Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Day #22,778

Walk km 16,512-16,525: test walk in Morgan Creek

pathway in suburbia
approx km 16,516 Morgan Creek (Surrey)

Book #492: The Comedy Is Finished (198x, Donald E Westlake)

You would think that an unpublished book found only after the author had died would likely be a bit of a stinker, at least when compared to that author's published works. However, the reason this book was not published is because once it was completed, Westlake realized that the plot was too similar to a just released movie - King Of Comedy. So he decided to shelve it.
That was a shame because this is one of Westlake's best. Comedian is kidnapped by a bunch of has-been revolutionaries who refuse to believe that the revolution is not gonna happen. Instead of a laugh fest, this turns out to be one very grim read. Recommended. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Day #22,775-777

Walk km 16,491-16,495: running errands
Walk km 16,495-16,497: filing my income tax return
Walk km 16,497-16,512: Meetup walk Fort Langley to Walnut Grove

Meetup walkers
approx km 16,508 Walnut Grove Trail

TV episode #102 Highway Patrol - Blood Money (1958, Joseph L Tinney Jr)
TV episode #103: Highway Patrol - Temptation (1957, Henry S Kesler)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Day #22,773-774

Walk km 16,479-16,485: downtown walks
Walk km 16,485-16,491: to Stanley Park

flowers - probably roto-den-drons
approx km 16,488 Stanley Park

Movie #2486: Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses (1994, Aki Kaurismaki)

The sequel to Leningrad Cowboys Go America. When we last saw the LC they were down in Mexico. It turns out they (and their manager) lost their way and ended up wandering around the Mexican desert. Their manager "saw the light", changed his name to Moses and decided to lead the LC to their promised land (Siberia).
If I had never seen LC Go America this would be quite funny but we've seen this before. It was still OK despite the fact that I usually don't like religious movies.

Movie rewatch: Air Hostess (1959, Wen Yi)

Basically just a 90 commercial for the airline industry in the same way that Elvis movies were ads for Hawaii, Las Vegas, Acapulco, NY World's Fair etc. A total waste of fiilm stock except for Grace Chang who makes it all worth watching.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Day #22,772

Walk km 16,474-16,477: to Devonian Harbour Park
Walk km 16,477-16,479: to Nelson @ Denman

Movie #2485: Love Is A Four Letter Word (1966, Lee Frost)

We continue with the Lee Frost film festival. We're now up to 1966 and Lee takes a step back. Gone is the plot of The Defilers. Here we just have "Jerry" who is a sex pervert. We're not really sure what kind as the film is just filled with a mishmash of nudie scenes. Jerry watches films in a adult book store. Jerrry visits some hookers in Tijuana. Jerry watches a female sorority initiation. He visits a hooker in L.A. The most disturbing scene is where a woman is doing a strip tease to a surf intrumental. However, Jerry starts daydreaming and the girl stripping becomes his girlfriend and the surf music changes to easy listening. In the end, Jerry commits suicide. Was it because he found out his girlfriend was a lesbian? Or was it because his perversion prevents him from hearing surf music? We'll never know.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Day #22,771

Walk km 16,469-14,471 (6300 to go): to Denman @ Davie
Walk km 16,471-16,474: to Denman @ Haro via Davie

Movie #2484: The Defilers (1965, Lee Frost)

Here we are again dipping into the filmography of Lee "Race With The Devil" Frost. The internet is missing a few of his movies after "House On Bare Mountain". We next pick up his work with 1965's "The Defilers". Gone are the fun and games of Bare Mountain. Instead we have a couple of bored spoiled rich guys who are looking for kicks. They decide that kidnapping is the thing for them. The plot takes a long time to unfold but once it gets moving the results are pretty good for a cast and crew of no-talents.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Day #22,770

Walk km 16,466-16,469: to the library & T&T

Movie #2482: Race With The Devil (1975, Jack Starrett)

I usually don't like religious movies. I usually don't like movies where the plot makes no sense. I'll make an exception here. Four city slickers in an RV witness a ritual Satanic murder. They get away but the devil worshippers are soon hot on their trail. They're gonna have a hard time getting away however as it soon transpires that everyone west of Amarillo in Texas is secretly a satanuic devil worshipper!
Nonsense can be fun.

Movie #2483: House On Bare Mountain (1962, Lee Frost)

Thank God for IMDB. While looking over the credits to "Race With The Devil" I noticed that the guys who wrote the script had started out shooting nudie cuties in their garage. Sure enough there was their filmography. Their first effort was something called "House On Bare Mountain" from 1962. So I google that title and what do you know...... it's on YouTube!
They certainly came up with a lot of gags for this one which is kinda interesting because didn't guys who went  to these movies just go for the T&A? Anyway they came up with a whole slew of gags but unfortunately they all pretty much fall flat. Nice try guys! 

Day #22,768-769

Walk km 16,461-16,469: short walks downtown

Movie #2480: Passport To Pimlico (1949, Henry Cornelius)

It's an English comedy. That means it's not funny. However, the look at everyday life in a London suburb in the late 40s looks quite authentic. Then that suburb seperates from the UK and all heck breaks loose.

Movie #2481: Snow Trail (1947, Senkichi Taniguchi)

As the thieves are nearing the remote mountain chalet it almost seems like you can hear My Old Kentucky Home on the soundtrack. It turns out that you can hear it because the people in the chalet are playing a 78 RPM record of "My Old Kentucky Home" at that very moment. This sentimental song plays a great part in the story. One thief begins to see the chalet as the home he never had. The other hates the music and tells them to take that damn record off the player. .

Friday, April 18, 2014

Day #22,766-767

Walk km 16,456-459: running errands
Walk km 16,459-461: to Safeway

Book #491: Missing (Karin Alvtegen, 2000)

Which proves that the first one I read was no fluke. Once again we have a supremely depressing story of a poor little rich girl's downward spiral into mental illness and homelessness. And murder? You'll have to read it to find out.
Amazing that even though she's such an excellent writer, Karin Alvtegen is not even the best Scandi writer named Karin.

Movie #2478: Hard To Handle (1933, Mervyn LeRoy)

Cagney gets a better script than Warren William did in The Mind Reader and Cagney is not really a crook in this one, more like a rascal. Cagney goes through this one on extreme high energy - a delight to watch. Ruth Donnelly as "mother" is also fun to watch.

Movie #2479: Strange Fascination (1952, Hugo Haas)

Heavy-handed melodrama of esteemed European concert pianist coming to America where his life heads straight downhill until he ends up playing for his fellow bums at the Salvation Army.
There's nothing subtle about a Hugo Haas movie - I like them despite the fact that they're trash. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Day #22,764-765

Walk km 16,442-16,454: Marpole Meetup walk
Walk km 16,454-16,456: to library & T&T

Movie #2477: The Mind Reader (1933, Roy Del Ruth)

Run of the mill melodrama of scam artist Warren William wrecking his life and the lives of everyone else around him only to be saved by the love of a good woman, Sheesh!
Warren William is great as usual and the DVD picture looks great but that plot cannot be overcome.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Day #22,762-763

Walk km 16,423-16,435: Meetup Stanley Park walk
Walk km 16,435-16,437: to library & T&T
Walk km 16,437-16,442: to Portside Park & Army&Navy

Movie #2476: Dernier Domicile Connu (1970, Jose Giovanni)

Pretty decent police procedural. The main attraction was Marlene Jobert - I think it's been at least 30 years since I've seen one of her movies. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Day #22,759-761

Walk km 16,386-16,388: to Safeway
Walk km 16,388-16,399: Lochdale Meetup walk
Walk km 16,399-16,411: Maillardville test walk
Walk km 16,411-16,423: Maillardville Meetup walk

Book #490: Trout Fishing In America (1967, Richard Brautigan)

Wimsical. Very wimsical. Little vignettes wherein Richard tries to work in the phrase "Trout Fishing In America". Some are even about trout fishing. They claim this book sold over 2,000,000 copies! There were that many hippies around in 1967? I guess so.
I have to admit that if I read this in 1967 I would have enjoyed it. Today, it just seems wimsical. Richard's star plummeted in the 70s when the hippy boom was over and he commited suicide at the age of 49.

Movie #2475: The Good The Bad The Weird (2008, Jee-woon Kim)

Korean homage to Sergio Leone. No points for plot (fighting over a buried treasure map). Top marks for the action sequences. I'm no action movie fan but this would be the best action movie I've ever seen.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Day #22,758

Walk km 16,384-16,386: to Safeway

Movie #2472: A Day Of Fury (1956, Harmon Jones)

I like this one. Here's another washedup genre: the western. You don't think there could be much to this one since they made these things by the 1000s using cookie cutter scripts filled with shootemups and barroom brawls. However, this one is a bit different. A wild west town has become civilized. Gone are the sinful days of shootemups, barroom brawls, poker playin' and whiskey drinkin. Then along comes one last gunfighter who specializes in shootemups, barroom brawls, poker playin' and whiskey drinkin'. It's one last test for the civilized folks of "West End". Will they pass the test?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Day #22,756-757

Walk km 16,360-16,373: Lincoln Park meetup walk
Walk km 16,373-16,384: Lougheed Station to Sperling Station via Lochdale

Movie #2471: The Budding Of Brie (1980, Henri Pachard)

This is an odd one. A porn remake of "All About Eve". The acting is fine. The lighting is good. Costumes are excellent. In short, this is a real movie! It was only after this that they realized that the porn audience wasn't coming to the theatre to see good acting, lighting and costumes so they stopped making movies like this. I was sure "Henri Pachard" must be some Hollywood director slumming to make a few dollars... but no, it looks like the whole thing was done with just your standard porn cast and crew.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Day #22,753-755

Walk km 16,331-16,343: around Stanley Park
Walk km 16,343-16,347: short walks downtown
Walk km 16,347-16,360: Meetup walk from Laurentian to Lake City

Movie #2470: Happy Gilmore (1996, Dennis Dugan)

Not very funny but there are a few chuckles here and there. They claim that's it's funnier than Caddyshack. Damning with faint praise.

Book #489: The Handle (1966, Donald E Westlake (as Richard Stark))

Usually when people go back to an old formula later in life it's just a shadow of its former self. That doesn't hold true to Donald E Westlake and the Parker novels. His reprise of Parker novels in the late 90s/early 2000s were much superior to his earlier set.
This one is fine. A quick read in the hard-boiled vein but nothing special.

TV Episode #100: Have Gun Will Travel - The Mark Of Cain (1962, Andrew V McLaglen)
TV Episode #101: Highway Patrol - Expose (1959, Jack Herzberg)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Day #22,752

Walk km 16,322-16,331: Burnaby/Coquitlam border to Lake City

Movie #2469: Dark Mountain (1944, William Berke)

It looked promising when I saw that the screenwriter was Maxwell Shane. That makes it very disappointing. Huge gaping holes in the plot with comedy routines added for those who aren't interested in the plot. Crap.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Day #22,751

Walk km 16,319-16,322: running errands

Book #488: Shadow (2007, Karin Alvtegen)

The feel-good book of the year! Just kiddin'. Every character in this book starts off life with plenty of hope and it looks like happy-ever-after for all concerned. Instead, everything starts headin' straight downhill and their life ends as a big festerin' heap of crap.
Karin makes sure we see both sides of every problem so that we can see that everything goes wrong for nothin' in particular except that every character fails to see what they're doing to each other.
Sweden leads the world in per capita suicides so lets hope this book wasn't a  best seller..

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Day #22,750

Walk km 16,307-16,319: Ladner Meetup walk

Movie #2468: La Sorciere (1956, Andre Michel)

Claptrap. You've got your religious claptrap. You're male chauvenist claptrap. You're French imperialist claptrap. And it's all rolled into one giant stinker.