The Fourth of July, or Independence Day if you will, is a holiday that has festivities contingent on being outside in nice weather. Parades, barbecuing and fireworks are great, but what if it rains? Or what if you want to sit inside and watch movies all day? Both are legitimate concerns. So grab a hotdog. Here is your geek-friendly Fourth of July viewer’s guide.
Aliens, Vampires, and Nicholas Cage- Only in America
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. Appropriately named for such an occasion, the film features an alien invasion right around the Fourth of July. The movie is Will Smith’s first crack at action and is responsible for his meteoric rise to stardom. When the situation calls for it, I can still be heard rehashing Smith’s memorable line, “Welcome to Earth” all these years later. Usually it’s right before I punch an alien in the face. If you really want to impress your friends on the 4th, memorize Bill Pullman’s epic pre-battle speech.
“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”
It’s only natural we want to recognize some of our great leaders on a national holiday like this. So we watch the story of how Honest Abe really defended the United States. I wouldn’t say the top hat wearing, axe-yielding patriot had a whole lot to do with Independence Day, but how independent would we really be without his watchful eye.
Every holiday should feature a Nicholas Cage movie and “National Treasure” fits the bill for this one. The US wasn’t built on treasure hunting, but it was built by the apparently badass founding fathers that left clues to finding treasure in the Declaration of Independence and other important landmarks. Obviously these guys had more time on their hands than we realized. They were able to do this in their downtime around forming a country and everything.
“Live Free or Die Hard”
Known as “Die Hard 4.0” outside of North America, Bruce Willis’ fourth take as John McClane has a distinctive patriotic feel to it. Released in 2007 at the end of June, this was no coincidence. The characters spend time in Washington DC and there is a lot of talk about cyber-terrorism. But at the end of the day, even if your terrorism is on the computer, John McClane is going to mess you up. Just ask the film’s villain played by Timothy Olyphant.
“Captain America: The First Avenger”
We end with the nation personified with Captain America. Marvel’s ode to the United States was finally done the right way on the big screen just two years ago. Submitting yourself to government testing and fighting Nazis are American pastimes. I still can’t entirely get over when Chris Evans’ head is on a scrawny body though, but that’s far from the important thing here. The World War II garb, the classic ideals, it’s just a good American movie. Plus, if I had to pick a modern actor to represent the country, the gruff and awesome Tommy Lee Jones would be at the top of my list. In terms of comic book movies, not many can boast being appropriate for a holiday recognizing your nation’s freedom. So we might as well take advantage of it.
As you sit on your coach and enjoy the Fourth of July, You might as well watch these gems for your geek-friendly catalog. If anyone asks you what you’re doing, let them know you’re just being patriotic. Happy Fourth of July!