Saturday, December 31, 2011

Day #21.927

Top 40 Tunes of 2011 (as tabulated by Last.FM)

The Pebbles - Two songs in the Top 40

1 The Pebbles – Down Town
2 Hank Thompson – Born to Lose
3 Lee Mellor – Nowhere, Manitoba
4 Uta Köbernick РBloss Nicht Dran Ruehren
5 Shirley Nair & The Silver Strings – You're the Boy
6 The Seekers – On the Other Side
7 Jimmy Soul & The Chants – Respectable
8 London Punkharmonic Orchestra – Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
9 Kommando Beat – Love Potion #9 (Liebesmedizin)
10 Phil Harris – The Dark Town Poker Club
11 The New Mastersounds – Narcolepsy
12 Vermin Poets – Baby Booming Bastards
13 Bachman-Turner Overdrive – Let It Ride
14 The Vibrators – Whips & Furs
15 Mother Tuckers Yellow Duck – One Ring Jane
16 Baby Washington – The Time
17 Thundermug – Jane "J" James
18 2raumwohnung – Wir Werden Sehen
19 Terry Snyder & The All Stars – Puttin' on the Ritz
20 Uta Köbernick РLg (Luxusgefuehle)
21 The Guess Who – Let it Ride
22 Merit Hemmingson – Rain Caravan
23 The Jury – Please Forget Her
24 Shirley Nair & The Silver Striings – If You Ever Go
25 Ludella Black – I've Just Seen a Face
26 The Link Quartet – Glass Onion
27 Beach Bellydance Babylon – Machine Gun Shimmy
28 Mark Duboise – Don't Start Smokin' Pot
29 Ken Boothe – Everything I Own
30 Karina – Goldfinger
31 The Flame – Don't Worry, Bill
32 The Satin Bells – Da Di Da Da
33 The Parson Red Heads – Choose
34 Doreen Thobekile – Umfolozi
35 Thirteen – Smacking Down On Funny Farm
36 The Pebbles – Don't You Know
37 Chubby Checker – Let's Twist Again
38 Alma Cogan – Why Do Fools Fall In Love
39 Diplomats of Solid Sound – Chinese Connection
40 Lady Daisey – Promise Sunshine

Walk km 9503-9514 (12,413 to go): Poco Trail

beware of bears sign
approx km 9504 Poco Trail

Movie #1913: It Came From Kuchar (2009, Jennifer M Kroot)

A documentary about a couple of filmmaking brothers whom I had never heard of even though they've been making movies since the 50s! I kinda get the feeling though that these two guys might just be more fun to watch than their films (Guy Maddin is a fan).

Friday, December 30, 2011

Day #21,926

Walk km 9500-9503: to the Safeway

Movie #1912: Heat Wave (1953, Ken Hughes)

This is #6 in the Hammer Noir Series. Finally, a noir. This is about as downbeat as you can get. Two bit hack writer is down on his luck and falls for the rich lady across the lake who is planning to murder her husband (with his help!).
It may not be one of the best noirs but Hughes certainly has done the best job possible to duplicate this American art form.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day #21,925

Walk km 9490-9500: test walk: Grey Gum Trail

a pedestrian overpass
approx km 9493 across Boundary Road

Movie #1910: The Gambler And The Lady (1952, Patrick Jenkins)

This is #5 in the Hammer Noir Series. Totally useless.
Additional scenes were added back in the States by Sam Newfield. Don't know if this was the US or UK version.

Movie #1911: I Love You Again (1940, W S Van Dyke)

I thought Van Dyke was a hack but he does a good job here. Of course, it helps to be working with William Powell. Amusing comedy using that old amnesia gag.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Day #21,924

Walk km 9485-9488 (12,436 to go): to Main Street Station
Walk km 9488-9490: to T&T

Book #405: The Water's Edge (2007, Karin Fossum)

Another winner from Fossum. I small criticism: some of the dialogue did sound like editorializing. Not that editorializing is wrong. It's just that it sounds a little awkward.
Otherwise, the pages fly by once again. We wallow again in other folk's inner turmoil.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day #21,923

Walk km 9480-9482: to the library and T&T
Walk km 9482-9485: to Denman & Davie

Movie #1909: Blackout (1954, Terence Fisher)

This is #4 in the Hammer Noir series. One again, this is not noir. It's sort of a whodunit/comedy in the first half but it loses the comedy in the second half. Dane Clark was the American import in this one and he does a fine job (I gotta admit I'd never heard of the fellow). Also good is Eleanor Summerfield as Maggie Doone.
It loses a bit of steam in the second half when it gets serious but it's still the best of this lot so far.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Day #21,922

Walk km 9475-9477: downtown
Walk km 9477-9480: to Denman and Davie

Movie #1905: Black Sun (1964, Koreyoshi Kurahara)

Super weird. But it appears to be racist. It tells of the kinship between the Japanese and the black Americans. They have a common enemy: whitey.

Movie #1906: Stolen Face (1952, Terence Fisher)

This is #3 in the Hammer Film Noir collection. This time it isn't even fake noir: just a little mellodrama. The best part is the great Lizabeth Scott gets two roles so she can be the refined concert pianist and also ham it up as a low life jazz loving petty criminal.

Day #21,921

Walk km 9472-9475( 12,446 to go): to Christmas dinner

Movie #1904: Man Bait (1952, Terence Fisher)

This is number 2 in the Hammer Film Noir collection. It's not noir of course but a standard crime drama. It's much better than yesterday's "Bad Blonde" due the fact that Fisher is a much better director than LeBorg. But better doesn't mean more entertaining. The token Hollywood star in this one is Greorge Brent. I've never understood how that guy became a movie star: he has no charisma at all. England's answer to Marilyn Monroe, Diana Dors, plays the title role.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Day #21,920

Walk km 9471-9472: to the library

Movie #1903: Bad Blonde (1953, Reginald LeBorg)

So bad it's almost good. Leading man Tony Wright has all the charisma of a slug and acts like he's in a high school play. The useless director Reginald LeBorg flies over from Hollywood (they shoulda saved themselves the air fare). Everything is executed with the subtlety of a sledge hammer.
Still, this is my kinda film so it was entertaining in its awfulness.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Day #21,919

Walk km 9461-9471: Meetup walk in 9 cities

approx km 9470 Fraser Highway (Langley)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Day #21,918

Walk km 9452-9455: to the bank & T&T
Walk km 9455-9461 (12,457 to go): every block: Selkirk & Osler

Christmas lights at grass level
approx km 9458 49th at Osler

Movie #1902: Kimjongilia (2009, N C Heikin)

It seemed like the right time to watch this documentary about Kim Jong-Il. There's not much new here. The stories of people who excaped North Korea are what you would expect. The treatment of the Koreans in China was new to me. The filmaker didn't have much film footage (some of the interviewees didn't want their faces shown) so he had to add filler just to get this up to 73 minutes.

Book #404: Black Seconds (2002, Karin Fossum)

I had a problem with this book: I'd seen the movie already. I wasn't able to stop thinking about the movie version and comparing that plot to this one. That probably did lessen my enjoyment somewhat but it was still a first class page turner. The plot was a bit more streamlined than the usual Fossum: no amazing coincidences and allusions (what appears to be happening really is). As usual, the enjoyment of the book is because of the first class description of the characters inner turmoil. Another first class effort.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day #21,917

Walk km 9447-9449: to the library & T&T
Walk km 9449-9452: to Safeway via Coal Harbour

Movie #1901: Under Suspicion (2000, Stephen Hopkins)

It's interesting that a Hollywood crime film would end with absolutely no explanation. Gene Hackman is grilled by the police throughout the whole film and then confesses at the same time that the police stumble upon the real killer. What was he confessing for? No reason given.
Otherwise, a excellent film with fine performances. It doesn't really matter if Hackman was guilty or innocent because it's just a film but it's odd that Hollywood would release a movie with that ending.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Day #21,916

Walk km 9444-9447: to T&T

Movie #1900: One False Move (1992, Carl Franklin)

Standard crime drama: well executed but nothing special.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Day #21,915

Walk km 9441-9444: running errands

Movie #1899: Who's That Knocking At My Door (1967, Martin Scorsese)

It's been 40 years since I saw "Mean Streets" but isn't this the same story? A bunch of petty criminals living the good life but who are restricted in their world view due to the fact that they're airheads. In this one, petty criminal (and airhead) Harvey Keitel falls for a girl who has no TV and reads books. He's way over his head.
Great soundtrack.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Day #21,914

Walk km 9430-9441 (12,473 to go): Meetup walk from Braid Station to SFU

Meetup walker Kathy
approx km 9435 North Road Trail

Book #403: Strange Days (2011, Ted Ferguson)

This was quite disappointing. This book was going to prove how weird Canadians can be (not the dullards that we are commonly portrayed as). However, this book pretty much solidifies the stereotype. There are a few oddballs in here but most of the characters are just plain vanilla.
After I read the book I looked at the author's blurb. It appears that Mr Ferguson writes for such august journals as Reader's Digest and EnRoute. I guess I should have read that first.
All in all, it didn't deliver as promised but was still a pleasant diversion (but then I'm Canadian so, being a dullard, I'm easily entertained).

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Day #21,913

Walk km 9419-9430: Meetup walk from SFU to Braid Station

house with Christmas decorations
approx km 9426 between Stoney Creek Trail and Brunette-Fraser Greenway

Movie rewatch: Le Roman D'un Tricheur (1938, Sacha Guitry)

My memory is goiong. All through this movie I knew I'd seen this story before. I was sure that I'd never seen this movie before so I must of seen a remake or maybe I read the story somewhere. No.... I watched this movie in 2009 on a VHS tape! How could I have forgotten that opening credit sequence? Did the tape have the opening sequence edited out or because the sub-titles were white on a B&W film did I not understand what was happening?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Day #21,912

Walk km 9407-9409: to the Safeway
Walk km 9409-9411: running errands
Walk km 9411-9419 (12,493 to go): every block: St George & Lorne

city lights
approx km 9417 Lameys Mill Road

Movie #1898: Goldstein (1964, Philip Kaufman & Benjamin Manaster)

a violinist in a wheelchair is pushed around NYC by an old man from the sea

Artsy fartsy film that appears to have a deeper meaning but I was unable to determine what/who the various episodes/characters were representing.
As one character says: "it's about the transformation of technical chaos into a primitive order". Ya, right, that must be it!
After reading IMDB: This is Chicago not NYC. The original print was 30 minutes longer.

Day #21,911

Walk km 9397-9407: Meetup walk from Blanca @ 4th to downtown

Movie #1897: The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (2011, Goran Olsson)

Not very coherant but the "Mixtape" in the title tells you that from the start. This is film footage found in the archives of Swedish television. I used to know a lot of this stuff when I read Angela Davis' book but that was a while back and I haven't followed up on it. Interesting.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Day #21,910

Walk km 9385-9397: Meetup walk around Burnaby Lake

approx km 9389 Burnaby Lake

Movie #1895: Grand Central Murder (1942, S Sylvan Simon)

It's a whodunit. And I like it! Not a serious line in the whole movie as this whodunit is played strickly for laughs. Mr Simon does another wonderful job of keeping this one moving right along despite endless "gathering the suspects" scenes which would have been very static is less adept hands.

Movie #1896: The Widow From Chicago (1930, Edward F Cline)

Some very bad acting in this one. Edward G Robinson is OK of course but Mr Cline can't get a decent performance out of anyone else. The oddest thing: leading lady Alice White acts just like Goldie Hawn. Weird.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Day #21,909

Walk km 9377-9385 (12,524 to go): Joyce Station to 19th @ Knight via 41st

Christmas decorations
approx km 9380 40th Avenue

Monday, December 12, 2011

Day #21,908

Walk km 9368-9377: every block walk: south of Joyce Station

car used as dumpster
approx km 9375 50th Ave

Movie #1894: The Little Giant (1933, Roy Del Ruth)

Light and breezy comedy about Chicago gangster hanging up his machine gun and retiring to California. I doubt that this would be much of a movie except for the oddest looking Hollywood star of all time: Edward G Robinson.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Day #21,907

Walk km 9358-9368: test walk: FSU to Production Way Station

looking across the Salish Sea
approx km 9361 from the Trans Canada Trail

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Day #21,906

Walk km: 9349-9358: Meetup walk from FSU to Hastings

Meetup members
approx km 9351 Trans Canada Trail near FSU

Movie #1892: The Lizard (2004, Kamal Tabrizi)

A man escapes from an Iranian prison by changing closes with a mullah. After awhile he begins to do good deads as the role of mullah grows on him.
This was banned in Iran but it appears to be pro-religion (at least the teachings if not the traditions). Professionally done with excellent acting.

Movie #1893: Skyscraper Souls (1932, Edgar Selwyn)

It's "Grand Hotel" again: this time it's the people in an office building. It's the usual soap opera themes with a little added spice (this is pre-code). Warren William is quite effective as the building owner who is the supreme cad. He should have been a big star but with the code just two years off, his days as a cad were numbered.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Day #21,905

Walk km 9341-9343: running errands
Walk km 9343-9349 (12,556 to go): every block: south of Joyce Station

Christmas decorations
approx km 9347 McKinnon Street

Book #402: Shooting Star (1958, Robert Bloch)

Fine dialogue with plenty of cracking wise as the one eyed detective looks for the murderer of a Hollywood star. Unfortunately, the plot is useless and there is no forward momentum in the storyline. A waste of time.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Day #21,904

Walk km 9331-9333: to T&T
Walk km 9333-9341 (12,563 to go): Meetup walk from Upper Lynn Valley to Lonsdale Quay

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day #21,903

Walk km 9324-9331: every block: Salt and Carolina

Movie #1891: The Tender Trap (1955, Charles Walters)

The plot makes no sense. It's supposed to be a comedy but it ain't very funny. But it's got style. Lots of style. During 1955-1965 all comedies were like this: style over content. They were colourful cocktails served in Cinemascope. This must have been one of the first in this new style.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day #21,902

Walk km 9318-9324: every block: 2nd, Drummand and Collingwood

Movie #1890: Between Midnight And Dawn (1950, Gordon Douglas)

Superior police procedural. Nice job by Douglas.
Interesting three way romance angle. Did folks useta go out on three person dates? Don't think I've heard tell of that before.

Movie #1891: The Golden Fleecing (1940, Leslie Fenton)

This one was a screwball comedy and it was quite funny. However, I do have a problem with movies were the leading man is a spineless twerp. And they don't make 'em much twerpier than Lew Ayres in this movie. So, it's not a reasonable complaint but it ruined my enjoyment of this movie all the same.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day #21,901

Walk km 9308-9318 (12,583): test walk: 4th @ Blanca to downtown

Christmas lights
approx km 9317 St Paul's Hospital

Movie #1890: Vampires (2010, Vincent Lannoo)

Fakeumentary about a family of vampires in Belgium who are bannished to Montreal. Vincent tries awfully hard to be clever but to no avail.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day #21,900

Walk km 9297-9308 (12,592 to go): Meetup walk in Pacific Spirit Park

Movie #1889: The Bat (1959, Crane Wilbur)

I've seen a couple of Crane Wilbur prison flix before and quite enjoyed them. This is a whodunit. Avoid.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Day #21,899

Walk km 9286-9288: running errands
Walk km 9288-9297 (12,602 to go): test walk: SFU and Squint Lake Park

a Buick
approx km 9295 Curtis Ave

Friday, December 2, 2011

Day #21,898

Walk km 9281-9283: running errands
Walk km 9283-9286: Burrard & Pacific

Book #401: He Who Fears The Wolf (1997, Karin Fossum)

A lesser Fossum. This is the oldest of the 3 Fossums I've read. In this one we have an insane asylum escapee, a juvenile detention detainee and a local loser who tries his hand at bank robbery. They all get together on the hottest day of the year. It's OK but in her next two books Fossum used regular people who came in close contact with those whose minds were not screwed on straight. Regular people like you or me.

Movie #1887: Warning From Space (1956,Koji Shima)

I quite liked this. It's too high quality to be laughable although the plot is totally ludicrous. However, this was the dubbed version so it may have made more sense in the original Japanese.
As it turns out, this movie was the road not taken. Japanese sci-fi movies were always about the atomic bomb. Almost all were about the radiation which caused giants like Godzilla to stomp all over Tokyo. In this one, the atomic bomb is our friend. A scientist discovers a bomb even more powerful than the A-bomb or H-bomb and uses it to save the earth from a collision with another planet.
Another theme here is the stupidity of humans. The "world congress" cannot come to a consensus on whether to get together to stop the collision. The only scientist who knows how to make this super bomb is kidnapped by gangsters who want his formula to sell to the highest bidder.
Well, maybe it wasn't so great but I was expecting a lot less.

Movie #1888: New York Confidential (1955, Russell Rouse)

I was just walking by one of the sub-libraries so I went in to see if they had anything interesting in their DVD section. Well, I guess this would rate as interesting.
We get Broderick Crawford chewing up the scenery supported by Richard Conte, Anne Bancroft, Barry Kelley, Mike Mazurki and I thought one of Richard Conte's first victims was Don Rickles but I didn't see his name in the credits. Broderick Crawford is great and I loved the way Anne Bancroft talked out of the side of her mouth.
All good but it was all-syndicate all the time. These pictures are always better if the throw a square john in there too. Still, lotsa fun.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day #21,897

Walk km 9265-9281 (12,616 to go): UBC to T&T with Meetup group

Meetup walkers
approx 9269 Chancellor Drive