Black Dog Newsletter for Week Ending January 20th

Netflix sucks. And I’m not just saying that because they are competition, I’m saying that from direct experience. My wife “surprised” me last week by announcing that she’d signed us up for the free trial of Netflix. We’re looking to cancel our expensive cable but still get some shows that my sprog likes to watch, so she thought that we’d give it a whirl. So my first thought was, of course, divorce. But my second thought was, while feeling weird and unclean with the idea of having Netflix, I was a little curious to see what all the fuss was about. To say that I was shocked by the poor choice of films and TV and pretty much everything would be an understatement. I scanned through pretty much everything they offered in about 10 minutes. I think I said out loud maybe 3 times “I could watch that”. The selection is very poor. Last year Spike Lee released a list of 92 films that folks should watch. Netflix had 4 of them. We have 88. So take that, Netflix! And the way they categorize their films is ridiculous. I didn’t realize that the film Emperor, starring Tommy Lee Jones and Matthew Fox, was a “foreign film”. Looking at this Netlfix disappointment sure made me appreciate what an amazing selection of films we have at our stores. And there you won’t find Emperor in the Japan section.

Speaking of a great selection of films, scroll down to a link that will take you to a magical place where you can peruse what we here at Black Dog consider the top 100 Essential films that you should see before you die.

New Releases for Tuesday January 14th


20 Feet from Stardom – Fine documentary about back-ups singers. I’d love to be a back-up singer. I can’t sing.


A.C.O.D. – Guy who’s parents get divorced finds out that he was the subject of a study on divorce. Yes this is a comedy. Despite the weird name and awful cover art, I hear that it’s a pretty good one. Stars that skinny guy with the big head from Parks and Rec, Adam Scott.


Ain’t Them Bodies Saints – Despite the poor grammar and non-sensical title (I imagine that it makes sense if you actually watch the film) I here that this film ain’t not too bad for them eyes. Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara are doomed lovers caught up in some crime in Texas.


Act of Killing – Amazing, brutal, harrowing, soul-crushing documentary that interviews former insane evil shit-bag Indonesian death squad leaders to talk about and even re-intact their atrocities in whatever movie genre they wish, be they musicals, crime noir and romantic comedies (not too sure about the rom-com part). You’ll see this film on the top of almost every best of the year list from 2013 and expect it to win the Oscar as well. We only have the Blu Ray at the moment (screw up in my order) but the DVDs should be here soon. There are 2 versions available on the Blu Ray – the Theatrical Cut and the longer Director’s Cut.


Blue Caprice – Docudrama about those 2 guys from a few years back who drove around the US shooting people out of the back of their car. I assume their car was a Caprice and it was the colour blue.


The Butler or Lee Daniel’s The Butler – Not too sure why it’s call Lee Daniel’s The Butler. Is it about Lee Daniel’s butler? If Lee Daniels has Forrest Whitaker as his butler than I imagine that it is. If it’s not it about a butler in the White House who sees a lot of shit happen over the years. Also on the Blu Ray.


Carrie – So-so remake of the famed DePalma film and Stephen King book about a girl with telekinetic powers who has a really crazy religious mom. Does she use these powers for good – say like saving a burning baby from a house on fire? Or does she use them for revenge on the shitty kids in her high school? Hmmmm….Also on the Blu Ray


Enough Said – Excellent comedy/drama from Nicole Holofnecer (Walking and Talking) finds Elaine from Seinfeld deciding to pursue a dude (the late, great James Gandolfini in, I believe, his last role) she likes only to find that he’s her new best buddies’ ex-husband. Got that? Hi-jinks, I presume, ensue. Also on the Blu Ray.


Frutivale Station – True crime story of a dude who was gunned down by a transit cop for no reason on New Year’s Eve of 2008. Heard great things about this film.


Gasland II – Hard hitting doc about fracking and the Gas Industry. I don’t know what they’ve got their knickers in bunch over – who wouldn’t want water that can light on fire coming out of your taps?


Paradise: Hope – Last in the trilogy of Ulrich Seidl’s Paradise films finds an overweight 13 year-old girl falling in love for the first time – with her 40 year-old pedophile fat-camp instructor. I imagine that this might lead to some awkward, unpleasant moments. Heard great things about this film as well. Good week for new stuff!


Parkland – Intense drama set in the Parkland Hospital on the day Kennedy (John) was shot. Seems that they’ve pretty much exhausted all things Kennedy assassination by now. I’m waiting for the film about Kennedy’s pool boy.


Rewind This! – Fun doc that follows the rise and fall of the VHS format way back in the 80’s to current day. Here that this is great good clean fun. Might even bring a tear to your nostalgic eye.


Riddick – Third instalment of the Pitch Black series finds bald, grunting Vin Diesel left for dead on a sun-baked planet where he has to fend of monsters and bounty hunters. Sounds like my last vacation. Also on the Blu Ray.


Spectacular Now – Excellent coming-of-age film about a high-school dude’s ideas and philosophy on dating and what not that are shattered when he meets a not-so-typical nice girl. My philosophy on dating in high school was not to get so nervous that it gives me gas. Hence my lonely high-school dating experience.


You’re Next – Touted as one of the best horror movies of the last little while (not that there’s much competition) finds a family getting together for a wedding that is suddenly attacked by some lousy, murderous bad guys. But what the bad guys don’t know is that one of the wedding guests has a knack for fighting back. Let the hi-jinks ensue! Also on the Blu Ray.

Old Stuff on the Shelves! All in Blu Ray!

Full Metal Jacket
Die Hard Collection

Coming Next Week

The Island

Captain Philips

Blue Jasmine
In a World
Bad Milo
Machete Kills

As promised here’s the link to Black Dog’s 100 Essential Films for your eyes to watch. This list isn’t about the best films – the Godfathers, the Citizen Kane’s – it’s about what we here at Black Dog love the most and what influenced our movie watching experiences over the years. There will probably be lots here folks might not agree with and a lot that aren’t on the list that folks might think should be included. That’s not saying that we can’t do a second list sometime down the road. For your enjoyment…read more

That’s it for this week folks. Have a great, safe, dry week and I’ll talk at you in the future. In the meantime, laugh at this if you will…

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