Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day #21.742

Walk km 4912-4913: to SunLife
Walk km 4913-4927: to Main @ 24th, with Meetup group to Queen Elizabeth park then home

aprox km 4921 Quebec St

Movie #1316 (#137 this year): 2 O'Clock Courage(1945, Anthony Mann)

Another movie from the early career of Anthony Mann. This is another stinker. A comedy/mystery where the plot is nonsense and the comedy is cornball. Even the great directors have to start somewhere.

Day #21,741

Walk km 4910-4912: to the library

Movie #1315 (#136 this year): Tricheurs (1984, Barbet Schroeder)

I can't help liking a movie about compulsive gamblers but........... why make the plot so stupid?
They cheat at roulette: by blowing smoke in the croupier's face! Sure, that would work!
Then they pay $30,000 for a remote controlled roulette ball but they don't even bother practising with it before betting all their money. Why didn't they try and make the plot even a little bit plausible? Beats me.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Day #21,740

Walk km 4903-4905: to the library
Walk km 4905-4910: Thurlow/seawalk/Devonian Harbour park/Georgia/Denman/Haro

park bench with yellow flowers
aprox km 4908 devonian Harbour Park

Movie #1314 (#135 this year): L'Avocat De La Terreur(2007, Barbet Schroeder)

Documentary about lawyer Jacques Verges. First shown as a defender of revolutionaries in Algeria: commited to helping poor oppressed people everywhere. But soon the story shifts and Verges begins to act on behalf of anyone who will give him money. He is now old and wealthy. Or that's how the story goes.... of course this is a story of shady deals and who knows where the real truth is to be found. But the scenes of Verges being interviewed in his opulent house puffing on a big cigar may be a clue.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day #21,739

Walk km 4896-4898: to the restaurant
Walk km 4898-4903: Burrard/Georgia/Main/seawalk/Spyglass

who's hiding in that tree stump?
aprox km 4901 False Creek by Science World

Movie #1313 (#134 this year): Au Coeur Du Mensonge(1999, Claude Chabrol)

Claude has this almost down to an art form. "this" would be continuing the Hitchcock legacy. It's almost as if Hitchcock never died.... he just changed his name to Chabrol.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day #21,738

Walk km 4888-4890: to the library
Walk km 4890-4896: Robson/Denman/seawalk/Hornby/Davie/Bute/Thurlow

Nelson Park
aprox km 4895 between Thurlow & Bute

Movie #1311 (#132 this year): Une Aventure De Billy Le Kid(1971, Luc Moullet)

What we have here is a fake western. It's silly. No, not weird or surreal. Just silly. Is Luc Moullet a pseudonym for Benny Hill?

Movie #1312 (#133 this year): Les Contrebandieres(1968, Luc Moullet)

two smugglers take a break from their endless trek to smoke some marijuana and drop some acid

More silliness from our friend Luc. This one is better because it seems to veer more towards weird than straight silly. The fact that it was made in black and white may have helped. As with "Billy Le Kid" there are endless scenes of people hiking over forbiding landscapes for little or no reason.

Day #21,737

Walk km 4880-4888: to Science World via Edgewater Casino and back via Granville bridge

Movie #1310 (#131 this year): Winchester 73(1950, Anthony Mann)

Here's where the switch was made. Anthony Mann was the master of the film noir but now he was going to make westerns. It's also his first film with Jimmy Stewart. They would go on to make a long string of classic westerns during the 50s.
In this one, the old west actually looks like the old west. And there's plenty to think about in the screenplay besides just shootem ups. Stewart is great and Millard Mitchell (so good in Thieves Highway) is a standout as Stewart's best friend. But, casting Rock Hudson as an Indian chief? Heap big mistake!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day #21,736

Walk km 4871-4880: Thurlow/Cordova/seawalk/Stanley park/seawall/Stanley park/Alberni/Denman

the seawall
aprox km 4876 Stanley Park

Movie Re-watch (#130 this year): Clash By Night(1952, Fritz Lang)

Stanwyck is having second thoughts about "milk toast" husband Douglas

The mating habits of humans. Paul Douglas is Mr Nice Guy. Robert Ryan is Mr Cad. Barbara Stanwyck is Ms Cad. She marries Douglas (because he begs her to) but she's got the hots for Ryan. What to do? Have an affair with Ryan while living with Douglas of course!
Meanwhile there's Keith Andes (nice enough but with plenty of gumption too) and Marilyn Monroe (a younger version of Barbara Stanwyck). They're engaged and their marriage will last because Andes has both of the qualities that a woman looks for in a man.
In the end, Stanwyck returns to Douglas. It helps that he tries to strangle Ryan but the real reason: she's just getting old.
I don't think this movie would go over very well with today's liberated audience. However, I don't think human nature has changed that much in the last 50 years.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day #21,735

Walk km 4861-4871: Burrard Station to Yaletown Station and Oakridge Station to 29th Ave Station

Movie #1309 (#129 this year): The Old Man And The Sea(1958, John Sturges)

Here's another one where I'd read the book long before I saw the movie. I think I was only 12 or 13 years old when I read this. I remembered him reading the baseball scores in the newspaper but my memory as to who won, man or fish, was faulty. I thought the fish pulled him so far out that he never got back. Nice to see that he made it back this time!
The problem with this movie in that I never actually believe that Spencer Tracy is trying to catch a fish. It looks more like he's acting in front of a fish that's on a projection screen. But, it's still fun.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day #21,734

Walk km 4854-4861: Robson/Denman/Alberni/Stanley park/seawall/Denman/Comox/Bidwell/Nelson/Nicola/Robson

former trees
aprox km 4857 Stanley Park

Movie #1307 (#127 this year):
Factotum(2005, Bent Hamer)

Another movie based on the stories of Charles Bukowski. Another one that doesn't ring true. Those stories described a rather extreme lifestyle which must be rather difficult to put on screen. Also, since I've read them and can see them in my own mind's eye, I'm here to say: that's not what it looks like at all!

Movie #1308 (#128 this year): Cash McCall(1960, Joseph Pevney)

Natalie Wood

When I was a kid they showed these type of movies at the local theatre all the time. Light and breezy romantic comedies. Usually starring the likes of Rock Hudson and/or Doris Day. This one is just a bit diffferent. It was made in 1960 which means that it's an early example of this movie type. And they got something wrong. The whole concept here is light and breezy so there should be no tragic characters. The Nina Foch character is totally out of place.
That's the main problem but another one is Natalie Wood. Ms Wood may be miscast: she is no Doris Day. And by the looks of her big dramatic scene at the end, she's not much of a dramatic actress either.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Day #21,733

Walk km 4844-4848: to Zulu Records
Walk km 4848-4854: Robson/Cambie bridge/Cambie/Charleson park/seawalk/1st/Arbutus

abandoned streetcar
aprox km 4851 between 2nd and Moberley

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Day #21,732

Walk km 4839-4842: to the library
Walk km 4842-4844: to HMV and Tim Horton's

Movie #1305 (#125 this year): Vice Squad(1953, Arnold Laven)

A film noir with Edward G Robinson. Need I say more? No, but there actually is more. Well directed, well scripted, this one made for a fun Sunday afternnon as Eddie goes through a day-in-the-life routine of a police captain. All kinds of oddball characters are trotted out for inspection. A field day for character actors. Lotsa fun.

Movie #1306 (#126 this year): The Mouthpiece(1932, Elliott Nugent & James Flood)

It was like deja vu all over again. I just saw this one a while back as Illegal starring Edward G Robinson. A prosecuting attorney is so shaken by sending an innocent man to the gallows that he switches sides and become a defense attorney for the mob. The difference is that in this one (pre-code) the attorney gets straightened out when the "jailbait" he's chasing gives him a piece of her mind. I don't remember Edward G Robinson chasing jailbait!
Another plus for this picture is Aline McMahon as the lawyer's wisecracking secretary. The female lead (Sidney Fox) committed suicide in 1943 after her acting career fell apart.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day #21,731

Walk km 4837-4839: City Center station to Denman @ Pendrell

Westjet plane
McCarran Airport

Movie #1304 (#124 this year): The Badlanders(1958, Delmer Daves)

I haven't watched a movie in 17 days because my laptop's DVD player went on the fritz. So, almost any movie should look good after such a dry spell. Well, sad to say, "The Badlanders" is quite a letdown. Alan Ladd and Ernest Borgnine try to steal gold by stealing ore from a mine shaft. Ho hum.
Delmer Daves had directed "3:10 to Yuma" just the year before which makes it that much more of a disappointment.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Day #21,730

Walk km 4831-4837: downtown to Binion's

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Day #21,729

Walk km 4819-4831: Maryland/(bus)/Bonneville/13th/Maryland/Bonanza/Veterans Memorial/Casino Center/Fremont/Main/Carson/1st/Bridger/3rd/Carson/Las Vegas Blvd/Stewart/3rd/Fremont/Bridger/10th/Bonneville/Maryland

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Day #21,728

Walk km 4808-4813: to the Paradise Buffet at the Fremont Casino

Walk km 4813-4819: Maryland/Twain/Spencer/Tropicana/Maryland

Liberace Museum at the Liberace Center
aprox km 4817 Tropicana & Spencer

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day #21,727

Walk km 4806-4808: to Albertson's and back

Book #298 (#22 this year): Mediated(2005, Thomas De Zengotita)

Man, this book is full of it...... ideas that is. Thomas has all kinds of ideas but all things media: from Harry Potter to the 9/11 coverage. And not only is each page packed to the gills with ideas but Thomas is also an excellent writer. Are the ideas any good? Heck if I know. I've got to get this book back to the library on time so I have no time to stop and ponder all this stuff. But you can tell that Thomas has been doin' a whole heap of ponderin'. A fun read.

Day #21,726

Walk km 4793-4806: to the Rio and back

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Day #21,725

Walk km 4781-4783: to Albertson's and back
Walk km 4783-4787: Maryland/Sunrise hospital/Golden Arrow/Eastern/Palora/Gala/Capistrano/Berman/Palma Vista/Talbot/Palora/El Cajon/Capistrano/La Canada/Vegas Valley
Walk km 4787-4793: Maryland/Vegas Valley/Casa Vegas/Serenada/Iglesia/Palora/Playa Del Rey/Coronado/Meteoro/Del Mar/Karen/Burnham/Sahara/Maryland

Ford F100
aprox km 4785 Capistrano Ave

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Day #21,724

Walk km 4769-4781: Maryland/Desert Inn/Cambridge/Sierra Vista/Swenson/Twain/Palo Verde/Flamingo/Rio resort/Twain/(bus)/Sahara/(bus)/Maryland

Friday, June 11, 2010

Day #21,723

Walk km 4759-4769: to the Golden Nugget and back

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day #21,722

Walk km 4749-4753: to Vons and back

Walk km 4753-4759: Ogden/Casino Center/Fremont/6th/Chef Andre Rochet/7th/Francis/Jessica/Maryland

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day #21,720

Walk km 4745-4749: Maryland/Vegas Valley/McLeod/(bus)/Maryland

Homestead Studio Suites (where I'm staying)
km 4749 Maryland Parkway

Monday, June 7, 2010

Day #21,719

Binions Casino
Fremont Street

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Day #21,718

Walk km 4738-4745: Maryland/Sierra Vista/Cambridge/Cottage Grove/unnamed streets(UNLV)/Harmon/(bus)/Bruce/Karen/Malibu/Laguna/Topanga/Corona/La Canada/Vegas Valley/Maryland

Sunday morning street scene
aprox km 4743 Topanga Street

Book #297 (#21 this year): Money Shot(2008, Christa Faust)

I read plenty of books written by women but I normally shy away from their crime novels. I think it's the Agatha Christie syndrome. I imagine they're all about people just tickled pink that Aunt Edna was found dead in the pantry. Why? So they can scour the garden looking for that bent matchstick that will reveal the murderer's true identity. And looking at the rows of mysteries in my local library with all those cutesy titles I don't think I'm too far wrong. The only exception I can think of would be Dorothy B Hughes. I've read a few of hers and they were terrific.
So, looking over reading material for my Vegas vacation, I spotted a Hard Case edition written by a woman: Christa Faust. Worth a try.
Well, I hate to complain but I think Christa has maybe gone a bit too far in the other direction here. Sure, there are dead bodies to be found but these are all bloody and beaten and nobody is bothering looking for bent matchsticks. They've got more important things to do: run up the body count.
Christa's a good writer and the whole thing makes for an exciting read but where's the hero/heroine? No white or black here: just various shades of evil.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Day #21,717

Walk km 4736-4738: walking downtown

Friday, June 4, 2010

Day #21,716

Walk km 4726-4729: to Vons and back

Walk km 4729-4736: Ogden/Fremont/Casino Centre/Gass/Las Vegas Blvd/Park Paseo/6th/Franklin/Maryland

Day #21,715

airplane wing
somewhere near Canada/USA border

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Day #21,714

Walk km 4719-4726: Burrard/seawalk/Spyglass

even more globes
aprox km 4723 seawalk along False Creek

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Day #21,713

Walk km 4715-4719: running errands

Book #296 (#20 this year): Snow Falling In Spring(2008, Moying Li)

I needed a quick read before leaving for Vegas and found this short autobiographical book about living through the Cultural Revolution. I'm afraid there is no major suffering going on here. Moying keeps everything light and breezy.
May I recommend:
Red Flower Of China (Zhai Zhenhua): from a Red Guard's perspective
Life And Death In Shanghai (Nien Cheng): from a rich person's perspective
Red China Blues (Jan Wong): from a Westerner's perspective

Movie #1303 (#123 this year): Right Cross(1950, John Sturges)

Fairly crappy boxing flick. The fight scenes are good but the script uses that old trick where the good guy lies to people because he thinks it'll be easier on them when really...... well, I'm sure you've seen it many times before yourself.