rainy days are good for going to the movies. i walked to harvard square to go see the afternoon matinee of a history of violence (sorry dan! i just couldn't wait). the theatre was crowded (a lot of people had the same idea i had), but i think i was the only one by myself.
viggo mortensen plays a family man (tom stall) living in a small town who one day guns down 2 hoodlums trying to rob his diner in a feat of heroic gunsmanship. he becomes a local celebrity, but attracts the attention of mobsters who think he's a former wanted killer. spoilers alert! one could argue that the movie could've ended when tom confronts the mobsters in a showdown at his house. he ends up single-handedly killing everyone except for the boss, and at the moment before tom's about to be executed, his son shoots the bad guy dead with a shotgun. that would've been a good story, although a little short. the movie then drags on for a final third. his family, instead of being supportive of the father/husband who rescued them, resents him instead. his loving wife (played by a nonshy maria bello) understandingly feels betrayed, and his son is angry about the hypocrisy that its okay for his father to resort to violence but it's not okay when he violently defends himself against 80's style school bullies. finally in the end tom returns to philadelphia where he confronts the kingpin who's also his brother and kills everyone. instead of focusing more on how violence affects his family, we suddenly follow tom on his field trip to tie up some loose ends. although i liked the movie very much, the final third left me a bit unsatisfied. the movie is played so lowkeyed that when the bits of violence actually occurs, they seem to be that much more horrible. it helps when the director is david cronenberg, and the injuries are graphically gruesome, like a nose punched into the brain cavity or a face shot off by a bullet.
back at home i finished watching crash, the movie oprah was raving about on her show as a must-see must-rent must-buy. was it really that good? even i was a little bit teary-eyed during the film. it's pretty amazing. if somebody was to tell you to go watch a movie about race relations in america, you'd probably turn away (i know i would). but crash is one of those movies where at first you don't know what's going on, so many concurrent storylines, but slowly things start to come together, and in the end you leave slightly changed after watching the film. it's a great movie to see with other people, there are so many things to talk about. the message i took away from the movie is despite our differences, we're all still human beings, capable of inflicting great hurt yet also performing acts of heroism. and what is a racist? or are we all racists?
in the evening my parents came to pick me up for dinner. afterwards i drove the camry back to cambridge so i could use it tomorrow morning (it took me 5 minutes to parallel park that car). i dusted the house with one of those swifter mops, did some abs exercises (just one of the many things on my list of things that needs improving), then took another bath. it was great, i had the window open so there was this cold breeze mixed with some rain, all the while i was submerged in this scaldingly hot water. i finished out the evening with some saturday night live, listening to the sounds of the rain beating against the air conditioner (which i'll take down someday soon).