Friday, March 18, 2011

Top 40 Movies Filmed in Chicago


40. The Hunter (1980) Steve McQueen’s last film is a sad mess, but the spectacular chase scene, including a car driving off Marina Towers, stands the test of time.

39. The Fury (1978) A true guilty pleasure, as kids with occult powers go to a special Lincoln Park school and fight off a government plot.

38. Cooley High (1975) A rollicking African American version of American Graffiti, loosely based on the high school, Cooley Vocational, that served the Cabrini-Green projects.

37. My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997) This romantic comedy, with Julia Roberts pursuing love at a White Sox game and on the North Shore, hits all the bases.

36. Continental Divide (1981) The Roykoesque reporter John Belushi brushes too close to corruption and bolts town, so only half the movie is set in Chicago, but that includes great shots of the since-demolished Sun-Times newsroom.

35. Candyman (1992) Just when you thought gentrification was bad: This slasher movie tracks an urban legend through the UIC campus and various local public housing projects.

34. Sixteen Candles (1984) John Hughes’s first movie about middle-class high-school kids remains one of his best and launched Molly Ringwald to teen stardom.

33. The Untouchables (1987) Prohibition, gangsters, crimebusters, and the city itself never looked more smashing than in this Brian De Palma epic.

32. When Harry Met Sally (1989) Their episodic journey begins in Hyde Park, then takes a wrong turn on Lake Shore Drive on the way to romance and NYC.

31. Backdraft (1991) Dazzling special effects and a small role by Robert De Niro spark the plot about two antagonistic firefighter brothers and a serial arsonist.

30. Mercury Rising (1998) Dark, shadowy action thriller shows impressive murk and suspense as Bruce Willis protects an autistic kid who can decipher government codes.

29. Only the Lonely (1991) It’s the best movie ever made by John Candy, who plays a cop forced to choose between his mother and his girlfriend. Plus, great shots of Wrigleyville.

28. While You Were Sleeping (1995) This little sleeper of a romantic comedy enshrined Sandra Bullock, playing a lovelorn CTA fare-taker, as the adorable girl next door.

27. North by Northwest (1959) Hitchcock’s masterpiece thriller has Cary Grant running for his life, including pivotal scenes at the LaSalle Street Station and the Ambassador East hotel.

26. Nothing in Common (1986) Garry Marshall’s comedy about an estranged father and son made Tom Hanks a star and showcased Jackie Gleason’s final performance.

25. Soul Food (1997) This enjoyable portrait of a matriarchal-centered middle-class African American family on the South Side was a long time coming.

24. About Last Night (1986) Underrated romantic drama based on a David Mamet play has racy bedroom scenes between Demi Moore and Rob Lowe and a star turn by Jim Belushi.
23. Home Alone (1990) If you can’t laugh at this family classic in which a left-behind kid outsmarts bungling burglars, you need an antidepressant.

22. Ordinary People (1980) Cosseted life in Lake Forest—representing the American norm of happiness—can’t prevent a tragedy and the subsequent unraveling of a family. This gloomfest, directed by Robert Redford, is the only movie on our list to win a Best Picture Oscar.

21. His New Job (1915) Made when Chicago was a film capital, before the weather drove the biz to California, the silent short stars Charlie Chaplin as a handyman who is pressed into acting.

20. Primal Fear (1996) Someone has killed Chicago’s archbishop: Richard Gere defends Edward Norton, taking his first major movie role, in this suspenseful and, at times, tricky drama.

19. Thief (1981) The director Michael Mann’s debut film is an atmospheric heist, including scenes at the Green Mill and a first big-screen appearance by Jim Belushi.

18. Road to Perdition (2002) Visually stunning pictures tell the story of 1930s Chicago gangsters, with bleak weather mirroring the characters’ hearts.

17. Stir of Echoes (1999) Not even six degrees separate Kevin Bacon from the intense paranormal creepiness in his seemingly normal working-class neighborhood.

16. I Am Trying to Break Your Heart (2002) Not great storytelling, but the grainy band-at-work documentary follows Wilco through the recording of their pivotal album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

15. Public Enemies (2009) Michael Mann’s expert use of 1930s locations captures the tarnished-gilt spirit of the Depression, while Johnny Depp humanizes Dillinger.

14. The Company (2003) Brilliantly unexpected direction by Robert Altman makes this ensemble movie about the Joffrey Ballet feel like a documentary.

13. The Fugitive (1993) One of the top catch-him-if-you-can films, with the falsely accused Harrison Ford being chased all over Chicago—including through Cook County Hospital and a St. Patrick’s Day parade.

12. Dislocation (2005) Gritty documentary follows three local families during the demolition of their public housing project and their move to a strange new world.

11. The Blues Brothers (1980) Their kind of town: The homeboy John Belushi, along with Dan Aykroyd, established Chicago as a raucously blues-singing, car-crashing, soul-swinging place.

10. Barbershop (2002) What we talk about when we talk about life: An ensemble cast offers a window into African American culture via a South Side institution.

9. The Color of Money (1986) Martin Scorsese casts the city’s West and South Side neighborhoods as supporting characters in a saga about a cagey, aging pool hustler (Paul Newman) and his protégé (Tom Cruise).

8. The Dark Knight (2008) Holy cityscape! A spectacular last performance by Heath Ledger; plus 34 city locations, including the legendary bar Twin Anchors, are cast as Batman’s Gotham City.

7. Risky Business (1983) What happens when the Home Alone-type kid grows up to be enterprising teenager Tom Cruise, including a sparky sex scene on the el.

6. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) John Hughes wrote and directed a classic love letter to Chicago and to the kid in all of us who just wants some time to goof off.

5. Medium Cool (1969) Melding cinéma vérité and fiction, the director Haskell Wexler captured the explosive mood of the summer of 1968, including footage of the Democratic convention riots.

4. Call Northside 777 (1948) The first major Hollywood movie shot in Chicago, this film-noirish classic stars James Stewart as a skeptical reporter who ends up establishing the innocence of a wrongly convicted murderer.

3. Mickey One (1965) French New Wave meets Nelson Algren when Warren Beatty and the director Arthur Penn, pre-Bonnie and Clyde, team up for a paranoid-man-on-the-run tale.

2. Hoop Dreams (1994) Amazing documentary gives an intimate four-year look at two Chicago inner-city high-school athletes, their dreams, and those who exploit them.

1. High Fidelity (2000) The British writer Nick Hornby’s novel was re-homed here, where the audiophile John Cusack goes on a quest to understand women. Does the music make this man or keep him from growing up? It’s a rich, textured movie that—like your favorite LP—only gets better with time. It defines Chicago as a city of doers, dreamers, and slackers—a real place for real lives.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Add Your Favourite Film Pics to ReelStreets

It's called 'interactive third party access and information' in the business. The action and reaction between you, us, the film and the public.

John Owens has adopted and just loaded The 51st State, a film made mainly in Liverpool. He has done all the work, pulled the stills, found the locations, taken the photographs and loaded everything up on site, and, because of his interest in this particular film, as it reflects his city, he will be interested in receiving your views, comments, criticisms, objections and anecdotes.

Really serious fans can start their own threads on the various social network pages, and the specific film-related pages of at least a dozen sites. Who knows, they might even start tours of the locations, offering to share their knowlege with other enthusiasts, a friendly walkabout. We did one for Sammy Lee, and it is amazing what several pairs of eyes see, and what several brains remember. It is called Film Induced Tourism, is great fun and very rewarding.

So, your favourite film, your town, village, street, city locations, join in the fun and enthusiasm, and in a couple of weeks there will be a bit of sunshine for you to get out and about.

Remember, any film, anywhere and any date, and if you tell the publicity department, the director and the distributor of the film what you are doing, they may well send you some publicity background information and location stills for adding to the site. You, and we, are doing them a favour by promoting interest in their films. Try them, it will work.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

George Clooney and Italian Murder Mystery

With a villa on Lake Como and a former Italian showgirl as a girlfriend, it can be safely assumed that George Clooney has a soft spot for Italy. Now, with a new movie deal on the table, he’ll get to spend more time in the country, filming The Monster of Florence on location, and when we find out which specific locations are being used they will appear on the reelstreets site.
He, Clooney, not the Monster, has already made one film in Italy, The American, last year.
Clooney has agreed to bring a famous Italian murder mystery to the big screen. The Monster of Florence is based on a book that recounts the true story of 8 couples who were found murdered around Florence between 1968 and 1985.
George has not yet agreed to appear in the Cinema of Darkness, another tale about serial murders, this time set on location in Hammersmith and featured on the reelstreets site.

Clooney will play Douglas Preston, author of the original about the mysterious killings who moved to Italy to investigate the murders and teamed up with Mario Spezi, an Italian crime journalist, and whilst they were trying to find the real "Il Mostro," they found themselves accused of crimes by Florence police and were briefly jailed for obstructing justice.
The screenplay is still being adapted, as is that for Cinema of Darkness, which means Clooney still has time to make his decisions before he has to report to Florence for filming this autumn.
Christopher McQuarrie and Nathan Alexander, who wrote the screenplay for the 2008 World War II thriller Valkyrie about a plot to assassinate Hitler, will write the screenplay for the "Monster" film and may yet be persuaded to pick up on the "Cinema" story
US star Tom Cruise was previously attached to the film after securing the screen rights in August 2008, not long after Preston and Spezi's book was published.
..........and finally Johnny Depp has also recentlybought a property in Italy. So, be quick, while stocks last.


Boston Movies

Did you know that Boston is the home of over 400 movies and TV shows?

From recent blockbusters such as Mystic River and Good Will Hunting to classics such as The Verdict and Thomas Crown Affair, Boston has long been a favorite of Hollywood producers. And let’s not forget the TV magic of Cheers, Ally McBeal, The Practice and many more

Boston Movie Tours