Fourth of July

Patton After Dark

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that is often written drunk, especially on national holidays. We spent all day celebrating America in all her imperfect, boldly designed glory. No matter where you fall on the current state of American politics and culture, the beauty of it is that you’re free to think and say whatever you want. Around here, we like to say all kinds of things about moving pictures. Some call them movies. They are the backbone of this very nightly column, one that takes you around the movie blogosphere, already in the midst of its celebration of America. If you’re still sober enough to read these words, then you’re ready to do the news.

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A League of Their Own

There have been times in my life when I’ve been invited to things. I usually end up having to work or sleep or do something far less interesting, but I’ve been known, from time to time, to make my presence known at a holiday gathering or two. One particular holiday of which I’ve long been a fan is the fourth of July. From fireworks on the National Mall to suburban block parties to back yard BBQs that end with various limbs in danger (thanks to the backyard BBQ’s constant cohort, the backyard fireworks display), I’ve never been one to shy from a few cold ones and grilled meat in celebration of this wonderful nation. It’s for the troops, for the American dream and for future generations that I imbibe. And because it’s a good time, of course. Another great Fourth of July tradition is that of getting out of the heat, before the fireworks start, and seeing a movie in a nice air conditioned theater, be it the multiplex or the couchiplex. Nothing says America like some good old fashioned Hollywood commerce. Which brings us to this week’s Pop Quiz question: what is your go-to Fourth of July movie? 

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Earlier today I republished our list of the 20 most pro-American films of the last ten years, which can be used to provide some inspiration for the discussion we’re about to have. It’s July 4, and much of the FSR staff is taking the day off to attend BBQ’s, drink copious amounts of alcohol and if I remember correctly, participate in epic games of Risk, all in defiance of colonialism. We’re proud to be the Greatest American Movie Blog (someone said that, it wasn’t me), and we’d like to hear from you, the Greatest American (and non-American) Movie Blog Readers: what is your favorite movie to watch on the Fourth of July? Leave your answer in the comments section at the bottom of this article. And be safe out there as you celebrate all things red, white and blue. (Also, as a special note: if Texas goes up in flames, we had nothing to do with it.)

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Like many of my fellow Americans, on July 4th I succumbed to the obvious film choice and reinvested my time into Independence Day, which luckily never spawned a successful franchise – after all, what do you call the fourth movie when you called the first ID4? Now, back in 1996 this movie was awesome. In 2009, not so much. But in 2010, under just the right circumstances, I found it enjoyable once more. Save for one thing – the alien technology. Or, more accurately, the way it was designed.

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James Cagney plays George M. Cohan in the story of the man’s life. It spans from his childhood stardom on the Vaudeville circuit through his wild success, downfall, and comeback – featuring the music that made the man a legend. “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” “Over There,” “Give My Regards to Broadway,” and, of course, “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”

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This weekend while vampires, werewolves and martial artists invade the multiplex, the whole country will be celebrating Independence Day. And one of the big traditions on the Fourth of July is to drink copious amounts of alcohol. So while the teenage girls are overrunning the theaters, why not rent a patriotic movie – like a good old fashioned war movie – and celebrate our independence in style.

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