Thursday, May 31, 2012

Day #22,079

Walk km 10,929-10,935: North Rancho

looking out the window of the #106 bus
approx km 10,935 North Rancho

Book #419: The Long Saturday Night (1962, Charles Williams)

Charles Williams is one of the great lit-noir writers of all-time. And here he even strays from his usual aquatic settings to tell a story that plays out entirely on dry land. Excellent.

Movie #2054: Crazy Mama (1975, Jonathan Demme)

Low-brow fun as Cloris Leachman and a band of misfits go on a cross-country crime spree.
Cloris is of course God-like as an actress but who knew she had such a nice tushie? They certainly downplayed that on the Mary Tyler Moore show.

Movie #2055: Wife To Be Sacrificed (1974, Masaru Konuma)

Japanese movie about sexual aberrations. A sicko takes a break from his pedophilia to try his hand at s&m. Unfortunately, he's into the "s" of s&m and victim is into "m" but she loves it so much that the "s" just isn't any fun. So, it's back to pedophilia.
Appears this movie was made simply to make a few bucks from the overcoat crowd.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Day #22,078

Walk km 10,921-10,927: Bonneville, Martin Luther King & Bonanza
Walk km 10,927-10,929: buying a basketball wager

Movie rewatch: Gas! (1970, Roger Corman)

Ain't seen this one since I was 18 years old. It was playing at "Cinema 3" on Ellice.
I loved it then and I think it's OK now. All kinds of weird hip in-jokes and Roger keeps things movin' right along. Still fun after all these years. IMDB rates this 36? Squaresville!

Movie #2053: Le Voyou (1970, Claude Lelouch)

Yes, this was quite entertaining but haven't we seen this plot before? In 1963 Kurosawa made "High And Low" about a boy who is kidnapped but where the boy's father's employer pays the ransom money. Same plot here except that in the Kurosawa the kidnappers make a mistake and kidnap the wrong kid. In this movie, the kidnappers know that the employer will come across (to avoid bad publicity). 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Day #22,076-77

Walk km 10,912-10,918: Las Vegas including Decatur
Walk km 10,918-10,921: around downtown

Movie #2049: Cutter's Way (1981, Ivan Passer)

Movie #2050: The Explosive Generation (1961, Buzz Kulik)

High school students rebel against authority. Looks like they're headed for an explosive confrontation. Then (in the last 2 minutes) everybody has a change of heart (for no known reason) and we have a very tacked on happy ending.

Movie #2051: As Young As We Are (1958, Bernard Girard)

Bernie was a screenwriter on the fabulous "Rebel Set". This time he's behind the camera in an altogether more serious movie. It wasn't really what I was expecting but I enjoyed it just the same.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Day #22,075

Walk km 10,904-10,907: running errands
Walk km 10,907-10,912 (11,163 to go): to Main & Alexander

Movie #2046: Moscow On The Hudson (Paul Mazursky, 1984)

I'm afraid I didn't believe Robin Williams as a Russian for one instant. And all that flag waving. It just got rather sickening after awhile.

Movie #2047: Dramatic School (1938, Robert B Sinclair)

Luise Rainer does have a bit of a Greta Garbo type vibe but that's it - that's all. Story of aspiring actresses is as dull as dust.

Movie #2048: The Rebel Set (1959, Gene Fowler Jr)

How in the world have a missed this one? It's a beatnik "big caper" flick. Coffee house owner recruits three "creeps" to help him in a million dollar armoured car robbery. With that plot, can this be anything but great? Of course not. Great movie. And IMDB rated this one a 2.3! They're nuts!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day #22,074

Walk km 10,891-10,904 (11,170 to go): Meetup walk from Watershed Park to Queensborough

Meetup group
approx km 10,895 entrance to Burn's Bog

Movie #2045: All In: The Poker Movie (2009/12, Douglas Tirola)

The usual stuff. Nothing new. Original release was 2009 but they added extra footage after "Black Friday" but interestingly enough they left Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson in it.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Day #22,073

Walk km 10,875-10,891: Meetup walk from Science World to/from Kitsilano

Movie #2043: The Rise And Fall Of Legs Diamond (1960, Budd Boetticher)

Hey Budd, where's Randy and the horses? Budd Boetticher tries a gangster film after all those years of making westerns. Story moves along OK but Ray Danton ain't much of a leading man.

Movie #2044: Sky Full Of Moon (1952, Norman Foster)

This movie is very whimsical. I hate whimsey! However, this one does include a little crime and kinda reminds me of that Hank William's song: "The Lost Highway". A young cowboy (just turned 21) decides to head for Vegas (to enter the rodeo). Instead he gets intoduced to drinkin', gamblin', cheatin' and a woman's lies.
The scenes of 1952 Vegas sure are a hoot. The Gold Spike, Pioneer and Golden Nugget are all there in their black&white glory.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day #22,072

Walk km 10,859-10,862: running errands
Walk km 10,862-10,875 (11,197 to go): Meetup walk to/through Stanley Park

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Day #22,071

Walk km 10,853-10,856 (11,215 to go): to T&T
Walk km 10,856-10,859: to Safeway

Movie #2042: Knife In The Water (1962, Roman Polanski)

The CD (from the library) died after 60 minutes. I had to watch the last 30 minutes in Polish. What I missed was the conversation between the man and the wife after they got back to their car. Would like to have heard that.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day #22,070

Walk km 10,839-10,853: Watershed Park to east Queensborough

Boundary Road
approx km 10,850 boundary of Richmond and New westminster

Movie #2041: Gone With The Woman (2007, Petter Naess)

Imaginary(?) woman worms her way into a guy's life. They go through the usual ups and downs of a relationship. Then it's over. Not sure if there was anything intended here or if they just thought it would make a quirky little movie. It was OK.

Day #22,069

Walk km 10,832-10,835: to Safeway for lunch
Walk km 10,835-10,839: to Main Street Station & Chinatown

Movie #2040: Harry & Tonto (1974, Paul Mazursky)

Oldster Art Carney gets evicted from his appartment. He's mad as hell but it turns out to be the best thing that could have happened to him.
One problem with watching this one: I kept thinkin': Art Carney is too young for this role. I'll have to check IMDB.
Back from IMDB: yup, he was only 56.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Day #22,068

Walk km 10,827-10,832: to Adam's hockey game

TV series episodes #27-28: Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Case Of Mr Pelham (Hitchcock) and Guilty Witness (Stevens).

Hitchcock's contribution ain't bad but Robert Steven's "Guilty Witness" is probably the best episode so far. Everyone in the apartment block can hear Mr & Mrs Verber fighting. But one day, everything is silent. Mr Verber has gone to visit his mother? Really?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Day #22,067

Walk km 10,816-10,827 (11,240 to go): Meetup walk to Queensborough

lottsa wooden stuff
approx km 10,822 Fraser River

Book #418: In The City (2009, Paul du Noyer)

Rundown of the music of London in chronological order. Paul keeps it pretty much a non-critical read with just background info on each artist/trend that emerges. Would have been more interesting if there would have been some opinions expressed.  

TV episode #26: Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Long Shot (1955, Robert Stevenson)
Not too bad. Kind of suspected what the suprise ending would be however.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Day #22.066

Walk km 10,813-10,816: running errands

Movie #2036: The Lodger (1927, Alfred Hitchcock)

Afraid this is not my cup of tea. I can see the obvious skill employed to make this movie but........ it's silent. It just has too big of a handicap to overcome. They've added a musical soundtrack and coloured the picture (not colourized, just blue-and-white, brown-and-white, pink-and-white etc). But, it still doesn't help. I was bored.

Movie #2037: Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay (2008, Hurwitz & Schlossberg)

I was in the mood for something sophomoric and I figured this would hit the spot. And who knows, with that title it might even have a political message. Well, it was just what I was looking for (and least as far as silly goes). Unfortunately, there was no political message. The guy from Homeland Security was a giant dickhead but they made sure he was an underling (his boss was away ice fishing). Also, they drag in W as a good old boy who saves the day for them. Oh well, one outta two ain't bad.

Day #22,065

Walk km 10,809-10,813 (11,253 to go): running errands

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Day #22,064

Movie #2034:  A Serious Man (2009, Coen brothers)

Looks like the Coen's took time out to make a movie away from their usual Hollywood fare. In this one, that light you see at the end of the tunnel? It's a train.
The "feel bad" movie of the year.

Movie #2035: Night Life In Reno (1931, Raymond Cannon)

It does make an unlikely double feature with "A Serious Man". It's a lot of nudge nudge wink wink as married couples covort in Reno while they wait for their divorce to be final. There is no talent on display anywhere.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Day #22,063

TV episode #24: Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Salvage (1955, Jus Addiss)
Wooden acting and an ending that you can see a mile off. Nice bit by Elisha Cook Jr though.

TV Episode #25: Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Breakdown (1955, Alfred Hitchcock)

This is more like it. Sir Alfred gets behind the camera himself in this tale of a heartless capitalist who ends up being at the mercy of equally heartless people. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Day #22,062

Walk km 10,807-10,809: running errands

Movie #2033: Die Welle (2008, Dennis Gansel)

Nitwit high school teacher is pissed off because he has to teach "autocracy" rather than "anarchy" (he thinks of himself as an anarchist - he listens to The Ramones (actually a Ramones cover band) on the way to school). He teaches his students by forming the class into a bunch of "brown shirts" with the obvious consequences.
It was OK but I doubt if German students are really that stupid.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Day #22,061

Walk km 10,803-10,807: to/from T&T
Movie #2031: Heroic Driver (1954, Lu Ban)
Another Chinese communist propaganda movie. I've found some of these to be quite interesting but this one lives up to all the critisism that has been heaped on them. The entire plot concerns how much weight can a train pull. Some say this and some say that. And they keep saying it for 100 minutes. Sheesh! In the end, proper Communist thought prevails and much more weight will be pulled by China's trains in order to fight American imperialism! For those who saw it in 1954, a real snooze fest. For us today, there is some historical interest.

Movie #2032: The Young Ones (1961, Sidney J Furie)

Horrid. Are you sure this was made in 1961? Not 1931? Crappy "puttin' on the big show" plot with dance/song routines that must have seemed outdated 30 years earlier.
Once again, The Shadows make a few cameo appearances but it's way too little too late. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Day #22.060

Walk km 10,790-10,801: last Hong Kong Walk
Walk km 10,801-10,802: Star Ferry walks
 Walk km 10,802-10,803 (11,257 to go): to/from SkyTrain
approx km 10,802
view from inside of 83 Argyle Street - 9th Floor - Hong Kong

Friday, May 11, 2012

Day #22,059

Walk km 10771-10,782: to/from Star Ferry + The Peak Trail
approx km 10,778 Hong Kong Island from Peak Trail

Movie #2030: Summer Holiday (1963, Peter Yates)
In which England seems to out-Hollywood the Hollywood musical. Only problem: I hate musicals. Cliff Richard and cast do their very best to make this one perky but it does wear out it's welcome long before the 107 minutes are up. Extra bonus points: any time The Shadows are seen or heard.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day #22,042-22,057

pictures from my China trip
Xiamen- Yundang Lake
Hong Kong Island
Xiamen - Zhongshan Park
Hong Kong Island
Xiamen - reflections in Yundang Lake
Fuzhou - Hot Springs Park
Fuzhou - some lights
Fuzhou - pagoda
Nanchang --> Fuzhou train
Nanchang to Fuzhou train - Julie has a snack
Nanchang - boats on the Ganjiang
Nanchang - flowers on Bayi Avenue
Nanchang - popcorn maker
Nanchang - Xianghu scenic area
Wuhan - Jiefang
Wuhan - Jiefang Avenue
Wuhan - Linjiang
Wuhan - boats on the Yangtze
Wuhan - Dingziqiao
Wuhan - Dingziqiao Avenue - board game players decide to block the sidewalk
Wuhan - East Lake
Nanjing - statue at the entrance to Yangtze River bridge
Nanjing - statue at the entrance to Yangtze River bridge (other side)
Nanjing - Julie takes a picture at Xuanwu Park
Nanjing - statues in the water - Xuanwu Park
Shanghai - Tianmu Road

Wuhan - Hankou side of Yangtze River

Wuhan - Yellow Crane Tower

Wuhan - dancing in the streets