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13 Patriotic Films to Watch on the 4th of July

Because of global quarantine orders still in place and recently tightened for some parts of the United States, a lot of people will be stuck indoors for this Fourth of July Holiday. Granted, they can barbecue on the balcolny, patio or backyard or perhaps head to an open beach but for many people, this Independence Day will be spent inside the house.

You can still commemorate the “official” independence of the United States on the couch by catching one of the wonderful movies already made that are considered Patriotic or which invoke feelings of patriotism during this Holiday.

I’ve curated a list of movies, most of which I have seen and highly recommend, for you to consider watching tomorrow. All of them can be stremed for free to as little as $3.99, that’s much cheaper than most activities you can do outside.

FIRST, join my partners at Prime Video so you can stream these videos from FREE to fee.

HAMILTON

The hit Broadway production was set to tour this Summer but that has been put on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions, however, right before the country shut down, Disney was able to create a theatrical version of this play for the masses!

The award-winning musical is hailed as a creative modern retelling of Alexander Hamilton‘s journey to becoming a founding father of the US. Created by composer, playwright, performer and producer Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton won 11 Tony awards in 2016 and the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Drama.

WATCH IT ON DISNEY PLUS (It’s not longer free to preview but for $12.99 per month, you get Disney Plus, HULU And ESPN+

GLORY

Glory is the story of Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick) and the infantry men (Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman) of the first all-black volunteer company who struggle fighting the Confederates as well as prejudices from other Union soldiers. The film earned a heap of accolades including three Oscar wins. It will leave you feeling emotional and particularly connected and reeling with emotions also in light of what’s going on these days in America.

RENT IT

BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY

Born on The Fourth of July is the biography of Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise), the story of a man who becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights activist after being paralyzed in the Vietnam War and feeling betrayed by his country.  Kovic is transitioning from the brutality of the Vietnam war into the disillusionment of veterans returning home to an America that has turned against them. Director Oliver Stone‘s film, the middle installment of his lauded Vietnam trilogy, plummets viewers into a contentious topic during a decade when shifting ideals and activism fueled the country.

This was a wonderfully produced and acted movie, in my opinion but don’t take my word for it.

RENT IT

FORREST GUMP

Forrest Gump goes though so many parts of US history that is undoubtedly deserves a spot among the American Patriotic films. Slow-witted Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) has never thought of himself as disadvantaged, and thanks to his supportive mother (Sally Field), he leads anything but a restricted life. Whether dominating on the gridiron as a college football star, fighting in Vietnam or captaining a shrimp boat, Forrest inspires people with his childlike optimism. But one person Forrest cares about most may be the most difficult to save — his childhood love, the sweet but troubled Jenny (Robin Wright).

This movie is an all-time favorite for a lot of people. It does have a super long running time of close to 3 hours but it is worth it!

RENT IT

INDEPENDENCE DAY

Now the inspiration for many a crowd-pleasing summer blockbuster, Roland Emmerich‘s 1996 masterstroke Independence Day sent Will Smith‘s career into the stratosphere with a fist to an alien’s kisser and one simple line: “Welcome to Earth!”

If you haven’t seen it, which is unlikely, you’d better buckle in for two-and-a-half hours of alien invasion, exploding national monuments and a tear-jerking speech from President Bill Pullman, as America’s bravest (Randy Quaid!): “Fight for our freedom — not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution — but from annihilation.”

RENT IT

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

Set in the small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the Depression, To Kill a Mockingbird follows three years in the life of 8-year-old Scout Finch, her brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus–three years punctuated by the arrest and eventual trial of a young black man accused of raping a white woman.

In light of the current strife in America over racial justice, this very old book and film is still sadly timely.

RENT IT

TOP GUN

Pete “Maverick” Mitchell keeps pushing the envelope after years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators. He must soon confront the past while training a new squad of graduates for a dangerous mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice.

This movie still gives me chills especially the high flying aviation spins! You have to check it out for yourself if you are one of the few who haven’t seen it yet! Shame!

RENT IT

CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER

Winter Soldier is the second Captain America movie. It makes sense that it made the list since it features one of the most patriotic superheroes. After the cataclysmic events in New York with his fellow Avengers, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (Chris Evans), lives in the nation’s capital as he tries to adjust to modern times. An attack on a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague throws Rogers into a web of intrigue that places the whole world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and a new ally, the Falcon, Rogers struggles to expose an ever-widening conspiracy, but he and his team soon come up against an unexpected enemy.

I have not yet seen this one but it is on my list for sure!

RENT IT

MEN OF HONOR

Cuba Gooding Jr. stars in this movie about the first black Navy diver in the US. It is based on the true story of Carl Brashear. Brashear is an ambitious sharecropper who joins the U.S. Navy to become the world’s first black master diver. But as he works through diving training, the bitter and racist Master Chief Billy Sunday (Robert De Niro) sets out to make Carl’s journey as difficult as possible.

Despite the entire Navy doubting his potential and sabotaging his training, the determined Carl proves that he can overcome the discrimination around him. Again, another movie to consume in consideration with the period of racial tension and reckoning occurring in the US right now. 

RENT IT

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER

 

Captain America: The First Avenger  is considered by many to be the first movie in the current Marvel Cinematic Universe since it is a World-War-II movie that covers 1943 to 1945. It is 1941 and the world is in the throes of war. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) wants to do his part and join America’s armed forces, but the military rejects him because of his small stature. Finally, Steve gets his chance when he is accepted into an experimental program that turns him into a supersoldier called Captain America.

I really enjoyed this movie. It’s a fictional period film but I really loved the costume and fashion of the 1940s and loved it for that alone.

RENT IT

BLACK HAWK DOWN

A real-life army mission in Somalia inspired this 2001 war movie. The film takes place in 1993 when the U.S. sent special forces into Somalia to destabilize the government and bring food and humanitarian aid to the starving population. Using Black Hawk helicopters to lower the soldiers onto the ground, an unexpected attack by Somalian forces brings two of the helicopters down immediately. From there, the U.S. soldiers must struggle to regain their balance while enduring heavy gunfire.

This was one of those movies that kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end… I mean, even though I knew the ending, it was still that captivating and well produced! A must watch!

RENT IT

A FEW GOOD MEN

This 1992 movie stars Tom Cruise as a military lawyer and follows the trial of two Marines who have been charged with murder. Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore star in Rob Reiner’s unanimously acclaimed drama about the dangerous difference between following orders and following one’s conscience. Cruise stars as a brash Navy lawyer who’s teamed with a gung-ho litigator (Moore) in a politically explosive murder case. Charged with defending two Marines accused of killing a fellow soldier, they are confronted with complex issues of loyalty and honor, including its most sacred code and its most formidable warrior (Nicholson).

I watched this movie before becoming a lawyer and part of me thinks, this film was a motivating factor. Do put this on your bucket list to watch or rewatch this 4th of July!!!

RENT IT

FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS

This 2006 movie is also about Iwo Jima — specifically about the six men who hoisted the flag at the end of the Battle of Iwo Jima, which is considered to be a major turning point during World War II. In February and March of 1945, U.S. troops fight and win one of the most crucial and costly battles of the war on the island of Iwo Jima. A photo of U.S. servicemen raising the flag on Mount Suribachi becomes an iconic symbol of victory to a war-weary nation. The individuals themselves become heroes, though not all survive the war and realize it.

I have not seen this one, but it looks intriuging to me.

RENT IT

That’s it for now! Happy 4th!!

Leonardo, Dax, Denzel, Milo, Asthon and 7 Other Celebs Who Inspired Baby Names (INFOGRAPHIC)

There can be no doubt that celebrities impact what names we give our babies. There is research to back it up. A survey by Names.org  looked at actors with unique names and found that as their star rose in Hollywood, the number of babies named after them skyrocketed.

“Most of the top 10 baby names of any year don’t come out of nowhere – they are usually quite popular the year before,” states CEO of RN Public Relations Rick Neil who handles PR for Names.org and who helped commission the study. “In fact, the top 10 names of any year are quite predictable.”

He added: “Since 1937, every single top 10 name for each year was in the top 25 the year before and nearly 99% of their time it was in the top 25 two years before. So, to make our predictions for 2018, we need to look no further than what is popular now. Some of the top boy names in 2016 (the most recent year the Social Security Administration has released data), including Noah, Liam, William, Benjamin, and James, will certainly make the list again in 2018. Likewise, Olivia, Emma, Ava, Sophia, and Mia will certainly be among the top girl names of 2018. We can say with nearly 99% certainty that the top 10 boy names and top 10 girl names of 2018 will be among the top 25 baby names of 2016. What about that other 1%? Check out the wildcard list of baby names trending now that might skyrocket in popularity.”

Foe example, Leonardo DiCaprio‘s career began in 1989 and that year, 398 boys were named Leonardo. As he got popular so did his name. In 2006, the year he filmed The Departed, 2,186 boys were named Leonardo.

Similarly, in 1998 when Ashton Kutcher filmed That 70s Show comedy, there were 1,028 boys were named Ashton. At the height of his popularity in 2005, when he filmed The Butterfly Effect, 5,435 boys were named Ashton.

 Dax Shepard, Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Dustin Hoffman and many others have had an affect on baby names. Check out these 12:

12 Actors Whose Fame Inspired Baby Names

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We Can’t Believe How Big These Kids of Celebs Have Gotten!

You know you’re getting older when you see some your kids’ friends on Facebook and social media celebrating a birthday and you think, “my where has the time gone?” or “boy have those kids gotten big!

I think the same can be said of a few of the celeb parents we’ve followed when they first had children compared to now.

There’s Chris Tucker and his son Destin is 19 and is a spitting image of his famous comedian dad.

Demi Moore and her three daughters are are now 23 (Tallulah), 25 (Scout) and 28 (Rumer)! wow!

Kobi Bryant’s daughters are 14 (Natalia), 11, (Gianna) and 8 months (baby Bianka), seen with mom Vanessa.

Madonna‘s son David is and daughter Mercy are both now 11-years old.

Mel B stepped out with her daughters 10-year old Angel and 5-year old Madison earlier in the Spring and I didn’t realize they had grown so much.

Russell Simmons‘ daughters, almost 15-year old Aoki and 17-year old Ming stepped out at a charity event looking so adult as they did with their mom and half brothers 8-year old Kenzo (with Djimon Honsou) and 2-year old Wolfe Lee (with hubby Tim Leissner)

Kelly Ripa has a 19-year old!! Her son Michaeal and also a 15-year-old daughter Lola, and 13-year-old son Joaquin with hubby Mark Consuelos.

Nia Long  took her 16-year old son  Massai Zhivago Dorsey II on a humanitarian trip to Africa. Look how much taller he is than she is!

Reese Witherspoon’s kids with Ryan Phillipe , Ava are 14 and 17 -year old, respectively.

Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith’s son Trey (with Will’s ex Sheree Zampani) is 24!

Down to the younger ones who have grown up is Tia Mowry whose son Cree is now 6.

Finally, Jennifer Hudson’s son David Otunga, Jr. is almost 8-years old. His birthday is today! Happy Birthday, David Jr!

 

Photos: Instagram, Getty

‘Girls Trip’s Tiffany Haddish Viral Jimmy Kimmel Live! Story is a Great Plug for GroupOn!

jimmy-kimmel
Girls Trip breakout star Tiffany Haddish told a hilarious story on Jimmy Kimmel Live! about taking Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith, her co-star in the summer hit movie, to a Cajun swamp store using a Groupon deal.

It was such a great story and told with such authenticity and charisma that the rising actress-comedienne has gone viral. Watch it here if you missed it!

The video is also a gem because of the fact that the multi-millionaire mega duo was clueless as to what a GroupOn is! I’m not sure if the folks at GroupOn have seized upon all the free publicity of the fun segment yet or not, but I would!

And for my readers who do not know, this blog is partners with Groupon and we’re excited to let you know that the site, most famous for offering deals, has branched off to a new service where it curates coupons and other offers from leading merchants!

You can search for awesome deals from big box home improvement stores like Home Depot and get $5 off coupons and lawn care deals that are good nationwide or at participating stores.

Haddish story was about adventure attractions.  Best of Orlando is another merchant offering free Universal Studios and Disney World Tickets  and 25% off the cost of a ticket.  Anyone who has been to one of those theme parks in Florida are aware that they are price at over $100 a ticket so as you can imagine, getting $25 off is a deal!

Wanderlust frequent travelers and thrill vacationers should check out the deals at Bookings.com and Hotels.com where I spied free one night stays and more!

Pet lovers can score up to  $450 off pet supplies and services and more at Petco.

Then for the Back-to-School crowd, as blogged before, there are Groupon Coupons

  • Macy’s – 60% off store wide and more
  • Office Depot – 50% off already reduced items discounted for the Back-to-school season
  • Target -5% off Everyday shopping spree which you need at Target because you never leave that store with what you just went in there for
  • Footlocker -As much as $200 for apparel and sneakers which a large family with a lot of children who take gym or play sports need.
  • Toms – 25% off the popular go-to mom shoe
  • NewEgg – Deep markdowns on laptops and tablets for your kid heading off to college
  • Old Navy – Not just 60% off but an extra 30% off clothes you need to stock up on for back-to-school
  • Asos – 10% off for your fashionable tween or teen and 20% off for moministas who are working moms
  • Kohl’s -An extra 20% off already reduced back-to-school items and I spotted a big $30 off Nike coupon too!
  • Walmart -Up to 86% off electronics for your college- or high-school bound kid.
  • Sears – Not just a $35 off site wide on all departments, but discount codes on auto service to get the minivan in shape for the new school year
  • And more!

Explore Groupon coupons today! You’ll be glad you did and your wallet and family budget will thank you too!

Celebs that Do Co-Parenting Well and Dig Each Other Too

co-parenting

There are new generation of celebrity broken up couples being excellent examples for co-parenting. Some are even still secretly into each other and dating.

Trending this weekend was Kourtney Kardsashian who was rumored to be back with her ex beau and dad to her three kids, Scott Disick. TMZ clarified today that the couple are on friendly terms and travel together for co-parenting reasons though Kourt is open to rekindling their relationship now that Disick has remained clean and sober consistently for a long period of time! The couple co-parent their children together, 6-year old Mason, 4-year old Penelope and 1-year old son, Reign.

Good for them!

Also, rumored to be back together are Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck who parents to 11-year old Violet, 7-year old Seraphine and  4-year old Samuel. Some reports state that they are actually planning to add on to their brood and some say Jen is already expecting. Who knows? Time will tell, for sure!

This weekend, a long-since divorced couple showed some cordial friendly behavior: Madonna and Sean Penn co-presented at an annual charity and had playful antics on stage. Penn even joked about handcuffing Madonna on stage after he took up her challenge to bid $150,000 for a necklace in exchange for her agreeing to marry him again.

Also, during the Latin Grammy Awards in November, Marc Anthony and ex wife Jennifer Lopez  gave each other a kiss after he presented her the Person of the Year award. He has since said that he is still in love with his ex wife and mom to their twins Emme and Max, according to US Weekly.

Sean “Diddy” Comb‘s relationship with his ex Kim Porter‘s son Quincy with 80s R&B recording artist Al B. Sure is ideal because he calls Quincy his son even though he is no longer with Porter and Quincy’s dad is very much alive and around.

Another great co-parenting role model is Jada Pinkett-Smith, who has helped her husband Will Smith raise his son, Trey, with ex Sheree Fletcher. They are great examples of blended families that get along.

Ask Alicia Keys, whose latest hit song is dedicated to blended families!

combs-smiths

Can’t get better than Will Smith helping you announce your pregnancy (VIRAL PHOTO)

I woke up the other day with the news already on the television set and swear I saw actor Will Smith announcing a woman’s pregnancy and the woman wasn’t his wife Jada Pinkett Smith!
I learned later that day it wasn’t but rather was a woman named Emily who just happened to have bumped into the famous Independence Day  actor, rapper and philanthropist at a local coffee shop. He was a good sport and agreed to pose in a selfie with her announcing her pregnancy. 
A friend of hers posted the final image on Reddit and it went viral from there!
Pretty cool! Congrats Emily and hubster! Hope she already told her boss too! doh! 

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