Monday, April 29, 2013

Day #22,412

Walk km 13,696-13,699: running errands
Walk km 13,699-13,709: Meetup walk (4 parks in Surrey)

Movie 2267: Superchick (1973, Ed Forsyth)

Back in the early 70s I used to buy the giant Variety "film festival" issues. 100s of pages of posters for all the latest movie releases. Included were always a huge selection from "Crown International" that appeared to have replaced American International as the leading producer of crap. Most of their films concerned either stewardesses or cheerleaders.
Until now, I'd never seen one. Now, thanks to YouTube that hole in my cinema viewing life has been filled. And the verdict? Just what I thought it would be: a very colourful waste of film stock.

TV Episode #54: TV Party (1979, Amos Poe)

New Wave cable TV show from New York City.
My goodness, I've never seen so many NYC hipsters together in one room. They had Chris Stein and Debbie Harry and Richard Sohl and Adny(sic) Shernoff and Klaus Nomi and a bunch of other people who were so hip that I didn't even know who they were!

Day #22,411

Walk km 13,685-13,696 (8715 to go): Meetup walk in Richmond

Movie #2266: Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993, Woody Allen)

I know I was gonna cut down on movies but I was caught without anything to read tonight.
This is one of the funnier Woody Allen movies. The plot allows him to just ramble on endlessly and make no sense whatsoever. However, the one drawback was that he let the plot go beyond murder mystery and just become silly. His silly ramblings were funny on a backdrop of a believable story but on a backdrop of silliness it began to sound normal. Excellent for the first 3/4 of the film.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Day #22,410

Walk km 13,672-13,685: Meetup walk in Queensborough

Book #454: Clean Break (1955, Lionel White)

This is the book that Jim Thompson (screenplay) and Stanley Kubrick (director) made into the movie "The Killing" in 1956. Luckily, they changed the ending so that I didn't know how the book would end.
Lionel White is a solid crime writer but he's not up there with the big boys like Jim Thompson or Donald E Westlake. Like a Westlake Parker book the plot concerns a "big caper" and is written from the criminals point-of-view but the characters just aren't as ruthless as Parker and crew but neither are they as screwed-up as Jim Thompson's characters..

Friday, April 26, 2013

Day #22,409

Walk km 13,655-13,658: running errands
Walk km 13,658-13,672 (8736 to go): Meetup walk - trails of north Richmond

flowers and old car in front lawn
approx km 13,669 Bird Street Richmond

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Day #22,406-408

Walk km 13,616-13,630: Meetup walk down Burnaby Mountain
Walk km 13,630-13,632: to the library
Walk km 13,632-13,644: Meetup walk in Richmond
Walk km 13,644-13,655: Meetup walk from 49th Ave to Waterfront Station

Movie #2265: The Wistful Widow Of Wagon Gap (1947, Charles Barton)

Comedy sure has come a long way since 1947. This was once considered funny? There are a few chuckles but Abbott & Costello have not aged well. However, Marjorie Main is a swell lookin' babe!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Day #22,405

Walk km 13,603-13,616 (8789 to go): Meetup walk UBC to Olympic Village Station
mirror and Meetup walkers
approx km 13,610 on Point Grey Road

Book #453: The Redeemer (2005, Jo Nesbo)

Another enjoyable Scandi crime writer. There's just one problem: Nesbo tries to be clever. That doesn't really add anything to the reading. A lot of the scenes in this book start with no identification of the main character. It's only after the first paragraph or so that you realize who he's writing about. That requires you to go back and reread the paragraph to get the action allocated to the right person. The worst example of this is right at the beginning where he has 3 different characters all knocking on a door.
So, enjoyable but flawed. Karin Fossum remains king (queen) of Norwegian crime writers.  

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Robert Burnaby Park

Day #22,404
Walk km 13,584-13,603 (8801 to go): Meetup walk - Sperling to Surrey Central

Meetup walkers
approx km 13,589 Robert Burnaby Park

Movie #2264: Alien Factor (1978, Don Dohler)

Really awful. But so bad that it almost comes around the other side into "good". There are aliens in the woods so of course everyone goes wandering in the woods where the obvious occurs.The acting is so wooden that it's not really acting at all. The alien sound effects are used even when no aliens are around. My favourite alien was the one who looked like a glam rocker on platform shoes. The best thing about the plot is that there is no "haunted house" or "mad scientist" in sight. Just a small town with an alien invasion problem.   

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Day #22.403

Walk km 13,573-12,584: Meetup walk around Stanley Park

Movie #2263: A Boy And His Dog (1975, L.Q. Jones)

I don't think this one has aged well. Another attempt by Hollywood to make a weird movie for the kids. Producer is Alvy "Green Acres" Moore. Directing is L.Q. Jones in his 2nd and last directing job.
Not nearly weird enough. The underground world looks a lot like it was inspired by "The Prisoner".

Friday, April 19, 2013

Day #22,401-402

Walk km 13,551-13,562: Meetup walk to Rupert Station
Walk km 13,562-13,573: Meetup walk Stanley Park to Main Street Station

Movie #2262: Not Of This Earth (1957, Roger Corman)

Not  very good film quality on this YouTube upload. However, still a fun film of alien coming to Earth for blood and hiring Beverley Garland as his personal nurse.
One of the first of a gazillion goofy sci-fi moives cheaply made in the late 50s to keep those brand new drive-ins supplied with double features.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Day #22,400

Walk km 13,527-13,551: Meetup walk from Vancouver to Richmond

approx km 13,530 around 18th Ave

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Day #22,399

Walk km 13,517-13,527 (8872 to go): SFU to Production Way Meetup walk

John and Yourah
 approx km 13,526 Keswick Ave Burnaby

Movie #2261: Cat-Women Of The Moon (1953, Arthur Hilton)

Really awful. It's a battle of the sexes as 4 male and 1 female astronaut land on the moon and find an all-woman civilisation. Of course the female astronaut sides with the cat-women. All seems lost until no-nonsense he-man type Victory Jory comes to the rescue by gunning them down.
Pretty much on the same level as the kid's serials of the 40s.
In one scene, Douglas Fowley (Kim's dad) is called "Doug" even though his name in the film is "Walt". Adding insult to injury, Douglas Fowley is listed as "dialogue director". 

Day #22,398

Walk km 13,513-13,517: Portside

Movie #2260: Bachelor Party (1957, Delbert Mann)

Oh, the drudgery of everyday life. Five guys from the office (book keepers) take the evening off to celebrate one of them getting married. What follows is a litany of complaints about how dreary their lives are. Then comes the tacked on happy ending.
Despite that, it keeps your attention all the way through. There's nothing like listening to other people's complaints to make a person feel better about themselves.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Day #22,397

Walk km 13,502-13,513: Meetup walk at Burnaby Lake Park

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Day #22,396

Walk km 13,497-13,502: looking for food

Movie #2259: The Most Dangerous Man Alive (1961, Allan Dwan)

I was gonna take a rest from the movies but this plot just seemed so weird. Gangster on the way to death row escapes but gets hit by a huge dose of radiation. An atomic gangster. And it was also the last movie of director Allan Dwan.
Poor Allan. Not a good way to bow out. Horrible acting and silly plot makes this one fun but I doubt if it won any oscars.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Day #22,393-395

Walk km 13,479-13,486: running errands
Walk km 13,486-13,497 (8898 to go): Meetup walk in Burnaby Lake Park

Movie #2258: Le Bonne Annee (Claude Lelouche, 1973)

Small caper movie with love story added. I think I should take a rest from watching movies. Maybe I've just hit a bad patch. They're all OK but nothing special.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Day #22,392

Walk km 13,468-13,479 (8913 to go): across Burnaby Lake Park

skunk cabbage approx km 13,474
Burnaby Lake Park

Movie #2257: The Sea And Poison (1985, Kei Kumai)

Probably quite a daring film of corrupt medical and military establishments getting together to perform medical experiments on captured Americans during WWII.
These experiments are common knowledge but maybe not for the Japanese who prefer to look the other way about what their military was doing in the 30s and 40s.
The most interesting thing would be to know how this movie was received in Japan. IMDB?
Note: no info on IMDB

Monday, April 8, 2013

Day #22,390-391

Walk km 13,446-13,464: Meetup walk from Chinatown to Richmond
Walk km 13,464-13,466: to Safeway
Walk km 13,466-13,468: to T&T

Movie #2255: Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story (2007, Jeffrey Schwarz)

First part of a William Castle double feature on TCM. Nothing special as a film except that Castle came up with so many goofy ways of promoting a movie that it keeps the story interesting all the way through.

Movie #2256: Macabre (1958, William Castle)

According to the documentary, this was the first film that Castle produced on his own by mortgaging his house. His gimmick for this one was that each member of the audience was given an insurance policy from Lloyds Of London that would pay off for $1000 is they died of fright while watching the film.
Lloyds Of London could breath easy as there wasn't much to frighten anybody here. A nice idea: a kid disappears and then the phone rings and somebody says they've buried the kid alive and she'll be dead in 4 or 5 hours. Unfortunately, the exection leaves a lot to be desired as, despite the time limit, everybody spends most of their time just talking to one another. But, it's still fun. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Day #22,389

Walk km 13,444-13,446 (8943 to go): running errands

Movie #2253: Forks Over Knives (2011, Lee Fulkerson)

Another documentary about how we're committing suicide by eating what it is that we are eating. Am I gonna start on that new diet right away? Damn right! Will I stick to it? Not bloody likely.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Day #22,388

Walk km 13,432-13,444: Meetup around downtown Vancouver

TV Episode #53: Survivors: Gone Away (1974, Terence Williams)
In episode 3 we have more trouble from the new fascist government. The plot is slowing down already.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Day #22,387

Book #452: Broken (2006, Karin Fossum)

Karin tries something new: she puts herself into the novel. From time to time she stops and has a chat with the lead character. They talk over how the plot is shaping up and the character development. Well, this is not exactly sucessful. If you're reading a Karin Fossum book (or any work of fiction), you're not really reading about the characters that make up the book - you're having a visit with the author. It is kind of a one sided visit because only one of you can speak. However, if you pick an author that's interesting to you, you can overlook that. The author can keep you interested without any input from you. So, Karin is already in all of her novels. She really didn't have to literally do it.
The start of the book is Karin standing in her living room looking at all the characters standing outside waiting for their turn to be written about. Which one to pick? This is the same experience that we have when we visit a library/bookshop. We see all those authors grouped around us - each one hoping that they'll be selected to tell us their story. Which one to pick?  

Movie #2252: Stress Is Three (1968, Carlos Saura)

Three people taking a trip across Spain by car. They get on each others nerves.
It's something different but I think the director was trying for something more profound. Failed at that.

Day #22,386

Walk km 13,430-13,432: running errands

Movie #2251: Monsieur Ripois (1954, Rene Clement)

France/UK co-production that's much better than those USA/UK stinkers.
Rene Clement and lead actor Gerard Philipe in a story of a Frenchman in London who can't stop chasing skirts. You would normally hate the Philipe character for being such a cad but since he readily admits to being one, he almost becomes a sympathetic character. Beautifully made. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Day #22,385

Walk km 13,418-13,420: running errands
Walk km 13,420-13,430 (8955 to go): around Richmond from Landsdown Station
the Willis Point fire truck
approx km 13,426 Odlin Street Richmond

TV episode #51: Survivors: The Fourth Horseman (Pennant Roberts, 1975)

I remember this one from 1975 (at least I remember the shower scene!). I thought it was quite exciting back then and I must admit that the "last survivors of Planet Earth" plot is a doozy. I hear that they did a remake in 2008 and it's available on Netflix. The original is on YouTube.

TV Episode #52: Survivors: Genesis (Gerald Blake, 1975)
In episiode two the baddies make their appearance. One fellow sets himself up as the dictator of the new England. One woman wants to reintroduce slavery. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Day #22,384

Walk km 13,405-13,418: Meetup walk along Brunette River

Movie #2250: Visitor Q (Takashi Miike, 2001)

The most disgusting film ever....... and a family film too!
Family that does the most disgusting things to one another find true happiness when they learn to act as a family and do even more disgusting things to others!
OK it's not that disgusting. The things they do are amazingly disgusting but since it's a comedy that kinda takes the edge off.