But cheap movie hawks like me can still find the odd gem, if you know where to look. The most interesting place to shop these days - though it's hardly reliable, and hasn't netted me much lately - is Dollarama, believe it or not. I've found Blu-Rays of Adam Wingard's The Guest - which I'd been eyeing up earlier that day at a HMV for $25 - and that great insect microphotography documentary from a while back, Microcosmos, getting them for $3 each. There have been a few "can't resist" classics (Smart Money, with Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney, or something with Robinson and Bogey called Bullets Or Ballots - I never knew Malcolm X had borrowed the title of a gangster film for his most famous speech!). And a few months ago I stumbled onto a DVD copy of a memorable "right to die" drama from the 1980's, Who's Life Is It, Anyway?, with great performances from Richard Dreyfus, John Cassavetes and Christine Lahti, for only $2; it's a film I've had long fondness for, and fully intended to buy someday, so getting it on the cheap was a delight. It's almost the same as the Rogers bin, because you're generally more inclined to be kind to a movie you've bought if you didn't pay enough to feel ripped off by it. I mean, around Halloween, at the Metrotown Dollarama, I found an Australian ghost story with an outdoor survival edge, Uninhabited, that I would never have considered for $20, and may not have even enjoyed at that price - but was delighted with when the cost was only a couple bucks. It's a film even those inclined to steal movies via torrent probably would never come across; it has no real cult following, has no one advising you to seek it out, has mostly negative reviews. But there in the $2 bin, the physical object itself has an attraction that the movie more than lives up to. (Once again, as per a pet peeve of mine, the box art nowhere lets you know that it's an Australian film, except maybe in the fine print, because the people packaging it wrongly figure that everyone wants Amurrican movies only).
The big disappointment, however, when it comes to thrifty gamblin' on movies is HMV. They have all these 3/$15 titles, which, depending on atmospheric conditions, you can sometimes mix and match with other twofer or threefer titles and sometimes can't (they seem to keep changing that policy, or else it's really just at the discretion of staff, because I've been told both that it is and isn't possible, sometimes on the same day by different employees). Problem is, those bins are stocked, generally, with the most obvious, crowd-pleasing items you can imagine - big hits from five years ago that have peaked, tapered off, and now can be moved out at the lowest price imaginable, because the herd animals out there will buy enough of them that even at $5 per, there's plenty of money to be made. There are sometimes good movies in the bins - Chronicle, Starship Troopers, The Men Who Stare At Goats, even Polanski's Chinatown and The Ninth Gate sold that way for awhile, and in Blu, too! - but more often than not, lately, I don't even bother. It's been simply too long since I found anything I wanted.
And though I resent it, having found one item at a price I couldn't miss, I turned my weary eyes on the 3/ $15 DVD bins (because there really aren't many 3/$15 Blu bins left). I fully expected the same crap - "oh, look, it's Overboard with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell!" - but was happy to pick up and examine any title I *didn't already know.* (Because that's how you find the fresh stuff).
And what do we have here? Killers: a Japanese-Indonesian horror movie with tons of rave reviews on the box? How can I possibly resist that? I didn't even realize until after I got it home and started watching it - I have an hour left to go as I type this - that it's produced by Gareth Huw Evans, of The Raid: Redemption fame; that it's directed by the Mo Brothers, who co-directed with Evans the cult compound gorefest "Safe Haven" in the movie V/H/S 2; and that it co-stars the cult leader from that film, and from The Raid 2, Epy Kusnandar, who is one of the most ridiculously charismatic and unquantifiably appealing actors out there, these days (may more movies be made with him!).
I Got Nothin'," which I hadn't heard before, from their album Kill City.
So that's a nice experience, all too rare: HMV has delighted me. They should think of me when stocking their cheapie bins more often. By contrast, my two blind buys there this month - a Scream Factory Blu called Cherry Falls, which I shelled out nearly $30 for, and an unremarkable Ti West movie called The Innkeepers, which is packaged as some sort of Gothic ghost story but which proves to be a half-comedic portrait of messed-up millenials - have both been disappointing, lesser films, and are soon to make the trek with me to Videomatica to be traded in (for Sssssss, if you must know).