For, May 30, 2014

OK, you've had plenty of chances over the past couple of years but if you still haven't seen "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981, PG) on the big screen, here's yet another opportunity.

Steven Spielberg's wonderfully engaging homage to big-screen cliffhangers of old is by turns hilarious, thrilling and action-packed.

And it never lets up, starting with it's famous opening set piece as adventurer Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) in a South American jungle fends off bad guys, tarantulas, booby traps and a giant bolder before being chased to an awaiting pontoon plane that flies him to safety. Despite the snake in his seat. "I hate snakes!"

Some movies just seem to become instant classics, and so it was with this one, which played in Salt Lake City for over a year at the Villa Theater, back when it was the city's go-to movie house, with its massive, curved, Cinerama screen, covered by curtains until the film started. And this is also one of those movies that you can see again and again and it never gets old.

Yes, there have been sequels. Perhaps too many. But "Raiders" is the pinnacle of serial-style adventure movies and represents Spielberg's directing talent at its strongest.


Indy's confrontations with Nazis, his reunion with Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), his discovery of the tomb that contains the Ark of the Covenant right under the nose of his enemies, more harrowing escapes than you can shake a stick at. … And don't forget the poisoned dates. And the melting faces. And. …

You get the idea.

Yes we all know this film by heart, backwards and forwards. But seeing on the big screen is a real treat. You'll notice things you haven't before. No distractions. An appreciative audience that is as into the movie as you are. The smell of popcorn in the air.

You'll be glad you went.

"Raiders of the Lost Ark" is playing at several local Cinemark theaters on Sunday (June 1) at 2 p.m. and on Wednesday (June 4) at 2 and 7 p.m.