morgan, Kevin Hart, Cedric The Entertainer, Leslie Jones and many more. Check Our Catalog 
The critically acclaimed series came to its final, inevitably bloody conclusion this past December. Whether you were captivated from the start, hopped on part-way along the ride, or still haven’t ventured into this drama, every season is now available to watch on DVD, along with deleted scenese, gag reels, and more. Called Shakespearean and a cross between Easy Rider and The Sopranos, this is primarily the tale of Clay Morrow (played by Ron Pearlman, perhaps best known for his previous role as the Beast in the series dramatization of Beauty and the Beast) and his step-son Jax Teller (played by Charlie Hunnam, who I didn’t even realize was English until I heard him speak out of character). Clay is the president of the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, an outlaw gang with ties to the Irish Mob. He was friends with Jax’s dad, but is now married to Jax’s mother, Gemma. (Katy Sagal is so captivating as Gemma that I didn't connect that she also played Peg Bundy on Married with Children until someone pointed it out to me). Jax has a young son and grapples with his family legacy and the violence that has surrounded him since his birth. Set against the backdrop of Eastern California, this is a very addictive show (if you can stomach the violence). Check Our Catalog 
Mistaken identities, mob bosses at war, bookies, assassins and righteous vengeance make up this 2006 thriller. Except thriller doesn't really do the job of describing this movie. Sure, it has all the hallmarks: a years-old murder case over a bet gone wrong and a young man caught in the middle of two crime bosses' bitter grudge. But Slevin Kelevra, who arrived in town to find his buddy Nick missing and mobsters - believing that Slevin is Nick - seems fairly upbeat about the whole situation. A pre-Elementary Lucy Liu plays Nick's neighbor, Lindsey, and soon inserts herself into the mystery, wanting to use her amateur detective skills to help Slevin find out just what is going on. As you might hope, there are plenty of twists and turns and dangerous situations, but there's also humor and a tiny bit of romance and, as I mentioned, a tale of righteous vengeance, all played out by a fantastic cast. Check Our Catalog 
Bob is working at his cousin Marv's bar in a gritty part of Brooklyn, and you quickly realize tell they both have a shady past. The bar is one of many in the city used as a drop for dirty money and it turns out the bar itself is owned by a menacing Chechen gang leader. A couple of small-time thugs rob the bar, Bob finds an abused puppy in a trash can and meets a girl named Nadia, and a random crime turns out not to be so random. This suspenseful and tightly focused movie about damaged people features beautiful, nuanced performances by Tom Hardy (Bob), James Gandolfini (Marv) and Noomi Rapace (Nadia). The movie is based on a short story by Dennis Lehane and it shows (even though the setting was changed from Boston to Brooklyn). Check Our Catalog 
Fan’s of the original 1996 movie, rejoice! The Coen brothers gave their blessing to this fabulous return to the wilds of Minnesota. Billy Bob Thornton gives a stellar performance as a manipulative criminal mastermind who steps into a small-town insurance agent’s life, played by Martin Freedman (another great performance). Bob Odenkirk and Oliver Platt also contribute to the star power. Dreams, deceit, hard choices, and murder? You betcha! Winner of Emmy Awards for Outstanding Miniseries and Outstanding Direction, nominated for 15 additional Emmy Awards, and also winner of two Golden Globes. Watch the trailer, Check Our Catalog 
The story begins in a grand hotel somewhere in Europe as World War II approaches. Concierge extraordinaire M. Gustave, a romancer of older ladies and mentor to recently hired lobby boy, Zero, becomes a suspect in the murder of one of his special guests. What ensues is a chase around a visually stunning landscape, featuring lots of bad guys (particularly the ultra creepy Willem Dafoe), hairy situations, and cameos from actors well known to fans of Wes Anderson's movies. If, like me, you never thought of Ralph Fiennes as funny, think again. He gives an absolutely amazing performance. Check Our Catalog 
Sarah Silverman crossed with Portlandia? Two women in their 20’s, living in NYC are the center of this Comedy Central series, based upon a web series of the same name that the stars produced from 2009 to 2011. Amy Poehler is an executive producer but don’t expect this to be like Parks and Rec - this is not network television! Ilana (22) works as little as possible and often takes naps in the company’s bathroom stall. Abbi (26) has a job at a health club and often has to clear the bathrooms. Best friends, Ilana’s wild side plays well off of Abbi’s desire to be responsible yet stay fun and free-spirited. Ilana is very sexually liberated and is a serious marijuana enthusiast. Ilana has a roomate who is never seen, but her roomate’s boyfriend is always in their apartment - and he’s the bigest possible loser. Ilana also has a crush on a cute neighbor but is unable to connect with him. There are also lots of great guest appearances, including Rachel Dratch, Janeane Garofalo, Fred Armisen, and Seth Rogen. Check Our Catalog 
Languid, introspective, and darkly funny, this vampire movie never outright mentions what its main characters are. Adam is a centuries-old musician going through a rough patch while living in seclusion in Detroit. Enter his long-time lover, Eve, thousands of years old and living in Tangiers until Adam calls. The quiet romance and midnight reflections on the rise and fall of lives and societies are at the center of this story, until Eve's uncontrollable little sister shows up, complicating things by doing what we all expect vampires to do. This movie doesn't bounce along on action scenes, instead it glides on meditation and tenderness. Check Our Catalog 
Action film meets art film. Think Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon but set on a train and without the martial arts. Oh, and it takes place in a future after humans accidentally froze the entire planet and the only survivors are on an arc of a train that’s circumnavigating the planet. An arc-train? Yes - and the aquarium car is amazing! There are some fabulous fight scenes - but more like Gangs of New York meets the modern Korean police force in terms of the fighting style. In addition to fantastic visuals this film also provides some political fodder to keep you intellectually engaged. Intrigued? Enjoy the preview below. Check Our Catalog 
In a post-apocalyptic Russia, mercenary Toorop is hired for a difficult job: transport the naive and sheltered Aurora and her guardian, Sister Rebekah, from a convent in Russia to New York City. What seems at first to merely be a matter of obtaining the right falsified identification and booking passage becomes something more when Aurora is revealed to have some strange powers Toorop was not told about when he took the job. People are after Aurora, who knows things she shouldn't know, understands things she's never encountered, and who has to be delivered to New York unharmed. Based on the French-Canadian cyberpunk novel Babylon Babies and starring Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh and Mélanie Thierry, this is NOT a typical action sci-fi movie. Check our catalog 
This is a beautifully animated tale of love, tragedy and war. The latest (and rumored to be the last) release of a Miyazaki film, The Wind Rises tells the story of aeronautical engineer Jiro Horikoshi, a pioneer in aircraft design in the first half of the twentieth century. More than aspiring to achieve flight, Jiro is an artist and dreamer striving to stay true to himself during a trying time in his life and in Japanese history. If you enjoy animation of imaginative tales, this movie is not one to be missed! Check our catalog 
Products of a dysfunctional marriage and orphaned at the age of 14 (Dad: suicide; Mom: disinterest), damaged but endearing twins Maggie and Milo are both unhappy, each facing a life crisis of their own making. Close as children but estranged as adults, they meet again in their New York state hometown after 10 years apart and proceed to support and undermine each other in the ways only siblings can. Although this movie starts and ends with suicide attempts, it’s actually quite funny, with some very appealing performances by both the two leads (Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader) and the supporting cast. Check Our Catalog 
Spanning two years and three Thanksgivings, this Woody Allen classic hits all his favorite subjects: sex, death and Manhattan. The movie unfolds as a series of vignettes featuring sisters Hannah (Mia Farrow), Lee (Barbara Hershey) and Holly (Dianne Wiest) along with their former, current, and future husbands and lovers. Love, betrayal, aging parents, career angst, hypochondria, and some good religion jokes—what more could you ask for? Check Our Catalog 
Looking for something a little different for a Christmas movie this year? Try one of these five you may not have seen before.
A Christmas Carol (1984): Sure, you've seen A Christmas Carol. You might have seen the Alistair Sim version, or maybe Patrick Stewart? You've seen the Muppets do their take and you've seen a million parody episodes for various television shows. Maybe you've read the book too. Have you seen this version, with George C. Scott as Scrooge? Made in 1984 for television, this version has a wondeful cast, with Susannah York and Roger Rees making appearances. George C. Scott does a fantastic job as everyone's favorite humbug and it has been a Christmas staple in my family's house since I was a child. There are many more well-known versions out there but this one is well worth watching. Do beware that the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in this version is truly spooky. Check our catalog .
Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas: Based on a picture book by Russell and Lillian Hoban, this Jim Henson production might not have The Muppets, but it is unmistakably by the same people. The puppetry is excellent and involves several trick shots, such as regular puppets somehow rowing down a stream! The story is similar in theme to the classic The Gift of the Magi, but involves a small family of otters hoping to treat each other to something special this Christmas. This one's great for kids and adults alike and don't miss out on the fantastic outtakes. It also makes a great double-bill with the next movie on the list. Check our catalog .
A Muppet Family Christmas: Another Jim Henson production, this time not just with the Muppets from The Muppet Show, but also Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock and even a tiny glimpse of the Muppet Babies. When Fozzie Bear invites his Muppet Show friends to his mother's house for Christmas he and everyone else get packed in together during a horrible blizzard, and Miss Piggy is somewhere out in the snow, on her way to join them. There are songs and jokes and plenty of familiar characters. Stick around through the end to catch a special cameo too! Check our catalog .
Hogfather: Another book-based movie, this fantasy is an adaptation of the Terry Pratchett novel of the same title. While this movie isn't strictly about Christmas, it is about a holiday quite similar to it. In Pratchett's Discworld people celebrate Hogswatch, the night when the Hogfather comes in his sleigh pulled by boars and delivers toys to children. But someone is out to destroy the Hogfather, which could have calamitous results not just for children expecting full stockings in the morning but for the entire Discworld. This is definitely more for fans of Pratchett's writing and more for adults than children. Check our catalog .
The Ref: Maybe you want your Christmas movies a little more sarcastic than tender? Maybe you want biting humor and bickering family? Then this is the movie for you. A couple on the edge of a divorce find themselves as unwilling hosts to a cornered cat burglar. When their relatives show up for Christmas Eve dinner he pretends to be their marriage counselor and ends up doing more good than harm. Staring Denis Leary, Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis, this one may be very obviously from the 1990s and have more cursing than your typical Christmas movie, but it's still funny and seasonal at the same time. Check our catalog .
The director of the Oscar winning film Once (2006) returns with another musical urban love story. This time the setting is New York City and you may know some of the actors. Keira Knightly plays a British song-writer adrift in the city after her partner, played by Adam Levine (frontman for Grammy winning band, Maroon 5) gets lured away by the music industry that brought them across the pond. She has a chance encounter with a disgraced music-business executive, played by the always excellent Mark Rufallo, who is also weathering a troubled long-term marriage. Catherine Keener, perhaps one of my favorite actors for her willingness to honestly portray strong women, is the disgraced executive’s wife and Mos Def is his business partner. This movie is so full of excellent acting (did I mention Hailee Steinfeld, the child star from True Grit plays the daughter of Ruffalo and Keener’s characters?), and so much of it is shot on the streets of Manhattan, that it would be very hard not to enjoy this movie, especially if you also like to listen to music and are interested in the creative process. Watch a preview and then check our catalog .
A car accident and a chance meeting leads a widowed baker to a ballroom dancing class to find another man's childhood crush. All we know at first is that Frank Keane is a baker who is accompanying a man named Steve in an ambulance. Steve tells the story of how he fell for Lisa at the charm school they both attended. Steve asks Frank to go in his place and meet Lisa. Frank goes, of course, and we meet the rest of the cast at both the school and at a grief support group Frank attends. The story bounces back and forth from the ambulance to Steve's memory to the present day, using writer/director Randall Miller's earlier short film of the same title as Steve's childhood time at the charm school. The cast here is fantastic, with Robert Carlyle and John Goodman as Frank and Steve and Marisa Tomei and Donnie Wahlburg as students at the dancing school. Don't be fooled by the title - There is far more to this movie than dancing, though there is plenty of that as well. Check our catalog 
John Luther is a Detective Chief Inspector in the London Police Department. He is volatile, dedicated and able to deduce the psychological make-up of criminals in record time. This show is a binge watch all the way. The crimes are gruesome, but interesting, and the pace is fast. I've never seen a detective show that spent so little time figuring out the criminal's next move or motivation. Complicating Luther's life, and job, are his recent divorce from Zoe, with whom he hopes to reconcile, and his alliance with psychopath Alison who has taken a keen interest in helping him. Watch the preview below and then check our catalog .
Mist coming in off the water isn't unusual, but this is a horror movie and so the mist that rolls in at the beginning brings with it unearthly and dangerous creatures, trapping a group of people in a grocery store. At first it's just the heavy mist that keeps them inside. After all, who wants to drive home when you can't see more than a foot in front of your face? But then a man arrives, warning everyone that there are things in the mist. The great part about this is that the mist itself obscures much of what is in it. This isn't so much a monster movie as a psychological thriller with monsters to drive the tension. Stuck in the grocery store are an assortment of locals from the small town in Maine where the movie is set. They all have their own issues and squabbles and fears and as time ticks by the people turn on each other. Ultimately they have to choose: Stay in the store and hope for the best or leave and try to make a break for it through whatever dangers the mist hides. Check Our Catalog 
Piper Chapman is a blue eyed, blond haired upper middle class college graduate with just about every possible advantage in life. Piper Chapman is also doing a fifteen-month sentence in a minimum security women’s prison for her involvement in a drug trafficking ring ten years earlier. This Netflix original television series is based on the bestselling memoir by Piper Kerman. It dramatizes the encounter between privilege and its opposite, depicting the lives of a variety of women who also made poor choices but had a lot fewer to pick from than Piper did. By the end of the season, you will be questioning (if you weren’t already) how much money this country wastes on incarcerating women without giving them any skills or support to turn their lives around upon release. The ensemble performances are first rate; so much so, that it’s hard to believe that some of these women are actresses are not actual ex-cons. Check Our Catalog