Movies Miami Style: Films Set in the Magic City

Miami might not be like Los Angeles or New York, cities where movies are continuously being shot around every corner. But, Miami has certainly had its fair share of filming. Maybe it was chosen because of the movie’s plot and maybe it was chosen because of its location (it hard to shoot a beach scene in Nebraska). Whatever the reason, Miami’s presence in the cinema has left other Florida cities to approach, and shyly ask for an autograph. The following is a short list of Miami born movie moments:

From Justin to Kelly: How Miami outbid every other city in America for rites to this film is beyond me. Seriously, the bidding war for this must have been up there with bidding on the Olympics or the Super Bowl. A movie featuring American Idol’s first winner and runner-up, From Justin to Kelly was enough to make anyone go from nausea to vomiting. Yes, it was seriously that bad. I would provide a lengthy discussion of the plot, but there really wasn’t one. Suffice it to say that the story line involved little more than singing, and flapping of limbs to the same choreographed routine….though, in one scene, they did dance with towels. That, in a word, was magical.

There’s Something About Mary: One of the funniest movies to ever hit the screen, this film featured Cameron Diaz as Mary, a girl who men were willing to go to great lengths to impress. These great lengths included stalking, spying, impersonating and donning a fake British accent. Ben Stiller plays Ted, a clumsy but likeable man in love with Mary; a man who wants to impress her but comes across as a little less psychotic than the rest of the fellows. A definite sleeper hit, this movie had unforgettable scenes, with laugh out loud moments. It also made us look forever differently at hair gel.

Scarface: At one time during the 1980s, nearly every teenage boy had a poster of this movie on their bedroom wall. It is a tale about Tony Montana, played by Al Pacino, who comes to Florida as a Cuban refugee. After becoming a gangster, as a result of the 1980s cocaine boom, he rises to the top of Miami’s organized crime world, only to fall back down. Originally released to little enthusiasm, Scarface has since become a cult classic and one of the most recognized movies ever made; it has forever left movie fans considering it one of their little friends.

Bad Boyz: The movie that left us all wondering what “you gonna do when they come for you,” Bad Boyz features Martin Lawrence and Will Smith as two detectives on the Miami police force. After 120 million dollars in drugs are stolen, the two detectives are given the option of getting the drugs back or losing their jobs. They fight and squabble with each other, but their mutual love is also genuine, leading this duo to be compared to those of Lethal Weapon and Starsky and Hutch. Though this movie is far fetched – as police dramas often are – it is entertaining, fast-paced, and the action is hard to pass up. This movie led to a sequel, which was also shot in Miami.

Any Given Sunday: One of the more action-packed football films, Any Given Sunday includes a star-studded cast of both actors and professional athletes. With a portion of the movie filmed in Miami, the Orange Bowl Stadium was disguised as home turf for a fictitious football team, the Miami Sharks. Al Pacino plays an intense coach while Cameron Diaz plays an owner, and a not very nice one at that. The football movie greatly differs from heartwarming ones like Rudy or The Replacements. Instead, it shows the inner workings and politics involved with running a professional team.

Cult Classic Films on Satellite TV

It’s pretty easy to see all of the latest hit films on television, seeing as they end up showing on practically every single premium channel after a run on Pay Per View, before hitting the networks eventually and then endlessly repeating on TBS on Saturday afternoons. But finding your favorites can get a little bit more difficult. After all, certain films that end up tanking in theaters, like “A Christmas Story,” end up making it big on television. Today, if it’s nearing the Yuletide spirit time, “A Christmas Story” is going to end up on television for at least 24 hours straight on a single satellite TV station. It’s just a matter how of how things work.

So it is possible to check out your favorite cult classics on television without having too much of a struggle, though in the past it was even easier, surprisingly enough. Certain channels like IFC used to give acclaimed directors free reign to showcase their favorites from obscurity or further away, including the absolutely phenomenal series of hilarious cult director John Waters. Waters, who is known for his own films being serious sources of inspiration for weirdos and film students all over the world, was able to show everything from horror films from the 1950s to the famous Chroenberg feature, “Crash,” in his weekly showcase of films designed to shock and awe.

While today satellite TV and IFC might be a little bit less focused on these sorts of edgy programming, there are still a whole lot of other chances to check out the best in cult classics on television without even having to subscribe to premium channels. On Comedy Central, you can expect to catch the stoner comedy “Dazed and Confused” a couple of times during the year at least, while Halloween promises a viewing of Tim Curry in heels and a young Susan Sarandon, since “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” will be on. And no matter what channel you’re tuning into on satellite TV, once summertime comes and people head to the beach, “Jaws” in all of its various forms will end up back on television for awhile.

But the difference between these classic films and great cult classics in general is that unlike the other fare that is so plentiful on satellite TV, these films consistently manage to retain the wonder and spark from the moment that viewing audiences realized how great they were in the first place. Whether it is campy, serious, or just plain inspiring, opting to watch a cult classic or more underground acclaimed film over the latest blockbuster is a statement. It is saying that you respect those pieces of films that are made places besides the big studios, that you understand that a film doesn’t have to have an all-star cast to be great, and that sometimes it is more worthwhile to recognize one particularly special or great moment in time rather than expecting something to be great just because it is new and fancy. It’s a look back to film from a different time, and it’s definitely a great way of spending a Saturday evening at home.