Readers of this blog know that we were looking forward to Thursday's double-double feature for more reasons than one. A family emergency prevented us from enjoying G-FEST XV's double-double, which was to include Destroy All Monsters, one of our very favorite films. The 1:30 p.m. start time suits the sleeping patterns of a seven-year-old (and parents) much better than 10:30 p.m. showings do. But most of all, things were getting started with Son of Godzilla and Godzilla vs. Mothra, two movies that are on Andy's short list of classics.
We were a bit dismayed when we arrived in Park Ridge and discovered that G-FEST was coinciding with "Taste of Park Ridge," a street food festival and sidewalk sale. Parking is always at a premium in that vicinity, and we feared it would be harder than ever to find a spot. Fortunately, we have discovered enough lots through two years of trial and error, and never had to waste much time trolling back and forth for parking. It helps if you don't mind walking a few blocks, either.
The stately Pickwick Theater in Park Ridge, Illinois
We were back in our seats for the 7:30 showing of Godzilla 2000. What an enjoyable experience! The occasionally dopey and nonsensensical dubbing only adds to the fun of seeing this film with a theater-full of true-blue Godzilla fans. There was lots of applause and just as much laughter at the expense of the brazen character Katagiri, who in the end, stares down Godzilla with a cigarette dangling from his lips! In my opinion, the G2K suit is really cool and very fierce-looking. It is an update, to be sure, but one in keeping with the Godzilla character. Seeing G2K on the big screen reinforced for me that there is no substitute for seeing a Godzilla movie this way. TV and home theatres are great, but there is something fundamentally right about viewing these films in their intended setting.
Because the hour was drawing late (and eyelids were growing droopy), we only made it through the opening sequence of Godzilla vs. Megaguirus before heading back to the Rosemont Hotel. I love the score to this film and the Godzilla theme which it develops, and we heard just enough. We wanted to be sharp for the next day's activities--and I wanted to get my hands on the convention program book to chart our course for the next several days. Little did I know the great surprises that were in store for us!