Friday, April 30, 2010

Kitsilano Beach

Day #21,681
Walk km 4441-4453: Science World to Kitsilano Beach (and return) with the Meetup walking group

Meetup group (and friends)
aprox km 4447 Kitsilano Beach

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Day #21,680

Walk km 4433-4441: 13th/Dunbar/Cameron/Alma/1st/Balaclava/2nd/Bayswater/Pt Grey/MacDonald

overgrown lawns
aprox km 4436 13th Ave

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Day #21,679

Walk km 4424-4433: Smithe/Seymour/Helmcken/Mainland/(skytrain)/Broadway/Woodland/6th/Cassair/Broadway/Rupert

Galaxie 500
aprox km 4430 6th Ave

Movie #1280 (#99 this year): Party Girl(1958, Nicholas Ray)

Even the great ones can't hit a home run every time. This is the guy who made "On Dangerous Ground"! Well, I guess he was well paid.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day #21,678

Walk km 4415-4420: Smithe/seawalk/Quebec/National/Main/Terminal/Western/Industrial/Station/Southern/Western/Central/Station/Northern/Western/Terminal/(skytrain)/Georgia/Howe/Robson
Walk km 4420-4424: Haro/Thurlow/Canada Place/(skytrain)/Terminal/Scotia/Thornton/Evans/Begg/Terminal/Clark

rail yards
aprox km 4424 Terminal ave

Movie #1279 (#98 this year): Too Late For Tears(1949,Byron Haskin)

Found another way to catch up on old movies: VEOH. The picture quality looks better than Internet Archives (going by this movie) but the image did freeze a few times.
This here movie is a corker! Lizabeth Scott is a mild mannered housewife who goes crazy when she gets a whiff of money. She leaves quite a trail of destruction in her pursuit of it. Screenplay is an early effort by Roy "The Rockford Files" Huggins.
And there was never a more inappropriate movie poster. Liz didn't take no guff in this movie, she was too busy dishing it out. The men never knew what hit 'em.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Day #21,677

Walk km 4409-4412: running errands
Walk km 4412-4415: Smithe/Howe/Nelson/Cambie/Expo/Abbott/Pender

Movie #1278 (#97 this year): On Borrowed Time(1939, Harold S Bucquet)

Right after finishing The God Delusion yesterday, here's a religious movie to watch. I don't think Richard Dawkins thought religion was much good for anything. Well, it sure was a godsend for Hollywood in the late 30s/early 40s. They were using the plot device of mixing Heavenly characters in with earthly folk quite a bit. Besides this one, I've seen It's A Wonderful Life(1946), Here Comes Mr Jordan(1941) and Angel On My Shoulder(1946). And it tended to work quite well: mixing in strange Biblical prophesy with the mere mortals gave all of these pictures a weird sci-fi vibe.
In this one, the climatic scene is a little boy being led to his death by our visitor from Heaven. And that's a happy ending!

Day #21,676

Walk km 4401-4409: Smithe/Granville/Drake/seawalk/(skytrain)/8th/Rupert

enough flowers, here's some green stuff
aprox km 4407 8th Avenue

Movie #1277 (#96 this year): The Rebel Rousers(1970, Martin B Cohen)

There's plenty wrong with this picture. First, they add lots of background noise (or music at quiet locations) so that the dialogue is almost impossible to understand. Secondly, after seeing Hell's Angels 69 last night, this motley crew of Hollywood B-actors look nothing like a real motorcycle gang. Inept in every aspect of film making.

Book #291 (#15 this year): The God Delusion (2006, Richard Dawkins)

Excellent book about atheism. Author goes point-by point through a long list of beliefs and disbeliefs. I found myself pretty much in agreement with what is written except:
Why doesn't the author know "why people are religious?". He also wonders why people can be terrorists for religion and he gets that right. Can't a reason that causes people to blow themselves to bits also be capable of getting them to church on Sunday. When I was a kid, I'd listen to the late night evangelists on the radio. They knew the answer! They wouldn't preach very long before they'd ask for money. And the line they used: send me money or you die. Very simple. You wanna go to heaven, you'd better fork over the dough. Now, I figured these guys were professionals. They made their living by doing this stuff. They must know what would motivate people to send in their money. I still figure they had it right.
When he was talking about religious terrorists he mentioned that there were also non-religious terrorists ready to kill themselves. Example: Japanese kamikaze pilots during WWII. However, I have read that the Japanese had trouble recruiting kamikaze pilots. They had to recruit buddhists. Buddhists had a heaven in their religion and so they were the only ones willing to commit suicide. I assume Shinto has no heaven. Of course, you can't always believe what you read.
Then there's the part about abortion. He thought that it's probably OK to abort while the embryo has no feelings but not after. However, I look on murder as theft. It's the theft of a person's memory (made an even worse crime because the thief can't use those memories). Therefore I think that an embryo shouldn't be aborted once it has a memory. When the heck is that?
Then there's the part about the survey done with Israeli children. They gave half the Biblical story of Joshua and half the same story but with all references to people/places changed to Chinese/China. Most of the children agreed that genocide in the Bible was "good" but genocide in China was "bad". The amazing thing is that they knew the reason: if God left any of those people alive they might corrupt the Jews and get them to worship false gods. I read that part of the Bible but I didn't get that idea. Those kids must have got that from their parents. If true, God sure didn't have much faith in his own religion.
Anyway, you get the picture. Oodles of stuff in here to get a person thinking whether you agree or disagree with the author's position.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Day #21,675

Walk km 4389-4401: around Stanley Park (by seawall) with the Meetup group.

Meetup members
aprox km 4394 Stanley Park

Movie #1276 (#95 this year): Hell's Angels '69 (1969, Lee Madden)

Impressive biker flick. There are a few actors in here but the rest of the roles are played by actual members of the Hell's Angels. And the plot to rob a Vegas casino helps too. Great scenery during the long drawn out bike chase through the desert. Kinda like a biker western.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Day #21,674

Walk km 4383-4389: Smithe/Richards/Nelson/Pacific/seawalk/Quebec/1st/park/seawalk/Spyglass/under Cambie bridge

Movie #1274 (#93 this year): The Gun Runners(1958, Don Siegel)

Run-of-the-mill B-movie from Don Siegel. Don was a veteran B-movie director who still had 13 years more to wait until he teamed up with Clint Eastwood for "Dirty Harry".
This was no Dirty Harry and Audie Murphy was no Clint Eastwood.

Movie #1275 (#94 this year): Arson Inc(1949, William Berke)

Kim Fowley's father

I enjoyed watching this picture but I'm not sure why. It was an absolutely horrible copy from the Internet Archives. The picture was so bad that it was more black & shiny rather than black & white. It could have given the picture a unique look that made it stand out from the other flix of its ilk. However, there were a number of goofy touches (like the final scene of granny trying to see into the locked room) that could have made the difference.
Kim Fowley's dad plays the bad guy.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day #21,673

Walk km 4375-4383: Joyce/Price/Rupert/8th/Harmon/5th/Skeena/2nd/Cassair/1st/Nootka/Pender/Renfrew

Akali Singh Sikh Society
aprox km 4379 Skeena Street

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day #21,672

Walk km 4367-4375: Commercial/7th/Windemere/Hastings/Lillioot

cherry blossoms litter the sidewalk
aprox km 4370 7th Ave

Movie #1273 (#92 this year): The Amazing Mr. X (1948, Bernard Vorhaus)

This is new in the "film noir" section at the Internet Archives. Unfortunately, it's not noir at all. It's a haunted house picture. The haunted house picture isn't really my cup of tea but I have to admit that this one is very stylish.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Day #21,671

Walk km 4361-4367: Robson/Seymour/Georgia/Beatty/Pender/Jackson/Keefer/Princess/Atlantic/Heatley/Pender/Campbell/Cordova/Vernon/Franklin/Clark

GO SLOW & school bus
aprox km 4364 Princess St

Movie Rewatch (#90 this year): Manpower(1941, Raoul Walsh)

Saw this one back in the 70s and I remember enjoying it. This time, the antics of Alan Hale and his mates left me cold. The main plot concerning Robinson, Dietrich and Raft is fine but it only takes up half the picture. The rest is filled with gags by the usual WB supporting cast. It's OK for awhile but it wears on ya until you just don't want to see any more of it.

Movie #1272 (#91 this year): Two Weeks To Live(1943, Malcolm St Clair)

Here's another radio comedy duo trying out their shtick on them thar movin' pictures. The Amos & Andy I watched a while back was pretty awful but this one ain't too bad. This here is Lum & Abner, a couple of hix from the stix in the big city. Chester Lauck (who plays Lum) looks and acts just like Buddy Ebsen in The Beverly Hillbillies. Reasonably funny although it does go onto a bit longer than it should.
Originaly released by "Post Pictures" but now available on the Internet Archives.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Day #21,670

Walk km 4350-4356: running errands
Walk km 4356-4361: Smithe/Granville/Helmcken/Hamilton/(skytrain)/Broadway/Ash/1st/park/seawalk/(sktrain)/Georgia/Howe/Robson/Burrard

Vancouver Mill Machinery
aprox km 4358 1st Ave

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Day #21,669

Walk km 4343-4350: Smithe/Hamilton/(skytrain)/King Edward/Willow/24th/Laurel/23rd/Laurier/Selkirk/Matthews/Hudson/The Crescent/Tucumseh/Wolfe/15th/Hemlock/11th/Granville/Howe/Smithe

Sunday night street scene
aprox km 4344 Hamilton Street

Movie #1271 (#89 this year): Killers From Space(1954, W Lee Wilder)

The usual invaders from space try to conquer earth. No great shakes.
However, I loved the opening. There is a nice long pre-credit sequence in which the United States Air Force drops an atomic bomb on a Nevada test site. As the giant mushroom cloud sprouts up we cut to the lurid title shot: "Killers From Space". From space? After what we've just witnessed, I don't think we need to worry about killers from space!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Day #21,668

Walk km 4337-4343: 49th/Sophia/51st/Prince Edward/64th/Marine

Movie #1269 (#87 this year): The Wild Women Of Wongo(1958, James L Wolcott)

Looks like some retirees down in Florida must have had a few extra $ and so decided to make a movie. High school kids would be embarrassed to make something this inept. Of course, inept can have its charm.

Movie #1270 (#88 this year): Undercurrent(1946, Vincente Minnelli)

Quite a silly ending to an otherwise quite sensible movie.
Also, Katie Hepburn does have trouble with this role (or maybe I do) because it's impossible to imagine her being someone who is lacking confidence to the point of being ashasmed of herself. That's especially true after the early scenes which paint her as the usual self-confident person she usually plays.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Day #21,667

Walk km 4323-4337: to lunch, also Science World to Kitsalano Beach and back with Meetup group

meetup group
aprox km 4331 Kitsalano Beach

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day #21,666

Walk km 4316-4319: Burrard/seawalk/Denman/Robson
Walk km 4319-4323: Burrard/Cornwall/Walnut/Creelman/Arbutus/York/Maple

English Bay
aprox km 4320 from Burrard Bridge

Movie #1267 (#85 this year): Standing In The Shadows Of Motown(2002, Paul Justman)
I didn't even realize that all those Motown hits were done in two steps: the band lays down the backing track and then the singers come in later to add the vocals.
Interesting documentary - about what I was expecting.

Movie #1268 (#86 this year): Norman Is That You(1976, George Schlatter)

Awful. Like a 90 minute episode of a 70s sitcom. Except there ain't no "com" in this "sit".
Only recorded this one from TCM because Pearl Bailey is in it. Kinda acquired a taste for Pearl's singing of late. And wouldn't you know it: there's all kinds of crap music here (you remember the 70s don't you) but Pearlie Mae doesn't get to sing a single song.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Day #21,665

Walk km 4307-4316: 33rd/Connaught/Roxburgh/35th/railway tracks/W Ave/35th/Camosun/34th/Crown

more bloomin' flowers
aprox km 4311 35th Ave

Movie #1266 (#84 this year): Devil's Doorway(1950, Anthony Mann)

This must have been where Anthony Mann made his switch from crime dramas to westerns. It also must be one of the earliest examples of a pro-Indian Hollywood movie. Of course, to make it palatable to a white audience they had to make the main Indian character a hero of the civil war. And the white folks were mostly a bunch of real nice folk (just a few bad apples).
However, Robert Taylor as an Indian is a little hard to swallow. After this, Anthony Mann recruited James Stewart to be his lead in westerns and they churned out a whole slew of epics during the 50s. This one ain't half bad either.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Day #21,664

Walk km 4299-4301: to the library
Walk km 4301-4307: Smithe/Cambie bridge/seawalk/Whyte/Maple

aprox km 4304 False Creek (from seawalk)

Movie #1265 (#83 this year):
Forrest Gump(1994, Robert Zemeckis)

This here's a fairytale. It's a fairytale about a man who is born crippled and stupid. However, because he's "pure of heart", he overcomes all obstacles and lives a full and rewarding life. Except they couldn't really make a screenplay about that so they had to add a few cheats: he runs really fast and has great reflexes. It's actually these two things that get him through life or at least puts him in a position where his fairytale can come true. Without that, he's probably some homeless guy living on the street. Nice idea but it doesn't wash.
On further reflection: I went for a walk after watching this movie and came up with two more reasons why I didn't like this movie. And they are two things that a person who is "pure of heart" would not do:
A) go to Vietnam to kill people (here his being a simpleton comes in handy)
B) tell a lie for $25,000 (even a simpleton would know this is wrong)

Book #290 (#14 this year): Dark Genius(2008, Kerwin Swint)

Read this book to find out a bit more about FoxNews as this is about the man who runs FoxNews, Roger Ailes. There is some stuff about FoxNews here but this is not a compelling read. Roger Ailes comes across as a rather boring fellow and Kerwin Swint comes across as a fellow who doesn't really have anything much to say but manages to stretch it out for 220 pages anyway.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Day #21,663

Walk km 4286-4288: to the library
Walk km 4288-4299: Science World to English Bay and return with Meetup group

Movie #1264 (#82 this year): Gamera Vs Giron (1969, Noriaki Yuasa)

Japanese children's movie about two boys who accidentaly go to the 10th planet in a spaceship they find in the woods. There they meet two groovy chicks who want to eat their brains. However, Gamera, the giant jet-propelled turtle arrives just in time to save the day (and their brains). However, be warned, watching this movie may be hazardous to YOUR brain.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Day #21,662

Walk km 4279-4286: Dunbar/31st/Camosun/33rd/Arbutus/(bus)/Arbutus/12th/MacDonald

Movie #1263 (#81 this year): The Astral Factor(1976, John Florea)

Worst movie ever made? No, but very very close. Not only is John Florea incapable of making a decent film, he doesn't even bother trying. This is just 90 minutes of exposed film. So why was it made? It has all the earmarks of a made-for-TV film (where they just sell the commercial spots and the quality of the film is of no importance). I can't see what else it could be. This was made before VHS so it can't be a direct-to-VHS film. And it's not Canadian so it can't be one of those tax write-off films. But, there is one scene of a woman's derriere. That wouldn't be allowed on TV. Maybe it was an extra scene added in order to get foreign sales but was deleted for TV? I'm gonna have to check IMDB to find out.
Back from IMDB: Thay don't know either. Some guessed made-for-TV and one guess was tax write-off. The All Movie Guide says it was not released when it was made but became a direct-to-VHS eight years later. Did these people make this movie knowing that VHS would be invented in the future?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Day #21,661

Walk km 4271-4273: to the library (219 calories)
Walk km 4273-4279: Blenheim/Puget/19th/Valley/18th/Larch/7th/Stephens/4th/MacDonald/Pt Grey (635 calories)

wall mural
aprox km 4276 Larch Street

Movie #1262 (#80 this year): Mesa Of Lost Women (1953, Ron Ormond & Herbert Tevos)

Super goofy. Unfortunately the soundtrack composed by Hoyt Curtin is the most annoying I've ever heard. It consists of stumming on a guitar and banging on a piano. Endlessly.
This ruins what would otherwise have be a very goofy cinematic experience. Special kudos goes to Harmon Stevens for a most memorable character.

Calories: 2448

Friday, April 9, 2010

Day #21,660

Walk km 4260-4271: Science World to English Bay and return with the Meetup group (1262 calories)

km 4271 behind Science World

Calories: 2174 (7250 burnt - 5076 intake)

Movie #1260 (#78 this year): Teenagers From Outer Space(1959, Tom Graeff)

I first saw this one in a theatre in London, UK in 1981. I remember it as being quite entertaining but quite often when you see things many years later you wonder how in the world you could have enjoyed such juvenile trash. But not in this case. It's just as much fun today as it was 29 years ago. Why does IMDB rate it 32 (out of 100)?
Aliens from outer space bring lobsters to earth to graze. Seems they're too big and downright mean to raise on their own planet. But won't that endanger the humans of earth? The aliens don't care! Well, all except one alien who runs away, finds a female teen earthling to fall for and decides to fight against his own people in order to save earth (and his new girlfriend). How noble.
An added bonus is a very nice print of this. This one looks just like it must have at a drive-in in '59.

Movie #1261 (#79 this year): My Reputation(1946, Curtis Bernhardt)

I believe this is what they call a "woman's picture". No gangsters, no cowboys, no aliens from outer space. Just lots of crying. Oh, there's oodles of crying.
A chance to see another real pro at work: Barbara Stanwyck.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Day #21,659

Walk km 4246-4250: to Sunrise Market (388 calories)
Walk km 4250-4260: 29th/Lillooet/Grandview/Rupert/park/Falaise/Mataplan/Dieppe/Haida/Falaisie/Worthington/22nd/Anzio/Mons/Falaisie/Dieppe Pl & Dr/Vimy/Mataplan/Skeena/Cornnett (1060 calories)

more plants
aprox km 4255 Haida @ Malta

Calories: 1392 (Burnt: 3718 Intake: 2326)

Movie #1259 (#77 is year): A Slight Case Of Murder(1938, LLoyd Bacon)

A very slight movie. A comedy without any real laughs in it. Comedy light. But it does have Edward G Robinson - always good to watch a master at work.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Day #21.658

Walk km 4241-4246: Granville/11th/Cranberry/Salal/Yew/park/Valley/Eddington/Yew/Valley

Movie #1257 (#75 this year): Illegal(1955, Lewis Allen)

I'm not too crazy about the screenplay - seemed kind of shoddy.
However, what a beautiful print they got for this DVD. Don't get to see such a beautifully restored copy of these old b&w movies very often. Ptrobably some credit goes to the cinamatographer as well. And as a bonus it's wall-to-wall Edward G Robinson. Excellent.

Movie #1258 (#76 this year): Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas(1998, Terry Gilliam)

A couple of guys take a lot of drugs and go to Vegas. While there, they take more drugs. Then they take more drugs. Then the movie ends.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Day #21,657

Walk km 4236-4241: Smithe/Howe/(bus)/41st/Adara/Marine/(bus)/Georgia/Robson

more bloomin' plants
aprox km 4238 Adara Street

Movie #1254 (#72 this year): The Beast Of The City(1932, Charles Brabin)

the police make their entry with guns blazing
was Peckinpah the new Brabin?

I've never seen a movie directed by Mr Brabin before but I like what I see here. Walter Huston is the crusading police chief determined to take on organized crime. I'm not a Jean Harlow fan but the best part here is her repartee with Wallace Ford. Some pretty spicy stuff that got axed by the Hays Code in 1934.

Movie #1255 (#73 this year): Voyage To The Planet Of The Prehistoric Women(1968, "Derek Thomas")

Before I look at IMDB, here's my guess. These clowns bought the rights to some foreign sci-fi movie. Then they dubbed in the English dialogue but changed the plot so they could add some scenes with a scantly clad Mamie Van Doren and some other would-be Hollywood starlets. These "prehistoric women" live by the sea, wear hip huggers and use seashells for brassieres. Mamie has the largest shells. The clues: a lot of the spacemen's dialogue is voice-overed (by Peter Bogdanovich!). Another clue: the "prehistoric women" and the spacemen never appear together. Now I will go to IMDB to see if I was right. But, one thing I know that me and the folks at IMDB will agree on: this one is a turkey!
I'm back from IMDB: Right & Right! The movie was actually Russian ("Planeta Bur") and the rating at IMDB is 2 (out of 10). Also of note, not only did Peter Bogdanovich supply the voice over, he also directed the "prehistoric women" scenes.

Movie #1256 (#74 this year): Phantom From Space(1953, W Lee Wilder)

Reasonably entertaining cheapie as naked alien from outer space terrorizes Los Angeles. However, no need to shield your eyes as the naked alien is also an invisible alien. I'm sure that saved a lot of money on the production costs.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Day #21,656

Walk km 4225-4236: Science World to English Bay and return with the Meetup Group

Meetup group walking past the InukShuk
aprox km 4230 English Bay

Movie #1253 (#71 this year): Atom Age Vampire(1960,Anton Giulio Majano)

Franca Parisi

Worst movie ever made? Nope.
This copy was from the Internet Archives which guarantees poor visual quality. Also, it was dubbed into English and I cannot believe the original Italian dialogue could have been that bad. And then there's the genre: mad scientist. I may lead a very sheltered life but I gotta admit that I don't know a single mad scientist. Hard to relate.
Yes, the acting and directing is terrible but far from the all time worst.
Bonus: Sophia Loren lookalike Franca Parisi. Unfortunately, she gets killed off before the movie is half over and we're left with the plain looking Susanne Loret.