City Lights: San Francisco


Welcome back to City Lights, a series about films set in different cities, inspired by an ongoing series at I Luv Cinema. Today, we're hitting San Francisco.


Star Trek IV: The One with the Whales isn't generally regarded as one of the finest, but as with many movies on this list, I am not ashamed to love it. There's a ludicrous "plot" which sends the Enterprise crew back in time to save some magical space whales. It's all very silly, but the cast are clearly having a great time romping through San Francisco, and the light comic tone is a welcome breather from the movies before and after it.


The Game uses one of my most hated storytelling techniques: the false ending. But its probably my favorite David Fincher thriller. I'm not sure I've ever felt quite as tense in any movie, as Michael Douglas's steady loss of control bleeds through the screen.


The Rock. What's there to say about it? It's a modern classic. Long before Nicolas Cage became a series of punchlines, he had a great bro-mance with Sean Connery. And consider the many uncredited screenwriters: Quentin Tarantino, Aaron Sorkin and Jonathan Hensleigh. Though I'm not sure if the existence of this film balances out all of Michael Bay's other atrocities.


Is there any film quite so scary as The Birds? Vertigo gets all the critical love, but I think The Birds is far more rewarding if you're willing to consider its subtext. It's not about the birds, it's about Tippi Hedren's inability to connect.


George of the Jungle is the second film on this list that I love totally unashamedly, despite any sort of critical justification. It makes me laugh everytime I've seen it, and I've seen it a hundred times. Apparently Roger Ebert agrees with me.

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3 Responses to “ City Lights: San Francisco ”

  1. You chose great titles! The Rock is a great movie and George of the Jungle.. wow, i love it too

  2. The Birds is set in San Francisco?

    I do have a certain affection for The Rock. Between Sean Connery, John Spencer and Ed Harris there's too much talent for it to be less than entertaining, even if it has the intelligence and sensitivity of...well, a rock. Just wish Michael Biehn got more to do than shout STAND FAST and wave his weapon about. Never knew Sorkin worked on the script, though I understand Clement and La Frenais were asked to give it a polish. I can only asume the producers asked for someone who could make prisons funny.

    And no list of San Francisco films would be complete without The Room.

  3. I didn't even know that Michael Biehn was in it! And now that I know he was, I am also sad he didn't have a bigger role. I think that movie worked bc both Connery and Nic Cage were overacting in their own ways, which somehow balanced each other out.


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