Black Dog Newsletter for Week Ending January 13th

Happy New Year to all you lovely, sexy readers and customers. I hope that your holiday was filled with much merriment, good feasting and impressive imbibing. And here’s the best to you all in the coming 12 months. I hope that everyone has made and then, possibly, broke their New Year’s resolutions. I didn’t have much in the line of resolutions besides the same ones that I make and then break every year – wearing pants when I leave the house, stop picking fights with the neighbourhood hobos and getting that thing, that growth checked out. Oh well.

This time of year also yields lists. Lots and lots of lists.The best of this and the worst of that and everything in between. We’re no different. We did most of the staff’s picks for 2013 in last week’s instalment. In case you missed it you can check it out here…read more… We have a couple more top picks from our illustrious staff to add this week. When I was doing up my picks I became inspired to do more lists. MAWR LISTS! So next week you can check out Black Dog’s 100 Essential Films you should see before you die. Cool beans.

New Releases for Tuesday January 7th


Berberian Sound Studio – Wicked looking thriller in the giallo vein that finds Toby Jones travelling to Italy to work the sound design on a horror film. Then life starts to imitate the art, or so I’m told. (Be on the shelf tomorrow at Cambie, good to go at Commercial)


Closed Circuit – Decent looking thriller that finds a pair of ex-lovers (Eric Bana – or Eric Blanda as I like to call him – ZING! – and Rebecca Hall) who are also lawyers defending some high profile terrorist types. Thrills and romance abound, I presume. Also on the Blu Ray.


I’m So Excited – Pedro Almodovar’s latest comedy finds plane full of folks who let loose when it looks like the plane might be going down (no that’s not a euphemism for anything, perverts). Sex, drugs, drinking and dancing ensue. Might as well go for it. Also on the Blu Ray.


Key and Peele Season 1 – Very funny sketch type comedy from two very funny dudes, Key and Peele. If you like this sort of thing you’ll like this sort of thing.


Runner Runner – Tepid looking thriller that finds Justin Timberlake (JT to his friends) trying to take down Ben Affleck (BA to his friends?), who he believes wronged him in some on-line poker game. Or something like that. Also on the Blu Ray.


Thanks for Sharing – Nice looking flick with a nice looking cast about the nice subject of sex addiction (is that really a thing?). Seems like that’s been a common affliction in the movies as of late (Shame, Don Jon). If I was still a horny teenager I’d say something along the likes of “Be cool to be a sex addict, guh-huh”. Also on the Blu Ray.


Top of the Lake – Great thriller TV series finds Peggy from Mad Men as a detective in New Zealand hot on the case of a missing girl. The great Jane Campion writes and directs some of these. This is your new favourite show.


We Are What We Are – Cool looking horror number about The Parkers – the strange family down the street who strive to “maintain their ancient customs”. Wonder what they may be? No, really. I wonder what they are? Kite flying? Hobo Cage Matches? Cannibalism?

Coming Next Week

20 Feet From Stardom
Blue Caprice
Enough Said
Fruitvale Station
The Fifth Estate
You’re Next
Gasland Part 2
The Butler
The Spectacular Now

Here’s Patrick’s likes and dislikes for 2013

1. behind the candelabra
2. drinking buddies
3. the lone ranger
4. when evening falls on bucharest or metabolism
5. this is the end
6. rewind this!
7. alan partridge: alpha papa
8. computer chess
9. wolf children
10. inside llewyn davis


1. glimpse inside the mind of charles swan III
2. pain & gain
3. don jon
4. man of steel
5. cog

RJ’s picks include

2014 was a good year for movies and I had a hard time reducing my favourites to just 10 picks.

So my favourite movies that i saw in 2014 are

1.(tie) A Touch of Sin. Jia Zhangke. 2013. How do ordinary people lose their cool and turn to violence? Well Zhangke looks to real life news stories from China for the answer and comes of with a sprawling tapestry of interwoven tales of people gone bad to explore the madness that modern China and to greater extent the entire human race. Haunting and mesmerizing!!!!

1.(tie) The Great Beauty . Paolo Sorrentino. 2013. Sorrentinos satyrical take on La Dolce Vita provides so much beauty that i didn’t want it to end. Full sharp witty dialogue this movie was so good I didn’t want it to end. Gorgeous and highly entertaining!!! Just one the many movies with middle aged people dancing to techno beats…and that can never be a bad thing.

2.Paradise Hope. Ulrich Seidl. 2103. What could sounds like a super creepy premise ends up being the most controlled and respectful take on a very taboo subject matter. I mean a movie about fat camp for junior teenagers where a 13 year old and a 40 something year old doctor develop a relationship that veers away from friendship has never been so controlled. Seidl actually likes his characters a lot…enough to make them human and not totally despicable for the sake of parody.

3.The Hunt. Thomas Vinterberg.2012. I finally got to see this movie in 2013 and it was well worth it. Again the touchy subject matter of abuse rears its head. But this time there very little doubt about the allegations. The perils of living in a small town and having your reputation destroyed has a heavy impact on everyone with some very tragic results. Its intense and riveting to the very end. Mads Mikklesen shines as he usually does. Top notch!

4.Sightseers. Ben Wheatley. 2012. The perfect blend of ultra violence and biting comedy. I was surprised how much I loved this story of socially awkward misfits going on a caravan holiday in the english countryside and ending up serial murderers. Hilarious!!!

5. Behind the Candelabra. Steven Soderbergh. 2013. Made originally for HBO this instant classic brings together the best of Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Steven Soderbergh, Dan Akroyd, and Rob Lowe!!!! OMG Rob Lowe!!!! Campy and oh sooo much fun!!! Michael Douglas is Liberace in this movie, so much that Michael Douglas is barely even noticeable.

6. No . Pablo Lohrain. 2012. The final and best part of Lohrain’s Pinochet Trilogy is a tight thrill ride centering around the advertising campaigns on either side of the Pinochet referendum. Shot in a VHS filter that transcends gimmicky, Lohrain proves that he is one the most exciting directors in the burgeoning Latin American cinema scene. Think Madmen meets political intrigue meets Almodovar.

7. Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus. Sebastian Silva. 2013. Another Latin film I loved..though it’s mostly in English and stars Micheal Cera. What I thought was a drug trip movie ended up being an insightful look into people trying to find themselves amidst drugs and partying. Gabby Hoffman stands out as the Crystal Fairy. Modest, human and infinitely relatable.

8. The Bastards (Les Salauds). Claire Denis. 2013. Denis returns with another dark puzzle of morality and depravity. Let’s just say what you say is not exactly chronological. I love movies that make you think and don’t treat the audience like spoon-fed morons. The Tindersticks return to do the score and its just as spellbinding as their previous collaberatations with Denis.

9. Spring Breakers. Harmony Korine returns to form in a very current and relevant fairy tale of youth lost in modern world of binge drinking and party excess. Neon, pulsating, stark, and biting. James Franco finds his muse and shines through but still can’t over power the strong performance from the 4 female leads, Benson, Gomez, Hudgens, and Korine.

Worst of 2013

1. Blind Detective. Johnnie To. 2013. Maybe the worst movie I have ever seen. I cant even begin to describe what’s wrong this movie. From the plot that makes zero sense or the million sub plots that make even less sense, or how about the fact that every one is constantly yelling and stuffing their faces with food at every chance. Tries too hard to be zany and gets lost in insanity and not in a good way.

2. Star Trek: into Darkness. JJ Abrahms . 2013. Beneath the lens flares lies a seriously awful one dimensional bastardization of a beloved franchise. No likeable characters, a plot that makes no sense, and the worst use of Leonard Nimoy ever. I actually hate this movie. And almost never hate any movie.

3. Oz the Great and Powerful. Raimi has lost it….or maybe Disney made him make an awful movie. Regardless, it’s real bad. No excuses. You can even tell the cast knows it too. Return to Oz takes a big dump all over this disaster.

4. Liberal Arts. Josh Radnor. 2013. Josh Radnor desperately wants to us convince he’s cool. Yes he’s that guy from the awful How I Met Your Mother. This movie is hilarious and for all the wrong reasons. The dialogue gives Dawson’s Creek a run for its money when it comes to realistic dialogue. Its just really sad.

Best of TV

1. Breaking Bad . AMC. So damn good. Proof not every ending has to suck. Ozmandyas is the best TV episode Ive ever seen.

2. Top of the Lake. BBC. Jane Campion’s mini series is top of the heap too. I haven’t been so emotionally involved in a TV show almost ever.

3. Madmen. AMC. This show just gets better and better. The best season yet. The evolution of the characters in this show is unprecedented.

4. Enlightened. HBO. This severely under appreciated series was cancelled. Sadly but nothing on TV compared to it in the emotional maturity department.

5. South Park. Another show that gets better and better. I will never forget the Hobbit.

most disappointing TV

1.True blood. Go home True blood you’ re drunk.

2.the walking dead. This show gets worse and worse every season.

That’s it for this week folks. Be sure to tune in for our Essential 100 films in the next installment…Until then go on vacation with Neil Patrick Harris. Have a Margarita. Or 10…

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