Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Movies America Needs Right Now

Folks, we live in a strange, strange time right now.  For any of you are Facebook friends with me (my personal page), you know exactly what I'm talking about and where I stand on things.  Heck, if you follow me on Twitter or even just follow this blog, you know....

Anyway, since I don't post book reviews during December (don't worry, I'm stocking up for 2017!), I thought I would turn my sights towards the big and little screens.

December, at least in places where it gets cold and dreary about now, is a great time to catch up on some movies.  And, film can be an effective balm for a hurt (or really, really angry) soul.  I've pulled together a few films to help you get through this trying time (and I'm not talking about December) and maybe energize or motivate you.

If you want to binge a series, or maybe just watch THAT ONE movie out of the series....

Captain America: The Winter Solider
As long as you stay away from Iron Man 2 and Howard the Duck, you really can't go wrong with anything in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (disclaimer...I have yet to see  Doctor Strange).  So, you know, binge away there...

But if you only want to watch one movie--admittedly that's hard because everything in the MCU feeds into each other--but if there was one movie that America really, really needs right now it is this one.  Oh, and I don't mean the one movie in the MCU...I mean the one movie out of this entire post, possibly out of all the movies.  All of them...ever...

If you don't know what this movie is about, here is the 10 second summary.  Captain America has to save the United States from a cult of home-grown Nazis, led by a guy with--well, take a look at Redford in this.

Now, admittedly, it is hard to just jump in here and, to get the full picture, you probably should watch the 9-11 works before it (11 to see them all.  9 if you skip The Incredible Hulk, which is unnecessary, and Iron Man 2, which is just a terrible movie and necessary only because it introduces Nick Fury, Black Widow, and the idea of the Avengers.  You might be able to cut it down to 2 movies: Captain America: The First Avenger then The Avengers then this movie). However, I do think you could watch this movie as a standalone in these times and still get what you need out of it, as long as you just accept that "stuff happened" before the movie begins.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Just curious, do I need to say anything about Harry Potter here...on this book blog?  Yeah, didn't think so.

But, if you were going to watch just one--does anyone do that?---I think the final chapter is probably your best bet in times like this.  You know, when Harry finally defeats the embodiment of evil, Voldemort (who actually polled better during the election than the trumpster).

If you want something that will inspire you to be a better American...

There are a lot of options here.  I'm writing this up without consulting my husband, who would insist (loudly, and without end) that Patton should be here.  Heck, there is a whole pantheon of World War II movies that could go here.  But, I'm going a different direction for 3 reasons.
  1. I burned out on WWII in my reading
  2. There are so many good options in WWII that I don't think I could narrow it down.
  3. Honestly, I think that this choice is just much more fitting for our current times.
I have to admit that I owned this movie on Blu-Ray for 2 years before ever watching it.  I'm not sure why...I guess I just needed to be in the right head space.  And, well, we all know how it ends..and that ending really sucked for the title character (I ended up watching this movie on the anniversary of his assassination.)  Anyway, this movie is flat-out amazing.


When you aren't so sure about all this "Make America Great Again" talk...

Unless you are talking about November 7, 2016, America really wasn't better "back then..."  I always felt that this movie was incredibly underrated, but it really hits home now.


When you need a reminder of a time when "American Exceptionalism" was campy...not embarrassing.

This is usually a mid-summer movie for me, but it works in post-election America just as well, but for different reasons.  I would never say that it's art and it's not perfect..but it does echo an America I'm not sure exists anymore....

Look, it's light fare and maybe, just maybe, you all need something light and fun right now...

And it has some of the best things about America--pre-Scientology Will Smith, Data, and Jeff Goldblum

Independence Day

Because you can't afford to see Hamilton and there isn't a movie version yet...

Stick with me here.

First, watch this.  It's another movie that I watch in the middle of the summer--and, well, it's a total sausage fest.  But, it's just one part of the equation.  (Also, I couldn't find a trailer, so here's a clip of one of the more famous scenes)


Okay, once you watch THAT, watch THIS...

I know, it isn't "American" but Lin-Manuel Miranda has said that it help to inspire his Hamilton  And, as much as I love Hamilton, I still think this is the better musical (running and hiding now...)

Les Miserables

So, boys and girls...1776 + Les Miserables = Hamilton.  Sort of.

Look, it will hold you over until you get your Hamilton tickets

If you want to get a head start on your Obama Nostalgia
Okay, I haven't seen either of these movies yet...but I will be watching them both in the coming days.  The first will be released on Netflix on December 16 and the second will be released on DVD (and show up on my doorstep) on December 19 (it was in theaters...but I have kids and never get to see a movie in the theater unless it features a superhero).


Southside with You

What else should I watch?
This is by no means an exhaustive list and I need your help!  What else should I watch (I already have Selma on the list.  I really don't know what has taken me so long with that one...but, see what I said about Lincoln).  If you have a recommendation, please leave it in the comments.

And if you want to comment with some hateful Alt-Right crap...well, I'm tired of eviscerating those remarks on Facebook (although I will admit that it is a bit fun and oh-so-easy), so your comment here will be deleted.

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