Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day #21,682

Walk km 7316-7342(14,340 to go): 5 City Walk (Surrey to New Westminster to Burnaby to Vancouver to North Vancouver)

Meetup members Nina,Lynne,Hilary and Lynne's friend
aprox km 7330 Squint Park (Burnaby)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Day #21,681

Walk km 7306-7316(14,365 to go) : Joyce Station to Sperling Station

walking/auto route
aprox km 7313 south of Deer Lake

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day #21,680

Walk km 7299-7306 (14,374 to go): to the library/(bus+skytrain)/Hebb/Nootka/3rd/Commercial

the polka dot house
aprox km 7304 3rd Avenue

Movie #1648: On Their Knees (2001, Anais Grandofsky)

No No No! Look, if you have no talent, there are still movies you can make. You can make movies about zombies on the rampage. You can make movies about giant insects from outer space. But you cannot make a heartfelt movie about a family reunion. For that you'll need talent.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day #21,679

Walk km 7286-7298 (14,381 to go): around Deer Park with Meetup group
Walk km 7298-7299: running errands

Meetup walking group
aprox km 7292 at the top of the 312 stairs

Book #376: Wake Up Dead (2010, Roger Smith)

I came up with this one when I googled "Richard Stark" with list + best hoping to get some books of the same type. Well, this ain't one of them.
Whereas Donald E Westlake's alter-ego's writing style is "stark" this is all over-the-top excess with the purpose of shocking the reader. It doesn't work as the style gets tedious very fast.

Movie #1647: In The Year Of The Pig (1968, Emile De Antonio)

Interesting documentary about the Vietnam war made during the height of the war. Pretty much comes to the same conclusion in 68 that people came to years later upon reflection.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Days #21,677-8

Walk km 7270-7274: to Main Street Station
Walk km 7274-7286: to Science World to English Bay (and return) with the Meetup group

Monday, April 25, 2011

Day #21,676

Walk km 7266-7269 (14,407 to go): running errands

Movie #1646: The Left Handed Gun (1958, Arthur Penn)

This one reminds me of Sam Fuller's "Forty Guns". Both seemed to be trying out new directions for the western. Whereas "Forty Guns" was goofy and fun, this movie is more serious and artistic. The trouble with this one is Paul Newman. Because of his "method" acting, you don't believe for a second that that's Billy The Kid on the screen.... that's Paul Newman. However, it sure is great to look at. The best scenes are Billy and the boys covered in flour and the killing of bad guy #3 shot from inside a window that he slides down face first.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day #21.675

Walk km 7250-7266: from UBC to Science World with the Meetup walking group

2 of the Meetup walkers
aprox km 7258 English Bay seashore

Friday, April 22, 2011

Day #21,674

Walk km 7239-7250 (14,424 to go): Smithe/Granville/Nelson/alleys/seawalk/Terminal/Clark/Grandview/Commercial/Gravely/Cotton/William/McLean/Napier/George/Venables/Campbell/Union/Georgia/Quebec/Keefer/Abbott/Pender

Movie #1644: Riviera (2005,Anne Villeceque)

Time was Miou Miou was the queen of the French cinema. She could pick and choose any movie she wanted. And now............ she has sunk so low as to appear in this pile of crap. Must she take a role like this because she needs the money? Very sad.

Movie #1645: A Double Tour (1959,Claude Chabrol)

There are a ton of French movies on YouTube with Russian voice-over. For some reason, this has no voice-over and so it can be heard in the original French.
Did Hitchcock sue? This is like an exact replica of a Hitchcock of the "Trouble With Harry" to "Vertigo" period. It's odd that after perfecting Hitchcock, Chabrol went on to direct a real grab-bag of movies only to return to the Hitchcock replicas much later in his career. A beautiful film.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day #21,673

Walk km 7232-7234: running errands
Walk km 7234-7239: to Davie @ Denman via Stanley Park

Movie #1643: Trans-Europ-Express (1967, Alain Robbe-Grillet)

Takes the concept of Jean-Luc Godard's characters acknowledging the camera to the extreme. We no sooner settle in to watch a nice crime thriller than we hear the screenwriters discussing what we've just seen. They change their minds so we see the scene reshot with the changes. For example: At one point they can't decide if the main character is carrying a parcel or if he left it somewhere so after watching the scene without a parcel we see a number of shots of this character walking along the docks and tossing a parcel into the water. In the end, it almost appears that it's the characters in the movie who are watching the movie!
Every time we start getting interested in the plot we are stopped and told (one way or another)that it's only a plot. It's only a movie. All in good fun.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day #21,672

Walk km 7222-7224: running errands
Walk km 7224-7232(14,440 to go): 24th/Gladstone/25th/Brandt/27th/Victoria/Kingsway/Beatrice/33rd/Victoria/35th/Dumfries/Lanark/31st/Knight/29th/Dumfries/27th/Elgin/King Edward/Glen/24th/Knight

another flowering bush
aprox km 7230 Elgin Street

Movie 1642: Marisol Rumbo A Rio (1963, Fernando Palacios)

So, yesterday I bought a bunch of 60s Spanish tunes on eMusic including "Muchachita" by Marisol. The video for this song looked like it was from a movie. I tracked down the movie: Marisol Rumbo A Rio. It was also on YouTube but only in Spanish. I figured I'd watch it anyhow. The plot in a 60s teen movie is never worth the paper it's written on. Marisol plays two roles: identical twin sisters (idea stolen from Hayley Mills in "The Parent Trap"). The movie is like a picture postcard promo for a vacation spot (stolen from Elvis Presley in "Blue Hawaii"). The ending is hang by your fingernails thrilling as Marilou tries not to fall from Rio's famous statue of Christ (stolen from Alfred Hitchcock in "North By Northwest"). So, the whole thing is just a bunch of other people's ideas mashed together but Marisol is plucky and perky in the title roles. She can also belt out a tune. Fun for everyone.
Here's Marisol rocking out with "Oh Tony":

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day #21,671

Walk km 7216-7222: Hastings/Slocan/Pender/Templeton/Hastings/Woodland/Powell/MacLean/Hastings

wall mural defaced by political poster
aprox km 7220 Jackson Street near Hastings

Book #375: Firebreak (2001, Donald E Westlake)

A somewhat lesser Parker novel as some of the spotlight shifts away from Parker and onto the peripheral characters. There's some good stuff in here: the old couple hired to watch Parker's house on TV and the most disfunctional "family" of all time. However, the shift away from Parker slows down the momentum so you don't get that adrenalin rush that you've come to expect from this series.

Movie #1641: Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle (2004, Danny Leiner)

After last night's comedy I decided to check out a more up to date version of the same genre. Actually, the results of watching are much the same: most of the attemts at humour fall flat with a few chuckles here and there. The difference is that all the heart warming stuff is gone to be replaced by swearing and farting. I coulda done without both.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day #21,670

Walk km 7207-7216: 10th/Victoria/8th/Lakewood/Oxford/Renfrew/Cambridge/Templeton/Pender/Commercial

big rock in intersection
aprox km 7212 Oxford @ Garden

Movie #1640: California Suite (1978, Herbert Ross)

It's a big Hollywood blockbuster. Oodles of stars. Script by Neil Simon. I had kinda low expectations but this movie didn't rise to even that low standard.
First off, why were these all short stories? In Grand Hotel movies the characters are supposed to interact. Here, every story was separate. Second off, why did Cosby & Pryor have to do slapstick. All the others got to at least attempt witty dialogue. These two had to hit their wives with tennis balls and step on glass.
I gotta admit that the 100 minutes moved along fairly fast so it does make for a good time waster.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day #21,669

Walk km 7195-7207(14,462 to go): from Production Way Station to Columbia Station

aprox km 7203 Fraser River

Movie #1639: Ring Of Fire (1961, Andrew L Stone)

Very entertaining. Small town sheriff taken hostage by a bunch of punk teens. Lots of excellent repartee and dramatic tension between the wild living punks and the straightlaced sheriff.

Movie #rewatch: The Giant Gila Monster (1959, Ray Kellogg)

Your usual lizards and hot rods movie. What you might expect from a 50s garde-Z cheapie. Nominated for the worst song of all time: "Laugh Childen Laugh".
Here's a clip from the movie featuring "Laugh Children Laugh" (sub-titles added):

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day #21,668

Walk km 7185-7195 (14,473 to go): from Waterfront Station to Park Royal Mall with Meetup group

Meetup group
aprox km 7191 Stanley Park

Movie #1637: Ever In My Heart (1933, Archie Mayo)

Sappy soaper with Barbara Stanwyck. Once again, a cautionary tale concerning the addictive effects of romance!

Movie #1638: Lonely Wives (1931, Russell Mack)

A sex comedy. From 1931. Very odd indeed. However, the novelty wears off quite early and it disintegrates into a case of mistaken identity.

Day #21,667

Walk km 7174-7185: Commercial Station roundtrip to 29th Ave with Meetup group.

a Plymouth
aprox km 7175 Georgia Ave

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day #21,666

Walk km 7159-7174 (14,492 to go): to Stadium Station/skytrain/Pattullo bridge/Dufferin/Agnes/Coburg/Vancouver/Queens park/1st/Robert Burnaby park/Lakefield/Nursery/6th/trail/Donovan/Rayside/Claude/Sperling/Gilpin/Kensington/trail

tree with many branches
aprox km 7166 George Burnaby Park

Movie #1636: Les Temoins (2007,Andre Techine)

Another well made movie without a plot strong enough to make it compelling. Just another movie.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day #21,665

Walk km 7145-7159: around Burnaby Lake with the Meetup group

Movie #1635: So Evil My Love (1948, Lewis Allen)

Don't really like these melodramatic period pieces. However, I did get caught up in the plot here. Nothing special but a nice rainy afternoomn type of movie.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day #21,664

Walk km 7133-7145: from Science World to English Bay (and return) with the Meetup group

Book #374: Backflash (1998, Donald E Westlake)

One of Donald's best in the Parker series. Once again Parker and "friends" live in their own world with no concern for the daily trials of tribulations or ordinary mortals. In that way, this has the same allure as science fiction. These people are not human! As usual, a few mere mortals do stray over the line into Parker's world but they all end up being air-conditioned by bullet holes by the final page. Unique reading.

Song #37,522: Nowhere, Manitoba (2007, Lee Mellor)
When it's your last day to download 10 more songs on eMusic, you never know what you might download on a whim.

Song #37,520: Bye Bye (1955, The Cosmic Rays)
Even the most ultra avant-garde weirdos have to start somewhere. Here's Sun Ra in 1955 dabbling in what was then all the rage: doo-wop. Sounds pretty normal to me except for those few bass notes at the end.
Somebody put this record on Ebay last year. The selling price: $3150.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Day #21,663

Walk km 7125-7130: Smithe/Granville/Pender/(bus)/Dunbar/27th/Quesnel/MacDonald/31st/Narvaez/Paton/Edgar/McBain/Brakenridge
Walk km 7130-7133 (14,530 to go): to Denman & Davie

an MG
aprox km 7127 Quesnel Street

Movie #1634: Last Holiday (1950, Henry Cass)

I used to have a very low opinion of the British cinema. Here's yet another exception to that rule. Farm machinery salesman is given only a few weeks to live by his doctor. So, he decides to spend it with snooty people in a posh hotel. What an idiot! Anyway, it turns into another "Grand Hotel" and a rather good one at that.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day #21,662

Walk km 7123-7125: running errands

Movie #1633: Ride The Wild Surf (1964, Don Taylor)

This movie is terrible. Stupid plot. Horrible acting. Lots of fake "action scenes". Comedy bits that aren't funny. I enjoyed it. You see, I was 12 years old when this movie was released. The target audience was teens. There are some things from your past that you just can't shake.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day #21,661

Walk km 7112-7123 (14,538 to go): from Dunbar Loop to Marine Drive station via Southlands

Meetup group walkers
aprox km 7116 MacDonald Street

Can't get enough New Mastersounds? I didn't realize that Eddie Roberts (New Mastersound's guitarist) was putting out solo stuff. Sounds good too.
Available on eMusic.

Movie #1632: Red Persimmons (2001, Ogawa & Peng)

A documentary about the growing of persimmons. Ok for a change of pace but I wouldn't want to watch too many of these.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Day #21,660

Walk km 7102-7112 (14,548 to go): from UBC to Yew @ Cornwall

a pier
aprox km 7108 English Bay

Movie #rewatch: Black Rain (1989, Shohei Imamura)

A movie about the effects of the radioactive "black" rain that fell on and around Hiroshima on the day that the A-bomb was dropped. The entire cast begins to disintigrate right before your eyes. As sad as a movie can get.
I originally saw this on TV with French subtitles. I'm not sure if I've ever seen it before with English subtitles. It is one of the greats.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day #21,659

Walk km 7088-7100: from Joyce Station to Waterfront Station with Meetup Group
Walk km 7100-7102 (14,557 to go): to the library

Meetup Group
aprox km 7095 walker's overpass on Keefer

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day #21,658

Walk km 7075-7088: to Yaletown Station/(skytrain)/Cambie/48th/Yukon/46th/Cambie/45th/Alberta/46th/Ontario/42nd/Main/43rd/Sophia/37th/Main/36th/Prince Edward/35th/Sophia/36th/Walden/33rd/Sophia/32nd/Prince Edward/31st/John/30th/Sophia/King Edward/John/Webber/Sophia/28th/Watson/28th/Main/13th/Kingway/Main

an El Camino
aprox km 7079 36th Avenue

Movie #1631: Behind Locked Doors (1948, Budd Boetticher)

Early Boetticher has Richard Carlson faking insanity so he can get committed to a mental institution. That is never a good idea. Once the staff find out he's really a private eye they figure out a novel way to get rid of him. You see, they have a boxer (Tor Johnson!) there who will swing at anything when he hears the sound of a bell. So, just throw him in the padded cell with Tor and he'll be nothing but hamburger in no time. Now, as any fool can see, there's a hole in that plot that you could drive a truck through. If Carlson just stays down the boxer won't hit him. So, what does Carlson do? That's right, as soon as Tor flattens him..............he gets back on his feet again..........and again.........and again. Nobody can possibly be that stupid! And what did the scriptwriters think? Nobody would notice? Nobody would care?
All told, a pretty decent "sane man in looney bin" movie.

Book #373: Arctic Chill (2005, Arnaldur Indridason)

OK, he's not exactly Mankell but he's not bad. This is the 3rd of his books I've read and I think this is his best plot. However, his depiction of the policemen's private lives has kind of hit a rut as he regurgitates the same stuff from previous books. So, his strongest point is getting weaker but the weakest part is getting stronger. I'm also a little suspicious of his translator. Some of the prose seems a little clumsy and this could be either Arnaldur or his translator. Is the person wearing a "basketball cap" because Arnaldur or the translator put it on his head?
Still, a pretty decent page turner with enough character development to make it worth reading.
His publisher does sink rather low on their back cover "praise for..." where they have to quote the Winnipeg Free Press.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day #21,657

Walk km 7068-7071: running errands
Walk km 7070-7075: to Denman @ Pendrell via seawalk (north)

Movie #1629: Jubilee (1978, Derek Jarman)

Ah, those were the days: Sex Pistols, Damned, Buzzcocks, BowWowWow. Well, Jarman couldn't get them but he did get Wayne County, Toyah Wilcox, Jordan and his biggest star: Adam Ant!
It's all a lot of fun as the whole lot prance about in true punk fashion. Guaranteed to upset just about any Brit over the age of 18.

Movie #1630: Satan In High Heels (1962, Jerald Intrator)

Another interesting B movie from via Something Weird video. This one starts out great with the title character stealing $900 from a junkie and hopping on a plane headed for New York. After that it's kinda downhill and the plot just doesn't hold up through 90 minutes. However, it's nice to see an entire cast and crew of nobodys giving it their all to try and make a quality picture on a shoestring budget. They almost succeed.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Day #21,656

Walk km 7062-7064: to the library
Walk km 7064-7068 (14,588 to go): to Yaletown Station/(skytrain)/Broadway/Alberta/2nd/Cook/1st/Columbia/Walter Hardwick/Ontario/seawalk

Movie #1628: Mother Riley Meets The Vampire (1952, John Gilling)

Apparently the English find nothing so hilarious as a man dressed up in women's clothes. Another embarrassment for poor Bela Lugosi. One of the all-time worst.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Day #21,655

Walk km 7051-7062: from Production Way Station to Sperling Station with Meetup Group

various Meetup group walkers milling about at the reststop
aprox km 7055 Squint Lake Park

Movie #1627: Sin In The Suburbs (1964, Joe Sarno)

Interesting companion piece to last night's "Jivin' In Be-Bop". This movie also has a wall-to-wall jazz soundtrack. Instead of Dizzy Gillespie, it's Sam S Fiedel (who?). But this one works just fine. This is a very weird sexploitation picture from the early 60s. The whole concept is so different from other films that it's like watching science fiction. Are these people from another planet?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day #21,654

Walk km 7042-7051: Clark/Frances/Turner/Nanaimo/Georgia/Garden/Adanac/Nanaimo/Georgia/Cassair/Rupert park/Gravely/Slocan/1st

Japanese fan dancers
aprox km 7048 Gravely Street

Movie #1625: Take Aim At The Police Van (1960, Seijun Suzuki)

Amazing movie. The visuals are stunning and the plot is like a plate of spaghetti. The plot twists just keep coming one after the other all the way through the movie. Did the people making this movie even know what was going on? I doubt it.
Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Movie #1626: Jivin' In Be-Bop (1946, Anderson & Williams)

Of historical importance only. You would think that if they were gonna make a big band movie in 1946 they would pick Duke Ellington, Count Basie or Cab Calloway. Picking to build a movie around the music of Dizzy Gillespie must have been considered a little "out there".
Personally, I've never been a fan of be-bop so most of this left me cold. The best were the dance numbers (especially "Boogie In C") and the vocalists were the worst part.