Black Dog Newsletter for Week Ending January 2nd

Another Christmas and another year in the books. I hope that everyone had a swell break. We had a nice Christmas – good eats, nice drinks, family, It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve. Good times. Glad it’s almost over. I’m wearing my fat pants more than usual.

Not much out this Tuesday – mostly horror films for some reason – but lots of good stuff still on the shelves. We finish off Black Dog’s flick picks of the year this week. You can check them out down yonder.

Store hours this week are as follows; noon to 11pm both stores everyday this week – except for Wednesday at Cambie – Unthank Cinema night! We’ll be closing at 8pm on Saturday – New Year’s Eve.

New Releases for Tuesday December 27th

Apollo 18 – Another one of those found footage type films. This one’s set on the moon and apparently there’s some moon monsters roving around up there doin’ shit. Also on the Blu Ray.

Final Destination 5 -The latest installment of death stalking some unlikable jackasses and then killing them in a weird Rube Goldberg type trap movie. Points for destroying the Lions Gate Bridge. Points taken away for terribly annoying characters. Points added to a fun death during some gymnastics and a cringe inducing laser eye surgery. I was saying to my wife that one of the best aspects of these films is that you get to to see some characters you hate get killed not once, but twice and usually in a horrible fashion. Sweet. Nice little twist ending as well. Almost made me want to go back and re-watch the film (almost). Also on the Blu Ray.

The Tunnel – Jeez Louise, are there any new horror films that aren’t found footage based? Here’s an Australian one about a haunted subway tunnel or something. I hear it’s pretty good. But really, what’s next in the realm of horror?
(To be honest I kinda like these films, Cloverfield and the Paranormal Activity films are great)

Shameless Season 1 – American version of the famed UK show about a dysfunctional (what other kind is there?) family led by William H. Macy as the alcoholic patriarch. Word has is that this is quite the excellent little number. Too bad this didn’t come out before Christmas so we could all feel better about our selves and our families after watching this train wreck.

Small Town Murder Songs – The sometimes great Peter Stormare (Fargo) plays a sheriff in a small town Mennonite community in Ontario investigating the town’s first homicide. I wonder if he has a wooden gun? I hear that this is a pretty cool little noir dealy.

Coming Next Week

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
The Guard
I Don’t Know How She Does it
Justified Season 2
Mildred Pierce
Shark Night
Snow and Ashes

Recently viewed and Recommended

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame
Midnight in Paris
Margin Call
Tree of Life
The Girl
A Somewhat Gentle Man
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
The Future

So here’s the last of the staff picks for the year.

From the ultra suave Don at Cambie

Here’s a list from the guy that doesn’t like making lists…

1. Tree of Life
2. Warrior
3. Martha Marcy May Marlene
4. Shame
5. The Descendants
6. Super 8
7. Drive
8. Midnight in Paris
9. Young Adult
10. Melancholia

At last and least here’s mine…

Top Picks – I thought it was a pretty good year for films (unlike some people I know). There’s still a pile I didn’t get to see that made other people’s lists – Meek’s Cutoff, Take Shelter, Dogtooth – but here’s what I thought was worthy of my hard earned bucks this year.

Drive – Stunt driver by day, get-away man by night, dreamboat Ryan Gosling quietly kills it in his crazy silver jacket in this great low key thriller pockmarked by nasty violence and populated by a great supporting cast. A weird soundtrack and surreal atmosphere added to the fun. Brilliant! Can’t wait to check this one out again.

I Saw the Devil – Maybe the most violent film and easily the best revenge film I’ve ever seen. This South Korean nasty finds a diabolical serial killer played by the dude from Oldboy who really really kills a special ops guy’s wife. Said special ops guy tracks him down, captures him, tortures him and then releases him. He then does it again. And again. Amazing film highlighted by an incredible knife fight scene in a cab that has to be seen to be believed and a dark hilarious ending. Not for everyone, women don’t fare to well in this, but if you can handle it…Go South Korea!

A Somewhat Gentle Man – Stellan Skarsgard rules this Norwegian comedy as a sad-sack dude fresh out of prison who just wants to get on with his life. Of course that isn’t how things go. It’s subtly hilarious and odd with some of the most depressing sex scenes I’ve seen in a long time. Watch for the dance sequence, it’s awesome. He’s really one of the worst dancers ever. EVER! Go Norway go!

Tree of Life – Stunning work of art or boring, pretentious claptrap? Maybe a little of both? Me, I loved it. Awesome imagery and scope (includes the history of the universe and life on earth for your pleasure), intense acting – how did he get those kids to do such a fine job? Many memorable scenes – kids chasing the truck spewing out the DDT. I wish I had seen this on the big screen. And maybe ingested some hallucinogenics as well. Evoked memories of 2001.

Hobo with a Shotgun – Well it’s not really a great film or even a good film but it’s a lot of bloody fun. (Maybe the six-pack in the theatre helped?) How these guys ever got Rutger Hauer to do this I’ll never know but he’s perfect as the hobo. A hobo with a shotgun. Go Canada go!

Troll Hunter – Two films from Norway on my list! Crazy. Giant trolls lurk in the Norwegian woods. Who knew? Very funny and exciting and the trolls look amazing. (Yes it’s one of those found footage films but it totally works. Good job Norway!

Rise of the Planet of the Apes – This film is better than it has any right to be. Exciting, well filmed and paced and great special effects from the apes running wild in downtown Vancouver (reminded me of the riot this summer except these apes weren’t wearing Canuck jerseys) to the big battle on the Golden Gate Bridge, Apes rule! Go Apes!

A Better World – Heavy drama about a doctor working in Africa under trying circumstances and trying to deal with his family life back home in Denmark which includes a son who’s being bullied at school. Revenge, infidelity and loneliness and death all play a part in this fine Academy Award winning outing. Go Denmark go?

Attack the Block – This is the film that Super 8 wanted to be. Aliens attack a run down rough tenement in London and meet more than their match in some local toughs. In any other films you’d had these worthless punks but here they managed to make you like them after a while. Great action, characters and fun enliven this awesome little ditty.

The Future – Almost too quirky and precious for its own good but this film totally worked for me. It’s strange, touching, funny and sad and includes some heartbreaking narration by a poor little cat. Not for all tastes but I was happy to go along for the trip. And its trippy.

Honourable Mentions; Melancholia, 13 Assassins, Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (dude fights some deer!) Hanna, Captain America, X-Men: First Class, Source Code, Limitless, Lincoln Lawyer, The Robber, Mesrine

Dishonourable mentions – Green Lantern – Nothing, I repeat nothing was worse than this bloated ridiculous mess. It’s bad, Mystery Science Theatre 3000 bad.

Thor – not as bad as Green lantern but still awful. You know it’s bad when a year when a Transformers film doesn’t make this list. Maybe it’s because I never saw it.

That’s it for this week folks, be safe, be well, keep watching.

Black Dog Video

Black Dog Newsletter for Week Ending December 26th

It’s the last week before something known around these parts as Christmas. Here’s a few points of interest – the store hours are as follows; Christmas Eve noon till 7pm, closed Christmas Day, regular hours noon till 11 at both stores on Boxing Day. Oh and we’ve extended the Cambie hours until 11pm for this week and next (except Wednesday – still closing at 10pm for Unthank Cinema). We’ll determine what the closing hours will be in the new year. If you’re the type to enjoy Christmas and the movies that the season brings with it, you can rent all or any of our Christmas films for a measly $3.00 for two nights. Good deal. Also, we’re restocked with gift certificates and the famous Black Dog T-shirts to help in the fight against nudity. Take these and stuff them in your stockings.

Since it’s the end of the year that also means it’s time for our much anticipated Best/Worst of the year lists. We’ve been working around the clock at Black Dog Headquarters to bring you the finest in what our not-so humble staff consider to be the finest entertainment the world of cinema has to offer. The first of many lists will appear at the bottom of today’s newsletter. I still have a few that I want to watch before finalizing mine. Feel free to comment on what you think of our selections and what you thought was good/dreadful from the past 12 months.

 New Releases for Tuesday December 20th

Beautiful Lies – The lovely Audrey Tautou receives a love letter in the mail and, being so lovely she can dismiss such things, gives the letter to her bummed out mom. Does a series of misunderstandings and complications ensue? It’s a cheeky French comedy so you be the judge.

Bloodied but Unbowed – Music. Punk. Rebellion. Sex. Drugs. Death. What else is there? Doc about the history of the Canadian punk scene. Good stuff.

Columbiana – After witnessing her parents brutal murder a young girl decides she wants to grow up to become an assassin. Girl’s gotta have dreams! She gets a job with her uncle as a hit-person with the hopes of avenging her parents murder. I wonder what she plans to do after her avenging is all done? Also on the Blu Ray.

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame – Famed Hong Kong director Tsui Hark is back with this great mystery action thingy that follows and exiled detective as he tries to solve a case involving a bunch of mysterious deaths. Word of mouth has this as pretty pretty good. Also on the Blu Ray.

Dolphin Tale – Bloodthirsty, killer dolphins terrorize some bouncy coeds during an outing to a mysterious island. I may be getting that mixed up with a film about a friendship between a boy and a dolphin whose tail was lost in a crab trap (I assume the dolphin and not the boy lost that tail in that crab trap).

Glee Concert Movie – Concert doc shot during a live tour of Glee? Does that make sense?

Good Old Fashioned Orgy – Nothing says Christmas like a giant orgy. A bunch of horny 30-year olds decide, for some reason, to throw an orgy. Good on ya! On the shelves this Friday.

Hostel Part 3 – Nothing says Merry Christmas like some kids being tortured and dismembered. Don’t really need to go into details as I imagine if this is your bag, you’ll know what it’s all about. This one’s set in Vegas, that’s all the details I can giver you. Not to sure why this film exists. On the shelves this Friday for some reason.

Midnight in Paris – Alright, all you people who’ve been badgering us for months about this can exhale now. Woody Allen’s latest finds Owen Wilson playing Woody in Paris who, for some reason, is transported back in time so he can hang out with Dali, Hemingway, Cole Porter, Picasso and a whole bunch of cool dead people. Come in and get your Woody fix. We got lots! Also on the Blu ray.

Margin Call – Pretty good drama that takes place in some creepy investment firm way back in 2008 on the eve of the financial crisis that these scumbags caused. Great cast – Spacey, Irons, Spock from the latest Star Trek film and a bunch of other dudes help out the proceedings. Could have been better – a little more tension would have been nice. Maybe 3-D? Also on the Blu Ray.

No Fun City – What! Two docs about Vancouver’s punk scene in one week? Glory be!  This one can be described as a punk rock journey through Vancouver’s underground music scene exploring its ongoing struggle to stay alive in a city that is hell-bent on shutting down all the fun. Stupid Vancouver.

A Matter of Size – Comedy about some fat people in Israel who decide they don’t like the current “thinness” attitude of society so they decide to become sumo wrestlers. Great idea! I would think less chips and fried chicken might be easier than becoming a sumo, but that’s just me. When was the last time you saw an Israeli sumo film?

Sarah’s Key – Heartbreaking tale of the French roundup of Jews back in 1942. Little Sarah tries to hide her brother in a cupboard before she’s sent off to a camp.Things don’t go so well. Flash forward to now and Kristin Scott Thomas, who’s writing a story about the roundup, stumbles across this story. Nothing says Merry Christmas like a sad holocaust film!

Straw Dogs – Happy Holidays – here’s a nasty rape/revenge thriller! Remake of the infamous Peckinpah film from way back about a couple who move to the countryside (never move to the countryside or go camping or leave your house) and are terrorized by the locals lead by Alexander Skarsgård. Then the raping and the revenging start. Maybe watch this with the in-laws? Also on the Blu ray.

Warrior – Dramatic Rocky-type drama about two brothers involved in the mixed martial arts combat world. Crazy Nick Nolte is their dad. Supposed to be quite good. Also on the Blu Ray.

Coming Next Week

Final Destination 5


Apollo 18

Shameless Season 1

Old Stuff Just In

99 and 44% Dead

Nickel Ride

Recently Viewed and Recommended

Margin Call

Tree of Life

The Future

Tucker and Dale vs Evil

Rise of the Planet of the Apes


So here’s the first in many best/ worst of the year lists…

From Joe on the Drive

The Best of 2011 or 13 movies that came out on dvd in 2011 that you might not have seen, but really should have.

The one thing each of these films has in common is that they are unique in the use of story structure, symbolism, and movie cliches. In my opinion each one has aspects that would turn some viewers off altogether (violence, non linear narrative, or simply no “action”) though they all are interesting takes on familiar genres, stories that work better than any of their more famous cousins being all nominated for things and whatnot.

Also ignore the IMDB ratings. those people are even less reliable than the dummies on rotten tomatoes. Listen to me. I know what’s good :p Maybe….

Down Terrace – One of those movies that morphs from family drama to Crime film in all the best “Loachian” manners you could think of. Would make an awesome stage play in fact. The honeyed tones of British crime sing across your brain as the film twists it’s climax in between your ribs. Subtle and preposterous at the same time. England is harsh.

The Girl – This year’s winner of the “Free Range Kids of Yore” award. Leaving your precocious kid alone with her Auntie who’s oh so likely to run off with any hoodlum who strolls past the farm isn’t a good idea in any era apparently. But the kid muddles through, with help from some locals, she manages to survive a kind of horrific all summer “Home Alone” situation. Some amazing performances from young Swedes in this flick, and a strong story that embraces it’s tropes rather than trip over them…. The Auntie for instance isn’t just some floozy prop, in her brief scenes, there’s an entire family history on display. Genius picture.

A Somewhat Gentle Man – If The Coen Brothers were Norwegian, this is what we might be seeing from them… Stellan Skarsgard plays a Stone faced career petty crook, who’s finally had enough of the jail after a long stint. The genius of this picture lies in every single figure on screen being somehow tragic and sympathetic, despite their on screen assholery. It includes the funniest sex scenes on film since Emma Thompson and Jeff Goldblum’s “Tall people sex destroying small bedrooms movie” – The Tall Guy“, Skarsgard’s deadpan expressions alone are worth the rental.

Dogtooth – This film is from another planet called Turkey where a dad is just a wee bit overprotective. It has a story that will shock mostly due to the banality of the evil laid bare. It has humor that makes you ashamed to be laughing, (and again on my list this year performances that are of the most intensely nuanced that I’ve seen in ages. ) The ending is one of my favourites of the year.

Marwencol – Is quite simply the best documentary I’ve seen all year. One of those docs that sucks you in so quickly and fluidly that you forget it’s a documentary. The narrative is that strong. Marwencol is the name of a town of toy soldiers set during WW2. The creator is a brain injured artist recovering from a small town bar ass kicking. As his story unfolds, he heals his physical and emotional trauma through stunning photos of his town of army dolls. Great story, great care taken not to exploit a very damaged, vulnerable person who as the film progresses becomes a fuller, more functional person than you could have imagined at the beginnings. See it now!

I love You, Phillip Morris – Was actually made a few years ago, but never got much of a release anywhere because Jim Carrey’s character is “gay”. Sad that an actor’s best performance ever can be overshadowed by a bunch of bigots. But that’s how the world works. Carrey is in my estimation pitch perfect as the bigger than life/real life con man Steven Russell. Knowing this is a true story makes it an even whackier tale. It’s both a crazy comedy and a heart warming love story at the same time.

Rivers Wash Over Me – Speaking of films with well drawn queer characters, Rivers Wash Over Me is a very low budget Queer Indie film that needs to be more widely seen. It takes a few minutes to get past the initial shaky cam stuff and let the tensed up characters unwind and get comfortable with each other. A fish out of water story as the young proud black kid goes to the small hick town his parents came from when he’s suddenly orphaned. He encounters the racism, homophobia you might expect, but he also finds love and friendship that is genuine and understanding. a very real story, if you get my drift.

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives – Is a Thai film that casually follows Uncle and other family members as they chat with and catch up with various ghosts, demons from their past (and past lives maybe). Another film on my list where hardly anything happens, yet somehow you (well me at least) are riveted. “Best film of the year that I almost fell asleep in, not once but twice”… is the category I invented for it.

13 Assassins – Film making factory Takashi Miike strikes gold (for the first time in quite some time in my estimation) with his best effort since “The Bird People In China” . A straight up (mostly) Samurai picture of the “Old School” (mostly) … 13 Assassins has the usual cast of weirdo Ronin/Samurai who come together to save the country from the current Evil Shogunate, so they can install their own. All the cliches are hit with a gorgeously cast silver hammer. The end chase through a village is one of the best choreographed sequences I’ve seen in any Samurai (or any other violent chase scene genre) picture, ever. And I’ve seen a lot of them. Bloody greatness.

Meek’s Cutoff – Director Kelly Reichardt has composed yet another genius film about people and how they act. Old Joy explored the world of hot spring bros trying to re-kindle their bro-ness. Wendy & Lucy is the best Girl & her Dog movie of all time. Meek’s Cutoff is again in Oregon, but this time back in wagon train days. Michelle Williams and the rest of the cast give Oscar (or any other acting award out there)  quality quiet performances… People stuck in their traditional roles seek a new life, and get it despite their best efforts at self sabotage. My other fave ending of the year. Reichhardt is maybe America’s answer to Ming-Ling Tsai.

Attack The Block – In an era where the alien invasion movie has kind of petered out, Attack The Block is a refreshing kick in the crotch. Aliens traveling by meteorite drop into the wrong end of London, and get a right kicking. Okay maybe the aliens are a bit tougher than that. But so are these South London kids. Played by mostly non-actors, the kids bluster their way through levels of face saving machismo, and eventually figure how to take out the very cleverly thought out Aliens. Good tension, great pace. unlikable characters that become people you like almost sort of by the end. Ripping flick!

TrollHunter – Trolls are very real in this other great film from Norway. Apparently Norway is hilarious. Some annoying college kids are making a docu about poachers in the North. they come across someone they think is the “big poacher” of the area, but it turns out he’s Norway’s version of MIB. (small country, really only need the one guy) … I keep saying how I hate the mockumentary style, but sometimes, like this time it’s done right, and all you can do is laugh your ass off.

Rubber – Easily “The Citizen Kane” of movies about old car tires. I went into this expecting it to get stupid fast… it does but in all the right ways. Again with the kinda sorta mockumentary style, but again it works, in such a way actually, that giving plot points works against spoiler-ing the flick. Look for wings Hauser to steal a few scenes, though, and some great editing that gives the old tire more depth that it deserves. Clever without being precious or too naive about the stupid story being told.


And here’s Torsten chiming in with his…

1) The Girl

2)  Drive

3)  Meeks Cutoff

4)  Down Terrace

5)  Dogtooth

6)  Tabloid

7)  Uncle Boonmie Who Could Recall His Past Lives

8)  Cave Of Forgotten Dreams

9)  Marwencol

10) A Somewhat Gentle Man

And over on Cambie St we have the lovely (if not jaded) Jessica’s list…

What a spectacularly terrible year it has been. What sort of hell on earth are we living in when I can’t even pick 10 films that I enjoyed that came out in the past 12 months? Here’s as close as I can get to making sense of what my eyeballs have processed. It’s a strange list for an equally strange year, but I stand by it despite the fact that it makes me seem like I’ve had a mental breakdown.

1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes: What an exhilarating roller-coaster ride of a film this is. I never thought I’d see the day that I enjoyed a film with computer generated characters so immensely. Also, fun fact, a lot of this film’s exteriors were shot at Columbia & 10th Avenue, VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA (RIGHT ACROSS FROM WHERE I LIVED!) and not only stars Jimmy Franco, but TYLER LABINE! (YES THAT’S RIGHT: JIMMY FROM BREAKER HIGH. HA! take THAT Ryan Gosling – who was also on Breaker High, but failed to be in a film that I enjoyed this year. YES. Take that INDEED.)

2. The Muppets: If you think you’re too cool to see and enjoy this movie, frankly I don’t care to know you. It had me laughing so hard I cried, and I sort of cried for real out of nostalgia I didn’t even know I had. If it’s still playing in theatres by the time you read this grab someone you don’t hate and GO WATCH IT! You will not regret it. Even the most jaded, uncaring old bastard can’t help but love this.

3. Friends With Benefits: Let’s get one thing straight. I hate chick flicks, I hate romantic comedies and I usually don’t care much for shiny Hollywood flicks, but this year I don’t know what snapped in me, or what sort of crazy pills I’ve started OD’ing on, but I sincerely love this film. I’ve seen it twice now, just to double check that I didn’t momentarily lose my sanity, and YES, it’s delightful and hilarious.

4. Dogtooth: (yes technically this is not from 2011, but it only came out on DVD this year.) OK FINALLY, a film in my top-5 that sort of makes sense for me: What happens when a Greek couple decide to never let their 3 children out of the house for 25 years and basically raise them wrong as hell? A beautiful, disturbing and somewhat hilarious depiction of a family so dysfunctional it will make your own issues seem pathetic. Oh boo-hoo you’re your own sister? BIG DEAL! TRY NOT KNOWING THERE IS AN OUTSIDE WORLD YOUR ENTIRE LIFE UNTIL YOU SECRETLY WATCH ROCKY: IV ON VHS AND LEARN TO DANCE FROM WATCHING ANOTHER SECRET VHS OF FLASHDANCE (this happens in the movie). This may not be making any sense to you right now, as I’m rambling on cold medicine and may be running a fever, but please just trust me, and rent it.

Honorable mentions:

The Trip: Watch 2 hilarious men drive around to different fancy restaurants as each attempts to out-do the other’s Michael Caine impression. Pretty great.

Cave of Forgotten Dreams: Werner Herzog succeeds again at making me obsessed with an obscure aspect of life on earth. Making me somehow feel simultaneously inspired and insignificant.

X-Men: First Class: Young X-men & X-men-ettes hang out in a GEODESIC DOME in the 1960’s while they try to defeat evil Kevin Bacon?! I love it.

Limitless: Rise of the Planet of the Apes is pretty much just Limitless with chimpanzees instead of Bradley Cooper. Enjoyable & ridiculous. Plus old useless Robert De Niro!

On the other hand, I had no problem selecting my top 10 worst films of the year which are as follows:

1. The Future: BLEAUGH! If this is what “quirky” and “arty” have become synonymous with, then PLEASE NEVER USE THESE WORDS TO EVER REFER TO ME OR ANYTHING I LIKE EVER AGAIN, thanks.

2. Submarine: I could say the same for this as I said for The Future. This took some great elements (i.e. coming of age romance, aquatic imagery, Paddy Considine) and RUINED THEM FOREVER!

3. Due Date: Zach Galifianakis, how could you? You can do so much better than this. I’m not mad I’m just disappointed. (I’m also mad.)

4. The Hangover Part II: ZACH GALIFICANAKIS! WHAT DID I JUST SAY???? (Although he did redeem himself slightly with his amazing cameo in The Muppets.)

5. Drive: This was painful to watch. Some of the worst performances from actors I expected a lot more from. Completely baffled at how it wound up on so many best of the year lists.

6. Our Idiot Brother: It’s insulting to cinema to even call this piece of crap a film. AVOID THIS LIKE THE CLAP.

7. The Rum Diary: Johnny D, how could you be so boring and puffy? Hunter S Thompson is vomiting on your from whatever hell-dimension he is now stuck in.

8. Arthur: Bleaugh. I tried to sleep through this, but it was so obnoxious I couldn’t.

9. Real Steel: Basically the plot to Rocky but instead of Sylvester Stallone there’s a ridiculous dancing robot, and instead of Talia Shire, there’s an obnoxious child teaching the robot to dance, and instead of Burgess Meredith there’s Hugh Jackman probably wishing he had more than just a cameo role in the new X-men film instead of being reduced to dancing with a CGI-robot and an obnoxious kid. Still pretty hilarious though. Maybe more hilarious after a few beers?

10. Trespass: By far the most enjoyably bad film I saw all year. Watch it if you’re in the mood for a laugh, but remember this fun fact: “Tresspas broke the fastest-ever-from-theaters-to-Home-Video record previously held by 2003’s From Justin to Kelly. That film took 29 days to get to DVD, Trespass made it in only 18.”

Other dishonorable mentions:

Thor: What was happening in this film?! Why was Natalie Portman there?? Pretty great if you’re in the mood to make fun of a film.

Somewhere: I never thought I’d say this, but Sofia Coppola may be getting lame. I’ll give her another chance before I decide to take her out back and shoot her though.

Best TV:

1. The Heart, She Holler: An insane 6-episode miniseries starring Patton Oswalt as a boy who grew up inside a wall who inherits a strange southern town filled with sci-fi and incest. A MUST SEE!

2. Children’s Hospital: Another hilarious season has passed of this great hospital-drama-mocking comedy-show and STILL NOBODY IS WATCHING. HILARITY from the mind of Rob Cordry. DO NOT MISS IT IF YOU ENJOY HAPPINESS.

3. Portlandia: if you love making fun of Portlandians as much as you love gazing upon at the gracefully aging patina of Kyle Machlaclan’s beautiful face then watch this! Also features great guest-stars such as Steve Buscemi and Gus Van Sant!

4. NTSC:SC:SUV: The hilarious Paul Scheer wears a wig and makes fun of CSI-like shows along with a cast full of hilarious comedians and awesome guest-stars (i.e. Jeff Goldblum!)

5. Curb Your Enthusiasm: I don’t know how but each season seems to be better than the last. This show gets an A+ for featuring Michael J. Fox in the season finale. You’ll pee with laughter.

Honorable TV mentions:

Boardwalk Empire & Breaking Bad: still the best big-budget entertainment on TV.

Oh and don’t forget enjoyable fluff like Parks and Recreation and the heartier 30 Rock!

And from the lovely Shiobhan….

1) Take Shelter by Jeff Nichols

2) Lemmy by Greg Oliver & Wes Orshoski <3

3) I Saw the Devil by Jee-Woon Kim

4) Drive by Nicolas Winding Refn

5) Tabloid by Errol Morris

6) Life During Wartime by Todd Solondz


8) The Trip by Michael Winterbottom

And from the lovely John…

That’s it? The year is over?  Okay.  There were a lot of really good films this year and most of them are already on the shelves of Black Dog Video.  Here’s my top ten list:

1. Bill Cunningham New York

2. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

3. Trollhunter

4. Nostalgia for the Light

5. The Trip

6. Take Shelter

7. Melancholia

8. Win Win

9. Shame

10. Tree of Life

And last but not least, the enchanting Patrick…


1. limitless

2. oki’s movie

3. meek’s cutoff

4. the tree of life

5. captain america

6. le havre

7. the trip

8. rise of the planet of the apes

9. secret world of arriety

10. prom


1. just go with it

2. drive

3. bellflower

4. submarine

5. the change up

I’ll bore you with my list next week along with whoever else wants to contribute.

In the spirit of the season, I’ll leave you with this nice little Christmas tale as told by a drunk guy and acted out by some actors…

I hope that everyone has a safe a swell holiday, eat too much, drink too much and watch too many films!

Black Dog Video





Pasta neck

Me: “Gus, you OK?”
Gus – Just stares at me with way too much food in his mouth.
Me: “Gus?”
Gus: (finally) “I’m OK, Dad, just had a bunch of pasta stuck in my neck.”

Black Dog Newsletter for Week Ending December 19th

Hey, have you heard, Christmas is coming. In fact it’s almost here. And to celebrate this oh-so festive time of year we here at Black Dog would like to offer you this – $3.00 Christmas movies! That’s right, no need to adjust your eyeballs, three dollar movies, Christmas-freakin’ movies! All of our Christmas flicks will only cost you 3 measly bones, but here’s the catch (you know that there was going to be a catch, right?) the rental period will only be for 2 days. So starting today at both stores, drop in and grab a copy of It’s a Wonderful Life, Love Actually, Die Hard or Christmas Evil (we have many more titles, don’t worry) for only three dollars! (Did I mention that they only cost $3?).

We also have gift certificates and are fully restocked with our fabulous Black Dog T-Shirts (black only) to help keep you warm and styling throughout the cold winter months.

And one other note – the Holiday hours at both stores are as follows – Christmas Eve – noon till 7pm. Closed Christmas Day. Noon till 11pm on Boxing Day. Oh and starting next week at the Cambie store (Monday the 19th) we will be open until 11pm every night until the new year (except, of course, Christmas Eve and Day). Hope to see ya’ll soon.

Oh, and one more thing (last I promise) – big thanks for all the folks who took advantage of our late charge amnesty for food promotion. I filled up my car (and almost threw out my back) with tons of edibles. Good job!

New Releases for Tuesday December 13th

Circumstance – Heavy, lovely drama about two girls who fall in love. Sounds like nothing all that special, right? Well what if I said that the girls were Iranian (I believe that lesbians are kind of frowned upon in Iran) and that one of the girls brother is suspicious. Now does that sound a little heavier. Supposed to be quite excellent.

Fright Night – Mediocre remake – Colin Farrell is no Chris Sarandon (never thought I’d utter that sentence) – of the quite good original from years back. Actually none of the characters are as interesting or compelling compared to the first time around. Where’s Roddy McDowell when you need him? Maybe that was what was lacking – that and the use of crappy CGI blood and gore. It just looks so phony. I was vaguely disappointed and I had quite low expectations. Also on the Blu Ray.

Gainsbourg – Bio-pic of the famous, some say sexy, some say cheesy (I say cheexy), French crooner. Expect lots of cool sounds, fine ladies and cigarettes being smoked.

Kung Fu Panda 2 – OK sequel to the pretty fun original. The animation is incredibly well done (would have been nice to see this in 3-D in the theatre) but the story is kind of lacking and somewhat boring in parts. The action is fast and furious (a little too furious for my old tired eyes). Might be a bit scary for the real young-in’s – my 6 year-old thought so. Also on the Blu Ray.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes – Who knew? Who knew that this prequel to those fine Ape movies of the 1960’s and 70’s (we’ll totally ignore Tim Burton’s abomination) would turn out so good? It really had all the earmarks of being a disaster but it’s quite a well made, compelling action drama thing. Outside of the X-Men movie, Apes is the best of the big summer blockbusters. It’s shot mostly around the town here – there’s a scene when the apes are running rampant through parts of downtown that reminded me of the hockey riot a few months back. Just slap some Canucks jerseys on the apes and it would have looked pretty much identical. Good times. Also on the Blu Ray.

13 – Kind of a remake of the fine French thriller 13 Tzameti, finds a bunch of tough guy actors – Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Ray Winstone, Alexander Skarsgard, Michael Shannon, 50 Cent and Ben Gazzara (I thought he was dead?) involved in a secret organization that plays Russian Roulette (the worst kind of roulette) for money and fun and what not. Also on the Blu ray.

Coming Next Week


Margin Call

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame


Straw Dogs

The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner

Midnight in Paris

Love Exposure

Hostel Part 3

A Good Old Fashioned Orgy

Beautiful Lies

Dolphin Tale

Old stuff just in…

Alien Anthology – Blu Ray

Heavenly Creatures (uncut edition) – Blu Ray

Evil Dead 2 – Blu Ray

Recently Viewed and Recommended

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

The Future

A Better Life

Point BlankNHL 24/7

Project Nim


Friends with Benefits

Tucker and Dale vs Evil



That’s it for this week folks. I’ll leave you with a little Christmas greeting comic from The Oatmeal. Enjoy!

Have a good week, eat and drink well, stay warm and keep watching.

Black Dog Video





Black Dog Newsletter for Week Ending December 12th

Let me just briefly say that pulled pork tacos eaten after 9pm is not a recipe for a good sleep. I woke up at 4am drenched in sweat (meat sweats? that’s not as sexy as it sounds) from a fever dream about robots and talking birds inspired by said delicious tacos. Why am I telling you this? I’m not too sure as my sleep deprived brain is not firing on all cylinders today. If the below newsletter makes little or no sense (more than usual that is), I have a valid reason.

Today is the last day to take advantage of our sweet food for late charges deal. Bring in a nonperishable food item for the food bank and we’ll wave your late charges. Good deal I says!

New Releases for Tuesday December 6th

Big Love Season 5 – The latest installment of that wacky family of bigamists. I’ve seen footage of actual bigamists and from what I can remember they look nothing like Chloe Sevigny, Jeanne Tripplehorn or Bill Paxton (by that I mean they are too good looking for real people). Maybe it’s just the dowdy clothes.

A Bout Portant – aka Point Blank – French action thriller about a nurse who saves a gangster. The gangster’s henchmen (love the word henchmen – I wonder how one becomes a henchman) then take the nurse’s wife (male nurse in case you were wondering) hostage and forces him to do their bidding. Word has it that this is an excellent, exciting thriller. Need more of those. Also on the Blu Ray.

Cowboys and Aliens – Tired looking mash up of genres – westerns and sci-fi (if you needed that pointed out). I haven’t seen it but word on the street is that it’s not very good. When you se that there were 6 writers credited, you know that you’re in trouble. Still, it has Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig so at least it has some handsome men in it. Also on the Blu Ray.

The Debt – Espionage suspense number with Helen Mirren and and bunch of other fine actors. Was a mission accomplished successfully in 1966 when three agents racked down a Nazi war Criminal? What does it have to do with the same three agents in 1997? I guess you’ll have to watch to find out. Also on the Blu Ray.

The Hangover 2 – I like the first one. Apparently this is the first one, just sent in Thailand and has a monkey in it. Also on the Blu Ray.

The Help – Drama about black maids serving white households in the 60’s. I’ve heard good and bad things about this film. Watch it and let me know. Also on the Blu Ray.

Life Above All – Tear-jerker from South Africa about a girl living with the fear and shame of someone in her family having HIV. Sounds heavy.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins – Jim Carrey and a bunch of penguins have a some wacky misadventures and what not. Why do they pay Jim Carrey to be in movies still? I would only be tempted to watch this if it were called Mr. Penguin’s Poppers. Also on the Blu Ray.

NHL 24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road to the Winter Classic – Doc that follows both teams as they prepare for last year’s Winter Classic hockey match. Word has it that it’s excellent. Even for those of you who don’t like hockey.

Portlandia Season 1 – Comedy sketchy type show about some strange peoples living the dream in Portland. Hear that this is very good stuff. Very good indeed.

Project Nim – Doc about a chimp (monkey type chimp) who was taken from it’s family and raised with a human (human type human) family on the upper West Side in NY in the 1970’s. Ah, the 70’s, what a wacky time.

Old Titles Just In

Horror Express – Blu Ray and DVD – great old horror flick with Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Telly Savalas and a monkey monster aboard a trans-siberian train. Good fun!

Blue Velvet – Blu Ray – Love me some Blue Velvet!

 Coming Next Week

Fright Night


Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Ip Man: A Legend is Born

A Matter of Size


Kung Fu Panda 2


Recently Viewed and Recommended

Friends with Benefits

Tucker and Dale vs Evil

The Future

30 Rock Season 5

Damages Season 3

30 Minutes or Less

Troll Hunter


Captain America

Attack the Block

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

That’s it for this week ya’ll. Have a great week, stay warm, eat well, keep watching.

Black Dog Video




Black Dog Video