Lottery tickets, magic tunnels, scorching heat in January and other Vegas-movie flaws
By STEVE FRIESS
Dwayne “not-The-Rock” Johnson’s much-punished yellow cab burst out of the valet stand at the Planet Hollywood —which is, by the way, below ground—and, a frame later, is barreling along a street lined with parking meters that could only be Downtown. They evidently took one of those magical Vegas tunnels I can never find.
I was so overwhelmed by delight, I nearly fell out of my seat. I turned to my companion at the Vegas premiere of Race to Witch Mountain in March and overwhispered, “They did it again!”
And, indeed, they had. They do it just about every time. It might be Sandra Bullock and company passing the Bellagio twice heading south during a Strip drive and then passing New York-New York as if heading north in Miss Congeniality. It might be the impossibly panoramic view from the Caesars suite used in The Hangover. Or maybe it’s that part in The Mexican when James Gandolfini kidnaps Julia Roberts at the clearly marked Belz Factory Outlet Mall, which at the time was on Las Vegas Boulevard South. To escape, he cuts a right to hop on what a Town Center exit sign reveals to be the northbound Summerlin Parkway before we learn via dialogue that both characters were “heading” to Vegas.
For one reason or another, Hollywood has a tremendous amount of difficulty getting Vegas right, and that has spawned a hobby among Vegas aficionados and locals of going to see movies set here with an eye for something that’s not quite right. Many of the examples cited in this piece are ones I’ve been hanging onto for a while or spent the weekend spotting in a work-related movie marathon—Fools Rush In holds up, by the way; Honeymoon in Vegas, not so much—while others are favorites provided by Facebook friends or cited on the brilliant site MovieMistakes.com.
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