June 24th, 2005

Blues Brothers Plate

"This is definitely Lower Wacker Drive!"

I saw Batman Begins last night, and it was teh Awesum.

It's a good story, it's well acted, though Christian Bale is really looking like a young Tim Matheson. As many people know, parts of it were filmed in Chicago, and if you know what you're looking for, it shows. I wonder how often they had to digitally remove distinctive landmarks like the Sears, One Big Cock, and the Smurfit Building from the aerial shots. I spotted Marina Towers, the Donnelly Building (the action centerpiece of The Negotiator,) and Presidential Towers. They did a neat job inserting "the Narrows" as the opposite side of the river from Wacker Drive. The "Gotham" license plates are clearly based on the new Illinois design; Lincoln's head is replaced by the same city seal used on the police badges, and it's blank where "Land of Lincoln" is printed. The Gotham street cops also appear to wear the same color scheme as the Chicago Police.

There is a big chase scene filmed in what is clearly Lower Wacker Drive. Fitting, given that this week is the 25th anniversary of the release of The Blues Brothers. A point lost on the rest of the audience when I observed this film's entrance last night.

The Sun-Times is running a special series about the movie, including this interactive map of locations. I learned something previously unknown... keyboardist Murphy Dunne (of Murph and the Magic Tones fame) is the son of former Cook County Board President George Dunne. (If John Stroger's name falls off a county Forest Preserve sign, that's who is revealed underneath.)