Monday, October 31, 2011

Day #21,866

Walk km 8965-8973 (12,893 to go): every block walk: Windsor, 31st, St George, 27th

more fall colour
approx km 8967 Windsor Street

Movie #1864: The Reptile (1966, John Gilling)

I've come to expect crappy (plotwise) and wonderful (visually) movies from John Gilling. Here we have only the crap. It's a period piece with strange goings on on the moors. Phooey!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day #21,865

Walk km 8957-8965 (12,900 to go): every block walk: Commercial to Renfrew Station

fall colours
approx km 8963 15th Ave

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day #21,864

Walk km 8950-8957: every block walk: Fleming, Henry & Windsor streets

different type of gatepost toppers
approx km 8952 Fleming Street

Friday, October 28, 2011

Day #21,863

Walk km 8944-8950 (12,913 to go): every block walk: McLean, Woodland and Eton streets

the messy #4 bus
km 8950 Eton Ave

Movie #1863: Cornered (1945, Edward Dmytryk)

It's foreign intrigue down Buenos Aires way as Dick Powell hunts down Nazi collaborators. Quite good if you like this sort of thing. Not really my cup of tea. Always impressed by Dick Powell though when you think that he started out as a song and dance man.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day #21,862

Walk km 8934-8944: Meetup group over the 3 False Creek bridges

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day #21,861

Walk km 8923-8925: to Safeway
Walk km 8925-8928: to T&T
Walk km 8928-8934 (12,927 to go): every block walk: Hastings to 10th

forced turn intersection
approx km 8930 Semlin at Parker

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day #21,860

Walk km 8908-8911: running errands
Walk km 8911-8923: Meetup walk through North Vancouver

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day #21,859

Walk km 8894-8896: to T&T
Walk km 8896-8908 (12,951 to go): test walk for Meetup in Richmond

sculpture of Lenin
approx km 8902 Alderbridge Street Richmond

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Day #21,858

Walk km 8891-8894: to Safeway

Movie #1861: The Road To Ruin (1934, Dorothy Davenport & Melville Shyer)

A cautionary tale. Teenage girls start smoking, drinking, fornicating and jitterbugging. The big climax is when there is a police raid and they're all caught red handed swimming in a swimming pool! I'm not sure what 1934 law forbids swimming but it looks like it's a serious one.
In the end, the most innocent of the girls gets to die a horrible death after an unsanitary doctor performs an abortion.
You've been warned!

Movie #1862: Romance On The Run (Gus Meins, 1938)

Another poverty row B picture. I like it! Clocking in at only 53 minutes means they gotta keep that plot moving. Starts off in Chicago with police chief William Demerest. The whole cast then moves on to Cincinnati where the very pretty Patricia Ellis gets all tied up. Then it's south through Kentucky and Tennessee where the cast has a run-in with a bunch of hillbillies. What a hoot!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day #21,857

Walk km 8886-8891: mostly 26th & 23rd Ave

Pontiac V8
approx km 8891 21st Ave

all ready for halloween
approx km 8887 27th Ave

Movie #1859: The Gamma People (1955, John Gilling)

An interesting mess. It's half comedy / half mad scientist movie. It's an allegory of WWII. It has great visual style and it's a total waste of time.
The small country of Gudavia has been taken over by mad scientist who is German. He is using Gamma rays to brainwash the children into obeying him. The people are powerless to stop him. Who should wander into Gudavia? One Brit and one Yank. Of course they are able to do what the whole country was incapable of: they free the children by destroying the German single handedly (OK, double handedly). In case you didn't understand, the last scene is the Brit and the Yank leaving town in a car as all of Gudavia waves and cheers as they go by.
This Gilling fellow has a great visual style though. Lots of beautifully shot scenes. I especially liked the ones of the goons on the hill.

Movie #1860: O'Horten (2007, Bent Hamer)

Another movie without a plot. However, quite a good one. It's about a guy who retires but doesn't know what to do. But, he starts having small adventures by pure happenstance. Eventually he does start to do things on his own.
Note: For some reason, Netflix has screwed up the aspect ratio.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Day #21,856

Walk km 8882-8886: every block walk: 28th Avenue

Movie #1858: Knockout (1941, William Clemens)

Cliche ridden boxing picture. Since this was made in 1941, the cliches may not have been quite so mouldy back then. One interesting scene has the prizefighter punching a woman in the face. This scene was played for laughs - I'm deducting a few points for that one - it's a good thing that that hasn't become a cliche.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day #21,855

Walk km 8869-8871: running errands
Walk km 8871-8882 (12,973 to go): Park Royal to Waterfront with the Meetup group

Meetup group
approx km 8876 Stanley Park seawall

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day #21,854

Walk km 8866-8869: running errands

Movie #1856: Wind Across The Everglades (1958, Nicholas Ray)

Yup, mighty weird. As TCM tells it, Nicholas Ray was heavily into drugs while he was making this and he had to be replaced by the producer before he could finish it. The first 30 minutes are a glorious mess but then the effect kind of wears thin. Still, quite a viewing experience.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day #21,853

Walk km 8857-8861: running errands
Walk km 8861-8866: across Burrard & Granville bridges

Movie #1854: The Blackboard Jungle (1955, Richard Brooks)

It's strange that I haven't seen this one before. The only thing that ruins it is that it was made in Hollywood so you know that Glenn Ford will "get through" to the kids and there'll be a happy ending. Despite that, this was a fun movie. Vic Morrow rules!

Movie #1855: The True Story Of Jesse James (1957, Nicholas Ray)

Another Jesse James movie. It was OK. Nothing special. TCM host says that Ray kinda disowned it after the studio wouldn't let him shoot it the way he wanted to. One item: he wanted Elvis to play Jesse James!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Day #21,852

Walk km 8848-8857 (12,995 to go): every block walk: northwest from 41st Ave Station

dog in the hedge
approx km 8856 Hudson Street

Netflix video: Vice Guide To Travel

Not a movie. Not a TV show. Just some travel films made by Vice magazine and sold direct to video. I used to read Vice magazine back in the 90s when it was published in Montreal. It seems they're still around but now headquartered in New York.
Most of these films are quite good. They go to places that you or I would never want to set foot: North Korea, Chernobyl, Liberia or Mecca. Some of the films are very short (I would assume that's because they didn't find anything worthwhile). Some are quite long (the guide to Poland was sponsored by a vodka distiller and was by far the worst and the longest at over 1 hour).
The last one is about North Korea and the last item is the farewell karaoke party where the film's host finds "Anarchy In The U.K." on the karaoke machine (the machine was imported from South Korea). He sings Anarchy In The U.K. and his minders just stare at him like he's gone insane.
Watch it if you have plenty of time on your hands.

Book #394: Complete Stories Of Truman Capote (Truman Capote, 1943-82)

The stories are quite good. I'm just not a short story person.
Didn't realize that Capote was a southern writer (most of the stories are set there with a few set in New York).

Movie #1853: Train Of Events (1949, various)

Another of the British movies available from that bloke on YouTube who's been taping them off the telly. This one took three directors to make. Another enjoyable change of pace from the usual Hollywood fare. It's a short story type movie with four seperate stories all ending in a train wreck on the 3:45 to Liverpool.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day #21,851

Walk km 8842-8848 (13,003 to go): to Main Street Station via 2nd Ave

Movie #1852: Stranded (2001, Maria Lidon)

This kinda looks like a remake of "The Wizard Of Mars". Astronauts stranded on Mars walk into a cave and find an ancient civilization. They've got the same knuckleheaded astronauts and that same red filter for the camera. I don't know why you would try and recreate a movie that wasn't anything to write home about in the first place.
In the cast you'll find Vincent "Buffalo 66" Gallo, Maria "Pulp Fiction" de Medeiros and Johnny "The Ramones" Ramone.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Day #21,850

Walk km 8834-8842 (13,008 to go): every block walk: Rupert Station to T&T

neighborhood book exchange box
approx km 8838 Charles at Lakewood

Movie #1850: The Last House On The Left (1972, Wes Craven)

This one is kind of a tie-in with last night's movie since this is the movie they watched when Roky Erickson and Daniel Johnston got together in Austin Texas.
Well, it's crap. There's lots of crappy singer/songwriter music used for padding. The police buffoonery really doesn't fit in with (for those times) the ultra-gore. The direction is hopeless. The acting is nothing much (David Hess is OK as the main sicko). The only thing it has going for it is a few scenes of perversion that nobody had dared to film before.

Movie #1851: Dark City (1950, William Dieterle)

A couple of surprises here. One, this film is available on Netflix. Two, there was closed captioning on Netflix. The search engine with Netflix Canada is pathetic so the only way to find films there is just to stumble over them. I hear that the hearing impaired were giving Netflix a hard time about no closed captioning. Looks like they were listening.
As for the movie: what a cast! Heston, Lizabeth Scott (although she sang too much), Begley, Webb, Jagger, Lindfors, DeFore, Harry Morgan and Mike Mazurki. It was fun but not first rate "noir". I assume that Dieterle wasn't quite in the same league as the likes of Mann, Siodmak, Mate, Huston etc.
Also interesting was an early use of Las Vegas as a setting. All the scenes there were kind of ruined because I kept looking at the background scenery instead of concentrating on the story.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Day #21,849

Walk km 8828-8834: every block walk: Parker @ Clark to Rupert Station

Movie #1849: The Devil And Daniel Johnston (2005, Jeff Feuerzeig)

The first Daniel Johnston record I bought was the one with Jad Fair. I thought it was kinda crappy. I was suprised years later when I found a copy of the "Fun" CD. It was on Atlantic (a major label) and it sounded normal! I hadn't even heard that Daniel had made a CD for a major label. This movie glosses over that CD (the music but not the story behind it). And I guess that it didn't sound that normal because according to this movie it bombed big time.
It seems to me that Daniel wouldn't be as a big a star today if it wasn't for his mental illness. I think a lot of people want to come out to see that crazy person. But these weren't amazing publicity stunts (forcing a woman to jump out of her 2nd story window or crashing an aeroplane), they were just the actions of a crazy person. And that's what makes them appealing.
OK, now how about a documentary about Roky Erickson?

Here's a little story about Daniel and Roky.

Here's a song about Roky by Daniel.

After checking IMDB: They've already made a Roky Erickson documentary: "You're Gonna Miss Me" and it was released the same year as "The Devil And Daniel Webster". Sounds like they would have made a dynamite double bill.

I just checked with Netflix about the Roky Erickson movie. It's available.....if you live in the USA, you're SOL if you live in Canada.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Day #21,848

Walk km 8817-8828 (13,020 to go): "City Lights" walk with Meetup group

Meetup group walkers
approx km 8822 seawalk near Beach Street

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Day #21,847

Walk km 8811-8817 (13,030 to go): Science World to home

new roof on the stadium
aprox km 8813 Pacific Blvd

Movie Rewatch: Assault On Precinct 13 (1976, John Carpenter)

I originally watched this one in a triple bill theatre on Main Street in Winnipeg. Now I see it on my HD 23" computer monitor while sitting in my easy chair. It don't make no difference: it's a great one either way.
One thing I don't remember from the first time I saw it: this is a remake of "Night Of The Living Dead" except that here the zombies are replaced by gang members.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day #21,846

Walk km 8805-8807: running errands
Walk km 8807-8811 (13,035 to go): to T&T via Pacific Blvd

the T&T store
approx km 8811 Keefer @ Abbott

Movie #1848: The Young Doctors (1961, Phil Karlson)

Oh boy is this corny. The story is from an Arthur "Zero Hour!" Hailey novel. That explains it. I must have a high tolerance for corn because I kinda enjoyed it. Even Dick Clark was OK here (kudos to Karlson?).

Monday, October 10, 2011

Day #21,845

Walk km 8797-8805: test walk from Park Royal

approx km 8798 under Lions Gate Bridge

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day #21,844

Walk km 8791-8797 (13,047 to go): test walk for Meetups (downtown)

Toonie Town Store
approx km 8794 Denman Street

Movie #1847: Mr. Freedom (William Klein, 1969)

And you thought Godard's political films were a little odd. Here we have the battle for the hearts and minds of the French done cartoon style. In charge of the battle are Mr. Freedom (USA), Moujik Man (Russia) and Red China Man (not Taiwan Man). It's obvious that Mr Klein hates all three but he has a special place in his spleen for the U.S.A. (Mr Freedom gets top billing and most of the screen time). Fun.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Day #21,843

Walk km 8782-8791: Lynn Canyon Park (with Meetup group)

one log bridge
approx km 8787 Lynn Canyon Park

Friday, October 7, 2011

Day #21,842

Walk km 8773-8782 (13,060 to go): every block walk: 29th Ave Station to Renfrew Station

Movie #1842: The Alphabet Murders (1965, Frank Tashlin)

An odd combination: a black&white English film directed by Frank Tashlin. There isn't another director that is more colourfully American than Tashlin. And as an added minus the story is by Agatha Christie. A miss.

Movie #1846: Capitalism: A Love Story (2009, Michael Moore)

This must have been a tough one to make. How to select from all the outrages perpetrated by capitalism?
It's all fun stuff but I thought the end was a cop-out: replace capitalism - sure, but replace it with what? - democracy! No, democracy is a political system and capitalism is a financial system. The correct answer was socialism. I don't think he had the nerve to say the S word (although he did mention it earlier).
Also, this film won't make any difference. Moore is too famous now. The people that agree with Moore will watch this movie - those who don't, won't. No minds will be changed.
Almost forgot: I didn't understand the story about corporations taking out life insurance policies on their employees. Where's the benefit? The insurance companies have to make money so it's a losing proposition for those paying the premiums. What's in it for them? I don't get it.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Day #21,841

Walk km 8768-8773 (13,068 to go): every block walk: north of Kootenay Loop

entranceway to the Ironworker's Memorial Bridge
approx km 8771 Fellowes Street

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Day #21,840

Walk km 8757-8768 (13,072 to go): every block walk: Joyce Station to Renfrew Station

flora (and sidewalk)
approx km 8763 24th Avenue

Movie #1840: A Woman's Secret (1949, Nicholas Ray)

Hey, I've seen this one before. And still, I don't get it. Why did Maureen O'Hara claim that she'd shot Gloria Grahame? It's kinda the key to the whole story and yet I musta missed it. Thank God we've got IMDB.... I'll just skip over there to get the inside dope.
Well! IMDB has let me done. Nobody spills the beans although one know-it-all explains that it was so obvious, he knew it all along!
TCM explains: Maureen O'Hara was trying to prevent Gloria Grahame from committing suicide! They explain that Maureen reads Gloria's telegram from her husband and deduces that Gloria is about to commit suicide. But Gloria had already burnt the telegram before Maureen enters the room! Was there some sort of clue at the beginning of the film that indicates that Maureen has seen the telegram? I don't think so because Maureen keeps asking Gloria what the problem is. Very confusing.
HEY WAIT A MINUTE - that still doesn't explain why Maureen lied. If Gloria was gonna commit what! Because suicide is against the law? I'm now more confused than ever.
AFTER READING MANY OTHER REVIEWS: Finally, someone else admits that they don't know the answer to why Maureen confesses to the police. He claims the film simply doesn't say why. Which gets us back to the title of this picture: A Woman's Secret!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day #21,839

Walk km 8746-8757 (13,082 to go): Lynn Canyon Park

Lynn Canyon Creek
approx km 8751 Lynn Canyon Park

Movie #1839: Ex Drummer (2007, Koen Mortier)
Famous writer goes slumming as the drummer for a punk rock band. You know what this reminded me of? Lars Von Trier's "The Idiots". Yup, it's really that bad.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Day #21,838

Walk km 8744-8746: running errands

Book #393: The Meaning Of Everything (Simon Winchester, 2003)

An unlikely book for me to like. I'm the kind of person who can't be bothered to use a dictionary. If I read a word I don't understand I simply try to infer the meaning from context and continue right along.
I guess that's what makes this story so fascinating. For 71 years, a whole slew of people skipped nothing: they spent their lives tracking down every word in the english language which included not just its meaning but also its origin.
Actually, kind of fun.
Note: anyone in Vancouver can browse the OED free of charge with a valid library card

Movie #1837: Blast Of Silence (1961, Allen Baron)

Cheapy hit man movie made in New York City on a shoestring budget. Most of it was done using voiceover and the strange thing is the guy doing the voiceover sounds just like Lionel Stander. Even stranger is it turns out it was actually Lionel Stander - he'd been blacklisted by Hollywood so he was taking any work he could get.
The whole thing was very effective but unfortunately Mr Baron was lured to Hollywood and ended up making TV junk like Love Boat and Love American Style.

Movie #1838: UHF (1989, Jay Levey)

Long string of gags. Some are a bit humourous but after a while it starts getting very old. Avoid.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Day #21,837

Walk km 8732-8744 (13,093 to go): Cleveland Dam to Lonsdale Quay

Movie #1836: Rubber (2010, Quentin Dupieux)

Surrealism about a killer car tire. They coulda played it straight for laughs but instead added all kind of Monty Pythonisms to make it surrealistic. Not bad but I think if they'd played it straight it would have been better. I think.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Day #21,836

Walk km 8718-8732 (13,104 to go): Watershed Park to 56th Ave at King George Blvd

green ditch
approx km 8723 Colebrook Road

Movie #1835: Pigs And Battleships (1961, Shohei Imamura)

the hotel room (before it began spinning)

Was Imamura a big fan of the Bowery Boys films? This is like the Bowery Boys on steroids. The main character is Kinta who acts like a cross between Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall. Unlike the Bowery Boys movies, I had no idea what was going on here plotwise. It was something about the yakuza taking up pig farming. Also, there was also talk about "scraps" from a U.S. navel base. Not sure what that was about.
The two must see scenes here: the spinning hotel room and the "running of the pigs".