Stay Inside! CGI Fireworks are Better than the Real Thing

Why would anybody want to go outside for the Fourth of July?

It’s the middle of summer, there’s heat, bugs and sweat. However, being outside is very much a staple of our nation’s Independence Day, from cookouts to fireworks displays. Those are definitely fun, but what to do when your stomach is ready to hemorrhage from too many hot dogs or you’re crashing from drinking too much beer?

Why, have an Independence Day marathon, of course!

The Traditional Marathon – John Adams

Everyone should watch HBO’s fantastic John Adams miniseries every Independence Day. Seriously. Not only is it mesmerizing, but the series follows the life of our nation’s second President from the Boston Massacre in 1770 all the way to his death on July 4, 1826. Paul Giamatti has never been better as the grumpy Adams, and Laura Linney is every bit his match as Adams’s long-suffering wife. Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning book by David McCullough, the miniseries has stellar attention to detail, including the decaying of everybody’s teeth as time goes on.

The seven episodes may be too much for a lot of people to watch in a single day, but the second episode, Independence, which focuses on the Declaration of Independence, is essential viewing.

John Adams

The Obvious Marathon – Independence Day, Armageddon

Independence Day and Armageddon are not “good” movies. Sure, ID4 made Will Smith WILL SMITH and is cheesy, goofy fun, but it’s not what anybody would call quality. Same with Armageddon, a Michael Bay mind-number before he became enamored with robot porn, ie the Transformers series. ID4 is appropriate to watch on, ahem, Independence Day, and Armageddon has that same kind of ‘Merica attitude going for it. Silly as these movies are, after a hot day of grilling and drinking in the sun, there’s something to be said about mindless entertainment.

The ‘Merica, F–k Yeah Marathon – Team America: World Police, Rocky IV

Sure, Team America: World Police spoofs movies like Armageddon, but there’s a song in it called America, F–k Yeah! No other reason is required to watch that comedy classic on Independence Day. Rocky IV, well, is another no-brainer for a July 4 viewing. Sylvester Stallone pretty much ended the Cold War with the movie, which pits his All-American “Italian Stallion” Rocky Balboa against the mean, steroid injecting, hater of all things American and killer of Apollo Creed…Ivan Drago. If these two movies don’t make the average American jump up and start singing some Lee Greenwood, nothing will. Or, they’re just passed out from too much beer and food.

Rocky IV

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The Author

Ryan Hill

Ryan Hill

Ryan Hill used to spend his time writing screenplays into a notebook instead of doing homework. That love of film and all things storytelling led him to spend most of his time writing. He's been a film critic in North Carolina for over five years, and his debut novel, THE BOOK OF BART, is out now. Please buy it. Ryan also feels odd about referring to himself in the third person.