Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day #21,652

Walk km 7019-7028: Matthews/Marguerite/35th/Cypress/42nd/Yew/43rd/Balaclava/(bus + skytrain)/Cambie/Expo/Abbott

Book #372: Voices (2003, Arnaldur Indridason)

Not a good as the first one I read - so that's good news. Since this is an older book, he must be improving. Once again, the plot is not so hot but character development is excellent. The difference with this one is that he zeroes in on the main policeman only and doesn't really flesh out any of his co-workers as he was to do in his next book.

Movie #1622: Indecent Desires (1968, Doris Wishman)

Just as goofy as Doris' "Bad Girls Go To Hell" but what's with the title from dullsville? Creep finds a doll and a ring in a trash can. Whatever he does to the doll, actually happens to the blonde down the street that he has a crush on. But only when he wears the ring!
They don't make movies like this anymore.

Movie #1623: Beat Girl (1960, Edmond T Greville)

Nonsense of course. British teens are supposed to be into the new beatnik lifestyle but it looks like the filmmakers didn't really know what that was so it's the same old JD thing with pop music. Great theme music from John "James Bond Theme" Barry. Gillian Hills looking just like BB.
But on the negative side, they've found another way to butcher a film. They're showing this in wide screen but it's not. It's a 1.3/1 ratio which means that the top and bottom of the picture has been snipped off. Can't they leave these films alone? No.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day #21,651

Walk km 7007-7009: to T&T
Walk km 7009-7019: Arbutus/Quilchena/33rd/Aspen/Linden/railroad tracks/Arbutus/34th/Carnavon/King Edward/Balaclava/Quesnel/21st/Dunbar/19th/Quadra/18th/Dunbar/16th/Alma/14th/Collingwood

cherry and/or plum blossoms
aprox km 7016 Quesnel Street

Movie #1621: Bonnie's Kids (1973, Arthur Marks)

Here's the story on this one: I saw this movie in the theatre when it came out in the early 70s. Didn't think much of it. A few years later I read a review put out by the BFI (British Film Institute) saying that this one has a fair amount of goofyness in it. Really? So, when I see it's available on, I decided to give it another chance. Well........the BFI was right. This is a pretty decent example of prime 70s trash. Not a quality movie mind you but the goofyness is sure there.
My favourite scene: the police are removing two dead bodies from a motel room where they were gunned down the night before. The motel manager is standing there watching them and comments "that was a terrible thing to do to them - and they had their "do not disturb" sign out too!"

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day #21,650

Walk km 6993-7007 (14,643 to go): to Pacific Central Station and then with Meetup Group to Quadra @ 19th.

the Meetup Group
aprox km 7003 4th @ Balsam

Song #37,341: Respectable (1963, Jimmy Soul & The Chants)
I recently did a backup of my music files so I had nothing to listen to for about four days. And so....this song just kept playing in my mind over and over and over and...................
Why should I be the only one who has this incredibly catchy tune stuck in their head? Why don't you listen to it a few times?
It was issued on the 20th Centrury Fox label (#413) in 1963. There really were no Belmonts on this track. The backing band is the Chants from New York. On YouTube, it is further stated that the singer is not Jimmy Soul - the vocals were also by the Chants.
I've also included the version that I'm familiar with from my vinyl days: The Outsiders from Cleveland Ohio.

Movie #1620: Summer Children (1965, James Bruner)

I'm not too fond of movies without plots. In this one, some idle rich "kids" sail over to Catalina Island for a good time. Much soul searching from all concerned. Some groovy music by The Deacons.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day #21,649

Walk km 6982-6993: Arbutus/Yew/39th/West Blvd/38th/Yew/41st/Balsam/48th/Elm/Marine Cr/50th/McDonald/53rd/Carnarvon/57th/Balaclava/Celtic/Carrington/bridle path/50th/Dunbar/49th/trail/Highbury/41st

horse and rider
aprox km 6987 53rd Ave

Movie #1617: The Night Caller (1965, John Gilling)

This is a very unusual movie. A monster from outer space comes to Earth looking for good looking girls to take back for "a fate worse than death". Now, normally, this type of film would be made by incompetent bumblers on a shoestring budget that would make the whole thing a laugh riot. But not in this case. In this case, it was made by Englishmen. They've taken this thing seriously and created a wonderful film out of this totally ridiculous plot. Makes for a strange viewing experience.

Movie #1618: The Mystery Of The Hooded Horsemen (1937, Ray Taylor)

You'd think these old westerns were nothing but trash and with most cowboy stars you'd be correct. However, this is Tex Ritter we're talkin' about here. 56 minutes of crappy film with 4 minutes of great music.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day #21,648

Walk km 6970-6982: Kensington @ Hastings to Patterson Station via Deer Lake Park

a Viking
aprox km 6970 Kensington Street

Movie #1616: Underworld U.S.A. (1961, Sam Fuller)

This was DVD #7 in the Sam Fuller box set. I saw this one about 35 years ago. The ending seems kinda familiar but the rest was like watching it for the first time. Last night I saw Phil Karlson directing a Fuller story and tonight it was Fuller directing. I give the edge to Karlson. Fuller sets up too many scenes for dramatic effect - but it looks phony and it disrupts the flow of the story. His worst scene is the long long long death careen of Cliff Robertson. It's pretty funny but I'm sure that wasn't the intention.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day #21,647

Walk km 6960-6970: from 41st Ave Station to 29th Ave Station with the Meetup Group.

Movie #1615: Scandal Sheet (1952, Phil Karlson)

Superior noir with the great Broderick Crawford. Interestingly, the novel this was based on was written by director Sam Fuller but they got Phil Karlson to direct instead. I don't think this was such a bad idea as Karlson delivers a knockout punch with this one. Also liked Rosemary DeCamp as Mrs Broderick Crawford. Also, all those guys from central casting who played the alkie friends of Henry O'Neill. I reckon this one must have won a pile of oscars in '52.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Day #21,646

Walk km 6954-6960 (14,686 to go): running errands

Movie #1613: Bite The Bullet (1975, Richard Brooks)

Good old-fashioned entertainment with a little of something for everyone.
Watched this one on Crackle to check out my new faster internet connection that I got from Shaw. Worked really well as there was no longer any breakup in the picture even during "prime time".

Movie #1614: The Kennel Murder Case (1933, Michael Curtiz)

Of all the whodunits this must be the whoduniest. Totally useless.
However, it may have revealed a clue to a 50 year old mystery! In third grade we were told about syllable accents. I had no idea what they were talking about. I still don't. Well, in this movie they mispronounce the noun "suspect". It turns out that the verb and the noun "suspect" were at one time pronounced the same. Somewhere between the 30s and 40s the accent on the noun "suspect" moved from the second syllable to the first. Therefore, both words are pronounced the same except for the syllable accent. On my next walk, I'll have to ponder this and finally unlock the mystery of the syllable accent!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day #21,645

Walk km 6939-6954: meetup group walk around 15th/28th Ave plus Burnaby walk from University Station to Hastings

yard ornaments
aprox km 6954 Hastings Street

Movie #1612: Power Of The Press (1943, Lew Landers)

A movie about a newspaper editor who prints stories to serve his own purposes rather than report the news. Must be about Fox News. Wait a minute - made in 1943 - I didn't know Fox News was around back then.
Holds your attention all the way through but does lack sublety - dialogue is mostly a lot of golly gee whiz sloganeering.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day #21,644

Walk km 6927-6939: to the Hollywood Theatre and return

Book #371: The Draining Lake (2004, Arnaldur Indridason)

He's the new Mankell! After so many Swedish crime novels, I tried this Icelandic one. Indridason seems to be a dead ringer for Mankell. This one suffers a bit because there is no immanent danger to any character (the investigation is of a murder committed 35 years earlier). Arnaldur seems to bring out even more of the Maj Sjowall side of Scandinavian crime fiction by delving even deeper into the detectives private lives.

Movie #1610: Fair Game (2010, Doug Liman)

Saw this is a theatre so I'm not sure of the film's quality. It was hard to make out the dialogue and my back was hurting from the seat. Didn't look like much but under those conditions I could be wrong.

Movie #1611: Adventure In Sahara (1938, D Ross Lederman)

What a relief to get back from the theatre and pop in a DVD. Unfortunately this tale of the French Foreign Legion was a drab affair.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day #21,643

Walk km 6916-6927: to Yaletown Station via library/(skytrain)/Cambie/39th/Willow/Selkirk/Matthews/Osler/Angus/Granville/16th/Fir/Granville/Davie/Mainland/Hamilton/Robson/Howe/Smithe

half the Meetup Group (Jenny)
aprox km 6921 Shaughnessy Park

Movie #1609: It Happened In Hollywood (1937, Harry Lachman)

Sure is great to see one of the old B pictures in prime condition. The reason? Seems one of the three screenwriters was none other than future big time director Sam Fuller. So, Sony Pictures has rescued this one and added it to their 7 DVD Sam Fuller box set. Richard Dix is a silent cowboy star who can't make the transition to talkies and is soon down on his luck. Pretty sappy but you can see they were at least trying to make something worthwhile out of it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day #21,642

Walk km 6905-6907: to T&T
Walk km 6907-6916: Smithe/Howe/Granville bridge/Fir/11th/Larch/18th/McKenzie/20th/Galiano/20th/Quadra/Quesnel/16th/Waterloo/Broadway/Alma

a rather large hedge
aprox km 6912 Larch Street

Movie #1608: Bancs Publics (2009, Bruno Podalydes)

Ensemble cast in a series of skits. Starts out OK. Half way through my interest starts to wain. By the end, I'm yawning.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day #21,641

Walk km 6901-6905: two trips to Safeway

Movie #1607: 40 Guns (1957, Samuel Fuller)

Here's just one of Fuller's tricks: the fade-out that doesn't. You're expecting this image of Barbara Stanwyck to fade out as the new scene of horses and riders comes in. However, he leaves Stanwyck on the screen so she can oversee what's happening elsewhere.

There was some interesting things happening to the western in its death throws. We had "Ride The High Country" by Peckinpah and the Japanese westerns of Sergio Leone but just before all that, we had "Forty Guns". This is surely one of the goofiest westerns ever made. And a beautiful one as well. Yes, the western was a dying genre so it needed someone to spice it up a bit. This one adds a ton of spice.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day #21,640

Walk km 6890-6901 (14,739 to go): from Sperling to Edmonds Station with Meetup Group

Meetup group
aprox km 6892 Kensington Street

Book #370: Cat Chaser (1982, Elmore Leonard)

I was kinda disappointed by this one. It ain't Mr Leonard's fault though. It's not a bad book. But the opening chapter where the guy checks into a Florida motel with a six-pack instead of luggage reminded me of the king of Florida crime novelists: Charles Willeford. Nobody can match old Charlie. Nice try Mr Leonard but it just ain't the same thing.

Day #21,639

Walk km 6888-6890: running errands

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day #21,638

Walk km 6881-6888: East Blvd/52nd/Laburnum/54th/Margurite/57th/Adara/58th/Laurel/59th/Heather/60th/Cambie

km 6888 Marine Drive Station

Movie #1606: Man On The Tracks (1957, Andzej Munk)

Superior drama of an enquiry into the death of a railroad engineer run over on the tracks. Gritty black & white drama with fine performances all around with the added bonus of a lot of great looking steam locomotives.
Just one concern: at the end one member of the enquiry board says he has proof of what really happened. Why didn't he speak up at the start of the movie?
And another thing: the man under suspicion sports an Adolph Hitler moustache. Was this done on purpose to show how people can be swayed by appearances?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day #21,637

Walk km 6868-6881 (14,756 to go): 16th/Knight/15th/Inverness/49th/Sherbrooke/53rd/Fraser/(bus)/Wiltshire/41st/Angus/36th/Maple/35th/Pine/train tracks/Arbutus

old GMC truck
aprox km 6879 East Blvd

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day #21,636

Walk km 6852-6868: Woodland Park to Eburne Park with Meetup Group

Woodland Park sign
aprox km 6853 Woodland Park

Movie #1605: Symphony Of Living (1935, Frank L Strayer)

IMDB rates this 7 out of 10. Are they crazy? This is one of the most useless pieces of tripe I've ever had the misfortune to watch. Just a bunch of caricatures spouting cliches. Yech!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Day #21,635

Walk km 6849-6852: to Sunrise Market

Movie #1604: The Limping Man (1953, Charles DeLaTour)

This is more like it. I think I may have liked this one more than I would normally have because I'd just watched the wretched "Young-ja On The Loose". Also, this movie makes a nice contrast to Rififi: here we have someone we can relate to. Lloyd Bridges arrives in London for a reunion with someone he met during the war only to find himself involved with Scotland Yard and a lot of mysterious goings on.

Movie #1603: Young-ja On The Loose (1975, Ho-sun Kim)

Totally useless. However, somebody must like this one: It was remade again in 1987 and on IMDB it's rated 6.9.
It's the story of a woman who whines all the way through the movie and the simpleton who is trying to "save her". It was only my iron will that got me through all 103 minutes.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Day #21,634

Walk km 6846-6849: running errands

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Day #21,633

Walk km 6833-6846 (14,787 to go): from Science World to Sperling Station with the Meetup Group

Movie #1602: Rififi (1955, Jules Dassin)

There's one thing wrong with this film: no good guys. It's all professional crooks. No one to root for. The closest thing we have are the women who are all treated like cattle. But except for a small part played by Tony's ex, they don't figure in the plot at all.
However, the execution is first rate as you would expect from Dassin.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day #21,632

Walk km 6825-6833 (14,799 to go): running errands and taking pictures

a creek
aprox km 6829 Renfrew Park

Movie #1601: Bounce Ko Gals (1997, Masato Harada)

Morality tale of all the things that can go wrong if teenage girls sell themselves (or their soiled underwear!). However, the whole thing is shot like a music video with plenty of tears at the happy ending. Crap. But beautiful looking crap.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day #21,631

Walk km 6815-6825: 41st Ave Station to 29th Ave Station via Cartier & Killarney Parks

tractor for the kids to play on
aprox km 6819 Tecumseh Park

Movie #1599: Half A Sinner (1940, Al Christie)

A whole truckload of wonderful character actors make this one a delight. Maybe not top notch but I wasn't expecting much so was pleasantly surprised.

Movie #1600: Lay That Rifle Down (1955, Charles Lamont)

I finally founed one of those Judy Canova movies. I was a fan of her singin' style but I'd never seen one of her movies before. I guess it would have been better if I never did. I'm not real fond of corn pone humour and I really hate corn pone that ain't even funny. Nothing funny here. Even the songs were terrible.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day #21,630

Walk km 6801-6803: running errands
Walk km 6803-6815 (14,815 to go): Sperling Station to Edmunds Station via the "312 Steps"

the top of the "312 steps"
aprox km 6810 Dover @ Royal Oak

Movie #1598: 2 or 3 Things I know About Her (1967, Jean-Luc Godard)

Question: Is this a lot of jibberish or something profound. Answer: It doesn't matter.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day #21,629

Walk km 6785-6801: from King Edward Station to Grays Park with Meetup group and then downtown with Meetup group

Meetup group
aprox km 6792 St Catherines Street

Movie #1597: The Constant Woman (1933, Victor Schertzinger)

Another movie using the worn out plot device: lying to people "for their own good". Ho hum.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Day #21,628

Walk km 6774-6785: to Stadium Station/(skytrain)/Ron McLean park/Marine/Gilley/Ron McLean park/Marine/Everett Crowley park/Kerr

a stream
aprox km 6779 Ron McLean park

Here's a track I purchased from eMusic today. My first music from Benin. The group is ElRego & Des Commandos. Recorded sometime in the 70s.

Movie #1596: Copkiller (1983, Roberto Faenza)

Useless movie. Poor quality print. Silly cast: would you believe Harvey Keitel, Johnny Rotten, Nicole Garcia & Sylvia Sidney? And music by Morricone. All that and it was still crap.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Day #21,627

Walk km 6762-6774(14,853 to go): Nanaimo Station to Eburne Park

Movie #1595: The Spiral Staircase (1945, Robert Siodmak)

A gothic old spooky house period piece flic. Not to my taste at all. However, Robert Siodmak appears to have just as much of a flair for this sort of thing as Hitchcock. The best of a bad genre.

Book #369: American On Purpose (2009, Craig Ferguson)

Have I hit bottom? Reading a showbiz bio? Wait a minute: Craig Ferguson was the drummer in the "new wave" band, The Dreamboys. But he was also in rehab and has had three wives. OK, I've hit bottom but it was a fun read down there.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Day #21,626

Walk km 6754-6762: from VCC Clark to Rupert Station with the Meetup group

a winking Corvette
aprox km 6760 17th Ave

Friday, March 4, 2011

Day #21,625

Walk km 6752-6754: to lunch

Movie #1594: Sabita Naifu (1958, Toshio Masuda)

Superior yakuza drama marred only by the lead actor Yujiro Ishihara who doesn't seem quite right for the part of the former yakuza who now wants revenge.
Nothing new here in the plot of the police not being able to find anyone to testify against the local mobsters. Routine plot but well executed.

More contemporary soul/funk I found on eMusic today.