Saturday, April 2, 2011

Windwalker (1981), The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981) and movies with my dad

I always remember the movies I saw with my parents at the theater, because there weren't many of them. Our local venue, The Mission Twins Theater, wasn't very adult-friendly. It was more of a weekend draw for kids. 
My dad has always liked Westerns, though, and since so few were produced in the 80s, it was a safe bet we’d catch Windwalker (1981)—one of the first movies we saw at The Mission. 
I don’t remember much about it, except that Dad wore a Native American headdress, and claimed that eating a hotdog from the concession stand was "the ideal way to devour the hearts of many enemies in one fell swoop.”
Maybe I dreamed this. Because the movie was deathly slow and subtitled, and I'm pretty sure I fell asleep. (They could've titled it Dances With Sheep.)

What it needed was lasers. But this would've kept my dad away. He's never liked Sci-Fi.

Around this same time, we saw The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981). I must’ve liked that one, because The Lone Ranger was my Halloween costume that year. (Dad could've made a great Tonto.)
Looking back, neither Windwalker nor The Legend of the Lone Ranger were all that great. But it was fun going with my dad. And these two dusty, “brown” movies complemented the theater's  Spanish architecture well, burning a solid first impression in my mind. I'd soon be haunting the place every week. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) would really seal the deal.
Fast-forward to today. Though seeing a theatrical release with my dad while growing up was rare, we’ve made up for it in the years since I’ve been out of the house.
In fact, when my folks came for a visit last year, Dad and I accomplished a feat we’d never attempted together:  two movies in one day. And a third before the weekend was done. 
In summary, we both liked Get Low (2010).

Dad liked Secretariat (2010) a bit more than me.

And I thought Wall Street:  Money Never Sleeps (2010) delivered higher returns than he did.

Surprisingly, we weren’t skunked by any of them. 
Unlike Congo (1995), which bored us both equally and mercilessly.
Over the years, we’ve made the effort to take in quite a few movies together. I remember both of us enjoying The Rainmaker (1997). I particularly remember arriving at the theater early, and talking about the better John Grisham novels.

We also enjoyed tracking down the last theater in Dallas that was still showing Gladiator (2000), because we both really wanted to see it.

And even Congo was memorable in a "misery loves company" way.
I look forward to many more movies with my dad. Maybe Cowboys & Aliens this summer. 

No, a Sci-Fi/Western would completely defeat him. I'll let him pick.

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