martin scorsese's the departed wasn't as good as the reviews would lead you to believe. there is no denying the man is a filmmaking genius, but his recent works haven't been as good as his old stuff (case in point: gangs of new york, the aviator). like the prestige, the departed is the story of two men who are in direct conflict with one another. matt damon is the ambitious detective with the spotless record who advances through the rakes despite being a mole for local mob boss played by jack nicholson. leonardo dicaprio is a police officer with a family history of crime that he becomes the natural candidate to become a deep undercover agent for the department, a mole in the crimeworld. also like the the prestige, somewhere in there is a love triangle involving a police psychiatrist who hooks up with both damon and dicaprio; however, the real triangle is the one the two men form with nicholson. let me go on record and say that i hate jack nicholson. in all his movies he's essentially playing himself, and the weight of his stardom is so great that the gravity disrupts the fabric of cinematic spacetime and ruins any scenes where he appears. the departed is a remake of a hong kong crime drama from a few years back, infernal affairs, and even though i haven't seen the original, i still couldn't help trying to figure out what was borrowed and what was newly invented (hong kong movies have a propensity for being overly melodramatic). the movie takes place in boston so naturally characters have boston accents. normally in movies actors butcher this local style of speech, but this one was better than most, although sometimes during long dialogues characters would lose the accent. damon didn't have any problems being a cambridge native; southie native mark walhberg has a part in the movie as well, as a scene stealing detective who curses his way through the film. alec baldwin has a supporting role too, and fans of his recent resurrence will not be disappointed by his performance (catch more baldwin action on 30 rock, one of my new favorite shows). in conclusion, given the choice, i'd recommend seeing the prestige instead of the departed; it's an okay movie, but not really a must-see.
after i got back from seeing the movie in harvard square it was already in the late afternoon. close to my house a man with a clipboard stopped me on the street. "i'm trying to raise money for children with AIDS in africa," he told me. "sorry, i can't give you any money," i told him, "i'm currently unemployed." with that he stopped talking, put a sympathetic hand on my shoulder, and walked away.
yesterday i ordered another external hard drive and today i bought some printer inks online. a few hours of television (mostly the food network) and the sky went dark. snacking on junk food i lost my appetite and didn't eat dinner (in the form of a can of clam chowder) until much later in the evening.