I was asked that in the spirit of our nation’s birthday, indicate a favorite patriotic item, superhero, movie, etc.  I know most thoughts would drift to the hero who wears the flag with him, and he’s a darn good choice.  Here are a few of my favorite patriotic movies.

Saving Private Ryan:

Listen, if you’ve played a lot of video games, you have been deluged with World War II media, but for my money this one was the best.  I think that this was one of Tom Hank’s best movies.  The first few minutes of the movie were the best indication of what it was like to storm the beaches of Normandy.

The story tells of one unit, whose job it is to get Private Ryan out of the fight, as all four of his brothers had died in the fighting.  The unit takes hit after hit trying to save just this one soldier, and Spielberg showed the ups and downs of the soldier’s lives in the Big One.

The Patriot:

A darker movie with Mel Gibson (yes, he’s shown to be kind of a d-bag lately, but that doesn’t take away from this movie for me) as Benjamin Martin a lone father struggling with watching his oldest son sign up for war, and also watching as his younger sons also get blood on their hands, following his own bloody legacy as a soldier.  Benjamin doesn’t want to get involved, but suddenly he takes this war for liberty personally when a British General kills one of his sons in front of him.

There was also a microcosm of why the United States won the war, in which Martin outsmarts Cornwallis himself, as just like in the war, the British general is not prepared for thinking outside of the box thinking.

Yes, the late Heath Ledger is in this movie, and I felt he did an admirable job in his role as Martin’s eldest son, who helped pull his father into this war, and was awed by the man as he lead the people, including help recruit.

There is only one movie, the penultimate movie, that is Iwo Jima, grandma’s apple pie and a nickle Coca Cola on the fourth of July all rolled up into one….

Rocky IV:

Listen, when that bear of a Russian Ivan Drago, punched Apollo Creed in the face (Apollo Creed who by the way was dressed up like Uncle F’in Sam), he punched all of us in the face!  Ronald Regan, Mickey Mouse, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and my great aunt Caroline had all just been decked by Dolph Lundgren.  What the hell!  We can’t stand for this garbage, we need a real American to put down Communism!

Enter Rocky Balboa, the Italian Stallion and the Heavyweight Champion of the world.  Sure, the rest of this movie was much like when he was ducking Mr T up until the end, but eventually Sly got the point, and realized that he had to go to the USSR and rip back our countries collective manhood.  Sure, it didn’t look good.  Balboa was beaten bloody, and you thought for a moment that the red white and blue was going down.  Balboa was already walking towards the light where Apollo, erm I mean Chubbs, Abraham Lincoln and the Alligator were waving at him to follow them.

I’ll leave you with the best part of this movie…

“Hearts on Fire, Strong Desire!”

Happy B-Day America.