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Matt Damon News Column
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All about Boston
  • From the Boston Herald:

    - We hear: That Cambridge homey Matt Damon and 15 of his nearest and dearest piled into the Thirsty Scholar in Somerville on Saturday night to hoist a few. Our bar spies dutifully reported the unassuming Hollywood hunk, who will film "The Departed'' here next spring, was swilling pints of Murphy's Irish Stout.

    - That the aforementioned Damon wussied out on his pledge to run this year's Boston Marathon. Boston maggie reports Damon's publicist confirmed that the oft-cited ``work conflicts'' will keep Matt from the annual anorexic parade...

  • From an article in Boston Magazine on the best and most authentic movies filmed in Boston:

    Good Will Hunting (1997)

    STARS: The Boys from Cambridge - Matt Damon as a troubled math prodigy from Southie and Ben Affleck as his running mate, faster of mouth and slower of brain. Robin Williams is along for the ride as Damon's tortured-but-wise therapist.

    REMEMBERED FOR: Damon and Affleck's screenwriting Oscar, the apotheosis of Hollywood-on-the-Charles chic, and the beginning of the end for Affleck.

    WHERE IT WAS SHOT: Castle Rock wanted to film in Toronto; Damon protested: "We said all along that Boston is a character in the movie." Then Miramax bought the script and agreed to split the difference. While easily half of Hunting was made in Canada, more than enough was shot locally to give the movie a real sense of place. Locations include the L Street Tavern and a triple-decker at E and West 5th streets in Southie; Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown; MIT; the Bow & Arrow Pub on Bow Street off Harvard Square and the nearby Tasty restaurant (both no longer extant); South Boston District Municipal Court; a nice nostalgic ride atop the Central Ahtery; the Public Garden; and lots of shots of Dorchester limbo as viewed from the Red Line.

    TRIVIA: When shooting in South Boston, director Gus Van Sant's crew asked a West Fifth Street building owner not to remove graffiti that read: "Go to hell Sean."

    THE ACCENTS: Fine on Damon, Affleck, and their pals, tragically bogus in Williams's case. Points for the following dialogue: "Morgan wanted to get you a T pass."

    INHERENT BOSTON-NESS: On the plus side, Williams reenacts Carlton Fisk waving the ball fair in the sixth game of the 1975 World Series. On the minus side, Damon takes the Red Line through Dorchester to get from MIT to Southie. That's possible if you want to double back in a cab but highly impractical.

    GRADES: As Boston (3 stars): As a movie: (3.5 stars)