In honor of the 4th of July, the team at Nerdophiles has put together a list of some vaguely nerdy and/or science fiction films for you to enjoy this weekend. I mean super vaguely. We’re stretching it with some of these here and we know it. But we also don’t care, because these are some awesome movies. Awesome movies that you should be watching. Right now.
Go watch them. Now.
Red Dawn (1982) and, okay, maybe Red Dawn (2012)
It doesn’t get a whole lot more American than the original Red Dawn. The original is an alternate history story set in a small town in Colorado during a Soviet invasion of America. A ragtag band of high school students escapes to the hills where they wage a guerilla war against those who invaded their home. There is a bit of minor narraration provided by one of the surviving members of the Wolverines and it does not get any more patriotic than the very end. The rock where the kids wrote the names of their dead gets turned turned into a national monument with a very patriotic plaque commending their efforts to keep America from perishing from the Earth.
The second movie isn’t quite as patriotic and blatantly American as the original but it doesn’t do too bad for itself. Plus it’s got Thor and Peeta in it! And sandwich artists!
Yeah, okay, maybe this should be at the top of the list. I mean, it’s Independence Day. Independence Day. Independence Day is basically one of the most iconic, patriotic science fiction movies ever. You’ve got the American president, Will Smith as a bad ass fighter pilot, an exploding White House… and, of course, you’ve got the speech. There is nothing more patriotic than that speech. Except maybe Will Smith handing his stepson a bag of firecrackers (he’s like six at the most) and later calling the exploding alien space ship fireworks. Or perhaps the montage of the Americans bringing together all of the rest of the world – including the Israelis and Egyptians who are hiding out with the Brits in the Sinai.
Therese and I are literally watching this right now as I write this.
Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and Iron Man 3
Steve Rogers might be Captain America but Tony Stark is the embodiment of our modern American persona. He’s flashy, kind of arrogant, and proud. In the first film he’s quite proud of the American military industrial complex and blows shit up while saying, “That’s how America does it!” (Or something like that. My quote isn’t exact.) Then in the second film you’ve got the Stark Expo and Tony being – once again – all kinds of flash, proud, and American. And, finally, in Iron Man 3 you’ve got the Iron Patriot. The Iron Patriot. James Rhodes is a red, white, and blue ass-kicking machine.
Though, if they had gone with Norman Osbourne’s Iron Patriot it would have been decidedly anti-American. That guy was cray-cray.
I get such a patriotic rush every time I see the Postman. I love the Postman. If I have to pick a favorite post-apocalyptic film it’s this one. Kevin Costner plays a man known as ‘The Postman’ – also Shakespeare. He find the remains of a US postal worker in a rundown old postal truck and delivers some mail that’s overdue by a few decades in order to con a town into giving him food and stuff. But it inspires one kid to take things a bit further. He starts flying the American flag in town again which almost gets him killed and then he founds an entire army of child pony express workers in post-apocalyptic America who rally around the illusion of a reunited United States of America. They all have hand sewn American flags on their jackets and it’s so damn patriotic. I love it. You’ve also got the old Vietnam War veteran, who’s chillin’ out with all the kids doing his part for America. In the end, this illusion of a reunited United States and the postal service is what brings everyone back together, and inspires people to finally rebuild the nation. Ugh. This movie gives me so many America #feels.
Star Trek: Fist Contact
After World War III the United States – and the rest of the world – are in pretty dire straits. That doesn’t stop enterprising Zephran Cochran from deciding to invent the first warp drive, though. In some tiny ass town in the Northwest he uses an old missile silo to create a ship that he hopes will get him all kinds of money so he can get the hell out of dodge. The survivors in his little town survive off alcohol and rock n’ roll. Everything they do is pretty much hardcore, redneck American. Even when they meet the Vulcans for the first time, what do they do? They start playing a jukebox and trying to get them to dance. After forcing them to shake hands. That’s right, Vulcans. You’re in America.
Superman II and Man of Steel
Pretty much any version of Superman is going to be super patriotic and American feels-y. It’s Superman. He was raised in Smallville at the heart of the Midwest. He is a hometown, small town American boy through and through. That’s basically what he says, too, in Man of Steel when someone dares to question his American-ism. He’s just like, “Really? Really bitch? You’re going to question how American I am?” Man of Steel is actually very American. It’s full of Americana imagery and thinly veiled American pride. I put Superman II on the list, too, because just look at that clip above. Yeah. Tell me, what is more American than Superman delivering an American flag to the White House? Seriously. C’mon.
It’s Captain America. Do I really need to explain this one?
Here we’ve got a bunch of basically oil rig cowboy guys just minding their own business until America calls on them to save the world. NASA apparently decides that real astronauts can’t be taught out to use fancy drilling technology and instead it’s easier to teach these random, out of shape guys how to do it. Between the rough and ready American attitudes and gratuitous American flag shots in a couple key moments, this is yet another film that’s all about Americans once again saving the world. And we’re not even sorry about it.
The Back to the Future Trilogy
Okay, so, this one might be a bit of a stretch. And I almost put Die Hard 4 in it’s place because that movie has hackers and America and stuff. Back to the Future won out, though, because it’s pretty much the story of an All-American boy traveling through time through some of our more iconic periods of history. You’ve got the 1950s, 2015, 1885… it’s perfect. Rock n’ Roll and the Wild West. What says America more than that? Marty McFly is the perfect American.
They steal the Declaration of Independence! Of course, that’s not even the end of it. The whole film is about finding Illuminati/Freemason conspiracies dating back to the founding of America. So you’re practically getting a history lesson while you’re watching this thing. It takes place largely in real locations all around Washington, DC – including the Library of Congress which is pretty awesome. Also the DC metro which is not as awesome. If you think it’s impossible to make this movie any more America #feels-y then you’re wrong. Because the first time I watched this I was actually serving as a Congressional Page with the US House of Representatives. We watched it in the Democratic cloak room three days before the 4th of July. (It was a very quite day.) It does not get any more American than that.
White House Down, Air Force One, Argo, the Die Hard Series, Apollo 13, Team America, Top Gun, An American Tail, Space Cowboys, The Astronaut Farmer, October Sky
We know we didn’t mention all of the films out there. So if you know of any other nerdy films that feel you with AMERICUH #feels let us know in the comments and we’ll add them into the post! The movie obviously doesn’t have to be about the Fourth of July. It just has to have at least one scene that makes your heart swell just thinking about America.