Four Great Movie Presidents for July 4

It’s almost the Fourth of July, a time of year to put out the stars and stripes while enjoying some BBQ and parades.

Since it’s an American holiday, it’s worth taking a look at American leaders from movies. Here are who I consider some of the best fictional presidents featured in movies.
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REVIEW: ‘Last Christmas’ lags far behind better flicks in the genre

If I wanted to watch a Hallmark holiday movie, I’d just turn on the channel rather than go to the theater. But that’s what “Last Christmas” asks audiences to do.

This latest holiday romance flick, featuring a big helping of George Michael music, stars Emilia Clarke as the protagonist Kate. At the movie’s beginning, Kate isn’t in a very good place, her career as a singer isn’t going anywhere, she’s stuck as a cashier at a job she’s not very fond of, she parties too much and doesn’t have her own place, meaning she’s either staying with her parents or couch-surfing.

This whole situation comes several months after a severe illness and as a result, Kate has become rough around the edges and overall very cynical. Her sour look at the world begins to soften, though, when she meets and gets to know Tom (Henry Golding). Eventually, Tom’s positiveness begins to push Kate in a better direction as their relationship grows.

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REVIEW: ‘Just Getting Started’ Doesn’t Work As An Action Or Comedy Film

During most of “Just Getting Started,” I couldn’t wait for it to finish.

The film tells the story of Duke (Morgan Freeman), the manager of a high end retirement complex who lives a very happy life. More or less, Duke is like a king at the housing complex, with no troubles around.

That begins to shift, though, when a new resident, Leo (Tommy Lee Jones) moves in and instantly becomes a rival. Seemingly, everything Duke can do, Leo can do a little bit better. Things get even more complicated when a corporate adviser, Suzie (Rene Russo), is sent in to examine Duke’s work.

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REVIEW: ‘Coco’ Works Thanks To Heartfelt Story About Family, Memorable Music

When it comes to musicals, Pixar has usually left the genre to its counterpart Disney Animation Studios. With its latest endeavor, though, Pixar has taken a page out of the Mouse House’s playbook, creating a musical experience with “Coco.”

Keep in mind, “Coco” isn’t a traditional animated musical. However, it’s a movie very much about music and includes numerous songs.

The movie’s protagonist is Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez), a boy who dreams of becoming a singer and guitarist like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt). His family, though, is completely against music and musicians of any sort, finding it to be a curse on their family that began generations ago.

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Krampus review

Michael Dougherty
Adam Scott
Toni Collette
David Koechner
Emjay Anthony
Conchata Ferrell
Rated: PG-13

“Krampus” is a horror and dark comedy that centers around a dysfunctional family who have gathered just a few days before Christmas. The youngest in the family, Max (Anthony), is having a tough time with the whole situation, though, because the holiday just doesn’t feel as enjoyable anymore.

In a fit of anger he tears up his letter to Santa and tosses it out the window. It turns out to be a bad decision, though, because it summons the evil spirit Krampus who punishes those who don’t honor Christmas.

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The Night Before review

Jonathan Levine
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Seth Rogen
Anthony Mackie
Jillian Bell
Michael Shannon
Rated: R

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a man named Ethan in “The Night Before,” an average guy who has a tradition of going out the night before Christmas with his two friends Isaac (Rogen) and Chris (Mackie). The tradition was started just after Ethan’s parents died in 2001 and has carried on throughout the years.

The film picks up with the three friends deciding that the current Christmas Eve would be their last night out, though, as life is pulling them in different directions. Because of this, they decide to make it the best night possible by making it to a legendary party.

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Love the Coopers review

Jessie Nelson
Diane Keaton
John Goodman
Ed Helms
Amanda Seyfried
Alan Arkin
Olivia Wilde
Anthony Mackie
Marisa Tomei
June Squibb
Jake Lacy
Rated: PG-13

“Love the Coopers” is a story of a large extended family who are, for the most part, all dreading a Christmas Eve dinner where everyone gets together. The two main characters of the film are Charlotte (Keaton) and Sam (Goodman), a couple who’ve been married for 40 years, however, their relationship is falling apart. This holiday stress coincides with their son Hank (Helms) losing his job, having a strained relationship with his ex-wife and children and their daughter, Eleanor (Wilde) meeting a soldier named Joe at an airport and developing a friendship with him.

These plot threads and more, such as one of Hank’s sons having a teen romance and another where Charlotte’s sister Emma (Tomei) being arrested ,develop for much of the film’s first half until they converge when everyone meets for Christmas.

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The Best Man Holiday review

Malcolm D. Lee
Morris Chestnut
Taye Diggs
Terrence Howard
Monica Calhoun
Sanaa Lathan
Rated: R

So much drama in one movie.

Director Malcolm Lee helmed “The Best Man Holiday,” the sequel to his 1999 film “The Best Man.” The film starts with following the main character Harper (Diggs), an author who is having a case of writer’s block right around the time of the Christmas season. When the festive holiday finally arrives, Harper and his wife are invited for a big Christmas party weekend at the home of his former friend Lance (Chestnut).

The first movie revolved around the drama of Harper and Lance and Lance’s wife Mia (Calhoun) and it picks up again here. On top of that, are the many subplots surrounding the rest of the other friends of Lance and Mia’s who are invited to the party. From there, hi-jinx ensue.

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Free Birds review

Jimmy Hayward
Owen Wilson
Woody Harrelson
Amy Poehler
George Takei
Rated: PG

I didn’t think there was going to be a wide released animated movie this year that was as poor as “Turbo” or “Planes.” I was wrong.

“Free Birds” follows the character Reggie (Wilson), a turkey who tries to warn his fellow flock that they are being used for Thanksgiving meals. Life gets a little easier for Reggie, though, when he is chosen as the Presidential pardoned turkey and gets to live the rest of his life in comfort.

That is until he meets another turkey named Jake (Harrelson) who is on a mission to stop Thanksgiving from happening ever again. To do so, Jake takes Reggie to a time machine (which has an AI system voiced by George Takei) which brings them to the time of the very first Thanksgiving. There, they meet a tribe of tribal turkeys who end up helping them in their quest.

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Rise of the Guardians review

Peter Ramsey
Chris Pine
Alec Baldwin
Jude Law
Isla Fisher
Hugh Jackman
Rated: PG

I wonder what group of characters they’ll team up next.

“Rise of the Guardians” mainly follows the story of Jack Frost (Pine), who 300 years ago was chosen by the Man in the Moon to be the one who brings cold, ice and everything in between to the world. Fast forwarding to the present, Frost has no memory of his life before becoming a force of nature and feels like he is largely ignored by most of the world. This causes him to not exactly be much of a team player.

Frost is forced to work with others though when he is called upon to be a member of “the Guardians,” a crew consisting of the Sandman, the Tooth Fairy, Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny. The group is brought together because the Boogeyman, named Pitch Black (Law), is threatening them and the children of the world. Because of this, the five have to go after Pitch, however Frost still feels a bit out of place which causes some mishaps.

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