Newsletter for Week Ending January 10th

Well here we are, 2011. Sounds so futuristic for some reason. I’m hoping that this year brings a bounty of quality films that we can provide for your viewing pleasure. The first two months of the year offer quite a bonanza as we are starting to get some the better crop of films that were released into the theatres last year.

To kick off the new year we’ve made a few changes to our special awesome deals. Here’s the lowdown;
Sunday to Thursday – 2 rentals for $7.00 (includes one new release and one old title or two old titles) – Notice that we’ve added Sunday to the mix! Plus if you want to get two new releases will charge you just $10! (you save a buck).
Wednesday – 5 old films for $8.00! Best deal in town for sure.
Coming soon – prepaid rental cards (still working out the details – check the website or Facebook page for updates)

Also in this episode we conclude the staff picks for the year 2010. Enjoy!

New Releases for Tuesday January 4th

Baaria – From the director of Cinema Paradiso comes a swell looking autobiographical account of growing up in Sicily. I’m sure it’s a very pleasant film.

Best Worst Movie – Doc about what is considered one (if not thee one) of the worst films of all time – Troll 2. Haven’t seen either (didn’t see Troll 1 and I’m sure that I’d be lost without seeing it first). Word has it that the doc is amazing – hilarious and all that. On the top of my list of films to see.

Big Love Season 4 – More Mormon love. It’s funny, of all the photos and what not that I’ve seen of Mormons, I’ve never seen any that look as good as Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloe Sevigny, Bill Paxton, Ginnifer Goodwin or Amanda Seyfried. Just saying.

Catfish – Controversial documentary about some dudes who make a film about a friend who meets someone online (Facebook I think) and how it goes bat-shit crazy. Really want to check out this one. On the top of my list of films to see.

Dinner for Schmucks – American remake of the French film The Dinner Game where guests invited to a fancy dinner have to bring an idiot/schmuck with them to be ridiculed. Great cast – Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis and Jemaine Clement among others. I’ve heard mixed things so ya takes your chances. Also on Blu Ray.

The Last Exorcism – Pretty good little horror number set up as a documentary that follows a handsome priest who has lost his faith and finds himself in backwoods Mississippi dealing with a seemingly possessed girl. Has some good stuff in it but I thought it kind of lost it at the end. Also on Blu Ray.

Machete – I was so sad that I missed this in the theatres. The great Danny Trejo stars as Machete, a guy seeking a whole bunch of revenge on some bad dudes who done him wrong. Expect lots of cheesy violence and action and nudity and general awesomeness. On the very top of my list of films to see! Also on Blu Ray.

Mao’s Last Dancer – Drama about a kid who goes to Beijing to become a ballet dancer or something like that. Gimme Machete, that’s what I say!

Mother and Child – Heavy looking drama about adoption and mothers and children and such. Word has it that its excellent. Great cast – Naomi Watts, Annette Benning, Samuel L. Jackson bring the drama.

Ricky Gervais Show Season 1 – This one kind of snuck up on me – apparently its an animated show with Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington doing stuff. Supposed to be pretty funny (no kidding).

Screaming Men – Doc about the Finnish men’s screaming choir. You’re all familiar with the Finnish men’s screaming choir, right? Thought so. Be great to watch this in surround sound.

Coming Next Week

The Social Network
Funny or Die Present Season 1
Mr. Nobody
Joan Rivers: Piece of Work
Animal Kingdom
The Devil’s Mistress

Here’s the rest of the best of 2010 (sorry mine is a tad long winded)

The Year End (Darren’s picks)

It’s funny; I was lamenting the fact that I looked at 2010 as quite a poor year for films. That there wasn’t anything that blew me away or I thought was all that great. Then I started making this year of films list and I thought I’d have a hard time coming up with ten. Then my cup runneth over. I think that my opinion was clouded by the lack of quality DVD releases that seem to cloud the first 2/3rd of the year. I didn’t get to the theatre as often as I wish I had and missed some of the great films that everyone else is yapping about. Films I haven’t seen yet that would most likely end up on this list includes;
The Social Network. Black Swan, The Fighter, True Grit, 127 Hours, Machete, and Piranha 3-D.
That said, here’s my favorite films that I saw this year. These may not be the best films or appear on other lists but these are the films that I enjoyed the most for whatever reason. They are in no particular order, as I didn’t have a clear-cut favorite for 2010.

Winter’s Bone – Ozark hillbilly noir at its finest. What a scary bunch of rednecks, each one more frightening than the next (especially the women and the head hillbilly meth kingpin).What a great atmosphere, detail and acting, especially by one of my favorite actors going today, John Hawkes. Probably my favorite heavy duty redneck meth dealing mystery drama of the year.

Enter the Void – Gasper Noe rips off your head, throws it in a blender with a bunch of other nasty stuff and then stuffs it back into your neck. A full on assault of the senses like nothing I’ve ever seen before (see it on the big screen if possible). It’s too long and too self-indulgent and it could have ended up on my worst of the year list as well but after taking it out and walking it around the block for a while it crept right up onto this list. Might be the best assault of the senses and WTF did I just watch film I saw this year.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – Edgar Wright continues his winning ways (Shawn of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) with this amazing, fun, rock and roll adaptation of a graphic novel I never heard of before. Probably the most fun film set in Toronto I saw this year.

The Eclipse – In a year devoid of good horror flicks this little number crept into the room and made itself comfortable.While not really a horror film – it’s more a drama about loss and writing and living in Wales or England or wherever its set – there are some really good little scares as the main character, the fine Ciarán Hinds, is being haunted by someone or something. Probably the best “horror” film about writers I saw this year.

Triangle – This one came out of nowhere to melt my brain, spread it on toast and feed it back to me. A bunch of people, stranded on a yacht come across a seemingly deserted cruise ship in the middle of the ocean. What happens next is like the best twilight Zone episode ever! These kinds of films tend to fall apart as the story progresses but not this one. Probably the best twisted mind meld creepy stuff happening on a boat film I saw this year.

Kick-Ass – Not the best film of the year, its uneven and most of the characters are unlikable, but this one lives up to its name if only for the best character in any film this year – Hit Girl. My jaw hit the floor a number of times by her actions and her potty mouth. Great bloodletting and a good, fun sense of comic mayhem made this probably the best 13 year old girl kicking the shit out of grown men film this year.

Fish Tank – All she wants to do is dance. Dance her way out of the run down slum and away from her horrible party mum and her mum’s seemingly nice-guy boyfriend. Excellent, menacing tough little drama just might be the best drama about a girl who just wants to dance filmI saw this year.

Toy Story 3 – While I didn’t care all that much for the other two Toy Story’s, this one kinda blew me away with its great animation, story telling and characters. It’s part funny, thrilling and sad and that’s no mean feat, especially for an animated film. My only complaint about the Pixar stuff is that they always have to end in some big chase thingy. No exception here. The best cartoon film with more real characters than most live action features film I saw this year.

Please Give – The great Catherine Keener and Oliver Platt star in this excellent drama/comedy about some folks who run a used furniture business where they get their wares from dead people’s estates. That isn’t much of a plot but that is all you need in this little character study. The best film about people selling off dead people’s stuff I saw this year.

Black Dynamite – This film killed it. So much fun. Better than most of the films it was making fun of. Best film to have a bunch of pops and smokeables and have some friends over to howl with delight of the year bar none film I saw this year. (Jackass 3-D is a close second)

A Prophet – Best crime, gangster prison film I’ve seen in a dog’s age. It’s a little long but worth it. Who says the French are all about whimsy and smoking? Best French prison nasty I saw this year.

Exit Through the Gift Shop – What is art? Who cares. Follow Banksy as he makes fun of the art world and also shows us how freaking cool it is. Easily the best is it art or are they fucking with everyone documentary of the year.

And a bunch of honorable mentions; Red Riding Trilogy, The Road, The Ghost Writer, The Town, How to Train Your Dragon, Micmacs, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, A Serious Man, The Killer Inside Me, Valhalla Rising.

Worst films of 2010

Iron Man 2, The Wolfman, The Tooth Fairy (I saw it in Spanish on a bus in Mexico, can’t imagine it would have been much better in English), The Expendables, Salt, Sex in the City 2 (I never saw it but it’s existence repulses me) and pretty much anything with Gerald Butler.

Most disappointing – Inception. I really wanted to like this a lot, and I did – for about 2/3rd and then it got boring and redundant with far too much unimaginative gun play. It was too bad, as I wanted to believe the hype.

Jessica’s picks (Cambie St)

A Serious Man – The Cohen brothers have managed to meld 2 of the most special things in the world in to one spectacular film: Jewishness and the year 1967.
Anti-Christ – Simultaneously the most beautiful and the most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen.
Les Amours Imaginaires (AKA Heartbeats) – The best Canadian movie ever to be made by a 21 year old? But seriously, a wonderful, stylish great film. Watch it!
Gentlemen Broncos – Sam Rockwell and Jemaine Clement give two of the finest and most beautiful performances ever committed to DVD. Perfect for any sci-fi nerd.
Hausu – Even though it came out in 1977 it was just released on Criterion this year. You’ll never need to take drugs again once you’ve seen this insanely amazing psychedelic Japanese horror film.
Honorable mention: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, The Road, Big Fan, Cyrus, The Kids Are All Right, Youth in Revolt

Boardwalk Empire (Season 1) – Better than the Sopranos… (don’t kill me).
Delocated (Season 2) – The greatest, funniest show that nobody is watching.
Eastbound & Down (Season 2) – Kenny Powers in Mex-i-co. Need I say more?
30 Rock (Season 4) – Liz Lemon continues to be an inspiration to us all. (Warning: cameos by James Franco, Jon Hamm and Jason Sudeikis may be so funny your eyes will melt out of your face.)
Curb Your Enthusiasm (Season 7) – Pretty much the most perfect season so far.
Bored To Death (Season 2) – Jason Schwartzman and Zach Galifianakis could just stare at the camera for 20 minutes and I would give it 2 thumbs up.
and of course… last but certainly not least:
Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job (Season 5) – Over the past few years, these 2 comedic geniuses have continually managed to produce material that is so funny it doesn’t even deserve to be called “comedy”, which would thus lump them in to the same category as lame laugh-tracky sitcoms. It’s so amazing that it needs it’s own new term: “Flarhgunnstow” perhaps? Their segments on the HBO show Funny Or Die Presents… with the delightful Zach Galifianakis are also astoundingly hilarious.
Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule (Season 1) – A Tim & Eric spin off that features the versatile John C. Reilly redefining what it means to be an Academy Award nominated actor.

Bill’s Picks (Cambie St)

In no particular order:

A Prophet
A Single Man
The Town
Valhalla Rising
Kick Ass
Red Riding Trilogy
Fantastic Mr. Fox
I Am love

Total Insanity on Film: Taxidermia and House (I highly recommend both)

Guilty pleasures I’m not guilty about: Machete and A-Team (Totally entertained throughout both)

And a few morsels from the interwebs

R.I.P. Pete Postlewaite. Always like that guy. Just saw him in The Town (he was excellent as usual) and he looked gaunt and a bit older than 64.,49523/

Here’s a little rundown of some funny stuff that went “viral”, as the kids like to say these days, in 2010. Enjoy…

Hope everyone has a good week and let’s make this the best 2011 ever!

Also if anyone would rather follow the newsletter on the website – it’s easier to read and sometimes has pictures and videos in colour – I can remove you from the mailing list as I post the newsletter on the site at the same time – Mondays or Tuesdays every week.

Black Dog Video

Black Dog Video

5 replies
  1. Legal sounds
    Legal sounds says:

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  2. Debbie
    Debbie says:

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