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Amity Island has everything: Beautiful beaches, lovely shops, a friendly sheriff (Roy Scheider) and a massive shark preying on the citizenry.
It's the Fourth of July, and to many Americans that means cookouts and fireworks and sandy beaches. Unfortunately, it also means that it's hot. And so bright! It seems like we get closer and closer to the sun every year!
This year, why not draw all the blinds, turn on the air conditioner, sit in the dark and watch movies that convey all the fun of the holiday, but without the annoying sunburns, sandy crevices and botulism risks? We've hand-picked the following movies for the complete 4th of July experience, or a reasonable facsimile.
"Independence Day" (1996)
This may seem a no-brainer, but this alien-invasion movie not only takes place on the 4th (Tagline: "On July 2nd, they arrive. On July 3rd, they strike. On July 4th, we fight back."), it also features enough explosions to vaporize Europe. Not only do the aliens create their own "fireworks" when they blow up Los Angeles, New York and Washington D.C., they also become fireworks when their charred remains burn up while entering the atmosphere.
Amity Island has everything: Beautiful beaches, lovely shops, a friendly sheriff (Roy Scheider) and a massive shark preying on the citizenry. Of course, the mayor refuses to close the beaches and ruin their tourist season, which means the carnage can continue unabated. Every time a peaceful beach scene is interrupted by screams of "Shark!" you'll be glad that the nearest body of water is your bathtub.
"The Patriot" (2000)
History would be a lot more exciting to watch if it was as violent and star-studded as this movie. Pay homage to our forefathers -- Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Adam Baldwin, Donal Logue, Chris Cooper, Joely Richardson, Tcheky Karyo and Rene Auberjonois -- by watching them fight and die to save our shores from some of Britain's finest actors (Jason Isaacs, Tom Wilkinson).
Crank up the A.C. for this next film, and maybe you can avoid getting as sweaty as Val Kilmer seems to be throughout most of it. DeNiro and Pacino both pack heat on the hot streets of L.A., and they trade hot lead when the Pacino's heat comes down on DeNiro's gang of bank robbers. It may also be summer, but it's hard to tell in L.A.
"Strange Brew" (1983)
Although filmed entirely in Canada, and starring a mostly Canadian cast (with the notable exception of Max von Sydow), the mass consumption of beer in this movie is something any American can get behind. Based on the "Great White North" SCTV sketch, the film sees the Canuck host brothers taking jobs at a brewery with a sinister secret. We would tell you that the movie is also a parody of Hamlet, but that's really beside the point.
"Hamburger: The Motion Picture" (1986) and "Hot Dog: The Movie" (1984)
Based on the real Hamburger University, where McDonald's managers learn the biz, Hamburger follows a goofball slacker to the only college that will accept him, likely because Dick Butkus is on the staff. He learns to make hamburgers, and wackiness ensues. Hot Dog, on the other hand, is a madcap skiing sex romp with Shannon Tweed. There aren't any hot dogs in it, we just like the movie.
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