American Pregame: The Best Movie Scenes for Your Fourth of July

I love the Fourth of July as much as any holiday in the calendar year.

History Began 1776

It’s a celebration of our nation’s independence, a time to get together with friends and family, a reason to eat ALL THE HOT DOGS AND BURGERS YOU WANT, and a solid excuse to blow shit up.

(If you work in Illinois law enforcement, I totally don’t have fireworks from either Wisconsin or Indiana in my trunk.)

To properly prepare you for your Independence Day festivities (and to have some BBQ conversation material), I have compiled a number of movie clips that will have you proud to be double fisting brats and/or American Flag decorated Budweiser cans. You will more than likely be quoting these scenes later (or right now) with your friends, so why not get your lines down now…

1. Independence Day (1996)

This film should get the A Christmas Story “24-hour marathon” treatment on at least 3 networks every July 4th.

2. Animal House (1978)

“The issue here is not that we broke a few rules…”. A scene and film that America’s founding fathers would be proud of…because F AUTHORITY!

3. Rocky IV (1985)

On the heels of the release of the trailer for the new Rocky film, Creed, revisit the epic montages and eloquent post-match speeches that put Sly Stallone on the map. You’ll likely be doing your own impressions anyway.

4. Top Gun (1986)

In contrast to the previous Rocky IV scene (and Russian relations), and a year after…

5. The Great Escape (1963)

My absolute favorite “Fourth of July” scene. In a high level security Nazi POW camp, the only 3 Americans in a prison filled with British officers celebrate by serving moonshine to all. The irony and symbolism is incredible.

6. The South Park Movie (1999)

As the late great Robin Williams once said “Canada is like a loft apartment over a really great party.” So why not take a friendly jab at our neighbors to the north, and then cheers them immediately after.

7. Team America (2004)

If you’re going to include one Matt & Trey, might as well include the other that is AS AMERICAN AS IT GETS. Couldn’t choose just one scene, so why not go with the montage?

8. The Sandlot (1993)

(Apologies for the quality but it’s the best I could find)

There are few scenes in cinematic history that could properly capture a kid’s childhood on the Fourth of July like this one…and of course, Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez.

9. The Patriot (2000)

This one’s too easy…While Mel Gibson isn’t anybody’s favorite representative of anything these days, rallying your troops to never retreat with the symbol of your nation is still a nice touch.

10. A Few Good Men (1992)

No explanation needed…just Jack being Jack.

11. Field of Dreams (1989)

What’s more mythical in America than baseball? Opening Day is the closest thing to the Fourth of July in terms of pageantry and celebration that you’ll find in this country. So why not commemorate this weekend with one of the all-time great monologues for the sport…?

12. Pirate Radio (2009)

“Although our dreams of freedom have died a tragic death, the Hollies are still alive.”

Along the lines of gently lifting a middle finger to authority…I love this scene for the sole reason that the only American on the ship, Philip Seymour Hoffman, is the one to push the envelop even further while this band of British Rock N’ Roll DJs revolt against a government that doesn’t like good music. A modern Great Escape moment, if you will…

13. Almost Famous (2000)

When it comes to rebellious teens and young adults, never underestimate the power of music…or Simon and Garfunkel.

14. Network (1976)

In a world of social media and free speech, you’re allowed to get mad…get mad as hell and know your life has value. That’s what your founding fathers and mothers did. (Yeah, this clip makes you feel feelings.)

15. The Simpsons Movie (2007)

The Simpsons and Schwarzenegger. That is all.

16. Miracle (2004)

Who do you play for?

17. Coming to America (1988)

It’s a beautiful thing when an African Prince (that you didn’t get a scam email from) can appreciate the little things when he first reaches our fine nation.

18. Inglorious Basterds (2009)

When I first saw this film, the entire theater gave an ovation when Quentin Tarantino gave us his spin on WWII history and Hitler’s fate. That was fantastic

19. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Hard not to include the most American superhero in this ultra American compilation. Also worth noting that this is my favorite scene in my favorite Marvel movie.

20. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

It’s one of the most important in film history…and one that is still relevant in today’s America.

21. Jaws (1975)

Just like how Die Hard is a Christmas movie, Jaws is very much a Fourth of July film. I mean, that’s when it takes place after all.

Have anymore movies and scenes in mind? Let me know on Twitter @Mike_PiFF03.

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Movie Madness: Sweet Sixteen Winners

Heck of a weekend, huh?

And while we took a breather from the Madness (off the court) yesterday, the matchups only get tougher now…

[Update]: Closing has closed. Winners are below.

(1) The Godfather

vs.

(5) The Shawshank Redemption

(3) Pulp Fiction

vs.

(10) Good Will Hunting

(1) Die Hard

vs.

(4) Gladiator

(3) Jaws

vs.

(2) The Dark Knight

(1) Animal House

vs.

(4) Ghostbusters

(2) Caddyshack

vs.

(14) Office Space

(1) Star Wars

vs.

(4) The Avengers

(3) Lord of the Rings

vs.

(2) Raiders of the Lost Ark

Elite Eight voting will begin tomorrow at 12:30 PM at MichaelPiff.com

Movie Madness: The Dirty Thirty Two Winners

Welcome to the next round…

50 Cent Patrick

…the Dirty Thirty Two.

[Update]: Voting has closed. The winners are below and have advanced to the Sweet 16. Voting will resume again Monday morning, March 30th on MichaelPiff.com

(4) Goodfellas

vs.

(5) Shawshank Redemption

(6) The Untouchables

vs.

(3) Jaws

(1) Animal House

vs.

(9) Wayne’s World

(7) Toy Story

vs.

(2) Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark

(11) Almost Famous

vs.

(3) Pulp Fiction

(1) Die Hard

vs.

(8) Mission Impossible

(5) Blues Brothers

vs.

(4) Ghostbusters

(1) Star Wars

vs.

(9) Jurassic Park

(10) Good Will Hunting

vs.

(15) Rocky

(5) Tombstone

vs.

(4) Gladiator

(6) Blazing Saddles

vs.

(14) Office Space

(6) Field of Dreams

vs.

(3) Lord of the Rings

(1) The Godfather

vs.

(8) Forrest Gump

(10) The Matrix

vs.

(2) The Dark Knight

(7) Anchorman

vs.

(2) Caddyshack

(5) Guardians of the Galaxy

vs.

(4) The Avengers

AGAIN, VOTING WILL RESUME FOR THE SWEET 16 TOMORROW MORNING. THANKS FOR PLAYING.  

Movie Madness: Round of 64

Advancing from yesterday’s Play-In Games are…

Birdman

over 40 Year Old Virgin

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and…

Super Troopers

over Catch Me If You Can

Super Troopers fluffer

And so begins the #MovieMadness Round of 64!

[Update] Voting has closed. Winners below.

(3) Pulp Fiction

vs.

(14) Fight Club

(8) The Nightmare Before Christmas

vs.

(9) Jurassic Park

(7) Anchorman

vs.

(10) The Big Lebowski

(2) The Dark Knight

vs.

(15) Point Break

(4) Goodfellas

vs.

(13) Saving Private Ryan

(5) Guardians of The Galaxy

vs.

(12) Terminator 2

(6) The Untouchables

vs.

(11) Halloween

(1) Animal House

vs.

(16) Borat

Check back later today for the next 8 matchups to vote on! You may also Tweet your votes to @Mike_PiFF03 with #MovieMadness.

The 2015 Movie Madness Bracket

MovieBracket-Piff-01

I understand not everybody is into basketball, or even sports for that matter. So for the past few years (with the help of some awesome people), I have released a TV Madness bracket for the masses to vote on. Dexter vs. The Wire, Friends vs. How I Met Your Mother, Breaking Bad vs. Mad Men, Game of Thrones vs. The Walking Dead…It was a good time. 

This year we’re switching things up and moving from the small screen to the silver screen. Movies from several genres and eras…there’s certainly something for everyone. We’ve also added 2 Play-In Games to expand the field to 68, much like the NCAA Tournament. Voting for the Play-In Games will start HERE tomorrow (3/25) morning. The REAL THING will begin 3/26 and voting will be open till 11 PM CST each day. 

Obviously everything is subjective with the seedings, but let’s take a closer look at each region for you to start making your picks!

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 1.39.05 PM

The De Niro/Brando Region

This is a very Drama filled region, and not the kind you get in Mean Girls. Most of these films have ranked high in the typical “all-time” lists, and are likely the ones that “Shawshank” you when they are played on AMC…

(For future reference, being “Shawshanked” happens when you catch a film on TV and no matter the point you tune into, or what time it is, you have to finish the film.)

(1) The Godfather
Matchup To Watch:

(3) Pulp Fiction vs. (14) Fight Club

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 1.39.48 PM 

The Willis/Statham Region

Like Explosions? Gunfights? Epic oneliners?…What do you mean “No”? Get the hell out of here!  

(1) Die Hard
Matchup To Watch:

(8) Top Gun vs. (9) The Matrix

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 2.43.01 PM

The Belushi/Murray Region

This is the kind of “funny” Henry Hill was referring to when he pissed off Pesci in Goodfellas. Had to give John and Bill the region’s title considering they star in 4 of the above films. 

(1) Animal House

Matchup To Watch:

(7) Anchorman vs. (1) The Big Lebowski

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 1.41.59 PM

The Harrison Ford/Clooney Region

This region is a fun mix for fans of adventure, fantasy, and other miscellaneous awesomeness. Yes, I understand “Harrison Ford” is the only one to get his full name in a region…but when have you ever referred to him by just his first or last name? He also stars in the Top 2 seeds.

(1) Star Wars

Matchup to Watch:

(7) Toy Story vs. (10) The Lego movie

Check in tomorrow morning (3/25) as voting for the Play-In games will begin. Votes on Twitter directed to @Mike_PiFF03 with the hashtag #MovieMadness will also be counted. Feel free to fill out your own copy of the bracket and Tweet it to me to be shared.