The Black Dog Newsletter Feb 26 – March 4 “And the Winner Is…Edition!”


You! You’re the winner as now that the Oscars (boring!) are over and Driving Miss Daisy 2: Road to Revenge! won best picture – for better or for worse or for who really cares – we can all get onto what’s really important (in the context of this missive that is) and that’s watching movies!. Lots of great things coming out in the next few weeks as March is a fine month for releases! Winner!.

Oh, and if you’re interested, here’s a link to an interview I did about, well, you can guess what it’s about. Nice to not come off as a blathering idiot for once. Click HERE!

New Releases!


Apostle – Nice, weird, gory, intense tale of Dan Stevens in the year 1905 going to look for his missing sister on an island full of religious crazies. Think Wicker Man. From the director of The Raid films!


The Car: Road to Revenge! – Hey that sequel to the 1977 movie about a killer car has finally been made! We can all exhale now. It even has Ronny Cox in it! Drive at your own risk.


Hold the Dark – Pretty intense and odd offering from the fella that made the amazing Green Room and Blue Ruin. Jeffery Wright is a writer hired to find some missing kids believed to have been taken by wolves somewhere in cold bleak Alaska. Other things happen as well.


Mary Queen of Scots – Period costume drama finds Mary Stuart trying to overthrow Liz 1 of England. Looks like it might be great or as once critic put it…”this a vital film, whose lace-trimmed bosom heaves with life.” There ya go.


The Night Comes for Us – If you’ve ever considered a career as a stuntman in Indonesia, this may cure you of that dream. Looks quite painful. Insanely violent and ten times the fun comes this actioner from the other director of the Raid movies (also has the stars of that film). Plot doesn’t matter, just the awesome action. Loved it!


The Possession of Hannah Grace – Man there’s a lot of folks being possessed by demons and other things out there. What’s going on?!


Ralph Wrecks the Internet – More shenanigans with Ralph and his good buddies doing things and stuff.


Roma – Oscar-winning film (director, Foreign Film, cinematography) about a year in the life of a maid in the middle class family in Mexico city in the 1970’s. Heard that this is pretty good. I like Mexico.

Coming Soon!
(most of these we should have by the end of this week)

Ben is Back
Creed II
The Favourite
House of Cards S6
Instant Family
The Vanishing

That’s it for this week folks. Happy viewing!

Black Dog Video

Copyright © 2019 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

Is Brick and Mortar Built to Last?

Hey, check out this nifty interview I did about, well, you can guess what it’s about. It’s nice to not sound like a bumbling buffoon and have things I say taken out of context.

Click HERE!



The Black Dog Newsletter Feb 21-27 “Handsome Gold Statue Man Edition!”


In lieu of the regular newsletter (new films won’t be arriving until Friday evening) we bring you this extra special Oscar edition!

I don’t know about you but I’ve heard that it’s the Academy Awards weekend! And I don’t know about you but, even though I work and have worked for many years in this industry, I really don’t give a rat’s fart about the Oscars. I love movies and talking about movies and I love making lists about movies and so forth but the Academy Awards have rarely ever reflected my tastes in what are considered to be the best films of the year.

Thinking back, the most recent film to win the BIG PRIZE that I considered worthy was No Country for Old Men in 2007. There have been some good films – Spotlight, Moonlight, – something else with the word Light in it – but these never made my top picks. Maybe it’s because I’m a weirdo and have strange tastes (hell The Greasy Strangler made my top picks in 2016!) but “favourite” anything is always subjective, so whatever. Here’s my list for the best films I saw in 2018 (some came out in 2017 but I didn’t get a chance to see them until well into 2018).

One of my customers, Jon (who inspired this edition of the newsletter), does an annual list of Oscar this and Oscar that. Check out his predictions and things here.

And here’s my predictions for this year’s BIG SHOE..

Best Picture

Black Panther (?!)
Blackkklansman – the only nominated film I saw to make my top of the year list.
Bohemeian Rhapsody – Didn’t see it. Heard mixed things.
The Favourite – Didn’t See it, really want to.
Roma – Heard good things.
Green Book – Zzzz.
Star is Born – Whatever.
Vice – My co-worker Dylan hated this movie.

Prediction – Bohemian Rhapsody – in keeping with the Academy’s poor voting record.
My Pic – You Were Never Really Here


Alfonso Cauron (Roma)
Yorgos Lanthomos (Favourite)
Spike Lee (Blackklansman)
Adam Mackay (Vice)
Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War)

Prediction – Alfonso Cauron – Academy likes the Mexican directors!
My pick – either Spike Lee (about friggin time!) or Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here) – be nice to see a woman nominated – or Gaspar Now for creating one of the craziest, most awesome and intense films I’ve seen in a while (Climax).

Actress – Note – I haven’t seen any of these movies.

Yalitzo Aparcio (Roma)
Glenn Close (The Wife)
Olivia Coleman (Favourite)
Lady Gaga (Star is Born)
Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me)

Prediction Glenn Close
My Pick – Toni Collette (Hereditary) or Glenn Close (always good dating back to Garp) or Olivia Coleman (loved her in Broadchurch!). I’d like to see Lady Gaga win just to hear that sentence.

Actor – Note – I haven’t seen any of these movies.

Christian Bale (Vice)
Brad Cooper (Star is Born)
Willem Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate)
Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)
Viggo Mortenson (Green Book)

Prediction – Rami Malek – for having to wear those teeth or Christian Bale for getting really fat and ugly and acting like a Dick.
My Pick – Joaquin Phoenix and his hammer (You Were Never Really Here) or Ethan Hawke (First Reformed – easily his best work) or Willem Dafoe – Loved him in everything from To Live and Die in LA to Shadow of the Vampire.

I’m not going to do best dramatic short animated feature or any of the other categories. I hope you’re OK with that. Anyways enjoy the Oscars if that’s your bag. I’ll be watching (only because I’ll be in a bar with my friends).

I’ll have a regular newsletter next week with some actual films that we have for your viewing pleasure. See you on the other side.

Black Dog Video

Copyright © 2019 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

The Black Dog Newsletter February 14-20 “Love is in the Air Edition!”


Yes it’s the Love Day, The Valentine’s Day. If there ever was a celebration geared to get you to spend money and make you feel bad, this is it. But we’re here to help! Listen to our special Valentine’s Day podcast here! We celebrate with a few beers and chat about My Bloody Valentine! I hope this makes your day brighter and more beautiful.

New Releases!


At Eternity’s Gate – Willam Dafoe is a painter named Vinny van Gogh (perhaps you’ve heard of him) in this rousing bio-pic. (today at Commercial, tomorrow at Cambie)


Between Worlds – Wow, it’s been a few months since we’ve had a Nic Cage film. Here he’s a fella who’s dead wife’s spirit has inhabited the body of a woman’s daughter who was dying and the woman can save spirits by suffocating. I don’t understand it either.


Front Runner – Political dealy about Gary Hart’s run for the president back in whenever and how it was derailed because of his wandering penis. Hugh Jackman is the man.


Hounds of Love – Nasty Australian piece of business (has tons of great reviews!) about a crazy couple who kidnap teenage girls and well, you can probably guess what happens. Their latest captive must use her wits and the couple’s troubles against them to survive.


Mermaid: Lake of the Dead – Killer mermaid movie from Russia.


Overlord – A group of Allied G.I.’s in 1944 Germany discover some evil doings going on in a fort of some kind. Think Nazi zombies and you can board this train.


Possum – A disgraced children’s puppeteer returns home to face his evil stepfather and some weird puppets. This little British horror ditty looks like it might have legs.


Robin Hood – Yet another re-telling of this over-told yarn.


A Star is Born – Brad Cooper and Lady Gaga liven up the proceedings in this often told tale. Reminds me of when my kid was 6 he came home from school all excited to tell me that Lady Gaga was born in an egg!


Shoplifters – Latest wonder from Koreeda finds a family of small-time criminals taking in a kid they find outside in the cold. Nominated for Best Foreign film. (today at Commercial, tomorrow at Cambie)


Wild Boys – Crazy-looking French weirdo tale of savages crimes, haunted sailboats, Dutch Captains, mutiny, supernatural islands, luscious vegetation and bewitching powers. (today at Commercial, tomorrow at Cambie)


You Might be the Killer – A camp counselor, who suffers from blackouts, finds himself surrounded by dead bodies (not living ones). Might he be responsible? This horror-comedy looks to be a fun ride.

Coming Soon!

Mary Queen of Scots
Possession of Hannah Grace
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Creed II
The Favourite
Green Book
Vox Lux
Ben is Back

Here’s an interesting essay on what might be just down the road for all of our viewing habits in the near future.

That’s it for this week, cool cats. Enjoy the snow and the long weekend. Get out and rent some movies! We’d love to see your smiling faces.

Black Dog Video

Copyright © 2019 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

The future? What does it hold? For you? For me? For us?


Here’s an interesting post made by another video store owner somewhere. It’s an interesting read and may effect all of our futures! (note – edited for reasons)

There’s Still A Video Store in Vancouver?

I often get asked how a video store could still be in business in today’s internet environment with so many streaming options, both legal and illegal. Short answer is, it’s not easy. However, I do see the viability of a video store becoming stronger in the near future! Let me explain…

First, let’s tackle the illegal streaming options – these are “pirate” websites from which you can download and/or stream just about any movie or tv show you are looking for. Some people access these sites through their computer, but most access them through “the box”, a little black box which is sort of like a mini-computer onto which you can upload “apps” to search the internet for what you are looking for. The box itself is not illegal; however, use of the apps and the act of streaming/downloading the content and watching it in your home is illegal. The simple fact is you are watching copyrighted content without paying for it. I’ve had people say “It’s so easy and the content is on the internet, so it must be legal” – well, sorry, but it is not. The IP’s (internet providers – Rogers, Eastlink, Bell, etc.) are currently ramping up efforts to identify and stop the illegal streaming of copyrighted material. They are just awaiting the green light from the CRTC (Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission). Once this happens, the IP’s will send a message to anyone streaming copyrighted material and request you to stop, and if you don’t, they will be able to cut off your internet access. They are already doing this in the case of downloading of copyrighted material. In short, very soon you will not be able to use those boxes for illegal streaming no matter how hard you try.

Second, legal streaming options – these are any services you pay for access, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Crave, CBS All Access, etc. Netflix has had a great run at providing plenty of content for a low monthly fee (easy when they don’t pay taxes!); however, their great selection is in jeopardy as film studios try other ways to get you to pay for and watch their content. Netflix knows this, that is why they have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in developing their own content, such as Bird Box, Roma and TV shows such as Orange is the New Black. Of course, producing their own content costs money, that is why they have increased their monthly charge 3 times over the last year. They will also be losing all content from Disney (which Disney owns Pixar, Fox studios, Touchstone pictures, ABC, Lucasfilm, Marvel and the list goes on) as Disney will begin their own streaming service later this spring. As more studios develop their own streaming service you will need to subscribe to multiple services to be able to watch the movies or tv shows you want to watch. Want to watch The Last Kingdom? Netflix. Want to watch Stars Wars or a Marvel movie? Disney. Want to watch Sons of Anarchy? Crave. Want to watch Star Trek? CBS All Access. All of a sudden, you are paying for 10 streaming services to watch the shows and movies you want to watch. Of course, there’s still cable/satellite so you can watch the news and sports, or you could subscribe to the individual leagues (NFL, NHL, MLB) for well over $100/year each (and that doesn’t cover other sports you may want to watch – tennis, golf, darts, Thunderdome, Olympics).

Third, there is the excitement (or some would say nostalgia) of going to your local video store and seeing all the movies and tv series available to watch. I often have customers who have not been to the store for a few months who have come back and realized there were many movies they never heard of (because Netflix didn’t suggest it for them, or more the case – doesn’t have it) and tv series they didn’t have access to. That is where the staff at a video store can help you find movies and tv series that are of interest to you and that you will enjoy watching. Also shopping local is the best and right thing to do. It keeps the neighbourhood vibrant and alive, provides jobs for the locals and the money stays in the hood and doesn’t go to fund some evil gazzillionaire’s third yacht or moon shuttle.

In conclusion, yes, there currently still is a video store in Vancouver! Two actually! As the owner I promise to do what we can to keep it running for as long as we can. And with the help and support of all of you fabulous folks who like what we do, we can keep this train on the tracks for quite some time. Come in and talk to the staff and discover what is available to take home, relax, and enjoy in front of your tv tonight. Don’t let us all wish we still had a video store when it becomes viable again in the next year or two. Enjoy your local video store today! And tomorrow! And on into The Future!

The Black Dog Newsletter Feb 6-13 “Chillin’ Your Giblets Edition!”


Dang it’s cold out there! Not -98 like it was in Winnipeg last week, but cold for this neck of the woods. But fear not, Black Dog is here to warm your cockles with a boatload of new films to huddle with around the warn glow of your TV.

New Releases!


Best F(r)iends – Who told Tommy Wiseau (The Room) that he should make another movie? At least he didn’t direct this one. A drifter befriends a weirdo mortician. Guess which part Tommy Wiseau plays? Available only on Blu Ray for some reason.


Bohemian Rhapsody – Big ass bio-pic of Freddie Mercury and Queen as they rise from wherever they came from to the throne of rock and roll royalty. Nominated for best picture.


Channel Zero – Cool-looking four part horror anthology series from something called Creepypasta. Yes please!


Department Q Trilogy – Three-movie British cold case mystery series. Heard it’s quite excellent.


Girl in the Spider’s Web – The Queen of England (Claire Foy) cracks her whip as the new Lisbeth Salander in yet another telling of this tale.


I am Not a Witch – Zambian drama that finds a young girl accused of witchcraft so she’s exiled to witch camp. Sounds almost like a Harry Potter spinoff but I doubt that it is.


Jobriath A.D. – Very good doc about a guy named Jobriath who was one of the first openly gay rock stars in the early 70’s.


Maigret – Funny man Rowan Atkinsen dips his funny hands in the crime world as a detective detecting crime. Looks good!


Old Man and the Gun – Robert Redford’s (reportedly) last film. He’s a real-life crime fella who escapes prison at the age of 70 and goes on a gentlemanly crime spree. You have to watch this, right?


Studio 54 – Excellent doc about the famous coke-fueled club in the 70s. If only I had a time machine.


Widows – Fine crime heist caper flick with an impressive pedigree – directed by Steve McQueen (the Oscar-winning director, not the cool dead hunky movies star) and written by Gillian Flynn – and a top notch cast. Worth a look If you can get past Liam Neeson attempting to devour Viola Davis’ face in the opening shot.

Coming Soon!

Better Things Season 2 (Season 1 and 2 for Commercial)
Gosnell: America’s Biggest Serial Killer
Hounds of Love
The Guilty
Mermaid: Lake of the Dead
Private War
The Frontrunner
The Ranger
At Eternity’s Gate

And Dylan finally submitted his list for his favourite films of 2018. Pretty good for him as last year hey gave me them in April.

10. CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?: Richard E. Grant just guzzles this movie like a highball. Unassuming and charming. I loved it.
9. WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOUR?: I would love to, Fred. I saw this shortly after the death of a friend and the scene where Mr Rogers talks death to kids in a frank and compassionate way well, let’s just say Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls…
8. FIRST MAN: Long, contemplative and quiet. But the moon landing sequence makes you really appreciate how terrifyingly, insanely REAL it must have been to sit in a metal box and explode yourself to the goddamn moon.
7. FREE SOLO: Holy fucking shit. I mean just what the fuck is that guy doing?!!! (Me and the audience watching this guy climb a fucking mountain with no safety gear at all)
6. BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE: No idea why this one didn’t do better at the box office. Colourful, violent and smart. Good to see an entertaining R rated thriller back on screens again.
5. JULIET, NAKED: Could be a sequel to High Fidelity. Great cast, solid characters and hilarious dialogue.
4. A STAR IS BORN: I really thought I’d hate this one because movies about fame almost always suck, but goddamn of Cooper doesn’t pull it off.
3. THE DEATH OF STALIN: The most original comedy I’ve seen in a very long time. Armando Iannucci’s political farce takes what could easily have been dry and depressing subject matter and infused it with the spirit of a screwball comedy rife with backstabbing, paranoia and treachery. The cast is one of the best assortments of comedic talent since the days of Monty Python. Don’t let the title put you off, this movie is fucking hilarious.
2. FIRST REFORMED: Wow! 2 movies with Ethan Hawke in my top ten. Crazy, because I’ve never really liked him. But now I get it, this guy’s got chops. Easily the biggest Oscar snub in years. First Reformed is utterly engaging and perfectly crafted low-key thriller about a man losing his faith in the church, mankind and himself. Paul Schrader’s best work since Auto Focus and Affliction.
1. LEAN ON PETE: I rank this one at the top of the heap simply due to the difference between what you expect going in and what this beautiful film actually turns out to be. Yes, it’s a movie about a boy and his horse but it takes you in unexpected directions and you feel for this kid every step of the way. The cinematography is spectacular and it’s great to see Steve Buscemi acting again. But the real gem here is relative newcomer Charlie Plummer. This kid has an intensity beyond his years that reminds me of River Phoenix. This kid is going to be big, I’m sure of it. LEAN ON PETE didn’t receive the love it deserves, like many films. Do yourself a favor and rent it at Black Dog Video because, as far as I know, that’s the only place you can see this underrated masterpiece. See you next year!

That’s it for this week, my lovelies. Stay warm, stay hungry, keep watching.

Black Dog Video

Copyright © 2019 Black Dog Video, All rights reserved.

Cool Things for Sale for You!

Our good friends over at Darkside Releasing have some nifty culty items for you! Check them out here!