Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day #21,469

Walk km 2937-2940: downtown to look for Internet
Walk km 2940-2949: Kings, St Kilda, Commercial, Punt and Yarra River walking path

view from my hotel window (dusk)
9th floor Crown Promenade Hotel

view from my hotel window (night)
9th floor Crown Promenade Hotel

Monday, September 28, 2009

Day #21,468

Walk km 2930-2937: to corner of Flinders & Queensbridge (and return)

park walkway
aprox km 2937 Darling Square

Walk km 2925-2930: Hoddle,Bridge Rd,Burnley,Victoria,Hoddle

street scene
aprox km 2927 Bridge Road

Movie #1090: The Gay Desperado (Rouben Mamoulien, 1936)

Even farther back into the career of Ida Lupino. This one is a musical for someone named Nino Martini whom I've never heard of. Actually the songs aren't too bad at all. However, as with all musicals, there is a problem: how to build a script so that the cast breaks out in song every 10 minutes. The plot cannot recover from this and the songs aren't good enough to salvage the movie by themselves. Ida though is quite good in a limited role.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Day #21,467

Walk km 2914-2925: south on Hoddle St to Hoddle Bridge, along river walk to Crown Casino, back via Flinders Lane and George St; then to McDonald's to check internet but still down

river walking path and Morell bridge
aprox km 2917 Yarra River, Melbourne

park path with trees
aprox km 2920 Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne

Movie#1087: Nuan Chun(2003, Wulan Tana)
Simple tearjerker about an orphan girl. However, the little girl who has the lead role is so forlorn looking that you can't help but be caught up in the story. Bring your hankie!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Day #21,466

Walk km 2904-2907: Walk to McDonalds to try and find internet (no luck)
Walk km 2907-2914: downtown to do some shopping

horses for tourists
aprox km 2910 Swanston St, Melbourne

Movie #1085: Bedtime Story(1941, Alexander Hall)
screwball comedy with Loretta Young who just isn't the screwball type, further weighed down by leaky plot - still has its enjoyable moments

Movie #1086: 56 Rue Pigalle(1949, Willy Rozier)
How in the world did this find its way into the $5 bin at a Melbourne discount store? Run-of-the-mill French movie with no known stars or director. Interesting to see a normal example of French cinema instead of the steady stream of "classics" that we're fed. The only distinguishing feature of this feature is that the director fought a duel (with swords) with a film critic over his review. The duel is an added bonus with the DVD.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Day #21,464

Today, no walking, just flying

checking the departure board
Changi Airport, Singapore

Book #259: Never End (2000, Ake Edwardson)
Further proof that everyone in Sweden writes crime fiction. This is another Mankell type with the lead detectives having all kinds of personal problems. But this is not Mankell, not even close.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Day #21,463

Walk km 2891-2895: a walk in the park (east of Chinatown)
Walk km 2895-2900: to Jalan Sungai Piok and return

bottom of the pagoda: KFC garbage
aprox km 2894 park east of Chinatown, Kuching

top of the pagoda: artwork
aprox km 2894 park east of Chinatown, Kuching

Day #21,462

Walk 2884-2887: from Beds Guesthouse to the end of the river walk and return
Walk 2887-2891: same as above but at night

walkway along the river
aprox km 2885 Sarawak River, Kuching

a couple of kuchings (cats)
aprox km 2884 Jalan Padungen, Kuching

Monday, September 21, 2009

Day #21,461

Walk km 2876-2884: to the KLCC via Hang Tueh/Sultan Ismail and back by Ramlee/Raja Chulen

where regular folks shop
aprox km 2883 downtown Kuala Lumpur

where rich folks shop
aprox km 2881 KLCC shopping centre

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Day #21,460

Walk km 2867-2873: Out to Jalan Dewan Sultan Suliaman and return
Walk km 2873-2876: around Chinatown and to Maharajiaela Monorail Station

someone's back (front?) yard
aprox km 2870 Jalan Dewan Sultan Suliaman

Kuan Yin Temple
aprox km 2875 corner Petaling & Maharajiaela

night scene
aprox km 2874 Lorong Petaling

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Day #21,459

Walk km 2856-2860: out to Jalan Hang Tuah and back
Walk km 2860-2867: somewhere to the north-west of downtown KL (I was lost)

Malaysia is #1 sign
aprox km 2863 somewhere in KL (I was lost)

Awas! sidewalk potholes
aprox km 2864 somwhere in KL (I was lost)

Movie #1084: Oldboy(Chan-wook Park, 2003)

What we have here is a intricately plotted mystery executed in fine style. But can a plot itself make a great movie (it is ratred 83 by IMDB)? I don't think so. Although I enjoyed the movie I never really cared about any of the characters. It's just Agatha Christie for Gen X.

Day #21,458

Walk km 2851-2856: UO Superstore to the corner of Raja Laut & Sultan Ismail (and return)

just a facade
aprox km 2852 Jalan Taunku Abdul Rahman

aprox km 2852 (how can someone have such a large stomach after walking 2852 km?) Jalan Raja Laut

Movie #1083: A Frightful School Horror(Makato Yamaguchi, 2001)

This is one of those movies I like to watch to the end just so I can say that I did it: I watched the world's worst movie all the way through. This is some home movie type filming with a 10 second loop of "scary music" repeated over and over and over and over and over and over and over........
Unfortunately the DVD crashed and I never got to the end but it doesn't matter - there wasn't going to be an ending to this one because there was no plot.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Day #21,457

Walk km 2838-2845: Petaling/Tan Ten Cheng Lock/Pudu/Bukit Bintang/Sultan Ismail/Raja Chulan/Pinang/Ramlee/and a bunch more
Walk km 2845-2851: Hotel Chinatown 2 to KL Sentral station and return

McDonalds holds up the train tracks
aprox km 2840 Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur

aprox km 2842 KLCC Shopping Center

Movie #1082: Lawless Street(1955, Joseph H Lewis)

Here's an interesting one. It was made in 1955 just before Randolph Scott settled on Budd Boetticher as him pretty much permanent director. Which kinda begs the question of why the job didn't go to Mr Lewis who does a bang up job here. Of course if that would have happened then we probably wouldn't have had a "Terror In A Texas Town". Could you imagine Randolph Scott playing George Hansen?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day #21,456

Book #258: City Of Thieves(David Benioff,2008)

This is old time storytelling with the emphasis on building a tall tale. Nothing earth shattering but a nice page turner that doesn't insult the reader. Or did all this really happen to David Benioff's grandfather?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day #21,455

Walk km 2830-2838: from Hangang University along riverbank, up to Yaksu station, over to Route 60 and then to Eujiro Co-Op Residence

bridge along Route 60
aprox km 2831 Seoul

plants on the roof
aprox km 2835 Seoul

Movie re-watched: Terror In A Texas Town(Joseph H Lewis, 1958)

I first saw this one on TV when I was in London. I remembered liking it but not this much! Sterling Hayden has a field day as the Swedish sailor with his harpoon. Ned Young (whom I've never heard of before) is nifty as the over-the-hill gunfighter. Great music by Gerald Fried (especially that trumpet stuff). And best of all, director Joseph H Lewis. Did this win the academy award for best picture in 1958? No! They otta be ashamed.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day #21,454

Walk km 2821-2827: Shopping, two Migliore stores, underground malls and Lotte Mart
Walk km 2827-2830: Shopping, Dongdaemun Stadium station to Gwanghwamun station

aprox km 2830 near Jonggak station

Movie #1081: The Impatient Years(1944, Irving Cummings)

Very whimsical movie about a couple being forced to recreate their courtship as a court ordered requirement before being granted a divorce. I hate whimsy! But, Jean Arthur is in it so it's watchable.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Day #21,453

Walk km 2814-2821: waterfront and streets of Mokpo Korea

market street
aprox km 2819 Mokpo Korea

dilapidated boat
aprox km 2816 Mokpo Korea

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Wonju (South Korea)

Day #21,452
Walk km 2802-2805: from Jongno-5 Metro Station to Cheongnyangni Rail Station
Walk km 2805-2814: various streets in Wonju plus walk along riverside

the charming Suna (with her bicycle)
aprox km 2813 Wonju Korea

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Day #21,451

Walk km 2794-2799: various streets of Iksan Korea
Walk km 2799-2802: Yongsan train station to Sookmyung Women's University metro station

7-11 with outdoor seating
aprox km 2796 Iksan Korea

shop fulla junk
aprox km 2798 Iksan Korea

rice paddy & hilltop
km 2802 from Iksan to Yongsan train (probably near Nosan)

Movie #1080: Nae Maeumui Punggeum (1999, Young-Jae Lee)

It took awhile tracking this one down. Nostalgia trip about early sixties school days with much romance budding and being crushed. One high point: when he learns that the woman he is crazy about is actually engaged and about to leave for America to get married, the young schoolteacher gets drunk, goes home and turns on his stereo. The record he puts on? "I Went To Your Wedding"! It's the Patti Page version and not the Hadda Brooks but that's OK by me.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Day #21,450

Walk km 2787-2790: Uljiro Co-Op Residence to Kyobo Book Centre
Walk km 2790-2794: Uljiro Co-Op Residence to LotteMart

Teenie Weenie Store
aprox km 2792 on the way to LotteMart

I have now developed two blisters on my right foot. This may slow me down.

Book #257: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo(2004, Steig Larsson)

It appears the writing of crime novels has become quite the cottage industry in Sweden. It doesn't seem so long ago that I was reading all those Wahloo & Sjowall stories. Unlike other Swedish crime novelists, Mr Larsson seems to be mainly concerned with plot (or "was" as it appears he actually died before any of his novels were published). There is nobody here to match Walander from the Henning Mankell novels but it's a decent try with one of the main characters named Salander. But the plot is the main thing here and Larsson gets you turning the pages at a furious rate. There is a traditional crime story (murder, rape and the rest) and a financial crime story (swindling, foreign bank accounts etc). The odd thing is that Larsson has chosen to solve the traditional crime story first and then finish the novel with the outcome of the financial crime story. I think a lot of people were finding those last 100 pages a bit of a letdown.

Movie #1079: The Whip Hand (1951, William Cameron Menzies)

Don't get me wrong: this is a disgusting movie - but I loved it! This is another "red scare" movie along the lines of the recently viewed "Five Steps To Danger". In this one a fellow takes a little vacation in Minnesota to do some fishing. And he stumbles across the oddest town. Everyone acts weird and trys to get him out of town. Once he decides to go, they won't let him leave! It's a great Twilight Zone type story but the filmmakers have decided to ruin the whole plot by giving away the secret even before the story begins. They explain that these seemingly crazy people are all Commies and they are there to do the bidding of Moscow. I believe they gave away the plot because they wanted everyone in the theatre to be totally disgusted with these Commies for the full 90 minutes and not just at the end. The reason this movie was made was to spread propaganda - not to entertain. And then we get to the lead actor, Elliott Reid, as the all-american fellow who discovers this fiendish plot: has there ever been a more annoying character in all of filmdom? Compare him to the spiffy Commie innkeeper as portrayed by Raymond Burr and you'll soon be cheering for the Commies. Beautifully filmed by Mr Menzies and with a plot that only Joe McCarthy could love. I thought it was great except the finale where the nauseating hero wins out over the Commies (but I saw that coming!).

Day #21,449

Walk km 2780-2784: various streets in Daejeon Korea
Walk km 2784-2787: various streets in Cheonan Korea

shopping street too early for shoppers
aprox km 2782 Daejeon Korea

old buildings with sign
aprox km 2785 Cheonan Korea

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Day #21,448

Walk km 2770-2777: 32 Uljiro 6-ga to Taepyeongno and Bukchang via Cheonggyecheonno and back via many unknown streets
Walk km 2777-2780: Shopping in clothing and food areas in back alleys and unknown streets

pedestrian shopping street
aprox km 2774 somewhere in Myeong-dong area

Movie #1078: Whirlpool(1934, Roy William Neill)

This one was recorded for the same reason as yesterday's "The Lady And The Mob": to fill a spot on an actress' filmography. Yesterday it was Ida Lupino and with this one it's Jean Arthur. This movie isn't quite the stinker that yesterday's one was but the big difference is that Ida Lupino ain't no Jean Arthur. Ms Arthur does make this one watchable all by herself. Like the saying goes, I'd pay to watch Jean Arthur read from the telephone book.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Day #21,447

Walk km 2757-2760: 32 Uljiro 6-ga to Jongno3 Station (I think)and return
Walk km 2760-2768: 32 Uljiro 6-ga to Seoul Station and return via Toegyero, Hullyeonwonno, Namdaemunno, Chungmuro, Mareunnaegil and other unknown streets.
Walk km 2768-2770: 32 Uljiro 6-ga to and around Cheonggyyecheonno area

Route 60 at 4 AM
aprox km 2758 Seoul Korea

Movie #1077: The Lady and The Mob (1939, Benjamin Stoloff)

I guess Columbia thought it couldn't miss: little old lady takes on mob. It missed - way wide. Ain't nothing funny in this comedy. I recorded it because Ms Ida Lupino appears herein. A 100 Ida Lupinos couldn't save this one.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Day #21,445

Walk km 2750-2757: Smithe/Howe/Nelson/Cambie bridge/(sky train)/River Rd/#3 Rd/Browngate/Hazelbridge/Empire Centre/#3 Rd/(sky train)/Georgia/Burrard

Empire Centre
aprox km 2757 near #3 Road, Richmond

Movie #1076: Bride Of The Gorilla(1951, Curt Siodmak)

It was a long wait for Curt. Curt's first directorial effort was in 1930 with his brother Robert. Robert was already a well established Hollywood director before Curt got a chance to direct his first Hollywood film. And this was his first film: "Bride Of The Gorilla". Poor Curt. I guess the direction is OK but who could do anything with this stupid script? The scriptwriter: Curt.
Raymond Burr kinda turns into a gorilla, but only offscreen so that he can continue with the plot without giving away his ghastly secret - and I'm sure it saved a lot on special effects too.