Friday, October 31, 2014

Day #22,961

Walk km 17,993-17,995: to T&T
Walk km 17,995-18,007: around downtown

Book #514: The Moving Toyshop (1946, Edmund Crispin)
This book has quite a rep among mystery fans but I can't say I like it. This is a book of the whodunit variety. The reason that people think so highly of it is because it's devilishly clever (the two "detectives" are a poet and a university professor and it takes place in Oxford). However, since 1946 the mystery novel has been totally remodelled to throw the emphasis on character instead of plot. And once you've read the new style, this old stuff (no matter how clever) just doesn't cut it anymore.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Day #22,959-960

Walk km 17,977-17,989: Bridgeport, King George Park, Bath Slough Trail
Walk km 17,989-17,993 (4968 to go): to T&T and Safeway

Movie #2584: Astronaut Farmer (2006, Michael Polish)
Simplistic yarn of boy who is told that as long as you don't give up on your dreams they'll come true. This bozo believed that so as an adult he built a rocket in his barn and went into space. The problem with this movie is that it preaches this silly notion that all dreams come true. Don't let the kids watch this!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Day #22,957-958

Walk km 17,957-17,968 (4990 to go): Meetup around downtown
Walk km 17,868-17,977 (4982 to go): around downtown to Army & Navy/T&T

Movie #2583: Henry's Night In (1969, ???)
A nudie cutie that ain't too bad. Someone actually tried to direct this one (instead of just pointing the camera). However, the idiotic plot wins out and I just started waiting for it to end. Nice try. 

TV episode #128: Richard Diamond - No Laughing Matter (1959, Thomas Carr)

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Day #22,955-956
Walk km 17,936-17,944: Brighouse Station to #1 Road
Walk km 17,944-17957 (5000 to go): Brighouse Station to Steveston
some Meetup walkers having a snack after the walk
approx km 17,956 Steveston

Movie #2581: The Filth And The Fury (2000, Julien Temple)
Movie #2582: Beware of Mr Baker (2012, Jay Bulger)
Jack Bruce just died so a good time to see the movie about his nemesis, Mr Baker. And who should kick off the Ginger Baker movie? Johnny Rotten. It seems that Mr Rotten was looking for Ginger Baker at the height of the Sex Pistols notoriety. What for? Dunno.
The Sex Pistols movie is more about who was in control of the band and what were they trying to achieve. The Ginger Baker movie is more about one fellow's path through life and the music that gave him the ability to live a noteworthy life whereas someone else with his same lack of social skills would have just been shunned by society and died a lonely and bitter old man.
The Sex Pistols story was OK, Ginger Baker's was rivetting.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Day #22,954

Walk km  17,924-17,936 (5019 to go): Stanley Park meetup

Meetup walkers
approx km 17,933 the seawall (Stanley Park)

Movie #2579: Passion (1954, Allan Dwan)

Standard oater of battle over range land leading to murder and revenge. However, the director was Allan Dwan and the cinematographer was John Alton. Forget the plot, this is just beautiful to watch (even on YouTube).

Movie #2580: Grand Canyon Trail (1948, William Witney)
This story does not have anything to do with the Grand Canyon and there is no trail. I guess the name just sounded good. It's Roy Rogers (without Dale Evans but with Jane Frazee) abely supported by Andy Devine.
It has all the trappings of an oater plus plenty of comedy (and a few songs too). No doubt they thought the kids would really go for the comedy stuff and they were right as Roy went on to be the king of the cowboys.
BTW, Witney was a big favourite of Quentin Tarantino but its hard too see why here as the YouTube print is in very bad shape.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Day #22,952-953

Walk km 17,913-17.920: walk to 2 libraries
Walk km 17,920-17,924: Coal Harbour

Movie #2578: They Made Me A Killer (1946, William C Thomas)
This was probably a decent "B" crime drama in its day. However, the horrible print on YouTube and the fact that the 2nd half of the film takes place at night makes this more like listening to a radio show than watching a movie.

Movie #2579: Wives Under Suspicion (1938, James Whale)
Another crappy print from YouTube can't totally ruin the story of a D.A. who suddenly realizes "there but for the grace of god go I". Why doesn't anyone remember Warren William these days - he was pretty darn good. As was Mr Whale.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Day #22,951

Walk km 17,907-17,910: to T&T
Walk km 17,910-17,913: to Safeway

Book #514: Outrage (2008, Arnaldur Indridason)
We're back to Iceland again but this time our regular detective is not there to greet us. No more stories about storms and losing the grip on your brother's hand. Instead, it's the cookbook writing detective. Did he switch to a female point-of-view due to the subject matter: date rape drugs? Whatever the reason, pages fly by once agaiin. The whodunut part is a little rabbit-out-of-a-hat type of thing but the whodunit part of these Scandi crime novels plays only a small part in the overall reading experience so it's not a big deal. Another winner from Indridason..

Movie #2577: Murder Is My Beat (1955, Edgar G Ulmer)
This is the first movie I've watched on TCM since A Christmas Carol last December. I see there is now something called "Watch TCM" that allows you to watch TCM over the Internet. The catch is that you must be signed up to TCM through a cable provider and that cable company must register with TCM. Shaw Cable hasn't done that.
Meanwhile, back at the movie. TCM had an Edgar G Ulmer night(!) and this was one I hadn't seen before. It's a film noir but the budget is so small that it's more like film gray. Still, this is my favourite kind of movie so even people standing in front of back projection screens doesn't totally ruin it.
Good to see TCM digging deep into the archives and we even get a pre-film talk from Robert Osbourne.
BTW, if you missed this one, YouTube allows you to watch it for just $19.99 (probably close to the original budget for this movie),

Monday, October 20, 2014

Day #22,950

Movie #2575: Inside Llewyn Davis (2013, Coen Brothers)

Coen brothers take on the folk music scare of the early 60s that infected New York's Greenwich Village and threatened to spread nationwide. Nothing much happens, it starts with Llewyn Davis singin' folk tunes and being an asshole. It finishes with with Llewyn Davis singin' folk tunes and acting like an asshole. However, the Coen brothers are so talented that they can turn anything into something you can't look away from. 

Movie #2576: Cannibal Holocaust (1980, Ruggero Deodato)

Slipshod "mondo" movie of expedition to the Amazon showing the vile behaviour of the expedition members and the natives. Although the movie was just junk, it did become quite famous when the director was arrested and charged with murder. No, he didn't murder someone back in his home country of Italy. They charged him with murdering the actors in the movie! They thought that when the people died in the movie, that they had actually been killed! This is beyond stupid. Even the Italian police can't possibly be that stupid. Or can they? I assume it was a grand publicity stunt. That the director knew someone in the police department who would (for a price) charge him with murder and by so doing, provide millions of dollars in free publicity for the film. Charges were dropped when the actors turned up alive. Of course, they didn't just drop into the police station to tell the police: they all made their grand reappearance on Italian TV.
Ruggero Deodato may have been a crappy movie director but he was a supreme master of self promotion.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Day #22,949

Walk km 17,896-17,907: Cleveland Dam to Dundarave (the hard way)
scary spiders
approx km 17,901: Millstream Road, West Vancouver

Movie #2574: 5 Guns West (1955, Roger Corman)

Last night it was the 1st film of Ted V Mikels. Tonight, the first film of Roger Corman. Both are mighty dull but Corman wins: his film was in color.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Day #22,948

Walk km 17,884-17,896: Meetup walk around Stanley Park

Movie #2573: Strike Me Deadly (1963, Ted V Mikels)

I believe this is the first movie I've seen by Ted V Mikels who is revered as one of the worst film directors of all time. In this one, Ted takes about 5 minutes worth of plot and stretches it out to 80 minutes. Lots of stock forest fire footage. Lots of scenes of wildlife. Lots of running through the park. Lots of scenes about eating with chopsticks! Not that bad - just dull.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Day #22,946-947

Walk km 17,869-17,881: around Stanley Park
Walk km 17,881-17,884 (5064 to go): to Safeway

Movie #2572: Osaka Tough Guys (1995, Takashi Miike)

Not very funny comedy from Miike. What happened? Turns out this was made in 1995 before Miike made a name for himself with the likes of Audition and Ichi The Killer. Grainy print (on a DVD) doesn't help.

TV episode #127: DuPont Theatre - Frightened Witness (1957, Anton Leader)
Good cast in a story that's been told many times: witness will not testify because he's threatened by organized crime.

Book #513: Bigger Deal (2007, Anthony Holden)
A boring poker book? Anthony Holden has done it. Part of the problem is that the info here is 8 years old so we've heard it all before. The other part is that Holden is a rather slap dash player so all the description of his own play is of no interest. And Holden only plays Holdem. If he at least played stud or omaha he might of kept my interest.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Day #22,944-945

Walk km 17,849-17,852: running errands
Walk km 17,852-17,862: brisk walk along False Creek
Walk km 17,862-17,869: Capilano Road

Movie #2571: Behave Yourself (1951, George Beck)

I saw a movie in 1966 in Lundar called "Boy Did I Get A Wrong Number" with Bob Hope and Phylis Diller. I thought it was funny. George Beck wrote that one. George Beck wrote and directed this one too. It's also funny. The YouTube print quality is pretty bad but the gags overcome that.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Day #22,943

Walk km 17,847-17,849:

Movie #2570: Executive Suite (1954, Robert Wise)

This would be a guilty pleasure? The president of a company dies suddenly so everyone starts fighting over control of the company. Ho-hum right? Yes, except for some reason my eyes stayed glued to the screen. Guilty pleasure for sure.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Day #22,942

Walk km 17,835-17,847 (5096 to go): 8 parks of Burnaby/Vancouver border

Movie rewatch: The Killers (1946, Robert Siodmak)

William Conrad with one of the "Bright Boy"s

Always good to go back and watch a classic from time to time.
"Hey, Bright Boy thinks it's good to watch a classic from time to time": that opening dialogue is fantastic. I'm sure William Conrad won the Oscar for supporting actor.   

Movie #2569: Design For Living (1933, Ernst Lubitsch)

A dialogue movie (Ben Hecht via Noel Coward). The beginning and end crackle with great dialogue. The middle does lag a bit. Always fun to watch a pre-code and realize that old Hollywood wasn't always about "family values". In this one we have 3 people in love. Should all three live together? Just pick 2? Give up and each go their seperate ways? 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Day #22,941

Walk km 17,830-17,833: to Safeway
Walk km 17,833-17,835: to T&T

Movie #2567: Nebraska (2013, Alexander Payne)

Finally took a break from scrounging around the internet looking for obscurities. This is on Netflix and it's directed by Alexander Payne. Pretty much a guaranteed winner.
And it is. Mr Payne certainly has a way with losers and this one is no exception. Bruce Dern joins Laura Dern (Bruce's daughter) (Citizen Ruth) and Jack Nicholson (Bruce's friend) (About Schmidt) as hard to forget Payne losers.

Movie #2568: Kilsodeum (1986, Kwon-taek Im)

Quite effective telling of a family (seperated during the Korean war) trying to reunite. It seems that Korea had quite the reality TV bonanza during the 80s telling stories about (and helping with) the reuniting of families who were seperated due to the Korean war. The stories were all tearfully happy ones. This story shows that there wasn't always such a happy ending, 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Day #22,939-940

Walk km 17,811-17,819: walking around downtown
Walk km 17,819-17,830: 7 parks along Vancouver/Burnaby border

leaves on the trail
approx km 17,825 exiting Everett Crowley Park to Marquette Cr

Movie #2566: The Fast Lady (1962, Ken Annakin)

Has all the telltale signs of the idiotic British comedy. But it does add a little bit of style not found in the Carry On series. One bit of style is Julie Christie who soon moved on to more mature roles.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Day #22,938

Walk km 17,809-17,811: to Safeway for lunch

Movie #2565: Family Band: The Cowsills Story (2011, Filipiak & Palanker)

Another screwed up family with the parents (in this case, the father) trying to push their kids (in this case, the wife too!) into showbiz.
Interview with Billy included (although Bob looks more like Billy than Billy does in the interview) . Very interesting for Billy Cowsill fans, probably pretty interesting for others as well.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Day #22,937

Walk km 17,792-17,794: to the library
Walk km 17,794-17,809: the 3 Tatlows

approx km 17,797 Stanley Park from Lion's Gate Bridge

Monday, October 6, 2014

Day #22,936

Walk km 17,780-17,785: to the doctor (twice)
Walk km 17,785-17,792: Tatlow Avenue to Tatlow Trail

Movie #2564: The Man From Del Rio (1956, Harry Horner)

Superior western with Anthony Quinn as a reluctant gunfighter who slowly realizes what he's got himself into and then has to think his way out of it without the use of his gun.
Excellent print now on YouTube. Watch it before it's taken down.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Day #22,935

Walk km 17,765-17,780 (5156 to go): 6 bridges of Richmond

two Meetup walkers took the wrong turn and are heading back to join us
approx km 17,773 Sea Island by Sea Island Bridge

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Day #22,934

Walk km 17,754-17,765: Stanley Park

TV Episode #125: Suspicion - 4 O'Clock (1957, Alfred Hitchcock)
TV Episode #126: The Rebel - Panic (1959, Irvin Kershner)

A couple of big names here. Alfred "Psycho" Hitchcock and Irvin "The Empire Strikes Back" Kershner.
The big difference here is that the Hitchcock episode was based on a short story by Cornell Woolrich. Hitchcock is the better director but any story by Woolrich is bound to be interesting no matter who directs.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Day #22,932-933

Walk km 17,739-17,743: running errands
Walk km 17,743-17,754: Fraser bridges pre-walk

Book #512: The Magic Of Reality (2011, Richard Dawkins)

Turned out to be a kid's book. However, it's been a long time since I learnt any science so it was a good refresher course. Dawkins is always entertaining but don't hold your breathe while you wait for this to show up as a textbook in a school near you. Dawkins starts each chapter with what people used to think was behind each subject (from rainbows and earthquakes to evolution) before he reveals what science has discovered is the real truth. Since many people don't believe in science, this would make a hard sell as a textbook. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Day #22,930-931

Walk km 17,732-17,734: to/from airports
Walk km 17,734-17,739: running errands

Movie #2562: Million Dollar Arm (2014, Craig Gillespie)
I guess this one would have been OK if I was 6 years old. Talk about shooting fish in a barrel. All the problems are telegraphed to the audience so thay can pooh-pooh the bad decisions made by the lead character. Infantile.

Movie #2563: Yolki 3 (various, 2013)

Russian movie about a couple of dogs who are in love but become seperated due to their hard-hearted owner. Yech! It took 4 directors to make this mess. Seen on a plane in the middle of the night and right after the dreadful "Million Dollar Arm".