Happy Fourth of July! Today is the day when we American’s can drink and party all day while not in college and not be judged for it. Well, maybe we are but we’re too drunk to really care. I enjoy shooting an obscene amount of fireworks in the evening, but during the day, besides a great cook-out, I like to celebrate the holiday by watching a movie or two (or three). Let’s celebrate together and look at my five favorite moves to watch on the Fourth of July.
Although National Treasure doesn’t take place during the Fourth of July, it is a fun celebration of US history. While the whole “a secret society hid a treasure and it is up to one man to find it” plot has been done before, this film weaves true historical facts into its narrative. I remember I convinced my high school American History teacher that this was a “historical” film and we watched it in class. Good times. Nicholas Cage doesn’t overact, like he usually tends to, and it was the first film where I saw Justin Bartha before he appears (too briefly) in the hilarious The Hangover. One of my favorite school subjects was history so it’s fun for me to see history mixed with fiction. That’s also one reason why I like the Assassin’s Creed series so much.
4) The Patriot
I’m not sure if I can call The Patriot a guilty pleasure or not because honestly I’m not sure where this stands on the acceptance level. Wherever it lies, I enjoy this movie. While it may take place during the American Revolutionary War, this film has gained some criticism for its historical inaccuracies. The British are portrayed as cartoonishly villainous and the American heroes as victims. But honestly, what would you expect from an American blockbuster about the American Revolution? This also holds a small place in my heart because it was one of (if not the) first R-rated movie I remember watching.
3) Live Free or Die Hard
Maybe it’s because I’m a programmer but I really enjoy this fourth film in the Die Hard franchise. Die Hard With a Vengeance is amazing and Simon Gruber is a fantastic villain rivaling his brother, but Live Free or Die Hard is a different kind of adventure for John McClane than the other films in the series. He faces an enemy he can’t necessarily beat simply by punching, which can be tough for an old cop, forcing him to accept help from a young computer hacker, played by Justin Long. The plot, however outlandish it may be, rings true to how reliant our society is on technology and how susceptible our society becomes if a massive cyber attack were to occur. Say what you will about it, this film has just as much action and explosions as the previous Die Hard movies, so it can’t be all that bad.
Jaws is the film that is credited with creating the blockbuster. Unsure of how well it would do in the theaters, Universal skipped releasing Jaws in smaller markets and released it nationwide instead. The result was spectacular. It fared way better than Universal was expecting and was a hit with both audiences and critics and it’s not hard to see why. This horror, directed by the young Steven Spielberg, does everything right. The great soundtrack from John Williams perfectly sets the mood (like I also said in my Fave Five John Williams Movie Scores) and we don’t see the titular shark until the very end. Instead, now common horror techniques are used to build anticipation. There are few movies that rival Jaws in cinematic significance and cultural impact.
1) Independence Day
Seriously, if you don’t watch a movie called Independence Day on Independence Day, what are you doing with your life? Independence Day is pure fun. Jeff Goldblum plays Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith pulls out his normal bad-assery. Bill Pullman gives an awesome speech as the President of the United States. Let’s not forget that apparently the US are the ones responsible to come up with the plan to stop the aliens, because go America! And according to the president’s speech, our holiday of Independence Day is now the world’s holiday of Independence Day, because go America! I have mixed feelings about the announced sequel but I try to stay optimistic about these things. Roland Emmerich films can be hit or miss. For me, Independence Day is a definite hit.
If you are interesting in participating in this years Christmas in July Blogathon, you can find all the details and information here.