More like my top five available
American moments on YouTube but still entertaining and not from the Golden Era. A reminder that the Hollywood we're stuck with today can still throw a bone our way.
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1. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
- A beautifully crafted uniquely American movie where, for once, the antagonist isn't "the system" or "the racist system." Chris Gardner (a superb Will Smith) wants something from life. He believes in this country and understands the key to achieving the dream is simple: never, ever give up. A superb script, based on a true story (the real Gardner has a touching cameo in the closing scene) never once takes the grinding pressure off, but aided by genuinely decent people (white Wall Streeters, no less) and driven by a love for his son, rather than play victim, Gardner keeps moving forward long after most of us would've surrendered to self pity. Movies don't get much more conservative than this.
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2. Rocky Balboa (2006)
- The second great patriotic/conservative movie of 2006 and the most pleasant surprise of that year. This movie should've sucked but after fifteen years in the wilderness (five of them in the straight-to-DVD bin) writer/director Sylvester Stallone went back to the basics of character, plot, the universal theme of what drives the human spirit, and crafted a movie that only gets better with each new viewing. There's a second great moment in "Rocky Balboa," this essential truism: "It ain't about how hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.
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3. Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993)
- The scene's closing line sums up the theme of this under-rated, very entertaining bio of The Mighty Bruce Lee. Driven to achieve great success, Lee understands that only in America can his dreams come true. So deep is his love for this country that the film's crisis point comes when he loses faith in the American Dream after a number of setbacks (thanks mainly to racist Hollywood). But of course, Lee became and remains an American Icon, unfortunately he didn't live to see it. Though there's rumors he's not dead
: "They got him frozen in carbonite down under Chatsworth. They're gonna melt him down as soon as the economy gets better."
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4. Rudy (1993) - This movie has never made me cry. Not once. Ever. Really. I don't lie about such things.
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5. Superman II (1980) - Just a little something to prime my blazing hatred for Bryan Singer's despicable Truth, justice and all that stuff... "Superman Returns" (2006), which stripped our hero of both his masculinity and Americanism. Not only that, "Returns" is supposed to pick up where part two left off, but again Singer displays only contempt for what Superman is about: his valor. As you can see in this scene, the second chapter closes with Superman promising to never let us down again, but Singer's sucktacular sequel opens after Superman's abandoned us for a few years, off trying to find his meterosexual self.
And with that, Happy Birthday, America! Thank you for everything, especially our best; those fine men and women guarding the wall today.