Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day #21,560

Movie #1172: Weddings And Babies (1958, Morris Engel)

Here's #3 in the Morris Engel trilogy and the first without Ruth Orkin. This one plays out like the first two except that the happy ending is gone. A man is engaged to be married but he wants to continue to run his life alone. The fiancee finally gives up on him and leaves before it's too late. Another well made film that I didn't really like as much as I think I should have for a reason that I'm at a loss to explain.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day #21,557

old truck
south of Highway 52 Manitoba

a horse
north of Grunthal Manitoba

winter scene in three parts
south east of Steinbach Manitoba

Movie #1171: Lovers And Lollipops(1956, Ruth Orkin & Morris Engel)

This is a tough one. Well done all around. Well directed, looks great, believable story, this one has everything going for it. And yet.....I was bored. Not sure why.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Day #21,556

Walk km 3517-3523: Woodhaven/Brandt/McKenzie/Hespler/Hanover/Reimer/Main/Freisen/Brandt/Reimer/Geisbrecht (Steinbach Manitoba)

Day #21,555

Movie #1170: Paper Bullets(1941, Phil Rosen)

A skid row cheapee from PRC with one distinguishing mark: the mobsters are portrayed as relatively benign. They are all quite civilized and only resort to violence if provoked.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Day #21,553

Walk km 3505-3507: shopping
Walk km 3507-3514: Robson/Denman/seawalk/Drake/Homer/Smithe

"Nail Professionals"
aprox km 3509 Robson Street

Movie #1168: Invasion Of The Bee Girls (1973, Denis Sanders)

Have you every noticed: crap in black & white looks better than crap in colour? It must be that b&w crap can hide behind the unreality of things not appearing as they really are. In colour, everything is seen as it actually is. There is no way to hide the fact that this is just a lot a shots of terrible actors thrown together in any old haphazard way.
Another negative is the anti-feminist and anti-gay feel to this movie. The bee girls show way too much attration to one another as they go about attracting and then killing the male cast members. And in the final scene, the non-beegirl scientist is forced to stop talking theory by the male lead picking her up and throwing her onto a bed. That keeps her quiet! Another male fantasy movie.

Movie #1169: Enigma Rosso(1978, Alberto Negrin)

A long string of gruesome murders and gratuitous nude scenes.
This Italian movie has been dubbed into English. It looks like it was shot in widescreen but both ends have been chopped off. It has plenty of excuses but I believe that undernearth it's still just a piece of crap. Maybe a bit more stylish than the usual MillCreek reissues but crap nevertheless.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day #21,552

Walk km 3498-3501: running errands
Walk km 3501-3505: Burrard/Smithe/Mainland/Drake/seawalk/Richards/Nelson/Hornby/Smithe

fountain and Christmas decorations
aprox km 3503 George Wainborn Park

Movie #1167: The Beatniks(1960, Paul Frees)

Here I am back in the garbage again. I was looking forward to some bongo beatin' beatniks. Maybe they'd lay some groovy stream-of-conscienceness poetry on me. Hip lingo. Black beret wearin' chicks and daddy-os.
Oooops! What we have here is a beatnik move without any beatniks. Instead we have small time hood Eddy who really wants to be a crooner of bland lounge music. Yuk! Peter Breck gets the prime role as the gang's resident psycho. But it's way too little and way too late. A stinker.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Day #21,551

Walk km 3487-3498: around Stanley Park on the seawall

woman sculpted on park bench
aprox km 3489 Georgia Street near Stanley Patk

Movie #1165: The Red House(1947, Delmer Daves)

Another one from the Internet Archive. However, this one is actually an "A" movie directed by Delmer "Dark Passage" Daves and starring Edward G Robinson. Also, instead of big city crime, we've got rural gothic about that scary red house way back in those haunted woods. The story is useless but that doesn't matter because it's played way over the top. Lots of fun. You may however want to wait for a better print of this one as there are quite a few night scenes and the poor quality print does leave a lot to the imagination.

Movie #1166: Woman Is The Future Of Man (2004, Sang-soo Hong)

Well, that was quite a contrast. From a steady diet of ancient Grade "B" Hollywood junk to a modern arthouse film from Korea. So well done that it kept my interest despite nothing happening. The two male characters were about as hang-dog as you can get. They just mope around and the women can't resist them! Some sort of male fantasy I presume.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Day #21,550

Walk km 3484-3487: shopping

street scene
aprox km 3486 Granville Street

Movie #1163: Lady Gangster(1942, Robert Florey)

Faye Emerson (dressed more interestingly than she was in Lady Gangster)

Not nearly as interesting as yesterday's "Hoodlum". The difference could be that this was a Warner Brothers release while the "The Hoodlum" was made by little Eagle Lion studios. In order to get noticed, the pictures from the poverty row studios needed to promise a little bit more than a standard "B" programmer. A WB "B" like "Lady Gangster" probably already had a slot as an added attraction to a James Cagney or Humphrey Bogart "A" picture.
About the only positive thing I can say about "Lady Gangster" is that Faye Emerson is much better looking than Lawrence Tierney.

Movie #1164: Behind Green Lights(1946, Otto Brower)

I'm really digging down into the cinema slagheap now. I found this on a website called freemoviestheatre. And it's a winner! Kudos to Charles Booth and Scott Darling (who?) for writing a fastpaced screenplay that throws a little of everything into the whodunit genre. A fun hour.
Update: I just noticed that this movie is also available through the Internet Archive.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day #21,549

Walk km 3483-3494: With Walking Meetup group from Yaletown Station to Second Beach to Lost Lagoon to Canada Place

walking meetup members walking
aprox km 3486 near False Creek

Movie #1161: The Hoodlum(1951, Max Nosseck)

It's right back to the scrapheap of movie history (Internet Archive) for another forgotten bit of cinematic history. Lawrence "Reservoir Dogs" Tierney is the scum of the earth as he robs, murders, makes his mother die of a broken heart and causes his brother's girlfriend to commit suicide. Not a nice fellow. In the end, the police shoot him down in the city dump (where he belonged). Spiffy.

Movie #1162: American Raspberry AKA Prime Time(1977, Bradley R Swirnoff)

Sometimes watching these movies becomes a chore. One of the worst kinds of movies to watch is the unfunny comedy. This would be one of those.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Day #21,548

Walk km 3477-3483: Christmas shopping

the seawalk along False Creek
aprox km 3479 from Cambie St bridge

Today's Music: Murder He Says
Here's another of my favourites of 2009 (from 1943). Like many of the songs from this time it suffers from a standard "swing band" arrangement so that the singer really has to put it over to make it memorable. I believe Betty Hutton does that.

Movie #1159: The Beast Of Yucca Flats (1961, Coleman Francis)

I had the urge to watch some trash so I had a look in the Internet Archive and what should I find: one of the movies shortlisted for worst ever made!
The plot is total nonsense. It was shot as a silent with voice-over added later. There are two scenes of scantilly clad young ladies that appear to have been added later (you can actually see these scenes whereas the rest of the movie looks like it was shot at night (without lights)). But the scene that makes it worth the purchase price (it was free) is the final scene between Tor Johnson and a rabbit. You too can see this cinematic masterpiece by going to the above link.

Movie #1160: Fear In The Night(1947, Maxwell Shane)

Well, that Beast Of Yucca Flats was so much fun I figured I try another from the Internet Archive. This one was based on a story by the king of the odd-ball plots, Cornell Woolrich. And he doesn't disappoint: a man wakes up from a dream in which he murders someone. Turns out he really did kill someone and it takes someone like Mr Woolrich to make the murder-in-a-dream plot plausible. I'd never heard of the director Maxwell Shane but despite the low quality of the print, I'd say he did a pretty good job.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day #21,547

Walk km 3472-3477: Smithe/seawalk/National/Terminal/Begg/Evans/Glen/Cottrell/1st/Clark

Movie #1156: It All Came True(1940, Lewis Seiler)

What a mish-mash. It's a crime drama. It's a musical. It's a comedy. Hard to like anything that keeps changing every couple of minutes. One big plus: Ann Sheridan.

Movie #1157: Touche Pas A La Femme Blanche(1974, Marco Ferreri)

In order to explain that the rich & powerful will always exploit the poor, Ferrari has Custer and Buffalo Bill appear in modern day Paris to fight the Algerians... oops, I mean the Indians.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day #21,546

Walk km 3459-3472: all the way around Stanley Park on the seawall

Today's Music: Recommendations
Robbie Fulks recommends from his web site.

Peter Margasak recommends from the Chicago Reader. He has not posted his best of 2009 yet so this is from his Best of 2008 list.

My recommendations are from my most played songs of 2009 as tabulated by

Movie#1155: The Big Shot(1942, Lewis Seiler)

I'd never heard of this Bogart movie before today so I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. Bogart as usual was great, the direction was good and leading lady Irene Manning (who?) was quite easy on the eyes.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day #21,545

Walk km 3450-3457: Robson/Nicola/Alberni/Stanley Park/Barclay/Burrard
Walk km 3457-3459: to the library

ducks on the pond
aprox km 3452 Stanley Park

Book #264: Panicking Ralph(1997,Bill James)

I admire Bill James ability to create the world of the British career criminal complete with their own lexicon. However, I don't see the point: every character in this book is slime (in varying degrees) thus not giving the reader any reason to care what happens plotwise.

Movie #1154: Dangerous Crossing(1953,Joseph M Newman)

Newlyweds board an ocean liner. The husband disappears. Everyone on board says "there was no husband, you're not married"! Jeanne Crain spends 75 minutes roaming around the ship in a state of panic. My kind of movie.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Day #21,544

Walk km 3439-3450: Robson/Stanley Park/Alberni/Denman/Robson

seawalk in winter
aprox km 3445 Stanley Park

Diet -3 (47 to go) was expecting worse after vacationing in Nevada (land of the buffet)

Movie #1153: The Bitter Tea Of General Yen(1933, Frank Capra)

This is a lesser Capra. I'm sure that the general public were thrilled to see the wonders of the Orient (even through the eyes of Hollywood) in 1933. However, today that thrill is gone and we'll need a good story to hold our interest. Alas, that isn't here so this film is of historical interest only.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day #21,543

Walk km 3433-3437: Smithe/Cambie/Nelson/Pacific/Homer/Smithe/Granville/Georgia/Burrard
Walk km 3437-3439: out to lunch

Olympic ads
aprox km 3436 Granville & Georgia

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Day #21,542

Walk km 3427-3433: Smithe/seawalk/Quebec/Pender/Burrard/Dunsmuir/Thurlow/Robson

Movie #1152: The Mouse That Roared (1959, Jack Arnold)

It's a comedy...... but it's not funny.

Day #21,541

Sea-Tac Airport, Seattle

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day #21,540

Walk 3422-3427: Glendale/Galletti/Truckee River walkway/Lake/2nd/Virginia/4th/Center

pedestrian bridge
aprox km 3424 Truckee River

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Day #21,539

Walk km 3415-3422: Glendale/Galletti/Truckee River walkway/Lake/State/Willow/Kinman/Ryland/Mill

Movie #1151: Orange County (Jake Kasdan,2002)
I didn't notice the MTV logo on this one: it's a movie for teens. I guess it's OK as a teen movie but I'm afraid anyone over 16 will be wasting their time watching this one.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Day #21,538

Walk km 3408-3415: Telegraph/(bus)/Truckee River walkway/Galletti/Glendale

river walking path
aprox km 3412 Truckee River

Movie #1150: La Fleur Du Mal(2002, Claude Chabrol)
Another Hitchcock movie by Chabrol. This one is not very suspenseful. Theme song by the great Damia.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Day #21,537

Walk km 3404-3408: Mill/Louise/Market/Roberts/Holcomb/Moran/Virginia
It's interesting: when I'm walking in any city, nobody says hello when they walk past you. However, today when I was walking through the snow, people were saying hello to me. It's because we now have something in common: we are the few who will venture out walking during a snow storm. Actually, this wasn't much of a snow storm but maybe for Reno it is.

Day #21,536

Walk: not today, they say there's a snow storm outside

Movie #1150: Morvern Callar(2002, Lynne Ramsay)
This is a very well made movie about a girl who goes nutso when her boyfriend commits suicide. The problem what? A character study (of a person who doesn't exist) and nothing else is meaningless. They could have at least shown her pre-suicide so we could tell what happened to her. I liked the music.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Day #21,535

Walk km 3395-3401: Mill/Lake/1st/Sierra/5th/Virginia/(bus)/Mill
Walk km 3401-3404: 2nd/Kietzkie/Mill

"biggest little city" sign
aprox km 3400 Lake Street, Reno

Movie #1149: T-Bird Gang(1959, Richard Harbinger)
Useless except for the music. Shelly Manne supplied the soundtrack plus there's a great classical piece which is not credited and I cannot place.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Day #21,534

Walk km 3387-3395: Mill/Maltey/Vassar/Kietzkie/Grove/Harvard/Market/Louise/Mill (Reno)

horse statues
Grand Sierra Resort, Reno

Movie #1147: The Wild Ride (1960, Harvey Berman)
Early Jack Nicholson in which he tries to get his best friend to break up with his girlfriend. Also, at the "big blast" Jack is the only one there without a female partner. Was this intended to be a gay movie?

Movie #1148: Flakes(2007, Michael Lehmann)
A total waste of time.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Day #21,533

Walk km 3384-3387: airport to hotel (Reno)

between Las Vegas and Reno (Nevada, USA)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Day #21,532

Walk km 3381-3384: Flamingo

Christmas decorations
aprox km 3384 Tuscany Hotel, Las Vegas

Movie #1146: Romeo Ia Bleeding(1993, Peter Medek)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Day #21,531

Walk km 3376-3381: Flamingo/Koval/Sands/Las Vegas Bld/Paradise/(bus)/Flamingo

aprox km 3380 Flamingo Avenue (Las Vegas)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Day #21,530

Walk km 3370-3376: Thurlow/Alberni/Burrard/(skytrain)/24th/Kamloops/22nd/Boyd/21st/Nanaimo/18th/Garden/17th/John Hendry park/Lakewood/10th/N Grandview/Broadway/(skytrain)/Burrard

aprox km 3373 John Hendry Park

Diet: -4 (46 to go) Going on vacation today so won't have access to a bathroom scale for the next 12 days.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Day #21,529

Walk km 3358-3365: Smithe/Howe/Nelson/Homer/Pacific/Davie/(skytrain)/King Edward/Carolina/15th/Windsor/7th/Glem/Great Western Way/(skytrain)/Robson
Walk km 3365-3370: Robson/Howe/Georgia/(skytrain)/Cambie/22nd/Columbia/6th/(skytrain)/Georgia/Howe/Robson

coffee shop
aprox km 3368 Cambie Street

Diet: -2 1/2 (47 1/2 to go) bathroom scale obviously malfunctioning

Movie #1145: Angel On My Shoulder(1946,Archie Mayo)

Pleasant hokum as Paul Muni comes back to earth after a short trip to hell. In his previous liife he'd been a gangster but on this trip he learns what a swell life it is to be a square john. Like I said: hokum, but Paul Muni and Claude Rains make it fun.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Day #21,528

Walk km 3353-3355: Robson/Nicola/Nelson/Bidwell/Davie
Walk km 3355-3358: out to eat & to the library

central library
aprox km 3356 Homer Street

Diet: -3 1/2 (46 1/2 to go) only a short walk this morning

Book #263: Prosecution Of George W Bush For Murder(2008,Vincent Bugliosi)

Well, I hate mass-murderer George Bush just as much as the next guy but this Bugliosi guy just ain't much of a writer. First off, he repeats himself endlessly - this could have easily been compressed down to half as many pages without losing any information. And nobody likes a fellow who toots his own horn - there's a lot of tooting going on here.
Information error: it wasn't just Americans who died on 9/11. There were citizens of many different nations in the World Trade Center that day.
Moral problem: he commends the American military early in the book even when quotes he furnishes show that these soldiers went to war to earn money. Killing people for a monetary reward in not morally correct. Also, once it was confirmed that George Bush had lied and there was no reason to be fighting the Iraqis, the armed forces should have dropped their weapons and apologized for what they had done. To continue killing Iraqis after you know that the only reason to do it is because George Bush wants you to is morally wrong.
There is an interesting fact in this book: 90% of the miltary still believed that Iraq was connected to 9/11 even after the news came out that George Bush was lying. Are military personnel that stupid or is news censored in the U.S. armed forces? Mr Bugliosi doesn't say.
Later in the book Mr Bugliosi turns against some of the armed forces (the ones who said that killing Iraqis was fun). For reasons why all U.S. armed forces should be condemned, please see "Universal Soldier" by Buffy Ste-Marie.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Day #21,527

Walk km 3339-3342: going out to eat & run errands
Walk km 3342-3353: Science World to english Bay (and return) with meetup group

Vancouver's very own BOOK*OFF store
(for picture of Tokyo BOOK*OFF see day #21,319)
aprox km 3341 Hornby Street

Diet: -4 (46 to go)

Movie #1144: Psychomania(1973, Don Sharp)

An English take on the biker flick. They add a bunch of hocus pocus including witchcraft, spells, fog machines, graveyards etc that undermine any attempt by this movie to be shocking like its American cousins. However, there is a bit of humour here as the living dead bikers kill people and mess with thir shopping.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Day #21,526

Walk km 3329-3336: Smithe/Mainland/(skytrain)/49th/Tisdall/51st/Tisdall/52nd/E Blvd/57th/Angus/E Blvd/64th/French/72nd/Granville
Walk km 3336-3339: going out to eat

a tree
aprox km 3332 52nd Ave

Diet: -4 (46 to go)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day #21,525

Walk km 3321-3327: Robson/(skytrain)/49th/Manitoba/37th/Mackie/39th/Columbia/46th/Fraser/49th
Walk km 3327-3329: out to eat

at Tim Horton's
aprox km 3328 Alberni Street

Diet: -3 (47 to go) huh?

Movie #1143: Middle Of The Night(Delbert Mann, 1959)

I used to like movies that "moved", not the ones where people just sat around blabbering about god knows what. Now, that's all changed. Give me a nice ensemble cast chewin' the fat any day. That's what we've got here. The entire cast seems to have severe emotional problems and they spend the whole time just spilling their guts out to one another. Neat. Especially liked Fredric March whom I never did like in his 1930s movies but add a bunch of wrinkles and remove some of his hair and he can really chew up the scenery.

Today's Music: the new soul/funk, better than the old soul/funk?