An American Celebration of Cinema’s Greatest Moments

One of the greatest holidays on Earth lies just around the corner.  Monday is the one day a year that we have an excuse to eat three hamburgers, a hot dog, and a rack of ribs, because barbecuing and eating excessive amounts of meats is what our forefathers would have wanted.  But before we fire up the grill and pour ourselves a cold glass of America, I want to take a look at some of American cinema’s greatest moments, and the only way to do that is a patriotic top five:

5. Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago Fight

“Suddenly, Moscow is pro Rocky!”

I defy you to find a more American moment than an Italian and a Russian beating the tar out of each other in remembrance of the national treasure that is Apollo Creed (okay, that’s a bit of hyperbole as I have four more American moments below).  Nothing captures America’s love of the underdog while still maintaining it’s grandeur like a Rocky fight.  I mean, the cinematography (children yelling on a couch, random crowd members, the American flag coming in and out of focus), the score, the acting, Rocky refusing to dodge even one punch, everything is just sheer chaos.  But from that chaos, Rocky emerges as a champion, and if that isn’t the American way, I’m moving.

4. Apollo 13: Houston, we have a problem

“-I know what the problems are Henry, this will be the worst disaster Nasa has ever experienced.”

“-With all due respect sir, I believe this is going to be our finest hour.”

We need adversity, we thrive on it.  Hey Russia, you think you’re cool floating in space?  Awesome, we just landed on the moon.  Think you’re good at Hockey?  Cool, check out our gold medal.  We are the Michael Jordan’s of one-upsmanship, and the space exploration is basically the mascot of how little America cares about nature’s so called laws.  We want to leave the planet, get out of our way.  We have an un-landable space craft, time for our finest hour.  I’m convinced Tom Hanks arrived at prom in an astronaut suit after just saving Kevin Beacon’s life.  “Gentlemen, it’s been a privilege flying with you.”  Of course it was Tom, they are American, and spending time with other Americans is a privilege that you earn by landing a spaceship through impossible odds.  When Barney was always telling Ted to suit up, this is what he was referring to, hopping into a spaceship and spitting on communist from the stratosphere while an Eagle flies past.  If Buzz Aldrin and Lance Armstrong aren’t synonymous with the Hulk Hogan walk in song, “Real American,” you just don’t understand freedom.

3. Airforce One: Get off my plane!

“Get off my plane!*Sound of neck snapping*”

Hot take alert: Harrison Ford would crush it as President.  Very few people are happy with the current candidates either party is throwing out, I’m starting a write-in Ford movement.  I mean, the dude’s last name is THE American auto company, he has played more iconic roles than just about anyone on earth, and he legit saves individuals lost in the woods with his freaking helicopter on a daily basis. Plane is hijacked, First Lady in trouble, what does the President do?  Easy, grabs a weapon and makes sure everyone knows that attempted kidnapping is a bad look.  No offense to our recent Presidents, but I just don’t trust them being trapped on a plane with a psychopath like I do Harrison Ford, and I’m supposed to trust my President, that’s just a fact. Threaten the President, and by the transitive property the US, get shoved out a plane, problem solved.

2. Mighty Ducks 2: Where are you from?

“We’re Team U.S.A., gathered from all across America. And we’re gonna stick together. You know why?  Because we are Ducks.  And ducks fly together.”

If you ever played a sport, this speech is a part of your life.  Dodgeball game in third grade, ducks fly together.  First basketball game on the JV, ducks fly together.  Fourth quarter of the Superbowl, ducks fly together.  This speech actually personifies the spirit of America better than any presidential speech (that actually happened, see #1) ever will.  Where are we from?  All over the map, but we are Americans, and we win.  What’s that accent you have there?  Don’t care, you’re form this big ole melting pot, let’s go ruin some Icelandic kids hopes and dreams with a knucklepuck so we can sing “We Are the Champions” on the ride home.  Some countries personify themselves as regal lions (England), others as powerful bears (Russia), but we are ducks, raving mad ducks that are straight winners.  Let’s fly together.

1. Independence Day: The President’s Speech

“You will once again be fighting for our freedom, not from Tyranny, oppression or persecution, but from annihilation.  We are fighting for our right to live, to exist.  And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice, we will not go quietly into the night.  We will not vanish without a fight.  We are going to live on, we are going to survive.  Today, we celebrate our Independence Day.”

Come at me aliens.  Honestly, I am utterly convinced if aliens attacked, the rest of the world would look to us for a stirring speech, and as always, we as Americans would deliver the greatest speech of all time and straight up shut down the invasion.  Impossible odds, see the Revolutionary War.  Moving monologues, see the Gettysburg Address.  Straight up courage, see D-Day.  Traditional global superpowers are going by the wayside as globalism blends boarders, but you are kidding yourself if you think for even a second that the world wouldn’t turn to the US with a deer in the headlights look if aliens showed up.  And in true badass fashion, we would pony up, throw Randy Quaid and Will Smith into fighter jets, and send those ugly suckers packing.

So while you enjoy the freedom our forefathers worked so damn hard for us to earn, listening to the Hamilton soundtrack, playing fetch with your golden retriever, just remember, we are the greatest country on Earth.  America.