the hulk is surprisingly good. you don't even notice the cgi hulk because when he shows up, there's never a lull in the action, never an occasion where you can sit back and relax and take a good look at the green monster.

why i thought this movie would suck, i have several reasons of course. first, of course, was the cgi hulk. second, it was so out of character for ang lee, a drama director, to take the helms of an action movie, and a summer action movie at that. but i should've known that ang lee wouldn't make a bad movie. sure, some of his past works i haven't really liked, for instance, the ice storm, but he always garners critical praise, so it was interesting to see what a director like him could do with an action movie. the answer: the hulk is a drama first, sprinkled with action. that's the case with crouching tiger, hidden dragon, there's a heavy element of drama, of emotional dialogue, punctuated with amazing action sequences.

the first 2/3 of the movie was really good. i was actually thinking, "boy, this is some serious acting, there could be some academy award nominations to be mined here," but then i saw the final third of the movie. although not a disaster, i left the movie with something left to be desired. the showdown between bruce banner and his father just seems forced. that whole scene, with the two of them spot illuminated on a platform, seems like some acting studio exercise rather than a scene in a movie. is it just me or has the basic story of the hulk been changed by the scriptwriters? in the comics, from what i can remember, bruce banner turns green through gamma ray exposure. in the movie, his greenness comes from genetic experiments his father did on himself which bruce inherited when his mother gave birth to him. i think this change is very interesting, it allows this more complicated "sins of the father carries onto the son" storyline, but i feel the ending doesn't quite resolve it, or not in a way i was satisfied with. another thing i really liked about the movie: the creative use of split screens, a la 24. in some ways, it almost feels like i'm reading a comic, with actions appearing in boxes that side in and out.

so the bottom line is it's a very good movie, definitely surprising me in its level of complexity, and visually beautiful. the cgi hulk is not bad, and during the movie, i actually wanted to see more of the cgi hulk, not less, because just like bruce banner, the hulk represents release, almost a force of nature that can't be contained by the constraints of man, whatever problems can easily be resolved quickly and effectively in classic hulk "smash" style. perhaps out of all the big summer blockbuster movies out there, definitely the smartest one, and has enough substance to really linger in your mind when the movie is over.

i got to sleep late for a change. sleeping late meant waking up at 9am instead of 8am. it's a strange day when i think 9am is late. by 10am i was using my foreman grille on a pair of old hamburger patties. the grille is small enough that i could only do one patty at a time, but i didn't mind, i wasn't in a great hurry. i even got to use the handy bun warmer on top of the grille. i watched born losers (1967) while i ate, a great biker gang exploitation movie that i've never seen before. after breakfast, i went to mailbox etc. to make some copies of some good faith estimates for a potential mortgage refinance, before coming back home to get changed to go out for a run. i rolled up the sleeves on my t-shirt so i wouldn't get a farmer's tan, but they rolled back down when i started runned. a lot of the guys i ran into were going topless already on this 70's degrees day. the women were in their midriff-baring sports bra. on my cool down run along the charles river, i caught sight of a pair of cedar waxwings gathering twigs to build a nest. i had never seen these birds before, i thought i was looking at a mockingbird at first, then i noticed the crest, and saw the different feather colors, including bright spots of red on the wings and tails ending in yellow.

i came home, showered, vacuumed, then went back out at 5pm to meet dan and cymara in boston for dinner and a movie. i bumped into dan and mike at park street (they were just getting out of work), and we went down to brown sugar in the fenway area for dinner. in my opinion, brown sugar is by far the best thai restaurant in all of boston. i had the thai iced tea along with my hot mango chicken curry served on sticky rice. the sticky rice was weird, i won't get it next time (it's twice as expensive as regular rice as well, that's one thing that i've always thought was weird, that rice comes extra with curry), but the sauce was delicious, totally reaffirms my love of thai cuisine. doesn't thailand sound like the best vacation spot? besides the bustling sex trade, there's also this amazing food!

our dishes can within minutes after we ordered them. we finished eating in 15 record shattering minutes, paid our bill, then left, people outside already waiting for our table. we went to the fenway 13 theatre where cymara met up with us there. the movie we were seeing was the hulk, a film that i wasn't particularly excited to see, but the movie ended up surprisingly me, it was good (although the ending was a little weak).

after the movie i came back home, but soon i was out again, this time with bruce. we went down to harvard square where several bookstores were having special midnight sales of the new harry potter book. at wordsworth/curious george, a long line several hundred people long snaked down harvard square, all the way down to million year picnic. alex was waiting in line for his pre-ordered book, we located each other through cellphones. he told us that they were handing out harry potter glasses earlier as well as mini cupcakes. there were a lot of people who were dressed up, both children and adults. there was a countdown to midnight before the doors were opened, a police officer standing nearby just in case it got ugly. soon people began to trickle out of the store, holding copies of harry potter in their hands, smiles on their faces, children running to waiting parents, young adults being congratulated by their understanding friends. outside a circle of curious spectators (bruce and i included) gawked at the spectacle, with the occasional car honking its horn in solidarity.

down at the coops bookstore, they were also selling harry potter, except it wasn't as crowded (no lines snaking out the door). bruce and i were actually able to touch the stack of blue covered harry potter books, no security guards escorting us away from these most sought after items of the night.

bruce and i stuck around for a little bit longer before most of the costumed folks had already gotten their books and gone home to read. alex came with us as we walked back home, returning to his car parked in the porter square parking lot.

when alex got home, he told me that my site got hacked. true enough, the front page was replaced by some hacker page. i replaced it soon enough, no harm no foul, although kind of happy excited that i finally got hacked.