Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Day #21,958

Walk km 9727-9735 (12,223 to go): every block: 37th,Mayfair,Holland,46th,Marine

a mailbox
approx km 9729 37th Ave

Book #408: Man Bait (1960, Jack Liston (Ralph Maloney))

This book may not be the greatest. You would expect a book like this to be OK as far as plot goes but a little lacking in the writing skills department. It's just the opposite. Ralph Maloney was a graduate of Harvard and he can write. However, he's not good enough to get by without a good plot which is what's missing here.

Movie #1943: Cry Of The City (1948, Robert Siodmak)

Hope Emerson gives Richard Conte a massage

City streets.... in the dark..... with rain: the perfect noir setting. This one's got it plus tons more. All kinds of excellent touches. Hope Emerson is great as a masseuse.
Note: this movie is on YouTube but is 3 minutes short of the 95 minute running time. It appears that there were two additional scenes with Shelley Winters that are missing from the YouTube version.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Day #21,952-957

Walk km 9714-9721: rural Manitoba
Walk km 9721-9727: Steinbach,Manitoba

burnt out Christmas light
day #21,953 Hanover Street, Steinbach

day #21,957 Winnipeg

Movie #1942: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011,David Fincher)

Do you mean that there are actually people who could follow the Vanger part of this plot without having read the book first? I don't think so. For people who have read the book, a fine reenactment.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Day #21,951

Walk km 9711-9714 (12,237 to go): running errands

Movie #1941: The Man Behind The Gun (1953, Felix Feist)

Mr Feist has made some mighty fine films in the noir genre but westerns can humble even the best directors. A plot which is strickly "who cares" but with some nice colourful California scenery.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Day #21,950

Walk km 9708-9711: running errands

Movie #1940: Framed (1947, Richard Wallace)

It's noir but not really as good as the last two. I'm not sure exactly why. Maybe the plot is a bit too complicated (bank fraud) instead just snatch n' grabbit greed. Some scenes are a little clumsey (ever hear of a woman named..........Helen Bailey?) or they overdo it a bit with the music.
Still, an entertaining 82 minutes. Can't complain.

Book #407: Fujimori's Peru (2005, Catherine Conaghan)

Long detailed account of the takeover of Peru by Fujimori & Montesinos. For the most part, they didn't take it over by force, they just bought it using the money of people they were buying. They only killed a few people - they found it much easier just to buy people. They bought the military, the judges, the congress and the media. They also bought the poor - someone would show up just before elections to hand out food and clothing in exchange for votes.
And their plans fell apart in exactly the same manner as they had been held in place. Someone paid $100,000 for a video tape showing Montesinos bribing a congressman. They think it was Montesinos' secretary. Montesinos missed someone that he should have bought.
Also, thanks to the Internet for getting me up to date. Both this book and the documentary about Fujimori end with him in exile in Japan. Amazingly, Fujimori left Japan for Chile where he was arrested and returned to Peru. He's currently still in Peru - in the slammer. So, by doing something so stupid he bolsters his argument that he's just an idiot and all this corruption was Montesinos' doing.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Day #21,949

Walk km 9704-9708: to T&T via Main Street

Movie #1939: The Mating Game (1959, George Marshall)

I man can not live on noir alone. This Debbie Reynolds movie was on TCM today so I figured I've give my brain a little rest from the bleakness of noir. And Debbie's just the thing. Even Doris Day can't hold a candle to her in the perky department. This whole movie was nothing but a bunch of nonsense..... just the antidote I needed.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Day #21,948

Walk km 9696-9698: to Safeway
Walk km 9698-9704 (12,244 to go): every block: 40th/Laburnum/East Blvd/71st

Movie #1938: Shield For Murder (1954, Howard W Koch & Edmond O'Brien)

Yikes! Another one! This one is just as good as The Prowler. Both are crooked cop stories. In The Prowler, Van Heflin is the cop gone bad and he's mighty creepy. In this one, it's Edmond O'Brien and he deals more in just straightforward greed. However, there's more action in this one. It's a toss up but you can't go wrong with either of these - they're both near the top of the noir heap.
They're both available on YouTube but probably not for long.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Day #21,947

Movie #1936: The Weak And The Wicked (1954, J Lee Thompson)

Here we have the previous J Lee Thompson/Joan Henry/Diana Dors collaboration. Once again Diana is in the slammer but top billing goes to Glynis Johns. And what a bunch of charming ladies you would find in your typical 50s UK goal. If you were looking for a bride, there doesn't appear to have been a better place to start looking!
One downside to the film is this rose coloured glasses problem (everyone in jail is just so sweet) and another is the comic relief that they had to add in (they find a way to get Sidney James into a woman's prison flick).
Remember, these films are on YouTube for a limited time only: watch now while you have the chance.

Movie #1937: The Prowler (1951, Joseph Losey)

Another one!!! How many great noirs are there? The first half is all creepy Van Heflin. The second half has that great Las Vegas/Mojave Desert location.
Just one small point: why did Van Heflin try to climb that little hill instead of just running around it?
This is another from YouTube but with a TCM.com stamp.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cleveland Trail

Day #21,946
Walk km 9687-9696 (12,250 to go): Meetup walk in Pacific Spirit Park

Meetup walkers
approx km 9691 Cleveland Trail

Movie #1934: Here Come The Huggetts (1948, Ken Annakin)
Movie #1935: Yield To The Night (1956, J Lee Thompson)

I got a hot tip on Yield To The Night from the Self Styled Siren blog. It appears that someone has uploaded a raft of UK films to YouTube. I'm sure they won't last long before they're taken down so watch them while you can.
I saw Here Come The Huggetts about a week ago. At least I saw most of it - I must have made a mistake while recording it because the last 20 minutes were missing. The uploader of Yield To The Night had also uploaded Here Come The Huggetts so I was able to finish that one off first. Then came the main feature: Diana Dors in a very somber film indeed. It's a death row procedural with endless details about life on death row. The light bulbs, the playing cards, a cat in the exercise yard, the shoes that don't quite fit, cigarettes (a wonderful scene where the condemned grabs the cigarette off of a guard just as the warden arrives (guards aren't allowed to smoke)), the night dress with a hole in it, a door with no doorknob and of course a cross.
Excellent stuff if you're up for a downer.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Day #21,945

Walk km 9679-9687: Pacific Spirit Park

snow covered trail
approx 9683 Pacific Spirit Park

Movie #1931: Get Outta Town (1960, Charles Davis)

The most obscure "noir" of all time. IMDB doesn't even have a rating for this one because they don't have five votes yet.
I enjoyed it but then I enjoy all "noirs". This one is fairly inept especially the acting. There ain't no thespians in this cast.

Movie #1932: Exces Pornographiques (1978, Claude Bernard-Aubert)
This second foray into the world of the erotic was actually even more boring than the first. However, I did get to hear an hour of the library music of Alain Goraguer.
Amazingly, this film recieved 44 votes at IMDB for a 62 score!

Day #21,944

Walk km 9669-9679: Meetup walk in Stanley Park

Movie #1930: Jouer Sa Vie (1982, Gilles Carle & Camille Coudari)

Russia may be a hot bed of chess but it appears the Canada is the hot bed of chess documentaries. This is the 2nd National Film Board Of Canada chess film in two days.
It's mostly a rundown of what happened in chess during the 70s. The picture is kind of grainy and it's split into three parts but on the plus side: it's free to view on YouTube.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Day #21,943

Walk km 9655-9659: to T&T
Walk km 9659-9669 (12,274 to go): Stanley Park

walking trail
approx km 9662 Stanley Park

Movie #1928: Game Over: Kasparov And The Machine (2003, Vikram Jayanti)

Since I watched the Bobby Fischer movie yesterday, I figured I'd rewatch this one about Kasparov playing the IBM computer. Are all great chess players paranoid?

Movie #1929: Night Owl (1993, Jeffrey Arsenault)

The worst movie ever made? No, not really. I think the fact that there is actually artistic pretension here gets it very very close. However, it's saved because it's in black and white instead of colour. Very bad.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Day #21,942

Walk km 9653-9655: to T&T

Movie #1927: Bobby Fisher Against The World (2011, Liz Garbus)

There's nothing extraordinary about this documentary except the subject. Any film about Bobby Fischer is bound to be fascinating.

Movie rewatch: Black Moon (1975, Louis Malle)

Amazing what you might find on YouTube. I saw this one back in '75 when it was in the theatres. I remember it as super weird. Well, my memory is spot on.
This is kind of an "Alice In Wonderland" type thing with teenager Lily coming across a war of the sexes (compete with tanks and tommy guns), an ugly unicorn, a flock of sheep that have hung the shepherd from a tree, naked children running about with a pig and listening to opera, flowers that scream when you step on them..... well, I'm sure you get the picture. I assume YouTube will delete this one as soon as the copyright holder complains so watch it while you can.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Day #21,941

Walk km 9641-9653 (12,288 to go): Colleen's Meetup walk to Nature House from Braid Station

walking trail
approx km 9648 Burnaby Lake Park

Movie #1926: Adam's Rib (1949, George Cukor)

I've seen this one before. The reason I forgot it: it's not very good. The theme is equality of the sexes but this is a comedy so they don't really take up the question seriously. Instead, it's the marital relations of Tracy & Hepburn that take center stage. For a real "battle of the sexes" court case, may I recommend David Mamet's "Oleanna".

Friday, January 13, 2012

Day #21,940

Walk km 9635-9637: to the library
Walk km 9637-9639: to Safeway
Walk km 9639-9641 (12,299 to go): to 7-11

Movie #1925: Food Inc (2008, Robert Kenner)

Another anti-capitalism documentary. However, in this one they did say how to make a difference: be careful who you give your money to.
I found this one more interesting than most documentaries because it's about a subject that I'm interested in: eating!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Day #21,939

Walk km 9627-9635: Meetup walk - Commercial/Broadway to Waterfront

Meetup walkers in an alley
approx km 9631 behind George Street

Movie #1925: The Milk Of Sorrow (2009, Claudia LLosa)

Legend has it that a woman who is raped while pregnant will pass on the pain and horror of the act to her child. The main character in this movie is one such person. She mopes about for the longest time. You hope that she will throw of this yoke and rise above it all. Nope. Another character with no gumption who sinks under the weight of living her life.
Another thing: the lead actress is gorgeous. The rest of the cast consists of people with "normal" looks. I assume she was cast to elicit extra sympathy.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Day #21,938

Walk km 9616-9627 (12,311 to go): every block: 53rd, 55th, 61st, Bonaccord,Burquitlam

some sorta plant life
approx km 9621 Ontario Street

Movie #1924: Stir Crazy (1980, Sidney Poitier)

Not really the comedy fest that the reviewers at IMDB claims it to be. Most of the comedy is just Wilder and Pryor acting goofy. However, they do keep the plot moving along at a nice pace and their antics are pleasant enough.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Day #21,937

Walk km 9611-9613: running errands
Walk km 9613-9616 (12,321 to go): to Safeway

Movie #1922: Marty (1955, Delbert Mann)

You know I hate movie about people with no gumption. This Marty character is totally pathetic. If I was makin' this picture, I wouldn't end it with him calling that woman (6 hours late!). I'd have "Clara" just tie into him and tell him where to get off. However, they don't have that scene because we know that poor Clara is just gonna be so happy that he finally called that she'll forgive him right away. Why? She ain't no gumption either.

Movie #1923: The Fall Of Fujimori (2005, Ellen Perry)

I'm currently reading a book about Fujimori so this documentary kind of gives away the ending!

Day #21,936

Walk km 9597-9599: running errands
Walk km 9599-9611 (12,325 to go): Pandora's Meetup walk along False Creek

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Day #21,935

Walk km 9585-9597 (12,338 to go): Meetup group walk from Olympic Village Station to 4th @ Tolmie

Meetup walkers
approx km 9591 English Bay

Movie #1921: Tomorrow Is Another Day (1951, Felix Feist)

Felix does it again! Another superior noir. Steve Cochran's been in the state pen since he was 13. He's released into a strange world. In that world he finds trouble in the form of Ruth Roman. Soon they're on the run across America. This Felix Feist can really direct - I wonder why he's not ranked higher with the critics.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Day #21,934

Walk km 9573-9582: Meetup walk in Port Coquitlam
Walk km 9582-9585: to the doctor and drug store

Meetup walkers
approx km 9580 Colony Farm

Book #406: Sweet Thursday (1954, John Steinbeck)

A right clever book. However, the characters are mere caricatures so you never get involved in the story. Personally, I prefered "The Grapes Of Wrath"!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Day #21,933

Walk km 9564-9571 (12,362 to go): every block: 5th and Salsbury
Walk km 9571-9573: to Safeway

the polka dot shed
approx km 9568 Lakewood Drive

Movie rewatch: House Of Games (1987, David Mamet)

Always nice to rewatch one of the classics. This one is at a disadvantage since it's a tale of cross and doublecross but it's still fun the 2nd or 3rd time around.

Movie #1920: The Browning Version (1951, Anthony Asquith)

Well, I figured this might be a bit of a stuffy "quality" English production. However, the stuffy part is the subject matter and not the style.
Michael Redgrave is superb as Crocker-Harris, a teacher of the classics who appears to have died some time previously but actually does still have a working heart.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Day #21,932

Walk km 9553-9560: every block: Garden, Templeton and Napier
Walk km 9560-9564: every block: Victoria

some folks still have their Christmas lights up
approx km 9562 Victoria Drive

Movie #1919: Holiday Camp (1947, Ken Annakin)

It's "Grand Hotel" English holiday camp style. Not much to write home about as this one is definately below par as far as this genre goes. And there was one disturbing thing: one of the holidayers was a murderer. And he ended up murdering one of our cast of English stereotypes. Which one did he pick? The ditzy ugly duckling. It's as if they picked her because nobody would feel too badly about her. She wasn't pretty or smart - she's probably better off dead! Maybe not but it does make me wonder.
Oh oh, I just noticed the movie poster above: where's Esma Cannon (the actress who played the ditzy ugly duckling)? She's in the movie all the way through (her murder happens on the last day of camp). Just an oversight? I really do think that the filmmakers figured nobody would miss her. Disgusting.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Day #21,931

Walk km 9545-9548: running errands
Walk km 9548-9553: running errands

Movie #1918: In The Loop (2009, Armando Iannucci)

Nope. I don't get it. This has a 75 rating on IMDB? This is a movie portraying the folks who started the Iraq war as a bunch of buffoons. I think it was a bit more serious than that. But, you say it's only a comedy. Listening to 106 minutes of people insulting each other is comedy? I don't think so.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Day #21,930

Walk km 9539-9543: running errands
Walk km 9543-9545: to Denman & Davie

Movie #1916: Cedar Rapids (2011, Miguel Arteta)

I was looking through Netflix's new year releases trying to find some mindless entertainment. I figured this would hit the spot. Small town nitwit goes to the big city (Cedar Rapids) and ends up doing some mega-bonding. Just the kind of movie I was looking for.

Movie #1917: People Will Talk (1951, Joseph L Mankiewicz)

The rarest of the species: an old movie on Netflix. This one was worth the wait. Sparkling dialogue. Delivered by a splendid cast. And subtitles too!
It kept my eyes glued to the screen throughout.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Day #21,929

Walk km 9526-9539 (12,390 to go): Meetup walk to Dundarave

Capilano River
approx km 9532 from Wardance Street

Movie #1914: Shanghai Ghetto (2002, Mann & Janklowicz-Mann)
Straightforward documentary telling the story of the Jewish emigrants to Shanghai just before WWII broke out. Interviews and photos make this non-cinematic but informative.

Movie #1915: The Steel Trap (1952, Andrew Stone)

Joseph Cotten decides to rob the bank that he works at. What possibly could go wrong. Apparently, everything! Mr Stone keeps us on the edge of our seat except the ending is a letdown.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Day #21,928

Top 10 Movies Seen in 2011

1 Synecdoche New York (Charlie Kaufman)
2 Obsession (Brian DePalma)
3 Ladybug Ladybug (Frank Perry)
4 Black Rain (Shoehei Imamura)
5 Five (Arch Oboler)
6 Crime In The Streets (Don Siegel)
7 The Man Who Cheated Himself (Felix Feist)
8 Point Blank (John Boorman)
9 Assault On Precinct 13 (John Carpenter)
10 Scandal Sheet (Phil Karlson)

Top 10 Books Read in 2011

1 Under The Banner Of Heaven (Jon Krakauer)
2 Calling Out For You (Karin Fossum)
3 The Water's Edge (Karin Fossum)
4 The Book Of Dead Philosophers (Simon Critchley)
5 Backflash (Donald E Westlake)
6 When The Devil Holds The Candle (Karin Fossum)
7 Black Seconds (Karin Fossum)
8 Blood On The Snow (Jan Bondeson)
9 Arctic Chill (Arnaldur Indridason)
10 Vengeance Man (Dan J Marlowe)

Walk km 9514-9526 (12,402): Meetup walk from Patterson to Marine Drive stations

assorted Meetup walkers
approx km 9519 Fraserview Golf Course washroom