Just because you aren’t travelling this summer doesn’t mean you can’t see Europe through your TV screen with a few sleek flicks. Here we’ve compiled a list of movies filmed in Italy and Prague from varied genres [And food is allowed onboard – especially popcorn]:
1. The Italian Job (1969)
Plot: A suave gangster Charlie Croker, backed by the wealthy Mr. Bridger, sets out to rob 4 million dollars worth of gold from Italy with the help of a crew of hackers, hijackers and burglars.
Seeing as how The Italian Job (2003) is my favorite film of all time, I was really excited when I discovered that the film was a remake of a classic shot in 1969 of the same name.
After all the hype, I was disappointed when I saw the original, since I expected a sleek classic.
Watch it for: Aside from the picturesque locations, Michael Caine was brilliant as the womanizing robber, Charlie Crocker, and managed to elevate an otherwise mediocre film to the end. The car chase scenes were immaculate, with Mini Mokes zooming around beautiful Turin– very European.
Don’t pay mind to: The background score, in light of new films, was a disaster and constantly at odds with the screenplay. The plotline looked hasty, leaving out important details for the viewer to fill in. Moreover, the abrupt end leaves viewers hanging, and not in a good way.
Travel Spots Featured: A part of the film is shot in the beautiful city of Turin, Northern Italy. Well-known for its piazzas and parks, the little of Turin seen in the film is quite tempting to habitual wanderers. Parts of Ireland and Middlesex in London are also in this film.
2. Van Helsing (2004)
Plot: Van Helsing is a dark, thrilling adventure with Hugh Jackman, playing the lead, who pairs up with Anna Valerious to defeat Count Dracula who has an alliance with Frankenstein’s monster. Along the way, they discover some deep, nasty secrets.
Imagine Twilight characters – vampires, werewolves and the evil Dracula – thrown into a better-written screenplay [with better acting].
Watch it for: The adrenaline of the action scenes, Hugh Jackman’s performance and, of course, the Euro locations.
Don’t pay mind to: The frivolous bits of the screenplay where Stephen Sommers has taken quite a few liberties. The story hangs loosely on the on-screen performances of the actors, so don’t expect the plotline to wow.
Travel Spots Featured: Although a large part of the film is shot in Prague, Czech Republic, the overuse of computer-generated imagery may cast a more dangerous, shoddy look to the location.
It is a delight to see castles, churches and bridges that are still standing in several town scenes of the film.
3. Angels and Demons (2009)
Plot: Based on Dan Brown’s novel of the same name, this history- fiction thriller centers around Robert Langdon, a Harvard Professor, played by Tom Hanks, as he decodes a trail of symbols to stop the Illuminati’s plan to destroy Vatican city and the Roman Catholic Church.
Watch it for: The thrill and suspense of the chase combined with historical facts and art history tidbits. The plotline, although not as strong as the book, fares well. Ron Howard does a marvelous job with the adaptation. Tom Hanks (as Robert Langdon), Ewan McGregor (as Patrick McKenna), Ayelet Zurer (as Dr. Vittoria Vetra) and all the other supporting actors have done a stupendous job.
Don’t pay mind to: If you’ve read the book, don’t pay mind to the shortening of the story. Additionally, don’t believe everything you hear [especially about the Illuminati].
Travel Spots Featured: Now, this film digitally recreated spots like the Fountain of the Four Rivers, Piazza Navona and Piazza Del Popolo in Rome, since the makers were banned by the church to even shoot the exteriors of churches.
The recreations, though, don’t look fake to the untrained eye and the crowded street pacing scenes are a delight to watch.