This week’s news segment is a special Summer Movie Extravaganza! We have been seeing a ton of hoopla about this year’s summer blockbusters and we did not want to be outdone so we are jumping on the bandwagon!
Here is our list of summer movies but not just any summer movies, the movies with the best filming locations. So get out your sun block, roll the top down, and get ready to head out on the best summer road trip ever! For another look at summer movies and their locations check out Fandango’s list which includes the movie’s opening dates and other films that were made in these awesome locations!
Hairspray is based on the musical adaptation of John Water’s 1988 cult hit film. The movie looks fun with John Travolta playing a doting mother and newcomer Nikki Blonsky playing the lead Tracy Turnblad, a chunky teen who only wants to dance but doesn’t quite fit on her favorite Baltimore dance show. She ends up teaching the others a thing or two when she decides to integrate blacks and whites on the show. Set in 1962 this is a sweet musical with a message about race relations and acceptance. This version was filmed in Toronto but our hearts stay true to the original filmed and set in John Water’s hometown of Baltimore.
Scenes for the original movie were shot in Perry Hall High School, The Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall, and Eastern Avenue. The Veterans Hall was used as the set for The Corny Collins Show, located in Parkland this VFW is still open and available for parties. Eastern Ave in Baltimore is where Edna Turnbald gets a makeover at “Mr. Pinky’s Hefty Hideaway Shop”. Fandago has more filming locations here or for more locations from John Waters movies check this article out.
There are plenty of other things to do in Baltimore. Here is a link to Baltimore’s inner harbor. The inner harbor is a great weekend trip with shops, restaurants, aquarium, and historical walking tours all within a picturesque setting.
Live Free or Die Hard
We broke the news a few months ago that Bruce Willis was filming Live Free Die Hard and now it is here! Coincidentally this movie was also filmed in Baltimore, just outside the inner harbor. The Baltimore Sun documented some of the filming in downtown Baltimore here.
Transformers, due out this summer, heats up as battling aliens and autobots bring their fight to earth. We are kids of the eighties so we can’t wait to see this movie but the real star is the setting. Part of the movie was filmed in the White Sands Monument in New Mexico.
The White Sands Monument is a truly unique destination. Though not actually sand, these are beautiful white dunes of gypsum that stretch as far as the eye can see. It is also very close to the Trinity Site, the site of the first atomic bomb. Situated in the heart of New Mexico, it is within driving distance of some of the most spiritual and quirky destinations in the country.
Alamogordo is the closet town to White Sands and your best bet for lodging, restaurants, and amenities. The town has a few unique roadside attractions of its own, including a huge road runner (the state bird) made out of scrap metal which can be found on U.S. Highway 54-70.
There have been several films made in this area including Mad Love and Jarhead; here is list of some of them.
Also near by is Roswell, home to the UFO Museum, who knows you may see a UFO yourself.
White Sands Monument is within a few hours drive to both El Paso, TX and Albuquerque NM. We recently made the trek for ourselves and know that it can seem like this place is in the middle of nowhere, but stick with it because it is worth the drive. We drove down Interstate 25 from Albuquerque to Route 380. This is a desolate drive but there are some points of interest like the Trinity Site which you will pass on your left. Make sure you gas up and have snacks. Naively we thought that we would stop someone along this stretch for a bite to eat but instead we were starving all the way to Alamogordo. After getting onto 54 which joins with 70 in Alamogordo things move more quickly and once in town you will find a variety of fast food and gas stations. You will also pass by the Holiday Inn Express which is where the cast and crew stayed while filming scenes for Transformers.
Once in the park it is like being transported to another world. As Upstate New Yorkers it looked like snow to us, the road was even plowed, but the temperature was pushing 100 degrees and there is no shade. The sun reflects off of the white sand making it very hot but there are a few covered picnic tables around if you need a break or even to have a bite if you have packed a lunch.
Make sure you stop in the information center at the park entrance there you can buy used plastic disks to slid down the dunes on, it is fun for all ages and makes the trip and the heat seem well worth it! We have posted some pictures below!
This makes a great addition to a Southwest themed road trip. The amount of films made in the South West is actually overwhelming making it difficult to create a more comprehensive list of movie sites. From Santa Fe NM to The Grand Canyon the unique backdrop of the area has been film fodder for Hollywood literally since the beginning. The Tourist filmed in 1912 was filmed in Albuquerque and the tradition continues today as recent hits like Wild Hogs continue to be filmed in this area.
Movies have had an important influence on the landscape and culture in the Southwest as well. For instance Sedona’s Gallery Row was the result of construction for the filming of Angel and the Badman in 1946. This John Wayne movie was only one of many filmed in and around Sedona in the middle of the century. Or how about a road trip based on just one film? Easy Rider anyone? Here is a great link with details to recreate this amazing drive on your own.
It’s finally here! Spiderman 3 has swung into theaters. Spiderman’s powers are enhanced, his suit turns black and he struggles between his devotion to MJ and his duties as a superhero. This is a darker Spiderman who fights against the seduction of his new power. For more information see the official website.
Much of the filming for this movie was done in New York, Spiderman’s hometown. Over the past couple of months many attractions around the city have arranged events and exhibits in Spidey’s honor. For instance on April 30th the city offered a unique campaign including a spider exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, workshops on baby spider plants at the New York Botanical Garden, Green Goblin mask-making workshop at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, and a scavenger hunt and a bug show at Central Park Zoo. Check for other events around the city as there are sure to be more while the movie is in theaters.
We couldn’t have created a better map than the one created by Sony so here is the link. The interactive map links to various locations in NYC. You can see the location on the map and then see pictures and videos of scenes that took place there, it is very cool.
Like Sony, NY Daily News has also cornered the market on the best addresses and descriptions of filming so here is a link to their article. So many fans in NYC taped exclusive video of the filming in NYC, Youtube is packed with them– here is one of our favorites, great stuff!
The movie also filmed in Cleveland, here is a link to an insider look at what took place during filming.
One more link– here is an interview with the location scout for Spiderman- great insight into how the sites are chosen.
They’re Back in Vegas for Ocean 13 and you know what they say about Vegas! This is the third installment of the Ocean movies. Who cares what the plot is! The stars are all back so it is sure to be a hot summer hit!
If you are looking to retrace the steps of this hot cast, you may want to stay at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino, aside from being one of the nicest hotels on the strip it was used for exterior shots on the film. This is also where the cast and crew stayed during the filming of the first movie. Don’t miss the Gallery of Art if you do stay here, who would think there would be a world class museum in the middle of the Las Vegas strip?
Here is a link to Fandango’s summer movie route with some other locations that were used in the film. They have included Fremont St which is famous for its illuminated ceiling and Shadow Creek Golf Course which they are reporting was a hang out for George Clooney and Matt Damon.
Once you have tired of gambling or have lost all of your money there is still plenty to do on the strip. Some highlights include gondola rides at the Venetian, the shark reef at Mandalay Bay, and the lions at the MGM grand. These are great activities for kids too! Vegas isn’t just for adults anymore. Here is a link with a few other ideas for activities.
There is so much to do on the strip that you may not leave it your entire trip but we would advise against this. The surrounding area is so beautiful, the Red Rocks are amazing and there are several places just outside the city that will take you out on a horse back ride or guide you through one of the many trails. Here are some FAQs.
If you hadn’t noticed, all of our movies are remakes or sequels and our last movie is no exception. Evan Almighty is the follow up to the Jim Carey hit, Bruce Almighty. Steve Carell stars as a politician who is contacted by God to build an ark for the second great flood.
Filmed in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia this setting is perfect for a summer vacation. There is so much to do in this pristine mountain region. If you are an adventurer there are several outlets that will take you white water rafting, for those looking to relax there are wineries and spas, and for anyone who wants to enjoy a country ride the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most beautiful drives in America. Here is a link with extensive articles and ideas for things to do and places to see in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
For motorcycle enthusiasts here is a link to various motorcycle adventures throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains.