Monday, August 29, 2011

Day #21,803

Walk km 8440-8442: to Safeway
Walk km 8442-8445: running errands

Movie #1792: Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982, Carl Reiner)

It's a one joke movie. I'll bet Carl Reiner had a lot of fun making this movie but for the viewer that one joke gets pretty tedious by the end.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Day #21,802

Walk km 8430-8440 (13,362 to go): Langley to Walnut Grove (Circle Vancouver)

cattle grazing
approx km 8440 behind the SudsCity car wash, Walnut Grove

Movie #1790: The Lady Vanishes (1938, Alfred Hitchcock)

Usual British whodunit type story about a lady who vanishes and the jolly good fun everyone has in trying to figure out what's happened. At least, that's the first part of the story. The second part is an allegory concerning World War II. It seems that the perpetrators are the Germans aided by the Italians. Meanwhile, the English are just a bunch of appeasers. There's two Englishmen who don't want to get involved because it might cause them to miss a cricket match. Another one decided to wave a white flag because he's sure the Germans will give him a fair trial (he's gunned down). So, that second half rescued this so-so whodunit and makes it well worth watching.

Movie #1791: War Of The Gargantuas (1968, Inoshiro Honda)

Once again Tokyo is in peril due to giant monsters caused by atomic radiation. Actually, they don't bother saying these two were caused by atomic radiation but I guess by 1968 everybody knew that already.
The movie is just two guys in monster costumes razzlin' with each other and knocking down a lot of miniature sets.
Also, we get some very bad acting by Russ Tamblyn.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day #21, 801

Walk km 8418-8430 (13,371 to go): Steveston to Steveston Hwy @ Shell Rd

Meetup walkers
approx km 8419 Steveston

Movie #1789: The 39 Steps (1935, Alfred Hitchcock)

Totally unbelievable tall tale but executed with panache.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Day #21,800

Walk km 8409-8418 (13,382 to go): Steveston Hwy @ Shell to Steveston @ #99 Hwy via Blundell @ #6 Road

Movie #1788: My Dear Enemy (Yoon-ki Lee, 2008)

Nothing much happens here. Uptight ex-girlfriend asks jerky ex-boyfriend for the money she lent him. He's broke. They spend all day trying to borrow money from his friends. She's uptight all the way through but there's a little smile at the end. We waited 2 hours for that?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dempsey Road

Day #21,799
Walk km 8397-8409 (13,390 to go): Lynn Valley Rd @ Dempsey Rd to Lonsdale Quay via Braemer @ Lonsdale

a hot rod
approx km 8398 Dempsey Rd (North Vancouver)

Movie #1787: Bukowski: Born Into This (John Dullaghan, 2003)

Documentary about Charles Bukowski. Fascinating stuff from start to finish although they try to claim that his later work was good too. Nope: Once he became famous and joined the middle class he was finished. Also, we coulda done without that Bono character.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day #21,798

Walk km 8384-8387: running errands
Walk km 8387-8397: Stanley Park with the Meetup group

Movie #1786: Unman Wittering And Zigo (1971, John MacKenzie)

I've seen this one before. In 1971 I watched every movie that was shown at any of the theatres in Winnipeg. I might not have remembered this one except for its unusual title.
Excellent story of school boys taking over their school class. The first teacher didn't go along with this so they killed him. Now the relplacement teacher is giving them trouble as well.

1000 Degrees Of Musical Separation: #42 - It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels
Composed by Jay Miller. First recording: Kitty Wells (1952)
Version #1: Dolly Parton (Sevierville, Tennessee, USA) 196?
Version #2: Jenn Miori (Austin, Texas, USA) at Ginny's Little Longhorn Saloon

1000 Degrees Of Musical Separation: #43 - You Ain't Woman Enough To Take My Man
Composed by Loretta Lynn. First recording: Loretta Lynn (1966)
Version #1: Jenn Miori (Austin, Texas, USA) at Ginny's Little Longhorn Saloon
Version #2: Loretta Lynn (Butcher Holler, Kentucky, USA)from unknown TV show

1000 Degrees Of Musical Separation: #44 - Everybody's Somebody's Fool
Composed by Jack Keller & Howard Greenfield. First recording: Connie Francis (1960)
Version #1: Loretta Lynn (Butcher Holler, Kentucky, USA)from unknown TV show
Version #2: Ernest Tubb (Crisp, Texas, USA) 1960

1000 Degrees Of Musical Separation: #45 - Drivin' Nails In My Coffin
Composed by Floyd Tillman. First recording: Floyd Tillman (1946)
Version #1: Ernest Tubb (Crisp, Texas, USA) from unknown TV show 1961
Version #1: Floyd Tillman (Ryan, Oklahoma, USA) 1946

and bonus version, the amazing Country Rockers

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day #21,797

Walk km 8370-8384 (13,413 to go): Lynn Canyon Park and Ironworkers Memorial bridge

walking trail
approx km 8375 Lynn Canyon Park

Book #390: The Girl Hunters (1962, Mickey Spillane)

I remember reading a Mickey Spillane way back when but not being too impressed. When there's violence in a book I read, I like it to be aimed at the hero not perpetrated by him. Besides the hero of this book (Mike Hammer) being an asshole, he's not a very well written asshole. A glance through the intro seems to tell the story: Spillane was converted by Jehovah's Witnesses after his 6th Mike Hammer book in 1952. So, he stopped writing Mike Hammer books. This book was his return in 1962. I guess Mickey Spillane writing Mike Hammer was like Jerry Lee Lewis singing rock'n'roll: they both knew it was a sin but they just couldn't help themselves.
It might be interesting to read one of the "original six" to see how it compares to this stinker.

Movie #1785: Gervaise (1956, Rene Clement)

It's an old story: watching a movie after you've read the novel. It's never quite the same as you remember it. The poverty just doesn't seem quite so bad here. Otherwise, a fine job.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Day #21,796

Walk km 8355-8361: Alma @ 4th to home
Walk km 8361-8370: Aberdeen Station to #1 Road @ Westminster Hwy

Movie #1783: The Last Gangster (1937, Edward Ludwig)

About 40 years ago I picked up a film magazine (Take One, I presume) that had a review of The Gun Hawk. It was directed by some washed up old timer named Edward Ludwig. The reviewer said he liked the movie and that Edward Ludwig ought to be remembered because he was a pretty swell director. So, it's taken me 40 years to see a genuine Ludwig but I think it was worth the wait. Of course, this one is from the time when Ludwig was on top of the world - it's not just anyone who gets to direct Edward G Robinson and Jimmy Stewart.
This one isn't one of those rise and fall of a big shot type pictures - this is a fall only. It's all down hill for Robinson and he eats up the scenery as only Robinson can. Meanwhile, Jimmy Stewart is sportin' a moutache. I'm afraid it just makes him look silly. Can't blame Ludwig for that though: how was he supposed to know that "James Stewart" whould one day be "Jimmy Stewart".
Lots of fun. I wonder if anyone has uploaded "The Gun Hawk"?

Movie #1784: The River's Edge (1957, Allan Dwan)

Netflix surprises again. A 1957 Allan Dwan! I checked the Netflix new releases - it's not listed. I did a search on "Allan Dwan" - they claim they have none! The only way to see what Netflix Canada has is to just stumble across it.
Oh right, the movie. It's OK. 2.35:1 aspect ratio shown correctly. Anthony Quinn and Ray Milland in the leads. Hubba hubba Debra Paget. A million dollars in stolen loot. A regular Hollywood production.

1000 Degrees Of Musical Separation: #40 - I Heard The Jukebox Playing
Composed by Webb Pierce, Faron Young, Linda Baggett & Kitty Wells. First recording: Faron Young (1951)
Version #1: Kitty Wells (Nashville, USA) 1952
Version #1: Norma Jean (Wellston, Oklahoma, USA) 1966

1000 Degrees Of Musical Separation: #41 - Foggy Mountain Top
Composed by "traditional". First recording: The Carter Family (1929)
Version #1: Norma Jean (Wellston, Oklahoma, USA) on The Porter Wagoner Show 196?
Version #2: Dolly Parton (Tennessee, USA) on The Porter Wagoner Show 1969

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Day #21,795

Walk km 8345-8355 (13,440 to go): Pitt Meadows to Walnut Grove (Circle Vancouver)

trees, grass and a creek
approx km 8350 from Golden Ears Bridge (Pitt Meadows side)

Movie rewatch: Only Angels Have Wings (1939, Howard Hawks)

I watched this in the 70s and don't remember being very impressed. I can see why now. Jean Arthur is all over the first part of this movie but then is shuffled back into the background until the ending. And since I was a big Jean Arthur fan......... that would explain it. The main part of the movie is male daring-do stuff. Seems they don't mind risking their lives so that the mail gets through down South America way. Seems rather silly to me.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Day #21,794

Walk km 8334-8345: Ladner with Meetup group

Meetup walkers and an underpass
approx km 8340 64th Street at highway 99

Movie #1782: Spellbound (1945, Alfred Hitchcock)
It was about this time that I had to switch to Chinese

This one turned into quite an adventure. The copy from the library was damaged and would not play past the 90 minute mark. I tried unsuccessfully to skip ahead just a little bit (player just shut down). So I looked for a copy using google. There was just one and it was in Chinese. Since I figured I knew "whodunit", I decided to watch in the last 26 minutes in Chinese. Oddly the Chinese version did have a few sentences in English here and there. I was right about "whodunit" but I couldn't figure out how Ingrid had figured it out. There was an e-book of the script but I couldn't find anywhere where I could download it. So, I was forced to just read reviews. It turns out that Ingrid had no evidence - it's just that Leo is the only one to benefit from Dr Edwardes death. I coulda told her that!
And it appears that the 7 of clubs referred to the "21 club" - afraid I'd never have figured that one out.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Day #21,793

Walk km 8324-8326: to the library
Walk km 8326-8334 (13,459 to go): Angus @ 63rd to Aberdeen Station

blue and orange building
approx km 8332 #3 Road by Sea Island Way(Richmond)

Movie #1780: Le Doulos (1962, Jean-Pierre Melville)

Like watching a craftsman at work. Melville builds this tale of cross and double-cross beautifully. I've seen a couple of his before and I thought they were a little dry. Not this one - kept me glued to the computer screen all the way through.

Movie #1781: Divorce American Style (1967, Bud Yorkin)

TCM had an all-day Debbie Reynolds film festival so I figured I'd seen enough quality pictures lately: time for some piffle! Sure enough, this one hits the spot. Not only do we get Debbie Reynolds but Dick Van Dyke too. The screenplay is total nonsense. But it's not really funny either. It's more just............... well, piffle!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Day #21,792

Walk km 8306-8314 (13,478 to go): Stanley Park to Park Royal Mall
Walk km 8314-8324: Royal Park Mall to 25th Street and return

Lion's Gate Bridge
approx km 8310 North Vancouver

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Day #21,791

Walk km 8299-8305: UBC to Alma @ 4th
Walk km 8305-8306 (13,485 to go): to lunch

Ford Falcon
approx km 8303 Additional Pt Grey Rd

Movie #1777: Dillinger Is Dead (1969, Marco Ferreri)

Another movie without much of a plot. An Italian businessman comes home in the evening and finds Dillinger's gun in his closet. As he does other rather mundane things, he keeps returning to the gun. He takes it apart. He oils it. He puts it back together. You know something's gonna happen! He paints it. He looks for bullets. Yup, something's gonna happen.
Aw yes, the 60s - you didn't need a plot, you just needed to be weird.

Movie #1778: And Soon The Darkness (1970, Robert Fuest)

What an antidote for plotless movies. This one has oodles of plot plus about a bushel of red herrings dumped over top to ensure that everyone is a suspect and everything is ominous.
Actually, it looks like a "Made for TV" movie but a very good one. Maybe not "Duel" but in that same league.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day #21,790

Walk km 8293-8295: running errands
Walk km 8295-8299: seawalk along False Creek

Movie #1776: Hell Drivers (1957, Cy Endfield)

In which Patrick McGoohan is #3!
Actually, a great truck driving movie with the cream of the crop of British actors. Stanley Baker stars but included in the cast are Sid James, Sean Connery, David McCallum and Patrick McGoohan. Baker is #13 and McGoohan is #1 but there's a big switcheroo at the end when Baker becomes #1 and McGoohan thinks he's #3 but really he's #13. One mystery about "The Prisoner" solved!
This one comes courtesy of "itvnow" on YouTube. Looks like we've got another source for British films. This is even in the correct aspect ratio although it seems a few minutes short of the original running time.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Day #21,789

Book #389: Inconspicuous Consumption (1997, Paul Lukas)

I heard the name Paul Lukas bandied about at PCL Linkdump. I figured I'd give his book at try. It's a series of short articles on things you could buy but have probably never considered buying. That would be stuff like Kraut Juice or Pocari Sweat. Actually I did try and find Pocari Sweat once but failed. It's a quick read with no redeeming social value.

Movie #1774: Animal Love (1995, Ulrich Seidl)

When I was looking through the Netflix offering, the name "Ulrich Seidl" seemed to ring a bell. Isn't he the guy who made "Dog Days"? Yup.
And if you thought "Dog Days" was disgusting then you best not watch "Animal Love". This is a documentary about the Viennese and their pets. Well, sort of. It's much more about the pet owners than the pets. These people are the lowest of the low - almost brain dead. Watching this, you really feel sorry for the pets. What a terrible fate has matched them up with this human detritus?
You know that you're watching a powerful movie when you need to stop the movie to take a shower half way through (I did). I guess it would be much better if Seidl were to document the heights of human achievements instead of the opposite but at least he's very good at what he does.
IMDB says this thing is 120 minutes long but the Netflix copy is only 106. There were 14 minutes that had to be axed because they were even more gross than these 106? God help us.

Movie #1775: I Need That Record (2008, Brendan Toller)

Another documentary. This one is about the death of independent music stores. It's pretty much a whine fest. Extremely anti-capitalism and pro-nostalgia. They really don't give us any alternative to capitalism and their pro-nostalgia stance is just silly. They seem to be confused by the MP3. It's a force against big business (that's good!) but it's just not nostalgic (that's bad!).
Nice to see a lot of the musicians I used to listen to disguised as old men.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day #21,788

Movie Rewatch: Let Us Live (1939, John Brahm)
This one looked awfully familiar - I'd seen it just 3 years ago! Henry Fonda is happy-go-lucky until they convict him of a crime he didn't commit and lock him up on death row. That makes him grouchy!

Movie #1771: Make-Out With Violence (2008, Deagol Brothers)

It's a kid's movie. Would kids like it? The producers think so: they've thrown every possible thing that could possibly appeal to teens into this one. It's a mess!

Movie #1772: Shortbus (2006, John Cameron Mitchell)

Sook Yin "MuchMusic" Lee

You never know what you'll find if you look way in the back of the Netflix closet.
Here we have another "fiction" film without a plot. Normally, those are called documentaries. This one would have been much better as a documentary. The credits admit that the film was based on the lives of the performers in the film. So, why not go all the way and tell the truth?

Movie #1773: Seven Were Saved (1947, William H Pine)

Watched this one because Maxwell Shane was the scriptwriter. This guy has written/directed some fine crime dramas before. However, this is just a rescue at sea film with cast of characters in a lifeboat interacting with each other. OK but nothing special.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Day #21,787

Walk km 8281-8282: to lunch
Walk km 8282-8293 (13,494 to go): in Pacific Spirit Park with Meetup group

Meetup walkers
approx km 8286 Pacific Spirit Park

Friday, August 12, 2011

Day #21,786

Walk km 8269-8271: running errands
Walk km 8271-8281 (13,505 to go): Circle Vancouver - Walk #5 (41st Ave at Crown to Granville at 62nd)

walking path
approx km 8276 across from Deering Island

Movie #1769: The Secret Fury (1950, Mel Ferrer)

The perfect summer afternoon movie! Claudette Colbert is accused of murdering her husband. The catch: she claims to have never seen this guy before in her life (never mind being married to him - she's never been married). Nobody believes her (of course). Luckily, Robert Ryan is her boyfriend - if anyone can get to the bottom of this, Robert Ryan can.

Movie #1770: In Bruges (2008, Martin McDonagh)

It's a holiday in Bruges for English hitmen. Seems they have a code of honour which they take way too seriously. That rarest of movies: the extremely violent comedy. I enjoyed it.
Was reading IMDB: right, "Pulp Fiction", how soon I forget the most famous extremely violent comedy!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day #21,785

Walk km 8254-8257: running errands
Walk km 8257-8269 (13,516 to go): from Steveston to Steveston Hwy @ Seaward Gate

Finn Slough
approx km 8264 near Dyke Road, Richmond, BC

Movie #1767: Le Bonheur C'est Une Chanson Triste (Francois Delise)

A woman "drops out". She's sad. She drops back in. This emotional stuff really requires a lot of talent. Francois should have tried something easier.
Blink and you miss it: the great Micheline Lanctot has a small part as a bus driver.

Movie #1768: Belhorizon (2005, Ines Rabadan)

Not sure what this one was all about. I believe they were making fun of the rich people but it was a bit too subtle for me.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Day #21,784

Walk km 8245-8254 (13,530 to go): Westminster Hwy at #1 Road to Steveston

houses by a pond
approx km 8249 West Dyke Trail

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Day #21,783

Walk km 8232-8245 (13,538 to go): Stanley Park with the Meetup group

Movie #1766: Terribly Happy (2008, Henrik Ruben Genz)

It's "The Killer Inside Me" Danish style as wacko policeman is assigned to a small town after requiring psychiatric help in Copenhagen. It seems he's not totally cured. Excellent. Neflix does have some good movies, it's just very hard to find them.

1000 Degrees Of Musical Separation: #37 - Cum On Feel The Noize
Composed by Jim Lea & Noddy Holder (Wolverhampton, UK). First recording: Slade (1973)
Version #1: Slade (Wolverhampton, UK) Top Of The Pops TV show 1973
Version #2: Oasis (Manchester, UK) on Later With Jools Holland (1995)

1000 Degrees Of Musical Separation: #38 - Wonderwall
Composed by Noel Gallagher (Manchester, UK). First recording: Oasis (1995)
Version #1: Oasis (Manchester, UK) on Later With Jools Holland (1995)
Version #2: Mike Flowers Pops (UK) 1995

1000 Degrees Of Musical Separation: #39 - Release Me
Composed by Eddie Miller, Robert Yount & James Pebworth. First recording: Eddie Miller (1953)
Version #1: Mike Flowers Pops (UK) 1996
Version #2: Kitty Wells (Nashville, USA) 1954

Monday, August 8, 2011

Day #21,782

Walk km 8216-8218: to T&T
Walk km 8218-8232 (13,550 to go): into Watershed Park, then to and over Alex Fraser Bridge

Alex Fraser bridge
approx km 8229 over the Fraser River

Book #388: Park Avenue Tramp (1958, Fletcher Flora)

It's so nice of the folks at Stark House Press to read through those thousands of lurid paperbacks so that they can pick out the few gems amid the trash. This is from a three novel volume (all three novels were originally Gold Medal paperback originals). Fletcher Flora shows a wonderful knack for character development and his writing style is miles ahead of what youi might expect from a title such as "Park Avenue Tramp". Now, where do I find more Fletcher Flora? Ebay?

Movie #1765: Trzeci (2004, Jana Hryniaka)

It's a cat and mouse game as a couple whose marriage is on the rocks pick up a mysterious stranger on a long trip across Poland. Who is this guy? What does he want with them?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Day #21,781

Walk km 8205-8216 (13,565 to go): Ladner Exchange to 60th Ave and return

abandoned house
approx km 8210 64th Street (Ladner)

Movie #1764: Detroit Wild City (2010, Florent Tillon)

Documentary about the new Detroit. There's a lot of good stuff here, most of it coming from interviews with regular folk (a repairman, a dog catcher, a gardener) but a lot of nonsense too (the blues singer and a guy sitting in a chair). The "wild" part of the title is because a lot of plants, birds and animals are returning to Detroit. The best scene was a guy mowing a parking lot. You got a bunch of cracked cement and some grass - and this guy is trying to get rid of the grass!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Day #21,780

Walk km 8197-8205 (13,575 to go): Commercial skytrain station to Chinatown skytrain station (with Meetup group)

wall mural
approx km 8198 8th Ave

Movie #1763: Friends and Lovers (1931, Victor Schertzinger)

Tedious love triangle. Only 68 minutes but still way too long.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Day #21,779

Walk km 8180-8182 (13,597 to go): running errands
Walk km 8182-8197 (13,582 to go): 68th Street in Tilbury to Ewan Street in Queensborough

riverside house
approx km 8188 River Road (Delta)

1000 Degrees Of Musical Separation: #33 - Blueberry Hill
Composed by Vincent Rose & John Rooney. First recording: Sammy Kaye Orchestra (1940)
Version #1: Fats Domino (New Orleans, USA) 1956
Version #2: The Rivieras (South Bend, USA) 1964

1000 Degrees Of Musical Separation: #34 - Let's Have A Party
Composed by Jessie Mae Robinson (Call, Texas, USA). First recording: Elvis Presley (1957)
Version #1: The Rivieras (South Bend, USA) 1964
Version #2: Wanda Jackson (Maud, OK, USA) unknown TV show (approx 1960)

Glen Campbell sure gets a big sound outta that one acoustic guitar!

1000 Degrees Of Musical Separation: #35 - Fujiyama Mama
Composed by Earl "Jack Hammer" Burrows (New Orleans, USA). First recording: Annisteen Allen (1954)
Version #1: Wanda Jackson (Maud, OK, USA) 1957
Version #2: Petty Booka (Japan) 1996

1000 Degrees Of Musical Separation: #36 - Born To Be Wild
Composed by Dennis "Mars Bonfire" "Dennis Edmonton" McCrohan (Oshawa, Canada). First recording: Steppenwolf (1968)
Version #1: Petty Booka (Japan) 1996
Version #2: Slade (Wolverhampton, UK) unknown TV show (early 70s)