Black Dog Newsletter for Week Ending July 2nd

So the wife and kid beat it out of town for a few days last week. How did I celebrate this unusual freedom? I watched movies. Lots of movies (9 in 5 days!). I even managed to make it to the theatre a couple of times. I have always loved going to the movies but every now and then I get a reality check on what a chore it can be. Case in point; I travelled to the far reaches of Richmond to catch Prometheus on the IMAX 3-D (great entertaining terrible film). The first sign of things to come was the $19.50 price tag. Twenty dollars to see a movie?! Whatever, I was there and really, was I going to not see it on principal? Get my ticket and sit down just as the film is starting. Perfect timing. I even have the entire row to myself with nobody in front of me. In fact I can’t even see another human being. Until…some weirdo comes in and sits one seat away from me. Why dude?! Fine, not a big deal really until about 15 minutes later he falls asleep and starts snoring. Fucker. So I move a few seats away. A short while after I feel something on my cheek. Turns out a small spider or fly or lizard made it’s way between my glasses and my face! How does this happen in the theatre?Not the best thing to have happen to you during a horror film. Anyways, suffice to say, it wasn’t the best movie going experience I’ve had. I also got bit on the wrist by something while I was there (probably said lizard). Oh and they left the light on in the projection booth which inflicted a glare onto the screen. Bah. Will I ever be back to the movies? You bet.

New Releases for Tuesday June 26th

The Artist – Yes, finally the much ballyhooed Oscar winner finally hits the shelves. I haven’t brought myself to check this out yet and I’m not entirely sure I even want to see it. I have a feeling that it’s exactly what I think it is and that’s enough for me to not watch it. Also I’m always disappointed with whatever flick wins the best picture Oscar and I just feel that this will be no different. I can’t even remember the last winner that I liked. That said, a lot of folks loved this black and white silent thing so don’t just take my opinion, if you could call it that. Also on the Blu Ray. [youtube][/youtube]

Damages Season 4 – Love this show. Glenn close is so perfect as the icy, nasty, creepy lawyer and there’s always a great supporting cast to help things along. Although I think that Rose Byrne really needs to eat a hamburger or two. [youtube][/youtube]

Gone – The lovely, big-eyed Amanda Seyfried stars as a woman who was abducted by a psycho and escapes her captor only to have him return and take her sister. Maybe. Of course no-one believes her for some reason. Haven’t heard a lot of good things about this but you may like it. Also on the Blu Ray. [youtube][/youtube]

Michael – Heavy German number about a freak who keeps a 10 year-old boy in his basement. I keep a bunch of beer I just made in my basement. I prefer beer. I imagine that this number is light on laughs and heavy on Michael Haneke inspired unpleasantness. Sounds intriguing, no? [youtube][/youtube]

Mirror Mirror – One of two Snow White flicks to come out this year. Julia Roberts stars in this one as the evil queen. Directed by the guy who made Immortals, The Cell and The Fall so it will at least look real nice. Also on the Blu Ray. [youtube][/youtube]

The Sound of Noise – I really like the sound of this Swedish musical terrorist film! A cop who hates music has to track down a group of guerilla percussionists whose anarchic public performances are terrorizing the city. If they were a roving pack of hand drummers I would be behind him all the way. [youtube][/youtube]

A Thousand Words – Oh Eddie Murphy, why do you even try anymore? All you turn out is crap. Do you enjoy shitting in our eyeballs year after year, film after film? Maybe you could team up with Adam Sandler and produce something truly epic. This may be one of his more idiotic premises – Eddie Murphy finds an unusual tree in his yard after an encounter with a spiritual guru. After somehow discovering that with each word he speaks a leaf drops off of the tree, Eddie Murphy thinks that if he doesn’t speak anymore he’ll be able to stay alive along with this magical tree. Hilarity, I presume, ensues. [youtube][/youtube]

21 Jump St. – For what it is, this flick ain’t half bad. Some older, lame cops go back to high school to infiltrate some drug ring. There’s even a funny cameo by you-know-who near the end. It’s pretty slick, fast paced and I actually laughed a number of times. Not bad for a Hollywood action comedy these days. Also on the Blu Ray. Red Band trailer – [youtube][/youtube]

Wrath of the Titans – Perseus goes undercover at a high school to infiltrate a drug ring and…wait, that’s not it. In this Oscar winning black and white silent film, Perseus must endure the transition from silent to talkies…wait that’s not it. Perseus keeps a 10 year-old boy in his father’s (Zeus) basement..wait. I don’t really know or care what this is about but I bet there’s lots of monsters and special effects and guys jumping around in short skirts. Enjoy! Also on the Blu Ray. [youtube][/youtube]

Coming Next Week

Seeking Justice
Joe and Belle
Some Guy Who Kills People
God Bless America
The Hunter
Jesus Henry Christ

Recently Viewed and Recommended

Woman in Black
Louie Season 2
Jeff, Who Lives at Home
The Woman
We Need to Talk About Kevin
The Prey
Safe House
Reykjavik to Rotterdam

In keeping with my thoughts about going to the movies, here’s how our friend, The Oatmeal, thinks movie theatres should be laid out….

And just one more dealy. For those of you who saw Prometheus watch this and laugh. Spoilers so don’t watch it if you haven’t seen the film….[youtube][/youtube]

Have a great week ya’ll. It’s summer so get outside, enjoy the clouds and sporadic sun, drink some wine, watch some films. You know what to do.

Black Dog Video


Black Dog Newsletter for Week Ending June 25th

Well another car-free day has come and gone and this year’s was a pretty good deal. Lots of people (not as many as last week’s Italian Days – which is a good thing), lots of freaks, guys with swords, people of stilts, good food, decent music and generally just more of a festive atmosphere. Be nice if they did like one or two more throughout the summer. I’m always amazed at how many people drive to car-free day. I wonder if the irony is lost on them?

Oh and just a little side note – please don’t leave your used coffee cups (usually Starbucks – go figure), candy wrappers, soiled diapers, old jock-straps, used rigs, socks, old tires, band-aids, animal carcasses or anything other garbage you’re done with in the video stores please. We’re not a trash receptacle. (Actually it’s just the coffee cups and occasional band-aid that some lazy people leave behind that boil our potatoes)

And after several requests/suggestions, I’m going to include trailers for all of this week’s new releases if I can find them.

New Releases for Tuesday June 19th

Big Miracle – Jim from The Office and Drew Barrymore stand around a hole in the Alaskan ice looking at some trapped grey whales. They try to save the family of whales and bring joy and happiness to everyone around them. Awwww. [youtube][/youtube]

Cat Run – A sexy escort (Paz Vega) escapes a bloody orgy with some incriminating info and is thus hunted by assassins and some bumbling detectives. They still have bumbling detectives? I thought they went the way of Inspector Clouseau. Might be fun if you like this kind of thing that’s been done a thousand times before. [youtube][/youtube]

Jeff, Who Lives at Home – Pretty good slacker kind of comedy/drama finds Jason Segel, as the titular character, who musters the courage to leave his mum’s basement on some sort of quest that also involves helping his brother, Andy from The Office, spy on his possibly adulterous wife. Also stars the always lovely Susan Sarandon as the mom with a secret admirer. Very good flick although I didn’t really buy the ending and was hoping for a few more laughs. Also on the Blu Ray. [youtube][/youtube]

Louie Season 2 – Love me some Louis CK! Possibly the best show on the TV. This is season 2. [youtube][/youtube]

Polisse – Heavy French drama about life in the Vice Squad. Specifically the Child Protection Unit. I doubt I could handle that job, seeing all of the worst that humanity has to offer. It’s tough enough dealing with people who leave their coffee cups on the shelves at the stores![youtube][/youtube]

Project X – Party! Party! Party! This movie is about a really big party. Also on the party time Blu ray. (Red Band Trailer) [youtube][/youtube]

Rites of Spring – Some kidnappers kidnap some kidnapees and flee to a cabin in the woods where they become dinner for a beast that must dine every spring. Why people go out into the woods is beyond me what with all the serial killers, mutant cannibalistic hillbillies, flesh eating monsters, piranhas, crocodiles, carnivorous parasites, poison monkeys, creepy bugs and loud birds inhabiting “nature”. No thanks. [youtube][/youtube]

Romeo 11 – Dude quits school and becomes a “viral businessman” (sounds kind of gross) on the interwebs. He then meets a lovely young lass whom he’s smitten with. The problem? She wants to meet him in person. What’s this shy fella gonna do? [youtube][/youtube]

Wanderlust – The always hilarious Paul Rudd and the sometimes OK Jennifer Aniston are a couple of city kids who decide to pack it up and try an “alternative” lifestyle by living in some sort of hippie free-love type community. Word has it that this is a pretty funny flick. And there’s nothing funnier in the movies than hippies and nudists, right? Also on the Blu Ray. (Red Band trailer) [youtube][/youtube]

Wilfred Season 1 – Frodo Baggins stars as a manic depressive man who, for some reason, is the only one who can see his neighbor’s dog as full grown man in a dog suit. Comedy and hijinks, I presume, ensue. [youtube][/youtube]

Old Stuff Just In

Apocalypto – Blu Ray
Brewster McCloud


Being John Malcovich – DVD and Blu Ray
Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence
Blow Out – Blu Ray
World on a Wire
Summer Interlude
Summer with Monika
Letter Never Sent

Coming Next Week

The Artist
Best Laid Plans
A Thousand Words
Damages Season 4
21 Jump Street
Wrath of the Titans
Mirror Mirror
Sound of Noise

Recently Viewed and Recommended

Jeff Who Lives at Home
The Woman
Louie Season 2
We Need to Talk About Kevin
The Prey
Safe House
Reykjavik to Rotterdam

Here’s a letter that a (hopefully) new customer recently wrote to Netflix. Enjoy.

That’s of for this week, folks. I hope that everybody can get out and enjoy what little sun we may see over the next few days. Remember, summer’s almost here. Right?

Black Dog Video

Black Dog Video

Black Dog Newsletter for Week Ending June 18th

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who’s signed our Boycott Disney petition. We’ve had hundreds so far! Keep it up, drop by the store or you can go here – – and voice your displeasure with this greedy corporation. Don’t know what will come of this adventure but it’s worth trying.

Also of note – we’re having a little Blu Ray sale at the stores – Commercial is up and running, tomorrow at Cambie. Lots of older Blu Rays up for grabs at only $10 a pop – buy 2 and get one free! What are you waiting for?

Also of note: part II – It’s car free day this Sunday on the Drive. Let’s hope it’s better than last week’s Italian Days. I find the Car Free days to be more fun and festive and creative so I’m still holding out hope. So many people though…I’m just getting old.

New Releases for Tuesday June 12th

Accident – Well regarded Chinese crime thriller that finds troubled assassin, whose specialty is creating “accidents” for his targets, suspects that an accident that happens to his team is not an accident at all. It’s no accident that he tries to find the cause of the accident. It should be no accident that you take this home and check it out.

Dog Bites Man: Complete Series – Excellent, hilarious faux documentary style TV show that follows a hilarious excellent news team. Stars Matt Walsh and Zach Galifianakis who seems to show up in just about everything right now. In fact he’s in my kitchen at the moment. “Hey Galifianakis, get out of my house!”

Entourage Season 8 – More of the same from the Entourage crew. I still haven’t seen this program but I hear it’s worth a look. Maybe some day. So many shows/films, so little time. Wish that I didn’t have to sleep so I could just catch up on so many fabulous programs. Stupid body.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance – I don’t remember anyone asking for a sequel to the original banal film about Nic Cage, who’s head is a flaming skull for some reason, who goes around solving crimes and taking revenge on various folks. I believe he also pisses fire in this film – he should really get that checked out. From the team that brought you the Crank films. No need to say anymore. Also on the Blu Ray.

In Darkness – Polish drama/thriller about a guy who helps out some Jewish refugees in the tunnels and sewers of a town called Lvov (you say it) during WWII. I believe this was nominated for an Academy Award. Directed by Agnieszka Holland.

Metal Evolution – Three part doc about the history of Heavy Metal (music, not actual metal that weighs a lot). Word has it the it gets 4 banged heads out of 5. (That means it’s really good)

Monsieur Lazhar – Algerian immigrant is hired to replace a popular teacher who committed suicide in her classroom. Yikes. I wonder if that may scar some of the kids, oh say, for the rest of their lives. Acclaimed Canadian (yes I said Canadian) film was up for an Oscar earlier this year. On the shelves at Commercial today and tomorrow at Cambie.

Mutant Girls Squad – Can’t go wrong with a title like that! Rin, a sixteen-year-old mutant girl meets a gang of rebel mutants who aim to take revenge on humans for persecuting their race. Why can’t mutants and humans just get along? Also on the Blu Ray. To give you an idea if this is your kind of flick or not, may I present for your consideration the trailer… [youtube][/youtube]

My Perestroika – Excellent doc that chronicles the story of five people from the last generation of Soviet children who were brought up behind the Iron Curtain. Just coming of age when the USSR collapsed, they witnessed the world of their childhood crumble and change beyond recognition. I imagine that would be a pretty crazy weird experience. I love the Russian language – the words have numbers in them!

The Prodigies – Cool sounding French animated sci-fi flick about some teenage “prodigies” – kids who have some sort of special abilities – who take revenge on someone that needs revenging taken on. Might make a good double bill with the Mutant Girl Squad.

Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows – Didn’t really care for the first one – I can’t remember a thing about it – and I’m not all that interested in watching this one but there are fans of Robert Downey Jr and Guy Ritchie out there and you know who you are and I’m not going to stop you from renting this. Also on the Blu Ray.

Superman vs The Elite – Animated geek love fest finds Superman battling some new enemies. What else would it be about? Superman’s foray into the advertising world? Maybe hosting his own reality cooking show?

Coming Next Week

Rites of Spring
Jeff Who Lives at Home
Big Miracle
Project X
Cat Run
Wilfred Season 1
Louie Season 2
Romeo 11

Recently Viewed and Recommended

The Prey (French)
Guilty (French)
We Need To Talk About Kevin
True Blood
Safe House
The Woman
Reykjavik to Rotterdam

Before I sign off for the week I pose a question to you good readers; I posted a link to a trailer for Mutant Girls Squad in this week’s edition. Would any of you like it if I posted trailers or reviews for the week’s offerings in upcoming newsletters? Cool. Have yourselves a fine week. Stay warm (summer is coming, right?), eat well, drink even better, get down, get back up again and keep watching.

Black Dog Video

Black Dog Newsletter for Week Ending June 11th

So you may recall a few weeks back I was blathering on about how Disney is looking to put us lovely independent video stores out of business. Well is seems that a company in our industry has taken to coordinating a boycott against the mouse house. Staring tomorrow we will have a petition at both stores that we are encouraging ya’ll to sign to help show Disney the error of their ways. There is also a website – – that you can go to and show your displeasure with this “family friendly” corporation. In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, Disney has implemented in Canada a 28 day holdback on renting their new release DVDs. Their goal? They want everyone to buy their product instead of renting it. Why do they want this? Well it’s quite obvious, greed (I guess pulling in over a billion dollars with The Avengers, and counting, isn’t enough for them). I’m not too sure why they think that tons of people will flock to the Wal-Mart to pay $35.00 for a lame film like John Carter. Most would prefer to rent it for $5 I imagine. They are taking away the consumers choice as how to get their entertainment. It’s just not right and could have a crippling effect on the DVD stores if the other studios start to follow suit. So if you happen to be in the stores in the near future think about the petition or go to the website and tell Disney that what they are doing is not cool. Thanks for letting me prattle on.

This coming Sunday – June 10th – it’s the annual Italian Days on the Drive. For our limited participation we’ll be featuring all of our Italian films for only $3.00! Or 2 for $5.00. Yay! Commercial location only.

New Releases for Tuesday June 5th

Act of Valor – Sort of famous for being an action film starring real live active Navy Seals (making “orf-orf” seal noises right now) blowing shit up real good. Also on the Blu Ray.

Bad Ass – The great Danny Trejo stars as Bad Ass (What were his parents thinking?!) a guy who becomes a bit of a hero after coming to the rescue of a guy being pummeled on a bus by some skinheads. Some more revenging takes place after Bad Ass’ friend is killed and the cops don’t do anything about it. My friend and I used to have a band called Bad Ass when we were 14. Just thought I’d share that not-very-interesting nugget of information with you.

Breaking Bad Season 4 – Love this show. Don’t really need to say more cause if you watch it, you probably love it as well and if you don’t watch it, well, what are ya doin’?

Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 8 – See above. I can’t believe this has been on for 8 seasons! My wife doesn’t like this show because she says that I remind her too much of Larry David and she doesn’t like Larry David. Should I be offended by this?

Declaration of War – French film that finds a young couple – Romeo and Julliete (really?!) who have a baby only to find out that the kid has brain cancer. I’m going out on a limb here and thinking that this film probably isn’t a comedy. Or maybe it is, who knows? It is French.

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island – The Rock joins forces with some children to find an old man on a mysterious island filled with giant bees and lizards and poison monkeys and other sorts of mysterious things. Also on the Blu Ray.

Machine Gun Preacher – Big-headed Gerald Butler plays a former tough-guy, biker outlaw thug who (sighs) finds God and then goes to the Sudan to help out children who are forced to be soldiers. There he fights some giant bees and lizards and poison monkeys. (I may be getting my films mixed up). Based somewhat on a true story (only the poison monkey part). Also on the Blu Ray.

Man on a Ledge – Heist action film about a guy standing on a ledge while a big diamond stealing job goes down. I’m glad that there’s more to this film than a guy standing on the ledge of a building for two hours. That would be a very boring premise. That and a hostage taking scenarios are probably the least interesting plot devices in film I can think of. Also on the Blu Ray.

Safe House – Denzel Washington stars in this actioner as a guy who is on the lam from some shady government type bad guys because his has some information. The Green Lantern plays a rookie “safe house” nanny who tries to capture/help him. Pretty good thriller with lots of fine chasing and fighting and shit despite the lame title – so they spend time in a safe house or two, is that enough to call the film Safe House? There’s lots of chasing, why not “Guys Chasing Each other for Some Reason?” Much better title. Also on the Blu Ray.

W.E. – Madonna thinks she’s a director and writer now. She wore both hats in this drama about a couple of romances – King Edward VIII and American divorcée Wallis Simpson back in the ’30s and a married woman and a Russian security guard in our times. Yawn. I got tired just writing that description. Might be good. Might not. Also on the Blu Ray.

The Woodmans – Doc about a family that suffers some sort of tragedy (poison monkeys?) but they persevere and find redemption through art. Nice.

Coming Next Week

Metal Evolution
Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows
In Darkness
Hit so Hard
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Entourage Season 8
Dog Bites Man

Recently Viewed and Recommended

Safe House
The Woman
Miss Bala
Reykjavik to Rotterdam
True Blood S 4
We Need to Talk About Kevin

And for those of you who are fans of the Wes Anderson (I think that they’re a couple of you out there) here’s a nice little piece about “accessories” found in his films –,79271/

Well that’s it for this week ya’ll. Have a great week, watch out for those damn crows, feast, be merry and keep watching.

Black Dog Video


The C Word.

Gus: “Hey Dad, I know what the “C” word is, do you know?” Me: “Um, I think so. What do you think it is?” Gus: “Crap”. Me: Whew.