Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Skeleton Key: Using VLC to Unlock Foreign Region Coded Discs

So you come into Videotheque regularly; or, perhaps you simply stumbled in through the door one evening and found yourself, to your not quite muted surprise, amongst the fine and wonderfully eclectic, though thoughtfully selected, film catalogue of our little establishment. However you became acquainted with us, if you have spent any time in Videotheque then you have probably noticed or picked up a box like this: and perhaps, upon seeing such a box you were overcome with a modicum of excitement and exclaimed to yourself or out loud, “My God! I've always wanted to view Czech Maestro Frantisek Vlacil's masterpiece Marketa Lazarova but was never aware that it was available on a home video format here upon our region 1 coded shores!”. Before, upon further inspection, eyeing a label like this: and upon glancing such a label, you deflated like a timid flan and replaced the box upon the wall, kicked a scuff upon the floor and exclaimed, because you are in that exclaiming-sorta-mood, “Ahhh, well, maybe it will be released sometime in the next 15 years or 20...”. If you have ever had an experience like this or have been keen on delving into the deep end of European cinema then mourn no more for we have the tool to stoke the flame of your melancholic heart. And it's incredibly simple. There is a program afloat on the high-web you can download by the name of VLC Media Player. There are many of you out there who have probably used the player before and if you are at all like us, have been amazed by the sheer variety and vast quantity of media files it can play. But, did you know that it doesn't give one flip about region coding? VLC can actually read through region locking, allowing you to play any DVD from any country you'd like on your computer. That's great news for those of us who haven't a multi-region DVD player. A further benefit for those with a PC Laptop is that many of the newer models come with an HDMI hookup which allows you to view the films on your HDTV! Sure, its a hoop or two to jump through but its at the bottom of the scale as far as pain intensive tech solutions are concerned. Here is the link for VLC (http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html), it is available for both PC and Mac and best of all its completely free! However, if you are feeling generous you can donate a couple of dollars to keep the wonderful people at VideoLAN working on solving any and all media bumps we may come across in our travels. Here also is a video demonstration by a lovely man demonstrating the program on a Mac (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1SrwcHOMcA). So, grab the program, Stop by the store, And grab an import. Happy Viewings! * Don't forget to pop by the store and check out the recommended section we have devoted to Region 1 unfriendly titles!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Plenty of phantoms and films this month at Videotheque!

It's that time of year again! Light your jack-o-lanterns, dust off that old sweater and come in to Videotheque for your favorite old scary films and/or discover new ones! Be sure to check out our chillingly fun recommended sections hand picked by our enthusiastic staff. Trust me, we ALL love putting together our favorite scary movies for you. Also, if you are attending the Artcrawl in South Pasadena this coming Saturday night (Oct. 27th) we will be screening "The Phantom of the Opera" (yes, the 1925 classic starring Lon Chaney - see attached photo) on the pumpkin-patch wall on the corner of Fremont and Mission Street at 6:30pm! Also, stop in the the store to say goodbye to our employee Ronald who's last night at Videotheque is that night! In addition to all that fun stuff, we have tons of new releases for you to enjoy as well! Just this last Tuesday we got in the highly anticipated "Mad Men: Season 5", the fun-for-the-entire-family "Madagascar 3", AND, not yet available on NetFlicks (!), the creepy "Sound Of My Voice", Ridley Scott's prequel to "Alien" "Prometheus", the hair-metal musical "Rock Of Ages", AND, last but not least, the incredibly touching coming-of-age masterpiece by Wes Anderson "Moonrise Kingdom"! Coming out this Tuesday (Oct. 23): Witness the truth revealed about the 16th president of our fine country in "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter", and take home a delightful love story about the end of days "Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World" (starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightly). AND, right before Halloween, we will be getting in "Metalocalypse Season 4", "Ruby Sparks" (starring Paul Dano and Antonio Banderas), "The Campaign" (starring Will Farrell and Zach Galifinakis), AND, the highly anticipated CRITERION release of the Roman Polanski masterpiece........ "Rosemary's Baby". We look forward to seeing you in here amongst the ghosts, goolies, and film enthusiasts all month long... Happy October!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Summer is coming to a close and what better way to survive September's heat than to sink into your recliner with a film or television series rented from our fine establishment. Just out today (9/4) we have an abundance of popular television programs newly available on DVD and Blu-Ray including: Season 3 of the hilariously insightful "Bored To Death", Season 3 of "Hung", Season 4 of "The Good Wife", "Fringe" Season 4, everyone's favorite awkward staff in Season 8 of "The Office", AND "Parks and Recreation" Season 4! Lots of TV! If TV ain't your thing there are plenty of good films to choose from. We have "Pina" from acclaimed director Wim Wender (see attached image), as well as the newest documentary installment in the "Paradise Lost" series, part 3 "Purgatory", from renowned directors Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, has been flying off the shelf. For those of you looking for action and laughs we have the intense shoot-em-up thrill-ride "Safe" starring Jason Statham, and, on the lighter side, the quirky relationship comedy "The Five-Year Engagement". If you are looking for heavier subject matter look no further than the Australian film "The Snowtown Murders" based on the horrific story of one of the worst series of crimes in their recent history. And, from France, (and we have an advance copy - I might add!) the hard-hitting "Polisse" which focuses on the trials and tribulations of Paris' Juvenile Protection Squad as they crack down on child abuse. If you are romantically inclined, may we suggest the critically acclaimed "The Well-Digger's Daughter" based on the work of Marcel Pagnol. AND there is much more to come... On September 18th keep an eye out for the genre-expanding "Cabin In The Woods" AND on September 25th "The Avengers"! See you soon...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Summer comes to Videotheque!

Summer has begun at Videotheque as we continue to receive more and more new films for you to take home and enjoy under the cool breeze of your air-conditioning. Just out this week we have a real chiller "The Woman In Black" starring Daniel Radcliffe (you know, from those Harry Potter movies), we also have the apocalyptic love story "Perfect Sense" starring Ewan McGregor and Eva Green, we have Season 2 of the always engaging "Sherlock" series, and last but not least we have "The Secret World of Arrietty" new from Studio Ghibli who brought us other magical films such as "Ponyo" and "Howl's Moving Castle"! Last week's new releases included "Albert Nobbs" featuring amazing performances by Glenn Close and Mia Wasikowska (see the attached photo), as well as "Being John Malkovich" finally re-released on Criterion (!), the action thriller "Rampart" featuring Woody Harrelson in an all-star cast, the refreshing indie twist on kids with super-powers "Chronicle", and, perfect for a hot summer night, the unbeatable Liam Neeson fights off wolves and blizzards in "The Grey"! Other notable new releases that are still flying off of our shelves are "Into The Abyss" by Werner Herzog, the extremely touching "Being Elmo", the edgy "Shame", the intense films "The Yellow Sea" and "Miss Bala", and the bold/gutsy artistic gem, a bio-pic about the poet Hart Crane called "Broken Tower" directed by and starring James Franco. We will be here, as always, waiting for you in our comfortably air-conditioned cinema-lover's heaven!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

January New Releases!

2012 is off to a great start at Videotheque! Come by and pick up the newest additions to our vast film library. Last week's new releases included the extremely popular "Boardwalk Empire: Season 1" on both DVD and Blu-Ray, the re-release of the cult-favorite insect documentary "The Hellstrom Chronicle", "The Killer Elite" with Robert DeNiro and Jason Statham, Bela Tarr's remarkable "Man From London", Brad Pitt in "Moneyball", and the hilarious "An Idiot Abroad" with Ricky Gervais!

This week we welcomed the Criterion release of "Belle De Jour", the Ryan Gosling and George Clooney political thriller "Ides of March", Isabelle Huppert in "Special Treatment", season 1 of the strangely funny Adult Swim series "Delocated", Audrey Tautou in "Beautiful Lies", the South African road-trip comedy "White Wedding", and the amazing chimpanzee documentary "Project Nim" (see attached photo)!

Next week (1/24) we will be getting two Criterion re-releases "Godzilla" and "The Moment of Truth", two engaging documentaries "The Last Lions" and "Shut Up Little Man!", the newest installment of the horror phenomenon "Paranormal Activity 3", Lawrence Fishburne in HBO's "Thurgood", "No Reservations: Collection 6", the robot boxing movie "Real Steel", AND (inspiring us all to shave our heads) Seth Rogan and Joseph Gordan-Levitt in "50/50"!

See you soon... KEEP WATCHING

Saturday, December 17, 2011

New Releases and Holiday Gems

This week we've got some new titles that are already flying off our shelves! From Criterion we have two re-released classics by renowned director Seijun Suzuki "Branded to Kill" and "Tokyo Drifter". Also, if you are into animal rights, come rent "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" starring James Franco and, of course, "Kung Fu Panda 2" with Jack Black. We also have the indie sensation "Daddy Longlegs" and the remake of the 1980s classic "Fright Night". And, if you are in the mood for some brain food you should take home Werner Herzog's "Cave of Forgotten Dreams", the highly anticipated "Black Power Mixtape (1967-1975)" and "These Amazing Shadows: The Movies that make America".
Coming out this Tuesday (Dec. 20) is a new one from director John Landis and starring Simon Pegg "Burke & Hare", the remake of the Sam Peckinpaw masterpiece "Straw Dogs", "The Tempest" starring Helen Mirren, "Midnight in Paris" by Woody Allen, and from the Netherlands, just in time for the holiday, "Saint Nick" (he's coming after you whether you are naughty OR nice).
And... Don't forget we have all your holiday favorites from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" to "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" (see the attached image)!
See you soon!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Late November NEW RELEASES

We have many thanks to give for our late November new releases just waiting for you to take home!

Come by and pick up "Rare Exports", a soon-to-be cult classic about the real Santa Claus, from Finland, which came in just in time for the holiday (see the attached image)! Also, brand new to the store we have "The Future" by Miranda July, "Beginners" by Mike Mills, the indy sensation "Bellflower", "Conan the Barbarian" starring Ron Perlman, something surprisingly different from Kevin Smith called "Red State", "Friends With Benefits" starring Mila Kunis and "JT", and, last but not least, "The Smurfs" with the always charming Jonathan Winters voicing Papa Smurf.
Our featured, must-see, Criterion re-release this week is the Sabu box set featuring such classics as "Jungle Book" (1942), "The Drum", and "Elephant Boy"!
Several documentaries have also come in that are causing quite a stir...
We have the long awaited "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" by Werner Herzog (on DVD, Blu-Ray AND 3D Blu-Ray), the fans speak up in "The People vs. George Lucas", also, new from Patricia Guzman "Nostalgia for the Light"!

If that's not enough to keep you entertained through December, you should also stop by our recommended "Seasons Screenings" section to stock up on your holiday rentals! See you soon...