Saturday, July 26, 2014

Grand Illusions

It's always kind of thrilling for me when I see a movie that is set in a familiar place; somehow having been in the exact same spot as the characters are makes everything more vivid. Likewise, it's cool to visit a place that I recognize from film or TV. My hometown of Washington, DC is always in a lot of shows, and lately I've seen a few things shot in Atlanta, where my sister lives.

When we were in San Francisco, our plan to visit Lombard Street was actually foiled by a movie production. It turned out to be San Andreas, a disaster film starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, something I probably never would have gone to see, but I might now. On the plane on the way home, I read something about the new Planet of the Apes movie, and it reminded me that not only is it set in San Francisco, but there's a large part of the story that takes place in Muir's Woods, which we also visited.

As a rule, Heidi will not go to see any movie where animals are in danger or distress, so we hadn't seen either of the films in this reboot of the classic series. (As an aside, she doesn't have any trouble with seeing the likes of Charlton Heston mistreated.) Heidi stayed in California for a conference, though, and so one of the things I decided to do on my own this week is to catch up with Caesar and his crew.

I watched Rise of Planet of the Apes this morning, and wow! That was the jackpot for a setting junkie like me. Isn't that the boardwalk at Muir's Woods? Look there's a Bay City Trolley! And I could barely even follow the action of the climactic battle, because it took place right on the section of the Golden Gate Bridge that I had walked on just three short days ago.

Movies can be deceptive, though; it's their nature. A quick search on the internet revealed that most of the movie was actually filmed in Vancouver, and that big scene at the end? Green screens on a sound stage. So, I'm a little deflated, but... I'm definitely in for Dawn of Planet of the Apes! Did you see those previews? They are all over Market Street, and this time? The redwoods are real.

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