Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June 2011: A Memorable Movie Month

Thanks in large part to Turner Classic Movies, June has been a banner month for fantastic cinema around these parts!

It all started with TCM's "Toho Night," the kickoff to their Drive-in Double Feature programming. Buried way in the wee hours of Friday morning was "Valley of the Gwangi," which we recorded and watched a day or two later. This solidified Ray Harryhausen's standing in Andy's mind, having previously seen "Clash of the Titans," "Mighty Joe Young," and "Twenty Million Miles to Earth." One thing led to another--Amazon has a great deal on the Harryhausen collection pictured above--and it has been all about the stop motion (or should I say Dynamation) ever since. The book Andy is holding in the picture is a real treat, too (more like a treasure trove, in truth). Andy's favorite of the Blu-ray collection is probably "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad," which I greatly enjoy as well, but I would have to give the nod to "Twenty Million Miles to Earth," and of all the films that bear the Harryhausen stamp, my absolute favorite is "Mighty Joe Young." A long time ago, I drew a picture of MJY, sent it in to a Detroit-area "monster host" and it was shown on the air for a moment or two. But I digress...

Each Thursday night has been a little monster movie fest, an enjoyable return to the days of old when VCRs and DVRs could not help you view your creature feature of choice. We only "cheated" once, popping in our DVD of "Atragon" instead of "The Giant Claw" or some such thing. I'm very much looking forward to what, for us, will be the double bill of "The Blob" and "The H-Man" tomorrow night.

All of that would've been enough to make it a month for the record books, but then there was a true moviegoing experience to boot. We made it a point to see "The Lord of the Rings: Extended Editions" in the theater over a three week stretch. Each Tuesday night we went to a modern movie palace in Columbus, Ohio to see the trilogy in state-of-the-art picture and sound. These were very special evenings that I hope Andy recalls fondly for a long time. I have the blog to thank; without reading about this event there, we would likely have missed it altogether.

And, by the way, we saw "Kung Fu Panda 2" also, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that it is a visually breathtaking movie. It will make for a dazzling Blu-ray release. The movie earns extra cool points for getting Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) to voice the part of the Soothsayer.

June was an unforgettable movie month, where doors were opened to new worlds and old favorites were seen with new eyes. It's been quite a ride...and now we're only days away from the Pickwick and G-FEST!

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