Friday, November 17, 2017

Panic Room (2002)

In St. Elmo' Fire (1985), Wendy Beamish wakes up to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich her first night in a new apartment.  In Panic Room, Meg Altman has quite a different experience, waking up to find three criminals have broken into her brownstone on the night she moves in.  She quickly grabs her daughter and seeks refuge in a...wait for it.... panic room.  Thus begins a game of cat and mouse, the tension rising to a somewhat tepid ending.

David Fincher's claustrophobic home invasion thriller delivers plot holes a taxi driver ;-) could plow through but is still entertaining nonetheless.  The opening credits alone deserve much praise.  It was nice to see Jodie Foster return to the big screen, and be in a hit movie, taking over the reigns from Nicole Kidman, who had to drop out due to a knee injury.  Fincher didn't panic ;-) when Foster announced her pregnancy a few weeks into filming. He simply used some of that old Hollywood magic - a bulky sweater.

Panic Room was filmed in New York, NY

Location: Meg Altman's Brownstone
Address: 38 W 94th Street, New York, NY

Location: Searching For a New Apartment
Address: Central Park - The Mall, New York, NY

Locations Visited: June 2017

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Ice Storm (1997)

The Ice Storm is a chilly look at suburban marriage and family life amidst many social changes of the early 1970s.  Taking place Thanksgiving weekend 1973 in New Canaan, CT, the Hood and Carver families are dealing with adultery, drugs, booze and sexual experimentation. The drifting families and neighbors are brought together by a tragic accident after an ice storm envelops their seemingly idyllic suburb. 

Based on the 1994 novel by Rick Moody, the film features a stellar ensemble cast (including Joan Allen, the late 90s go-to actress to portray a repressed housewife).  It's hard to believe the film was overlooked during award season.  But then again, I'm impartial for suburbia-gone-wrong films like  Pleasantville (1998), American Beauty (1999), and Far From Heaven (2002).  There's just something about dysfunctional life behind the white picket fences I find fascinating.

The Ice Storm was filmed in New Canaan, CT, much to the dismay of local residents.

Location: The Railroad Station
Address: 198 Elm Street, New Canaan, CT  

This is the New Canaan stop on Metro North Railroad's New Haven line...

Location: Wendy Rides Her Bike
Address: Chichester Road, New Canaan, CT

Location: The Library
Address: 151 Main Street, New Canaan, CT

Elena then sees Wendy riding her bike down Main Street...

Location: The Carver House
Address: 581 Laurel Road, New Canaan, CT  

Location: Paul's School
Address: 468 South Avenue, New Canaan, CT Saxe Middle School

Location: Varnum's Pharmacy
Address: 91 Main Street, New Canaan, CT

Wendy continues long Main Street...

Location: The Football Game
Address: 381 South Avenue, New Canaan, CT  Waveny Park

Location: Lundy Toys
Address: East Avenue & Forest Street, New Canaan, CT

Locations Visited: June 2017 

Still Need To Locate:

The Hood House  
The Key Party House
The Dinner Party House