it's weird, but a lot of people i know already saw insomnia. elias saw it, eliza saw it, laurie saw it, and todd saw it. to be honest, this film didn't register high on my movie radar, and i probably wouldn't have wanted to go see it if 1) not so many people had already seen it and 2) the positive buzz and the nice reviews the movie has been getting. i thought i had my finger on the pulse of what the movie audience wants to see, and last weekend i went and saw the sum of all fear and undercover brother. i go back to work on monday, and not one person saw either of those two movies, even though they ranked number 1 and number 4 at the box office.

insomnia in a nutshell is about two city cops being sent out to alaska to investigate a mysterious murder. al pacino is the more veteran investigator, and they've been temporarily exiled all the way up north - where this time of the year the sun never sets and it's 24/7 daylight - because of some internal affairs heat back home out to bag bad cops. pacino accidently shoots his partner dead during a bad guy chase in the fog. this is the same partner who earlier told pacino he was going to cut a deal with internal affairs and offer up pacino on the cutting block. lines of morality becomes ambiguous as pacino covers up the accidental shooting, and later discovers who the killer is, only to become entangled in a mutualistic blackmail scheme.

the title of the movie refers to the fact that pacino can't fall asleep the whole time he's in alaska. partly because it's still daylight outside, but also because he's conflicted by his sense of duty to solve the crime and his feelings of guilt over what happened to his partner. the film reeks in moodiness. as the movie progresses, as pacino slowly starts to lose it the more days he goes without sleep, you sort of go through what pacino is going through, that feeling starts to soak in.

the environment itself is like an uncredited character in the film. the isolation, the fact that it's perpetually daylight, the barren landscapes, out in the middle of nowhere - it's refreshing to see a crime thriller played out in such a unique setting.

al pacino is such a great actor. when he's on the big screen, it's such a joy to watch a master at his craft, like a painter at his easel, like a carpenter with a house. i could just sit back and let him take me for a ride, no worries. robin williams isn't so bad either. i'm not a big fan of his comedy work, but when robin williams gets serious, he's very good. i think what's more amazing, if you've ever seen in him interviews, is that fact that he's a lunatic in real life, so to see him so serious, you know it's a stretch for him and he pulls it off so well! oh, and then there's hilary swank. i'll be honest, before she won her academy, i would've never given her a second look, but now everyone knows her as the academy award winning actress and everything she does, even if it's a little role, carries so much weight now. i was afraid she'd be relegated to the damsel in distress role, especially towards the end of the movie, but i'm very happy to see that's not the case.

this is a smart movie, and it's definitely an acting showcase. if you come to the film thinking that it's going to be an action film, you're going to be disappointed. this is an extremely well-done crime thriller, the plot twists and turns, and every step of the way leaves you guessing, and you can't wait to see what happens next. absolutely a must see, there's a reason why this movie has so much buzz.

i crossed the line this morning. in the 6 years i've been working, i've woke up many a mornings wanting to call in late so i can sleep another hour or so, essentially hitting the snooze button on work. i've never done it though, because i've always felt that once i start, once i set that dangerous precedent, i will be tempted to do it again and again, that i will be perpetually late. but this morning i crossed the line, i called the office and left a message saying that i'd be an hour late to work. i then promptly hopped back into bed. totally irresponsible? yeah, that's me. i've managed to rationalize it by telling myself that there wasn't a lot of work for me this morning, and besides, usually people don't start working until after 10am anyway, the first hour in the office is really just to acclimate yourself to the fact that you're about to start working.

barbara, our freelance bug tester, her last day is tomorrow, so today members of the soon-to-be-finished project had a little farewell party for her. we had strawberry shortcake, which i ate after finishing a medium sized gumbo that i got from max's. hot and spicy gumbo doesn't mix well with the ultrasweet strawberry shortcake, and i felt kind of gross afterwards but it soon wore off.

at the end of the work day, mandy came to visit the office. up from new york city, she was in town for her sister's wedding this weekend. she kept on saying how quiet boston was compared to new york city. she came up with the more expensive greyhound after missing her chinatown bus. the office must've seemed weird to her, a lot of people who were still here when she left back in august are all gone now: rob, allie, stef, james, matt, ed, laurie, john, even rebecca, who started on the same day mandy was leaving.

i left the office for rainy harvard square, where i had two slices of cheese pizza at the adventura cafe in the garage. i picked the seat right above the entrance so i could watch people coming and going. the slices were big and greasy, i saved the crust for the garage can. later i went to newbury comics to browse around, didn't see anything worth buying (not in a big money spending mood these days, go figure), left the store without having my digital camera setting off their shoplifter alarm. i then went downstairs and waited for dan to show up in front of ben & jerry's ice cream. when he got there we left for the theatre, where dan paid for my insomnia ticket as payback for helping him move to his new apartment the start of last month.

maybe it was just me, and i didn't talk to dan about it, but in the theatre there was this grossly overweight woman ampling down our row. she was wearing a large harvard graduation robe (harvard graduation was today, they're funny like that, they don't hold it on a weekend, they enjoy tying up morning traffic), which caught my attention but not that much. it wasn't how she looked though but rather how she smelled, which can only be described as ass. the couple who she plowed by in order to get to her seat, they immediately moved as soon as she sat down. i could see the couple sitting in front of her whispering to each other and holding their noses with the sleeves of their shirt. it certainly made for an interesting movie watching experience.

dan and i parted way after the movie was over. i couldn't resist and took some snapshots of harvard square at night in the rain again, which is the best time to take city photos. now if i go anywhere at night in the city, i hope for showers, because it really brings the landscape to life.