Thursday, April 4, 2013

Why don't I ever learn?

I don't like to load my days off with a lot of stuff to do, so normally I do like one or two things and that's it.  I had planned to go down to Chinatown to pick up some movies because the weather was nice, but wouldn't you know it the weather turns to crap soon as I get a day off.  On Tuesday it was sunny and 18C, then on Wednesday it was cloudy with a forecasted high of 5C.  I changed my mind about going down to Chinatown because I'd be walking and it would be too cold.  I'm delicate you know.

After finding the pogo stick at Toys "R" Us I was in a good mood and the weather didn't seem that cold to me.   Well, it didn't seem that cold as I walked from my car into the store and back again.  I figured "What the hell!" and decided to make a trip to Chinatown anyway.

The cost of parking in downtown Calgary is the most expensive of any city in Canada, so there is no way I'm going to pay for parking down there.  Unless it is Sunday, then parking is free!  I usually park up on the hill in Crescent Heights and then walk down across the Centre Street bridge into Chinatown, so that's what I did.  I needed the exercise anyway.

They were doing road work around the area where I usually park, so I had park further down the street which meant a longer walk.  Again, not a problem, I need the exercise.  Parking around here is free for two hours, although I've never seen any parking enforcement guys checking or giving out tickets.

I walked down across the bridge, the very same bridge from the opening of Steven Seagal's action opus Exit Wounds.  After work was done restoring the bridge, but before it was open to the public they shot the opening action scene for Exit Wounds on it.  Elaine and I walked across the bridge when they were getting ready to film some scenes.  It was open to foot traffic, but not vehicles.  They had some cars flipped over and stuff, and some fancy chairs set up and one had "Mr. Silver" on the back of it.  Whooo, Hollywood!

I made it to Chinatown, but my head and face where getting cold.  Why did I have to get my hair cut the previous day?  I walked through this one little weird mall, but the toy place I wanted to check out was closed.  I cut through the back parking lot and went in the rear entrance of the Dragon City Mall.  They don't like white folks using the main entrance or so that is what Elaine always told me.

In the mall there are two movie stores literally across the hall from each other, it's kind of weird.  I usually go to the one on the end, so I just went there.  Maybe one day I'll go to the other place.

Yep, I bought movies!  I got Flying Swords of Dragon Gate, CZ12, Wu Xia, Wu Dang, and Naked Solider.  They were $4 each and all bootlegs.  You can't find legitimate DVDs in Chinatown to save your life.  The Chinese movies are always a safe bet because they are sourced straight from the legitimate Hong Kong discs which always have English subtitles.  Usually though, the discs never have special features.  The Japanese and Korean movies may or may not have subtitles, so you have to be careful.

In the old days there were only a couple places to get Chinese movies and my favorite place was Hong Sing.  The people there were nice and they'd even order stuff in for me and had an awesome selection of replacement cases for CDs and DVDs.  I bought many a VCD and DVD from them.  Once the bootleg movie place opened up, that was it for Hong Sing.   They sold the real deal and couldn't compete with the fake stuff as you could buy three or four bootleg DVDs for the price of one legit disc at Hong Sing.  There are now three places in Chinatown that sell bootleg movies and they've all been around for years.  I guess nobody cares that they are selling fake Chinese movies, even though companies own the North American rights to a lot of the movies they sell.  Now they are really starting to push it by selling bootlegs of American movies!

Yep, major Hollywood studio pictures being illegally sold, not a smart move guys.  They had a ton of other stuff like Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, Wreck-It Ralph,  and Zero Dark Thirty.  I like how the ones I got have a crap photocopy cover with a Blu-ray logo on it and they weren't even Blu-ray.

What?!  Burned onto a plain old DVD-R?  The outrage!  They can't even be bothered to put some disc art on there?  Take a little pride in your work guys.  I actually watched Resident Evil and the picture quality wasn't too bad, but the audio seemed like second out of sync and it had multiple sets of subtitles.  There were some removable subtitles on the top of the screen and some embedded subtitles on the bottom which were annoying.

 At least the Chinese movies all have discs with art on them. 

Before I left Chinatown I stopped by the other bootleg movie place right on Centre Street called Go East Video.  Again, bootlegs.  This place is even selling bootleg porno movies, they have an entire aisle of Western and Eastern adult films.  The old lady working there was trying to get me to buy these movie sets.  They sell a two disc Blu-ray set with something like eight or ten movies on it.  She kept telling me "the quality is very good, don't worry".  At $7 for a set of movies, that is not bad deal, that is if they work.  I was actually going to buy a Jet Li collection, but her debit machine was broken, so she only took cash.  Too bad for her I spent what cash I had on candy and baked goods, maybe next time if she hasn't been closed down.

I just got ripped off!

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