So I was reading with interest yet another article about the demise of video rental stores across this great land. It was a piece in the Toronto Star about the state of that fair city’s video biz. There was nothing new or surprising to be found – sales are down in all stores, customers are flocking to online sources like Netflix and iTunes, yadda yadda. A couple of days later this article appeared from The Film Buff – a great indie store in T-dot – http://thefilmbuff.com/actually-the-sky-isnt-falling. As usual the reporter in the original Star piece left out most of the meat of the interview, instead focusing on what angle his editors wanted to story to take. I’ve been the victim of this kind of reporting a few times over the years. You really have to be on guard when being interviewed I must say. It got me to thinking (again – the thought is never far from my brains) about Black Dog and what the future might hold for us. At times over the course of the summer it has looked bleak but the article also gave me a shot of hope for said future. I think that because of the nature of our stores – a great catalogue of amazing, weird, fun and above all, important films – most of which you can’t find on Netflix or wherever – will keep us alive and relevant for a while at least. Who knows how long? It’s impossible to tell but we’ll keep this thing going as long as we can. I shouldn’t be worried about the customers that we’ve lost but be thankful and for the customers that appreciate what we do.
Part of the article mentioned a list of films that Spike Lee gives to his film class at NYU that he considers essential for any aspiring filmmaker or any lover of cinema. It’s not a list of very obscure films – http://www.indiewire.com/article/spike-lees-list-of-films-all-aspiring-filmmakers-must-see – but for Netflix, it seems that it is; the USA version of Netflix has only 4 while Canada does marginally better with 8. Out of the 86 films listed Black Dog has 81. Not too shabby. So if you’re a lover of cinema like we are, you know where to go. Make sure you tell you friends, your enemies, your neighbours, that brown dog on the corner and whoever else might listen.
New Releases for Tuesday August 20th
Aftershock – Weird violent action horror finds Eli Roth hanging out in Chile with his buds trying to score chicks and all that jazz. Then an earthquake destroys the town and they must contend with looters, gangs, honey badgers, aftershocks and Eli Roth’s questionable acting chops. (At Commercial – soon at Cambie)
Amour – From the great Michael Haneke (Funny Games) comes this sad and intense tale of an elderly couple dealing with a stoke that Anne suffers at breakfast. The most important meal of the day, my ass. Winner of Best Foreign Film and a fistful of other awards.
Emperor – WWII history dealy that finds that doctor guy from Lost hanging out with crusty Tommy Lee Jones as General MacArthur. They have to decide if Emperor Hirohito should be hanged or not. Tough decision I imagine. I love that one of the warnings on for the film is for “historical smoking”. Also on the Blu Ray. At Commercial today, tomorrow at Cambie.
Epic – Fine animated family fare about a civilization of forest dwellers and things living in a teenager’s backyard. Of course she gets shrunken down to their size and must battle some evil forest folk for the fate of their world…and ours! Or something like that. Also on the Blu Ray.
Graceland – Well regarded thriller from The Philippines about a kidnapping gone wrong and the dad who must navigate the slimy criminal underworld to find his missing daughter before it’s too late. Yes please!
Hatchet 3 – OK I have to admit that I’m a fan of the Hatchet films. They’re dumb, stupid and dumb but they are also gory as hell with great effects and nice imaginative ways to butcher meddling teenagers. Bring on number 3! And bonus points for having Kane Hodder as the creepy indestructible killer.
Home Again – Excellent indie drama that follows three people recently deported back to Jamaica from the US, Canada and England who must find their way in an unfamiliar culture. Jamaica isn’t just all Bob Marley and weed.
The Killing Season – Tired and old DeNiro (for some reason he’s supposed to only be 43 in this!) cavorts around a Bosnian forest with John Travolta, sporting an awesome chin-strap beard, playing tag or building a fort or trying to kill each other for some reason or something like that. Also on the Blu Ray.
The Silence – Excellent looking German thriller about a 13 year-old girl who disappears at the same location of a murder of a young girl some 23 years earlier. Are the two cases connected? What’s going on? Who is that lurking in the shadows? This one’s high on my list of must-watches.
Solomon Kane – Wizards, weaponry and bloody mayhem are a dish best served cold. Or hot. Your choice. A ruthless mercenary renounces his violent ways only to be drawn back in for “one more case!” Also on the Blu Ray.
The Thick of It – Most excellent BBC comedy series about the shenanigans and goings-ons at the Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship. Stars the great Peter Capaldi. This fine series was the inspiration for the great film In the Loop and the TV series Veep. You’re welcome!
What Maisie Knew – Little Maisie is caught up in a custody battle between her parents. I think that she knows something. But what could it be? Secret of the universe? It’s 42 in case you were wondering.
Coming Next Week
Pain & Gain
Sons of Anarchy Season 5
Walking Dead Season 3
1939: Battle of Westerplatte
A Company Man
At Any Price
The Great Gatsby
We Saw This and You Should As Well
Boardwalk Empire S 3
Enlightened Season 2
Girls Season 2
Olympus Has Fallen
West of Memphis
On the Road
Nothing can ruin a film quite like some bad dubbing. Or even good dubbing for that matter. But sometimes some really bad dubbing can make a bad film not only worse but much better. Here’s some really bad dubbing for your enjoyment…
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