The fact is, John is a very smart guy (both in education and innate intelligence). There are very few subjects I'd consider myself prepared to debate with him. Basically, you should figure he'd hand me my ass on most topics. I will, however take exception to one comment he made.
How many films need just the right grittiness of Chinatown? That's the art director's ego talking, isn't it? Like I said, no one outside of NYC natives or people like me who frequent the neighborhood from out of town will likely notice.
So, here are some pictures of Chinatown in Manhattan. I'm sorry. I didn't bother to hop in the car to get you some good pics, I just grabbed some screenshots off of GoogleStreet. Even so, you get a pretty good idea. Notice the narrow streets, the fire escapes and vertical signs everywhere you look.
And here's Chinatown in Flushing.
I'll leave it to you guys to tell me that nobody outside of NY would notice the difference. And if anyone thinks I was just being selective with the pictures to prove my point, go look at GoogleStreet yourself. The Manhattan neighborhood can be found by searching GoogleMaps for "Pell Street at Doyers Street, NY, NY" and the Flushing neighborhood is just south of "Main Street at Roosevelt Avenue, Flushing, NY".
Move the little dude around all you want and find me a match for Manhattan.