Inspired by this post at the A Hero Never Dies blog, I thought I’d show off what Ottawa’s Chinatown has to offer in terms of Asian DVD selling locations. There are some good places that offer DVDs for those who have decided to not opt into the world of ordering their films online.
Chinatown’s gate was only put in last year, but it’s pretty impressive.
Makes Little Italy‘s look like a joke.
The first place I’d discuss is what I believe is the New Capital Book Store (there’s so many signs here, I don’t know what is called what). Their film section is pretty minimal and I can’t say I’ve actually bought any films there, but they do have decent prices on imports. They also have some film posters there but they are mostly of Asian pop idols. Don’t expect a poster of The 36th Chamber of Shaolin to be waiting for you. I did find that I could’ve got Gallants there instead of ordering it online for a more extravagant price. Ah well, Live and learn.
The store is a bit hidden. The location of it on Google Maps doesn’t exactly show it off to well.
The only picture of the place I have! They are pretty anti-photography there. I suspect secret operations.
The only other place I’d hunt is the curiously titled “Ottopik”. If you could only go to one place in Chinatown for DVDs, I’d recommend this one for some physical film hunting. It’s in walking distance from the other place and you can see it here on Google Maps.
Tons of DVDs (and some blu-rays!) from Hong Kong, Japan and Korea!
They have a fairly decent selection even if some of the stock there is quite old. Some films have been there forever, as I’m pretty sure no one is rushing out to buy a copy of All’s Well that End’s Well ’97. What’s not shown in the photo above is that they even have some VCDs that they are trying to get rid of. They sell them at 4 for $20. Not exactly cheap, but the store is a bit pricey. There’s some unusual choice of films in stock. Next to some erotic themed films there was a copy of Inspector Gadget (?!). Other oddities include imports of some films that do not need to be imported (does anyone need a Hong Kong import of Rush Hour? Didn’t think so!). Other films I have no familiarity with at all. For example:
I’m not going to make fun of this as Happy Naked Christmas is potentially a masterpiece.
Ottopik has some blu-rays as well that they will gladly try to sell to you. The last few times I’ve wondered in there, the woman at the counter was quite chatty and has tried to sell me anything I looked at! From Karaoke machines to the blu-ray of Detective D and the Phantom Flame to Korean television series. It’s more amusing than annoying so I’m not bothered by it. She also made sure to mention that if I can’t find what I was looking for, she could order it for me. I’d rather order things myself and avoid the middleman in this case as their orders are just pulling things from Yesasia. Regardless of prices, it’s still fun to browse and see what’s in stock. If you are young or without your own credit card, it’s not a bad alternative to ordering online. It worked for me when I wanted my own copy of Bullet in the Head.
Speaking of Asian films, I remind all Ottawa residents that they should definitely attend the double feature of John Woo’s excellent action flicks Hard Boiled and A Better Tomorrow at the Mayfair Theater in Ottawa on April 12. The current DVD and Blu-Ray of Hard Boiled has dubtitles and I think A Better Tomorrow is only available through import. It’s definitely worth your $6. So cancel your plans and get your butt to the Mayfair! See you there!