Fillm Notes: Batman continues on his caper here


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The red-and-white sign for the Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway makes it very clear that the roadway is for "Buses Only, No Trespassing."

But the Gotham Police Department had some sway, accounting for the twin stream of cars that moved out from behind the federal courthouse and post office building on Grant Street and onto the busway near The Pennsylvanian on Thursday.

The cop cars, SWAT vans and other vehicles were part of the set for "The Dark Knight Rises," which was rising in less visible places Thursday than Wednesday's snowy Downtown shoot. The latest sites included the Wabash Tunnel, part of the East Busway (closed Thursday between 26th Street and the Downtown entrance near Liberty Avenue and Grant Street) and the space behind the buildings near that intersection.

Onlookers drifted over to The Pennsylvanian apartment building and almost everyone with a camera or cell phone made a beeline for the rows of blue cars decorated with "GPD" for Gotham Police Department on Thursday.

Racks of costumes along with real cops and those in police officer wardrobes could be spotted among the many crew members milling about, and an SUV that had been turned into a mobile camera car seemed to be undergoing careful preparation.

Filming on "The Dark Knight Rises" will return to the vicinity of Cherry Way today and Smithfield Street on Saturday.

For a detailed list of traffic advisories and street closures, see www.pghfilm.org or the Port Authority's website at www.portauthority.org for bus detours, but commuters should be prepared for some delays.

The production does not film on Mondays and Tuesdays and is scheduled to be here through Aug. 21, if all goes as planned. It appears that director Christopher Nolan is moving at an efficient pace -- getting started and completing some scenes at the beginning of the day, before most filmmakers even sip their first cappuccino.

"The Dark Knight Rises," which next moves to Los Angeles and New York for filming, will arrive in theaters July 20, 2012.

'Harry Potter' No. 1

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2" has become the No. 1 film of 2011, vaulting to the top in all categories: domestic, international and worldwide box office.

As of Aug. 8, the film had earned $344.8 million domestically and $801.5 million internationally, for a worldwide box office gross of $1.146 billion, making "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2" the third highest-grossing film worldwide of all time.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2" is the first Harry Potter film to be released in 3-D and 2-D and, in select theaters, IMAX.

Sequels and remakes, oh my

Make way for a sequel for "The Smurfs." That's what happens when a movie brings in roughly $130 million worldwide in its first 10 days.

Sony Pictures plans a second big-screen feature for Aug. 2, 2013. No word on whether all of the voice talent or Neil Patrick Harris, an expectant father in the first film, will return.

In other news, Baby is coming out of the corner once more. Lionsgate will produce a new "Dirty Dancing" based on the 1987 film starring the late Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey.

The film's original choreographer, Kenny Ortega ("High School Musical," Michael Jackson's "This Is It") will direct.

"Patrick Swayze set the bar for men dancing in the movies as Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire did before him. I believe everywhere you look there is evidence that the talent is out there and I can't wait to begin the process of discovering the next breakout triple-threats," Mr. Ortega said in a Lionsgate press release.

No cast has been announced.

The original featured Ms. Grey as "Baby" Houseman and Swayze as sexy Johnny Castle. She's a naive girl who meets an experienced dance instructor and becomes his pupil in dance and romance.

The movie won Oscars for best music and original song and just recently turned up in "Crazy, Stupid, Love" when Ryan Gosling's lothario uses one of its signature moves to help seduce women. And it works like a charm.

Also on the sequel front, identifiable "Ice Age" voices will be back for the fourth installment, "Ice Age: Continental Drift." The animated comedy will be released in 3-D on July 13, 2012.

Twentieth Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios announced: Ray Romano is back as Manny, the woolly mammoth and the herd's "Big Daddy"; Queen Latifah returns as Ellie, his significant other; Denis Leary rejoins the herd as saber-toothed tiger Diego; John Leguizamo will duplicate his slurry voice for Sid the sloth; and Seann William Scott and Josh Peck will speak for possums Crash and Eddie; and Chris Wedge will provide the voice of Scrat, still after that cursed acorn.

Also joining the cast: Jennifer Lopez, Jeremy Renner, Wanda Sykes, Aziz Ansari, Keke Palmer and the single-name Drake.


Movie editor Barbara Vancheri: bvancheri@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1632. Read her Mad About the Movies blog at www.post-gazette.com/movies .


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