I'm at Austin International Airport waiting for a flight home to Denver. The last time I went to bed was over 32 hours ago. I just spent 10 hours in a movie theater. As soon as I land in Colorado, I'm headed straight back into a movie theater for 2.5 more hours. I feel great.
Seriously, as sick as that sounds, I do feel incredibly good. Sure, my body and mind are about to collapse, but I am thoroughly inspired by the once-in-a-lifetime (as long as it doesn't incur the end of my lifetime – physically, I'm a little shaky), cinematic experiences I've endured and am yet to endure on this last stretch.
Total movies seen in Austin in theaters in less than 2 days: 6. The last four were part of the Alamo Drafthouse's incredible , 2nd ever "cinepocalypse." The first was a premiere screening of Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, but in my way of thinking, the second was even more challenging and rewarding – a quadruple feature of movies starring The Expendables – Sylvester Stallone's Demolition Man (Sandra Bullock in her first eye-catching role), Dolph Lundgren's I Come in Peace (absolutely hysterical with a full crowd), Bruce Willis' Die Hard (classic, obviously) and an early screening of the entire gang, plus more manly heroes in The Expendables.
The cool thing about seeing all these movies at the Drafthouse…well, there are actually several cool things…for one, the sold-out crowd could not have been more rabid or dedicated to the cause. Everyone was in for this thing from start to finish. I would say the number of patrons who left early was less than ten. Second, Zack, the host and programmer and in-between-movie house entertainment, had all sorts of fun stuff going on for the fans. Besides showing cool clips like an Ah-nuld highlight reel and Dolph Lundgren's guide to maximum pumpitude, Zack also tossed out Taco Bell tacos to the crowd (a tribute to Demolition Man's lone eatery of the future), led chants of "Yippie Kay Yay M***** F*****," had audience members walk barefoot on glass like Bruce Willis, and even passed along a gift from Sly Stallone of free popcorn for everyone before The Expendables.
Over the course of the night, too, there was plenty of time to indulge on plenty of other Drafthouse eats, including those big fish tacos, hot chocolate chip cookies, the $5 milkshake (thanks Quentin), some diet cokes (to be semi-healthy, right?), a Shiner Bock and one 7-hour energy shot. I'm feeling totally wired, drained and exhausted at the same time now, but all of that extra fun plus the adrenaline onscreen was truly like nothing I've experienced before, and given the health factors involved, something I'll likely never experience quite the same way again.
The official review to come from all of this for Day 93 is for I Come in Peace, which, again, is hilarious to watch with a full crowd. Actually, so is Demolition Man, which has higher production values, but also some funny early appearances from a fresh-faced Benjamin Bratt, Rob Schneider (with a cleaner haircut) and Denis Leary fresh off his MTV spots. Toss in a classic screening of Die Hard and a capper of Expendables and you truly have a night and next morning to remember.
A note on The Expendables - I'm going to save that homage to '80s action stars for my final and last 100 Days screening and post. Don't worry, I won't be cheating. I'll be seeing it again on that day…and really, given the state I saw it in this time at the end of the quadruple feature, I'm positive the next time will be a whole new experience. One thing, I will say, though, is that if you love these men of action (key word being "men" as opposed to the sad current leading "boys" in the younger generation), you absolutely must see The Expendables when it opens next week. Let the call to action be heard loud and clear. It's time to kick some cinema in the ass.
Fans of the men of Expendables, let's hear your absolute, all-time best movie from this group of warriors. Who holds the crown, and in which film? I'll lay down the gauntlet first. He may be just a cameo in the new movie, but Arnold Schwarzenegger in the first Terminator is absolutely hardcore and can not be taken down. Now, what sayeth you?