another hot day, i had the air conditioner on as soon i was up. i had a few little errands i had to do around the house, like pay my bills. rummaging through my bag i was horrified to discover the glass screen of my gps was cracked. poor gps, survived southeast asia, but gets damaged back at home. it still works fine though, despite the damage. i'll need that gps, for when i go naturing. after a lunch of korean ramen, i went out for a run. 88 degrees, i ran through sprinklers and put my head underneath the drinking fountain to cool off. coming back, i ran into joel, cruising down mass ave in his jeep. i also bumped into my neighbor jeff, who told me he discovered my weblog after doing a search for "apple tree." besides bruce, none of my neighbors know about my web presence. and usually during conversations with new people, i almost never bring it up. the reason is simple: if they don't know about the site, then i can talk about them all i want. but if i know they're reading it, then there's some amount of self-censorship.
in the evening i made my way to the boston common theatre, to meet up with dan, elias and rob to go see george a. romero's land of the dead (even though the marquee read "land of the dear"). i was hoping that romero, who started the undead genre with night of the living dead, would upstage the recent slew of zombie films with another masterpiece. land of the dead brings a lot of new things to the table, but it's not the masterpiece i was hoping it'd be. in this film the world has been populated by zombies for so long, the zombies aren't so mindless anymore and are beginning to learn. this idea is never properly explored in the movie however; at times the zombies pick up tools but don't really know how to use them, so i question whether or not romero should've just kept the zombies dumb, yet at other times the zombies, particularly their unofficial leader, seem to be able to strategize in a way that appears too smart, even for learning zombies. romero's zombie films are always more than just about the undead, they also have social messages, whether intentional or not. it's easy to see similarities between land of the dead and what's currently happening to america and the war on terrorism. in the movie, humans have built a city on a near-island that serves as a safe haven from the zombie danger that surrounds them. all the rich and power of the city reside in a lavish skyscraper, while the rest of the population live in poverty and crime down below. it's also the everyday people who risk their lives to venture outside the confines of the city in order to gather necessary supplies from abandoned zombie populated towns nearby. john leguizamo plays a cholo, a henchman for kaufman (dennis hopper, who excels at playing scary power-hungry baddies), the man who runs the city by "disappearing" people who challenge his authority. cheated out of his money but more importantly a spot in the exclusive tower, cholo steals "dead reckoning," an armored vehicle armed with weapons that can destroy the tower. kaufman sends riley (simon baker) and a ragtag team of volunteers (including asia argento) to retrieve the vehicle. romero is unflinching in the gore department, and the movie is not intended for people not accustomed to zombie violence. that includes a lot of exploding zombie heads and the eating of flesh from said zombies. all in all, land of the dead is an okay movie, but there's a new generation of zombie films that do a better job with the material, the dawn of the dead remake and 28 days come to mind.
while we were leaving the theatre, dan and i saw joyce kulhawik (channel 4 entertainment reporter) leaving as well, just having seen the sneak preview screening of war of the worlds. i've seen her before around boston over the years, and the thing you don't realize is how small she is. she also had that presence of somebody who gets recognized a lot, smiling and making eye contact with everyone, while she slipped away in the back of a waiting taxicab. including elias, the three of us caught the red line while rob went home on the orange.