Cineplex offers road trip of U.S.A.
EmptyWISCONSIN: Universal's "Public Enemies"
Michael Mann wanted realism when recreating an epic shoot-out between gangster John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) and G-Man Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale). So it was filmed where it actually took place -- the Little Bohemia Lodge in Manitowish Waters, Wis., which still operates today. And it still bears the hundreds of bullet holes from that fateful night in 1934.
ILLINOIS: Warner Bros.' "The Dark Knight"
Chicago's envelope was pushed for the chase between Batman (Christian Bale) and the Joker (Heath Ledger) that climaxed with an end-over-end flip of a 40-foot 18-wheeler with the Joker at the wheel. Christopher Nolan took over LaSalle Street in the city's banking district, and, after verifying it could take the punishment, captured one of 2008's top action sequences.
NEW YORK: New Line's "Sex and the City"
Where would HBO's culturally iconic comedy series be without New York? Front and center in Michael Patrick King's big-screen adaptation is the New York Public Library, a Manhattan landmark. It serves as the all-important site for Carrie Bradshaw's (Sarah Jessica Parker) would-have-been fairytale wedding.
MASSACHUSETTS: Picturehouse's "The Women"
The script called for New York's posh Madison Avenue, but the budget couldn't afford it. What's "The Women" to do? Simple. Diane English just headed north. Taking advantage of Massachusetts' film incentives, the production captured its chic on Boston's Newbury Street, with the Back Bay Saks effortlessly filling in for NYC's Saks Fifth Avenue.
LOUISIANA: Paramount's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
The 19th century manse David Fincher discovered in New Orleans' Garden District was perfect for the home of his title character. But its owner, Mary Nell Porter Nolan, didn't want anyone filming there -- until she learned it was a Paramount production. Years before, the now 87-year-old had been solicited to screen test at the studio, and because they had treated her nicely then, she agreed to return the favor.
HAWAII: Paramount's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"
How easy is it to find a virginal Peruvian rain forest these days? Steven Spielberg scoured Mexico, Guatemala, South America and Puerto Rico for the latest Indiana Jones adventure before finally locating one in America's backyard -- the Big Island of Hawaii. It proved perfect for several key sequences, including the breathtaking car chase.
CALIFORNIA: Paramount's "Iron Man"
The script called for Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark to be kidnapped by Afghan insurgents. But trips to the real location can be a little dicey these days. No problem; the crew traveled north of Los Angeles to Lone Pine, Calif., and on Movie Road, a spot renown for its Western shoots, Jon Favreau easily created all the requisite mayhem.
CALIFORNIA: Focus Features' "Milk"
San Francisco's Castro District reverted to the 1970s for Gus Van Sant's biopic of Harvey Milk, America's first openly gay politician. Old neighborhood haunts Castro Camera (Milk's business and political base of operation), Aquarius Records, China Court and Castro Flowers all made comebacks. Even the Castro Theatre regressed to its red-heavy 1970s color scheme courtesy of a fresh paint job.