Free Hugs! Black Dog’s Top Picks for the Best Things!

Free Hugs!


Twas a fine year for films, one of the better years in recent memory. 2014 made 2013 look like a big pile of puke in comparison. This is Black Dog’s list of what we thought were among the best things that cinema had to offer in the year of our lord, 2014. Grand Budapest Hotel seemed to be a popular film amongst the staff. Great film. Doing up my list I couldn’t help but wonder what would have been on John’s list. He had the most eclectic taste in film. It probably would have include some great art-house foreign flick – I’m guessing the new Dardenne Brothers film – whatever Mike Leigh or Ken Loach put out this year and maybe some action (was there a new Die Hard film this year?) or horror flick. Miss that guy.

Anyways without further ado (no more ado for you!) here’s what some Black Doggers liked this past year. (We’ll have a few more lists – including mine – next week)

Patrick’s Picks…

The Guest
Night Moves
Dear White People
Grand Budapest Hotel
Hill of Freedom
Listen Up Philip
Tale of Princess Kaguya

And here’s what tinkled Alex’s fancy…

(in alphabetical order)

Finding Vivian Maier
Gone Girl
It Follows
Jodorowsky’s Dune
Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau
Only Lovers Left Alive
Starry Eyes
Under the Skin

And from Amanda we have…

Grand Budapest Hotel
The Babadook
Under the Skin
Obvious Child
I Origins
Big Eyes
Mr. Turner
The Dog
Finding Vivian Maier

Best in the realm of TV

The Comeback
True Detective
Inside Amy Schumer
Nathan for You
Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories

From RJ we have this fine selection…

10. Nightcrawler. Gylellenhaal and Rene Russo do some mighty fine acting in this tense thriller.
9. Ida. beauty and sadness often come together. Visually stunning.
8. Birdman. Michael Keaton really is a super hero. Innaritu makes a movie that isn’t depressing and guess what? .. It’s really good! The cast is on fire!
7. It Follows. Forget the Babadook! This movie s the most original horror movie in eons.
6. We are the Best!! Rebels with a cause! 80s punk teen girls rule!
5. Blue Ruin. A thrill ride thats never lets go and begins where you think it would end.
4. The Wonders. Italian new comer Alice Rorwacher’s coming of age story is true magic. Sweet but real with a hint of fantasy.
3. Under the Skin. Creepy Arty Genius. Glazer is a master of visual stimulation. Best soundtrack of 2014
2. Clouds of Sils Maria. I almost wrote this movie off and took a chance and was blown away. Layered and complex study of acting, actors and egos. Assayas has redeemed himself.
1.Force Majeure. This is the kind of movie that makes going to the theater worth every penny. A truly modern comedic masterpiece. Snow avalanches aren’t the only kind of disaster awaiting a family with deeply rooted issues .

Honorable mentions: Snowpiercer. Only Lovers Left Alive. Tracks. The Wind Rises. Lego movie. Grand Budapest Hotel. Edge of tomorrow. Stranger by the Lake.

Best TV shows/series in 2014

-Broad City
-The Leftovers
-Mad men
-Getting On
-The comeback
-The Kroll Show
-Nathan for you

Biggest Disappointments…

-Godzilla-dumb dumb dumb…ugh!
-Muppets most wanted…way too long and not funny enough…
-The Sacrement- ti west please some back and make a good movie! please!

Seems Bjorn didn’t see any new films this past 12 months but here’s a great list of older stuff that blew his hair back…

In order viewed…

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (Joseph Sargent, 1974)
A whip-crack 1970s thriller, with plenty of authentic grit and grime, awesome performances, and a perfect ending.

I Killed My Mother (Xavier Dolan, 2009)
Heartbreaking first feature from Canada’s boy genius. This kid whips out a screenplay in the time it takes me to fold my socks.

Brother’s Keeper (Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky, 1992)
Before they made Metallica cry, Berlinger and Sinofsky made a name for themselves with this forthright bit of investigative journalism that is equally charming and creepy.

The Set-Up (Robert Wise, 1949)
This poignant boxing potboiler unfolds in real-time. A true nail-biter that transcends straight noir.

Titicut Follies (Frederick Wiseman, 1967)
This uncompromising, film is often brutal to watch, but it’s also bizarrely funny, and strangely charming.

Rome Open City (Roberto Rossellini, 1945)
Made under incredible circumstances, this first blast of neo-realism finds poetry in destruction.

Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (Elio Petri, 1970)
Eye-poppingly stylish murder procedural morphs into devastating political satire. Hey Criterion, more unearthing hidden gems like this, and fewer releases like, uh, Tootsie.

Gates of Heaven (Errol Morris, 1978)
Morris’ first stab at a feature documentary is like the most serene psychosis, quietly burrowing into the lives of the seemingly ordinary and unearthing the perfectly weird.

Coal Miner’s Daughter (Michael Apted, 1980)
Enthralling biopic featuring (literally) note-perfect performances across the board.

Mysterious Skin (Gregg Araki, 2004)
By avoiding provocation, Araki makes his most provocative film. One of the most honest films about surviving abuse ever made.

On the Shelves This Week

Not much. This is traditionally a very slow period for releases. January looks tremendous though!


Arrested Development Season 4 – It’s about friggin time this thing was released for all of us folk to enjoy. I hear that it’s great – maybe not as great as the first 3 seasons but you’ll want to see it none-the-less. Trust me.

Coming Next Week!

Alive Inside
Atlas Shrugged III
Get on Up
Girls Season 3
The Guest
Life After Beth
No Good Deed
The Skeleton Twins

We’re open until 8pm on New Year’s Eve and Noon till 11pm on New Year’s Day! Plan accordingly.

Happy viewing, my lovelies. We’ll have more picks for you next week (next year!). Hold on Tight.

Copyright © 2014 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Black Dog Video
Cambie Street and/or Commercial Drive

Free Hugs – 2014: A Year to Remember to Forget

Free Hugs – 2014: A Year to Remember to Forget

It all started with a phone call at 6am on Christmas Day. Swanson, my 8 year-old answered the phone. It was the police asking for me. “He’s asleep”, he told Johnny Law. “And he told me not to wake him up under any circumstances!” I had been making merry the night before with friends, drinking wine and sobbing our way through A Christmas Carol. It’s never good news when the phone rings that early. This was no exception as some chowder-head had thrown a rock through the large plate glass window at the Commercial Drive shop.


Merry Christmas!

And thus began one of the toughest years in Black Dog’s history (yes I know it wasn’t technically 2014, but close enough).

January saw my wife sign us up for Netflix (it was free for a month). This was both good and bad –  bad because, well, Netflix! – and good as it showed me what an utter wasteland that thing is. It took me maybe 20 minutes to go through their entire catalogue and I picked out 5 things I could possibly watch (4 of which I had already seen). I don’t know what people’s attraction to this is – convenience (re: laziness) can be the only thing I can think of – that and not giving a shit what you watch.

February my good friends and hockey teammates opened up Bomber Brewing! Great beer, great fellas! Not everything that happened in 2014 was bad.

March the Cambie store turned 18! Pretty cool. I’m hoping that the store will see it’s 20s. That’s a good decade.

April saw me pen the “Open Letter” about the current state of our business and what tough times we were facing. This lead to our Indiegogo campaign in July. I hated to do that – to ask for help –  but it was either that or we close at least one of the stores. The response was incredible. We raised some much needed capital to help us out and plan the next phase of the store (still in the works). It also got folks who really cared about us to come back in and support us. It seems that there is value to the community, especially the film-loving community, that we still provide.

Things were going along smoothly – business was picking up, folks were happy we were still around and the Commercial store turned nine, and then on November 12th, we received devastating news – our great friend and colleague, John Skibinski, passed away suddenly after a short bout with the flu. I still can’t believe this happened and it still seems so strange to write. One day he’s there, and the next he’s gone. So damn sad. I think about John everyday. He was was one of my favourite people on this planet, such a quality individual. Here’s a lovely piece written by a friend of his if you care to read it…


Over the course of the year a few long time colleagues moved on to (hopefully) bigger and brighter things. Torsten, Josie and Shoby all left us (but can you ever really leave the Black Dog family, we’re like the Mafia). But we gained some bright new up-and-comers in Bjorn, Rob and Eric. Welcome gentlemen!

Over the last 18 years we’ve suffered through a devastating fire, survived the insane construction for the Rav-Hole, been robbed, slapped around by technology amongst other things but 2014 was especially trying and tragic for us. I’m hoping all of that is behind us as we press forward into the uncertain but optimistic and exciting future.

The Smattering of New Films on the Shelves This Week


The Equalizer – Denzel Washington steps into Edward Woodward’s squeaky English shoes in this update of a guy with a big gun who is good at equalizing things.


Banshee S2 – Season 2 of this excellent little TV show about a thief who assumes the identity of a murdered sheriff amongst the Amish. We need more shows involving the Amish, don’t you think?


These Final Hours – Odd sounding flick about a self-obsessed guy going to a party on the last day of earths existence who ends up saving the life of a little girl. Life lessons, I presume, ensue.


Sorry the image for the John Cusack film wouldn’t upload. But here’s a photo of some Christmas dogs!

Reclaim – Some sort of scam-thriller involving John Cusack. 2014 was the year of John Cusack – he was in so many straight-to-video flicks (the kind of films you find in the bargin-bin at Walmart, or on Netflix). Must need a new boat or something.


The Longest Week – Jason Bateman loses all of his riches and he must fend for himself while hanging out with Olivia Wilde. Poor guy.


Last Weekend – Family reuniting at the lake house for some drama with Patricia Clarkson and some other actors.

Christmas is upon us and here’s the hours of operation for the stores over the holidays…

Christmas Eve – Noon till 7pm
Christmas Day – Closed
Boxing Day – Noon till 11pm
New Year’s Eve – Noon till 8pm
New Year’s Day – Noon till 11pm

Next Week we’ll feature the staff’s top picks of the year.

I hope that everyone has a safe and happy holidays. Drink some good Nog, spice it up with some rum (like I have to tell you), rent some quality flicks – there’s lots on the shelves!

Copyright © 2014 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you signed up in-store or online.

Our mailing address is:
Black Dog Video
Cambie Street and/or Commercial Drive

Free Hugs! Black Dog Newsletter for the Week of December 15th to 22nd


A few housekeeping notices to pass along before we get to the meat of the day. Starting this Wednesday (December 17th) and running until the 24th, we will be doing or famous Food Bank Donations for late charges campaign. Drop off a non-perishable food item (please no lizard beaks in monkey gravy) and we’ll destroy any outstanding late charges you may have incurred up until the 17th. We reserve the right to judge you on your donation (if you have $100 in late, a package of crackers isn’t going to cut it). Hope to see you with lots of cans in your hands, man.

This Saturday (December 20th) the kids at the Commercial store would like to invite you over for a little Christmas cheer. There may be nibbles, possible libations and some sweet sounds courtesy of local musical hero Jason Zumpano! Also the deal of the day will be rent 2 get a third rental for free (of equal of lesser value of course). Cool beans.

Dec_poster_01 4

And don’t forget we have fabulous Black Dog T-Shirts still for sale at both locations. They make great gifts for the person in your family who wears clothes! We also have gift certificates available as well. Oh happy days!


New Releases!


Horns – Harry Potter is accused of murdering his girlfriend. So what is he to do? Sprout some horns out of his noggin that gives him the power to hear people’s thoughts and hopefully solve the mystery, that’s what! Read the book – which was pretty cool – heard mixed things about the film. Directed by Alexandre Aja (Piranha, High Tension). May be late on the shelves.


Swearnet – Ugh. The Trailer Park Boys start an intranet station so they can swear a lot on it. Hilarity, I presume, ensues.


Dr. Cabbie – Comedy finds an Indian immigrant unable to practice medicine in Canada so he does so out of the back of the cab he’s forced to drive. Remember that dentist who did dentistry out of his dingy apartment in Vancouver? It’s like that but funny.


The Maze Runner – Another entry into the futuristic teen dystopia genre finds a bunch of boys trying to figure their way of a giant maze. A giant maze in the future! Think Hungry Games but with more maze. Heard pretty good things about this one actually. Might I go so far as to say it’s amazing?


The Trip to Italy – Steve and Rob eat and talk their way through the gorgeous countryside of Italy. If you like The Trip, you’ll enjoy this one, because well, Italy!


Magic in the Moonlight – Jeez Louise, it’s a new Woody Allen film! Didn’t even know this one existed. A romantic type comedy with Colin Firth, Emma Stone and The Rock (not to sure about that last guy, but one can dream) about a swindle and an Englishman’s involvement in said swindle.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Ugh. And it “stars” Megan Fox.


The Immigrant – Solid cast (Jeremy Renner, Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix) star in this heavy drama about a recently arrived immigrant (probably the same immigrant in the title) to NY in 1921 who’s forced into a life of prostitution. Sounds like some great Christmas fun! Actually I’ve heard very good things about this flick.


This is Where I Leave You – Comedy/Dramady, again with a great cast – Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Tim Elephant, Jane Fonda, The Rock (sigh) – about a bunch of siblings reuniting for their father’s funeral. Enter drama and comedy.


Pride – UK gay activists work to help some miners during a strike in 1984 for some reason. Fine cast – Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, McNulty from The Wire – add to the proceedings.

Recently Viewed and Recommended

Need something to get you through the holidays? Then you’ve come to the right place. Take a gander at our what we like…

Stay warm. Stay dry. Stay hydrated. Stay entertained. Be Good.




Free Hugs! Black Dog Newsletter for Week Ending December 15th


As I have a bit of time to spare in my travels, I thought that I’d give Jessica a break from doing the newsletter for a couple of weeks. But don’t fret, she’ll be back in the new year with more free hugs for you all.

Now onto the business at hand. December 20th over yonder at the Commercial store, we’re throwing a bit of a small Christmas hullabaloo. Local musician and all-round swell guy Jason Zumpano will be spinning some hot wax (or cold damp wax depending on the weather) and there will be nibbles, perhaps libations and rental deals to enjoy. Please stop by.

Dec_poster_01 4

If you need some Christmas things to stuff into various friends, family or whoever’s stockings, why not stuff ina feisty new Black Dog T-shirt or gift certificate? They stuff real good.


New Stuff on the Shelves!


Guardians of the Galaxy – It’s kinda like The Avengers but, in my opinion, better than The Avengers. Space Avengers! It’s clever, fun, well paced and features not only a talking tree, but a talking raccoon! With a big gun! Something for everyone! I couldn’t tell you the plot, something about some scary guys who want to blow up the universe and it’s up to a merry band of pranksters to stop them or something like that. Who cares? Available on DVD, Blu Ray and eye-exploding 3-D Blu Ray. By the by we still have 1 brand-new 3-D Blu-Ray copy for sale at Commercial $10. First come, first serve.


Calvary – From the director of the excellent The Guard comes this tough, funny and gripping tale of a priest (the always amazing Brendan Gleeson) who’s marked for death by one of his parishioners. Drama and other emotions, I presume ensue.


Frank – Original and weird and amazing (from what I’ve heard) tale that finds a guy joining a rock band led by Michael Fassbender who wears a giant paper-mache head. Kinda looks a bit like that thing from the Jack-in-the-Box ads. Check this one out!


I Origins – Odd little sci-fi movie that finds giant-headed (and not paper-mache) Michael Pitt as some sort of scientist who discovers some sort of sciency thing involving eyes that may change the science world as we know it. Shhh don’t tell science-phobe Stephen Harper!


Kroll Show – A guy named Nick Kroll is here to make you laugh. You like to laugh, right?


Yves Saint Laurent – Bio-pic, or biopic to some, about the famed designer of clothes. Clothes for your body. Well maybe not our bodies, but some folks bodies.


When the Game Stands Tall – Football movie about a famous coach who set records for having a real good team. Go sports!


Dolphin Tale – Family affair about a boy and his friendship with a dolphin who’s tail was lost in a crab trap (the dolphins not the boys). Stars a smiley Morgan Freeman and a bunch of other people, also with nice smiles..


20,000 Days on Earth – Sort of documentary finds Nick Cave marking his 20,000th day on earth. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this and being a big Nick Cave fan, it’s at the top of my list to watch.

Coming Next Week

The Immigrant
Magic in the Moonlight
The Maze Runner
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
This is Where I Leave You

Recently Viewed and Recommended

Here’s a bunch of stuff that you make, or may not, like to watch over the next little while…

That’s it for this week folks. I hope that y’all stay dry and warm during this onslaught of dreary weather. Mulled wine, popcorn and a stack of DVDs should do the trick!

Copyright © 2014 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Black Dog Video
Cambie Street and/or Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC

Black Dog Newsletter for week of December 2nd – 8th


Hello December!

It’s that time of year now which means that certain radio stations have become unlistenable and everyone seems a bit more on edge than usual. Never fear, we’re here to help distract you from the holiday madness and the snow outside with some quality watching material.

Also, stay warm with a fine garment from your favourite local video store! They’re going fast and make excellent Christmas gift things for the ones you love!


Looks at those babies!

New movies this week:


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Sadly this installment of the franchise does not star James Franco, as it is set decades after the last film. The hyper-intelligent apes are now at war with humans after civilization has been devastated due to a pandemic. Sounds like a real feel-good movie.


The Hundred Food Journey
Lasse Hallstrom is back with another one. Helen Mirren plays a fancy, snobby French chef who antagonizes an Indian man who opens a restaurant nearby. If you liked Salmon Fishing in the Yemen or Chocolat you’ll probably like this too!


As Above So Below
The guy who played Ginsberg on Mad Men is now an explorer in the catacombs beneath Paris. Sounds romantic, right? Wrong! It’s super terrifying and horrific and spooky down there so watch this one with the lights on.


Third Person
Holy jeez there’s a lot of actors in this movie. They all play a bunch of rich couples having various love affairs in Rome, Paris and New York. I can’t even afford to visit these cities let alone live there and pay rent and have tumultuous love affairs. Also from the guy who made Crash. Take that for what it’s worth.


The Calling
The staunch Susan Sarandon plays a small town sheriff who stumbles upon a string of murders which turns out to be the work of a spooky serial killer. So many serial killers out there preying on small towns. Everyone be careful.


Turks and Caicos
Here’s the sequel to the 2011 movie Page Eight. This is the second film in the Johnny Worricker Spy trilogy. It’s pretty fun to say “Turks and Caicos”, don’t you think? Also this movie looks like it has the best cast ever.


Salting the Battlefield
The final film in the Johnny Worricker Spy trilogy. If Turks and Caicos left you feeling unfulfilled here’s the resolution, plus now Voldemort is in the cast. What could be better?


To Kill a Man
A Chilean film about a man who is sick and tired of being caught in between thugs and ineffectual police decides to take matters in to his own hands. Sounds like some risky business, mister.


A retro French Canadian coming of age movie. If that doesn’t grab you then you should probably just go fly a kite. A French Kite.


Broad City – Season 1
Wowza! This show is so great. I accidentally stayed up until 4 AM watching every single episode in one sitting. The show centres around two twenty-somethings in New York who don’t have much ambition. Reminiscent of the show Girls but less annoying and much funnier, or like Flight of the Conchords but with ladies and no singing. Also features comedians like Amy Pohler, Amy Sedaris, Rachel Dratch, and Fred Armisen in hilarious and memorable cameos. This will not disappoint.


Justified – Season 5
Handsome man, Timmy the Elephant is back as a cowboy hat-wearing man who is also a Marshal in rural Kentucky. I have never seen this show and barely know what it’s about but people seem to like it and rent it so you should probably check it out.

Coming Soon:

Guardians of the Galaxy
This Is Where I Leave You
Saint Laurent
I, Origins
When The Game Stands Still

Recently Viewed and Recommended:

Broad City – Season 1
Portlandia – Season 2
Drunk History – Seasons 1 & 2
Adventure Time – Seasons 1, 2, 3 & 4
Obvious Child
22 Jump Street
The Edge of Tomorrow
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Tom At the Farm

If thats not enough, here’s some more!

Have a nice week. Wear some mittens and a scarf.

Copyright © 2014 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Black Dog Video
Cambie Street and/or Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC

Free Hugs! Black Dog Newsletter for the Week of November 24th – December 1st

Another week has arrived. Time for another e-mail.

Thank you to everyone who came out to John’s memorial last Thursday evening at the Cambie store. Also thank you for all the food and drinks that people donated. It has been a tough couple of weeks in the store. Customers are still finding out the sad news every day. It is difficult to go back to business as usual when everything in the store reminds me of John.

At a memorial on Monday at Emily Carr University it was announced that they have created a scholarship in John’s name, which is lovely. A few customers and I have been throwing ideas around of having monthly John movie nights or a John Film Festival.

On another sad note our friends on Main Street They Live Video are closing this week. Their entire inventory is for sale including their shelving units. Their movies are selling for amazingly low prices, so if you’re in the neighbourhood you should stop by.

They Live Video
4340 Main Street.

On the Shelves This Week


The Expendables 3
Sylvester Stallone and his team of elderly friends are back wearing strange hats and delivering awkward one-liners voices so gravelly that they are often incomprehensible. Watch it. It’s insane.


The Giver
Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges and a bunch of other people star in this movie based on that book that I never got around to reading in high school. Sort of a Hungry Games-esque story. You should probably just watch it because of Meryl Streep.


“A father driven into desire, a son coveting that of his father’s, and the sorrowful maternity that hovers them into tragedy.” Whatever that means! Korean film by the director of Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring. Seems like there could be some incest in here. Oh dear.


A Merry Friggin’ Christmas
A comedy about how stressful Christmas is. Seriously, why do we do this every year? People come in to the store around Christmas on the verge of tears because they are so exhausted and stressed out by the bizarre pressures put on them around the holiday season. Maybe this movie will help? Stars Robin Williams in one of his last roles.


A hard-luck limo driver struggling to go straight and pay off a debt to his bookie takes on a job with a crazed passenger whose sought-after ledger implicates some seriously dangerous criminals. Who hasn’t been there, am I right?


The F-Word

A romantic comedy staring Harry Potter from the director of Fubar. What is going on? So this is a romantic comedy where the two protagonists are not in a romantic relationship with each other. I WONDER WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?! (In the States this movie had to change it’s name because one can’t imply a swear word in the title of a film. How lame is that?)


November Man
Ex-James Bond Pierce Brosnan plays an ex-spy who has to do spy things again one last time so he can out-spy his former spy pupil. Looks like there is also a woman in a shiny dress in this movie.


Beyond the Edge
A documentary about the first people who ever stood up on the top of Mount Everest. But when is the Story of the Story of Everest coming out?


Drunk History – Seasons 1 & Season 2
Originally a web series, this hilarious show features very drunk narrators re-telling historical events which are then re-enacted by famous actors and comedians who lip synch to the drunken ramblings of the narrators. Definitely worth watching.

Coming Soon:

As above, So Below
Broad City – Season 1
The Calling
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Hundred Foot Journey
Justified – Season 5
Third Person
To Kill a Man
Turks and Caicos
Salting the Battlefield


If you come in to the Cambie store we have switched out all of our normal staff picks for John’s staff picks. We went through our catalog of older films and pulled out all the movies that John wrote notes on. His taste in film isn’t for everyone, but if you knew him I recommend watching one of his staff picks.

Copyright © 2014 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

You are receiving this email because you signed up in-store or online.

Our mailing address is:
Black Dog Video
Cambie Street and/or Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC

Free Hugs! Black Dog’s Words and Pictures for the Week of November 10th – 16th 2014

Hugging you with his lovely eyes, this husky is here with some nice autumnal leaves for your enjoyment.


It’s Too Cold To Do Anything Except Watch Movies!

That’s just how I feel. It’s sweater and scarf weather. Maybe almost gloves and toque weather. Come in to the store and rent movies and then immediately retreat to your blanket cave on your couch and watch movies during all your spare time. If you have a dog get that puppo up on your lap for extra heat and cuteness.

This Week’s New Releases

c36d513e-0576-4880-8b9a-14312665d270 Tammy

Melissa McCarthy stars in this comedy directed by her husband about a lady having a tough time. After losing her job and learning that her husband has been unfaithful, Tammy hits the road with her profane, hard-drinking grandmother. Also stars Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, and Dan Aykroyd. Melissa McCarthy is pretty hilarious. She is like the female Chris Farley.

43245f81-2ff9-4812-be3c-bc73254a626d Jersey Boys

Clint Eastwood directs this movie about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. Four New Jersey guys from the wrong side of the tracks who came together to form the iconic 1960s band. Stars Christopher Walken! Wowie wow wow! Also the cover art of this movie reminds me of the poster for The Exorcist. I wonder if there are any parallels between the two films.

9d930b98-d5b8-4b5b-9c79-8f9f1d2dae51 Automata

Antonio Banderas and real life wife or ex-wife Melanie Griffith star in this I, Robot sounding Spanish-tinged sci-fi. Banderas plays an insurance agent of a robotics corporation who investigates cases of robots violating their primary protocols against harming humans. What he discovers will have profound consequences for the future of humanity. Ooh!

d28d5c15-88d6-452a-b157-b08c770b9d0a Let’s Be Cops

Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. (that makes me feel old) star in this comedy about two not so bright guys who get the brilliant idea to start pretending to dress up as cops so they can pick up ladies and confiscate kids’ drugs. Obviously this leads to a whole heap of trouble as it is totally illegal. Hilarity ensues.

35fc2c4f-b608-435e-8b80-eb9b61bcdd99 Housebound

This great little horror / comedy from New Zealand is about a woman who is put under house arrest and stuck at home with her family in their possibly haunted house. I wonder what a ghost from New Zealand sounds like. 77a7befa-ccd8-4bcd-b082-5a2f790e268f About Alex

A group of old college friends reunite over a long weekend after one of them attempts suicide. Stars the always lovely and sarcastic Aubrey Plaza. Seems like a updated version of The Big Chill – except NOW there’s hashtags. #:( 0da3fd9c-c48d-4c9d-99a3-dff1a2b4f17e I Am Ali

An almost two hour long documentary about everybody’s favourite half-bee, half-butterfly boxing man, Muhammad Ali.

1ea88477-29c2-4ebb-a375-99e5945af9be How to Train Your Dragon 2

Sequel to the popular animated kids film in which many famous actors voice characters who still need to learn how to train their dragons. I’ve never seen it but it seems like a more family-friendly version of Game of Thrones.

479ece58-e55b-4931-91f0-18c9623f067c Getting On – Season 1

A new HBO dark comedy about nurses and doctors in a geriatric extended care wing of a hospital. Stars Alex Borstein.

Coming Next Week

22 Jump Street

And So It Goes

Fort Bliss

If I Stay

Into the Storm

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

The Wind Rises

Need some recommendations to get you through the upcoming polar vortex? We got you covered…

Have a fabulous week. Wear a sweater.

Copyright © 2014 Black Dog Video,

All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Black Dog Video Cambie Street and/or Commercial Drive Vancouver,

Free Hugs! Words and Pictures from Black Dog Video – November 3rd – 9th 2014

A brave new world of movie renting.


Happy November!

Hope all of you had an amazing Halloween. We just got a new batch of Black Dog T-shirts in at both stores. We have all sizes and colours in stock. Buy one for your best friend, your partner, your enemy, and your dog. They look great on everyone.


Beautiful, ain’t they?

New Releases


A Disney movie about the evil villian from Sleeping Beauty played by the very angular Angelina Jolie. This movie seems to give the character some humanity instead of being pure evil which is a nice change. Who knew that in 2014 we’d all be watching movies about fairy tales and super heroes.


A Most Wanted Man
From director Anton Corbijn comes this thriller based on a John le Carré novel which also happens to be Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s last film. RIP. The story revolves around a Chechen Muslim who illegally immigrates to Hamburg, where he gets caught in the international war on terror. Ooh international political intrigue! Also stars Willem Dafoe, Robin Wright, Rachel McAdams and Daniel Brühl.


Former professional wrestler The Rock AKA Dwayne Johnson stretches his sweaty acting muscles by playing a strong man, maybe the strongest man: Hercules. Also stars Ian McShane and John Hurt as some ancient Greek men probably.


Child of God
Everyone’s favourite renaissance man James Franco stars in and directs this adaptation of a Cormac McCarthy novel. The story centres around a violent man who attempts to drop out of society and winds up living in a cave and turning to a life of crime to survive. Expect extreme bleakness and scowling men!


Good People
Am I seeing double? Is this another movie starring James Franco? Yes it is. I’m pretty sure he has mastered the ability to transcend space and time. How else is he so omnipresent? Think about it. It’s the only explanation. Anyway this movie is about a couple (Jimmy Franco and Kate Hudson) who discover a bunch of money in their dead tenant’s apartment and decide to take it but then are plunged in to a whole heap of trouble when thieves and murderers show up looking for the money. Sounds similar to the Danny Boyle movie Shallow Grave.


An interesting little indie sci-fi about the possibility of all the infinite alternate dimensions somehow crossing paths with one another when a comet passes close by the Earth one evening while a bunch of friends happen to be having a dinner party. This movie is entertaining and along the lines of films like Primer, yet is way less dense. If you think about the science in this movie too hard though it sort of falls apart though, so maybe don’t watch it with your theoretical physicist friends. Bonus for nerds: this film features Nicholas Brendon, who played Xander on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.


A movie with Ed Harris in it. Doesn’t it seem like Ed Harris is everywhere these days? I just checked and he’s been in nine movies in the past two years! Jimmy Franco must be sharing his tricks with his buddy Eddy Harris. Anyway this movie is about a former sheriff’s wife who is killed by an illegal immigrant close to the Mexican-American border and all the drama and tension that arises surrounding the case. For all you Ed Harris fans out there.


A movie from the Netherlands about a talented kick boxer who winds up getting mixed up in the crime world. Classic toughness.


The Dog
A fantastic looking documentary about the real life would-be bank robber depicted in Dog Day Afternoon. I have been waiting for years for this movie to come out and am so excited to watch it. If you haven’t seen Dog Day Afternoon in a while it would make a great double bill with this movie!


Citizen Koch
A political documentary about the rise of the Tea Party movement and how big money buys votes. These brothers are particularly evil. Oh boy this sounds like it could be either really frustrating or hilarious or both.


Planes: Fire and Rescue
Disney animated film that is the sequel to Planes, which I’m pretty sure is a spin off of the movie Cars. It’s so strange how much kids love large vehicles and machinery. I’ve seen toddlers over the moon, losing their little minds just witnessing a garbage truck or a street cleaner. Fascinating. Features lots of celebrity voices pretending to sound like planes.


Step Up: All In
The latest film in the Step Up franchise. We have all of these dance-based romantic dramas. I’ve never seen any of them but this is the fifth one in the series and apparently all-stars from the previous Step Up installments come together in glittering Las Vegas, battling for a victory that could define their dreams and their careers. Why not come in to the store and rent all 5 Step-Up movies and have a marathon. What else are you going to do when the weather forecast is 100% rain?


The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug – Extended Cut
Peter Jackson seems to have an inability to leave anything on the editing room floor. So for those of you who thought the second instalment of The Hobbit wasn’t long enough, this one’s for you. Petey Jacko has added 25 more minutes of short, shoeless men to this fantasy epic and enough beautiful landscape shots to make you seriously consider visiting New Zealand.


The Newsroom Season 2
Jeff Daniels is back with his team of newspeople in this HBO drama that people love to watch.


Banshee – Season 1
An ex-con and master thief assumes the identity of a murdered sheriff and continues his criminal activities. Violence erupts at every turn in the not so quiet Amish town of Banshee, Pennsylvania. I feel bad for all these small towns. Always being plagued by something sinister.

Coming Next Week

Let’s Be Cops
Jersey Boys
About Alex
How to Train Your Dragon 2
I am Ali
Getting On- Season 1

Recently Viewed and Recommended

The Dog
Space Station 76
Tom At the Farm
Obvious Child
Edge of Tomorrow
Under the Skin
We Are the Best!
They Came Together
Finding Vivian Maier
Top of the Lake
True Detective
Louie – Season 3
Mad Men – Season 7 – Part 1
Adventure Time – Season 4

Also check this link here for more recommendations and reviews…

Have a fabulous week. Stay dry. Stay indoors and watch movies.

Copyright © 2014 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Black Dog Video
Cambie Street and/or Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC

Black Dog Newsletter for week of October 27th – November 2nd 2014

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. When dogs wear costumes.


Merry Fright Week

Do you have your costume picked out yet? We have over 500 horror films to rent full of spooky inspiration. What about your dog? Does your dog have a costume picked out yet? You still have a few days until Halloween. Rent a stack of horror movies and have a sleepover with your best friends and get too scared to sleep with the lights off.

In T-shirt news, the new batch of Black Dog shirts should be available in both locations by this Thursday October 30th. All sizes and colours will be available in abundance for just $15 each (including tax)!

New Releases:


Begin Again
Here’s a movie about a couple of songwriters whose young love turns sour when the male lands a huge record deal. The female is dejected until a quirky record executive happens upon her performing and the two decide to team up to make SWEET SWEET MUSIC. The back of the DVD box says “a blend of romance, music and dreams” – It must be a dream because there’s no such thing anymore as the recording industry the way it’s portrayed in this film at least! From the dude who made Once.


Life of Crime
The always wonderful John Hawkes and Mos Def play criminals who bungle the kidnapping of a wealthy lady (Jennifer Aniston) when her corrupt husband (Tim Robbins) refuses to pay any ransom. Sounds like a real crime caper.


Deliver Us From Evil
Eric Bana plays a New York City police officer who realizes a string of spooky crimes are linked supernaturally. He then enlists the help of a priest to help fight the demons that are terrorizing the city. Based on a book that is based on true events apparently! Here I always thought New York City’s problems were mostly socio-economic.


Wish I Was Here
Zach Braff is back with a movie about an actor who finds out his father (Mandy Patinkin) has a serious illness. He then decides to home-school his kids. This is probably like a more grown up version of Garden State which Zach Braff also wrote, directed and starred in 10 years ago.


Nothing Bad Can Happen
A Christian punk meets a man by chance and winds up moving in with him and his family. The man can’t resist playing a cruel prank on the punk to test his religious belief in miracles which leads to intense trials.


The Last Sentence
The biography of a Swedish journalist who stood up against Hitler and the Nazi party in the 30’s and helped to alert the Swedish public of the threat of fascism. Sounds like a cool guy.


Witching and Bitching
Strange Spanish director Alex De La Iglesia (The Last Circus)is back with another wacky comedy horror thriller. After a botched bank heist the thieves wind up on an adventure with some hostages which lead them to a strange town filled with witches. Oh boy.


An Eye for Beauty
A French Canadian film by Denys Arcand  The Decline of the American Empire and The Barbarian Invasion) about a philandering husband.


A Korean take on Robin Hood with swords and other big knives and a bunch of revenge.


To Be Takei
A documentary about everyone’s favourite septuagenarian celebrity, George Takai. This movie covers his career, cult icon status and political activism for marriage equality, and includes interviews with his former Star Trek cast mates. Sounds great!


Louie – Season 3
The lovely Louie C.K. is back for another season of his excellent semi-autobiographical series in which he plays himself: an overweight, middle-aged, self-hating single father. Will Louie finally find love or at least go on a date that doesn’t end in disaster? Watch and find out!


Vikings – Season 2
Those sweaty, brawny long-haired men are back for another season of conquering kingdoms. A good substitute for Game of Thrones.


Hemlock Grove – Season 1
Yet another horror TV show out in time for Halloween. This time something evil is brewing in a sleepy Pennsylvania town. After a young girl is killed, the local community soon begins to uncover unsettling secrets. Sounds like a new twist on the Twin Peaks formula.

Coming Next Week

A Most Wanted Man
Citizen Koch
Good People
Planes: Fire and Rescue
Step Up: All In
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug – Extended Cut
The Newsroom – Season 2

Recently Viewed and Recommended

Tom at the Farm
Obvious Child
Edge of Tomorrow
They Came Together
Top of the Lake
We Are the Best!
Finding Vivian Maier
Adventure Time Season 4
Mad Men Season 7 Part 1
Under the Skin

If you’re in the mood for a horror film check out my horror blog

and if you still need more recommendations here is a couple of .lists made by the owner of Black Dog.

Have a fabulous Halloween and eat as much candy as you possibly can.

Copyright © 2014 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Black Dog Video
Cambie Street and/or Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC

Free Hugs! Black Dog Newsletter for Week of October 20th – 26th 2014

Look at this spooky wizard dog!!!!


Another Great Week in Movie Land

October is already three quarters of the way through and weird warm weather is probably keeping you outdoors longer these days but we’ve got a week full of exciting new releases that will make you want to coop yourself up indoors for a while.

Also Halloween is coming up! We’ll be giving out candy and other treats to kids this Saturday the 25th as part of the Cambie Village Halloween Hunt. If you’re in the mood for some spooky movies we have tons of recommendations and a vast selection of horror films at both locations.




Thanks to everyone who came out to Video Store Day and everyone who bought raffle tickets. We were able to raise a lot of money for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank!

We’re still waiting on the new batch of T-shirts but I will keep you posted on when they arrive!

But now on to what you’ve all been waiting for:



Korean director Bong Joon Ho’s first English-language film has been much talked about. And for good reason, its most excellent. The film is set in a post apocalyptic world where the earth has been ravaged by global warming (and freezing). The few human survivors left all live on a train that circles the planet which has developed its own class system. Things go awry when the lower-class passengers start to revolt against the higher class train cars. It stars Chris Evans, John Hurt, Ed Harris and the fabulous Tilda Swinton.


Venus in Fur
Roman Polanski is back with a new movie based on a Tony award winning play. The main character is played by Mathieu Amalric who looks like a younger Polanski and plays a man sick of auditioning actresses who don’t fit the part until a certain femme-fatale shows up. The audition becomes intense and eventually turns in to an obsessive fascination. Polanski has directed some great films. I’m not too sold on his latest few movies but this one sounds intriguing. If you’ve never seen Knife in the Water, Cul-De-Sac, Rosemary’s Baby, The Tenant or any of Polanski’s older films we have most of them and I recommend checking them out.


Sex Tape
Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel play a married couple who decide to spice up their love life with a video camera. But wait – all of a sudden their video becomes public. They then have a madcap adventure to trace the leak of their private video. Whoops! Maybe they shouldn’t have shot their sex video on an iPad!


The Purge: Anarchy
This horror movie is the sequel to The Purge, a film about legal murder. The plot revolves around the idea of “what if for 12 hours a year nothing was illegal.” So of course everyone and their dog turn in to serial killers for a bit. The plot revolves around five strangers trying to survive the night. Spooky.


The Quiet Ones
Here’s another horror movie in time for Halloween. This one stars the lovely Jared Harris as a non-traditional university professor who in the name of science and supernatural research winds up in a spooky old house with a possessed girl and a spooky doll. Those things together sound like the perfect horror combination. I would watch this just to see Jared Harris’ character try to maintain his cool British nonchalance while there are demons and such trying to spook him to death.


You and the Night
Sometimes the descriptions on are so perfect that I have to just copy them verbatim: “Around midnight, a young couple and their transvestite maid prepare for an orgy. Their guests will be The Slut, The Star, The Stud, and The Teen.” It’s been described as a sexy French Breakfast Club-esque film with all the colourful imagination of Kenneth Anger and Dario Argento. Sounds cool?


This Spanish-Romanian-Russian-French co-production film is about a highly esteemed tailor who is also a serial killer and cannibal. It’s insane how many films and TV shows there are about serial killers. There are probably more movie serial killers than the number of actual serial killers ever in all of history combined. That being said this is about a serial killer who finally falls for a girl after he’s already killed and eaten her identical twin sister. Aw, that’s so sweet! Maybe save this one for Valentine’s day?


Earth to Echo
A bunch of kids find an adorable tiny alien and try and figure out how to help him get home. Like a cuter ET meets *Batteries Not Included*? Perhaps!


See No Evil 2
Ah finally, the sequel to the 2006 film See No Evil – which we peculiarly don’t have in stock. The reason that we do have this film is because it’s directed by local horror superstars Soska Sisters of American Mary fame and it’s actually supposed to be quite fabulous. ! I’m sure you’ll be able to watch this without having seen the original though. This stars a professional wrestler as an undead man who is discovered at a morgue where a bunch of friends just happening to be partying. Too bad for the partiers because this psychopath is probably going to kill them all in overly-theatrical ways and then mutter some witty one-liners.


Chinese Puzzle
What do you know it’s another sequel to French the films L’Auberge Espagnole and Russian Dolls! By now the main characters have gotten divorced, but when the ex-wife moves with the children to New York their father is forced to follow. This dramatic romantic comedy is sure to have lots of French fish-out-of-water escapades. This third and final installment of the “Spanish Apartment Trilogy” stars the always delightful Audrey Tautou.


For a Woman
The semi-autobiographical French love story of a couple who meet in a concentration camp told by their daughter decades later.


A Letter to Momo
Here’s a cool looking new animated film from the makers of Ghost in the Shell and Jin-Roh. This supernatural anime features thousands of squirming, morphing ghosts and spirits. After her father dies, young Momo moves to an isolated Japanese island with her mother. She discovers a trio of mischievous, goofy ghosts in her attic which only she can see. They get up to all sorts of crazy antics but also help her to discover the mysteries her father left behind. This movie sounds great and the character design is beautiful.


Mad Men – Season 7 Part 1
Don Draper and his ragtag gang of alcoholics are back for the first part of the last season of everyone’s favourite retro soap opera! This show is worth watching just for the amazing clothes and furniture; also, something really shocking will occasionally happen, like someone losing a toe, or an eye, or a nipple. Seriously. There are so many flesh wounds in this show!


Adventure Time – Season 2, 3, and 4
This is one of the best shows on TV. For years I thought this was just another animated show for kids until I finally started watching it and then I couldn’t stop! The celebrity voices on this show are amazing and hilarious and the art is beautiful and will make you want to live in the magical world of Ooo. The show is about Fin, the last human alive after a nuclear holocaust and his best friend, a talking dog Jake who has magical powers to stretch in to any size or shape. They hang out in the candy kingdom and sometimes get thrown in to other dimensions and get up to crazy adventures with Princess Bubblegum who is the smartest most powerful female character I’ve ever seen in an animated show. The positive messages in the show, beautiful psychedelic colours, and catchy cute music are so lovely that this show will brighten your day.

Coming Next Week

Begin Again

Child of God

Deliver Us From Evil

Life of Crime

Regine de la Beaute

Wish I Was Here

Witching and Bitching

Need Something for Your Eyes? Might We Suggest…

**editor’s note**On a sad note, our good friend and former Black Dog employee, JR, has closed his fabulous store in Toronto. Big Daddy’s in the Junction was a fine place filled with great films and quality folks. You will be missed. What’s that saying –  When a DVD store closes, God masturbates on a kitten and then kills it? Something like that.

Well that’s it for this week. Watch a movie and pet a dog whenever possible. It will make your life better.

Copyright © 2014 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Black Dog Video
Cambie Street and/or Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC