On the Silver Screen: Big Trouble In Little China

I don’t actually remember the first time I saw Big Trouble in Little China. But here’s my first memory of the movie. I remember working at Blockbuster while I was in high school in the 90s. Every month we’d get two VHS tapes delivered to the store to be played over the TVs hanging from the ceiling. These VCR tapes were a combination of promos, music videos, and movie clips. One month, one of the clips was from Big Trouble in Little China, when Jack confronts Lo Pan and throws the knife. It ends with his “Oh, shit, I missed” expression.

I don’t actually remembered if I rented the movie or not. As an employee, I got to rent any five movies a week I wanted (unless it was a new release, in which case I had to wait a month). I do remember that I bought a copy of the DVD when it was first released. It was one of those big case DVDs, back when releases with a “special edition” disc had cases twice as thick as single disc releases. In any case, they gave me a double “special edition” disc, so, yeah.

I bought it the day I moved to Cockeysville. I’d been living in Towson for two years, and I loved the apartment, but I was really not feeling life with a roommate. An apartment a few extra miles from school, where I’d live all by myself (erm, and with my cats). I was working delivery pizzas at that time, and I had the keys to the new place, so I dropped the DVD off the night before I moved in. The next day, the Comcast guy was telling me about when some rich guy had ran into him on his BMW (Comcast guy had been on a motorcycle) and paid him like $100 grand not to tell the cops. Er. And you’re still installing cable? Why are you telling me this?

Anyway, my first full night in the apartment, I hooked my DVD player up to this crappy analog TV, and I think I had to route it through the VCR. My previous roommate had gotten the nice new color TV he’d bought when we’d moved in together, and the next afternoon, I’d buy a new TV for myself, but for this first night, it was on a crappy TV that I watched the movie in its entirety for the first time (that I could remember, anyway). And I was eating General Tso’s chicken.

Two years later, when I moved to a larger apartment, I did the same thing: General Tso’s chicken and BTiLC. I’d gotten the keys late in the afternoon and literally the only things I’d moved were a chair, a table, the TV stand, and the TV. And all of my dishes, because this new place had a dishwasher. I lived there for five years, and then I moved to DC (and that move was almost four years ago).

That night — er, the move to the larger place, not to DC — was the last time I made my “first night movie tradition”, largely because the move to DC was so arduous and long, I just didn’t have the opportunity to watch the film. Also, I hadn’t discovered Meiwah yet, and every Chinese place in DC I’d tried had given me massive stomach evacuation issues. As in my stomach would say “Hey, in five seconds, we’re doing an emergency dump. Highly suggest you find a toilet and rip off your pants.” I seriously almost had a major fucking accident on the Metro one March 2008 Saturday.

But the station manager at Grosvenor was kind of enough to let me into the men’s room, which I promptly DESTROYED.

Seriously – was bad.

(You’re welcome).

Anyway. The entire point of this post is that Washington, DC’s E Street Cinema is screening Big Trouble in Little China as part of their Midnight Madness series the weekend of April 6th & 7th, with midnight shows Friday and Saturday. And word is it’ll actually be a 35mm print (and not a Blu Ray).

I know where I’ll be that Friday night, anyway.