Guest Blogger!: Le0pard13!

Hey everyone! Another great guest post for you!

This time up, it’s Le0pard13 of “It Rains… You Get Wet”!

Le0pard runs a great series over at his blog where he recalls the first time he saw famous films, including what theatre he went to, and his initial impressions of the movie. I found these posts to be a fascinating read, and asked if he would mind sharing them here…

Lets take a look at a couple of my favorite flicks, as Le0pard takes us back to their theatrical runs!

BLADE RUNNER

This is an entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time series that was begun here. This one covers a sci-fi film, one that celebrates its three decade anniversary this year, and one that is praised almost universally now. However, it split many film critics and the director’s own fans from the moment of its theatrical release.

“Sushi. That’s what my ex-wife called me – cold fish.” ~ Rick Deckard’s orphaned quote from the theatrical cut of the film


Theatre

Hollywood Theatre

Movie

Time

June 25, 1982: Director Ridley Scott blew away so many with his exceptional sci-fi horror motion picture, Alien, back in 1979 (me included by way of my own experience with the film). So, there was no way my friends at work and I were going to missed his next feature. As well, its movie trailer had all of us film followers at the job more than intrigued. A half dozen of us planned to leave right after work that same Friday of Blade Runner‘s release. We picked the Hollywood Theatre because it was one of the few showing the picture in 70mm for all its wide screen beauty and high-tech sound, along with the fact that it was fairly close to work and not too distant from where we all lived at the time.

A few of us had seen some of the movie reviews offered by critics that day in local newspapers. Of the ones I read, all were bad. Sheila Benson, then working at the L.A. Times, called it “Blade Crawler“. I’ll never forget that review title. We arrived for the evening screening — somewhere between 5 and 6 PM. For a big movie release, the movie hall was surprisingly sparsely attended. I don’t think it was a third full for that showing. Afterwards, out of the six of us, four disliked the film — two of them put it the despised category. Another girl and I liked (not loved) its film noirish quality, but we both felt the trailer and the film’s promotion (along with our memories of Alien) set up an expectation this theatrical cut just couldn’t meet.

The many re-cut versions of Blade Runner would go on to resuscitate the film, but that took years. Ridley’s initial release of this film divided this faction of movie-goers… big time. As a group, we never went to another film together thereafter.

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PULP FICTION

“Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go home and have a heart attack.”


Theatre

The Marina Del Rey Six:


Movie

Time

October 22, 1994: a year before children would enter the life my wife and I had to that point, the film Pulp Fiction arrived. I’d read or seen a number of positive reviews for the film at the time of its release, in print and on television. My younger brother (who was nicknamed the ‘mountain lion’ by me because he’s rarely seen in this habitat, though we know he exists) was hanging out with us for a short period back then. On this Saturday, I asked him to join me on one more segue to another film in what is a long line of them. My wife did not enlist for this excursion as by this time, more than five years into our marriage, she knew all too well that my taste in cinema was not hers. What can I say? I married a smart woman. The old standby of the Marina Del Rey Six beckoned (the same place where I first saw Aliens).

A long time back, my brother and I would go to movies together as kids fairly regularly (you see, being a year and eight months older sometimes bought me chaperone duty from time-to-time). Still, it was great to come together for this as such ventures became a rare event for us once we reached our teens. As my mother’s only surviving sons, we weren’t raised like brothers — we were more or less brought up like cousins (since we were in two different households for a good part of our lives growing up). Still, going to a movie theater as we once had made for a distinctly pleasant memory. No surprise that this compact venue was crammed with movie-goers on the film’s second weekend of release. And we were lucky to get two seats by the aisle (somewhat in the middle) in the largest movie hall at this small multiplex.

Here’s the confession… I hated this film when I first saw it. A visceral dislike pretty much describes my reaction (my brother enjoyed it way better than I, btw). There, I said it. The fact that I did a complete 180° on this was in no small part that I couldn’t get the film out of my head for weeks afterwards. Finally, when the first VHS of the film hit the market almost a year later, I snapped it up and began the first of many re-screenings. Once, I even flowcharted its sequences to see how they worked in real-time (as opposed to its now famous non-linear structure). To me it’s still one of the best films of the 90s. Personal trivia: by the time we got to 00s, I once had to produce a small web tutorial on the Pico text editor at work. I used a portion of Pulp Fiction‘s own dialogue — some of the most quotable and profane interchanges around — to show the editor on the web page. Naturally, I had to clean it up a bit ;-). [recreated below]

The entire TMT series can be found here.

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I want to give a big thanks to Le0pard13 for allowing me to share these posts with you, and for all the support he’s given FMR. You can visit his blog – “It Rains… You Get Wet” here! I look forward to seeing lots of good stuff to come!

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22 thoughts on “Guest Blogger!: Le0pard13!

  1. Great stories. I remember when I saw Pulp Fiction in the theater. I was 14 and my older sister and her husband took me to it. None of us had any idea what we were in for. Such an awesome movie!

  2. Always a knack for remembering your cinematic experiences from 30 years ago. Always impressive, Michael! Interesting that you disliked Pulp Fiction so much initially but what I find out is that I highly warm up to highly memorable movies no matter what my initial reaction might be. So many flicks are instantly forgettable!

  3. Hey, thanks so much for the kind and generous invitation, Fogs. I never expected it go on as long as it has, but as long as the memories last I’ll keep shamelessly putting them up ;-).

    • Hey. It’s a good series. I really like it.

      Of course, some of that may be jealously of all the cool theatres LOL. Mine would equal the one cineplex in my town again and again and again and again. :D

      Glad you shared it with us!!

  4. This is fantastic. Being rather young, I always wonder what people thought of my personal favorites when they were released.

  5. Great stories! These films are real modern classics now and it’s great that you’ve got some memorable experiences of when they first entered your life. I’m wondering if I’ll look back on some great films I’ve seen in recent years with such great memories.

  6. Great post, Michael. I would have LOVED to have seen both of these in the theater, even Blade Runner’s theatrical cut. It’s always a blast to read your back stories on these trips to the cinema. :)

  7. Very cool–something I could actually relate to.

    I first saw Blade Runner in a theater in Prince George, British Columbia and was blown away by the conceptualization of a future that seemed very believable. I still like the film.

    Pulp Fiction I first saw in a multiplex theater in Santa Fe Springs, California and like you I disliked it intensely. But like many films of that nature I couldn’t stop thinking about it after I saw it so I went back a couple weeks later to see it again and this time appreciated it much more. Since then I’ve bought the video and DVD and have watched the film many times–something that I don’t often do. I also went back to the film that inspired Tarrantino’s film, Kiss Me Deadly, bought that DVD and watched that movie several times. I actually prefer Kiss Me Deadly now, but Pulp Fiction was a groundbreaking film.

    Lee
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

    • Hey, great to see you here, Arlee. I appreciate your thoughts on these films, my friend. Great point about ‘Kiss Me Deadly’. I picked the new Criterion Collection Blu-ray of that film earlier this year. Thanks so much for adding this.

  8. I always enjoy your TMT series Michael! I still remember Blade Runner but I have vague memories of Pulp Fiction. Again I’m always amazed how much you remembered how you felt when you saw it years ago. The only cinema experience that’s indelible in my mind is when I saw a double feature on New Year’s Eve w/ my mom & brother. The movies? Tango & Cash and Showdown in Little Tokyo! I think I’ve shared with you before my mom was very cool indeed :)

    • I always appreciate your kind words and encouragement, Ruth. And your mom is surely very cool, indeed (and I have those two films in my video collection ;-)). Thanks, my friend.

  9. Great blog. Two of my very favourite films. Blade Runner is timeless for me and one of my earliest memories in the power and magic of the movies. In Pulp Fiction, I’ll always remember the first time and the shock of te scenes of Travolta’s stepping out of the toilet to see Willis there or, of course, Zed and Marsellus.

    • Thank you very kindly, Mark. When my good blogging colleague asked to use some TMT posts, these (for similar reasons) came to mind. I’m very glad people enjoyed reading them.

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