Sunday, March 31, 2013

Day #22,382-383

Walk km 13,388-13,402: Meetup walk at Spanish Banks
Walk km 13,402-13,405 (8978 to go): running errands

Movie #2249: Un Flic (1972, Jean-Pierre Melville)

Excellent caper film. However, Alain Delon and Catherine Deneuve were miscast. Everyone is this film looks like a cop or a crook except those two: they look like movie stars.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Day #22,381

Walk km 13,378-13,388: Meetup walk in Pacific Spirit Park

Meetup walkers
approx km 13,385 Pacific Spirit Park

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Jericho Beach

Day #23,379-380
Walk km 13,369-13,376: Spanish Banks and Jericho Beach
Walk km 13,376-13,378: running errands
bridge and pond
approx km 13,375

Movie #2248: A Quiet Place in The Country (1968, Elio Petri)

Haunted house story. And since it was made in '68 a veneer of weirdness has been added. Haunted house strories are so boring.
In 1971 I saw Petri's "Investigation Of A Citizen Above Suspicion" in Winnipeg and thought it was great. Would I have also thought that this was great too? I sure hope not.
They say it's very hard to find a version of this film with English subtitles. It should have been harder!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Day #22,378

Walk km 13,366-13,369: running errands

Movie #2247: The Flesh Eaters (1962, Jack Curtis)

I'm finally hooked back up to the Internet and just in time to watch this one on YouTube. Obviously, some skill was at work here. The plot and special effects are crap but it has a great visual look to it and the acting is of a high standard (for this type of thing). Radley Metzger was the editor. Barbara Wilkin rates very high on the hubba-hubba meter (probably second only to Allison Hayes).
This was Jack Curtis' only film.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Day #22,377

Walk km 13,361-13,366 (9011 to go): running errands

Book #451: Franny & Zooey (1957, J D Salinger)

A nostalgia trip. I haven't read this since the 60s and they reprinted this in paperback with the same design as the 60s edition. I remember liking this (and "9 Stories") a lot but not getting much out of Catcher In The Rye. Filled with eccentric characters - all I needed in the 60s. Today, reads like a three act play (a very good 3 act play). 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Day #22,375-376

Walk km 13,357-13,361: running errands

Movie #2246: Shadows In Paradise (1986, Aki Kaurismaki)

Once again Aki trots out the most depressing people imaginable in order to make the rest of us feel much better about ourselves.
 Thanks Aki.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Day #22,374

Walk km 13,353-13,357 (9016 to go): running errands

Movie #2245: Moneyball (2011, Bennett Miller)

I was heavily into sabermetrics in the 80s. When I stopped being a baseball fan I forgot about it. I assumed that it would just go away because baseball would never take it seriously. Seems I was wrong - a dozen years ago baseball learned to love sabermetrics! At least that's what this movie claims. 
Therefore, this movie is just plain weird. Baseball couldn't have really started listening to those nerds! They're just makin' this up right?

Day #22,373

Walk km 13,334-13,340: running errands
Walk km 13,340-13,353 (9019 to go): around Stanley Park

Movie #2243: Bury Me Dead (1947, Bernard Vorhaus)
Movie #2244: The Chase (1946, Arthur Ripley)

Another couple that try to pass themselves off as "film noir"? Surprise, "The Chase" is the real deal. Excellent tale of down-and-out Robert Cummings getting mixed up with criminals because he tried to be honest and return a wallet he found.
"Bury Me Dead" is a comedy/whodunit. No noir to be seen here.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Day #22,372

Walk 13,330-13,334: trying to get Internet connected

Movie #2240: Wonderful World (unknown)
Movie #2241: Play At Tug Of War (2011, Nobuo Mizuta)
Movie #2242: Ocean's 12 (2004, Steven Soderbergh)

Book #449: The Killing Floor (1974, Arthur Lyons)

I get home from New Zealand and find I have no Internet, TV or phone. Cable company will not come for a week!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Day #22,371

Walk km 13,321-13,328: to Wellington at Hamilton (Wellington)
Oriental Parade
approx km 13,234 by Oriental Bay (Wellington)

Day #22,369-370

Walk km 13,305-13,306: to bus depot (Palmerston North)
Walk km 13,306-13,316: Wellington (Sunday)
Walk km 13,316-13,320: Wellington (Monday)
Walk km 13,320-13,321: to New World

Movie #2236: Charlie Wilson's War (2007, Mike Nichols)
Movie #2237: In My Country (2004, John Boorman)
Movie #2238: Secret Mission (1942, Harold French)
Movie #2239: The Day Will Dawn (1942, Harold French)
This is what happens when a hotel's Internet doesn't work! This is all old stuff - two from the 21st century by directors who did their best work in the 20th and 2 propaganda flix from WWII.
"Charlie Wilson's War" is quite entertaining. The true story of the congressman who spearheaded the effort to supply Osama Bin Laden with weaponry to defeat the invading Soviets. Nicely overacted by all.
"In My Country" is a failure. Important subject matter (reconciliation sessions in South Africa) but the execution is not the best. Plus they had to throw in a romance to boot.
The two propaganda flix are both pretty crappy. In both, Hugh Williams travels into enemy territory to help the allied cause and romance the local women. In the first, the Nazis are portrayed as buffoons whereas in the second they're heartless but cunning. In both, the agenda overcomes the film.

Book #448: King Of The Hustlers (1989, Eugene Izzi)

No internet also means I could finish this book as well. The usual first rate Izzi despite the fact that this was read in fits and starts while traveling.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Day #22,368

Walk km 13,278-13,290: Manawatu River plus residential
Walk km 13,290-13,305: downtown + residential + Awapuni race track
Manawatu River
approx km 13,283 Palmerston North

Friday, March 15, 2013

Day #22,367

Walk km 13,274-13,276: around downtown Napier
Walk km 13,276-13,278: from bus station (Palmerston North)

Movie #2235: Mask Of Dust (1954, Terence Fisher)
This is the last of the 8 movies in the Hammer Film Noir box set I have. First off, there isn't even a hint of "noir" here. This is a racing car story about a old guy trying to make a big comeback and win that Grand Prix race. Will he succeed despite all adversity? Who cares!
They also waste a perfectly good actor in Richard Conte.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Day #22,366

Walk km 13,257,13,274 (9092 to go): to Westshore then downtown through Ahuriri

Movie #2234: The Unholy Four (1954, Terence Fisher)
Another competent whodunit from Mr Fisher. Makes for a pleasant 80 minutes but nothing else.

Day #22,365

Walk km 13,242-13,257: around the cliff in north Napier
the cliff
approx km 13,254 Breakwater Road

Wednesday afternoon in suburbia
approx km 13,248 Orotu Street

Monday, March 11, 2013

Day #22,364

Walk km 13,221-13,242: to Hastings
a vehicle that's seen better days
approx km 13,227 downtown Meeannee

a signpost
approx km 13,230 read the sign!

transit bus from Hastings and Napier
approx km 13,241 downtown Hastings

Movie #2233: Face The Music (1954, Terence Fisher)
Well, that's more like it - a competent movie. Unfortunately, I kinda like the goofy ones better. They're more entertaining. Terence Fisher is just too good of a director to make the same mistakes that the Montgomery Tullys of this world would make. A pity. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Day #22,363

Walk km 13,204-13,217: to the ocean (different route)
Walk km 13,217-13,221 (9142 to go): to Anderson Park
a bridge that can't be crossed
approx km 13,214 near Georges Drive, Napier

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Day #22,362

Walk km 13,190-13,204: to the ocean and back
a beach
approx km 13,200 Pacific Ocean

Movie #2232: Third Party Risk (1954, Daniel Birt)

I was wrong. There's nothing special about Montgomery Tully. This British B-picture is just as goofy as the Tullys but was directed by some guy named Daniel Birt. I guess this was just the Hamer films style.

Day #22,360-361

Walk km 13,170,13,172: to the bus station
WAlk km 13,172-13,174: quick walk around Napier
Walk km 13,174-13,187: changing hotels
Walk km 13,187-13,190 (9171 to go): quick walk around Kennedy Road 
a highway
approx km 13,172 somewhere near Taupo

Movie #2231: The Glass Cage (1955, Montgomery Tully)

There may be more to this Montgomery Tully fellow than I at first thought. A fairly inept director but he did direct some fairly goofy pictures. This must have been his goofiest: it's murder mixed in with a carnival act featuring "the Great Sapolio", the starving man.
John Ireland is brought over from Hollywood and manages to keep a straight face.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Day #22,359

Walk km 13,157-13,170: to ferry terminal + Davenport
approx km 13,168: Auckland harbour from the ferry

approx km 13,166 park bench - along walkway above Devonport ferry terminal

approx km 13,164 typical street scene - Schoal Bay Road

Movie #2230: 5 Days (Montgomery Tully, 1954)

Another British B-movie. The story is quite silly (man hires an old friend to kill him so his wife can collected the insurance - but then changes his mind) and the execution is laughable. The viewing experience: goofy!
Thanks to the VLC player for fixing the aspect ratio so that everyone didn't look 4 feet tall and 300 pounds. Those idiots just can't leave that aspect ratio alone. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Day #22,358

Walk km 13,141-13,157: from Westfield Station back downtown

statue of some dude called Cromwell
approx km 13,150 Cromwell Park

Movie #2229: Dead On Course (1952, Terence Fisher)
Another British B-movie but this one has no redeeming features. A snooze fest.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Day #22,357

Walk km 13,128-13,141 (9216 to go): to Hobson Bay via Portland Road
bush underwater
approx km 13,136 Hobson Bay

Movie #2228: 36 Hours (1953, Montgomery Tully)

This story seems awfully familiar. Haven't I seen this story filmed before? I saw another Steve Fisher story ("Lost Hours") that's similar but not really the same.
Anyway, this one is no great shakes but I kinda like it. Dan Duryea is framed for murder and has 36 hours to prove who really did it. Some of the scenes are very awkward (especially the fight scenes which are almost comical).  

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Day #22,356

Walk km 13,116-13,128: to Coxs Bay Reserve and back
a car park for boats
approx km 13,120 Beaumont Street 

Movie #2227: Before The Devil Knows You're Dead (2007, Sidney Lumet)

Lumet's last movie is kinda like the Coen brothers but whereas the brothers go for inept/funny this is inept/depressing. Philip Seymour Hoffman adds another slimy character to his repertoire - in fact, this character is about as slimy as you can get. It's all very clever but the continuous depressing quality of the characters is sorta....well....depressing.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Day #22,355

Walk km 13,105-13,116: to Western Springs Lakeshore Park
lake in a park (black swan in foreground)
approx km 13,109 Western Springs Lakeshore Park

bridge over a creek
approx km 13,111 Jaggers Bush

Friday, March 1, 2013

Day #22,354

Walk km 13,085-13,101: around Hobson Bay
Walk km 13,101-13,105 (9249 to go): down Hobson Street