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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Best Movies Filmed in Tampa ... BAY!

We all know L.A. is the film capital of the world. We also have New York which is like a colonial times Philadelphia to the nation's star of D.C. If you're filming coke or Cubans, you've probably chosen Miami as your location. If strippers, benders and gambling are your bag, you've decided on a backdrop of Las Vegas. Say you want a good car chase, you know you always have the hills of San Francisco to provide great theatre. If you want to exploit evil oil companies, there's a good chance you're going to need Houston or Dallas. Boston and Chicago are also nice, especially if you want to tell a tale of Irishmen. There's a movie called Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead. I can think of two movies off hand that take place in Seattle. OO! Let's not forget the ATL, or Fifty Cents might shoot us (that was a fun career while it lasted). I won't even get started with what happens outside of the mainland, even if that would enable me to talk about Snakes on a Plane which takes place in Hawaii. It seems like everybody has something.

What's troublesome, is that nation's greatest city, doesn't have much. No, I'm not talking about Hartford, CT here. I'm talking about TAAAAAAAAAAAAAMPA! BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! You'd think a city with the three best sports teams, Ybor City, Gasparilla, the Compound and yours truly would be worthy of some good cinema! Well, I knew they were considering Tampa to film on location for Avatar until Cameron decided that really large Smurfs would be a better indigenous group than the denizens of the Tampa Bay area, which is just too bad. All that being said, here's Tampa Bay's Top 5 movies!!! Oh, and for those of you who don't know the difference between Tampa and Tampa Bay, it means, get this, all the land that surrounds the bay, meaning Clearwater and St. Petersburg are part of Tampa Bay. No, the Buccaneers don't play in a body of water. Of course, it still makes more sense than all those silly New York teams that play in New Jersey. On one hand, I get why you wouldn't want to play in New York, but New Jersey as the alternative? C'mon guy. I'll take my Atlantis-esque stadium thank you.

5. Goodfellas

On one hand, this movie is much better than all the others on this list. We all remember the classic "zoo" scene in which they threaten to feed the guy to the lions and the set says "Tampa City Zoo". Of course, we all take that to mean the Lowry Park Zoo, a good place to take your children on a nice Florida day. The reason why I'm only ranking this #5, is I highly doubt Ray Liotta and Robert DeNiro set foot down here to film and somewhere in Hollywood, they simply made a sign saying "Tampa City Zoo." That was probably much cheaper than all the airline tickets and hotel stays and what not. Hell, it may have even just said it on the movie, and there wasn't even a sign.

4. Ocean's 11

The exact opposite of the Goodfellas situation, is when they actually filmed at a Tampa Bay dog track for this movie. Do they not have them in California? I really don't know too much about dog tracks, aside from the fact that the dogs are treated very humanely and I highly encourage everyone with a pet to go at least once to see how humanely they're treated. I've even heard that PETA has given dog racing the coveted Gold Doggie Paw of Approval.

3. Cocoon

This is probably the most popular movie that was actually based in Tampa Bay. However, it's about old people. It's funny how as a kid I had no problem watching a movie about old people, whereas, now that I'm an adult, watching old people do anything is probably the most annoying thing I could probably do. It'd be like grocery shopping with a bunch of poor single mom's who don't know how to raise their children.

2. The Punisher

Ok, so this isn't a good movie at all. You know when the biggest star in your movie is John Travolta, you're movie isn't going to be good. However, of all the mentioned movies, this is the only one, and maybe the only big budget film ever to actually show the City of Tampa, so it gets huge points for that, even though you have to watch such a terrible movie. Sadly, The Punisher 2: The Punishment did not chose to film on location in Tampa.

1. Summer Rental

You gotta give it up for any movie with John Candy in it that's been filmed near where you live. There's probably a nation of Canadians who can agree with me. Just being from the same country as Candy probably puts a smile on your face every morning.

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