Welcome to Black Dog’s new and (hopefully) improved blog. We aim to entertain and inform you on all the comings and goings at the store, on the big and small screen and whatever else tickles our fancy. Please enjoy responsibly.

Mash This.

It seems that mash-ups are all the rage these days. We had that pretty good one a few weeks ago with some Tom Cruises and the Terminator in Scarface’s bar (you can check it out here) and now here’s a nice musical mash-up of folks dancing and stuff.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmnSm_d2ll4[/youtube]

 

Review: Roadhouse.

 

 

there will be spoilers…and maybe a little cussing..


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Sat down after a busy day at work (not a sentence I write often but thanks weather!) with a couple of beers, the wife and Patrick Swayze. No, I didn’t resurrect his corpse (we did that 2 years go and it was kind of gross), we tucked into the classic Roadhouse. What a treat!

I sort of remember watching this decades (!) ago but it’s way more fun now because the times they have a changed. Look at all that big hair! Look at all the ill-fitting clothes – the sweater vests, the white blazers, the pleated pants! Look at all the 80’s boobs! They seemed to want to show naked boobs any chance they could back in those days. There’s even a monster truck! This movie has everything. The Swayze plays a one-named guy, Dalton, who’s a legendary bouncer – 2nd best after Sam Elliot, playing a grizzled veteran of the bar bouncing scene. Has Sam Elliot ever played anything but a grizzled something or other? I’m not too sure what makes Elliot’s Wade Garrett character such a good bouncer as he just gets the shit kicked out of him in every fight scene he’s in. And he’s not sexist at all, saying 80’s things like, “That gal’s got entirely too many brains to have an ass like that.” Yeesh.

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I never thought I’d say this but let’s bring back the 80’s!

Swayze is also a smart, zen-like fella who has a PHD (or just a regular old degree, I can’t remember) in philosophy. When asked by “Doc” his doctor love interest (get it, Doc?), played by Kelly Lynch, if there was any area of philosophy that he specialized in, Dalton answers, “No, not really. Man’s search for faith. That kind of shit”. This film is filled with awesome lines like that. “Pain doesn’t hurt”, being another gem. They also have a great love scene where he picks her up and slams her against the stone wall in his apartment. It looks quite painful and awkward and way too much work. What’s wrong with the bed? It’s right there behind you!

The plot is pretty simple, Dalton is recruited by a guy to come to his run-down shit-stained bar in nowheresville USA to help clean it up. There he runs afoul of local bad guy played, for some reason, by Ben Gazzara. His name is Brad. He’s surrounded by a bunch of lousy henchmen who he berates and beats on a regular basis. And he really hates it if they bleed. “You bleed too much. You’re a messy bleeder”. I dunno, if my boss punched me in the face, stomach and groin in front of my co-workers, who all laugh at this, I might be inclined to seek employment elsewhere. There’s a lot of cock-punching in this movie as well. When Sam Elliot arrives on the scene the first thing he does is punch a guy in the cock.

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Looks like old grizzled Sam Eliot just cock-punched a guy.

Garrett is also somewhat of a lech. The three of them end up in a diner in the morning after an all-night bender. There’s some lame song playing on the jukebox so Garrett asks Doc to dance only to heavily mac on her as Dalton looks on smiling. It makes for a really weird, uncomfortable scene. Why is Dalotn even friends with this sleazebag? Doc then announces she’s off to work in a few hours. I’m thinking, she’s a doctor, she’s been up all night with these guys partying and now she’s going to work? Hope I don’t have an appointment with her that day.

Anyways, you can probably guess the rest – Dalton and Sam Elliot confront the bad the guys, Dalton has a big fight with Brad’s number one henchman who tells Dalton, ‘I fucked guys like you in prison!” Ok. What do you say to that? Then Dalton rips out his throat. I think I was actually clapping at this amazing scene.

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They kind of look like vampires.

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Did I also mention that Dalton’s a dentist?

So at the end the townsfolk rise up to help Dalton take out Brad – who’s been terrorizing the town for years – by shotgunning him to death in his living room. When the police arrive (the first time the cops have made an appearance in the entire violent, blood-soaked film) and ask what happened while gazing at Brad’s bullet-riddled carcass, everyone just says “I didn’t see nothing”. They all have a bit of chuckle and that’s that. The cops seem fine with this answer. Vigilante justice at work.

I had forgot that the movie also features Jeff Healey and his band. A lot of Jeff Healy and his band. He even has a few lines. I snuck backstage at a Jeff Healey concert many years ago and ate a ham sandwich with him. Seemed like a pretty cool guy.

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Thanks for the ham. R.I.P.

There’s plenty of odd out-of-place scenes which make this film so much fun to watch – Brad’s barbie doll girlfriend doing a striptease in the bar for no reason at all, a scene with a giant stuffed bear and a fat guy named Tinker – did he think the bear was alive and trying to kill him? I saved the best line from that scene, and maybe the movie, for you to discover, or re-discover, when you watch it.

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Nice giant underwear, granny.

Roadhouse is not a good movie. It’s a great movie! It’s directed by a guy whose first name is Rowdy. Do I need to say anymore? I heard that they are going to do a remake. Sigh. You can’t improve on perfection.

But if you please, check out Roadhouse because it is nothing but non-stop good times and comes highly recommended. Invite some friends over, enjoy some beers and what-not and take in the Swayze in all his sweater-clad glory. 5/5

Film Festival Top Picks!

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Yes, it’s that time of year again ~ The Vancouver International Film Festival is about to kick off it’s 100th year or something. And unlike the past 4 years, I plan on actually going to see some of this year’s offerings. It’s not like past festivals had a poor selection of films, quite the contrary, it’s just that I became a little disillusioned with the entire process – getting the damn tickets, waiting in the rain in giant line-ups, getting crummy seats in an overcrowded theatre and just being around that many people. Christ, why am I even going this year? Well there’s quite a few great sounding films to check out and I’m going to try to be not so damn lazy and get off my butt and get it into the theatre. Here’s a little list from Taste of Cinema on what they deem to be some of their top picks. I have to agree with many on this list, especially the top two.

Here’s a few that I’m interested in seeing:

High Rise

Green Room

Entertainment

Cop Car

Victoria

The Lobster

Deathgasm

The Demolisher

Nina Forever

The Similars

What are you most anticipated?

But if you can’t make it to the fest don’t worry, Black Dog will be bringing in as many of these fine titles as we can. You can bet your bottom dollar on that! Whatever that means…

Kong v Godzilla? Why, Universe, Why?

So there’s been some rumblings about a Godzilla vs King Kong movie. Sigh. Well I should say another Godzilla vs King Kong movie. I was a huge Godzilla fan growing up and even I didn’t like the 1962 battle epic. The problem, which even as a 9 year-old, I always saw was that King Kong was much much smaller than Godzilla. I don’t remember any rationale or explanation for the size discrepancy in that version but apparently the controversy (if one can call it that) was not lost on the studio execs who brain-farted this thing into existence…

“A threshold problem is that Kong supposedly is much smaller than Godzilla. That fact was not lost on Universal. “There were funny comments about him having to be the size of the Empire State Building instead of hanging off of it,” says a studio insider. But a source close to Tull says Legendary is confident it can come up with a rationale to explain how Kong and Godzilla can do battle — and possibly become allies.”

I bet that there’s some sort of shrinking machine or some sort of embiggening machine that will work it’s way into the story. Hollywood, you make me sad sometimes.

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May I have this dance?

Video Store Day is fast approaching!

Just thinking what we might do for this year’s video store day? Water balloon fight? Mime toss? Air show? I’m sure we’ll have something nice planned.

http://www.videostoreday.com/

 

In da Club

If you haven’t seen this already, it’s pretty cool and well done, if not altogether pointless.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QajyNRnyPMs[/youtube]

Say it ain’t so, del Toro!

Bad news for all you Pacific Rim fans out there (I count myself amongst them). It seems we may never get to see anymore giant robots hockey punching giant monsters. Just give them the money! What else are you going to spend it on, more lousy Transformers?

http://www.slashfilm.com/pacific-rim-2-delay/

Review: Interstellar.

 

(there will be spoilers and maybe a bit of cussing)

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I finally got a chance to check out Interstellar the other night having missed it in the theatres where it really should have been viewed. I’m sure you know the plot by now – the Earth is all dusty and out of okra so secret NASA sends out probes to find inhabitable planets which we can colonize. Then Matthew McConaughey is asked to go and find the people who went before him. Exciting adventure ensues! I didn’t really know what to expect other than big production values, lots of nice space movie scenes and Matthew McConaughey’s smug, large head.

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Space! Looks nice.

What I didn’t expect were a couple of things: the emotional content that always seems to be lacking in Christopher Nolan’s films. Maybe it’s because I have a child or maybe I was just tired (I’ll cry at just about anything when I’m tired) but I was really invested in the characters and their predicament. I kept placing myself in Cooper’s (MM’s character) space boots and how I would deal with me staying the same age as my kid grew up and got old before I did. It was quite touching and well done.

Another thing I didn’t expect, although in hindsight I should have, were the glaring plot holes that abound in Interstellar. Something that is not lacking in Nolan’s films. Spoilers coming up!

I didn’t really get the hows and the whys and the wheres and hows of the plan to save the world. None of that made any sense to me. Was it aliens who saved them or was it future Cooper sending messages in the black hole bookshelf back to himself? Who built that bookshelf? It was a very nice bookshelf. But why a bookshelf? Why not a refrigerator or a swimming pool?  And the message he relayed to himself and to his daughter was on a broken wristwatch. Was that the best they could come up with? Wouldn’t it take forever to relay the complex black hole gravity physics stuff into a goddamn wristwatch? And then take forever to decipher it? And one of the messages he sent to his daughter was the word “Stay”. Who was that meant for? Him? Was he supposed to stay? If he did he wouldn’t have gone, saved the world and sent the “Stay” message. Is that a paradox? I think it may be a paradox.

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Now where’s my copy of “On the Road?”

And what was with Matt Damon? I didn’t even know he was in this film. He wakes up all sad but happy to see some folks for a change and then tries to kill them and take their ship to earth? Why? He didn’t have to head bonk Cooper and then use little jet packs to escape. All he had to do was go with them or even borrow one of the 3 ships they had. I’m sure they would have thought Matt Damon an asshole for bringing them there to rescue him but surely they would have helped mad Matt Damon out. It was like that entire section was from a different movie.

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Hey Matt Damon is in this movie!

We’re to believe that the entire movie was about Cooper trying to get home to reunite with his angry daughter only to have them finally get together – she’s like 95 or something at this point and after she travelled 2 years in a watery space sleeping tube to see him – and then her tell him to go and seek out Anne Hathaway, who’s on another planet somewhere (how did she even know this?), after only a 2 minute visit? Hello, nice to see you, catch you later! Wouldn’t Hathaway be like over 100 years old by the time Cooper gets to her planet? What if the guy she was in love with was still alive? That might be a little awkward when Cooper shows up to live with them for the rest of their lives. “Sooo, where do I sleep?”

Cooper is floating inside a black hole in his nifty space suit. Wouldn’t that like crush him into dust and then crush the dust into even smaller dust? Black holes can bend light and destroy stars for hell’s sake. And after he’s finished sending his message from inside the black hole to his daughter’s wristwatch (yes I just wrote that), he gets spit out and into orbit around Saturn where he gets rescued by a passing ship just as his air is about to run out. Sure. I guess that’s not really a plot hole but a weakness. There were lots of weaknesses. Weaknie?

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Not too sure if I should go in there or not.

I could go on about things like the other space guy, Romilly, who’s waited for 23 years for Cooper and Hathaway to return to his ship – why is he not bug-nuts insane? He’s been tooling around the ship waiting and waiting for those kids to return. For 23 years. Why didn’t he climb into one of the watery sleep chambers? I’d be crazy as a shit-house rat. Whatever that means. And Michael Caine’s character and how he lied to everyone about the plan? Christ, I should stop there.

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I’ve been sitting here for 23 years for you kids to get home! Oh and I ate all the food.

I make it sound like I hated the move but I actually quite liked it. It looked beautiful, had cool sassy robots and spaceships, huge tidal waves, a black hole and Topher Grace for some reason. And I really should expect some weak plotting and holes from Nolan – hello Dark Knight Rises! It was great looking and sounded amazing on the Blu Ray and I would whole heartedly recommend it for the emotional qualities and just the shear ambition. It’s no 2001 but it is worth your time. 4/5

 

 

Ok, Here We Go.

Wow. A blog post! I haven’t sat down to write one of these in what seems like a dog’s age. Well that’s not entirely true. As many of you know, I recently returned from a big crazy trip around the world with my lovely family. We were gone for 10 months and managed to visit 13 countries. It was an amazing experience and to be honest it’s been a little tough being back. Anyways, I won’t bore you with tales and photos of the excursion but if you’re interested in checking out my adventures, you can right here!

So in this new and (hopefully improved), blog we’re going to focus on movies. Duh. I hope to include reviews and postings, not just from me, but from just about anyone who would like to contribute. I plan on posting regularly and want to get a podcast off the ground sometime in the very near future. Just have to figure out the logistics on that baby.

We plan to keep it fairly light, fun and not too damn serious. Unless, of course, we’re talking some serious business here! Please enjoy and tell all of your friends, enemies, neighbours and that weird guy down the street. You know the one.

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See, I told you, light and fun!

 

Meaningless photos!

Here’s a bunch of photos and stuff that I used in older editions of newsletters that, at one time, had some context to relate their hilarity. I think that many stand on their own. Enjoy!

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