If you have Veterans Day off, we have the perfect way to spend it — celebrate patriotism with a Hollywood hunk. Stay in your pajamas, raid the pantry and freezer for salty snacks, and hunker down for the day with one of these patriotic flicks.
This feature makes the list for two reasons — it’s an incredible true story and it has all-hunk cast starring Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise, Bill Paxton, and Ed Harris. This movie is not patriotic in the conventional way, but this story takes place during a crucial time in history during the Cold War. We had just beat the Soviet Union to the moon and were inching ahead in the “space race.” When everything on the routine mission of Apollo 13 goes terribly wrong, its crew has to move heaven and earth to try to get back to their families. This movie should be on everyone’s “must see” movie list, and it’s a great title for the “must repeat” list, too.
Don’t you just love Mel Gibson movies that pre-date his midlife breakdown? The Patriot stars Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger, which is reason enough to plop in front of this today. This movie has it all — a father-son eye-candy duo, a dramatic story line, an adorable little girl, beautiful sets and scenery, and a formidable and memorable bad guy. We promise you’ll love this feature, but whatever you do, don’t mistake it for The Patriot starring Steven Seagal. You’ll be sorely disappointed.
The Pursuit of Happyness
This film will make you laugh, cry, and above all remind you why America is such a great place. The Pursuit of Happyness should be mandatory-watching material in high school to remind all upcoming generations how lucky they are to live in a country where hard work is rewarded and that the American dream is alive and well. You come away with an overwhelming sense of, “If he can do it, I can do it.” Leave all whining and excuses at the door. And it stars easy-on-the-eyes Will Smith. To steal a line from Steel Magnolias, if “laughter through tears” is your favorite emotion, and you want to restore your faith in the greatness of your country, dial this one up.
Notice how Tom Hanks and Gary Sinise are in two of our favorite Veterans Day movies? Forrest Gump, a simple man who’s a bit on the “slow side” lives a life richer than most men with twice his intellect, exhibiting wisdom far greater than most. Forrest Gump and Lieutenant Dan become lifelong friends whose destinies prove America is the land of opportunity. This is one of those movies that you “watch” and “repeat.” Today is an excellent day for a Forrest Gump revival.
Legends of the Fall
Surprised to see this hit a Veterans Day movie list? Hey, there’s a war in this movie (brief though it may be). OK, the real reason to get lost in this movie today is because this is Brad Pitt back when we fell in love with Brad Pitt. Before he started making weird movie choices to prove he was more than a pretty face, before he broke up with the relatable Jennifer Aniston to be with the hard-to-read Angelina Jolie, before he adopted a nest of orphans, before he started espousing his political views, and before he started wearing trendy glasses and scarves (he’s still a cool guy — just not as “boy-next-door”). We love Legends of the Fall Brad! This movie takes us back to simpler time when Brad had long hair and was single. Also the scenery in the movie is spectacular. And the mountains are pretty, too. Ah, ha, ha. Blow the dust off this DVD and watch it today.