This post is the first in a series for the League of Extraordinary Bloggers, a cross-site initiative to discuss a variety of geek topics. The League was founded by Brian Adams of Cool and Collected.
When Brian sent the assignment, I knew this was going to be a tough one. His question?
What movie is, or was, your “go to” Saturday matinee — the comfort movie you always popped into the VCR on a rainy Saturday afternoon, the movie you watched over and over again, driving your parents crazy while you recited the lines along with the characters on the screen?
That’s a pretty tall order, given that my entire childhood was filled with movies. Since I received the email, I’ve been rolling this question around in my mind. So many movies popped into my head. Would I go with Annie, whose villain, Mrs. Hannigan, I loved to laugh at? Would I choose The Wizard of Oz, whose lines I can recite from beginning to end, especially the Munchkinland sequence? Or would it be The Princess Bride? The Goonies? Star Wars? Perhaps even a newer film, like Ghost World or JJ Abrams’ Star Trek, which is playing in the background as we speak, or a Tarantino flick like Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction, or Death Proof. But that’s not what the assignment is. This is about something classic, something that even as an adult, takes me back to the days of adventures in the basement and on the swingset. Only one name came to mind–Indiana Jones.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was the first Indy flick I saw. Being an only child, I got to go to the movies with my parents fairly often, and even the PG-13 rating didn’t keep me from meeting what would become my crush and my hero. I loved every moment of this movie, from Willie’s sequined red dress and Indy’s tux to Short Round and the Temple itself. Indiana Jones was exciting, much like that scoundrel Han Solo I’d grown so fond of on those laserdiscs my parents rented. On the ride home from the theatre, I pretended to be Willie, speeding through the Shanghai streets. When my mom put me to bed, I hopped up and fumbled around in my Temple of Doom (which doubled as my closet by day). Eventually, I got bored of being Willie, and I became a whole new character, Indy’s female equal, who loved adventure as much as he did. (At that point, I still hadn’t seen Raiders of the Lost Ark, so I didn’t know about Marion.) My adventures usually involved hunting for jewels (that I bought at the craft store with my allowance), or sleeping in the sheet tent I built beside my bed.
Eventually, I got too old for pretending (at least the kind where I slept in sheet tents), and my adventures with Indy ended. That didn’t mean my love affair did, though. Every time Indy graces the small screen, I feel compelled to watch it. And even though I’ve seen all four films, and I’ve been told that Raiders should be my favorite, Temple of Doom remains the best of the Indy franchise in my mind. Call it nostalgia, call it whatever you like, I will always argue with you that it’s superior in every way.
As I said at the beginning, it was not easy to pick just one film. But if I think back to films that made me appreciate what I do today, Temple of Doom fills the bill perfectly. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go dust my Kenner Indy doll.
Here are a few other League entries–check them out for some great reading!
- Poison Ivy
- Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Superman II
- Spiderman TV series
- Fright Night
- Yellow Submarine
- The Final Countdown
- Pee Wee’s Big Adventure
- Red Dawn
- Point Break
- Back to the Future
- Back to the Future
- Weird Science
- Star Wars
- Big Trouble in Little China, Transformers: The Movie, and Flash Gordon
- Buckaroo Banzai