Tag Archives: film

Video Mart, Grants Pass, OR

OK, since we’re on the subject of great, old-school video stores, I gotta tell ya about one more of them. Video Mart is located literally on the wrong side of the tracks in my wife’s hometown of Grants Pass, Oregon, but, don’t let that stop you, because this store seriously rocks!

Although it’s been in Grants Pass for years, I just discovered Video Mart this past July with my nephews. They were drawn in by the store’s amazing Sunday deal on video games — all games are a dollar and you get them for five days! — but what really thrilled me was the store’s vast selection of truly unique movies.

Sure, they have all the top-40 shit up front and yes, they rent Blu-Ray too, which is awesome, but, the thing that kept us coming back was their rocking selection of older titles. The pricing didn’t hurt either, every older title is available to rent for $1.00 for three nights. And if you rent more than five, you get to keep them for five glorious nights! Awesome!

Needless to say, I got myself a membership (yep, they let me get one even though I live out of state!) and we got down to some serious movie renting. All totaled, I think we rented somewhere between 10-15 movies during our visit and at least 4 video games. Best. Vacation. Ever!

And kudos to the fine folks at Video Mart for knowing their shit too. The dudes at Odd Obsession would probably still take the gold in a movie trivia head-to-head, but, trust me, there are some truly knowledgeable film and game geeks working here too.

So, next time you’re in Southern Oregon, grab yourself some Abby’s Legendary Pizza, a six pack of Weed Pale Ale, a movie from Video Mart, and call it a night…

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Odd Obsession Movie Rentals, Chicago

In case you hadn’t noticed, I started up another blog recently, but that doesn’t mean I love this one any less. On the contrary, I have been itching to share some of our recent adventures in Chicago (where we were in May) and Portland, OR (where we were in July) before launching into a whole other round of adventures we’re bound to experience in NYC, where we will be next week.

Trust me, it sounds a lot more glamorous than it really is. Hell, anyone who has traveled with a two-year-old can tell you that the going can get pretty damn rough sometimes. And that’s why you need the mellow, “let’s casually explore the city” kind of days in between the sightseeing.

It was on one of those days this past May, when we encountered the staggeringly-well-stocked, totally old-school video store known as Odd Obsession Movie Rentals in Chicago.

Located in the gritty heart of the suddenly-trendy Bucktown/Wicker Park area, Odd Obsession is the kind of classic, deep-catalog video store every great city should have. You know, the type of place you can call up with just a vague notion of the obscure DVD title you’re looking for, and not only do they know the movie, but they carry it too! So cool…

And I swear to God, walking inside that joint was like stepping into a time machine. They don’t carry many actual VHS titles anymore, but, the whole place smelled, looked like, and even felt like your favorite, musty childhood video store. I say felt because those shelves were so packed with super cool titles that you could hardly turn around without bumping into something amazing. Literally. Next time I go, I’m leaving the stroller outside.

We didn’t rent anything, of course, but, just being there and sensing the true love of movies inside every nook and cranny of that place really filled my heart with glee. I’m not kidding, it was like church for film geeks, and best of all, they even had a store cat. You know, the big old, fat kind that sits on the register when you’re trying to pay. I didn’t ask, but, I’ll bet he’s named “Rosebud”.

Anyway, someday very soon (like, next week) video stores will be a thing of the past, something we joke about: “OMG, remember when you used to have to leave your house to rent movies?” and when that day comes, I’ll be glad to know I visited one of the greatest video stores ever…and took lots of cool pictures.

Rock on, Odd Obsession Movie Rentals, rock on!

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Malick’s “The Tree of Life” takes the top prize @ Cannes

Despite being loudly booed at it’s first screening at Cannes, Terrence Malick’s controversial, love-it-or-hate-it, “The Tree of Life” took home the big prize at the Cannes Closing Ceremonies yesterday afternoon. Whoo-hoo! Go, Terry!

Of course, the famously-reclusive Malick was not there to collect his award (which was accepted in his absence by “Tree of Life’s” producers Dede Gardner and Bill Pohlad) but the fact that the movie won the top prize bodes well for it’s limited U.S. release this Friday.

I mean, man alive, if you thought I wanted to see “Life” before, just imagine how excited I am to see it now. Wow…I might start camping out for tickets tomorrow.

Another big American winner was Kirsten Dunst (yes, that Kirsten Dunst) who took home a Best Actress prize for her work in Lars Von Trier’s freaky-deaky-looking “Melancholia“. Trust me, if the movie is anywhere as dark and strange as Von Trier is, it’s gonna rock!

For a list of all this year’s big winners at Cannes, click here. And, until next year at this time…adieu, adieu, to you and you and you…

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Production begins on “The Hobbit”

I know it seemed like this day would never come, but, I’m very pleased to announce that after years of delays and behind-the-scenes drama, production on Peter Jackson’s two-part “Lord of the Rings” prequel, “The Hobbit”, finally began today at Jackson’s Stone Street Studios in Wellington, New Zealand. Hooray!

Even more awesome than this news are the super cool on-set pics Jackson posted on his Facebook page today. Whoo-hoo! Don’t you just wanna live in that sweet little hobbit house? And could that gorgeous, sun-dappled Shire look any more lush and inviting? Wow…

I know they just started shooting, but, I’m ready to throw on my hobbit cape and get in line for tickets, like, today. Bring it on, Mr. Jackson!

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Worst Oscar Telecast ever!

How boring was last night’s Oscar telecast? So boring that I couldn’t even stay awake to blog about it afterwards…and, trust me, I stay up late up all the time, so, that is really saying something.

Long, strangely-paced, badly-produced, hosted and directed, I gotta tell ya, last night’s show was probably the worst Oscar telecast of my adult life. And, yes, I’m including the David Letterman and Rob Lowe/Snow White fiascos.

The thing that really kills me is that I was so excited about the hosts this year. I love Anne Hathaway to death and James Franco is great in everything I’ve ever seen him in…but, together, wow, they were like, epically bad.

I know most of the blame falls at the feet of the lame-brained writers and producers — did we really need those hideous “Gone With The Wind” and “Titanic” graphics projected in the background? And don’t even get me started about that freaky Bob Hope hologram…yikes! — but Hathaway and Franco were so boring that you could practically hear viewers switching the channel. Urgh…

To her credit, Hathaway at least tried to keep things lively, but the dead-eyed Franco looked like he needed a nap most of the night. Watching Hathaway desperately flit around the stage last night while Franco half-napped at the podium reminded me of those old elementary school group projects where one person on the team always worked harder than the other. As a team, they failed, but, I think I’d give Annie an “A” for effort!

Not helping the overall yawn-factor last night was the fact that almost everyone who was predicted to win, did. Which is cool for the very-deserving winners (way to go, Queen Amidala!) but makes for really boring television. Thankfully, “Inception” cleaned up in the technical categories…so, that was fun to watch, even if Christopher Nolan was denied his Oscar (again!).

Dying to hear what you guys thought of the show, and if you have any suggestions for better hosts for next year — hell, that Bob Hope hologram would be better than Hathaway and Franco! — I’d love to hear them too…so, fire away!

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Christopher Nolan wins WGA award for “Inception”

On Saturday night, Oscar nominee Christopher Nolan came one step closer to winning an Academy Award when he took home the WGA’s prestigious Best Original Screenplay award for “Inception”. Whoo-hoo! Finally someone that I actually voted for wins the top prize. So cool!

Of course, Nolan will have a tougher fight at the Oscars, where he’ll square off in the Best Original Screenplay category with Academy-favorite Mike Leigh’s “Another Year” and David Seidler’s amazing script for “The King’s Speech”, which wasn’t eligible for WGA consideration. So, here’s hoping the sci-fi geeks in the Academy follow the WGA’s lead and give Nolan his due.

In fact, maybe I should hire someone cool like this to plant the idea in their heads right now. Hmmm…

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Oscar Nominees 2011

I’m sure everyone will be talking about “The King’s Speech” and it’s very-well-deserved 12 Academy Award nominations today, but, the biggest surprise for me this morning was all the Oscar love for  “Winter’s Bone”! The fact that a gritty, totally-authentic independent film like that could score a whopping four Oscar nominations (including Best Picture) wow, that is just plain rad!

I mean, we expected a nod in the Best Actress category for the the film’s lead, the luminous Jennifer Lawrence, but the fact that her co-star, the always-amazing, John Hawkes snuck in there with a Best Supporting Actor nomination is like, over-the-top awesome! Yee-haw!

And speaking of Best Supporting Actor, holy crap…how do you chose between those five guys? There is literally no fat in that category this year, man. I’m pretty sure Christian Bale will take the golden guy home for his exceptional work in ‘The Fighter”, but, is it wrong to hope for a five way tie?

Also, very excited to see “Inception” score so many nods today as well. And even though Christopher Nolan got bumped from the Best Director category this morning, he was bumped by the Coen Brothers for their badasss remake of “True Grit”, so, that makes it a little easier to take. Plus, Nolan scored a producer and writer nod for “Inception”, so, wherever he is, I’m sure he’s smiling…

Was kind of surprised to see “Black Swan’s” Mila Kunis get bumped from the Supporting Actress category, but, that little upstart Hailee Steinfeld gave one of my favorite performances of the year in “True Grit”, so, sorry, Mila.

Also, was totally stoked to see “Toy Story 3” clean-up in so many categories and become only the third animated movie to score a Best Picture nomination. I have watched this movie with Greta literally dozens of times since it came out, and, trust me, it holds up beautifully. So, rock on, Woody and Buzz!

I was also thrilled to see Oscar co-host James Franco score his first Academy Award nomination for “127 Hours”. I don’t think he’s gonna win with Colin Firth in the mix, but, how cool would it be if he did? I mean, what does he do with his award, just stuff it in his pocket and keep on hosting? Crazy!

And finally, how cool is it that Mr. NIN himself, Trent Reznor, can now and forevermore call himself “Oscar nominee Trent Reznor”? So cool…

To see a full printable list of this year’s nominees, click here. Oh, and if you’re coming to our Oscar party, you best start hunting squirrels now, because our “Winter’s Bone” hillbilly stew recipe calls for lot’s of vermin!

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