Saturday, June 30, 2012

Day #22,109

Walk km 11,113-11,124 (10,985 to go): Meetup walk led by Werner
Meetup walkers
approx km 11,122 17th Ave

Friday, June 29, 2012

Day #22,108

Walk km 11,104-11,107: shopping
Walk km 11,107-11,113 (10,995 to go): to/from Stanley Park

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day #22,107

Walk km 11,102-11,104 (11,003 km to go): to/from Skytrain stations

km 11,102 Terminal 3 (opening day) McCarran Airport

Day #22,106

Walk km 11,096-11,102: back from The Golden Nugget

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day #22,105

Walk km 11,094-11,096: bus stop to/from Paradise Buffet
The Golden Nugget
approx km 11,095 Fremont Street

Movie #2085: Show Me Love (1998, Lukus Moodysson)

It's kinda the same thing as Moodysson's "Together" except that now the idiot Swedes are the teenagers. It doesn't really ring true because I found it hard to believe the character of Elin who turned from superbrat to a caring loving teen in under 90 minutes. Also the girl who had no friends was miscast - she was way too good looking to have no friends.
However, I enjoyed it all because I knew Moodysson was going to come up with a big uplifting happy ending. He didn't disappoint.

Day #22,104

Walk km 11,085-11,094: back from the Golden Nugget + walk on dinner break

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Day #22,103

Walk km 11,077-11,079: running errands 7
Walk km 11,079-11,085: downtown via 6th Street
Las Vegas City Hall
approx km 11,084 Clark Street

Book #420: All God's Children (1975, Arthur Lyons)

It's Lyons at his most RossMacDonaldish. A teenager has run away from home and our first-person detective is called in to look for her. Lyons is no MacDonald but he's close enough to make this a worthwhile read.

Movie #2084: Dear Murderer (1947, Arthur Crabtree)
It's a murder mystery. However, it is quite a clever one.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Day #22,102

Walk km 11,066-11,070: to the Target store
Walk km 11,070-11,077: Maryland @ Flamingo to Tropicana @ Duke Ellington + a bit more

Movie #2082: Please Remove Your Shoes (2010, Rob DelGaudio)
Documentary about the new airport security in the U.S.. They don't like it.
One item: they complain about the new government agency hiring staff from the old (pre 9-11) agency but also complain that the guy from the new agency that was called to Congress to testify didn't have any airport security experience prior to being hired.

Movie #2083: What Happened Was..... (1994, Tom Noonan)

Well, what happened was...... this secretary invites this guy from the office over to her place for Friday night dinner. She's kinda nervous and it turns out he's kinda goofy. And then what happened was......
Superb movie. It's all just yak yak yak but that's OK - these characters are unforgettable.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Day #22,101

Walk km 11,057-11,066: back from the Golden Nugget

Day #22,100

Walk km 11,055-11,057: to/from bus stop

Movie #2081: Edmond (2005, Stuart Gordon)

Continuing in the screenplay is the most important part of the movie theme...... here's a David Mamet screenplay. David did not direct however.
It's a quite enjoyable tale of William Macy getting tired of his humdrum life and deciding to try something more adventurous. It starts with a visit to a "peep show", moves on to muggings and murder and ends with......... well you might want to see it yourself so I won't give away the ending.
Quite Mametish indeed.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day #22,099

Walk km 11,047-11,050: pre and post tournament walk
Walk km 11,050-11,055: Sombrero, Burnham and Del Mar streets
parked truck
approx km 11,053 Burnham Street

Movie #2079: Sleep My Love (Douglas Sirk, 1948)
The new model (that the husband is going to trade up to)

This one doesn't quite click. It's a drive your wealthy wife crazy so you can inherit the money plot. And they let on right away that it's the husband. So, instead of "is she really crazy?", we have to ask "how can he be stopped?".
Since this is Hollywood, you know he will be stopped and also they give away who will stop him. So, there's not much suspense 

Movie #2080: Together (2000, Lukus Moodysson)

At first, this one looked familiar. Then, I realized I had seen it before but I kept watching anyway.
The story concerns a great number of people who are all screwed up. The kids not so much but the adults are definitely idiots. It's all very sad because you know that living with these idiots will surely cause the children to grow up just as warped.
Then there's the ending.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day #22,098

Walk km 11,042-11,045: pre-tournament walk
Walk km 11,045-11,047: to Albertson's

Movie #2078: Troll 2 (1990, Claudio Fragasso)

Apparently, I'm way behind the times as far as worst-movie-ever-made is concerned. While I kept on thinking that "Plan Nine From Outer Space" was #1, this here "Troll 2" is now the front runner.
Well, the visuals are quite good in "Troll 2" - no problem there. The plot is idiotic. The acting is abysmal. But it's the dialogue that's truly awful. However, this is a kid's movie! The bad plot, acting and dialogue were intentional. That doesn't count! Now, admittedly, they went way too far. Even an 8 year old is gonna find this pretty goofy.
They must have thought: we'll make a scary movie for kids. What do kids hate? Eating their vegetables! That's what we'll make: a vegetarian movie where the monsters are always trying to get the "good guys" to eat vegetables. And how does our 8 year old hero scare the monsters? It's pure genius: with a baloney sandwich!
So, no, it's not the worst movie ever made. Not even close. In fact, it's kinda fun.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Day #22,097

Walk km 11,041-11,042: from the bus stop to the Paradise Buffet

Movie #2077: Tales From The Script (2009, Peter Hanson)

It's a documentary about screenwriting. I figured I should watch it because I had just trashed the auteur theory and declared that the screenplay is the most important factor in my determining if a movie will be one I like or not.
This one also is good for people with attention deficit disorder. It's 105 minutes made up of about 210 30 second clips. It kept me entertained.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Day #22,096

Walk km 11,037-11,041: pre-tournament walk

Movie #2076: The Great Van Robbery (1959, Max Varnel)

This looks OK but the script is totally daft. A dead giveaway is the title - they only robbed a bloody van - exactly how can that be "great". It's a police procedural but instead of the FBI, it's Scotland Yard.
A bonus is that instead of a standard leading man, they've cast a homely looking short squat guy (Denis Shaw) in the lead. His action scenes are just pathetic. A real loser but does have some charm.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Day #22,095

Walk km 11,028-11,031: Vegas Valley to Flamingo
Walk km 11,031-11,037: home from the Venetian 
fake Venice canals
approx km 11,032 Las Vegas "Strip"

Movie #2073: The Wife (1995, Tom Noonan)

The feel-good movie of the year. Four totally screwed up people get together to chat (of the baring your soul type) for 101 minutes. These people are so screwy that the audience can't help but feel better about themselves.

Movie #2074: Saint John of Las Vegas (2009, Hue Rhodes)

This one reminds me of Repo Man. These two aren't repossessing cars but instead are checking out an insurance claim involving totaled cars. One is the old veteran and the other is the raw rookie. They visit strip clubs, truck stops, scrap yards and of course, Las Vegas.
Not as good as Repo Man but in the same league.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Day #22,094

Walk km 11,024-11,028: pre-tournament walking

Movie #2071: Magic Town (1947, William Wellman)

Third strike and the auteur theory is dead. Someone at IMDB pointed out that this movie is Riskin without Capra just as "It's A Wonderful Life" is Capra without Riskin. That person goes on to say that "It's A Wonderful Life" is a much better movie. Poppycock! "It's A Wonderful Life" is fair to middlin' at best. This movie is the real thing. It really looks like it's the screenplay and not the director that makes the movie - at least for me. We saw the same thing yesterday: Robert Ellis Miller makes a great movie from a Carson McCuller's novel and then falls right on his face when he uses "an idea by Barry Gibb".
This movie sure is sappy. The plot doesn't really make any sense either. But that's OK - it's the spirit of the thing that counts. There's plenty of spirit and Jimmy Stewart is perfect at this sort of thing.

Movie #2072: The Six Degrees Of Helter Skelter (2009, Michael Dorsey)

I remember reading Ed Sanders book "The Family" in the early 70s. This movie is more an entertainment than a serious documentary. As you can deduce by the title, namedropping abounds. I have to admit that I found it entertaining as well. Shame on me. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day #22,093

Movie #2069: Hawks (1988, Robert Ellis Miller)
Another strike against the auteur theory. I watched this because Mr Miller directed the wonderful "The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter". However, this isn't Carson McCullers. The first clue that this movie might be in trouble was in the opening credits: "based on an idea by Barry Gibb". Two terminally ill guys leave the hospital to enjoy themselves. Their first stop: a snooty disco that doesn't want them to come in. Their second stop: a snooty restaurant where people look down their noses at them. It's strictly soap opera level with an ending you can see coming miles away. Avoid at all cost.

Movie #2070: Bartleby (2001, Jonathan Parker)

I was almost beginning to lose faith in Netflix - but here's a good one.
A new employee stopping taking orders from his boss. Then he refuses to leave the building at night. Then he refuses to be fired.....
Obviously based on a story by Franz Kafka. What? No? Based on a story by Herman Melville! The Moby Dick guy? Yup!  And they got the A#1 Hollywood wacko to play Bartleby: Crispin Glover.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Day #22,092

Walk km 11,022-11,024: bus to/from Golden Nugget
#109 bus
approx km 11,024 Bonneville Transit Center

Movie #2068: Ne Jouer Pas Avec Les Martiens (1968, Henri Lanoe)

Slightly goofy comedy but since it's not funny, I cannot recommend.
Aliens from "Gamma 2" land on French island.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Day #22,091

Walk km 11,014-11,022: back from the Golden Nugget

Paradise Buffet
approx km 11,015 Fremont Street

Monday, June 11, 2012

Day #22,090

Walk km 11,002-11,014: to Golden Nugget and return

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Day #22,089

Walk km 10,992-11,002: to Boulder Highway @ Sunset

Only 5 more months til election day
approx km 11,002 Boulder Highway @ Sunset

Movie #2066: La Chamade (1968, Alain Cavalier)

Quality production concerning Catherine Deneuve who wants to be a "kept woman" because she's enjoys doing nothing. She is torn between the man she loves (who only has modest means) and the one who loves her (a sugar daddy). After a full movie of pondering, she goes with the guy she doesn't love - being lazy trumps romance. Good choice. However, this movie is a little on the tedious side so your choice should be to skip this one.

Movie #2067: It Rains In My Village (1969, Alexandar Petrovic)

Nothing great but it certainly is different. Village life in Serbia (then Yugoslavia) in which all the villagers are shown to be various degrees of idiotic. Atmosphere is provided by a roving band of musicians who break into song with every turn of the plot. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Day #22,088

Walk km 10,985-10,992: to Pecos at Tropicana

Movie #2063: Hell's Island (1955, Phil Karlson)

They say that Phil Karlson was kind of embarrassed about having to direct Elvis in "Kid Galahad". I wonder how he felt about this one. It's total crap but there are a few unintentional laughs.

Movie #2064: The Glory Stompers (1968, Anthony M Lanza)

A biker flick for squares. There is a direct relationship between the moral turpitude of a particular character with the amount of that character's facial hair. Dennis Hopper is the leader of the bad gang and he has the most. The good guys are clean shaven. But what else would you expect from a movie whose producers are Mike Curb and Casey Kasem?

Movie #2065: Behind The Mask (1946, Phil Karlson)
Here we have Karlson back in the days when he directed programmers. This is a "The Shadow" entry in the whodunit/comedy genre. It stinks. Nobody cares whodunit and the comedy ain't funny.
Kane Richmond has the lead and he must be the most boring leading man in the history of Hollywood. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Day #22,087

Walk km 10,976-10,985: back from the Golden Nugget

Movie #2062: Hidden Fear (1957, Andre De Toth)

What Andre did for Los Angeles in "Crime Wave" is tries to do for Copenhagen in "Hidden Fear". Maybe it's not quite the success of "Crime Wave" but it's a mighty fine film that incorporates the sights of Copenhagen into a fairly solid storyline. One thing that held it back a bit for me was that there were just too many "bad guys" - I was having a hard time juggling so many characters all at once.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Day #22,086

Walk km 10,966-10,976: to Binion's and return

Movie #2061: A Bout Portant (2010, Fred Cavaye)

Thought I'd try something other than 50s crime dramas. How about a 2010 crime drama? This is what they call an "action" picture. Lots of chases - lots of gunplay. Not much character development. For video game fans only.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Day #22,085

Walk km 10,960-10,966: Golden Nugget to Homestead Suites

TV Episode #29: Alfred Hitchcock Presents - Santa Claus and The 10th Avenue Kid (1955, Don Weis)
Even Alfred Hitchcock must step aside for Christmas. Barry Fitzgerald plays a heart warming Santa Claus with nary a trace of Hitchcock anywhere.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Day #22,084

Walk km 10,952-10,957: Chinatown to Flamingo
Walk km 10,957-10,960: to Bonneville Transit Station & downtown
statue in Chinatown
approx km 10,953 Spring Mountain Road

Movie #2059: Appointment With Danger (1951, Lewis Allen)
Run-of-the-mill heroic government worker (postal inspector) flic.

Movie #2060: Highway Dragnet (1954, Nathan Juran)

Everything I like in a movie..... and less. Plot concerns a fellow falsely accused of murdering a woman in Las Vegas. The film becomes a chase across the desert from LV to LA. A great premise but the execution is not so hot. The cast is fine but the screenplay and dialogue leaves something to be desired. Turns out this was one of Roger Corman's very first films............ as writer (not his strong suit).

Monday, June 4, 2012

Day #22,083

Walk km 10,946-10,949: down Fremont
Blue Angel Motel
approx km 10,938 Fremont Street

Walk km 10,949-10,952: down the strip
Liming in front of Monte Carlo
approx km 10,951 "The Strip"

Movie #2058: Neanderthal Man (1953, Ewald Andre Dupont)

Well, so much for the auteur theory. Yesterday I watched the wonderful "The Scarf". Today's movie is by the same director but it stinks. The reason: Mr Dupont wrote the screenplay for The Scarf but here he's just behind the camera.
This is the usual mad scientist flic with cats being turned into non-saber-toothed saber-toothed tigers (the budget would only allow the filming of regular tigers but the cast used their imaginations to see the extra large teeth). Then the mad scientist experimented with himself causing the title character to appear with predictable results.  

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fay #22,082

Movie #2056: Strange Intruder (1956, Irving Rapper)

Uninspired melodrama of a dying soldier asking his buddy to kill his kids because his wife has been fooling around back home.
Turns out his buddy is just as weird as he is so off he goes. There's never any doubt that the children will be spared (the nut case is a nice guy) so that no tension is built at all.

Movie #2057: The Scarf (1951, Ewald Andre Dupont)

Who knew? I'd never heard of Ewald Andre Dupont before. This is one of the greats. Only the fairly ordinary denouement brings it down one peg from brilliant. Seems Mr Dupont was a veteran director from the silent days.
This movie reminds me of Russ Meyer's "Mudhoney" and "Lorna". I'm guessing that Russ saw this movie before beginning his career.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Day #22,081

Walk km 10,941-10,946: Torrey Pines Beach
approx km 10,943
cliff along the beach

Day #22,080

Walk km 10,935-10,941: to Sahara & 17th