From the very beginning we have branded ourselves as a “Sports/Entertainment” blog. For these postseason predictions, I am going to be using entertainment analysis rather than sports analysis. While the playoffs are already well underway, I am going to pick the winner of the World Series based on the best films to take place in each city. The early favorites are New York and Los Angeles, but let’s see if anyone can dethrone two of the biggest film cities in the world.
Forty-seven films have taken place in St. Louis, Missouri but most of them are nothing to run and tell your mother about. One underrated film that partially takes place in St. Louis is The Game of Their Lives, which is about the 1950 U.S soccer team who beat England 1-0 in Brazil. Another one that may go overlooked is Steven Soderbergh’s King of the Hill which is based on the memoir of A.E. Hotchner and follows a boy struggling to survive on his own in a hotel in St. Louis. Another honorable mention is Red Dragon, a prequel to the classic, Silence of the Lambs.
Honorable Mentions: Mississippi Grind
Dula’s Durians Rating: 23%
Seventy-three films have been set in Atlanta and Atlanta is also becoming one of the biggest film cities in the country with multiple blockbuster films being shot there in recent years. The first film I’ll mention that takes place in Atlanta is the nearly flawless, Baby Driver. This 2017 Edgar Wright film already beats all 47 films set in St. Louis but for the sake of the article, I’ll continue. Driving Miss Daisy also was set in Atlanta which won four Oscars including Best Picture. Another Best Picture winner, Moonlight, spent its third act entirely in Atlanta.
Honorable Mentions: ATL, Flight, Love, Simon, Ride Along, Triple 9
Dula’s Durians Rating: 80%
A whopping 326 films have taken place in Washington D.C. in some aspect. However, not all of them take place entirely in our country’s capital. A lot of films with political aspects involve D.C. as part of the plot but many quality films have come from D.C.’s backdrop. A Few Good Men, All the President’s Men, and one of my personal favorites, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, have all taken place entirely in D.C. giving them an early leg up in the competition. Just the sheer volume of films that take place in Washington D.C. means that great films had to have taken place there. The Coen Brothers’ Burn After Reading, Clint Eastwood’s In the Line of Fire, horror classic The Exorcist, and the first ever film to take place in D.C., Mr. Smith Goes to Washington are all films that were also set in the country’s capital.
Honorable Mentions: Annie, Armageddon, Body of Lies, The Butler, Contact, Dave, Enemy of the State, Foxcatcher, Forrest Gump, Independence Day, J. Edgar, Jackie, JFK, Lincoln, Minority Report, National Treasure, Quiz Show, St. Elmo’s Fire, Vice, Watchmen, Zero Dark Thirty
Dula’s Durians Rating: 93%
The home of Hollywood is a front runner in this competition, however, Washington provided some stiff competition in the National League. It’s only fitting that these two cities are matched up in the NLDS. There are simply just too many films set in Los Angeles to select a confined list of them so I’ll try to separate the iconic films from the honorable mentions. Emphasis on “try.”
Iconic Mentions: Die Hard, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Heat, Boyz N The Hood, Pretty Woman, Beverly Hills Cop, The Big Lebowski, Sunset Boulevard, Chinatown, Rebel Without a Cause, Blade Runner, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Less Than Zero, L.A. Confidential, La La Land
Honorable Mentions: Nightcrawler, Drive, Training Day, Mulholland Drive, L.A. Story, Magnolia, Reservoir Dogs, Point Break, Rush Hour, Swingers, Collateral, Bowfinger, Speed
Dula’s Durians Rating: 99% (why am I even writing this article?)
Winner: Los Angeles Dodgers
Only seven films have been set in Tampa, Florida. Come on now Hollywood, show west coast Florida some love. It’s not like Tampa can’t be a backdrop of some crazy love story or a coastal action film. Someone make a Tampa classic. The most notable of the seven is Magic Mike which includes the crew known as “The Kings of Tampa.” It actually is a pretty decent film. Magic Mike XXL is a different story though and that film is bad. Thankfully, for Tampa’s sake, the second film took place in Myrtle Beach.
Honorable Mentions: Cop and a Half, The Punisher
Dula’s Durians Rating: 7%
The Astrodome has been used in multiple films with Brewster McCloud being the first one. That experimental comedy is not for everyone but is indeed an interesting watch. Rollerball is an underrated science-fiction sports film that is also set in Houston. My favorite of the Bad News Bears trilogy, Bad News Bears in Breaking Training, takes place in Houston as the game at the end is played in the Astrodome. Terms of Endearment began its story in Houston and this is a film that received eleven Oscar nominations, five of which it won. The iconic line, “Houston, we have a problem,” delivered by Tom Hanks in Apollo 13 was because the crew he was relaying the information to was in Houston. Because Houston being the hometown of the Johnson Space Center, many films about space include Houston as one of their settings. This includes; The Martian, Space Cowboys, and Armageddon.
Honorable Mentions: Reality Bites, Selena, Reba (TV series)
Dula’s Durians Rating: 46%
Minnesota has an advantage of being a state rather than a city. Any city in Minnesota can qualify for the list of films set there. Minnesota is home to two memorable family sports films, The Mighty Ducks and Little Big League. Field of Dreams also partially takes place in Minnesota. The film the comes to mind immediately for me is the Coen Brothers’ Fargo because of the exaggerated Minnesota accents. The Disney film Inside Out also begins in Minnesota before the family moves to San Francisco. Diablo Cody’s Best Orginal Screenplay winning Juno involves two high school students from Minnesota dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. Another film worth mentioning is Sam Raimi’s A Simple Plan. I also have to mention The End of the Tour for a few reasons. The first being that this film is, in my opinion, top five most underrated of all time. Jason Segel delivers one of the best acting performances I have ever seen as late novelist, David Foster Wallace. He was absolutely snubbed of an Oscar nomination. The second reason being that the last location of Foster’s book tour was in Minneapolis. I’d say all of the notable films that are set in Minnesota are somewhat underrated which is similar to the Minnesota Twins this season who were expected to lose the division to the Cleveland Indians.
Honorable Mentions: The Cure, Grumpy Old Men, Jennifer’s Body, Jingle All the Way, Purple Rain, Young Adult
Dula’s Durians Rating: 74%
Well, here we are, the favorite to win the American League in the Cinematic Series. The Big Apple has more films set there than I can count. But let’s do the same thing we did with Los Angeles and try to highlight the most iconic films that took place in the city so nice they named it twice. Two films considered to be among the best ever made took place in New York: The Godfather and 12 Angry Men. I could have a never ending list of great films that took place in New York but let me try to condense it.
Iconic Mentions: Taxi Driver, Dog Day Afternoon, King Kong, Saturday Night Fever, Ghostbusters, Annie Hall, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Goodfellas, Once Upon a Time in America, West Side Story, Superman, Tootsie, Do the Right Thing, Big
Honorable Mentions: Black Swan, Manhattan, Sweet Smell of Success, Rosemary’s Baby, The Squid and the Whale, He Got Game, Marty, Serpico, Requiem For a Dream, Midnight, Cowboy, Kids, Elf, The Warriors
Dula’s Durians Rating: 100%
World Series Matchup: Los Angeles vs. New York
No surprises here. Two of the most cinematic cities in the world find themselves in a Goliath vs. Goliath matchup. But here is the deciding factor; which city is the backdrop for the best films. For Los Angeles, I’d say Sunset Boulevard, Chinatown, Heat, The Big Lebowski, Blade Runner, and La La Land are among its best. As for New York, The Godfather, 12 Angry Men, Taxi Driver, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and The Apartment.
You’re only as good as your best film and New York’s five best films are better than those set in Los Angeles. I also may be adding some personal bias because 12 Angry Men and Inside Llewyn Davis take place in New York and are two of my personal favorites.
However, I do believe that it is justifiable that New York is the winner of the Cinematic Series.