Another Christmas and another year in the books. I hope that everyone had a swell break. We had a nice Christmas – good eats, nice drinks, family, It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve. Good times. Glad it’s almost over. I’m wearing my fat pants more than usual.
Not much out this Tuesday – mostly horror films for some reason – but lots of good stuff still on the shelves. We finish off Black Dog’s flick picks of the year this week. You can check them out down yonder.
Store hours this week are as follows; noon to 11pm both stores everyday this week – except for Wednesday at Cambie – Unthank Cinema night! We’ll be closing at 8pm on Saturday – New Year’s Eve.
New Releases for Tuesday December 27th
Apollo 18 – Another one of those found footage type films. This one’s set on the moon and apparently there’s some moon monsters roving around up there doin’ shit. Also on the Blu Ray.
Final Destination 5 -The latest installment of death stalking some unlikable jackasses and then killing them in a weird Rube Goldberg type trap movie. Points for destroying the Lions Gate Bridge. Points taken away for terribly annoying characters. Points added to a fun death during some gymnastics and a cringe inducing laser eye surgery. I was saying to my wife that one of the best aspects of these films is that you get to to see some characters you hate get killed not once, but twice and usually in a horrible fashion. Sweet. Nice little twist ending as well. Almost made me want to go back and re-watch the film (almost). Also on the Blu Ray.
The Tunnel – Jeez Louise, are there any new horror films that aren’t found footage based? Here’s an Australian one about a haunted subway tunnel or something. I hear it’s pretty good. But really, what’s next in the realm of horror?
(To be honest I kinda like these films, Cloverfield and the Paranormal Activity films are great)
Shameless Season 1 – American version of the famed UK show about a dysfunctional (what other kind is there?) family led by William H. Macy as the alcoholic patriarch. Word has is that this is quite the excellent little number. Too bad this didn’t come out before Christmas so we could all feel better about our selves and our families after watching this train wreck.
Small Town Murder Songs – The sometimes great Peter Stormare (Fargo) plays a sheriff in a small town Mennonite community in Ontario investigating the town’s first homicide. I wonder if he has a wooden gun? I hear that this is a pretty cool little noir dealy.
Coming Next Week
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
I Don’t Know How She Does it
Justified Season 2
Snow and Ashes
Recently viewed and Recommended
Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame
Midnight in Paris
Tree of Life
A Somewhat Gentle Man
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
So here’s the last of the staff picks for the year.
From the ultra suave Don at Cambie
Here’s a list from the guy that doesn’t like making lists…
1. Tree of Life
3. Martha Marcy May Marlene
5. The Descendants
6. Super 8
8. Midnight in Paris
9. Young Adult
At last and least here’s mine…
Top Picks – I thought it was a pretty good year for films (unlike some people I know). There’s still a pile I didn’t get to see that made other people’s lists – Meek’s Cutoff, Take Shelter, Dogtooth – but here’s what I thought was worthy of my hard earned bucks this year.
Drive – Stunt driver by day, get-away man by night, dreamboat Ryan Gosling quietly kills it in his crazy silver jacket in this great low key thriller pockmarked by nasty violence and populated by a great supporting cast. A weird soundtrack and surreal atmosphere added to the fun. Brilliant! Can’t wait to check this one out again.
I Saw the Devil – Maybe the most violent film and easily the best revenge film I’ve ever seen. This South Korean nasty finds a diabolical serial killer played by the dude from Oldboy who really really kills a special ops guy’s wife. Said special ops guy tracks him down, captures him, tortures him and then releases him. He then does it again. And again. Amazing film highlighted by an incredible knife fight scene in a cab that has to be seen to be believed and a dark hilarious ending. Not for everyone, women don’t fare to well in this, but if you can handle it…Go South Korea!
A Somewhat Gentle Man – Stellan Skarsgard rules this Norwegian comedy as a sad-sack dude fresh out of prison who just wants to get on with his life. Of course that isn’t how things go. It’s subtly hilarious and odd with some of the most depressing sex scenes I’ve seen in a long time. Watch for the dance sequence, it’s awesome. He’s really one of the worst dancers ever. EVER! Go Norway go!
Tree of Life – Stunning work of art or boring, pretentious claptrap? Maybe a little of both? Me, I loved it. Awesome imagery and scope (includes the history of the universe and life on earth for your pleasure), intense acting – how did he get those kids to do such a fine job? Many memorable scenes – kids chasing the truck spewing out the DDT. I wish I had seen this on the big screen. And maybe ingested some hallucinogenics as well. Evoked memories of 2001.
Hobo with a Shotgun – Well it’s not really a great film or even a good film but it’s a lot of bloody fun. (Maybe the six-pack in the theatre helped?) How these guys ever got Rutger Hauer to do this I’ll never know but he’s perfect as the hobo. A hobo with a shotgun. Go Canada go!
Troll Hunter – Two films from Norway on my list! Crazy. Giant trolls lurk in the Norwegian woods. Who knew? Very funny and exciting and the trolls look amazing. (Yes it’s one of those found footage films but it totally works. Good job Norway!
Rise of the Planet of the Apes – This film is better than it has any right to be. Exciting, well filmed and paced and great special effects from the apes running wild in downtown Vancouver (reminded me of the riot this summer except these apes weren’t wearing Canuck jerseys) to the big battle on the Golden Gate Bridge, Apes rule! Go Apes!
A Better World – Heavy drama about a doctor working in Africa under trying circumstances and trying to deal with his family life back home in Denmark which includes a son who’s being bullied at school. Revenge, infidelity and loneliness and death all play a part in this fine Academy Award winning outing. Go Denmark go?
Attack the Block – This is the film that Super 8 wanted to be. Aliens attack a run down rough tenement in London and meet more than their match in some local toughs. In any other films you’d had these worthless punks but here they managed to make you like them after a while. Great action, characters and fun enliven this awesome little ditty.
The Future – Almost too quirky and precious for its own good but this film totally worked for me. It’s strange, touching, funny and sad and includes some heartbreaking narration by a poor little cat. Not for all tastes but I was happy to go along for the trip. And its trippy.
Honourable Mentions; Melancholia, 13 Assassins, Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (dude fights some deer!) Hanna, Captain America, X-Men: First Class, Source Code, Limitless, Lincoln Lawyer, The Robber, Mesrine
Dishonourable mentions – Green Lantern – Nothing, I repeat nothing was worse than this bloated ridiculous mess. It’s bad, Mystery Science Theatre 3000 bad.
Thor – not as bad as Green lantern but still awful. You know it’s bad when a year when a Transformers film doesn’t make this list. Maybe it’s because I never saw it.
That’s it for this week folks, be safe, be well, keep watching.
Black Dog Video