It's a good thing the National Football League decided to throw its annual shindig in Miami this year. That poor little city just doesn't get enough attention! In addition to playing host to the Pro Bowl this Sunday and Super Bowl the following weekend, Miami frequently welcomes TV and movie crews who crave the warm weather, tranquil ocean waters, rich Latin cultural influences and … Oh, who are kidding? They crave the half-naked Euro-models that prowl the skeezy South Beach club scene 24 hours a day. Still, when the job is done, those Hollywood horn dogs turn out good work. Here are our favorite flicks to get you into a Miami state of mind. Compiled by Steve Spears, Times staff writer
Top 5 films set in Miami:
THE BIRDCAGE (1996): Robin Williams and Nathan Lane shine as gay club owners in the Miami-based makeover of 1978's La Cage aux Folles. Finally, definitive proof that Hollywood's remake mentality can sometimes yield a flick that's simply FABULOUS!
Memorable line: "Armand Goldman, you old so-and-so! How 'bout those Dolphins! … Screaming queen?"
SCARFACE (1983): Say hello to the most quotable movie ever set in Miami. Too bad half the quotes are unprintable in a family newspaper. Al Pacino plays a greedy Cuban drug lord in a pre-Miami Vice South Florida. What would Sonny Crockett say?!? Memorable line: "In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women."
TRUE LIES (1994): Adventure-seeking Jamie Lee Curtis heats up South Florida as a frustrated wife unknowingly married to an undercover agent (Arnold Schwarzenegger, almost 10 years before he'd become California's "Governator.") Memorable line: "I've got two words for that. In. Sane."
THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY (1998): Ben Stiller and Cameron Diaz are funniest when playing high school versions of themselves. But a comedy that milks laughs from mutilation-by-zipper, dogs in full body casts and improper use of bodily fluids as hair gel isn't everybody's idea of a good time. | Memorable line: "Oh man! How'd you get the beans above the frank?"
BLACK SUNDAY (1977): A disgruntled Vietnam vet and Palestinian terrorist conspire to detonate a bomb inside a blimp over Miami's Orange Bowl during Super Bowl X. Anyone else glad that this year's game is up the road a bit at Sun Life Stadium? Memorable line: "Cancel the Super Bowl? That's like canceling Christmas!"
NFL stars turned actors
Call us NFL apologists, but we think pro football players make better actors than other athletes.
CARL WEATHERS: Though he played only one year in the NFL, Weathers earns top spot for playing the iconic Apollo Creed in the first three Rocky films.
TERRY BRADSHAW: The Steelers QB was the king of cameos 30 years ago in Hooper, The Cannonball Run and Smokey and the Bandit II. In 2006, he turned to film work in Failure to Launch.
MERLIN OLSEN: After retiring from the Los Angeles Rams in 1976, Olsen won a new generation of fans with TV roles on Little House on the Prairie and Father Murphy.
JIM BROWN: The former running back great carved out an impressive career in the era of Blaxploitation cinema. Guy-movie fans revere Brown most for his role in The Dirty Dozen.
JOHN MATUSZAK: The former University of Tampa star played an all-too-convincing drug-abusing football player in North Dallas Forty. But he might be best remembered as Sloth in The Goonies.
Weekend movies Dollar amounts in millions
The Book of Eli, $17
Tooth Fairy, $14.5
The Lovely Bones, $8.8
Prime-time TV shows
AFC Divisional Playoff: Baltimore vs. Indianapolis (CBS)
American Idol — Tuesday (Fox)
American Idol — Wednesday (Fox)
AFC Football Post-Game Show (CBS)
Source: Nielsen Co. for week ending Jan. 17
Albums on iTunes
Contra (Bonus Track version), Vampire Weekend
My Dinosaur Life (Deluxe version), Motion City Soundtrack
The Fame Monster (Deluxe version), Lady GaGa
Source: iTunes Music Store
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