Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day #21,987 - I pass 10,000 km mark

Walk km 9995-10001: every block: Charles Ave

T-Bird with snow
approx km 9998 Slocan Street

Movie #1977: The Front (1976, Martin Ritt)

That's a neat idea - get blacklisted artists together to make a movie about the blacklist. Also, we get to see what Woody Allen would be like in a non-Woody Allen movie. Well, the movie is fairly entertaining but Woody Allen once again plays the part of Woody Allen.
It's hard to imagine that anything ever got better in America (seems to be in a steady decline) but this film is proof that things can improve.

Movie #1978: The Long Hot Summer (1958, Martin Ritt)

This is the 2nd half of today's Martin Ritt double feature. Once again, this seems to be more theatrical than cinematic. Secondly, Orson Welles is so over the top in his Will Varner role that he renders it totally unbelievable. Still, it's a right pretty picture with some fine acting but it does bring up the question: if Ritt was blacklisted in 1951, why is he back directing an "A" picture in 1958 when others still could not get a job? I must consult IMDB.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Day #21,986

Walk km 9985-9995 (11,991 to go): Lynn Canyon Park
Trail #12: Rice Lake Loop Trail

Rice Lake
approx km 9988 Lynn Canyon Park

Movie #1975: Money Madness (1948, Sam Newfield)

These movies are hard to rate. They're awful and yet they're kinda fun to watch. This one has Hugh "Leave It To Beaver" Beaumont as the psycho badguy. Neat. But the plot is just incredibly stupid. Here's the ending: Hugh is about to gun down our hero so he turns up the radio to cover the gunshot. At the same time a patrol car is passing by. The cops remark that that radio is awfully loud....... we'd better go and investigate because there might be a party goin' on. No, this wasn't a stereo system just a junky twobit radio with maybe 1 or 2 watts of power! Sheesh!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Day #21,985

Walk km 9977-9985 (12,000 to go): library and book shop

Movie #1974: Shoot To Kill (1947, William Berke)

There is a certain charm about a movie this inept. Luckily, at only 63 minutes, it doesn't wear out its welcome. One of the worst.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Day #21,984

Walk km 9964-9977 (12,007 to go): Lake City Way to Kootenay Loop (Meetup)

Meetup walkers
approx km 9975 Hastings Street

Book #411: The King Killers (1968, Thomas B Dewey)

I bought two books at a used book shop last week. Both are by favourite authors of yesteryear that you'll never find in the library: Fredric Brown & Thomas B Dewey. The Brown was crap but thanks to Dewey I'm at least batting 500 on that purchase.
This is a beautifully written book about private eye "Mac" who seems to be made from the Archer (Ross MacDonald) mould. In fact, this ain't too far behind MacDonald - that's high praise.

Movie #1972: Small Town Murder Songs (2010, Ed Gass-Donnelly)

Another movie that seems to be about 10 minutes long but was really 75. That's a good sign.
However, weren't there two problems with the plot? The homicide detective said that after what he had done, they couldn't do anything to Steve "even if he confessed". After he does even more, they haul away Steve in the police car. What happened?
And secondly, Rita is OK with Steve murdering people but when he hits Walter with a stick, that going too far? Huh?
Still, it did zip by pretty fast. One of your better Mennonite movies.

Movie #1973: La Vitrine Du Plaisir (1978, Gerard Kikoine)
I had no book to read tonight so I opted to end the evening with another 70s porno from France. In this one, "Pascale" is writing a magazine article about the making of a porno film. The best scenes show her bicycling through the streets of 1978 Paris. Otherwise, it's the usual.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Day #21,983

Walk km 9951-9954: running errands
Walk km 9954-9964: Lynn Valley

approx km 9958 Lynn Canyon Park

Movie #1971: Godmonster Of Indian Flats (1973, Fredric Hobbs)

watch out kiddies, there's a mutant sheep creeping up on you!

There seems to be some disagreement as to what this movie is. A failed Z-grade horror movie or a genuine surrealist masterpiece. I've seen it and there is no doubt that masterpiece was what was attempted here - a run-of-the mill horror movie it is not. And I would say that Hobbs is mostly successful - this may not be Eraserhead but it ain't far off.

Movie #1970: Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome (1947, John Rawlins)

X-Ray and Gruesome

This is the 2nd Dick Tracy I've seen and they must be one of the better of the 40s crime series. There's just nothing serious here at all. A movie where the bad guys are called Gruesome and X-Ray can't be all bad.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Day #21,982

KM 9949-9951: running errands

Movie #1968: The Long Haul (1957, Ken Hughes)

They broke the #1 rule of plotting here: you can't have all flawed characters and still expect the audience to have a rooting interest in the outcome.
Otherwise, wonderfully directed by Ken Hughes. Especially good was the driving a truck across country bit where he uses his best "Wages Of Fear" moves.
And yes, Diana Dors was in this one too.

Movie #1969: I Hate But Love (1962, Koreyoshi Kurahara)

Oddball road movie that's way ahead of it's time. TV star decides to drop everything he's doing in order to drive a jeep to a doctor in Kyushu. First he is sued for breach of contract but then the TV execs realize this is a great opportunity for a hit reality show. Right to the end, the media tries to direct the lives of the main characters. But, the TV star rejects them and then finally his girlfriend/manager rejects them too. They tell the doctor and his girlfriend to reject TV also.
It's 50 years after this movie was made and now everyone is jumping at the chance to be in a reality TV show.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Day #21,981

KMs: #9937-9949 (12,032 to go): Meetup walk around Stanley Park

Meetup walkers
approx km 9943 The Seawall at Stanley Park

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Day #21,980

KMs: #9934-9937: filed my tax return and went to Safeway

Movie #1967: Wordplay (2006, Patrick Creadon)

I thought this movie might do me good. I scrapped Crosswords in favour of Sudoku about 7 years ago. Sudoku is a good brain exercise but you don't learn anything. I should get back into crosswords. I thought the movie might help.
That's what makes this film better than that one about spelling bees. Spelling bees are just people wasting their lives because they only know how to spell a word - they don't know the meanings. And they don't have to figure out clues. Those people were sad - these crossword people looked a little nerdy but overall were much more rounded personalities. That's what they brought the celebs in for: baseball players, TV stars and presidents do crosswords. That's cool.
This film is kinda short though at only 10 minutes. What? It was 85 minutes? Seemed like 10. Musta been a good movie then.

Book #410: The Lights In The Sky Are Stars (1953, Fredric Brown)

Fredric Brown must be the anti-Richard Matheson. Dick wrote fun SF but crappy crime. Fred wrote a whole bunch of wonderful crime novels but his SF is cruddy (although I've only read two, they are his worst two).
This is a very lifeless story about a guy who wanted to be an astronaut but is now too old. Fred must have thought that setting a novel in the future was all you needed for SF. No, a good story is still required.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Day #21,979

KMs #9925-9926: had to go for a walk because the fire alarm went off
KMs #9926-9934: every block walk
Streets completed #18-20: Ross, Inverness and Sommerville

1957 Land Rover
approx km 9931 Commercial Street

Movie #1966: Good-Time Girl (1948, David MacDonald)

the poster might be in colour but don't you believe it - this movie is very b&w

Cautionary tale of wide-eyed innocent who leaves home and starts her decent into nightclubs, booze, robbery, murder etc. The plot makes no sense, especially her overnight 180 degree turnaround from kind hearted innocent to hard hearted hellion but they needed that to keep the plot moving. Dreary.
Diana Dors gets to start and end the movie but some nobody named Jean Kent gets the starring role.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Day #21,978

KMs: #9914-9925 (12,053 to go)
Street Completed: Sherbrooke Street (#17)

Movie #1965: Wild Youth (1961, John F Schreyer)

It's three JDs against one mob guy and his junkie wife in west Texas (actually shot near Tucumcari New Mexico). The plot makes no sense but don't worry about that. The plot moves along at a frantic pace but there's no weird stuff. Carol Ohmart makes for a very classy junkie and when she needs a fix her vision starts to squiggle. Not bad at all.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Day #21,977

Walk km 9910-9914: to Main Street Station

Chinatown Plaza sign
approx km 9913 Keefer at Quebec

Movie #1964: Stark Fear (1962, Ned Hockman)

one of the Quada scenes - Beverly does not want to get into that pickup truck

Yikes! This one is good. Beverly Garland is having man trouble. Big time. The scenes that show her visit to "Quada Oklahoma" are just plain weird. There's that weirdo in the "Juke Museum". There's the guy who gives the sheriff $5 so he can take custody of his prisoner so he can rape her out in the cemetary. While her husband watches........ by his mother's tombstone. And the rapists wife who keeps a revolver in her housedress and tries to use it on her husband..... but he runs out of the motel and right under the wheels of a semi tractor-trailer. Yup, weird stuff happens in that town. This movie is a real grade-Z gem.
IMDB update: It appears that Ned Hockman quit while filming and actor Skip Homeier took over. That is probably why the "Quada Oklahoma" scenes are so weird. But which director directed which part? I may need to find another Hockman or Homeier to find out.
Double IMDB update: Neither Hockman nor Homeier ever got behind the camera again (or before). Which one was the cinematic genius? We'll never know.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Day #21,976

Walk km 9898-9910 (12,066 to go): Meetup walk from SFU to Braid Station

Helen keeps a firm grip on the water bottle
approx km 9901 North Road Trail

Movie Rewatch: See No Evil (1971, Richard Fleischer)

Haven't seen this one since it was in the cinema back in '71. Thought it was spiffy then and still do. Maybe not as exciting as I thought it was when I was 19, but it still delivers quite a wallop as blind Mia Farrow just keeps being assaulted by what she cannot see until she starts freakin' out.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Day #21,975

Walk km 9895-9896: to IGA
Walk km 9896-9898: to T&T

Movie #1962: Wagon Wheels (1934, Charles Barton)

Randy decides to defend one of the better lookin' of the women-folk

Thought I'd check this one out as it's a 1934 Randolph Scott. Randy was a big western star during the 50s so I thought it would be interesting to see what he was up to 20 years earlier. Well, he was up to the usual western shenanigans. It appears that the natives aren't too happy about Europeans coming over and running them off their land. How inconsiderate of them.
A fair amount of singin' in this one. I guess that with the advent of "talkies" they wanted to get as much music in as possible. Also, a nice scene at a trading post where all the men-folk get drunk and are unable to drive their wagons and so the women-folk have to take over. Women's lib in a 1934 western?

Movie #1963: Manfish (1956, W Lee Wilder)

An oddity: IMDB says this is 76 minutes long but the YouTube copy is 88 minutes. It's a dull "looking for pirate's treasure" flic enlivened only but the superb scenery chewing of Victor Jory. Barbara Nichols has her first screen credit as a native Jamaican - not a look you'd expect from one of Hollywood's great beached blondes.
Another oddity: the credits say "Color by Deluxe" (as does the poster) yet the picture is entirely in black & white.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day #21,974

Walk km 9879-9883: to Julie's for lunch
Walk km 9883-9895 (12,079 to go): Meetup walk down Manitoba Street

Andy of the Meetup group
approx km 9889 Queen Elizabeth Park

Movie #1961: Beginning Of The End (1957, Bert I Gordon)

Giant grasshoppers invade Chicago. I don't think there's really any possibility of a person not enjoying a movie with that plot line. The best part of the movie was the first part with Peggie Castle tooling around in a snazzy looking convertible. The second half where Peter Graves takes over as the lead isn't nearly as much fun. The special effects are nothing special except for the grasshoppers climbing the Chicago buildings. It looks like they did that by having regular sized grasshoppers crawling around photos of tall buildings.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Day #21,973

Walk km 9871-9873 (12,100 to go): to T&T
Walk km 9873-9879: to Main Street Station via Olympic Village

Movie #1960: Born To Be Bad (1934, Lowell Sherman)

It's 61 minutes of wall-to-wall Loretta Young. And she's bad. She's very bad.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day #21,972

Walk km 9863-9865: running errands
Walk km 9865-9871: every block: 63rd Avenue

Book #409: Paper Lion (George Plimpton, 1965)

not a Lion, Amarillo Slim

a real Lion, Night Train Lane (maybe I shoulda read this book instead)

Picked this one up at the library on a whim. True story of a writer who joins the Detroit Lions in training camp to let the fans know what it's like to be on a professional football team. Of course, the bigger question is why should they care - he doesn't get into that.
Nowadays, it's easy to rub shoulders with professionals in a sporting event: play poker. Personally, I've played against a few including Amarillo Slim. Was it exciting? Not much. After you recognize the other player (Amarillo Slim is easy to recognize because he was in the movie "California Split") as a professional you think it's kinda neat to be playing against him but then it's quickly back to the game.
Oooops, almost forgot, there is one piece of interesting info here. One of the Lions (Night Train Lane) was married to Dinah Washington at the time Plimpton was with the Lions. Night Train was Dinah's eighth and last husband. In the off hours of training camp, Night Train could be found in his room playing a big stack of his wife's records.

Movie #1959: The Leech Woman (1960, Edward Dein)

Gloria Talbott (the one on the right)

Hard to tell if this was any good: the sound and picture were out-of-sync by 2 minutes! But I just had to watch since it's directed by Edward "Shack Out On 101" Dein and co-stars Gloria "I Married A Monster From Outer Space" Talbott.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Day #21,971

Walk km 9852-9863 (12,108 to go): Lake City Station to Hastings @ Kootenay

wall mural
approx km 9860 off Hastings St (Burnaby)

Movie #1955: The Reckless Moment (1949, Max Ophuls)

James Mason is the rarest of characters: the sympathetic blackmailer. Joan Bennett is, as usual, superb. All kinds of nice touches elevate this one well above its storyline.
The first Ophuls I saw was nothing special. I'll have to try another one.

Movie #1956: When Worlds Collide (1951, Rudolph Mate)

Stooopid plot. Idiot science. Crappy acting. Like, what was the silly painting that they walked into on the new world. The best depiction of the new world was something that looks like it was drawn by a six year old? This was made by Paramount, not some grade Z studio. And yet they spent a lot of money on making this in colour. Confusing.
After reading IMDB: it appears that time ran out - it was time to release the film and they didn't have a model for the new planet so they quickly got someone to paint a picture.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Day #21,970

Walk km 9839-9852 (12,118 to go): Meetup walk through Como Lake Park amd Mundy Park

Iveta and Andy
approx km 9845 Mundy Lake

Movie #1954: Les émotifs anonymes (2010, Jean-Pierre Ameris)

Two shy people fall in love. The characters are too one-dimensional to make us really care for them. Besides, it whimsical.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Day #21,969

Walk km 9830-9839 (12,130 to go): Meetup walk from Marine Dr Station to Fraser River Park

approx km 9837 70th Avenue

Movie #1953: Rain (2008, Paula Hernandez)

Roberto and Alma both have their problems. They meet and after 100 movie minutes of cat-and-mouse they unburden themselves and feel so much better for it. Not much of a movie but well done.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Day #21,968

Walk km 9819-9830: test walk: Dead Moped, North Road and Jim's Jungle trails

approx km 9823 Dead Moped trail

Movie #1952: The King Of Marvin Gardens (1972, Bob Rafelson)

Character study of mousey Jack Nicholson and his blowhard brother Bruce Dern. Nothing to write home about but nice to have finally seen this one after only 31 years.

Day #21,967

Walk km 9808-9819: Meetup walk down Angus Drive

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Day #21,966

Walk km 9797-9808 (12,158 to go): test walk: Coquitlam & Port Coquitlam

not really a walking trail (but how else can you get from Port Coquitlam to Coquitlam)
approx km 9800 Coquitlam (looking toward Port Coquitlam)

Movie #1951: Twilight (1998, Robert Benton)

I felt like watching a normal movie tonight. Flipped through Netflix and found Paul Newman, Gene Hackman, Susan Sarandan and James Garner all past their prime in "Twilight". It was just what I thought it would be. Smooth and lightweight.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Day #21,965

Walk km 9790-9791: running errands
Walk km 9791-9794: to T&T
Walk km 9794-9797: to Safeway via Coal Harbour

Movie #1949: Four Sided Triangle (1953, Terence Fisher)

I guess there is a certain entertainment value in watched the movie that must assuredly have the most idiotic plot in history.
You see, there's this guy who invents a machine that can reproduce anything exactly. So, when the woman he's crazy about marries someone else, he decides to make an exact copy of her for himself. See the problem with this? Of course. Does anyone else in this movie see the problem? Nope! They may be smart enough to make a machine that can reproduce anything out of thin air but they're too stoopid to see the obvious problem of trying to duplicate a woman who doesn't love you in order that the duplicate will love you. Sheesh!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Day #21,964

Walk km 9779-9790 (12,174 to go): every block: Columbia & Ontario

a pool
approx km 9782 Queen Elizabeth Park

Movie #1947: Outrage (2010, Takeshi Kitano)

It's cross and double-cross time for the yakuza. This means tons of blood letting. Nothing much new from Mr Kitano. Excellent idea though of taking over the embassy of a small country and turning it into a legal casino. Why haven't any impoverished counties thought of this before? They could make a bundle.

Movie #1948: They Live (1988, John Carpenter)

What gives? They make a movie about corporate greed and then totally sell out! Turns out the titans of industry are just stooges for aliens from outer space. Then they turn the movie into a professional wrestling match and a "shoot em' up" (two things used my "them" to keep the people asleep. Looks like John didn't have the courage of his convictions. Still, that 90 minutes goes by awfully fast.
Oh yes, I almost forgot, Roddy Piper can't act worth shit.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Day #21,963

Walk km 9766-9779: Meetup group walk from Patterson Station to Denny's (Marine)

Meetup walkers
approx km 9778 Yukon Street

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Day #21,962

Walk km 9757-9766 (12,196 to go): every block: Wolfe & 61st

Movie #1946: The Huggetts Abroad (1949, Ken Annakin)

The 4th and best of the Huggett movies (I'm a sucker for a road movie). The Huggetts pack up and drive across Africa. They only get as far as Algeria before they get homesick and turn back. They don't seem to take to those foreigners (they're a bit racist it appears). Still, Ken Annakin does appear to have learned some tricky pans so his future looks secure.
Just remembered........... Pet Clark sings two numbers. The first is something like DoodleOodleAy (catchy number) and the second one is a snoozer. It's easy to spot the bad guy: when Pet starts singing he comes over and tells them to can the racket! Also, Diana Dors is nowhere to be seen.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Day #21,961

Walk km 9747-9757: every block: 75th, 76th, Aisne

Ford pickup
approx 9749 Aisne Street