Black Dog Newsletter for Week Ending March 19th

Well it’s been an onslaught of relatively bad news coming down the proverbial pike this past little while (and that doesn’t include sitting in a cat-piss soaked blanket first thing this morning and blowing out my ankle playing hockey the other night). Looks like the Ridge Theatre is slated for demolition. So sad, as it was a fine theatre that had been around since the 50’s. I hadn’t been in a while since they strayed away from some of their more eclectic programming but I liked that it was always there. That, in addition to the closing of my favorite sushi restaurant, Aki, and the problems the Rio is experiencing, has made for a no-so-great start for Vancouver this year. At least this week is an excellent week for DVD releases. That’s something, right?

Oh and don’t forget that the DVD sale continues at both stores this week. I’m hoping to add more to the coffers at both locations later this week so keep your eyeballs peeled.

Kids are out of school for a couple of weeks. You know what that means…drop by, grab a few flicks for the kids and a bottle of schnapps for yourself.

New Releases for Tuesday March 13th

Absentia – Half-decent looking horror number about a woman who’s husband mysteriously disappeared seven years ago, so her and her sister think it might have something to do with a weird tunnel behind their house. Well duh. It took them seven years to check out the weird tunnel in their backyard? Only in horror films…

Adventures of Tintin – Senior Spelbiergo’s animated treatment of the beloved cartoon guy. Never read any Tintin so I can’t say much about it. Well, that and I haven’t seen the flick. Heard it’s pretty good though. Also on the Blu Ray.

Bag of Bones – Latest Stephen King adaptation (I think that’s about the 308th adaptation of a Stephen King work) finds a writer (dreamy Pierce Brosnan) returning to his Maine (has King every travelled outside of Maine?) cabin by the lake following his wife’s sudden death. Ghosts and nightmares and weird fridge magnets ensue. Typical King stuff.

The Descendants – The Clooney is living in Hawaii (oh poor George) and has to deal with his daughters after his wife is injured in a boating accident. Doesn’t sound like much but it’s from the Alexander Payne (Election, Sideways) and was nominated for a pile of Oscars. I’m hoping for good things. Also on the Blu Ray.

Dish and the Spoon – Nice little indy number finds Greta Gerwig, reeling from an affair her husband had, hatching a plan of revenge with the aide of weird teenager. Weird teenager? What?!

Happy Feet Two – Freaking more dancing penguins. Ask ask you, why? Strangely it’s from the same director who made the Road Warrior! Also on the Blu Ray for some reason.

The Killing – American miniseries based on the (probably) far superior Danish miniseries of the same name. Seems like it’s a crime thing as investigators try to solve a murder. A murder most foul!

Melancholia – Nazi aficionado (hah!) Lars Von Trier brings us the end of the world as he know it. Cool. Worth the price of admission alone for the striking images at the beginning and the end of the film. Everything in between is pretty good although I grew a tad weary of Kirsten Dunst’s moping around. Charlotte Gainsbourg rocks in this flick. Well worth a look as it was one of last year’s most interesting and better films. Also on the Blu Ray of course.

My Week with Marilyn – Solid drama the checks in on one Marilyn Monroe as she hangs and acts with one Lawrence Olivier as they make The Prince and the Showgirl. Acting is the prize of the day here as Michelle Williams throws down a fine Marilyn and Kenneth Branagh plays a great Sir Larry. Also on the Blu Ray.

Scooby-Doo: Music of the Vampire – Ruh-roh! Something’s afoot for the Mystery Machine gang. Nothing a few Scooby snacks won’t cure I’m sure.

Shades of Ray – Comedy drama finds an American guy who finds his Pakistani dad at this place after being turfed by his wife. Can you say culture clash? Drama and comedic hijinks, I presume, ensue.

Stuck Between Stations – Yes it is indeed based upon that fine Hold Steady song. Former high school classmates reunite by chance during a chaotic party-filled evening. “If it’s going to be that kind of party, then I’m going to stick my dick in the mashed potatoes!”

@suicideroom – A dude spirals into the dark nether regions of the internet after an embarrassing moment at a party or something like that. Supposed to be a pretty good “cautionary tale” of a life online. The internet’s going to kill us all!

The Swell Season – Music doc that follows the kids from the film Once as they tour around with their band, fall in love, out of love, deal with fame, life on the road, bad food and everything in between.

Three Musketeers – Because the other 34 adaptations of this story weren’t good enough. I haven’t seen it but I can’t stop saying the lead’s name – Logan Lerman. Say it. It’s fun. Logan Lerman. Hee-hee.

Thorne: Scaredy Cat – The second adaptation of the mystery crime fighting guy. Supposed to be quite good.

Young Adult – Very good comedy/drama finds Charlize Theron as a more-than-somewhat unhinged writer who goes back to her hometown to woo back her high school flame. Problem is, he has a nice wife and a fresh baby. Many uncomfortable conversations and situations and whatnot ensue. Patton Oswalt kills it as a broken man who she barely remembers from back in the day. One of the better flicks I’ve seen this year. Check it out. Also on da Blu Ray.

Old Stuff Just In…

Rubin and Ed (Yay!) “I am king of the echo people!” “My cat can eat a whole watermelon.”

Coming Next Week

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Muppets
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
The Sitter

Recently Viewed and Recommended

Young Adult
Game of Thrones – S1
Nurse Jackie – S3
Shameless – S1
The Descendants
My Week with Marilyn
Our Day will Come

Here’s an interesting tidbit you might be interested in;

Who’s a fan of the original Planet of the Apes? Everyone? I thought so. Well here’s some home footage that Roddy McDowell shot on the set and what not not. Cool beans…

That’s it for this week folks. Oh and thanks to all of you who brought in food for the food bank last week, even the person who brought in a small can of tuna to erase their $8.00 late charge. At least it wasn’t a can of creamed eels.
Have a great week everyone.

Black Dog Video

Black Dog Video Newsletter for Week Ending March 12th

Well what do you know, Black Dog (Cambie location) turns sweet 16 today! Holy hotdogs, we’re sixteen years old! And like that unruly teenager who’s been plaguing your life, we’re still here and are not going away. It’s been quite the ride over the last sixteen years, lots of highs and plenty of lows. We’ve had some amazing staff come and go and some great customers do the same. That has been the best part of the business (that and still being around after all this time) – the people. We’ve made some great friends – staff and patrons alike and continue to do so. There’s been some struggles – the fire of ’04 which almost did us in, the ugly dirt bus hole which devastated the street for well over a year (still pissed about how all that came about) and the decimation of the local video stores last year which almost sunk us as well. But we survived all of that and are stronger and better than ever. I have to thank all of the great people who’ve worked for me over the years and all of the great customers who’ve supported us. Cheers to you all. To show our appreciation, starting today at the Cambie location you can come in and rent any of our old title comedies and get one for free! In addition, if you have accrued any late charges (you know who you are!) bring in a donation to the food bank – again please no expired clams, anteater snouts, or deviled anal tissue in jelly – and we’ll wipe out your outstanding late charges. This fabulous offer runs until this Sunday the 15th. The 2 for 1 offer is not good to those of you renting on Wednesday and taking advantage of the great 5 films for $8.00 deal. Enjoy!

New Releases for Tuesday March 6th

Animals United – German animated fare (it’s been dubbed into English so don’t fret) about some animals living in Africa who discover the humans (evil humans of course) have built a damn for their leisure enjoyment that has cut off the poor animal’s water supply. So I imagine that the animals somehow take action to rectify the situation. I’m hoping for a Day of the Animals type scenario but since this is a kids film I imagine that the bloodshed will be kept to a minimum.

Footloose – Remake of the tasty Kevin bacon number from years past. A city boy with penchant for rock and roll (yes that evil rock ‘n roll!) and dancing moves to a small town where, for some reason, these activities have been outlawed. Can his rebellious spirit overcome the conservative obstacles in his way and will he win the heart of the local gal who’s sweet on him? The answer lies on DVD and Blu Ray.

Game of Thrones Season 1 – Finally! The long awaited debut of this great show on the DVD and the Blu Ray. Soap opera set in this great fantasy medieval universe has it all – knights, kings, queens, evil doers, eunuchs, zombie like creatures, dragons, castles, politics, blood and guts, rampant nudity and sex, incest, jousting and all kinds of other fun stuff. Highly recommended for those of you are into these kinds of things.

I Melt with You – A bunch of friends – Thomas Jane, Rob Lowe and Jeremy Piven – meet for their annual reunion. Things start to go off the rails as some sort of traumatic thing from their past rears it ugly head. Much Mamet-like drama, I presume, ensues.

Immortals – Very pretty to look at – lots of nice lighting, slow motion carnage and crunchy abs dominate this mediocre tale of gods and titans and mortals battling it our for some sort of magic bow. Some great inspired gore and violence can’t really make up for poor acting, a lifeless script and some boring passages. Worth a look for the cinematography, especially under the influence of whatever may influence you . Also on the Blu Ray and available in Blu Ray 3-D!

Jack and Jill – What can I say about Adam Sandler that hasn’t already been said? Please stop making these lame comedies. Please sir, I implore you. Do the world a favour and retire. Or kill yourself.

Like Crazy – British college student falls for an American student, only to be separated from him when she’s banned from the U.S. after overstaying her visa. Long distance drama and heartbreak, I presume, ensues.

MI-5: Volume 10 – More spy shenanigans from across the pond. Great series.

Reykjavik to Rotterdam – Very good caper film finds a a security guard tempted to return to his smuggling ways. Hmmm I wonder if he returns to his smuggling ways or just sits in his office for two hours? Recently remade as a film called Contraband starring Marky-Mark. Also on the Blu Ray.

Senna – Amazing documentary about the famed Brazilian race-car driver. I wonder if he drove his car while wearing a speedo?

The Skin I Live In – Pedro Almodovar’s latest flick finds Antonio Bandaras as a brilliant, but creepy, plastic surgeon who creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession. Sounds cool and weird and unsettling. High on my list of films to watch in this fine week of releases. Also on the DVD.

Transformers: Prime – Season 1 – Computer animated series based on the, well, Transformers. Can’t be any worse than those dreadful films.

Coming Next Week

Three Musketeers
Young Adult
My Week with Marilyn
Dish and the Spoon
Bag of Bones
Adventures of Tintin
Shades of Ray
The Swell Season
Thorne: Scaredy Cat
Stuck Between Stations
The Descendants
Happy Feet 2
The Killing

Recently Viewed and Recommended

Game of Thrones S 1
The Skin I Live In
Boardwalk Empire
Our Day will Come

That’s it for this week folks. Kids are out of school for a most of the week (go teachers!) so why not drop in, grab a flick for the kids and some rum for yourself and have a great week!

Black Dog Video

Black Dog Video

Black Dog Newsletter for Week Ending March 5th

Well it seems that the pinheads at the Liquor Control Board are insisting on giving the Rio Theatre an ongoing hard time over this silly licensing bugaboo. For some crazy reason, they’ve now pulled all of the Rio’s movie programming weeks after reinstating it. I don’t understand at all what is going on. To make matters even worse, the fools at the Liquor Board have taken away any special occasion licensing for any theatre in town! So no wine and cheese during the film festival or for special screenings. Why, I have to ask? What is their problem with this? And to rub it in even further, they’ve granted a license to some stupid MMA event in some nightclub! So let’s see, the Liquor Board is concerned about public safety issues with people enjoying a beer while watching a film but it has no problem with serving booze at a violent live spectacle? Makes sense. Let’s all help out this fabulous theatre. Contact: Minister Rich Coleman, , AND Premier Christy Clark,

Also the big DVD sale continues at both stores this week. There will be a new pile of films – I believe the comedy section is ripe for pruning – at the Commercial store tomorrow and I hope to get the cult section at Cambie on Thursday.

Oh and remember to “like” us on Facebook to keep up on the latest video store news including late films hitting the shelves, trailers for stuff we think is cool and whatever else we can drag up off the interwebs…

And last but not least – a big thanks to everyone who voted us Best DVD Rental Store in the Westender’s best of the year poll. Although there doesn’t seem to be much competition left (we finished ahead of a store that is not even open anymore!), it’s still much appreciated and makes us feel like we’re doing some good work.

New Releases for Tuesday February 28th

Agnosia – Strange sounding Spanish gothic-thriller, love story, espionage mystery and a few other genres thrown in for good measure about a woman suffering from the title affliction which renders her senses useless. I like my senses so that would pretty much suck! Go senses! From the producers and/or writers Pans Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone.

Gamin Au Velo – AKA The Kid on a Bike – From the great Dardenne brothers (The Son, Lorna’s Silence) comes this tale of a a hairdresser who takes under her wing a kid who is living at a state run youth farm (I guess they’re growing youths there?) after being abandoned by his no-goodnick father.

Hugo – Visually amazing but vaguely disappointing effort (needed more Joe Pesci) from some director named Scorsese. Story follows a kid who lives in a train station in Paris (for some reason everyone has English accents) who discovers that French film pioneer George Méliès, played by Sexy Beast Sir Ben Kingsley, is running a toy shop in the train station. Film is too long but it’s nice to look at and is a loving homage to the movies. I was told that this is good for kids – maybe older kids as I don’t know how many 6 – 7 year-olds would be interested in the birth of French cinema. Also on the gorgeous Blu Ray.

Insight – After a nurse gets electrocuted by a wonky defibrillator she’s applying to a dying murder victim, she starts to have the dead woman’s memories. So she does what all of us have done when confronted by this situation – she goes about trying to solve the crime. If this were a documentary I think I’d be more inclined to watch it. Alas…

Johnny English: Reborn – I don’t remember anyone asking for another freaking Johnny English film! Isn’t Rowan Atkinson getting a little long in the tooth to still be doing this slapstick schtick? Ugh.

Justice League: Doom – Some guy named Vandal Savage steals confidential files Batman has compiled on the members of the Justice League to learn all their weaknesses. This is an animated flick for all you super hero nerds out there. You know who you are.

Klitschko – While the title does sound kind of naughty, this is actually a doc about a pair of Russian/German boxer brothers. Brother boxers? Supposed to be pretty good for those of you who enjoy the sweet science.

Mandrill – Fun looking James Bond/Kung Fu actiony hybrid from Chile of all places, finds a kid who grows up to be a ruthless bounty hunter seeking revenge on the thugs who murdered his parents. He calls himself Mandrill. Enough said.

Notre Jour Viendra – AKA Our Day Will Come – First film from the son of Costa-Gravas is a weird violent surreal road flick. I’ve heard from reliable sources that it’s quite an excellent time. And with some plot keywords like full-frontal male nudity, red hair and hot tub, how could you go wrong? (Thanks IMDB!)

Rabies – Strange sounding horror film from Israel (yes you read that right) about a brother and sister who run away from home and find sanctuary in a deserted nature reserve. There they meet a psychopathic killer (what other kind might you be expecting?), a group of young tennis players, a ranger and his dog, as well as a team of bickering policemen. And with some plot keywords that include; brother-sister incest, fingering, alternative lifestyle, dog and finger bang, how could you go wrong? (Thanks IMDB!)

Woody Allen: A Documentary – Title pretty much sums it up I think. Really long doc covering Woody’s long and storied (and weird and creepy) career. Say what you will about him, he’s one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.

Old Stuff Just In

Friday Night Lights – The Complete Series

Foyle’s War – Season 2-5 (We now have the complete series)

Skins Season 3 and 4 (At Commercial, coming soon to Cambie)

The Fernando Di Leo Crime Collection – Includes The Big Boss, The Italian Connection, Caliber 9, Rulers of the City

Coming Next Week

Game of Thrones Season 1
Skin I Live In
Animals United
MI-5 Volume 10
Jack and Jill
Like Crazy
I Melt with You

Recently Viewed and Recommended

Notre Jour Viendra – AKA Our Day Will Come
Hugo – mild recommendation
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Paranormal Activity 3
Cell 211
The Thing
Harold and Kumar: A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas
Elite Squad: The Enemy Within
Take Shelter

That’s it for this week, people. They say it’s going to snow tomorrow so the best thing you can do is not go to work or school, get some flicks, a bottle of schnapps and hunker down till the storm passes.

Black Dog Video

Black Dog Newsletter for Week Ending February 28th

So the big DVD/Blu Ray sale continues at both stores. Just restocked the coffers with a pile of films over at Cambie St. – mostly horror and I will be adding more at Commercial Drive probably Wednesday. Please drop by to snag some quality and below quality flicks at a fairly reasonable price – just $6 each (unless otherwise marked) or if you get three or more the price drops to $5 a piece. Can’t beat that. No sir, you can’t.

We’ve also just launched a Black Dog Facebook page (we’re tossing the old Facebook group). Like it if you like to like things. You can get the newsletter there as well as lots of fun, witty, somewhat informative articles, ideas, stories, trailers and whatever else we can think to throw on there. Good times –

It looks like the Rio Theatre is back in the business of showing films. About time. Now then next step is to actually be able to buy a beer while watching a flick. I really doesn’t make any sense why this law even exists. Come-on BC get in the game!

New Releases for Tuesday February 21st

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 – Amazing doc about the Black Power Movement in the US as seen through the lens of some Swedish journalists. When I think of Black Power I think of Sweden!

Cafe de Flore – Canadian film that chronicles the parallel fates of Jacqueline, a young mother with a disabled son in 1960s Paris, and Antoine, a recently-divorced, successful DJ in present day Montreal. Supposed to be most excellent. Go Canada! From the director of C.R.A.Z.Y.

The Fades Season 1 – Cool looking scary British series about a dude who can see dead people – The Fades – and he must try to stop them from entering our world and destroying the human race. Ah, why bother? Sounds like a lot of work and stress. We’ve had a good run.

Fireflies in the Garden – Solid cast – Ryan Reynolds (well maybe not him), Willem Dafoe, Julia Roberts and Emily Watson star in this heavy sappy looking family drama about some sort of tragedy striking a family and them dealing with it in some way or another. This film may or may not contain fireflies.

The Interrupters – Acclaimed doc that tells the stories of three Violence Interrupters who try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they once employed. From the director of Hoop Dreams, Stevie and At the Death House Door.

J. Edgar – Hey, who wants to watch an over-long film about a famous American asshole? Step right up then! Leonardo DiCaprio acts up a storm in this bio-pic of the famous evil jackass CIA director. Directed by tough guy Clint Eastwood. Also on the Blu Ray.

London Boulevard – Hunky (but short) Colin Farrell stars as an ex-con hired to look after pretty (but too thin) Keira Knightley much to the chagrin of mob boss played by the always awesome (but very British) Ray Winstone. Sounds like about ten thousand other films of this ilk but the pretty good cast might just make it work. Only one way to find out I suppose.

Martha Marcy May Marlene – A woman – Myrtle Mable Marbles Monkey-Shines – flees a cult led by the always excellent John Hawkes. After reuniting with her family, Mavis Maplethorpe Mimsy Moneyball is haunted by the painful memories of her time spent in the abusive hippie-like cult. Watched this last night and it’s quite good. Nice to see some talent coming out of that obnoxious Olsen Twin family (Merlin Mumbles Macadamia Mao is played by the little sister of those awful twins – and she’s quite excellent!) Sorry about all of my silly alliteration, I just couldn’t help myself. Also on the Blu Ray.

Nurse Jackie Season 3 – Everyone favorite drug addled, lying, cheating nurse is back! Love this show. Go nurses!

Puncture – A drug addled lawyer takes on a big health supply corporation while battling his own personal demons. Sounds like drug addled might be the theme of the week. Go drugs!

Puss in Boots – A drug addled cat with a sword wreaks havoc on the Mexican countryside…wait just kidding…no drugs for this kitty! Oscar nominated animated fare for your pleasure. Also on the Blu Ray.

Rebound – Catherine Zeta-Jones stars in this limp looking comedy about an older woman hooking up with a younger man. Oh the scandal! I guess she’s had enough of Michael Douglas’s wrinkled ass and no-liped face.

Retreat – Cillian Murphy, Jamie Bell and Thandie Newton star in this thriller in which a lovely couple head off to an island retreat which, for some reason, is cut off form any contact with the outside world. A (maybe) crazy guy shows up telling them that a mysterious virus has wiped out the rest of humanity. Are they to believe him? Is he really crazy or telling the truth? Do they have him in for tea and a threesome? Hmmm….

Star Wars – Clone Wars Season 3 – Pretty good animated show based in the Star Wars universe. Why is Star Wars still this popular? Maybe because George Lucas just won’t let it go away, won’t let us forget?

Tower Heist – High powered comedy cast – Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Ferris Bueller, Alan Alda, Judd Hirch, Tea Leoni and many many more star in this action comedy about some cats who are cheated out of some dough in some sort of Ponzi scheme so they band together to rip off the ripper-off guy. And there was much rejoicing! Also on the Blu ray.

Underbelly Season 1 – Acclaimed Australian (well acclaimed by Australians so take that for what it’s worth:) crime drama.

The Way – Emilio Estevez makes his dad (Martin Sheen) walk the “El camino de Santiago” (whatever that is – sounds difficult or sounds like a cool car found in Santiiago) to recover the body of his dead son who died walking the “El camino de Santiago.” Whatever that is.

Weeds Season 7 – Everyone’s favorite drug-dealing (not drug addled) family is back for more drug-related hijinks and comedy and what have you. Go drug family!

Coming Next Week

Johnny English Reborn
How the Universe Works
Notre Jour Viendra
Gamin Au Velo
Sea Wolf

Recently Viewed and Recommended

Martha Marcy May Marlene
Star Wars – Clone Wars Season 3
Nurse Jackie Season 3
Elite Squad – The Enemy Within
Take Shelter
The Guard
Paranormal Activity 3
Harold and Kumar: A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas
Robot Chicken Star Wars V3
Boardwalk Empire Season 1

That’s it for this week, folks. Hope that everyone has safe, fun, sexy times!

Black Dog Video

Black Dog Video

Black Dog Video Newsletter for Week Ending February 20th

It’s Valentine’s day if you needed reminding. You may have noticed the onslaught of advertising, articles in print, on the TV and on the interwebs (hell, there’s even a Valentine’s Day cartoon on the telly as I write this!). There’s a lot of money to be made today. Are you spending appropriately? I’m really not as cynical as I sound, it’s just that Valentine’s Day is one of those manufactured type holidays like Christmas or Easter or Arbour Day, that all vie for your hard earned bucks and that I just can’t get behind. I’m not going out to dinner, buying some diamonds or a car or wearing sexy underwear (well no more sexy than usual) today. For those of you that are, enjoy and I hope it works out for you. After all isn’t the point of Valentine’s Day is to get laid? I feel bad for those of you who are single only for the fact that Valentine’s Day works hard to exclude you. I say screw ’em, go ahead and treat yourself. If ya know what I mean (wink wink). Anyways, sprinkled like so much erotic pixie dust on the fetid blanket of love throughout today’s newsletter are some things that you probably shouldn’t do if you want to bed the object of your affections.

Oh and the big blow-out DVD and Blu Ray sale continues at both stores today. Just added a fresh crop of films to the Cambie pile yesterday – mostly actiony type flicks and will be throwing in a pile of films tomorrow – I think foreign films are the order of the day – at Commercial Drive.

Thinking of a special gift for that special someone. Here’s some special gifts that you really shouldn’t be giving anyone… gifts-photos_n_1266626.html#s679380&title=Candy_Underwear

New Releases for Tuesday February 14th

3 – From Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) comes this drama about a couple who start having an affair with the same fella. Might a frighteningly set of awkward circumstances arise from this arrangement? Hmmm….

Assaut (Assault) – French thriller about a true life hijacking of a plane (is there any other kind of hijacking?) by some Algerian Islamic group. Think United 93 or Airplane. Your choice.

The Big Picture – Intense French thriller about a guy who kills his wife’s lover and then assumes the dead guy’s identity. I wonder how hard it would be to assume someone’s identity? Who’s would I assume? George Clooney? No, I think that it would have to be someone less famous. Character actor Charles Durning? I should give this some thought.

The Dead – Zombie flick set in Africa finds the survivor of a plane crash fleeing the undead. He teams up with another dude and together they fight for survival in the lovely African wilderness. Heard some good things about this one. I do enjoy a good zombie flick I must say. Brains….Also on the Blu Ray.

Elite Squad – The Enemy Within – Amazing sequel to the well received Brazilian flick Elite Squad from a couple of years back. This one deals with prison riots, corrupt politicians (are there really any other kinds?), and paramilitary groups. I was hoping to check out this number on the weekend but failed miserably. Also on the Blu Ray

The Future is Now!Waking Life type flick follows “Man of Today” on his quest to find the “Woman of Tomorrow”. Maybe they’ll have the “Baby of Yesterday”. Along the way he meets a myriad of strange interesting characters. Hmmm. Not too sure what to make of this. Might be a good intellectual exercise or it might be a bunch of pretentious twaddle. Only one way to find out I suppose. Is the future really now? Or is that the past already? How about now?! Now?

How to Die in Oregon – What sounds like a pretentious indie gangster hipster beardo flick is actually a documentary on the right to assisted suicide in the state of Oregon. Looking for something for Valentine’s Day were you? Look no further.

The Mill and the Cross – Rutger Hauer stars as painter Pieter Bruegel and this weird but cool looking film that steps inside the famous painting and follows some of the characters found there. Hobo with a paint brush. Also on the Blu Ray.

Nude Nuns with Big Guns – Best title (in name anyways) of the year so far. Do I really need to go into detail? OK I will. Sister Sarah is abused, degraded and drugged to the point of death by the evil clergy for some reason. God tells her to take revenge so she does. What did you expect, Driving Miss Daisy? Some plot keywords found on the IMDB include; No Panties, Sapphism, Nunsploitation, Two Women In A Bath Tub, God’s Will, Shot In The Penis, Evil Priest, Drum Magazine, Redistribution Of Sex, Severed Penis, Shot In The Forehead, Lesbian Nun, and Pubic Hair. Happy Valentine’s Day. Also on the Blu Ray (Cambie Store only).

The Rum Diary – Hard act to follow after that last title. Johnny Depp stars as journalist Paul Kemp who takes on a freelance job in Puerto Rico for a local newspaper during the 1950s. Much drinking and hedonism and drinking occur. Directed by Brice Robinson (Withnail and I) and written by Hunter S. Thompson (before he died I think). Also on the Blu Ray.

Take Shelter – Big-headed Michael Shannon (like really, have you seen the size of his head? I think it has it’s own area code) stars as a big-headed man who may or may not be losing his mind. Lots of cool imagery, intense scenes and outstanding acting elevate this “disease of the week” flick into something pretty cool and almost awesome. There will be interesting conversations/debates about what happens at the end. Want me to tell the ending? Well it involves UFO’s, Nazis and women’s undergarments. I’ll just leave it at that.

A few older titles hitting the shelves this week

Fascination –
Lips of Blood
The Iron Rose
Dressed to Kill – Blu Ray –

Maybe you were thinking of getting a special photograph or two of you and your lover for this special day? This may change your mind…

Coming Next Week

Weeds Season 7
Fireflies on the Garden
Nurse Jackie Season 3
The Way
Fades Season 1
Cafe de Flore
Puss in Boots
London Boulevard
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Underbelly Season 1
Tower Heist
J. Edgar

Recently Viewed and Recommended

Take Shelter
Ides of March
The Guard
Paranormal Activity 3
Harold and Kumar: A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas
Robot Chicken Star Wars V3
Boardwalk Empire Season 1

If you’re looking for a sweet recommendation for a nice romantic flick for the evening, don’t look here as it’s not really my realm but I can lead you away from stuff you definitely should NOT watch. Here’s a movie site appropriately titled Ten Terrible Date Movies. I can think of a few to add to the list – I Spit on Your Grave, MS 45, Death Wish, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Nekromantik…Any you might want to add?

Anyways, that’s it for this very special Valentine’s edition of the newsletter. I hope that you enjoyed it and will be enjoying some quality films this week. Stay healthy, stay sexy.

Black Dog Video

Black Dog Newsletter for Week Ending February 6th

So I was a little right and a little wrong about the pizza shop about to open where the old Alpha Video used to reside. I thought it was some crappy chain but apparently it sounds like it will be quite a good joint. And who doesn’t enjoy a good good joint? Famoso is the name and it sounds like the may be a tasty experience. And with another renowned pizzeria about to open on Victoria and William, the Commercial Drive area has gone from nothing but terrible pizza or terribly over-priced pizza to a mecca for those who enjoy a good pie. Nice to see things changing for the better over on the Drive. For once.

On another note we will be having a bit of a DVD sale over the next few weeks. Once a year we like to comb though the collection and cull the herd so to speak. So check in at the stores later this week to see what fine films can be had for a very reasonable price. Good times.

New Releases for Tuesday January 31st

Big Year – Comedy with Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson as competitive bird watchers. Really? A bird watching comedy? With all that funny guy talent you might think that maybe they could have come up with something a little more interesting. Not to say that bird watching isn’t interesting. I guess for some it could be. Me? I hate birds. They’re so loud and always shitting on things, eating in the middle of the street. I guess they’re good to have around to keep cats happy. Also on the Blu Ray.

Breakaway – The IDMB describes this as “An ethnic Canadian hockey player struggles against traditional family values and discrimination from mainstream hockey players.” Ethnic? That’s the best you can come up with? Doesn’t really give you the idea that it’s a comedy now does it. I like hockey. I like ethnic people. Word has it that it’s not half bad.

Cell 211 – Spanish thriller about a prison guard who is having a not-so-great first day on the job as a prison riot breaks out and he must pretend he’s an inmate in order to survive. I’ve always said that the first day on the job is the hardest and lousiest but come on! Word on the street has it that this is quite an swell little number. Also on the Blu Ray (at Commercial, BR coming to Cambie asap.)

The Double – The powerhouse acting tandem of Richard Gere and Topher Grace star in this political thriller about a CIA dude and a FBI dude working together to find out who killed some politician dude. Also on the Blu Ray, dude.

Dream House – Mystery horror thingy starring James Bond, Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts. Guy moves his family into some sort of dream house only to find that the previous tenants were horribly butchered. You’d think that when buying a dream house one might find out little details like that before signing the papers. For some reason this flick was directed by Jim Sheridan – In the Name of the Father, My Left Foot, The Boxer – not really someone I’d think would helm such a flick. Also on the Blu Ray.

Drive – This was my pick for best film of 2011 although some would disagree (you know who you are). Ryan Gosling stars as a stunt driver by day and getaway driver by night. Things get complicated when he falls for his cute neighbor. Stylish, tense, violent, fantastic cinematography, great pacing, swell chemistry, OK music, awesome silver jacket, Albert Brooks – all of these things make this film such a sweet treat. Can’t wait to see it again. Also on the Blu Ray.

In Time – Sci-fi number finds the cute one from ‘NSYNC and the gorgeous Amanda Seyfried trying to survive in a world where people only age until they’re 25 and then have one year left until they explode or something like that. Time has become a currency. The rich live forever and the poor, well, kaboom! Sounds a bit Logan’s Runnish (sorry that sounded a bit gross). Looks somewhat intriguing. Also on the Blu Ray.

Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking – Doc featuring “beautiful computer graphics and pleasant ambient music” and also has Mr. Smart Guy, Stephen Hawking going on about the origins of the universe and our tiny insignificant place in it. Want to feel small and useless? Watch this.

Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune – Doc about the famed folk musician/activist kinda guy that follows his career and the tragic end to his life. Sounds like fun.

The Thing – Prequel to John Carpenter’s awesome 1982 flick finds a bunch of folks in Antarctica stumbling across an alien life form that mimics the host it invades and then shreds them apart or something like that. Haven’t heard too many good things about this (well I know one person who liked it) which is too bad as it seems like a perfect film not to fuck up. Also on the Blu Ray.

Coming Next Week

Texas Killing Fields
Harold and Kumar: A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas
Stay Cool
Downton Abbey Season 2
Sunset Limited
Robot Chicken: Star Wars V 3
Twilight: Breaking Dawn Pt 1

Recently Viewed and Recommended

The Last Circus
Boardwalk Empire S 1
The Guard
Tuesday, After Christmas
Ides of March

This may not have anything to do with films but it has a lot to do with the funny.

Have a great week everybody, stay dry, stay drunk, stay entertained.

Black Dog Video

Black Dog Newsletter for Week Ending January 30th

I imagine by now that most of you have heard about the ongoing battle the fabulous Rio Theatre has had with the liquor control board. Well it seems that the powers that be have come one step closer to putting the famed theatre out of business. Soon after being granted the much sought after liquor license for the live shows and special events that they put on at the Rio, they were informed that they could not show films in the theatre ever again! The Liquor Control fools cited some lame antiquated law that states, for some reason, that one could not serve booze in a movie theatre. The thing is, besides the point that one should be able to buy booze at the moves, the Rio wasn’t planning on selling alcohol during movies times! I just don’t get why this is happening. The good folks at the Rio have taken up the fight and you can help out as well. Here’s a link to online petitions and where to send emails requesting that this utterly stupid law be reviewed and ultimately overturned. Please take a moment to help out the best movie house in town…

New Releases for Tuesday January 24th

50/50 – Cancer comedy and drama all rolled into one! Nothing says funny like cancer! Actually from what I hear this is quite an excellent little number. The always swell Joseph Gordon-Levitt finds out he has the cancer and with the help of his bumbling sidekick, Seth Rogan, sets out to beat the shit out of cancer. Filmed in town here – they did a scene outside of the Black Dog on Commercial but I don’t know if we have a cameo in it or not as I haven’t had a chance to check the film out yet. Also on the Blu Ray.

Buck – Acclaimed doc about a dude who’s a real “horse whisperer”. I tried being a “cat whisperer” once but all I got out of it was indignation, contempt and outright hostility from my cat (Pork Hand is one of her many names).

French Immersion – French Canadian comedy about some English speaking folk who find themselves somewhere in rural Quebec where nobody speaks the English. A clash of cultures, I presume, ensue.

Happy Happy – Comedy/drama form Norway (good stuff coming out of Norway lately) finds a bored lonely sexy housewife (do tell!) becoming infatuated with the new sexy neighbors who have just moved in across the street. Sexual hijinks and uncomfortable situations, I presume, ensue. This is going to be a hot renter just judging by the cover art. Come in to the stores and see what I mean.

Hell and Back Again – Heavy duty doc follows a dude back from Afghanistan (the war part that is) as he tries to adjust to relatively normal society. As the director describes it – “It is a masterpiece in the cinema of war.”

Paranormal Activity 3 – While I did enjoy the first two installments in this series, (I haven’t had a chance to see this one yet) but I’m afraid that these films might slip into the Saw franchise category – lots of films but who gives a rat’s ass? That said, I will watch this one because I found the first two quite frightening and quite effective although the premise is getting stretched a little thin – how many people set up that may cameras in their home for little or no reason?. Also on the Blu Ray.

Real Steel – Wolverine stars in this futuristic, inspiring tale about people who build giant robots to fight each other. Guess that there’s nothing better to do in the future. Now if the premise included the robots running amok and ripping people’s heads and arms off and stuff instead of teaching robots how to fight and dance and mix drinks I may be interested. I should get back to work making my butler robot, although I’m afraid that it may become self aware and rip off my head and arms.

Restless – This number finds a terminally ill teenage girl who falls for a boy who likes to attend funerals and their encounters with the ghost of a Japanese kamikaze pilot from WWII. How romantic. I imagine that there will be tears jerked out of your eyes while watching this. Also on the Blu ray.

Shut Up Little Man – Ever want to record sound bites you hear around the town? Well this doc finds some dudes who record the fights, squabbles and tantrums thrown by their neighbors. Good times.

Swastika – Gripping doc about Nazi’s and propaganda and what not. Ahhh, can we ever get our fill of Nazis?

Triple Tap – Hong Kong actiony thriller about cops and robbers and bad guys and good guys and their paths intersecting and a whole bunch of stuff we’ve seen in tons of Hong Kong actiony thrillers.

The Whistleblower – Heavy duty drama starring the lovely Rachel Weisz as a a Nebraska cop with a whistle who served as a peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia and blows said whistle on the U.N. for covering up a sex scandal. Based on a horrible true story. People (men) are awful. When does the world end again? Also on the Blu Ray.

Coming Next Week

Into the Universe
Shades of Ray
Big Year
Dream House
Cell 211
The Thing
In Time

Recently Viewed and Recommended

The Last Circus
The Guard
Tuesday, After Christmas
Fish Story
Ides of March
Boardwalk Empire
An Idiot Abroad

Here’s an amusing little ditty on how Albert Brooks and Patton Oswalt are taking their respective snubs from the Academy Awards –,68204/

That’s it for this week, kids. Have a great week, stay dry and warm and watching something good. Or bad. Your call.

Black Dog Video

Black Dog Newsletter for Week Ending January 23rd

What a weekend. I managed to get out of town for a 4 day hockey tournament up on top of Apex mountain. Great fun indeed – outdoor hockey, hot tub, way too many beers, great food, great friends. Too bad it took such a toll on my poor old body – I have a cold, haven’t slept much, my face skin (does that sound weird?) is so dry I may have to wear a balaclava layered with vaseline and moisturizer for a while (don’t freak out if you see a guy wearing a vaseline soaked balaclava working behind the desk this weekend).

I just noticed that the fames Sala Thai restaurant on Cambie is no more. They were my first introduction to Thai food when I moved here 17 years ago and I loved it. Sad to see them go. Looks like another Thai place will be opening up in that location. I can’t remember the name – Me and I Thai? Thai Me Down? Itchy Thai? Something like that. Have to give them a try when they open.

Pretty mixed bag of flicks hitting the shelves this week, a couple of really good ones, a couple of really awful ones and some anime. There ya go.

New Releases for Tuesday January 17th

Abduction – That plastic waxy looking werewolf guy from the Twilight films attempts to become a plastic waxy looking leading action figure in this crappy looking thriller. Don’t know what it’s about (I’m guessing someone gets abducted and the Ken-doll has to rescue them) and I don’t really care. Abduction checks in with an impressive 4% on the Rotten Tomatometer. Also on the Blu Ray. I imagine that this will be near the top of people’s worst of lists. Right behind our next film.

Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star – If you like to read people’s worst of the year picks, I will bet the farm that this abomination will be among the top contenders on many a list. It’s the painfully unfunny (hey look the painfully unfunny Adam Sandler was one of the writers!) tale of some loser who wants to be a porn star. Let the laughs begin. We have two copies at each store which is probably two too many. Comes in with an impressive 0% on the Rotten Tomatometer!

Dirty Girl – Juno Temple (who?) stars in this comedy drama as a high school “dirty girl” (not too sure what that means, but I can guess) who decides to go on a road trip with a fat gay guy named Clarke and a bag of flour named Joan. That’s about all I can tell you about this except that it has graphic nudity in it. I’m not even exactly sure what graphic nudity consists of – naked ladies? loads of penis? Who knows?

First Squad – Cool sounding anime set during WWII that finds some Soviet teenagers with extraordinary abilities who have to fight an SS officer attempting to raise from the dead a supernatural army of crusaders from the 12th-century Order of the Sacred Cross and enlist them in the Nazi cause. Say that without taking a breath!

Ides of March – Topical political thriller starring The Clooney who also writes and directs (show off). Also has the ubiquitous The Gosling and The Giamatti. Supposed to be quite a good little flick. I’m a sucker for the political thriller so I have high hopes for this one. Also on the Blu Ray.

Killing Bono – A fantasy to some maybe…but this is a serious comedy/drama based on real events about a couple of dudes who form a band in Ireland the same time as some band called U2 was getting going. Jealousy abounds, I presume.

Poetry – A sixty-something woman, faced with the discovery of a heinous family crime and in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, finds strength and purpose when she enrolls in a poetry class. Holy moly does this sound like something I’d never want to see. But that’s just me. I hear it’s actually pretty good. Just not for me. But you may like it. I doubt that I would. You should check it out.

Redline – The other anime released today deals with some sort of deadly racing tournament. Love those! Looks like my car has been in a few deadly racing tournaments.

Thorne: Sleepyhead – Don’t know a lot about this except that it’s supposed to be a very good thriller about a detective after a serial killer. Could be any of a thousand flicks. I think it’s based on a book or something written by someone.

Coming Next Week

The Whistleblower
Hell and Back Again
Real Steel
Paranormal Activity 3
French Immersion
Happy Happy
Shut Up Little Man

Recently viewed and Recommended

Boardwalk Empire
The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret Season 1
Tuesday After Christmas
Fish Story
Mildred Pierce
The Guard
An Idiot Abroad
Primeval Season 3

That’s it for this we folks, stay warm, eat well, drink lots (you don’t actually have to drink lots) and keep watching…

Black Dog Video

Black Dog Newsletter for Week Ending January 16th

Unconfirmed reports are telling me that something called Mario’s Pizza will be sliding into the spot once occupied by Alpha Video on the Drive. I believe it may be a chain and may even be that East Side Mario’s with all those great commercials on the TV. I certainly hope not but I guess that we’ll have to wait and see. It’s such a great location for something cool but this sounds like it just may be quite the opposite. If anyone has any other info lease let us know. I noticed that Marcello’s is beefing up their outside seating arrangement maybe to get a jump on the next door competition. As mentioned this is still unconfirmed but my source usually knows what’s going on around the hood. The Drive definitely needs more (or even one) really good restaurant as it’s a bit of a wasteland over here.

Pretty good week for releases this week with the addition of some of the more highly acclaimed films and TV shows that were out on screen last year. Enjoy.

Unthank Cinema’s weekly Wednesday night showings of the fabulous and strange have been put on hiatus until further notice. Sorry.

New Releases for Tuesday January 10th

An Idiot Abroad – Very funny and fun show that follows idiot Carl Pilkington, friend of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant who send the poor sap around the world to visit stuff he really has no interest in seeing. Good stuff.

Boardwalk Empire Season 1 – Wow. Just watched the first couple of episodes and, wow, what a great show! It’s much better than I anticipated it would be but I shouldn’t be surprised as the it’s created by one of the driving forces behind The Sopranos and the first episode was directed by Scorsese and it stars some of my favorite actors – Steve Buscemi, Michael Shannon, Kelly McDonald, Omar from The Wire and Dabney Coleman. Atlantic City in 1920, prohibition has just come into effect and all that it entails. Awesome awesome show. Also on the Blu Ray.

Fish Story – Bizarre Japanese flick that deals with such weighty topics as the end of the world (a comet is about to destroy the earth), the healing powers of punk rock, Japanese game shows, time travel (I think) and a myriad of other important topics. I’ve read great things about this film. Here’s a gushing review from one of the Ain’t it Cool guys –

Higher Ground – The lovely Vera Farmigna (Source Code, Up in the Air) makes her directorial debut with this heavy drama about a woman’s life-long struggle with her faith. Hopefully it’s a lot better than it sounds. Go Atheists! Also on Blu Ray.

Killer Elite – Actiony type number starring a bunch of manly men – Statham, Clive Owen, DeNiro who all play hit men at various stages of their careers who probably have to do “one last job” before they can retire or something like that. Good cast, hoping it’s a pretty good time waster. Also on the Blu Ray.

Moneyball – The writer of the fantastic Social Network penned this film about the baseball team known to some as the Oakland A’s and their unorthodox manager who attempts to build a successful team based on computer statistics. I hear this one is pretty good with fine performances by Mr. Angelina Jolie and Jonah Hill. If the writer can make such an exciting, absorbing film about the creation of a computer program I imagine he can do the same with one about, yawn, baseball. Also on the Blu Ray.

Primeval Season 3 – Season 3 of the fine British sci-fi show about dinosaurs who’ve managed to come through time somehow into modern day England and it’s up to a crack band of scientists or zookeepers or whoever they are to fight and control the beasts. Good fun. Too bad this isn’t a documentary. Might be cool to have giant lizards roaming around although it would make walking the boy to school a little more challenging.

The Tempest – The second Tempesty film that came out last year. This is the one you’ve been waiting for though – directed by Julie Taymor and starring Helen Mirren, Russell Brand and a bunch of other actors acting all Shakespearian and what not. Also on the Blu Ray.

Old Stuff Just In

Citizen Kane – Blu Ray
Little Shop Around the Corner
Can’t Hardly Wait

Coming Next Week

Thorne: Sleepyhead
Ides of March
Dirty Girl
Killing Bono
First Squad
Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star

Recently Viewed and Recommended

Boardwalk Empire
Mildred Pierce
The Guard
A Better Life
Ip Man 2
An Idiot Abroad
Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame
Justified Season 2
Tree of Life
A Somewhat Gentle Man

I have a funny feeling we’ll be seeing this film come Oscar time next year….

That’s it for this week, folks. Stay warm, eat well, drink if you must and remember, keep watching.

Black Dog Video

The Dangerous Kitchen

Gus: “That haunted frying pan better not be on the porch when I get home or I’ll be super mad!”