Monday, April 23, 2012

Day #22,041

Walk km 10,491 - 10,493: running errands
Walk km 10,493 - 10,500: every block walk: 38th, Cree, 30th etc

TV Episode #21: Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Triggers In Leash (1955, Don Medford)
Not really what you'd call an Alfred Hitchcock story. However, a pretty scathing indictment of men and praise for the common sense of women.

TV Episode #22: Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Don't Come Back Alive (1955, Robert Stevenson)
It's the old "dupe the insurance company" plot. Well executed.

 TV Episode #23: Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Into Thin Air (1955, Don Medford)
Hitchcock's "The Lady Vanishes" squeezed down into 26 minutes.Alfred'a daughter, Patricia, gets the lead role.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day #22,040

Walk km 10,481 - 10,485: running errands
Walk km 10,485 - 10,491: 41st Ave to King Edward Stations via main

magnolias? approx km 10,483 38th Avenue

Movie #2029: Calcutta (1969, Louis Malle)

In which we learn that you need not die to go to hell. You can just move to Calcutta.

TV episode #20: Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Premonition (1955, Robert Stevens)

There I was rifling through the internet looking for episodes of this series when it was on Netflix all along.
In this one we have John Forsythe and Cloris Leachman in an episode which pretty much gives away the ending right from the start. It's the same plot device they used 13 years later in "The Swimmer" with Burt Lancaster.
This was Season 1 Episode 2. Episode 1 starred Ralph Meeker. This episode starred Cloris Leachman. The year was 1955. Also in 1955 one of the all-time great movies was released: Kiss Me Deadly. The stars of Kiss Me Deadly? Ralph Meeker and Cloris Leachman! Just a coincidence?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day #22,039

Walk km 10,470 - 10,481 (11,558 to go): Meetup walk around Stanley Park

laughing men approx km 10,481 by First Beach (English Bay)

TV Episode #17: Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Revenge (1955, Alfred Hitchcock)
This is episode #1 of season #1 of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Ralph Meeker (last seen giving Barbara Stanwyck a hard time in "Jeopardy") is out for revenge when a travelling salesman attacks his wife. Alfred directs this one himself.

TV Episode #18: Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Cheney Vase (1955, Robert Stevens)

It's the age-old plot gimmick of having a poor helpless invalid being preyed upon by a ruthless scoundral. Darren McGavin is the scoundral. Directing is Robert Stevens who directed the wonderful "The Big Caper". It appears that Robert Stevens was an Alfred Hitchcock favourite: he directed 44 episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents"

TV Episode #19: Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Our Cook's A Treasure (1955, Robert Stevens)
Suffers from the idiot plot (characters must act like idiots in order to move the plot along): man finds that his cook is a serial killer and she's putting arsenic in his food. Does he inform the police? Of course not!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Day #22,038

Walk km 10,461 - 10,464: running errands
Walk km 10,464 - 10,470 (11,568 to go): to 25th and Cambie

Movie #2027: Night Key (1937, Lloyd Corrigan)

Cheapie of inventor Boris Karloff coming up with a new alarm system. Both big business and organized crime (is there really any difference?) are out to steal it.

Movie #2028: True Grit (2010, Coen brothers)

Well, that's a different idea: instead of doing a remake of a good movie, remake a crappy one! There doesn't seem to be much sense in remaking a good one because you can always just watch the original. For bad movies, there's plenty of upside potential.
This is certainly better than the original but not one of the Coen's best. With that facial hair and eyepatch, Jeff Bridges has to do most of his acting with his body.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day #22,037

Walk km 10,455 - 10,461 (11,576 to go): around Lost Lagoon

Movie #2025: Moonlighting Wives (1966, Joe Sarno)

This is the 3rd Joe Sarno I've seen and the lustre seems to be wearing off. I gave "Sin In The Suburbs" a 75 rating but these last two have been pretty pedestrian.
In this one a cash strapped housewife sets up a steno/callgirl operation in order to earn a little extra money. It's such a success that the cops put a stop to it. One of the cops is Joe "Rockford Files" Santos (I guess you can get typecast even in exploitation films).

Movie #2026: Moontide (1942, Archie Mayo)

Much less than the sum of its parts. We have here Jean Gabin, Ida Lupino, Claude Rains and Thomas Mitchell in the major roles. We have Archie Mayo directing a movie started by Fritz Lang. And then they got John O'Hara to write the script. So, you tend to admire the movie more than actually enjoy it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Day #22,036

Walk km 10,452 - 10,455 (11,581): running errands

Movie #2024: Jeopardy (1953, John Sturges)

Compact (68 minute) thriller of poor Barbara Stanwyck versus murderer on-the-run Ralph Meeker. No masterpiece but would make an A+ rainy afternoon flic.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day #22,035

Walk km 10,439 - 10,441: running errands
Walk km 10,441 - 10,452: Meetup walk in Pacific Spirit Park and Southlands

picture of Vivian taken by Ellen
approx km 10,448 55th Ave

Book #416: Blood On The Tracks (2011, S Brian Willson)

Brian after being run over by a train loaded with arms on their way to Central America

Autobiography of guy who grew up right wing/conservative and was able to swing around so far that he is now anti-civilization! It's the first part that is the most interesting because of how difficult it is for anyone to reject their childhood view of the world. Brian had to go to Viet Nam to get the process started.
The second part of the book is not as interesting but more important. This part details all the causes that Brian has participated in including his reasons behind each decision.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Day #22,034

Walk km 10,428 - 10,439 (11,595 to go): test walk: Pacific Spirit & Southlands

tree stump
approx km 10,433 Pacific Spirit Park

Movie #2023: Girl Happy (1965, Boris Sagal)

Back in the day, these movies used to be an embarrassment. Having to watch Elvis make a fool of himself wasn't pleasant. But now, what the heck! Elvis sings "Do The Clam" - it doesn't get any more embarrassing than that. Nice mindless fluff.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Day #22,033

Walk km 10,419 - 10,428 (11,605 to go): 41st Ave Station to T&T

climbing stone
approx km 10,423 Riley Park

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day #22,032

Walk km 10,404 - 10,419: Meetup walk around Stanley Park

Movie #2021: Into The Abyss (Werner Herzog, 2011)

the fellow who didn't know how to read

The story of one Texas state execution. In this instance, murder was the result of ignorance and stupidity. In a more primitive society, these people would probably have been just fine. In a world filled with cars and guns, they're in over their heads.
The father of Jason admits that the turning point in his life was when he didn't follow up on a university scholarship by dropping out of school instead. He chose ignorance over learning. That was the trigger.

Movie #2022: All The Sins Of Sodom (1968, Joe Sarno)

the male lead has a chat with the "daughter of Satan"

Lots of biblical references in this one. When a photographer hires the "daughter of Satan" as one of his models, you know it won't end well.
It looks like some care was taken in the making of this movie but the plot is there simply to give the female cast members an excuse to disrobe.

Day #22,031

Walk km 10,399 - 10,402: to Denman and Davie
Walk km 10,402 - 10,404: to Safeway

Movie #2020: Tunnel Of Love (1958, Gene Kelly)

This one seems to be a bit too "adult" for the likes of Doris Day. This also seems to be a bit too "adult" for 1958!
Doris and Richard Widmark want to adopt a baby but Widmark screws up by getting the inspector from the adoption agency pregnant! Then he learns the baby they agency is going to give them is his! Then Doris notices the resemblance! Seems a bit too risque for a Doris movie but this was made in 1958 (before she made a career out of being a virgin).
Another puzzler is the ending. Doris is gonna leave Richard because he got the adoption agency woman pregnant. That sounds about right. But, at the end, she finds out that her husband did sleep with her but didn't get her pregnant. All is forgiven! What kind of weird logic is that? Morality based on sperm performance?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Day #22,030

Walk km 10,385 - 10,388: running errands
Walk km 10,388 - 10,399: Meetup walk looking for cherry blossoms

cherry blossoms?
approx km 10,397 Yukon at 64th

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Day #22,029

Walk km 10,381 - 10,383: running errands
Walk km 10,383 - 10,385: to Safeway

Movie #2018: Carson City (1952, Andre De Toth)

This ain't exactly "Crime Wave" but Andre shows considerable skill as a director of westerns as well. Doesn't do any harm to have a cast that includes Randolph Scott (good guy) and Raymond Massey (bad guy).

Movie #2019: Heat (1972, Paul Morrissey)

Andrea Feldman

Can't help comparing this to John Waters. This is superior because, despite the grossness, it actually seems real. As you watch, you actually start believing these people really are that screwed up. Then after, you can go to IMDB to find that right after this movie was made, one lead actress (Andrea Feldman) commited suicide by jumping out of a 14th story window holding a rosary and a can of coke. This is a world that you really wouldn't want to visit.

Day #22,028

Walk km 10,373 - 10,379: downtown & Commercial
Walk km 10,379 - 10,381 (11,647 to go): to Elvis Costello concert

Monday, April 9, 2012

Day #22,027

Walk km 10,368 - 10,373 (11,654 to go): Meetup walk in Lynn Canyon Park

Meetup walkers
approx km 10,373 Lynn Canyon Park

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Day #22,026

Walk km 10,354 - 10,368 (11,663 to go): Meetup walk on PoCo Trail

Meetup walkers
approx km 10,372 PoCo Trail

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Day #22,025

Walk km 10,339 - 10,354 (11,676 to go): Meetup walk to 37th Ave

Movie #2017: Pale Flower (1964, Masahiro Shinoda)

Plenty of style but not much substance. It's all yakuza vs yakuza so nobody to root for.
Yakuza guy is worried about his "girlfriend" who is starting to use drugs for kicks. He lets her watch him kill someone to show her that there are better kicks than drugs.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Day #22,024

Walk km 10,329 - 10,339 (11,690 to go): test walk in Lynn Canyon Park

pool in Lynn Creek
approx km 10,333 Lynn Canyon Park

Movie #2016: Do Not Disturb (1965, Ralph Levy)

Absolutely horrible! There isn't much worse than having to sit through a "comedy" that isn't the least bit funny. Director Levy was never allowed to direct another movie. Thank goodness for that but the screenwriters ought to have been executed by firing squad.

TV episode #16: Play For Today: Kiss Of Death (1977, Mike Leigh)
This is the 2nd of these Mike Leigh "Play For Today" episodes I've seen and they're both excellent. This one concerns 4 young folks and their attempts at romance despite all having bottom-of-the-barrel personalities.
One drawback is those silly British accents - tough to make out what they're saying.

Day #22,023

Walk km 10,316 - 10,318: running errands
Walk km 10,318 - 10,329 (11,699 to go): Meetup walk to Bath Slough Trail

duelling cameras
approx km 10,325 Bird Street (Richmond)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day #22,022

Walk km 10,296 - 10,309: Meetup walk round Burnany Lake
Walk km 10,309 - 10,311: running errands

Movie #2015: Eyes Wide Shut (1999, Stanley Kubrick)

Tom Cruise being tempted by the class system?

Hmmmm, not sure if I get this. Tom Cruise is a medical doctor who seems to know nothing about sex. Then his wife tells him about this guy she saw that she thought was hot. So Tom gets all excited about sex too. Then he goes to this masquerade sex party where they say that they'll kill him and his family if he tells anyone what he saw there (he didn't see anything there!). Then one of the masquerade party people turns up dead. Then he tells his wife and they decide to just forget the whole thing.
OK, I obviusly missed something here. I'll have to check with IMDB.
The best explanation that I see at IMDB is that this movie isn't about sex at all. It's about a class system. Tom and Nicole get invited to a Christmas party but they don't know anyone there because they're all super-rich but Tom & Nicole are just ordinary rich. They get tempted at the party (sex wise but we're supposed to understand that that's just a metaphor for class wise). Tom decides to crash the world of the super-rich. He gets caught and is told to stay in his place. So, it wasn't anything he saw at the orgy it was simply that he wasn't supposed to be there (for class reasons). If that's true then Kubrick sure wasted a lot of time and effort because not one in a million is gonna get that outta this movie and even if they what?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Day #22,021

Walk km 10,286 - 10,296 (11,725 to go): every block: 56th, 58th, St George

Movie #2014: Move Over Darling (1963, Michael Gordon)

Finally, I get to see the movie with the catchiest theme song ever! "Move Over Darling" was Doris Day's greatest recording. The movie? Well, it's one of those movies where they set up a silly situation and then try to make it funny by nobody doing what any reasonable person would do. They do this because they simply can't figure out how to make the reasonable story funny. Luckily, in this movie they go so far beyond reasonable that it does actually begin to be funny. The best scene: Edgar Buchanan's second scene as the judge with the whole cast joining in.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Day #22,020

Walk km 10,273 - 10,286: test walk along Bath Slough Trail

blue monkey on drums
approx km 10,280 Bargan Street (Richmond)

Television episode #14: Masterpiece Mystery: Wallander: Firewall (2008, Niall MacCormick)
Hadn't read the book but the plot did evolve smoothly. However, the hi-tech stuff seemed kinda silly (having 3 monitors instead of one, having to have a "trigger" when it was all set to go at midnight). And then Wallander sitting in his car waiting for someone to show up at the cash machine instead of calling ahead to have it guarded. Doesn't sound reasonable.
Still, it was exciting.

Television episode #15: Masterpiece Mystery: Wallander: One Step Behind (2008, Philip Martin)
More of the same. I thought Branagh had that 4 day growth to show how grueling the job was but I guess it's a fashion statement. The actress who played Lisa? Can she act at all? She looked like someone who's acting.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day #22,019

Walk km 10,267-10,269: to Safeway
Walk km 10,269-10,273: to T&T

there's a vacancy at the Avalon
approx km 10,271 Pender Street

Television episode #13: Masterpiece Mystery: Wallander: Sidetracked (2008, Philip Martin)

The story does feel a little rushed but they do take time to add lots of human touches so that we can identify with the characters as actual people. Thus: we care about what happens to them. A success.