Let’s list it up. Sure the 4th is over and culdesacs around the country are covered in rows of burnt empty cardboard tubes and powder burns. Shells and husks from firecrackers and smoke bombs litter the blacktop and we’re done digesting too much barbecue and maybe too many drinks (way too many drinks). But that doesn’t mean we can’t take a look back and feel patriotic as we count down the list of movies that represent Americana the best. Keep in mind here, I’m not going to list Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse Now four times each. America is great and it’s movies are an excellent example of that, but not all aspects of patriotism in film are war and war alone.
8. The Patriot- Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger lend their Aussie accents to this great piece of film. Nothing says America better than beating Red Coats to death with a tomahawk while your kids lay down cover fire from the bushes. Early era war movies showing the colonists fighting for their freedom. Fun Fact: The hero of Canton, the man they call Jayne (Adam Baldwin) plays a traitor in this movie.
7. Independence Day- If aliens were real and hostilely invading from above this is the movie we’d watch to pump ourselves up. Because it’d be oddly specific and related to what was going on around us. It too is about hostile aliens reigning terror down on us like Mars Attacks. Takes place on Independence Day and has the most famous scene of the capitol building being blown apart by laser blasts.
6. Team America- **** YEAH! Coming to save the ******* ****** day, YEAH! I almost hate this move. Something about the way it’s shot, maybe it had a bad cinematographer? IDK, but there is definitely something askew. However it has puppet sex and some of the funniest scenes I’ve ever seen in a movie. It’s over the top patriotic and the sheer inventiveness of an adult puppet movie make it genius.
5. Stripes- Bill Murray and Harold Ramis team up with John Candy (who in my heart will always be the 5th Ghostbuster, he wasn’t in Ghostbusters, BUT HE SHOULD’VE BEEN!) in this Ivan Reitman masterpiece worthy of preservation the film vault. It has a freakin RV/Tank in it and that to me seems like ‘Merica all day. The only thing more patriotic than that would be a bass boat-battleship
4. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter- (see our review and related book review for Unholy Night) This is a geek site and what movie more embodies patriotism and geek culture than a movie about the 16th President of the Unites States slaying vampires and freeing slaves.
3. Mission Impossible- Ghost Protocol more than most. All of them really. War movies are fine, but spy movies are war movies, only more secret and cool. Saving the country from the shadows is just as patriotic as waving a flag and running into battle. Maybe even more so. These unsung heroes don’t get recognition and medals. Their only reward is knowing that they are awesome and can kill us all with their thumbs. I only say Ghost Protocol more than most because it was the last one I saw.
2. Superman- The man of steel is Alien in origin on paper but his story itself, created by Jerry Siegel, is all American. Not just because he is a fictional American creation and the first Superhero, but his actual story. A foreigner from another land trying to live up to the ideals and expectations of the world. His moral and fortitude is what American’s try to represent. None of us hit it on the head like Supes, but his lead in this role is what lands him the two spot.
1. Captain America- I shouldn’t even have to write something here. He’s Captain ‘freakin’” America. Everything Supes embodies from the two spot, only he has no beyond human super powers. Enhanced, sure, but not beyond comprehension. More often than not it is Caps never quit attitude and drive for what’s right that saves the day. Not his speed or strength. They help along the way. When it comes to that final confrontation it’s always Steve Rogers noble spirit that wins the day, pushing beyond whatever foe, or challenge, expected him too. That’s why he’s Captain America.
Another week by and another list thwarted, like so many evil doers. If I forgot someone be sure and throw your honorable mentions in the comments thread below or @werewolforigin on twitter. You can always email us. You’ll find the contact us link on the home page along with many more delightful threads. Until next week, same bat time same bat channel.