The top ten movies about L.A.


Conversation recorded and transcribed in 2014 before it all went down.

END OF WATCH: Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena play two LAPD officers patrolling South LA. 

Mona: Like my bother would say, this is essentially a gay movie, but then everything is with him. These two are my favorite bros. Peña broke my heart. If I cared. But I don't. You know Gyllenhaal and Peña spend the months before the shoot driving around with LAPD, to bond?
Elki: Months? It took us five minutes.
Mona: Two minutes in and I would have taken a bullet for you.
Elki: Don't know about that, Boss. But I would have definitely come to your funeral. This movie is sad.
Mona: Yeah, I cried. If I could. I can't. But I would.

SHORT CUTS: Robert Altman masterpiece follows 22 Los Angelinos, their lives intersecting. Based on the stories of Raymond Carver.

Elki: Bama told me to put this one on the list.
Mona: Let me guess.
Elki: Her favorite scene of all time.
Mona: Julianne Moore fighting with her husband, only wearing a white shirt, and red pubes.
Elki: My mom has red hair. 
Mona: Julianne is wearing more than my mom would wear. When picking fights, or groceries, or convenient store clerks.
Elki: For me, it's a tie between Magnolia and Short Cuts and this one won 'cause it has Frances Mc Dormand, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Lily Tomlin and Madeline Stowe. My other mom did her nails once. Nice Korean hair, she said, but she smells of horses and cigars.

THE SLUMS OF BEVERLY HILLS: Natasha Lyonne plays a fourteen-year-old who has to move around from one cheap apartment to another because her dad wants her and her brother to get the education the Beverly Hills public schools offer.

Elki: Alan Arkin plays my favorite dad ever. I wish he could be mine. He sells Oldsmobiles. BEST DAD EVER.
Mona; I thought you would start with the bra scene.
Elki: Are you kidding me, Oldsmobile. Steak dinners and cool cars. Mark my words, there's never been a better movie dad.
Elki; Or the scene when Natasha's brother is singing Luck's a lady tonight in his white tight undies.
Elki: Kind of underwear obsessed there.  
Mona: You know my dad left when I was six. Now I'm thinking, that last fight with my mom, was she wearing underwear of was she Moore-ing it? She should have tried. Pull down those panties every time he tries to leave. Pull them down and scream. 
Elki: How to act like a b and still keep your man. You should write one of those self-help books. 

IN A LONELY PLACE: Humprey Bogart plays a screenwriter down on his luck, who has to adapt a trashy book, and falls under suspicion when the girl he asked to tell him the story of this book, he didn't bother to read, is killed. His alibi is his new neighbor, Gloria Grahame,  a wannabe actress. They fall in love. But he might be a killer.

Mona: I love In a Lonely place and Dark Passage equally. Bogie has to clear his name in both. In Dark Passage Bacall believes him. Grahame not so much. 
Elki: Let me guess, you love this because it's the most cynical love story ever made. 
Mona: Maybe, it is definitely a plus. And it shows how crazy artist can be. And even if he's innocent, Gloria is definitely better off without Bogie 
Elki: You spoiled it.
Mona: Her love saves him, she remains suspicious, it drives him crazy, he tries to kill her and then she hears he didn't do it. Now I spoiled it. No wait, Bogie never walks around in his undies and Gloria keeps her panties on. Elki you can get up now. She's on her knees this whole time.
Elki: Gloria Grahame, Boss, show some respect.

MULHOLLAND DRIVE: David Lynch double trouble tale of a young actress Betty, played Naomi Watts, trying to make it in Hollywood. She falls in love with a mysterious brunette, Rita, who can't remember a thing after a car accident on Mulholland. They start to investigate, to find out her identity, but then step into the Silencio club, the serpent eats his tale, the story flips and Noami Watts starts to look haggard, drugged out, and Rita is nowhere to be found.

Mona: Hottest sex scene ever. Best twist. And this one may beat In A lonely place for most fucked up love story ever. 
Elki: That's what you are going with? Alright, let me try to do it justice. We could have picked Sunset Boulevard as the best movie about Hollywood, but I think this one shows the grabbiness, the depravity, smashed hopes, and dark heart behind the glamour even better. The nice thing is that we get both, so you can choose to close your eyes and pretend Betty's audition is mind-blowing if you don't have the cojones to admit it's just the fever dream of a washed up junkie. 
Mona: Love the scene where they hold hands, walking from Mulholland to the party.
Elki: We did that. Or will do that. 
Mona: Stop comparing us to movies where one of them dies.

JACKIE BROWN: Not a Quentin Tarantino original, but based on Elmore Leonard's book. Pam Grier plays a flight attendant who is smuggling money for arms dealer Samuel Jackson. She gets caught, meets a bondman, who falls in love with her and escapes Sam Jackson thorn by coming up with a plan to make him semi-rich. Only to execute the plan Sam is dependent on Robert De Niro, a former cellmate and a constantly stoned surfer girl, played by Bridget Fonda. 

Elki: Still bummed out that de Niro shot Bridget. She's my favorite. 
Mona: Mine too. She reminds me of Bama.
Elki: If Bama ever went out in the sun. So what this one and not Pulp Fiction?
Mona: Because we get Pam Grier walking like the queen through the airport, And Bridget being even funnier than Rosanne Arquette.
Mona: Can you imagine Pam Grier warning Quentin not to go near her feet. Stay away from my tootsies, creepo. 

THE BIG LEBOWSKI: A reworking of The Big Sleep— by the Coen brothers—as a comedy where the role of Humprey Bogay is taken over by Jeffrey 'the dude' Lebowski. The dude gets hired to deliver a ransom sum when the trophy wife of his namesake is kidnapped. But Walter, the dude's best friend, screws it all up. And then they go bowling. 

Mona: The most misunderstood movie ever. It's about America, Bush senior, and his dumb son, the Iraq war, the sixties, the clash of American ideologies.
Elki: Are you kidding right now?
Mona: Just trying to impress you.
Elki: Shut up Donnie.
Mona: I deserve that.
Elki: So why do we love this?
Mona: Dunno. Best movie, ever, dude.
Elki: That's more like it.
Mona: Moore is nude in this one.
Elki: You are going to tell me that your mom swung nude from the ceiling too, aren't you? 
Mona: (singing) If you could read my mind, girl...

SWINGERS: A tale of out-of-work actors, dancing their pain away in LA coolest swing music clubs.

Mona: Give it away.
Elki: Now that we are here you expect me to do all the work? I'm hungry, I need a nap.
Mona: Don't be like that and pretend you don't watch this movie every week.
Elki: Just for the scene where Vince Vaughn sits in the booth and waves at the women thinking she's flirting, and it's the baby she waving at.
Mona: Then why don't you watch just that scene?
Elki: Can't do that, all the other stuff leads up to it. I love when Vince goes down like that.
Mona: Yesterday I watched the clip on Youtube with Ron Livingstone when he talks about heartbreak and pain and missing the pain. 
Elki: You are scaring me, where are you going with this?
Mona: The comment section! It was full of guys pouring their hearts out, crying and stuff about their ex-girlfriends. It was great, I grabbed a bag of popcorn and had the best afternoon. 
Mona: Living your best life.
Mona: Hey, I am here. I've made it. Sunny every day.

DOUBLE INDEMNITY Barbara Stanwyck convinces insurance salesman Fred MacMurray to kill her husband and make it look like an accident to double the insurance pay-out. 

Mona: Can I go first? Billy Wilder, co-written by Raymond Chandler. based on a story by James M. Cain with Barbara Stanwyck! Done. And back to a time when you didn't need to show underwear, just an ankle bracelet to stir some shit up. Are you on your knees again?
Elki: Can we watch Babyface after?
Mona: Such a good movie. But we should talk about this one.
Elki: You do it, low blood sugar. I'm almost face down.
Mona: Wait with that you can be useful, and shield me with your body.
Elki: Is this the sickest love story ever made?
Mona: Didn't we pick one real love story?
Elki: Maybe they don't exist. 
Mona: They should make one. A true love story set in Hollywood. Something like Casablanca, or Close Encounter.
Elki: Again, bad endings.  But you're right, not as cynical as the ones you worship.
Mona; I am afraid, I have one more.

Shampoo: A star hairdresser wants to set up his own salon. He's a womanizer, The man he wants as the backer is the husband of one of his girlfriends. It's set during the Nixon years and burst the bubble of the sexual revolution.

Elki: Right just Swingers, he's so money, all the honeys want him, and he just made a fool of. 
Mona: Standing on the hill watching his love drive away from him.
Elki: Julie Christie is so gorgeous. Who you think is better looking Warren of Julie?
Mona: Goldie Hawn.
Elki: You're crazy, boss.
Mona: Hal Ashby is my favorite director. 
Elki: He started out as an editor. Just saying.
Mona: Please the last thing I want to be is a director. And didn't he die penniless, hiding out in The Malibu Colony like Tod Browning, another cast out of this town?
Elki: It reminds me of Pete,  maybe we should see how your paramour is doing?
Mona: One thing we should learn from all those movies set here in LA, love wrecks you.
Elki: Only when you don't care.
(inaudible, tape stops).

HOLLYWOOD DAZE WILL BE OUT JUNE 1, 2018. You can pre-order HERE.