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Sure, it’s a desperately corny throwback, but there are other reasons to love it, too!

4 June 2008

So last night my flatmates, a few friends, and I went to see the highlight of my movie-watching year, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. And I have to tell you — it was AMAZING.

Now I know that there are some of you out there who just read that line and started yelling at your screen, “What the …? Were you even watching the same movie I was? Didn’t you see…? And then there was the…? And what the heck was up with those…? I, I just don’t even know if I can look at you right now.” (What was that? You don’t yell at your computer? Um, yeah, I don’t either…)

Okay, okay, give me a minute to respond. I hear you, and I do understand how you feel; after all, George Lucas has let me down in the past also, and it still stings just a weensy bit. And yes, you may have seen Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, BUT you have not seen Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in India.

In India, going to a movie, any movie, is an event. We went to the movie on a Tuesday night but had to buy the tickets on the Monday morning; if we had decided to just show up at the theater to get tickets same day, we would have been out of luck. Plus we would have never gotten seats together. That’s right, you are assigned seats in the theater — no need to line up hours ahead of time; as long as you’ve bought your tickets ahead, you have your seat. Amy booked us all seats in the front row of the balcony (yes, balcony), right in the middle. The theater was huge, and every seat was filled. There were groups of teenagers and families with three generations; most were dressed casual, but then there were the little girls in the frilly dresses and the women in their colorful saris. Going to see a movie is not just a way to fill the time — it is so clearly an event, no matter which day of the week you go.

Then the movie started. The tell-tale fedora rolls across the screen, a hand reaches out for it, and, as Indiana Jones straightens into view, the crowd goes wild. Clapping and cheering, little yeah!s from the frilly girls. Okay, sure, this might have happened in your theater, too. But did it continue? Did your audience cheer for the picture of Sean Connery on Indy’s desk?

And what about the jokes? Did people laugh where you were sitting or could you not hear it over the eye-rolls? In Chennai, India, even little jokes would get uproarious laughs, and I couldn’t help but laugh with them. The excitement was contagious, and, as a bit of my western cynicism melted away, I felt like a little kid experiencing the wonder of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark for the first time.

Cheesy? Yeah, I guess so, but boy, did I have fun!

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After this experience, I can’t wait for the rest of the summer blockbusters to make it to Chennai. I’ve been told it might take a while since cultural sensibilities often require some editing for content and language. However, a few pre-release photos have been leaked around here, so here are some stills from the three movies I’m most excited about seeing over the next few months:

Carrie and Mr. Big enjoy a weekend in the Hamptons

I Want to Believe **Spoiler Alert**
The X-Files: I Want to Believe
**Spoiler Alert**
The Monster of the Week is revealed as a deranged cousin
of Wizzo the Wizard from The Bozo Show.

Batman sports some new gadgets and new fashions this year

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