Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Day #22,657

Walk km 15,453-15,464: Forest Hills to Lonsdale Quay

Mackay Creek
approx km 15,456 Mapleridge Drive (North Vancouver)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Day #22,656

Walk km 15,445-15,453: Campbell Valley Regional Park
a boardwalk
approx km 15,449 Little River Loop Trail

TV Episode #84: Highway Patrol -Released Convict (1956, Paul Guilfoyle)
Assistant director: Erich Von Stroheim Jr!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Day #22,655

Walk km 15,442-15,445 (7210 to go): to Safeway

Movie #2428: 36 Hours (1965, George Seaton)
Cat-and-mouse game between the Nazis and a captured American. The first half of the movie (the cat-and-mouse game) is quite good but the second half (the escape) does drag a bit.

Day #22,609

Walk km 15,433-15,442: Fairview with the Meetup group

Movie #2427: Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf (1966, Mike Nichols)

This is an odd one since we get a first time director (MIke Nichols from the comedy team of Nichols & May) directing two of the biggest stars of the day: Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.
Yak yak yak. I normally like this kind of film and this wasn't bad but I think it kept too much of an even keel. They start out bickering and just escalate. I kept thinking that they should have started out normal and worked into this. But, they had a surprise ending waiting for us. Not one of my favourite gab fests but it was enjoyable.

TV Episode #83: Highway Patrol - Scared Cop (1956, Lambert Hillyer)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Day #22,608

Walk km 15,423-15,433: Fairview

crab sculpture
approx km 15,428 Space Center, Vanier Park

TV Episode #81: Highway Patrol - Girl Bandit (1956, Lambert Hillyer)
TV Episode #82: Highway Patrol - Lie Detector (1956, Eddie Davis)

Movie #2426:  Flesh (1932, John Ford)

A movie about the evils of romance. Wallace Beery is just crazy about Karen Morley (she's a stinker). Karen Morley is just crazy about Ricardo Cortez (an even bigger stinker). Ricardo Cortez uses Karen Morley to get his clutches into Wallace Beery (championship wrestler of Germany). It's all just craziness until Beery murders Cortez - that solves everything. They live happily ever after. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Day #22,606-607

Walk km 15,417-15,420 (7231 to go): to Kathy's for Christmas dinner

TV Episode #77: Highway Patrol - Resort (1956, Paul Guilfoyle)
TV Episode #78: Highway Patrol - Phony Insurance (1955, Leslie Goodwins)
TV Episode #79: Highway Patrol - Road Block (1955, Herbert L Strock)
TV Episode #80: Highway Patrol - Hitchhiker (1955, Lew Landers)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Day #22,605

Walk km 15,405-15,417: Diefenbaker Park to Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal

Movie #2425: Hell Is A City (1960, Val Guest)

One of the best. To think that the first Val Guest film I ever saw was "Confessions Of A Window Cleaner". Was Val Guest given a lobotomy between 1960 and 1974? This one is directed and written by Guest and there's not a foot put wrong. Exciting crime drama starring Stanley Baker and the city of Manchester.

TV Episode #76: Highway Patrol - Reformed Criminal (1955, Lambert Hillyer)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Day #22,649

Walk km 15,398-15,405: to T&T (the long way)

Movie #2423: Jesse James (1939, Henry King & Irving Cummings)
There were a lot of great and famous movies made in 1939. This wasn't one of them. Cartoonish from start to finish. I doubt if any of this poppycock was true.
And Tyrone Power wasn't much of an actor but where did they get this Nancy Kelly? Who's relative was she?
And getting Donald Meek to play the head of the railroad! They weren't serious. And Henry Hull's idiotic rantings! They weren't serious.

Movie #2424: Annie Hall (1977, Woody Allen)

Very clever. However, I prefer his movies with plots.
And Diane Keaton's singing was horrible.
But she does look sexy wearing a tie.

TV Episode #75: Highway Patrol - Father Thief (1955, Herbert L Strock)
Even the awful Herbert L Strock (The Crawling Hand) can't ruin this one. Broderick Crawford rules. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Day #22,648

Walk km 15,396-15,398: to T&T

TV episode #73: The Rifleman - The Trade (1959, Joseph H Lewis)
TV episode #74: Highway Patrol - Desert Town (1955, Eddie Davis)
Another fine episode of The Rifleman but it's the Highway Patrol episode that's more my cup-of-tea. Broderick Crawford cruises around on the highway and finds a small town where everything is closed up in the middle of a work day. That's mighty suspicious.
Both these series have great lead actors in Broderick Crawford and Chuck Connors. Brod has the advantage though - he doesn't have to ride a horse. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Day #22,647

Walk km 15,386-15,396: Elgin (Surrey)
Meetup walkers in the woods (with snow!)
approx km 15,393 Semiahmoo Trail (Surrey)

TV episode #69: Family Guy: The Old Man With The Big C (2012, various)

TV Episode #70: Family Guy: Ratings Guy (2012, various)
TV Episode #71: Bonanza: Desert Justice (1960, Lewis Allen)
Bonanza looks much the same although I haven't seen it for nigh on 45 years. Except that I remember it as being in black and white. Also remember that it came with a whole lot of Chevrolet commercials. It never was a favourite - we just watched it because we had no choice.

TV Episode #72: The Rifleman: The Pet (1958, Joseph H Lewis)

Haven't seen this one in nigh on 50 years! This one looked way better than the Bonanza episode and I could see why when the credits ran: the great Joseph H Lewis directed! 
IMDB says Lewis directed 51 of these - I'd better track them down.
WOW!! Look what I found when I was searching for a picture to go with this item: this is the cover of The Rifleman book that I had when I was a kid - had totally forgotten about it!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Day #22,646

Walk km 15,383-15,386: running errands

TV episode #66: The Patty Duke Show - Do A Brother A Favour (1966, Gary Nelson )
TV episode #67: Family Guy - Roads To Vegas (2013, various )
TV episode #68: Family Guy - Into Fat Air (2013, various)

What a difference 47 years makes - comedy has come a long way.  I've never seen Family Guy before. Haven't seen Patty Duke in 47 years. Family Guy is way better - but Patty was way cuter.

Movie #2422: Trip With The Teacher (1975, Earl Barton)

Not sure why this one is rated only 35 by IMDB. Excellent use of music during the dramatic sequences. Zalman King makes a great motorcycle psycho. Maybe I was expecting too little but it was much better than I expected. Looks like Hollywood agreed that it was a stinker because Earl Barton never got to make another movie. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Day #22,645

Walk 15,371-15,383: Royal Oak to Fraser River and Champlain Heights

Alice along the creek
approx km 15,377 Kaymar Creek Ravine

Movie rewatch: Scrooge (1951, Brian Desmond Hurst)

Movie about the evils of capitalism. However, it was a good thing that he'd been such a pennypincher: otherwise how could he have given Cratchet and Mrs Dilber such a big raise. Not to mention buying that huge turkey that was twice as big as Tiny Tim. Need money for that sort of thing.
But their hearts were in the right place - heartwarming for sure.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Day #22,644

Walk km 15,363-15,371(7273 to go): Royal Oak to Fraser River to Kaymar Creek

Movie #2420: Frances Ha (2012, Noah Baumbach)

Character study of 20 something who is not able to cope when things aren't going well. She sinks lower and lower and then decides to "grow up" and everything is OK again. Well done. Well acted by Greta Gerwig.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Day #22,643

Walk km 15,359-15,363: running errands

Movie #2419: Rock-a-bye Baby (1958, Frank Tashlin)

the "money shot"

Tashlin lays an egg. Horrible. Super sappy. Horrible music numbers. Jerry Lewis making faces. Loosely based on "The Miracle Of Morgan's Creek" which was itself a horrible movie. Yuck!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Day #22,642

Walk km 15,348-15,359: Eastwood (Port Coquitlam)
this bus has seen better days
approx km 15,356 Poco Trail near Fraser River

Movie rewatch: Susan Slept Here (1954, Frank Tashlin)

 Pretty much a Christmas tradition here. The fluffiest Hollywood fluff there ever was.

Day #22,641

Walk km 15,343-15,348: running errands
Movie #2418: National Lampoon's Vacation (1983, Harold Ramis)

Breezy little comedy. Not all that funny but a nice time waster.
And there goes the auteur theory. This Harold Ramis fellow also directed Caddyshack (yuck) and Groundhog Day (yay).

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Day #22,638-640

Walk km 15,331-15,341: to WestCoast Symphony concert
Walk km 15,341-15,343 (7297 to go): to Safeway
Movie #2417: Star Wars (1977, George Lucas)

George Lucas must have really liked to play with his toys when he was a kid. I also assume that when he wasn't doing that he was watching B-westerns and seriels on TV.
This movie is just one great big box of toys. The plot is minimal (good guys vs bad guys). The action is mostly western inspired (lots of shootemups with the bad guys not being able to hit the broad side of a barn).
A couple of robits fill in for the comical sidekick. One lady in distress. Pretty standard stuff.
Not my cupatea.

Book #477: Go Home Stranger (1954, Charles Williams)

Charles Williams is on the "A" list of guys who wrote cheap paperback originals. Once again we have a seafaring theme although here it's just boats on the bayou.
The ending is a little weak but then this is one of his early works so he may not have totally perfected his craft at this point.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Day #22,637

Walk km 15,329-15,331: running errands

Movie #2416: La Poison (1951, Sacha Guitry)

Very clever. However, it's hard to laugh about murder. Michel Simon is thinking about murdering his wife so he goes to a defense lawyer before the murder (claiming the murder had already been committed) in order to pump him for information on what would be the best way to proceed.
This movie is so dialogue heavy that it took away from the film. I hardly had a chance to glance at the film as I was kept busy reading the sub-titles.
Interesting idea of having the director walk around the set to thank everyone who worked on the film in lieu of credits. Too bad that never caught on.   

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Walk km 15,317-15,329: East Richmond
tire (with garbage) in snow
approx km 15,320 along the Fraser River (Richmond)

Movie #2415: Django Unchained (2012, Quentin Tarantino)

Another movie lesson from Quentin. Django was the name used by Franco Nero in his late 60s/early 70s spaghetti westerns. The credits said something about special thanks to Franco Nero - did he have a cameo? IMDB says he played "Amerigo Vessepi" - fraid I don't remember that character. Bunch of others from the home for aged actors thrown in there too.
Liked the music. Some of it sounded like those guys that made "Crazy" back in the 90s. IMDB says no way. Don't know the titles so don't know who it was. Even Jim Croce to remind us of the horrible music in "Reservoir Dogs". Lots of original Italian spaghetti western music too.
Altogether much more entertaining than his last one. Now, if he could just make a movie that was unique without all those nods to past genres. But that's just not his thing - blame his wasted youth spent working in that video rental store.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Day #22,635

Walk km 15,306-15,317: to Stanley Park in the snow

Movie #2414: Cat People (1942, Jacques Tourneur)

Well, here's one that me and IMDB disagree on. This movie is useless. To have a horror movie that works you need to get people to believe in what's happening. A woman that when kissed turns into a giant cat and kills the kissee. That's just way too silly to ever work.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Day #22,634

Movie #2412: The Driver (1978, Walter Hill)

I guess a good test for a movie is how long it is/seems to be. This one is 90 minutes but it seems more like 10. That's a darn good ratio.
Ryan O'Neal looks outta place with his "pretty boy" looks on a hardened criminal. Bruce Dern made a living playing crazies so he's right at home. Some of it doesn't make a whole lot of sense but this is an action movie so it doesn't really matter.

Movie #2413: Borat (2006, Larry Charles)

Fakumentory of journalist from Kazakhstan coming to America to learn its culture.
The funny part was supposed to be unrehearsed filming in public to get people's reactions. Unfortunately, it was impossible to determine which parts if any where unrehearsed. Surely, people would see the cameraman and realize that this Borat story was a put-on. So, since we cannot know what it is that we're looking at, it's a failure.. 

Book #475: The Blood Spilt (2004, Asa Larsson)

Quite similar to her first. Same town, church problems, women's rights.
The main problem seemed to be having no one to focus on. Other novels do spread the point-of-view around but this one seems truly democratic. We see everything from everyone's POV. Makes things kinda chaotic.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Day #22,633

Walk km 15,295-15,306: Port Coquitlam to Eagle Ridge

Movie #2411: Beyond Outrage (2012, Takeshi Kitano)

Quite the body count in this one. If Kitano makes many more of these Yakusa vs Yakusa crime dramas there won't be a Yakusa left in Japan.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Day #22,632

Walk km 15,283-15,285: to Safeway
Walk km 15,285-15,295 (7337 to go): Ambleside to Dundarave

Movie #2410: Bonnie & Clyde (1967, Arthur Penn)

The action keeps movin' right along as charming criminals Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker go on a crime spree through mid-America. One thing wrong was the cars: didn't anyone drive a clunker during the depression? I guess they had to use collector's cars so they all look spruced up, freshly painted and worth a mint. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Day #22,631

Walk km 15,271-15,283: Coquitlam River and Coquitlam Crunch
a trail
approx km 15,274 along the Coquitlam River

Movie #2409: I Hired A Contract Killer (1990, Aki Kaurismaki)

Aki takes his story of deadbeats to London. Same result.
Next time I'm in London I want to stay at the glorious "Hotel Splendide" and eat haute cuisine at "Vic's French Hamburgers".

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Day #22,629-630

Walk km 15,259-15,269: Dunbar to downtown
Walk km 15,269-15,271: to Safeway

Movie #2406: L'Assassin Habite.......au 21 (1942, Henri-Georges Clouzot)

Whodunit done with style but a whodunit nevertheless.

Movie #2407: Calamari Union (1985, Aki Kaurismaki)

Kaurisnmaki's 2nd film. A group of ne'er-do-wells (all named Frank) plan to escape from the opression of Helsinki by trekking over to Eria (the other side of the city).
The movie is like a long episode of Monty Python but with the payoff of each sketch being "odd" rather than "funny". It works pretty well and odd isn't as easy as it would seem. A little on the long side for this sort of thing. 

Movie #2408: The Trap (1959, Norman Panama)

I didn't really think that Norman Panama made these kinda films. It's Lee J Cobb and Richard Widmark in a duel to the death out in the Arizona/California desert. It's widescreen and it's HD. Fabulous.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Day #22,628

Walk km 15,248-15,259: top of West Vancouver down to Marine Drive
West Vancouver with Vancouver and Burrard Inlet far below
approx km 15, 253 West Vancouver

Movie #2305: Computer Chess (2013, Andrew Bujalski)

Really bad. At least that's what I thought at the start. But after awhile I started to enjoy watching it. I'm not sure if it was because it was so awful or because there really was something going on here that I wasn't aware of. Or maybe because it was just all full of old computers and screwed up people. Nope, not sure.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Day #22,627

Walk km 15,244-15,248: to T&T with detour due to Santa Claus parade

Movie #2403: Teenagers Battle The Thing (1958, Don Fields)

Just when you thought you've seen it all. High school students go on an archeology dig and discover a mummy. I start clicking through YouTube and find a long lost film from ancient times (1958).
It appears back in ancient times (1958) any nitwit with a camera could make a horror movie by doing it all himself and using friends and relatives as actors. This is what we've unearthed here. Whereas the mummy in the movie heads off on a rampage of attacking people, this movie just drifts along and then it ends. Another 60 minutes wasted. 
FYI, there is no IMDB rating because this movie is not listed. It only appears as "The Curse Of Bigfoot" in which scenes from this movie are used as flashbacks.

Movie #2304: We Are 18 Years Old (1959, Jesus Franco)

With VIOOZ out of commission all day (maybe forever?) it was back to YouTube. First the incredibly obscure Teenagers Battle The Thing and now a very early Jesus Franco (his 1st movie directed - he made almost 200 more). This one is mostly silly but there is just enough weirdness to make it watchable. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Day #22,626

Walk km 15,234-15,244: Deep Cove and Dollarton
wet Meetup walkers
approx km 15,239 Myrtle Park

Movie rewatched: Autumn Leaves (1956, Robert Aldrich)

I thought the villain in this one was Raymond Burr but it turns out to be that other evil Canadian, Lorne Greene.
This movie is as good as I remember. Robert Aldrich at his best.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Day #22,625

Walk km 15,232-15,234: to Safeway

Movie #2400: Christmas In July (1940, Preston Sturges)

Another one of those old-time comedies. Another clunker? Nope. When I was saying that those old comedies weren't funny at all, I should have made an exception for Preston Sturges. He scripted ooodles of screwball comedies and they were all funny until The Miracle Of Morgan's Creek. Yup, in 1944 he just lost it. Don't know what happened to him. Anyway, look at the date on this one: 1940. Plenty funny.

Movie #2401: Tendre Corinne (1984, Didier Philippe-Gerard)
Movie #2402: Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'tites Coquines (2008, Fabien Lafait)
Figured it had been a long time since I'd watched a porno so I went for a French double-feature (to brush up on my French of course). The interesting thing was that the 2008 movie was the better of the two. The 1984 one was totally useless: no plot and the women were all unwilling participants. The 2008 had at least a bit of plot (man decides he'll take a cheap vacation to a small northern town rather than spend big money on a real vacation). Besides the plot, more athletic ability was on display. However, both movies showed a lack of imagination - probably due to the cookie-cutter process under which these are made. I kept checking the time to see how much longer I had to watch - must be getting old.
Upon further review: the reason that the 2008 has a plot is because it is a spoof of a popular French movie of the day:  Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'tis.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Day #22,624

Walk km 15,222-15,232: Cypress Falls Park to Marine Drive

Cypress Creek
approx km 15,227 Cypress Falls Park

Movie #2399: Scenic Route (2013, Goetz & Goetz)

The concept is one that I figured I'd like. Standed in the desert when your car breaks down. Must fight for survival.
Exection is pretty shoddy though. Right off - they're out there in 115 degree heat and no water. One guy is lying in the sun, the other is sitting in the car. Have these people never been out in 115 degree heat? Don't they know what shade is? 
Despite the silliness, I kept on watching.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Day #22,623

Walk km 15,217-15,222: Deer Lake park

Movie #2398: I Married A Witch (1942, Rene Clair)

That's two movies this week about people being in love with the dead. First we had a ghost love story and now a witch love story. Both purport to be comedies but there ain't many chuckles in either. This one looks like an expanded episode of "Bewitched". They don't make comedies today like they used to back in Hollywood's golden years. Thank goodness.

TV Episode #64: Rockford Files: Hotel Of Fear (1977, Russ Mayberry)
TV Episode #65: M Squad: The Missing Claimant (1958, Allen H Miner)

The usual from Rokford plus Lee Marvin as tough-as-nails cop Frank Ballinger.
Always good to see two pros (Garner & Marvin) at work.   

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Day #22,622

Walk km 15,208-15,217: Crescent Beach
Meetup walkers
approx km 15,211 Crescent Park

Movie #2397: The Ghost And Mrs Muir (1947, Joseph L Mankiewicz)

Whimsical romance about a woman and a ghost. I hate whimsy. But, I guess this one is OK. Bernard Herrmann supplied the music.
Was just looking at IMDB. Loved the thread about Martha murdering Mrs Muir.