it's an interesting movie but the fact that it's shot completely in b&w should clue you in right away that maybe it won't have a happy ending. when i first heard about the movie, i thought it was another invisible man story, or at least there was something supernatural. instead, the is essentially a crime drama, with pieces of infidelity, con job, blackmail, murder, and almost a critique of the american justice system. a stylish noir film right down to the voice over narration by ed crane (billy bob thorton). the first thing i noticed right away was the cinematography. each scene is beautifully lit, a high contrast of darks and lights. the story is very character driven, every person is very unique and special it is own way. billy bob actually looks quite handsome and leading-man-ish when he gets cleaned up and loses his scrubby facial hair and goatee.

as with any crime drama, i always try to predict what's going to happen next. i like movies that i don't know what's going to happen next, that really sneaks up behind me and gives me a surprise. with the man who wasn't there, for the most part i was able to sort of guess what will happen next, there was a logical order in how things should happen and would happen in the film. the one thing that did catch me completely off guard spoiler alert! was when big dave brewster (james gandolfini) confronts ed crane after discovering that ed was the one blackmailing him. i didn't expect big dave to go after the pansy creighton tolliver (jon polito) and beat him up. my originally thought was maybe tolliver and big dave were working together. i was also thrown for a loop when birdy (scarlett johansson of ghost world!) wanted to give mr.crane a happy ending in the car after her lukewarm perform at the music school!

the scene stealer in this movie has got to be tony shalhoub as freddy riedenschneider, high price power lawyer from the city. he's so smarmy in his attorney arrogance ("i'm the attorney, i know everything, you're just a barber, you know nothing") but they're so over-the-top that its very funny. his scenes present an interesting observation about our modern day criminal justice system which is truth really doesn't matter anymore, it's how you can spin the details in the court room that's really important. franky talks about how the more you look at something, the less you really understand it. it's a very thought-provoking point.

the man who wasn't there is an interesting movie, but not one that i would recommend (i.e. it's not a must see). it's a well made movie full of good acting, and i was entertained, but it's like one of those movies that comes and goes, nothing something that will way stay with me for very long.

this entry is being written at 4am in the morning friday night. no one i know is more noctural than me. despite the fact that i am tired as hell and have been operating on fumes for most of the day, when i get home i can go the entire night without sleeping.

our first dealing with the new general manager
today was the day we talked with management to discuss our project operating strategy for the next few weeks. i got in early supposedly for a team meeting which didn't happen until two hours later. later, after lunch, we met with bosses for real to talk about how we were going to tackle the situation at hand. this was my first formal dealing with rose, the new general manager of the company. i think other than john, who's had some talks with her one-on-one, the rest of us were kind of apprehensive of what would exactly transpire in the meeting. i was imagining a demoraling witch hunt of finger pointing and blame gaming, where management holds the team on outstretched arms over the precarious precipice of imminent occupational dismissal if we don't scramble once more to get something delivered soon. so imagine my surprise when it turned out to be the exact opposite. i had heard some filtered reports through the grapevine that rose was very tough on people. i didn't really see that at all, as she laid out the groundwork of what would happen in the next few days. first off, she was letting us have monday off for the three weeks we've been slaving away on the project. we almost didn't understand what she was saying. "if you need to take a break on monday, you can," she told us. i know in comparison to the massive hours we logged in, one day doesn't seem like much, but for us, something as insignificant as getting a day off meant a lot. also the way rose was laying out the schedule, there was no panic in her voice, you had the sense that she knew exactly what she as doing and that everything would be all right. i felt i could totally put my trust in her to lead us out of danger, that she was dealing with this mini-crisis in a professional manner, and most importantly, she seemed to care about our well-being just as much as she cares about getting the project done. so i'm definitely impressed. we all left the meeting with a smile. maybe getting that extra monday off had something to do with it, but at least for me i felt we had a friend instead of an adversary in rose.

debating whether i should come in on monday or not
i actually thought about coming in to work on monday, despite the fact that rose said we could have it off. what else am i going to do at home? but that's the kind of dangerous attitude that a few weeks ago, before i spent most of my waking hours in the office, i would never even consider it. i am however taking monday off because if i didn't, it'd be kind of weird for eliza and carrie to have the day off. i think when the guy who worked the most hours on the project (in this case i think it'd be me) takes the day off, it sort of paves the way for everybody else to have that day off as well. so in essence, i am taking monday off less for me, but more for carrie and eliza, so they won't feel guilty, so they won't look bad, when they too skip work on monday. my motive isn't all altruistic though -- a good selfish chunk absolutely don't mind getting a day off!

i revisit my old friend the movie theatre
after work (5pm, baby!), i walked to the kendall square cinema to buy tickets for the 6:45pm showing of the man who wasn't there, the latest movie from the coen brothers. i also bought tickets for dan, elias, and elias' friend. i got there very early, and sat outside on a bench reading my latest issue of sky & telescope, writing in my journal, or fighting off my sleepiness sensation. when the boys finally arrived, i got a large popcorn salted and sugared down (elias' style) with a small coke. the theatre tonight wasn't very crowded at all. maybe because we were watching the movie relatively early, and usually around this time people are still out getting drinks at bars or getting food in restaurants. after the movie, the boys went downtown while i went uptown to harvard square.

this was my first time going to the movies in a long time, not since 010915, when i went to the fresh pond theatre to catch a double matinee of jeepers creepers followed by the princess diaries.

adding to my modest dvd collection
been a while since i spent some money on something frivolous (other than junk food, but i see those more as dietary essentials), so tonight i fired up the old web browser and bought some dvd's online: the people that time forgot (1973) and blame it on rio (1984). the people that time forgot is a movie i saw on cable a while back early in the morning when i was getting ready to go to work. it seems like a very typical 1970's horror/scifi/fantasy film, full of campy situations and lavish set designs. it also has sarah douglas in it when she was a young woman. you might know her better as ursa in superman ii. the other movie, blame it on rio, i just love that movie to death. everybody has a favorite movie where nobody really likes, but for some reason they seem to be strongly attached to that film. blame it on rio is one such movie for me. i don't know, i just love everything about it, from the cast (michael caine, joseph bologna, valerie harper, michelle johnson, and demi moore), to the premise of the storyline (married man having an affair with the underaged daughter of his best friend who is having an affair with the married man's wife), to the location of the movie (rio de janiero of course!), and the music (samba, anyone?). i was surprised that it finally came out on dvd, because i've been searching for it for a while now. there was no reason why this movie wouldn't be out on dvd. some people will watch it just to catch a glimpse of a young demi moore in an infamous topless scene (not like we won't see it again later on in her career again, like in striptease). for my money though, i'd take michelle johnson any day over demi moore. i'm just very saddened by the fact that michelle isn't in more movies*. it's going to be very cool to see blame it on rio in letterboxed format. the only times i've ever seen it is on television with it's cropped aspect ratio.

* 011103 despite the fact that she isn't in more movies, michelle johnson has recently been in the news once again, this time as michelle williams (not to be confused with that other michelle williams of dawson's creek and dick fame), the wife of world series playing arizona diamondback slugger mitch williams. when they need a reaction shot from somebody in the crowd, the camera just naturally gravitates towards her.