Independence Day Blockbusters
Contributed by: Becky, Share Lemonade
I don’t know about you, but over here, we’re still feeling star-spangled spectacular and not quite ready to let go of that Fourth of July energy. So, let’s carry on the celebration with movies that practically drip with patriotism!
Action! Drama! Naval aviation! Cool Nicknames!
In this 1986 flick, Tom Cruise plays LT Pete “Maverick” Mitchell – a talented, but reckless aviator, who has learns some hard lessons to learn before he can appreciate the importance of teamwork and a unified direction. A classic tale of a cavalier, chauvinistic flex significantly benefiting from a touch of humility, this popular movie has everything an invested audience could want: death, romance, a rival-turned-wingman, and ultimately – triumph. Between the action-packed stunts, the brotherhood-type bonding, the Naval Fighter Weapon School setting, and Maverick’s jacket, one can almost feel the wind beneath the bald eagle’s wings…
Captain America sees your Navy movie and raises you a “super-soldier-built-to-fight-off-Nazis” movie.
Yes, we’re ultimately still talking military service, but where “Top Gun” is a journey to humility, 2011’s “The First Avenger” is a journey that begins in humility. There’s no flashy showmanship here, folks. This is the kind of American pride rooted in true honor. The movie takes us back to Captain America’s roots – as Steve Rogers, a sickly young man initially rejected for WWII military recruitment, but later recruited for a “super-soldier” experiment. Why? Because he exhibited the true spirit of a solider, through a self-sacrificial act of valor. It is ultimately this courage and bravery that makes Captain America so popular. He’s not here to smash, he’s main weapon isn’t anything like a hammer. He’s most associated with his shield – he is, above all else, a protector. Captain America, in this movie and all the ones after it, serves as a reminder of what a role model – a true American – can look like.
*Editor’s Note: Also, because Chris Evans reasons.
But, you know what’s adjacent to uniformed service and heroism? Olympic-level hockey.
No need to create a fictional plot here. This 2004 sports movie retells the real-life story of the 1980 U.S. men’s ice hockey team on their journey to beget what many consider to be the most iconic moment in sports history: “Miracle on Ice”. It has all the perfect makings of a classic Americana tale: a division-to-unity journey, overwhelming underdogs, Olympic success, and beating the Soviets in the ‘80s. Not to mention, it’s chock full of inspirational Brooks-isms, including:
“Great moments are born from great opportunity, and that’s what you have here tonight, boys. That’s what you’ve earned here tonight.”
How about you? Which movies cause you to see stars (and stripes)? Sound off in the comments!
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