Florida Movies

“Kim Jong-un doesn’t understand that we aren’t afraid of him. What that guy doesn’t get is that we already have an unstable peninsula that will ultimately bring down America. It’s called Florida.” The above quote comes from Conan O’Brian’s keynote speech at Saturday night’s Whitehouse Correspondents’ Dinner. O’Brien, of course, doesn’t explain the joke. He doesn’t need to. Not because he’s referencing a specific, recent event in Florida, but because the joke taps into a vast catalog of associations with Florida as a whole. It’s hard to pinpoint one adjective that adequately describes the ways in which Florida’s culture appears to the rest of the nation, but The Sunshine State is certainly in a class all its own. On the one hand, Florida made news this past year for its absurd, unjustifiable gun laws, its bureaucratic bulwarks against democratic participation, and even its cannibals. But in less serious terms, Florida is also known for hosting an astonishing number of bizarre petty crimes and a few emerging one-of-a-kind industries. Many lists, articles, editorials, and even a Twitter feed chronicling the life of the worst superhero ever have all taken part in attempting to surmise why, exactly, the Florida is so damned special. But perhaps recent movies that take place (and were shot on location in) Florida provide the real keys to understanding the idiosyncratic culture of Voldemort’s state. Michael Bay’s Pain and Gain is the third of a string of high-profile films to investigate the lives of that routinely exceptional brand […]


The Watch 2012

The tragic killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin is such a widely reported and consistently commented-upon national news item that it was bound to have impact beyond the family of the victim and the community in which it took place. The details of the shooting have yet to be poured over in a courtroom setting, which will probably entail another long stretch of media attention, and already the effects of the story have started to hit Hollywood. More specifically, they’ve affected the marketing of Akiva Schaffer’s upcoming comedy, Neighborhood Watch, which stars Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, and Richard Ayoade as a quartet of overzealous members of their local neighborhood watch program. The story and the movie are being connected because Martin’s shooting came at the hands of a man who was both a member of a similar program, and also thought to be by many overzealous in his pulling of the trigger. The real big problem is that the film’s teaser trailer features a moment in which Hill’s character makes a gun with his finger and pulls the trigger while it’s pointed at a group of neighborhood kids. As you can imagine, that plays as being fairly offensive in light of recent events, so Fox has pulled the ad and the film’s first poster from Florida markets.

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published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.26.2015
published: 01.26.2015

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