Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day #21,772

Walk km 5182-5196 (16,576 to go): to North Vancouver(over Lion's Gate bridge) with Meetup Group and then on to Lonsdale Quay
Walk km 5196-5199: to Safeway

the seawall
aprox km 5187 from Lion's Gate bridge

Movie #1336 (#157 this year): Monstrosity (Joseph V Mascelli, 1964)

Lisa Lang as the girl with a cat's brain

The worst of the horror genre: the mad scientist movie. However, it looks like they were having a good time making this one. The mad scientist is kept busy transplanting brains with goofy results: a man with a dog brain, a woman with a cat brain. Then the main villainess of our story has her brain transplanted into the cat when the mad scientist trys the old switcheroo.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day #21,771

Walk km 5180-5182: running errands
Book #303 (#27 this year): Flynn's In (1984, Gregory McDonald)

When I finished my last book I rushed back to the library without a thought as to what to borrow next. I got another Gregory McDonald because his last was light and breezy so I knew I could quickly get through it.
The trouble with whodunnits is that nobody cares whodunnit. So much of these books are filled to brimming with "clues" that are irrelevant. Greg's books suffer from this problem but he does write with a certain amount of flair.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day #21,770

Walk km 5171-5174: to Safeway & London Drugs
Walk km 5174-5180: Robson/Denman/Alberni/Lost Lagoon/Tatlow trail/seawall

two tree trunks
aprox km 5176 Tatlow trail

Movie #1335 (#156 this year): The Phantom Planet(1961, William Marshall)

Got tired of the same old TCM stuff so I dipped back into the MillCreek Sci-Fi box for another loser. It looks like "Four Crown Productions" did spend a few $ on this one as the special effects are above average for a poverty row production. Unfortunately, it all goes for naught as the script is just a bunch of mumbo jumbo. The appearance of the Zolarite late in the film does add a few chuckles. Also of note, the people of the phantom planet control their gravity machine the same way that humans control their theramins.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day #21,769

Walk km 5166-5167: to Safeway
Walk km 5167-5171: to Army & Navy

Movie #1334 (#155 this year): Maybe It's Love (1930, William A Wellman)

Joan Bennett - pre sex appeal

Pretty embarrassing for all concerned. Joan Bennett plays the dean's daughter who uses her sex appeal to lure football players to her father's school so he won't lose his job. Joe E Brown does his nitwit act.
The interesting thing is that Joan Bennett shows no sex appeal at all in 1930 but by the 40s she was a knockout.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day #21,768

Walk km 5150-5164 (16,604 to go): New Westminster walk with Meetup Group
Walk km 5164-5166: to the library

world's largest tin soldier
aprox km 5163 New Westminster

Book #302 (#26 this year): How To Rob An Armored Car(2009,Iain Levison)

Another superior outing from Mr Levison. In this one three idiots try various schemes to make money. The title comes from one of the idiot's visit to a book shop to see if he can find a book on how to be a criminal and specifically about how to rob an armored car.
My favourite moment: One of the idiots is given the job of getting the getaway car ready (they bought a $300 clunker that barely runs). The getaway car will only be driven a couple of miles and then they'll switch vehicles. Instead of spending the money on sparkplugs and such he uses it to install a stereo system!
One slight problem is that the three idiots have quite similar personalities (especially "Mitch" and "Kevin") so it's a bit of a chore to keep them seperate in your mind.
Otherwise, a hoot from start to finish.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day #21,767

Walk km 5143-5150 (16,617 to go): Nanaimo/Vanness/Copley/Grandview/Nanaimo/Grandview/Kamloops/10th/Nanaimo/Kamloops/McGill

sunny day in suburbia
aprox km 5147 Kamloops Street

Movie #1333 (#154 this year): The Two Mrs Carrolls (1947, Peter Godfrey)

Barbara Stanwyck about to faint at the sight of that horrible painting

A big letdown after The Locket and So Dark The Night. I was getting to enjoy melodramas. However, there's not much drama in this one. Bogart and Stanwyck emote like crazy but it does no good - you don't believe them for an instant. And add a couple of clumsy attempts at comedy. All pretty bland.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day #21,766

Walk km 5130-5132: to Safeway
Walk km 5132-5143: 27th/Alma/27th/Camosun/29th/Kevin/Doncaster/29th/King Edward/Imperial trail/Iron Knee trail/Long trail/West Mall/16th/East Mall

trail through the bush
aprox km 5137 Iron Knee trail (Pacific Spirit park)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Day #21,765

Walk km 5118-5122: running errands
Walk km 5122-5130 (16,635 to go): Robson/Denman/Alberni/Lost Lagoon/Stanley Park Causeway/Lake trail to 3rd Beach/seawall/Lost Lagoon/Alberni/Denman

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day #21,764

Walk km 5110-5112: to T&T Supermarket
Walk km 5112-5118: 29th/Imperial/Discovery/8th/Courtenay/10th/Alma

a road through the bush
aprox km 5115 Imperial Drive

Movie #1332 (#153 this year): The Firebird (1934, William Dieterle)

For God's sake, keep your children away from this music!

It seemed unlikely but the title does reference the Igor Stravinsky composition.
It's a whodunit with a strange ending. An 18 year old girl is kept from the real world by her parents. At her 18th birthday her mother objects to two gifts. She burns a book by Tolstoy and refused to allow the daughter to listen to "The Firebird". Her explanation: a young lady should only listen to classical music!
Naturally, the daughter finds this situation intolerable and so she has an affair with a man in another apartment of her apartment building. And then she kills the guy. All the time, the parents are being accused of causing all this by being over protective. Until the end! Then it's not their fault, it's these modern youths. What will they do next! It appears the ending was tacked on. Since this was released in 1934, did the start of the Hay's Code, cause the ending to be re-shot? I must check IMDB to see if I can find the answer there.

Book #301 (#25 this year): Dog Eats Dog (2006, Iain Levison)

This is the 2nd Levison book I've read and they're both excellent crime dramas with oddball characters who get themselves into a pickle (think Westlake).
Prime example here is Elias, a college professor, who decides to murder someone with the gun he found. He goes to the gun shop to buy bullets. He gets charged $18 for the bullets and all of a sudden murder is no longer top priority. Forget the murder, I'm sure this guy is overcharging me! I'll check the true price on eBay when I get home.
Update: Reviewer says this compares to E Leonard. That's right. This would be more Leonard than Westlake.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day #21,763

Walk km 5100-5110 (16,653 to go): Burrard/Georgia/Seymour/(bus)/Dundas/Renfrew/Triumph/Salesbury/Powell/Woodlands/Powell/Raymur/Union/Campbell/Strathcona park/Chess/National/(skytrain)/Pacific Center/Robson

Movie #1331 (#152 this year): But The Flesh Is Weak (1932, Jack Conway)

Well, that one certainly went downhill fast. The first half of this movie is quite a charming screwball comedy. To start the second half, they leave a gaping hole in the plot in order to drive the story forward. That pretty much ruins everything until the ending. And the ending really drops this one into the trash barrel: they promote violence against women. Yes, if you're having woman trouble just give her a good whack - that'll straighten her out and make her see sense. Disgusting.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day #21,762

Walk km 5092-5094: to Safeway
Walk km 5094-5096: to the library
Walk km 5096-5100 (16,662 to go): to English Bay

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day #21,761

Walk km 5084-5086: to Safeway
Walk km 5086-5092 (16,669): to Yaletown station/(skytrain+bus)/Knight/43rd/Lanark/Dumfries/57th/Knight/59th/Inverness/Marine/Crompton/67th/Sherbrooke/Marine/(bus)/Seymour/Georgia/Granville/Robson

the #22 bus
aprox km 5085 Knight Street

Book #300 (#24 this year): Flynn (1977, Gregory McDonald)

I wonder if Mr McDonald has ever read P.G. Wodehouse? I think he's read everything he ever wrote. If P.G. wrote crime novels, he'd be a dead ringer for Gregory McDonald. Nice lightweight summer reading.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Day #21,760

Walk km 5078-5084 (16,676 to go): to Yaletown Station/(skytrain+bus)/41st/St George/47th/Fraser/48th/St George/49th/Frederick/50th/St George/55th/Ontario/56th/Main

yellow truck with flowers
aprox km 5081 48th Ave

Movie #1330(#151 this year): Seventh Cavalry(1956, Joseph H Lewis)

The people who win the war get to write the history books. That's why most Hollywood movies make out the European invaders to be the "good guys" while the North Americans are considered the "bad guys" instead of the other way around.
This movie seems to be sitting on the fence. Although the European invaders are considered the "good guys" in this movie, their behavior certainly doesn't testify to that. There are enough "rotten apples" in this barrel to call into question just who is in the right here. But it doesn't take it easy on the natives either - it seems that they think that Custer was a great warrior (really!) and they get spooked when they see his horse return.
So, pretty darn goofy all around.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Day #21,759

Walk km 5065-5078 (16,681 to go): to Stadium Station/(skytrain+bus)/49th/Prince Albert/41st/Chester/39th/Prince Albert/Kingsway/16th/Prince Albert/6th/Fraser/5th/2nd/5th/Scotia/4th/Columbia/seawalk/Cambie bridge/Smithe/Cambie/Robson/Howe/Smithe

the seawalk along False Creek
aprox km 5075 from Cambie bridge

Movie #1329 (#150 this year): So Dark The Night(1946, Joseph H Lewis)

This certainly doesn't look like a Joseph H Lewis movie. What it reminds me of is John Brahm's "The Locket" which I saw a few days back. Despite the fact that there is a murder and a famous Parisian detective is on the case, it is not a whodunit. You see, the famous detective gathers all the evidence and can come to only one conclusion: "I must be the murderer". Well then, there's only one more thing to do, I must now catch the murderer! Yup, this is the story about a fellow with more than a few screws loose. Once again, melodrama at it's very best.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Day #21,758

Walk km 5058-5065 (16,693 to go): to Yaletown Station/(skytrain)/Cambie/12th/Main/5th/Columbia/4th/2nd/(skytrain)/Robson

street scene
aprox km 5065 Robson @ Cardero

Movie #1327 (#148 this year): Cry Of The Hunted(1953, Joseph H Lewis)

I liked this one just as much as Gun Crazy. It doesn't have the fancy visual style of Gun Crazy but the cracking wise dialogue makes up for it. And it has some nice visual touches too - check out that wacky dream sequence!

Movie #1328 (#149 this year): Desperate Search(1952, Joseph H Lewis)

This one doesn't have the visual flair of Gun Crazy. Nor does it have the snappy dialogue of Cry Of The Hunted. So what does it have (besides some annoying child actors)? You got me, but it does move along at a good clip so I guess Lewis was doing something right.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Day #21,757

Walk km 5050-5058
(16,699 to go):
to Yaletown Station/(skytrain)/49th/Ontario/51st/Prince Edward/53rd/Ontario/54th/Argyle/60th

yet another flower
aprox km 5058 60th Ave

Movie #1326 (#147 this year): Gun Crazy(1950, Joseph H Lewis)

There is one thing wrong with this movie: the plot doesn't matter. Bart & Annie are doomed from day 1 - there's just no getting around it. However, it's quite a ride. Every scene has been well thought out to get the maximum visual effect. Peggy Cummins and John Dall are both great. And even though we know they're gonna have to pay in the end, the climax in the marsh is another bonus.

Book #299 (#23 this year): Jackal(1998, John Follain)

I read this one about terrorist Carlos The Jackal when the Barbet Schroeder documentary about his lawyer (Verges) made me curious about terrorists before Bin Laden.
This is a well written book in which the author finds fault with most everyone from Carlos who kills and blows stuff up for money to the politicians who give in to his demands. At the end of the book the author states that the world has passed Carlos by. He didn't know how right he was. Just three years later Bin Laden made Carlos the Jackal look quite irrelevant. The difference: Carlos worked for money. Besides planning the dastardly deed he also had to plan how to "get away with it". With the advent of the religious terrorist organizations (like al-Qaeda), "getting away with it" no longer mattered. Carlos couldn't fly a plane into a skyscraper because "you can't take it with you". That's no problem for Osama Bin Laden amnd his minions.
But comparing Osama to Carlos almost makes Osama look good. Apparently, he has no problem living in the caves of Pakistan even though he was brought up as a spoiled rich kid. Carlos would never do that. He claimed he was a revolutionary but he lived in villas, wore designer clothes, and enjoyed the best booze, cigars and beautiful women that money could buy.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day #21,756

Walk km 5040-5050 (16,706 to go): to Yaletown station/(skytrain)/Cambie/44th/Sophia/51st/Ross/53rd/Clarendon/Upland/Muirfield/Nanimo/Qualicum/Scarboro/Victoria/Harrison

a flower
aprox km 5043 Sophia Street

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day #21,755

Walk km 5032-5040 (16,715 to go): Victoria/Thornhill/61st/Jasper/62nd/Columbia/63rd/Cambie

fish in a tank
aprox km 5033 Victoria Drive

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day #21,754

Walk km 5018-5021: running errands
Walk km 5021-5032 (16,722 to go): from Science World to English Bay, Coal Harbour.Canada Place,Gastown to Chinatown with Meetup group.

Meetup group (photo taken by Julie)
aprox km 5032 Keefer Street

Monday, July 12, 2010

Day #21,753

Walk km 5008-5018(16,735 to go): Vanness/Omisdale/Kingsway/a park/Boundary/Rumble/Matheson/Blake/Champlain/Maquinna/Butler/58th/Kerr/56th/Doncaster/56th/Rupert/Rosemont/57th/Vivian/52nd/Elliott/51st

sunny day in suburbia
aprox km 5016 Vivian Street

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day #21,752

Walk km 4999-5005: Robson/Howe/Georgia/Cambie/Dunsmuir/(skytrain)/Vanness/Gaston/Crowley/Aberdeen/Foster/Oben/Foster/Lincoln/Omidale/45th/Arlington/48th/Tyne/49th
Walk km 5005-5008: shopping
5000 KM

Austin Cambridge
aprox km 5001 Oben Street

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Day #21,751

Walk km 4988-4999: Robson/Hamilton/Dunsmuir/(skytrain)/Vanness/Killarney/46th/Raleigh/Coleridge/Raleigh/48th/Elliott/49th/Clarendon/48th/Nanaimo/49th/Gladstone/48th/Nanaimo/Waverley/Gladstone/48th/Victoria/49th/Beatrice/41st/Victoria/35th/Nanaimo/34th/Gladstone/Galt/Baldwin/Brock/Nanaimo

aprox km 4992 Killarney Street

Movie #1324 (#145 this year): The Locket(1946, John Brahm)

I'd heard reports that Mr Brahm was a excellent director. Turns out to be true.
The plot starts....
Then we have a flashback....
Then we have a flashback inside the flashback....
Then we have a flashback inside the flashback of the flashback.
Audience heads could begin to hurt by this time but luckily Mr Brahm has each flashback return in order so that we get the shocking conclusion right at the point that we started.
Melodramas don't get any better than this.

Movie #1325 (#146 this year): Stepping Out(1931, Charles Reisner)

Charlotte Greenwood

It's amateur hour over at MGM. The only discernible talent displayed here is by leading lady Charlotte Greenwood who appears to have a bit of comedic flair. The rest of the cast is pathetic. The direction by Charles Reisner is horrid (although most directors at this time did had problems adapting to "talkies").
But this is pre-code which makes dialogue like this very strange to hear in such an old movie:
Woman: "You're such a small man"
Man: "Oh my size might surprise you!"

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day #21,750

Walk km 4980-4988: Robson/Denman/Davie/Bidwell/Barclay/Denman/seawalk/Howe/Cordova/Abbott/Keefer/Main/Georgia/Gore/Keefer/Main/Pender/Gore

Movie #1323 (#144 this year): Un Crabe Dans La Tete(2001, Andre Turpin)

A man returns from the Indian Ocean where he dived too far down and passed out/lost his memory. On his return to Montreal, strange things happen. I was expecting some sort of spooky denouement ( a la "Carnival Of Souls") but it turns out that title tells all. Still, kind of fun.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day #21,749

Walk km 4972-4980: Grant/Rupert/Kitchener/Odlum/Charles/Clark

aprox km 4977 Kitchener Street

Movie #1321 (#142 this year): The Strip(1951, Laszlo Kardos)

A piece of crap. Brain dead plot line fluffed up by endless music numbers. Mickey Rooney shoulda known better. Especially bad is Vic Damone singing "Don't Blame Me". Also, washed out picture quality doesn't help matters.

Movie #1322 (#143 this year): Truck Busters(1943, B Reeves Eason)

leading lady, Virginia Christine

Very interesting. I guess Senator MCarthy was right. Capitalists try increasing profits in the trucking business but run into a bunch of independent truckers who try and thwart their plans by going socialist! In this day and age it's interesting to see a Hollywood movie where socialism is touted as the answer to ruthless capitalism. And the socialists are the heroes.
I see that this movie has no rating at IMDB because there hasn't even been 5 votes registered. It was made by Warner Bros so it can't be that obscure. Was it banned?
As for the movie's quality, I'd say it's pretty darn good. An early fight scene in a cab of a truck was horrid and some of the acting is questionable. However, great "trucks rolling through the night" scenes and some guy called Rex Williams makes a swell villain.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day #21,748

Walk km 4963-4972: to Yaletown station/(skytrain)/Cambie/23rd/Oak/21st/Ontario/22nd/Main/(walk with Meetup Walking Group)/Main/23rd/Knight

Meetup Walking Group
aprox km 4668 Quebec Street

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day #21,747

Walk km 4955-4963: 31st/Bleinheim/41st/Collingwood/Collingwood Place/Collingwood/Marine/54th/(bus)/Broadway

aprox km 4957 Collingwood Place @ Collingwood Street

Monday, July 5, 2010

Day #21,746

Walk km 4946-4948: to Safeway
Walk km 4948-4955: Granville/14th/Collingwood/41st

aprox km 4955 39th (near Collingwood)

Day #21,745

Walk km 4943-4946: Granville/12th/Yew

Movie #1320 (#141 this year): Queen Bee(1955, Ranald McDougall)

Southern gothic starts slowly but when Joan Crawford turns on the hate..... a delightful drawing room drama.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day #21,744

Walk km 4939-4943: to the library and T&T Supermarket

Movie #1319 (#140 this year): Crustaces & Coquilages(2005, Olivier Ducastel & Jacques Martineau)

French sex farce in which a family goes on vacation only to have all their sexual identities shuffled about. Not really very funny. Not really very dramatic. But they do romp around in great scenery and the weather is really nice! Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi is, as always, a delight.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Day #21,743

Walk km 4933-4939: to library/(bus)/Matthews/Hosmer/Pine Cres/19th/Maple/4th/Vine

Ford Crestline
aprox km 4936 19th Ave

Movie #1318 (#139 this year): The Show-Off (1934, Charles F Reisner)

The title is kind of strange. The lead character is not a "show off", he's a "blow hard". I wonder if they hadn't invented that phrase in 1934?
Anyway, Spencer Tracy plays an ignorant, obnoxious nitwit who thinks he's God's answer to everything! Finally, the few people who for some reason think he's OK come to their senses and realize he's as obnoxious as people have been trying to tell them he is. Then, (I don't believe this!) they tacked on a horrible (happy) ending. He makes some money (for no reason - they just put it in the script) and so everyone loves him again! But he's still the obnoxious blowhard he's always been. It's disgusting.

Day #21,742

Walk km 4927-4933: to Main Street and back

night scene
aprox km 4930 Quebec Street

Movie #1317 (#138 this year): To The Ends Of The Earth(1948, Robert Stevenson)

Narcotics agent travels to China, Egypt, Cuba and the USA to track drug shipment. The movie concentrates on the process only so it's pretty much useless. A waste of Dick Powell's acting skills.