Sunday, August 26, 2007

We named the DOG Indiana!

Movie history-- major or minor, depending on how it rolls-- was made tonight at the Baxter Avenue Theater in Louisville. As part of their midnight movie "Splosion' Summer Spectacular," Baxter became the last theater to show any part of the Indiana Jones trilogy until the studio lifts the moratorium after they release Indiana Jones IV. And rumor has it, the studio is planning to destroy all film versions of the trilogy and switch them over to digital. So, Baxter may have hosted the last showing of an Indiana Jones movie on 35mm film.

What Gen-Xer didn't, at some point, want to be Indiana Jones? I, personally, went so far as spending a semester and a half as an anthropology major in college until I realized that I don't have a head for memorization. I had a high school friend who wore an Indy hat outside of school and a college friend who'd mastered the bull-whip in his spare time. For my generation the sight of snakes prompts a silent mutter of "Snakes? I hate snakes," and not "I've had it with these *&%&*( snakes on this ! (*&^% plane."

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade has held up incredibly well over the past 18 years (Lordy, makes me feel so old). It's funny and charming and exciting. Over time, I've forgotten the melodrama/farce element of the series. It's sad to see the earnest, puupy-haired, young River Phoenix as the teenaged Indy; you can't help but wonder what would have become of him (I like to think more Ethan Hawke than Keanu Reeves). Sean Connery is in his crotchety-old-man-that-I'd-still-do glory. And Harrison Ford makes it incredibly easy to forget how odd he's become in the past 18 years.

And who doesn't like a good midnight movie on a Saturday night? The director of the midnight movie series (I actually don't know who the heck he was, some well-dressed young guy who addressed the crowd before the movie) announced the line-up for fall and winter, and there will be many more midnight movies in my future. Stupidly, I didn't take out a pen and jot them down, but here's what I can remember.

Next midnight movie is on 9-15 and it's Team America, which I have yet to see. In October, for one month only, Baxter will be running a midnight movie every Saturday night-- a horror through the decades series. Creature from the Black Lagoon (50's), The Birds (60's), and Evil Dead 2 (80's-- sorry I forget what 70's was), which will be preceded by a costume contest which has a super cool prize: the chance to choose a midnight movie to be shown in February. Unfortunately, my choice would be Harold and Maud and they showed that last year (and I missed it!!), but I think, off-hand, my back-up might be Jaws.

Other movies on the horizon: A double feature of The Dark Crystal and The Labryinth (I'm SO there!). A Hard Day's Night and Stop Making Sense. Moulin Rouge just before Valentine's Day. Donnie Darko right before New Year's. Enter the Dragon, the last film Bruce Lee made before he died (unfortunately, not the one that featured Kareem Abdul Jabaar-- I'd love to see that fight scene on the big screen). I know there were more, but that's all I can remember. All good stuff, there wasn't a stinker in the lot.
On a side note, I racked up two movies at Baxter today. Last Crusade at midnight and Once as a matinee. This movie musical, which was released in a limited run and won the audience prize at Sundance way back in the spring, has finally made it to my neck of the woods and it floored me. Best movie I've seen in a long time. The only movie I've ever seen where I left the theater and walked straight to a record store to buy the soundtrack (Ear X-tacy, by the way, has both the soundtrack and the newest record by the lead actor's band, the Frames, on sale right now. I bought them both and went home and listened to them both. I feel like a 13 year old having seen High School Musical for the first time-- which I haven't seen.). Ah, I remember Glen Hansard when he was Outspan "Fender Bender" Foster in The Commitments, back in 1991, which is still my favorite movie about music, even though I thought Once was BRILLIANT! The Courier-Journal gave the film a rare 4-star rating, and today's 3:20pm matinee was packed! The buzz, albeit three months or so late, has finally hit Loueyville.

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