Happy Fourth!

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Happy Independence Day weekend. Are you ready to celebrate summer, outdoor living, bugs, the neighbors you like, and this great country? I’m a huge fan of the Fourth of July weekend, simply because when I was younger I actually knew what it was. See, the whole “Memorial Day/Labor Day” thing becomes huge once you’re an adult, but when you’re a kid I think summer begins exactly when school lets out, and it ends –plain and simple —  when you have to go back. I never took notice of summer’s Alpha and Omega holidays ‘til it was time to book plane tickets or you got a day off from work. And by then? Swimming  in a pond has lost its luster and popsicles have too many carbs. But the Fourth? That’s clearly marked for everyone, smack in the middle — we know it’s here, and it also happens to be the “Best If Eaten By” date on all hot dogs I buy in January.So before we get to movies & polls, here’s a news story that caught my eye. It falls into the “Music” and I guess, “Travel” category too. See, yesterday I mentioned some of the things movie studios could buy with the mind-blowing amounts of money they get from their summer flicks. But how about the fact that rapper Snoop Dogg seriously did try to rent the entire country of Liechtenstein for his latest video shoot? (Apparently the video required so many different locales that they decided instead of just one room, they’d get the whole banquet hall, metaphorically speaking.)The whole thing sounds ridiculous, but legitimate and respected media outlets are reporting it to be true. And I’m almost positive I believe them. Now Liechtenstein, as everyone knows, is that teensy country (all of 60 square miles) nestled right in between Switzerland and Austria. It’s got about 35,000 residents who may or may not be partial to hip-hop, and according to reps from the nation itself they were prepared to lease the whole country  to Snoop’s crew  – only there wasn’t enough time to finalize the deal before they had to start shooting.True or not, there’s a story you can share around the campfire this weekend.

Now on to movies, because it’s Friday, and in case you feel like peppering your July Fourth merriment with a relaxing  two-hour stint in a dark, air-conditioned room filled with people you aren’t related to and don’t know. So we already know that Eclipse is out there, continuing to break records and hearts. Then we have M. Night Shyamalan’s newest: The Last Airbender. This is based on an Emmy-winning animated series that was originally titled Avatar: The Last Airbender, and we know that someone else beat them to the punch with that A-word part of the title and made some serious history. Now I’m not the demographic, but what I’ve gleaned thus far is this one has to do with a couple of pretty adorable boys tinkering with destiny, weaponry, and the four elements in 3D. What I do know is that M. Knight could use a comeback movie to reinstate him atop the supernatural-with-a-twisty-ending heap (not that this falls into that genre). Then there’s always Toy Story, Shrek, The Karate Kid redux and The A-Team to beat the heat and get away from it all.  For today’s poll, let’s look back at a few other films that opened nationwide while we celebrated our nation’s independence. Voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of the July Fourth weekend’s highest grossing films is your favorite (and have a happy & safe holiday!) :

1)    Spider-man 2

2)    Transformers

3)    War of the Worlds

4)    Hancock

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