Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Cast Away (2000)

Fed Ex systems analyst Chuck Noland spends his days streamlining the delivery mogul's depots.  A work call tears him away from Christmas Eve dinner and onto a flight to Malaysia.  A major storm takes down the plane and Chuck washes ashore of an uncharted desert isle.  (Where's Rudolph when you need him?)  Chuck hones his survival skills mustering up food and shelter and passing the time with his friend Wilson.  Unable to stomach coconut water any longer (can you blame him?), he builds a raft to escape back to civilization.  

Watching seven castaways on a twenty-two minute episode of Gilligan's Island (1964-1967) is one thing, but I had reservations about seeing a 2+ hour drama about someone being stranded alone on an island.  I'm not sure too many actors could engage an audience for that scenario but Tom Hanks makes the short list.  He also proves weight loss is not impossible as he whittled away during the year-long filming hiatus.  The tribe, er, critics have spoken with mostly positive reviews and Hanks earned an Oscar nom for his captivating performance.

Canadian and Mobeetie, TX, Memphis, TN USA, Moscow, Russia and Monuriki, Fiji

Location: Kelly Frears' House
Address: 74 Devon Way, Memphis, TN

Location Visited: June 2020

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Doubt (2008)

In 1964, Sister Aloysius rules the roost at St. Nicholas School in the The Bronx.  She is highly suspicious of Father Flynn and his interactions with student and altar boy Donald Miller.  Her concerns put Sister James on alert but falls on deaf ears with Donald's mother.  Sister Aloysius calls for Father Flynn's resignation, claiming to have contacted a his previous parish, who confirmed her suspicions, which is later revealed to having never taken place.  He is transferred to another parish and Sister Aloysius believes his resignation confirms his guilt, though she does have doubts.

I was curious to see the film after I missed the 2004 Tony Award-winning Broadway play and unlike Sister Aloysius, I had little doubt ;-) I'd enjoy this movie.  As this was parents' school experience, having attended Catholic school in The Bronx.  I later would have the same schooling during my elementary and high school days with the last vestiges of the nuns who ruled with an iron fist... and wooden rulers!  As an altar boy, I made it through unscathed even though I may have snuck a sip of wine and ate more than my share of unblessed hosts.  Doubt was highly praised upon release, particularly for its stellar cast.  All four lead actors received Academy Award nominations.  Meryl Streep alone has more Academy Award nominations than there are commandments!

Doubt was filmed in The Bronx and New York, NY

Location: Jimmy Hurley's Apartment Building
Address: 1512 Beach Avenue, Bronx, NY

Location: Jake's Candy Shop
Address: 1501 St. Lawrence Avenue, Bronx, NY

Location: St. Nicholas Church
Address: 838 E 165th Street, Bronx, NY  St. Augustine Presbyterian Church 

Location: St. Nicholas School
Address: 1750 Mansion Street, Bronx, NY  St. Anthony's Catholic School

Location: The Church Garden
Address: 487 Hudson Street, New York, NY  St. Luke in the Fields

The garden was not open when I stopped by, but I was able to grab a few shots from the sidewalk...

Locations Visited: January 2020

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Benson (1979-1986)

Benson DuBois is the head of household for widowed Governor Eugene Gatling and his eclectic staff.  Benson would later run against his employer.  The cliffhanger season finale ended just before the election results were to be revealed.  Unfortunately it ended up being the series finale as the show was canceled shortly after and viewers never found out who the winner was.  Benson was a spin-off of Soap, a Witt Thomas Harris production.  They later found even bigger success with The Golden Girls (1985-1992) and Empty Nest (1988-1995).  

Location: Governor Eugene Gatling's Mansion
Address: 1365 S. Oakland Avenue, Pasadena, CA

Location Visited: October 2018

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

After wrecking her car in a neighbor's hard, Daisy Werthan finds herself at the mercy of Hoke Colburn, a black driver hired by Daisy's son.  She initially scoffs at the idea of being transported all over Atlanta by someone else, but eventually bonds with Hoke as they are both victims of prejudice in 1948.

Driving Miss Daisy was based on Alfred Uhry's 1987 play.  The film was well received by critics and accelerated ;-) to the top of the box office.  It would go on to win four out of its nine Academy Award nominations.  Driving Miss Daisy remains the only off-Broadway play to win Best Picture and just before turning 81, Jessica Tandy is the oldest Best Actress winner.

Driving Miss Daisy was filmed in Druid Hills, Decatur, Griffin, Lithia Springs and Atlanta, GA

Location: Miss Daisy's House
Address: 822 Lullwater Road NW, Druid Hills, GA

Location: Wertham Bag & Cotton Co.
Address: 342 Nelson Street SW, Atlanta, GA

Location: Piggly Wiggly
Address: 1111 Euclid Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA  Rag O Rama

Location: The Church
Address: 315 5th Avenue, Decatur, GA

Little Friendship Missionary Baptist Church

Location: The Temple
Address: 1589 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA

Location: Martin Luther King's Speech
Address: 817 West Peachtree Street NW, Atlanta, GA  Biltmore Hotel

Location: Boolie's New Mansion
Address: 1935 Garraux Road, Atlanta, GA

Location: Driving Miss Daisy
Address: Hill Street, between E Broadway Street & W Solomon Street, Griffin, GA

Most of the driving scenes took place in the quaint city of Griffin, which is about an hour south of Atlanta...

near 101 N Hill Street

143 N Hill Street  The Griffin & Spalding Chamber of Commerce

This building is seen again in a later shot...

N Hill Street & W Slaton Avenue

S. Hill Street & Solomon Street

101 N 8th Street - Griffin Post Office

The 6th Street Bridge

Locations Visited: April 2020