i like rushmore more than the royal tenenbaums.

the characters were very interesting, the cinematography was witty and aesthetically pleasing, the set design had its quirky charm, but i found the story lacking. it sort of meandered a bit. the story in rushmore i found more to the point, essentially a love triangle. the royal tenenbaums, was it a story about royal tenenbaum trying to reconnect with his family? was it about his children finally overcoming bad child raising? about the mother getting on with her life? or maybe it's about helping a friend kick the drug habit? too many storylines, i wished they just followed one and developed it a little more. i almost wanted to see a tenenbaums television show. there were so many interesting storylines, seems like only a show with multiple episodes could do it justice, instead of cramming everything into one movie. another thing i had some trouble with was i couldn't really identify with a particular character. everyone seemed to be so twisted in their own neuroses or idiosyncrasies. the only normal ones were probably the kids and the beagle, i suppose. hate to keep on comparing it with rushmore, but i felt a stronger connection to the characters in rushmore. trt also didn't really pursue the genius angle once that's been established. maybe that was the irony, but if these grown up kids use to be geniuses, how come they're all so screwed up now as adults? they might as well been just normal grown up kids with issues instead. and one final thing, i didn't find the music in the royal tenenbaums, other than the paul simon and the ramones songs, to be anything noteworthy. after i saw rushmore (sorry!) i went to newbury comics the next day and snatched up the soundtrack. i'm not doing that for the royal tenenbaums.

so did i not like the movie? no, i didn't say that. i think i'm mixed about the film. all the hype surrounding the movie, the critical raves, the various award nominations, i guess i was just expecting a lot more. i guess i wanted the same feeling i had when i saw rushmore, this, "wow, this movie is really really cool" feeling. perhaps the success of rushmore did in this movie. maybe if i saw this one first then rushmore, things might be different. the movie is definitely funny, if you buy into the characters. chas tenenbaum waking up his kids for a late night fire drill i found to be one of the funniest moments in the movie. the beginning part of the movie as well, introducing the characters and showing them as kids, that was pretty funny too. but if you start watching it and find everyone annoying, it's just going to get worse, not better.

the royal tenenbaums seems like a movie that you either get it or you don't. i think i partially get it, but i'm not buying into it 100%. it has the mindset of the indie movie casted with A-list stars. when i came out of the theatre i saw a poster for amélie. that is a much better movie than the royal tenenbaums. still, the royal tenenbaums is a movie you ought not to miss if you like your humor dark and subtle, and definitely if you are a fan of rushmore, you owe it to yourself to see this film. also, if you're a big fan of owen wilson.

upstairs downstairs
didn't even realize it, but i hadn't even stepped a single foot downstairs until after work. well, that's not entirely true. i did come down for less than 20 seconds to secretly deliver christine's birthday card for the others to sign. but it's weird, i had once called downstairs my home, now it is a foreign place to me. 4 months after having been relocated upstairs, i can still say without a doubt that i rather be working downstairs. i clench my teeth everytime i think about upstairs. it is not a place i love. the people are fine, it's just the location. sometimes during one of my upstairs-downstairs commute, i fantasize about getting hit by a car, or tripping over a pothole and horribly mutilating my leg. kind of morbid thoughts to have, but it'd be proof that this arrangement totally sucks. i am willing to sacrifice my body for such a cause. i'm so happy when i see downstairs people now, because it's like seeing a distant friend and i don't know when the next time i'll see them. other than our monday morning meetings, do you know that i can probably go the entire week without seeing anyone from downstairs? i could understand if somebody was sitting in my old spot (have i complained about this before? feels like i'm repeating myself, please just humor an old man's senility), but in the 4 months of my relocation to the 2nd floor, that space has gone unused. everytime i pass it, my heart just sinks. i genuinely believe that my relocation is some sort of banishment, a punishment for something i unwittingly committed. when i go to my work area in the corner of the upstairs office space, i feel like it's a prison cell, that i am a criminal.

day in a nutshell up to when i left work
upstairs all day, during lunch went to the galleria mall to buy a birthday card for christine, a christmas present for amanda, and some lunch (aladdin's indian cuisine) for myself. it was an electricity conservation day upstairs again, the flourescent lights up above were all turned off. amy announced to everyone today that she would be leaving the company in a few weeks. pm staff now down to 2. today also appeared to be silvia's real last day, as i watched her leave the 2nd floor with a box of her things. i hope i wasn't too much of a headache for her.

belated christmas presents
after work, amanda and i exchanged our christmas presents. it's kind of complicated. i joked with her and told her that i had gotten her a christmas present, but just didn't give it to her prior to our holiday break because i felt kind of awkward about it, since i didn't get anyone else a christmas gift. this was entirely a lie (i've been lying a lot more these days), but i guess it triggered some feelings of guilt or whatnot that i didn't think amanda possessed, and she went out and got me a present. my bluff about to be called, i quickly dashed off to the mall today to get her something. she ended up getting me a two set soup noodle bowls from crate & barrel ("for your new apartment...if you ever get one," she said), i gave her a set of funny magnetic face parts for defacing fridge photos. i cut out some photos from a time magazine for her to try out her new magnets. i think i've been outgifted though. what i got from her, not only functional, but it also fits my personality profile, that is, prospective apartment/condominium buyer who only knows how to make instant noodle for dinner. but to be fair, i really wasn't expecting anything, and what i got for her was very last minute. i like to think that i'm usually a very good gift giver. i have two more months to locate the perfect gift, the soon to be new production assistant's birthday is coming up in february.

the movies
okay, before i continue anymore, i am well aware that some other people might've wanted to come to the movies tonight as well! i hear you, this isn't the last time we're going, so please, you have not been left out, the next time we go, we're taking as many people who want to come! promise!

so with that off my chest, after work dan came by the office. he and i, plus eliza, plus alex and his wife leslie, walked to kendall cinema to go see the royal tenenbaums. this was eliza's first time going to go see a movie right after work. amanda and rebecca joined us shortly afterwards (rebecca was working, amanda was playing some online game and couldn't step away just yet). we saw the 6:45pm showing, and the theatre was only half full, but everyone still sat around each other, which is close to the middle, because it affords the best view. we had some crazy laughers in the audience tonight. we ended up laughing at them laughing at the movie! one man in particular, horrible disturbing cackle, he was with a woman, i feel so bad for her if she's his girlfriend. i think that's a good reason to break up.

more details from tonight: dan snuck a boca grande burrito into the theatre and was eating it prior to the movie starting. eliza bought a box of junior mints and revealed that she only eats them when she watches movies. i got the largest sized popcorn and by evening's end finished 2/3 of it, part of my unhealthy dinner.

kendall cinema

eliza & amanda
(alex & leslie
in far distance)

waving goodbye

after the movie, we all walked back to the kendall square t station, with rebecca being the only one to drive home because she brought her car. amanda had on a pair of gloves and a hat. i was using her as a human barometer to gauge how cold it was. if amanda's wearing the gloves and the hat, you know it's cold, for real! this walk back to the station is a very crucial part of the movie watching experience, because it allows everyone to voice their opinions regarding the film we just saw. during the walk my love for the movie mannequin was held up for public scrutiny (which, by the way, i ordered on dvd yesterday, it was so cheap, less than $10, i really don't know why for a great 80's classic!). dan and i headed in the direction of harvard square, everyone else went inbounds towards boston.

i came home and two boxes of my online purchases from this past week had arrived! clothes and books. there are a lot more sale going on all over the web, i think more money will be spent this weekend doing some more online shopping. it's a binge!