Monday, December 24, 2012

The Karate Kid Apartment

One of my favorite movie trilogies of all time is the Karate Kid trilogy. I believe there's a fourth one but I think it's the one with Hilary Swank, which I have no interest in seeing. I used to do Karate moves in my living room thinking I was Daniel-Son.

In the beginning of the movie Daniel and his mom move from New Jersey out to sunny California in an area called Reseda. Reseda sits in the San Fernando Valley just below Northridge (which is where many scenes in the Karate Kid movies were filmed). It's amazing how similar the apartment building looks now compared to 1984 version we see in the movie.

Above is a look at the front of the building and below is a look along the east side of the building where Daniel gets chased down by those goons. Mr. Miyagi has to step in and whoop some ass. If you're in the area, it's definitely worth a quick trip to catch a glimpse of this Filming Spot favorite.

The apartment building is located at:
19223 Saticoy Street
Reseda, CA 91335

Fun Fact: About 8 miles east of this location in Van Nuys, also on Saticoy Street is The Office filming spot.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Do you wanna go do karate in the garage? The Step Brothers House

I remember howling in the theaters when I went and saw Step Brothers. I think I even saw it twice. And these days, with movie theater prices...forget about it.

Step Brothers is a hit comedy that matches two grown ass men up as stepbrothers when their parents get married. Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly collaborate to make one of the funniest movies of the 2000's (that just sounded weird). Should I have said the 00's?

The movie begins with Ferrell (Brennan) and his mother moving into Reilly's (Dale's) father's home. The two parents head inside and the two sons stand on the front lawn in a good ol' fashioned gunslinger showdown. "You can call me Dragon." "You can call me Night Hawk."

Dale's home is located just northeast of Pasadena in Altadena. The home looks the same today as it did in the movie aside from some subtle paint changes. Some of these locations get purposely altered after filming so they become less recognizable.

The boys begin to build a relationship in their own bizarre and unsettling way. We witness them moderately mature and start looking for jobs. Dressed in tuxedos because that is the standard for any interviewing candidate, Brennan and Dale hit the town. After a day full of rejection they start heading home. This filming spot is located in the city of South Pasadena. In fact, this specific location is filmed about one block down on the same street that the original Halloween was filmed where we see Jamie Lee Curtis crossing the street in the opening sequence. The Halloween post can be found here.

If you haven't seen Step Brothers in a while, I recommend pulling it off of your DVD rack, popping it in and getting a good laugh. Now you will know where two of the locations actually are and can even visit them yourself.

Dale's house is located at:
1987 Midwick Drive
Altadena, CA

The next location shows the boys walking south on Meridian Ave, specifically at:
Meridian Ave & Mission Street
South Pasadena, CA

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Transformers Car Lot

One of the greatest trilogies in the past few decades is the Transformers trilogy. The box office giants have brought in hundreds of millions and catapulted Shia LaBeouf to superstar status. I'm not a huge fan of fictional stories where machines rule all, but Michael Bay does a good job giving these characters likeable personalities and creating an intriguing storyline.

If you can think back to the first Transformers, you will recall the late Bernie Mac was a car dealer that sold Shia's character a yellow muscle car that would soon transform into Bumblebee. Bumblebee is an awesome character who protects Shia and makes the viewer wish they had a similar guardian. Imagine a loyal dog that could smash, shoot and shred enemies.

The pictures above are of that car lot where we first see Bumblebee. Fun fact, this spot is just around the corner from the Wedding Singer house where Robbie lives in his sister's basement.

This location is at:
900 Morada Place
Altadena, CA

Below is a picture of the school where Shia gives his presentation in the beginning of the movie. He looks outside to see his father waiting for him to head to the car lot. The cruise to the lot and are greeted by Bernie Mac, as we discussed above.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Another one of these damn kids jumped in front of my car!"

As I have stated several times before, Back to the Future sparked this hobby of mine.  I want to devote an entire post to this magical street, but that will have to wait.  Busnell Ave in South Pasadena, CA is home to several classics including Back to the Future and Old School.  The house that was used in Old School is literally directly across the street from where I am sitting in the picture above.  In fact, I have a funny story to share about that Old School house.

For now, enjoy one of the most memorable moments of BTTF 1 when George M. has his bino's (see what I did there) and is peeping out his future wife changing in the window.  Marty quickly follows his dad from the diner and runs frantically onto this street.

George falls from the branch and Marty rushes the street pushing him out of the way.  Marty gets hit with the car instead of George.   Then there's the Calvin Klein confusion and bragging about owning two televisions.  Until next time, Bushnell awaits.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Filming of the Tonight Show

In the spirit of late night television, I find it fitting that we explore and re-visit the personalities involved in the late-night war.

After Jay Leno retired from the Tonight Show, he made a comeback with the Jay Leno Show.  His presence and Conan's poor ratings opened the door for Jay to take back the late-night throne.  To make a long blog post short, I am sharing the filming location that served as the Jay Leno Show filming spot and currently serves as the Tonight Show filming spot (I have had the privilege of being in the studio audience for both).

As I mentioned before, for the Tonight Show you choose four potential dates six weeks in advance.  The catch is that you may not get a confirmation until the day before the taping.  My experience is that if you live in Southern California and you reserve in enough time, you usually get a confirmation for your top pick or second pick in a couple weeks.  Reserve your tickets here.

Tip - Park in the Providence High School back parking lot and walk across Johnny Carson Park.  It's free and close to the studio.

The Tonight Show is filmed at:
300 W. Alameda Ave
Burbank, CA

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Jimmy Kimmel Live!

ABC's late night hit, Jimmy Kimmel Live! has been taking big strides lately.  Jimmy Kimmel has come a long way since the Man Show (which was fantastic by the way) and ditched his open-buttoned shirt for a suit and tie.  Over the years the hair spray, spray tan and success of his network television show has increased.

Those in the Los Angeles area have the ability to attend the taping of JKL (see what I did there?).  Lines begin to form behind the El Capitan Theater around 4:30-5pm and they open the doors to the audience members around 6:15pm.  You need to reserve tickets ahead of time at  A couple times per week there are live concerts after the show where the studio audience joins the concert-only attendees.  Most concerts attract one or two hundred viewers; however Lady Gaga recently performed and attracted a crowd that the facility couldn't even contain.  It was amazing seeing the aerial shot on the news.

Head over to 1iota for tickets.  The cool thing about 1iota is that you can see the guests that are going to be on the show in advance.  You can see the celebrities that you like and reserve tickets for that show a few weeks down the road.  For shows like Conan or Jay Leno, you need to reserve tickets six weeks in advance and you do it blindly, meaning that you have no idea who the guests will be for that show until the week of.

I took my mom to her first live taping in June and Kimmel's show had the most flexibility in ticket reservations.  I only needed to reserve them two weeks in advance.  The audience for JKL is small and it has a cool feel inside the studio.  I hear that there is also a bar inside the theater just up the stairs from the set where celebrities and even Jimmy hang out at before, during and after the show.  Maybe Jimmy hasn't lost his Man Show habits after all.

Jimmy Kimmel Live! is filmed in the El Capitan Theater which is located at:
6864 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA

Friday, August 19, 2011

Mr. Strickland's House

As I continue to share this mini-obsession for Back to the Future, I will jump around to different spots.  There is something about traveling through time, forwards and backwards that fascinates me and millions of others.  That is what created this cult-like following for the BTTF trilogy.

This post will focus on a spot that is shown in the second Back to the Future movie (my favorite).  When Marty and Doc head to 2015 (which isn't too far away from present time) they run into some trouble.  Marty falls victim to greed and purchases a Sports Almanac that documents the scores for all sporting events from 1950-2000.  This would give him the winners that he could bet on and make mucho dinero.  He buys this almanac from a retro shop in 2015 and plans to take it back to 1985 and reap the benefits for another 15 years.  Instead, Doc Brown spots the almanac and talks Marty out of taking it back to 1985 because he "didn't invent the time machine to win at gambling" he "invented the time machine to travel through time."

When Marty abides by Doc's request, he tosses the almanac in the garbage.  Long story short, the Biff Tannen from 2015 finds the almanac, steals the DeLorean and heads back to November 12th, 1955 and gives the almanac to himself 60 years earlier.  This way, the younger version of himself can become rich by betting on winners and brighten his future.  This skews the entire future of Hill Valley and turns the city into ghetto-like ruins.

Marty and Doc encounter this reality when they head back to 1985.  Marty wanders aimlessly through this Hill Valley nightmare and stumbles upon a current newspaper on a porch.  Turns out, this porch belongs to the former Hill Valley High School principal Mr. Strickland. When Mr. Strickland pulls a shotgun on Marty, Marty tries to explain that he knows him from school.  However, we soon find out that the "school burned down six years ago."

Mr. Strickland's house is located down the street from Whittier High (aka Hill Valley High School) at:

12511 Bailey Street
Whittier, Ca