Welcome to L.A.: 7 Films Highlighting The City of Angels

Los Angeles’ heart and soul can be seen in the many films set in the city. Here are 7 favorite films that showcase the various, diverse aspects of the City of Angels.

1. Drive (2011)

One of my favorite Ryan Gosling films, this movie showcases the city at night with Gosling at the helm cruising through the streets of downtown L.A. With an epic soundtrack backing the nightly beautiful and gritty scenes that harken back to the films of the 80’s.

2. Rush Hour (1998)

This buddy cop action comedy gives viewers insight into Los Angeles from the perspectives of both an Angeleno and a tourist. Watching Jackie Chan become familiar with the city when he escapes from Carter’s (Chris Tucker) custody multiple times is great, and later when Carter gives him a personal tour after they team up, the touristy areas of L.A. get their time in the spotlight.

3. Collateral (2004)

In this film, Jamie Foxx plays cab driver Max who becomes the hostage of his fare Vincent, (played by Tom Cruise) a contract killer.  This crime thriller captures the scope and depth of the city in a way that other films haven’t. Collateral showcases L.A. at night and with director Michael Mann highlights the city’s evening visuals with his use of the Viper FilmStream High-Definition Camera a first for a major motion picture.

4. Training Day (2001)

The portrayal of the veteran corrupt cop (played by Denzel Washington who won an Oscar for his performance) whose showing the rookie (played by Ethan Hawke) the ropes in South Central L.A., highlights the distrust many citizens of Los Angeles feel toward the LAPD.

5. Clueless (1995)

A favorite 90s film of mine, this modern-day adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma depicts the stereotypical “valley girl” in all of her glory. Shotouts to the City of Angels included the showcasing of mall culture at the Westside Pavilion, as well as the Los Angeles freeway in the driver’s ed scene.

6. Die Hard (1988)

A must-watch every Christmas, this action hero film starring Bruce Willis as the now legendary John McClane, highlights Los Angeles’ media culture. The building where all the action takes place, Fox Plaza, has been featured in at least four major motion pictures released by Fox.

7. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

The city of Los Angeles is annihilated in a nuclear attack by Skynet, while landmarks such as the cement waterway of the L.A. River, and the Elysian Park are also featured in the film.

With that I end my list. What are some of your favorite films showcasing Los Angeles? Leave your comments below or on my Facebook page.  Also check out more films that give Los Angeles love at the following links:

http://www.timeout.com/los-angeles/film/los-angeles-movies-50-films-that-best-capture-the-essence-of-la

http://www.buzzfeed.com/louispeitzman/movies-that-define-los-angeles#.sgPPDxAm

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