In an accidental finding (involving a search of Repo Man) of a top 25 list dated August 31, 2008 from the Los Angeles Times entitled "L.A.'s story is complicated, but they got it: The city has been a main character in many films of the last 25 years. Our film crew picks the best. It's a tough list to crash," I realized that film criticism has reached a new low. First off, it's not that fucking tough of a "list to crash." For a city chiefly known for its production of films, it is featured so rarely as a prominent setting in movies. Mainly because the benefit of L.A. is that it works so well as Anytown, USA. Except for its distinctive blue street signs, L.A. provides whatever look filmmakers want it to, and that's why New York will never be able to completely steal back the film industry. The point is, it isn't that arduous to come up with an accurate list of the best movies about El Pueblo de Los Angeles.
Its most glaring fault is putting L.A. Confidential as the top movie. Another issue is where Jackie Brown ranks. The film writers thought where people would take issue is the fact that Jackie Brown is listed in favor other Tarantino classics like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. And don't get me wrong, there are a lot of movies I agree with the staff on, especially since they chose to begin from the year 1983. That rules out Sunset Boulevard and Double Indemnity, which would pop a lot of other movies out of the top 5. And I also must give these people their due for putting Repo Man so high on the list. But for each movie I agree with, there are about three I don't. There are also some extremely overt omissions, even counting the extenuating circumstance of this list being from 2008. Below is the list with my amendments. I excluded their reasoning because I found it to be bollocks, but here's the link if you really want to elevate your understanding of human insanity:
- L.A. Confidential (bull shit, all out bull shit)
- Boogie Nights (fair enough)
- Jackie Brown (if we're talking Tarantino here, it should have been True Romance instead).
- Boys N the Hood (seminal, it's true)
- Beverly Hills Cop (no way should it be in the fucking top 5)
- The Player (would've been a damn near flawless depiction of the industry except the part where Tim Robbins gets way too sexual at that spa. I'm sorry, but I have severe qualms with seeing Tim Robbins in any sexual scenario)
- Clueless (should be a bit higher. This movie is definitive 90s L.A.)
- Repo Man (I would put this at 3)
- Collateral (wouldn't have made the cut at all)
- The Big Lebowski (I'm sure a few are aware of my feelings about the Coen brothers, so anything I say will seem prejudiced. I would have put this at 25)
- Mulholland Drive (#7. After watching this, you'll feel weird about living in L.A. for about a month. Lynch is a fucking genius).
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (#23)
- Training Day (this movie is pretty fucking riveting. Plus, you've got L.A. fixtures Snoop and Dre)
- Swingers (way higher, like #6)
- Devil in a Blue Dress (no, shouldn't be on this list)
- Friday (yeah, that's a good spot for it)
- Speed (no, shouldn't be on this list)
- Valley Girl (#4 at least. This movie is beyond tripindicular).
- To Live and Die in L.A. (eh, I guess)
- L.A. Story (yeah, it's good, but it's just so cheesy looking back on it. I would swap this out for Steve Martin's real masterpiece about L.A., Shopgirl)
- To Sleep With Anger (now they're just grappling to find any movie set in L.A.)
- Less Than Zero (props for at least acknowledging that Bret Easton Ellis is unmatched in his scathing depictions of L.A., but I would swap this out for The Informers purely because, even though it wasn't actually made in the 80s like Less Than Zero, it somehow seems like it is more in tune with 80s life and it stays much truer to the book version. I'll let the LA Times slide on this one since The Informers came out about three months after this article was published, not that they would have included it anyway)
- Fletch (Chevy Chase really ain't my cup o' tea)
- Mi Vida Loca (um, I haven't seen this, but I feel like it was tacked on as some attempt at political correctness)
- Crash (no. fucking. way. It's the only movie about L.A. more overrated than L.A. Confidential)
Movies made before 2008 (and therefore still within the parameters of this list) that should have been somewhere on this list of shame: Go, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, a tie for John Hughes movies between Some Kind of Wonderful (come on, that scene at The Hollywood Bowl), and Pretty in Pink (even though, like all J. Hughes movies, it's supposed to be Illinois, but never actually mentioned, it is so obvious that it's L.A. The record store she works at is blatantly the 3rd Street Promenade), Shopgirl, Wonderland, For Your Consideration, Pretty Woman (I can't believe that didn't make the cut), Laurel Canyon, Thirteen, and Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (you might disagree, but it gets super Hollywood-ish in the third act).