i went for a run when i came back home, the 50+ degrees temperature was too irresistable. the ice on the river was melting, forming large floating plates. two college kids were walking along the river's edge, drawn to the possibility of an icy death. though warm, dark grey clouds could be seen moving over the area.
i was watching dawn of the dead when julie arrived, honking her car horn outside my house. i was surprised to see that it was raining. we went to the kendall cinema where i got tickets for a free screening of an unspecified movie which turned out to be danny boyle's new film millions. the ticket line was long, but an usher came out and asked if anyone was here for the special screening so we didn't have to wait in line. security was tight, and once again no cameras (not even camera phones) were allowed inside; fortunately i was wise enough to leave my "equipment" in the car as the guard passed the metal detector wand over my body. for some reason there was a surprisingly large amount of kids in the audience, maybe due to the fact that the movie was rated PG. throughout the movie we could occasionally hear babies crying in stereo. behind us sat teenage girls who "awww"ed everytime something cute or touching showed up on the screen. i half expected yellow school buses to be waiting for them outside the theatre. julie took the opportunity to present me with my birthday present, the book "nature walks in eastern massachusetts", which i didn't have in my library.
i think i once saw the poster for this movie, that's as much as i knew about the film. when i heard danny boyle was directing, i immediately thought 28 days or trainspotting, something violent or horrific, neither were the case for millions. as a matter of fact, millions is the complete opposite of what you'd normally expect from danny boyle. it's the story of two english brothers, damian and anthony, who's father moves them to a new home after the recent death of their mother. damian, the younger brother (age 7, and why would parents name their kid "damian" is still beyond me, didn't they see the omen?), comes across a large duffle bag stuffed with money while playing near the train tracks. he shows it to his older brother anthony who decides they should keep it a secret. the boys then go about spending the money: anthony is more practical and uses his new spending clout to win friends and possible investment opportunities, while damian has a thing for saints (he sees and talks to them all the time, haloed apparitions) and goes around giving money to the poor ("ah yew po'?" he asks everyone he meets). there's a catch however: the money (very slight spoiler) turns out to be stolen, and the thief comes back looking for it. there's another catch: all this is happening on the eve of england's transition to the euro, and all that cash (pounds) will be worthless in a few more days. it's an entertaining movie, but i would've rather watched how the boys dealt with the money (the adventures they'd have) instead of this element of the thief trying to get his cash back. by that point the movie takes on a sort of suspenseful turn, and you're just waiting for something bad to happen. it reminded me of great expectations for some reason, the relationship between pip and magwitch, a little boy helping a criminal (one vague literary reference a day, that's my quota). the ending is also kind of weird, like a purposeful feelgood milking; without spoiling anything, i'm just going to say it takes place in africa for some reason. weirdest point in the film: the donation-bot (R2D2 clone) that goes around the school collecting money from the kids to give to the poor people of 3rd world countries (you can probably guess what happens next). all and all, a lighthearted romp, and you might even get a little teary-eyed in the end (especially when the dead mother shows up predictably, and no, she is not a zombie). and i'll admit it, the little boy who plays damian is really cute.
when we got back to the car it was still 8:50. "we can make project runway!" julie shrieked, as we sped back to my place. unfortunately we were stuck behind a slow car that was going in the same direction, and made our way back no faster than 25mph. fortunately we got to my place just in time, the show just starting. tonight was a special reunion episode, but more like a "let's find a scapegoat and everybody trash her" episode. wendy was the bitch du jour during the first half of the show, but that crown soon belonged to vanessa, who stormed out of the studio at one point. drama! we ordered pizza from topspeed, the godfather (chicken and artichoke), and the guy on the phone didn't give me any shit this time when i asked for the additional tomato sauce julie wanted (most of their gourmet pizzas don't use tomato sauce).