Very few Hollywood or foreign English language movies are ever shot in Indonesia.
Even “The Year of Living Dangerously”, a real humdinger of a movie in which a still charismatic Mel Gibson forges an unique relationship with a Chinese dwarf, wasn’t actually filmed in the country (it had to be shot in nearby Philippines because of objections from Suharto’s iron fist regime).
And while sections of Julia Robert’s “Eat Pray
Shag Love” were admittedly shot in Bali, this pile of sanctimonious horseshit is widely regarded as one of the “worst films ever made”, and nobody has ever managed to watch it to the end anyway (most viewers simply fall asleep, although plenty more vomit and have to leave the room).
Other than that there is the gritty Balibo, of course, but that film is essentially about the turbulent history of another country – East Timor – where it was shot in all its tragic glory.
“Jakarta” is a pretty much unknown B movie (more like Z movie!), which although shot in Suharto’s Indonesia in 1988 and vaguely alluring, falls a long way short of authenticity by featuring former Penthouse Pet of the Month Suzee Pai as the Indonesian love interest of a CIA agent! (played by Chris Noth). See a clip on YouTube here.
Red dragon? Jakarta? WTF!
News now comes in though that both the aging Hollywood superstar Mickey Rourke and Kellan Lutz have joined the cast of a new film to be shot in Indonesia called Java Heat.
With Conor Allyn behind the camera, Java Heat will see a mysterious American type (Lutz) putting aside his anti-Islamic tendencies to team up with a Muslim cop in order to take down a light-fingered, jewel-theft-happy group of terrorists in Southeast Asia. Rourke will be on the other side of the law, playing a gem thief who dreams up the terror types’ nasty schemes.
The production house behind the film is Margate House Films, a smallish venture founded in 2007 by former ad agency owner and New York Times best-selling author Rob Allyn.
Their most notable Indonesian productions are “RED AND WHITE and its two sequels, BLOOD OF EAGLES and HEARTS OF FREEDOM: a trilogy of action-packed epic war dramas set in 1947, during Indonesia's revolution against the Dutch.
The films are “shot in 35-millimeter in the jungles of Java with top filmmakers from SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, BLACKHAWK DOWN, BRAVEHEART and THE PACIFIC, the films were hailed by VARIETY, SCREEN DAILY and a cover of THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, won Best Picture and Best Director Awards and shattered cinema attendance records in the world's fourth-largest country”.
This augers well for Heat.
And let me know if you see Mickey Rourke in town!!!