Hi everyone, Bryan Here….
In the midst of family and friend get-togethers, 37 pounds of BBQ spare ribs, ten gallons of creamy cool coleslaw, floating in a pool, and setting off fireworks, while listening to Neil Diamond’s ‘America’, I also like to enjoy “that one night game a year”, meaning I love to watch July 4th inspired films. I usually do a mini movie marathon of them with the usual food and beverages that go with each film. I’ve done this the past few years, with one year, taking a break to do an all John Carpenter/Kurt Russell marathon. That was a lot of fun. But, for those of you who want to enjoy a movie or three over the holiday weekend, but keep with the spirit of the 4th of July, here are a few suggestions to keep you patriotic.
INDEPENDENCE DAY (1996)
What would happen if a large scale alien attack happened on Earth on July 4th? Well, you’d get Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, and Bill Paxton (played by Bill Pullman), figuring out how to kill aliens and their spaceships by giving them a nasty cold. I’m seriously. Hell, it even has a pre-crazy Randy Quaid in it for good measure. This is a great way to start off your movie marathon, with a bang and some laughs. And since there is a sequel on the way, now is the time to brush up on the film that started it all.
Before Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed went skipping in the ocean with short shorts on and had a tickle/splash fight, they were opponents in probably the greatest underdog boxing movie ever made. And even though the big bout took place on New Years, it was all about America and it’s birthday. Hell, Apollo Creed even dressed as George Washington and Uncle Sam as he came to the ring, only to find out that Rocky was a better fighter. America loves an underdog story and a good montage sequence. This movie has both.
After those three pounds of ribs and brisket you just digested, of course you want to run into the nearest lake or pool and have a tickle/splash fight of your own. Think again. Well at least that is what Steven Spielberg made us do. He made us afraid to go in the water, due to a gigantic human eating maniacal shark that seemed to have an IQ higher than most people nowadays. And when does this shark start attacking kids and adults? July 4th, which is the biggest tourist holiday for Amity Island. With John Williams’s iconic score, Quint’s amazing speeches, and a diabolical shark that I’m sure would have had Samuel L. Jackson for second breakfast, ‘JAWS‘ is the perfect fun and thrilling July 4th movie you need.
THE SANDLOT (1993)
For those of us that grew up in the 70s and 80s, this movie defined our childhoods. Little league baseball, a group of friends to have adventures with over the summer, a first kiss, cooking smores, meeting Darth Vader, chewing tobacco, throwing up on a carnival ride, and of course the one night game a year. I played little league baseball for a number of years and a had a group of friends similar to the ones in ‘The Sandlot‘. I definitely related to this movie, and while it takes place over the course of a whole summer, one of my favorite scenes in the film is on July 4th, where we see the neighborhood block party filled with people, food, and fun. However, the sandlot group goes to play their annual night game a year and watch fireworks. What a perfect scene.
RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD (1985)
Zombies. Zombies that only eat brains. Linnea Quigley dancing naked in a graveyard. Punk rock music. That is basically the plot of ‘Return of the Living Dead‘. That being said, this film is so much fun, I can’t help but watch it a few times a year. This is basically the fun, silly version to Romero’s Zombie franchise, complete with naked chicks and tons of blood and gooey innards. Oh yeah, it also takes place on the 4th of July, just as the army is about to nuke everything, because of the impending zombie outbreak, due to some idiotic employees at a local funeral home. This 4th of July film is the party course of the marathon. Have fun with it and don’t forget to call the paramedics.