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Local extras Mark Griffin and Ray McDaniel (l-r) works with the cast on the John Bon Jovi movie, The Trouble With Frank, which started filming today at Hagan-Stone Park south of Greensboro. The production plans to work on the movie, which is being filmed in the Piedmont, for the next month or six weeks.

Triad gets its closeup-up in Bon Jovi film

Author :Dawn DeCwikiel-Kane

Photocredit ( left ) H. Scott Hoffmann/© News & Record)

First published at on February 11, 2006 Copyright © 2006 The News & Record and Landmark Communications, Inc.

Be sure to read the ORIGINAL ARTICLE


GREENSBORO -- The movie's biggest stars didn't get there. Rocker Jon Bon Jovi, for one, was performing in Florida.

So local producers, movie extras and the city itself shared the spotlight Friday night when "National Lampoon's Pucked," filmed in the Triad in 2004, premiered at The Grande.

"We were eager to come here, because this area helped us put the film together," said Robert Bardunias of National Lampoon, which gave away movie T-shirts, hats, posters and tickets with local media.

The lighthearted comedy also opened in Milwaukee and Minneapolis. Executive producer L. Charles Grimes of Greensboro's SymPics International said he expects it to open soon in other cities, and be released on home video and DVD by June.

Only a few people attended The Grande's first afternoon showing. But the theater was nearly filled for the 8 p.m. show.

Grimes and his wife, Elizabeth, a movie co-producer, greeted local extras who came to see they whether they had made the final cut.

Local actor Robert Harris already had heard that he appeared in a scene. "Oh, thank God!" he said.

Georgia Williams took part in a country club scene. Her husband, Greensboro attorney Joe Williams, played a juror. "I had to get in a movie to get on a jury," he joked.

Greensboro itself plays a prominent role.

Local movie-goers recognized downtown Greensboro, Starmount Country Club, Hagan-Stone Park, The Ice House, courthouses in Greensboro and Lexington, and the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem.

"I was interested to see the sites around the city," said Joan Anderson of Greensboro, who came to the first afternoon showing.

Dixie Lock and Key Service on Lewis Street became Buckinowski's Home Repair, the shop owned by actor David Faustino's character.

Faustino (Bud on TV's "Married...With Children") plays best friend to Bon Jovi's character, Frank Hopper.

When Hopper -- former lawyer and likeable loser -- receives more than 200 pre-approved credit cards in the mail, he finances his dream of starting the first all-female ice hockey league.

Naturally, he finds himself skating on thin legal ice and drowning in debt.

It also stars Estella Warren ("Kangaroo Jack") as Bon Jovi's girlfriend; Cary Elwes ("The Princess Bride") as the district attorney who prosecutes him for credit card fraud; Nora Dunn ("Saturday Night Live") as his sister; Jonathan Furr ("Two Soldiers") as his nephew; Dot Marie Jones (Coach Kelly in Disney Channel's "Lizzie McGuire"), and Curtis Armstrong ("Revenge of the Nerds" I-IV) as a courthouse janitor.

Originally called "National Lampoon's The Trouble With Frank," then "Pre-Approved," the name changed when National Lampoon settled on "Pucked."

Local movie-goers also caught a trailer of another SymPics International movie filmed last year in Greensboro: "Home of the Giants," the high school basketball drama starring Haley Joel Osment.

Now in post-production, it should be in theaters this fall.

Contact Dawn DeCwikiel-Kane at 373-5204 or

Be sure to read the ORIGINAL ARTICLE


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