VideoReport #400

Volume CCCC- 400. That’s right.

 For the Week of 4/16/13

 Videoport celebrates 400 straight great weeks of great, movie-related bathroom reading.

Hi gang. Yup, it’s VideoReport #400. That means 7-plus years of the staff and customers of Videoport recommending things, making bad jokes and penis references, and writing about their favorite movies, TV shows, and the occasional penis reference. Thanks to you all. It’s been weird, But, you know, in a good way.

1. You get a free movie every day.

2. Yes, seriously.

3. No, there’s not a catch.

4. I mean, you have to pick out the free movie, so I suppose you could count that as a catch by the strictest definition. If you’re that sort of person.

5. On Mondays, it’s a free rental from the Science Fiction, Horror, Incredibly Strange, Mystery/Thriller, Animation, or Staff Picks sections with any other paid rental.

6. On Tuesdays, Give yourself a free rental from the Action or Classics section with any other paid rental.

7. On Wednesday, it’s a free one from the Comedy or Foreign Language section.

8. On Thursday, get a free anything. From anywhere.

9. Friday’s a free kids movie from the kids section.

10. Complaining about the Friday special means you don’t love kids.

11. Saturday and Sunday, if you rent two movies, you get any third one free.

12. Some people have asked, “What’s the deal with the weird food items by the TV?”

13. Yup, they’ve asked that all right.

14. A lot.

15. Okay, we’ll tell you. Somewhere later in this newsletter. So you’d better read the whole thing.

16. See what we did there?

17. Turnstiles only turn in one direction.

18. We cannot stress that enough.

19 Just one direction.

20. Always been that way, since they were invented.

21. Kind of weird how many people don’t know that.

22. Touching the shiny side of one of our DVDs makes it not work well.

23. You get a free rental every time you buy a movie from Videoport.

24. Netflix employs slave kitten labor.

25. Have you tried that Littlelads popcorn we carry yet? Darned tasty.

26. Videoport’s Sam is a blues superstar. Rent at Videoport and you can say, “I rented movies from that guy!” when he’s all rich and famous.

27. Check out Sam at

28. You should really watch the HBO show Enlightened.

29. Videoport’s been here for 25 years, taking on all comers and we’re still standing. Bring it on.

30. The parking lot behind the building is open at 5PM on weekdays and all day on the weekends.

31. Parking-wise, we can also get you a free hour at any downtown garage. Just ask for one of our magic stickers!

32. Fully 85% of our employees have never eaten human flesh. Try and guess which ones- you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

33. Touching the shiny side of one of our DVDs makes you a bad person.

34. You might argue that touching the shiny side of a DVD isn’t enough of an offense to judge your entire character.

35. You are incorrect. Shiny-side-DVD-touching is legally admissible evidence of guilt in any trial.

36. The same kid who played the young Michael Bluth on Arrested Development played the young Don Draper on Mad Men.

37. Here, have a free pen. It’s free advertising for us and you get to, I dunno, write stuff with it I guess.

38. That purple notebook by the computer is for you to suggests movies we should get.

39. I mean, we have everything, but not everything, everything, so knock yourself out.

40. And, hey, let’s only suggest things that are already on DVD. That just seems like common sense…

41. And no, kid, we’re pretty sure there’s no movie called “Slipknot Rulez!” And if there is, we’re not getting it.

42. The fastest animal on earth: The cheetah. Next.

43. The worst Best Picture Oscar winners (in no particular order of stinkiness): Forrest Gump, Crash, A Beautiful Mind, The Greatest Show On Earth (sorry, Dennis’ dad), Dances With Wolves.

44. Fast zombies are stupid and only stupid people like them.

45. Regan got Adam Scott to autograph one of our discs of Party Down when he was in the store.

46. Adam Scott and Party Down and Regan are awesome.

47. The Mexican is in the Incredibly Strange section because it just is. Get over it.

48. Hey, here’s an idea- don’t touch the shiny side of our DVDs!

49. One actor only appeared in five movies, all of which were nominated for Best Picture: John Cazale.

50. There’s a documentary about him called I Knew It Was You in Videoport’s Documentary Arts section.

51. Remakes better than the originals: The Thomas Crown Affair, The Crazies, True Grit, Ocean’s Eleven, Little Shop of Horrors, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (remake of Bedtime Story). Aaand, that’s it. Hollywood- please stop with the remakes.

52. We clean and check every DVD we send out. And we check them when they come back. So if you’re messing with our discs…we know who you are. Seriously.

53. The Criterion Collection is a company dedicated to putting out deluxe editions of movies they think are worth the trouble. And they have such good taste that people started asking us for the latest Criterion releases, so we put them all together. That’s what the Criterion Collection section is.

54. We’re clearing out most of our VHS stock, since no one ever rents VHS anymore, ever. They’re all turning up in the sale bin and are $3.99 each or 3 for ten bucks. And, of course, you get a free rental for every one you buy. (See #23)

55. Videoport makes it so you don’t have to return anything on a legal holiday. Because we are nice.

56. Redboxes are manufactured from plastic originally intended for little kids’ playground equipment. Those kids? Now playing on broken glass.

57. You should read Danny Peary’s Cult Movies books.

58. Movies in the Kids Section are always just a buck.

59. Videoport doesn’t have a new release section.

60. Because we don’t, that’s why.

61. All new releases have that unmissable green NEW sticker on the spine.

62. If you don’t see the green NEW sticker, then it’s not new. You can keep it for three days.

63. You can extend a new release from a one day rental to a three day rental for an extra $1.74.

64. You can extend a three day rental to a week for an extra 69 cents.

65. No, we did not pick that number to be intentionally provocative. It just worked out that way.

66. How you doin’?

67. We’re open from 10AM to 11PM every single day.

68. Yes, even Sunday.

69. See #65.

70. Renting movies on Thursday gets them ‘til Sunday. Stocking up for your weekend means you’ll avoid the crowds and ensure you’ll get what you want.

71. Time Warner Cable was just rated as the fourth worst company in America by website The Consumerist.

72. We’re just sayin’.

73. Videoport’s April and Andy make music. It’s weird, but in a good way:

74. You can read back issues of The VideoReport at

75. You should do that, because it’s full of great movie reviews. And also because seeing our stats gives us an inordinate amount of self-esteem.

76. You should let your young kids handle our DVDs as much as you let your kids play with your wedding china. Or your laptop. Or your ceramic unicorn collection.

77. Look, we know you love your kids. We love your kids. It’s just a motor skills, experience, jelly-fingers thing.

78. Anytime you want to contribute to this ongoing VideoReport experiment, you can send your movie reviews to us at C’monnnn….

79. While we’re on the subject, the VideoReport medal of honor goes to the lovely Emily S. Customer, who’s written more reviews than anyone other than your lowly editor. And she’s even gaining on him.

80. Best baseball movie in the store: Eight Men Out.

81. Videoport payment plans give you free money.

82. Payment plan #1: pre-pay $20 and you get $25 worth of rental credit on your account.

83. Payment plan #2: pre-pay $30 to buy yourself a whopping $40 in rental credit.

84. Credit’s good for rentals and any pesky extra day fees.

85. It never expires.

86. And it’s money you would spend with us anyway. So why wouldn’t you get yourself a little something-something out of the deal?

87. It’s just common sense.

88. One of your friendly Videoport clerks is the grandson of Hollywood royalty. Try to guess which one!

89. Sadly, Dennis’ suspicions that his actual grandfather was Melvin Van Peebles turned out not to be true.

90. What writer/director is 3-for-3 with great movies? Tom McCarthy: The Station Agent, The Visitor, Win Win.

91. What writer/director is 6-for-6 with great movies? Paul Thomas Anderson: Hard Eight, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood, The Master.

92. Videoport’s (massive, unparalleled) Foreign Language section is broken down by language in the brown binder by the computer. Little known secret, but very true.

93. People who touch, or allowed to be touched, the shiny side of Videoport’s DVDs should not be trusted with the following: heavy machinery, public office, children or puppies, or our freaking DVDs!

94. Seriously, you guys- C’MONNNN!!!

95. People buying a blu-ray player: you know you have to periodically update the software on the thing, just like on a computer, right?

96. You don’t know that? Not surprising, since the bait-and-switch artists at big box stores don’t want to scare you away from buying them in the first place. Read your owners’ manual.

97. Oh, and if you don’t have a blu-ray player, the blu-ray discs won’t play on your DVD player. (The blu-rays are in the smaller, blue cases.)

98. In addition to the daily specials listed in #s 5-11 above, on Monday-Thursday you can get three non-new-releases for a week for 7 bucks.

99. Which is really a great deal, especially if you want to, say, stock up for the weekend, or to plow through most of a TV season.

100. Plus, how much of a sucker must you be if you’re watching TV on TV? Waiting a week to see what happens next? What are we, cavemen?

101. Plus, commercials?! That’s just a sucker move.

102. We’ve got candy!

103. We’ve got Andy!

104. You can bring your dog into the store, with the following stipulations: no pooping, no peeing, no barking, must be on a leash.

105. We have dog cookies, but not human cookies.

106. Because we like dogs more than people.

107. You know how all the chain stores in Portland closed down? They shouldn’t have f***ed with us.

108. Computers are notoriously crappy at playing DVDs. Just get yourself a real DVD player. It will save you sooo many problems.

109. We’re gonna make you take a bag for your movies if it’s raining, snowing, or slushing out. Don’t get all mad- we reuse and then recycle our bags.

110. And, you know, if you don’t take a bag and our cover art gets destroyed, you’re gonna have to pay to replace it. C’mon gang- work with us here.

111. Best football movie in the store: North Dallas Forty.

112. Close second: The (original) Longest Yard.

113. You know that part of the membership application you signed which clearly says that you are the only person who can use your Videoport account? Not a joke.

114. Seriously, you guys- it solves more problems than you can possibly imagine.

115. The guys who was so good as Evil Ed in the original Fright Night ended up in gay porn. And no, we do not have any of his gay porn.

116. We have plenty of other gay porn, though.

117. And other kinds or porn.

118. Viva porn!

119. Netflix is run by those mutant cannibals from The Hills Have Eyes. We’ve totally heard that.

120. You know what the thing is about letting anything touch the shiny side of one of our DVDs? Don’t do it. That’s what.

121. The Employee Picks section (first shelves on the right, middle aisle) house a rotating series of weirdness you should check out.

122. The top shelf is generally older stuff we just bought for you to enjoy and so we can be even more cool and awesome.

123. Other shelves might be employee picks (which you should totally rent since our clerks are so smart and have seen everything in the world, collectively).

124. Alternatively, sometimes we throw together a weird theme shelf, just to showcase some different stuff and because we’re bored.

125. We are collectively in love with customers who seem to have a weird, little video renting project going on.

126. Like former Videoporter David M. who chooses a director and watches the hell out of everything he/she has ever done.

127. Or the nice lady who’s just going alphabetical through the Feature Drama section. (She’s almost into the Bs).

128. And there’s more than one person just working their way through the Criterion Collection. Which is essentially an entire film studies course in itself.

129. Since you get a free movie every day at Videoport, why not take a chance? Advice to follow…

130. Close your eyes and pick something out of the Criterion Collection. You’re guaranteed to get something freaking fascinating.

131. Ask us. We’re all movie smarty-pantses and we love to force our opinions down your throats.

132. Take a damn chance and pick out something you wouldn’t ordinarily rent. It’ll cost you exactly nothing and you might accidentally open yourself up to something new and wonderful.

133. Best soccer movie: the original Fever Pitch.

134. Watching TV on DVD is just the best. The lovely Emily S. Customer and I have spent many an evening getting engrossed into the better part of an entire season of The Wire, 30 Rock, The Sopranos, Parks and Recreation, Archer, Party Down, Slings and Arrows, etc.

135. Hey, don’t judge us.

136. We clean every single blessed DVD we send out the door.

137. Seriously. We have never not done that.

138. Which means if there are smudges, prints, hummus, tequila, or any combination thereof on them when you’re trying to play them, you or someone in your house put them there.

139. That being said, if you’re having trouble playing one of our movies, try cleaning it with a nice, soft, clean cloth.

140. No liquids!

141. Clean out from the center, like bicycle spokes.

142. Do NOT use any of the nonsensical, borderline insane internet cures (like toothpaste, vodka, rubbing alcohol)- those will just destroy the disc. Which means you’ve then bought the disc.

143. And do NOT buy one of those “home DVD repair” machines. They mangle our DVDs aaaand congratulations! You’ve bought a DVD!

144. That all being said, sometimes, a DVD isn’t gonna work properly. You know because some people touch the shiny side of our DVDS.

145. If that happens, we’re sorry.

146. Even though, clearly, we have done everything possible to care for our precious, beloved discs.

147. And someone touched the shiny side.

148. Just let us know (pinpointing where you had a problem helps), and we’ll give you credit and check the disc out.

149. Best hockey movie: Slap Shot.

150. Videoport can copy your old VHS tapes onto DVD and your DVDs onto DVD. (Not copyrighted stuff though, as that’s what “copyright” means.)

151. Best director you didn’t know you loved: Hal Ashby. (Shampoo, Harold and Maude, Coming Home, The Last Detail, The Landlord, Bound For Glory, Being There.)

152. Best basketball movie: Hoop Dreams/Hoosiers (tie).

153. Most entertainingly awful movie: The Room. It’s like an alien tried making an erotic drama based on watching Lifetime movies for a week.

154. The best TV show in Videoport’s inventory/TV history: The Wire. It’s not even close.

155. Film that improbably works on every conceivable level: Shaun of the Dead.

156. Show about a subject you don’t have to care about to love the show itself: Friday Night Lights. (Just ask Regan.)

django-unchained157. New Releases this week: Django Unchained, Dragon, Angels of Sex, Monster In Paris, ‘Spies in Warsaw’, ‘Merlins’- season 5.

158. New Arrivals at Videoport his week: ‘Friends’- all ten seasons! , Kipper- Kipper Helps Out,

159. New Blu Rays at Videoport this week: Django Unchained, Dragon, Repo Man.

160-399. I thought we could fit in 400 facts. That was not possible.

400. Look, we know there are there are other entertainment options out there. They suck in various ways, but they’re out there. But if you’re reading this then you’ve chosen to stick with Videoport. The little store that could. The underdog. The Daniel LaRusso. The Rocky in Rocky 1 and not any of the others when he became a ‘roided-out freak. The independent video store that’s been around for a quarter century and is fighting the good fight every single day. So thank you. The people who work here really are a family- we love each other, we love working together, and we even love our boss. His name’s Bill. He’s weird, and we love him for it. And we love you guys. You come in here and you spend your money and you take our recommendations even when you think we’re nuts (it usually works out). So thanks for sticking with us, for telling your friends, and for ensuring we can all hang out with our best friends, rent some movies, and share a laugh. Seriously, you kooks. One million thanks.

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