Day 23: 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'

Raiders of the Lost Ark

I’m outside the Aero, two hours before the Indiana Jones trilogy begins. I’m typing from my black Toyota pick-up truck, which I bought from my friend John for two reasons. It looks a lot nicer than my previous ’86 truck which was tan beige, rusted and a gasket short of the vehicular afterlife. Second, my new truck reminds me of the cool 1985 Toyota Marty McFly pined to get back to in Back to the Future so he could take it and go camping with his girl Jennifer. Yes, I am actually that much of a movie dork.

Why so early tonight? I’m hoping once more to get the bulk of my post done on this So Cal afternoon (it’s a perfect 72 degrees out) so I can not only watch Raiders, but Temple of Doom, too. Last night, I thought about watching the midnight Reservoir Dogs after Ghostbusters (again, beyond awesome seeing a nearly sold-out crowd for an ’84 comedy). But my brain afterwards was being throbby – a sure sign that, Siale Falani Charles Frank Walton, you better start sleeping, too. So I slept eight hours, worked out this morning, ate a healthy lunch and I’m primed now for four hours of Indy, maybe an epilogue here and then sweet beddy bye time.

You might question whether Temple of Doom is worth the extra hours, but I’ll take this opportunity to request everyone go revisit the trilogy. Raiders is unquestionably the classic in the series (has Harrison Ford ever been more sublime? No), but for pure hard-core hijinx, you can’t top the giddy rollercoaster that comes with Doom’s super gross dinner sequence, those creepy crawlies in the cave, the villain attempting to pull hearts out, and for levity, Short-Round doing his “Dr. Jones!” thing all over the place. I much prefer it over the light-hearted knight in the cave in Last Crusade (really? he’s been sitting there how long?) and especially – ugh – Crusade’s Indy in a tie…I’ll even take the close encounter aliens of the last Indy over Denholm Elliot’s cutesy Brody on a horse.

Of course, a million Jones fans disagree, so feel free to comment with your reasoning below. One more thing on Memorial Day weekend…my buddy Nick sent me an article about movie stars who’ve served our country, among them Jimmy Stewart, Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood…and looking at Harrison Ford, too…I just hope actors in young Hollywood are taking note.

Something about what was in those stars’ characters shined through onscreen, and in my opinion, we don't get much of that now. I was once at a “True Blood” event with my friend Ryan where we talked to the real soldiers who took part as advisors on HBO’s “Generation Kill” (an excellent Iraq War mini-series starring “True Blood’s” Alexander Skarsgard). Anyways, even in Hollywood, there was a certain respect and acknowledgment that needed to be and was accorded these individuals - life's real heroes. Hopefully in the future, maybe we’ll see some of that in our lead actors.

Bring on the Indy...sold-out night at the Aero (marquee also seen in Donnie Darko)...

Turkish for "Have a Very Indy Day"...or something...


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Next Article by Chuck Walton

Day 22: 'Ghostbusters'

Day 22: 'Ghostbusters'