Author: Shirley Wong
Editor’s update: In Feb 2015 (literally days after this post was published), Red Box closed its operations in Canada. Sad news all around.
“In Los Angeles, it’s like they jog for two hours a day and then they think they’re morally right. That’s when you want to choke people, you know?”
I love Liam Neeson Thursdays. It all started on a recent trip to Boston, flipping channels in our hotel, when we came upon the movie Taken. For those that don’t know, it’s 2008 action thriller starring Neeson who plays Bryan Mills, a retired CIA operative who hunts down his daughter after she’s kidnapped by human traffickers while travelling with a girlfriend in Paris.
I have always carried a huge fear of being kidnapped, which I earnestly explained to Mike is a very reasonable fear. He should know. When he was very young, he was playing by himself at Hastings Elementary in East Van (across the street from home). Suddenly, he recalls, a brown van slowly rolls up to him, and a man leans out the window, beckoning him to come closer so he can give him some candy.
Needless to say, little Mike wasn’t interested in this gentleman’s so-called candy and gleefully ran off, unharmed, still alive today, playing a significant role in my life: setting up my Liam movies in our DVD player. Thankfully he’s alive. We have six remote controls and if he dies, I am so screwed figuring out which controls what.
The first Taken was big success. So they had to make Taken 2 (another hit), where his wife is taken. After that, we were left musing who would be be taken in Taken 3 – his dog? Anyway, I don’t feel freaked out when I watch Taken movies since Neeson has a reassuring, don’t-worry-ladies-I’ve-got-this demeanor that makes me feel so safe.
You can find a lot of his movies on Red Box. If you aren’t using Red Box, you are missing out on a secret in-the-know deal. They have movie rental machines featuring new-release movies for dirt cheap (about $1.50 for DVD rental, or free with promo code on Thursdays only). Check online what movies are available (selection varies according to location), put it on hold if you want, and pickup at your supermarket. It seems to be catching on in Vancouver. We’ve seen moms, singles our age and even seniors lining up, groceries in tow.
So our worst fear (besides mine, which is to be taken) is Red Box will lose money and go under. We will grieve if they go the way of Blockbuster (bankrupt in 2010) and Rogers Video (stopped DVD rental in 2012).
You can’t deny the nostalgia of going to a place to pickup a movie. When Mike an I were dating, I lived in a West End apartment. We’d stroll two blocks up to Blockbuster, check their selection, then cross the street a few steps to Rogers Video, and bring back a movie. Things were pretty simple, back then. Sign up for Red Box, and I can assure you it will make a good movie date night.
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