Sunday, October 31, 2010

Day #21,501

Walk km 6099-6107 (15,394 to go): Burrard/Cornwall/Cypress/2nd/Fir/1st/Pennyfarthing/Creekside/1st/Fir/7th/Granville/Smithe

Movie #1460 (#250 this year): City Limits(1934, William Nigh)

the acting Young sisters (Sally Blane on right)

Pretty much a run-of-the mill picture from Monogram. Rich fellow falls off a train and meets up with a couple of hobos who don't believe his story about being the president of the railroad. Same idea as "Sullivan's Travels" but not much is done with it here. Love interest Sally Blane was Loretta Young's sister.

Movie #1461 (#251 this year): The Local Bad Man(1932, Otto Brower)

goofy looking Hoot Gibson

Tonight it was a Sally Blane double feature. However, the main reason I wanted to watch this one was because it featured the famous cowboy star, Hoot Gibson. What were they thinking? Hoot Gibson was a short, goofy lookin' guy who fought like a sissy! This was what a cowboy star was supposed to act/look like in 1932? Yikes.
Hard to say if this movie was good or bad - it was entertaining for historical reasons but I doubt if anyone in 1932 thought much of it. It's the usual cowboy helping out a damsel in distress who is going to be taken advantage of by the local businessmen. Usually the local bad guy is the guy who owns the saloon but here it's the banker. And Sally Blane does get to show more gumption than the usual female victim. And Hoot has not one but two goofy sidekicks.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Day #21,499

Movie #1459 (#249 this year): The Last Mile(1932, Samuel Bischoff)

Anti capital punishment film. Gritty drama first with prisoners being taken out to fry and then a prisoner riot with oodles more dead.
Very well made although it's kind of hard to tell due to the terrible copy from Internet Archives.
And the moralizing is kinda one sided. They make sure the main character is innocent and they never mention what the others did in order to get on death row.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day #21,498

Movie #1450 (#247 this year): Tell It To The Judge(1949, Norman Foster)

Every since seeing "Woman On The Run" I've been looking for any other Norman Foster pictures. This one is a little confusing. It's a nice breezy comedy with Rosalind Russell and Robert Cummings. Very charming. You would think that Foster's reputation could only go up after making this. So how did Norm go from this (at Columbia) to a B picture at Fidelity in just one year?
Well, whatever was the problem, it's a good thing because his "Woman On The Run" was quite a picture.

Movie #1451 (#248 this year): Akoibon(2005, Edouard Baer)

Do you remember the late 60s/early 70s? Remember those freaky movies they used to make back then? Edouard Baer remembers. So, in 2005, he has made another one! But it's already been done before. Why do it again?
Maybe because his parents named him after an obscure Canadian pop/rock band from the 60s? Maybe.

The real Edward Bear

Book #337 (#38 this year): Cursed To Death(Bill Crider, 1988)

Pleasant enough crime novel of likeable local sheriff trying to find out whodunit while dealing with other more mundane personal problems. It's OK but since I just finished a Richard Stark before this, it pales in comparison.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day #21,497

Walk km 6079-6096 (15,401 to go): with Meetup group to Queen Elizabeth Park then from Broadway @ Main to join another Meetup group from Science World to English Bay & return

purple house
aprox km 6083 Quebec Street

Movie #1449 (#246 this year): Trapped By Television(1936, Del Lord)

Fast paced B picture in which Lyle "Plan 9" Talbot invents television with the help of his girlfriend Mary Astor. Any movie with Mary Astor can't be all bad. Quite enjoyable.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day #21,496

Walk km 6069-6079: to Beaver Lake

Ravine Trail
aprox km 6074 Stanley Park

Book #336 (#37 this year): Flashfire(2000, Donald E Westlake)

Another of the Westlake books written under his Richard Stark pen name.
In this one, Parker runs into the 21st century. The "honour among thieves" code seems to be lost on Parker's co-bankrobbers as they take off with his cut of the robbery. They're not stealing it. No. They just need the funds for their next heist. Of course, they invite Parker along but he declines. So they take his money and tell him he'll get it back (with interest) after the next job. They don't think it's a big deal really. Just borrowing the money for awhile. But Parker is old school. You take someone's money, you're gonna pay for it.
In fact, lots of people have to pay. Page by page, the body count keeps increasing.

Movie #1447 (#244 this year): Big Leaguer(Robert Aldrich, 1953)

Not every great director can start with a "Citizen Kane". Robert "The Big Knife" Aldrich gets to direct the story of the New York Giants tryout camp. All the usual cliches are present.

Movie #1448 (#245 this year): Slumming(Michael Glawogger, 2006)

The story of two jerks who do just as they please. One can do it because he is filthy rich and the other can do it because he is dirt poor. One day the first jerk finds the second jerk passed out on a bench in Vienna so he puts him in the trunk of his car and drops him off on a bench in Znojmo (Czech Republic). This sets in motion a bunch of plot twists that are somewhat amusing.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day #21.495

Walk km 6058-6060: to the library
Walk km 6060-6064: to Denman@Georgia/(bus)/Pender@Abbott to Main Street Station
Walk km 6064-6069: Thurlow/Georgia/Cambie/Pacific/Beach

Movie #1446 (#243 this year):
Jigsaw(1949, Fletcher Markle)

Here's one I'd love to see a good copy of. This one is courtesy the Internet Archives.
Right-wing extremists called The Crusaders are trying to take over the hearts and minds of America. And they're doing it but eliminating anyone who gets in their way. Franchote Tone is the D.A. out to stop them.
It starts out as a standard crime drama but when the focus switches to Barbara (Jean Wallace) the dialogue gets a lot grittier and the final shootemup looks like something Welles might have come up with.
Fletcher Markle later turned up as host of the 60s CBC television series "Telescope".

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day #21,494

Walk km 6046-6048: to Pender @ Abbott
Walk km 6048-6058 (15,436 to go): to Yaletown Station/(skytrain)/41st/Alberta/45th/Columbia/47th/Sophia/51st/Quebec/56th/Ontario/58th/Prince Edward/59th/Main/(bus)/Main/2nd/Quebec/seawalk/Pacific/Abbott/Pender

Movie #1445 (#242 this year): Carcasses (2009, Denis Cote)

The only interesting thing about this is trying to figure out if this is a documentary or fiction. I figured that it was a documentary until four characters with Down's Syndrome showed up.
However, IMDB labels this as a documentary. Whichever, it's extremely boring.

Book #335 (#36 this year): The Family(2008, Jeff Sharlet)

Non-fiction about the organization behind the "National Prayer Breakfast". Seems they've got their fingers into lots of other stuff not all of it savoury. Jeff had access to "Family" archives and he's pieced together the history quite well. However, it appears his sources were cut off when he had gotten up to the early 70s. After that the book takes a turn into other areas (Colorado Springs, Stonewall Jackson etc) that derail the narrative. Still, an interesting read.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day #21,493

Walk km 6042-6046: 20th/Cedar/Cypress/5th/Granville

Movie #1444 (#241 this year):Les filles ne savent pas nager(2000, Anne-Sophie Birot)

Teenage coming-of-age angst. Tons of it. Two teenage girls have crisis after crisis during summer vacation. It does get a little tedious after awhile. Lots of nudity though to keep one's interest. Also, Pascale Bussieres is in this one but she really doesn't have much of a role: that's a shame.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day #21,492

Walk km 6039-6042: to the Safeway

Movie #1442 (#239 this year): Anatomy Of A Psycho(1961, Boris Petroff)

When you're feeling under-the-weather you want a movie that won't cause any undue pressure on the cranium due to convoluted plot twists. Anatomy Of A Psycho was custom made for times like this. Straightforward revenge tale about a guy out for revenge when his brother fries in the electric chair. A fair entertainment.
This movie is available for viewing on the Internet Archives.

Movie #1443 (#240 this year): Hats Off(1936, Boris Petroff)

Mae Clarke

This has been one of the rarest of movie schedulings: the Boris Petroff double feature. And it's quite a change from Anatomy of A Psycho. What we have here is a perky semi-musical which shows that Mr Petroff had more talent than he displayed 25 years later in Anatomy Of A Psycho. Could it have been the name? I guess he could get away with having the name Boris Petroff in 1930s America but not 1950s America. In fact, his later work was done under the name "Brooke Peters". There's probably a story there.
Anyway, for a musical and a "Grand National" picture, this is quite entertaining. Mae Clarke turns out to be quite charming and the rest of the cast is stocked with the "A" list of Hollywood's character actors.
Trivia: This was Sam Fuller's first job in Hollywood (screenplay).

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day #21,491

Movie #1440 (#238 this year): Tenten(2007, Satoshi Miki)

Two characters set off to spend a few days walking across Tokyo. Did he just kill his wife? Did the other guy not sleep with his wife? Are they father and son? Let's meet their fake family! Yes, it's a goofy movie: and I like goofy movies.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day #21,490

Walk km 6026-6039 (15,451 to go): from Waterfront Station to Main Street Station via Third Beach with the Meetup Walking group.

Movie #1439 (#237 this year): La Mort En Ce Jardin(1956, Luis Bunuel)

Not really what I was expecting from director Bunuel and screenwriter Raymond Queneau. A fine adventure story of assorted characters trying to escape through the jungle. No weird stuff at all (unless I missed it).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day #21,489

Movie #1437 (#235 this year): Two Dollar Bettor(1951, Edward L Cahn)

Cautionary tale about betting the horses. It will start with one $2 bet but soon you'll be hooked, you'll lose your life savings, you'll steal more to keep going, you'll turn to murder and then you die!
Gee, I don't think I'll ever bet on a horse again. They had one thing wrong: the loser flies to New Orleans to bet $1000 on a 7/1 horse because he needs $7,000. A bet of that size would drop the odds to 1/1 and he'd only win about $1000. The scriptwriters didn't understand para-mutual wagering (or they didn't care).
I enjoyed this movie because I used to bet the horses but the IMDB rating is 6.9 so it seems everyone liked this movie.

Movie #1438 (#236 this year): Bashing (2005, Masahiro Kobayashi)

An aid worker returning from the middle-east (where she was taken hostage)is hounded for what she did. That's the problem with this picture: what did she do and why are people so outraged by it? A poster on IMDB explains that in Japan you must always conform - individuality is not allowed. The Japanese government warned about going to this part of the world but she went anyway... and then she was taken hostage which embarrassed the whole country.
If this is true, Japan is in one sorry state. However, I don't believe it is true. Since this movie was made by Japanese and is sympathetic to her plight, that seems to refute their own contention.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day #21,488

Walk km 6014-6017: to T&T
Walk km 6017-6026: to 2nd Beach & 3rd Beach

Movie #1433 (#231 this year): The Savage Girl (1932, Harry L Fraser)

I don't think we need take this one too seriously. When our hero is captured by natives in the jungle of deepest darkest Africa, his fellow expeditionaries come to his a taxi!
Two back-to-back Rochelle Hudsons. Unfortunately, in this one she's a jungle goddess so she has no dialogue. This one's only of interest to scholars of obscure Hollywood.

Movie #1434 (#232 this year): Alien Zone (1978, Sharron Miller)
A bunch of Twilight Zonian tales bundled together. Nothing special.

Movie #1435 (#233 this year): Someone Else's Happiness (2005, Fien Troch)

Excellent drama of hit-and-run driver and all the people that are affected by his actions. I had a little trouble identifying who was who: the policeman who is called to the scene turns out to be the father of the dead child and the housekeeper for the witness turns out to be the mother of the dead child. Still don't know who the guy was who decided to pin the rap on an innocent guy with mental problems.

Movie #1436 (#234 this year): Hold That Woman (1940, Sam Newfield)

James Dunn is a repoman in this breezy PRC comedy. Despite being #4 in a quadruplefeature, this one kept my attention all the way through.
Dunn both buys a house and gets married during the same afternoon because he figures that once he reposseses the radio he's after, he'll be in good with the boss. Musta been quite the radio.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day #21,487

Walk km 5999-6001: to Safeway
Walk km 6001-6012: 33rd/Highbury/Marine/Olympic/bridle trail/Marine/Crown/bridle trail/Carrington/53rd/MacDonald/Marine/Glendalough/Marine/Dunbar
Walk km 6012-6014: to Safeway

3 Nissan Figaros
aprox km 6000 Highbury Street

Movie #1431 (#229 this year): Jail Bait(1954, Ed Wood Jr)

Timothy Farrell's "luxury" digs

Really really bad. Maybe not as funny as Plan 9 since you can't get quite as kooky with a crime drama as with sci-fi. It's still pretty kooky.
My favourite part was where the gangster tells his moll about how lucky she is to be with him: just look around at all this luxury. The problem is, the set is a bare-bones apartment. Later, the moll says the same thing... and they're still in the bare-bones apartment. Did Ed think that they could afford a fancy set and when the deal fell through he forgot to change the dialogue? It's bad enough that Ed had to shoot on such a crappy set but to have his own characters in the movie actually point it out to the audience..... that's cruel.

Movie #1432 (#230 this year): Bachelor Bait(1934, George Stevens)

Rochelle Hudson (looking very colourful)

It's a double feature of "Bait" movies. There really couldn't possibly be a greater disparity between the directors: Ed Wood was from the lowest level of skid row while George Stevens was part of Hollywood royalty.
In this one we meet Stuart Erwin again (last seen in "Mr Boggs Steps Out"). Once again he's a naive/nervous sort that most of the audience can relate to. Playing the love interest is Rochelle Hudson who is again as cute as a button. Pleasant little picture but it's no "Jail Bait".

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day #21,486

Walk km 5988-5999: Quesnel/Mackenzie/47th/MacDonald/53rd/Camarvon/51st/Blenheim/river walk/Deering Island Pl/Deeting Island Park/bridle path/Wallace/Highbury/41st

branch of the Fraser River
aprox km 5995 Deering Island

Movie #1426 (#227 this year): The Devil's Sleep(1949, W Merle Connell)

You never know when you're gonna come across a classic. This was one of the 100 movies in MillCreek's "Tales Of Horror". It's a "horror" all right: you'll scream in horror at the amazingly wooden acting. Watch as the director just points the camera and gets people to read lines. Or watch as he points the camera and women begin taking off some (this was the 40s) of their clothes.
From the same producer who brought you "Glen Or Glenda" and starring Timothy Farrell who was to go on to "act" in many of the Ed Wood epics.
It's like a traffic accident: it's horrible and you know you shoudn't watch but you just can't help yourself.

Movie #1427 (#228 this year): Agua(2006, Veronica Chen)

An interesting double feature this evening. "Aqua" is by far the better movie. Well directed and well acted but the script is pretty weak. On the other hand "The Devil's Sleep" was just dismal in every regard. But of the two, "The Devil's Sleep" was much the "better" movie. Better because of the real story behind the movie. A group of people with no talent whatsoever trying to make a living in Hollywood. Making a movie about drugs and sex (in 1949!) so that somebody would go and see it so they could make a few dollars. The people who made "Agua" are all highly skilled professionals who know how to make a movie. Yet their movie was useless. Watching it, I didn't care about these characters at all. And I didn't care about the people who made it either. Competance is boring.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day #21,485

Walk km 5980-5988 (15,497 to go): to Lumberjack Arch (Stanley Park) and back

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day #21,484

Movie #1424 (#225 this year): Hazard(Shion Sono, 2005)

Load of crap about a guy who is bored with Japan. He finds out that New York has lots of crime so he goes there. He joins up with a coupla other guys to commit robberies and sell drugs. It's a wonderful life. This movie is aimed at the youth market who will think that living the life of an outlaw would be cool. Like I said............. crap.

Movie #1425 (#226 this year): Strangers Of The Evening(H Bruce Humberstone, 1932)

A whodunit played for laughs. The police arrest a fellow suspected of murder. Turns out he's not a murderer: he's the guy who was murdered!
Zasu Pitts, Eugene Pallette and a cast of character actors do a fine job.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day #21,483

Walk km 5965-5969: to Army & Navy store
Walk km 5969-5980: with Meetup group from Science World to Kitsilano Beach and back

Meetup group
aprox km 5974 Kitsilano Beach

Movie #1423 (#224 this year): The GoodTimesKid(2005, Azazel Jacobs)

Unconventional love story of two guys with the same name but only one woman. The second Rodolfo Cano sees the sorry state-of-affairs of the first Rodolfo Cano and decides to make his mistake for him.
Sara Diaz does some goofy dancesteps.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day #21,482

Walk km 5952-5964: to and around Stanley Park
Walk km 5964-5965: to Burrard Station

Movie #1420 (#222 this year): The Housemaid(1960, Ki-young Kim)

oh boy, another bowl of rat poison soup!

My first movie from MUBI. This one is the product of a restoration project backed by Martin Scorsese.
This is a melodrama that goes way over the top. Superior direction. This Kim fellow would appear to be the Korean Alfred Hitchcock. In fact, he is so good that maybe Alfred Hitchcock is the English Ki-young Kim!
This is available free-of-charge from MUBI: miss it at your peril.

Movie #1422 (#223 this year): Lions Love(1969, Agnes Varda)

110 minutes of nonsense. Well, maybe 108. In the end, the star (Viva) says that she is sick of making these movies. She says she just wants to breath for awhile. And that's the end of the movie: Viva breathing. And her breathing IS the best part of the movie.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Day #21,481

Walk km 5947-4950: to Lost Lagoon
Walk km 5950-5952: to Denman Street

e-hwa restaurant
aprox km 5952 Robson Street

Movie #1418 (#220 this year): Withnail And I(Bruce Robinson, 1987)

Two blokes leading an extremely seedy lifestyle in London take a vacation to the countryside and remarkably manage to retain the same degree of degredation there as well.
There is one problem with Crackle (and I hate to complain because the movies are free): no sub-titles. I would estimate that I missed about a third of the dialogue.
A nice pleasant picture but nothing exceptional.

Movie #1419 (#221 this year): The Ghost Camera(Bernard Vorhaus, 1933)

yes, that really is Ida Lupino as she looked at the age of 15

For our second feature, we're right back in jolly olde England. Only 54 years earlier. Here we find a 15 year old Ida Lupino. I must admit that you could have given me 100 guesses as to who she was and I'd never have guessed Ida Lupino. Also at the start of their careers are actor John Mills and director David Lean (editor on this film). The plot is goofy and really doesn't hold water but not to worry. The entire film is a joy to watch from start to finish. I suppose we'll have to thank Mr Vorhaus who was making his debut as director with this one.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day #21,480

Walk km 5935-5937: to Tim Horton's
Walk km 5937-5947: from Royal Oak Station to Burris @ Walker then with Meetup group to Sperling Station

sunny Sunday afternoon in suburbia
aprox km 5939 Empress Street (Burnaby)

Movie #1417 (#219 this year): Track 29 (Nicolas Roeg, 1988)

Nic does keep it interesting. Theresa Russell is a housewife in small town America. Exactly how insane she is is up for debate. Goofy from start to finish.

Day #21,479

Walk km 5932-5935: to Edgewater Casino

Movie #1416 (#218 this year): California Split(1974,Robert Altman)

I do not like the movies of Robert Altman. But since this one is about gambling, I figure I'd give it a shot. Hard to ruin a gambling movie. Robert sure gives it the old college try though.
What's with the sound levels? The background noise is way louder than the dialogue so that you can hardly hear anything that's being said. In fact, the climatic scene where George Segal says why winning has made him so depressed is totally missed - couldn't hear a word of what he said! It would appear that a lot of this stuff was improvised to give it a realistic feel. That may be some people's idea of a good movie (Altman is kinda popular) but it's just crap to me.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Day #21,478

Walk km 5918-5932 (15,546 to go): to Main Street Station/(skytrain)/Vanness/Chatham/Horley/Duchess/Ward/Slocan/34th/St Margaret's/37th/Gladstone/45th/Victoria/47th/Lanark/49th/Culloden/59th/Prince Albert/60th/Manitoba/68th/Manitoba/Kent/Yukon

Citroen Charleston
aprox km 5922 Chatham Street

Movie #1414 (#216 this year): Barbary Coast(1935, Howard Hawks)

Well made costume drama with plenty of good and evil action and Mariam Hopkins caught in the middle. Pretty much what you would expect. Kinda ho-hum.

Movie #1415 (#217 this year): Guilty As Charged(1991, Sam Irvin)

Poor Rod Steiger. This fellow has been a part of so many great movies. I didn't know that he had to appear in crap like this later in his career. This must have been very embarrassing for him.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day #21,477

Walk km 5912-5914: to the library
Walk km 5914-5918: Smithe/Cambie/seawalk/Carrall/Keefer/Main

Movie #1413 (#215 this year): The Gay Bride (1934, Jack Conway)

the always popular Zasu (eliZA SUsan) Pitts with Carole

Carole Lombard tries to marry one of the local gangsters so that she'll be in the chips.
Pleasant enough comedy which relies of Lombard to use her star power to win you over. Lombard was no Hepburn, Arthur or Stanwyck but she would rate near the top of the second tier.

Day #21,476

Walk km 5896-5912: with Meetup Group from Science World to English Bay then around Stanley Park along the seawall and then overland. Then through Coal Harbour to Waterfront Station. Then home.

Meetup walking group
aprox km 5898 seawalk along False Creek

Book #334 (#35 this year): Here Comes A Candle(1950, Fredric Brown)

Freddy sure did have fun writing this one. He uses quite an assortment of narrative gimmicks. Part of the novel is a novel but other parts are a play, a sports report, newspaper clippings, a TV show etc. Sure, it's interesting but it also destroys the plot. So, with the plot gone, what's left: a bunch of style experiments that were no doubt more fun to write than they are to read.

Movie #1412 (#214 this year): These Are The Damned(1963, Joseph Losey)

I almost saw this one before. I recorded it off of TCM but the last couple of minutes were cut off. This time it's on Crackle and I was able to watch the whole thing through without any problems.
The greatest movie every made in England? Maybe. But the director was an American. And that director when on to direct the horrid "Modesty Blaise".
Loved the horrid "rock'n'roll" tune they were all singing/whistling at the start. Viveca Lindfors was smashing! Directed beautifully. Terrific plot. Not a bad word to say about this one. Even though I'd seen 99% of it before it was still just as thrilling the second time.