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Good morning from Hype reporter Anna Swartz, here with a special Fourth of July edition.
Need a good Fourth of July movie? How about Jaws
What better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than with this 1975 Steven Spielberg classic. It takes place mostly over the weekend of the Fourth, as the fictional New England town of Amity is terrorized by a great white shark.
In addition to giving us an iconic score and the expression “you’re gonna need a bigger boat,” Jaws also helped establish the model of the summer blockbuster. The movie has it all: a giant fish, a misguided mayor in a fantastic jacket, a looming sense of danger and lots of boat vocabulary. What could be more American?
Want to have feelings about the Founding Fathers? Listen to the Hamilton soundtrack
You probably can’t get tickets to see Hamilton on the Fourth of July — the famously popular show remains a hot draw in several cities — but you can still listen to the soundtrack. The music behind Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop history musical is great if you need a dose of American idealism and fun rhymes. Spanning a total of 46 tracks, the original Broadway cast recording features Miranda in the starring role, along with Leslie Odom Jr., Daveed Diggs and Phillipa Soo.
If you’re somehow not aware: Hamilton is essentially a hip-hop adaptation of Alexander Hamilton’s life, inspired by Ron Chernow’s 2004 biography. But it’s also a lot more than that — it’s a meditation on national hope, using a mostly black and brown cast along with the musical stylings of hip-hop to reflect on race in America and the accessibility of the American dream. Plus, if you listen to it all the way through, you might learn something!
Live from Boston...it’s a patriotic spectacle
Need something to put on in the background of your Fourth of July party? Might I suggest the annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular? It takes place every year at Boston’s Hatch Shell along the Charles River. Incidentally, Boston, where I happen to be from, is a great city. Anyway, every year the show features performances from the Boston Pops Orchestra along with other musicals acts and a big fireworks display.
Need more Fourth of July content?
Does the plot of National Treasure make sense? No, not really. Is it fun to watch? Of course. Is it a good movie? It depends on what you mean by “good.” The long and short of it is that National Treasure is entertaining nonsense, and there’s no better day to watch it than the Fourth.
Here are some reasons why it’s a perfect movie for the holiday: Nicolas Cage plays a character named Benjamin Franklin Gates, and the plot requires Ben Gates to steal the actual Declaration of Independence (the reason for the season). That’s pretty much it. But if you love ciphers and treasure and Philadelphia, then this is the holiday movie for you.
Put this on your radar: Pets get scared of fireworks
That’s it — no entertainment recommendation here, just a helpful reminder that cats and dogs can get very scared of the sound of fireworks and sometimes it makes them try to run away. So make sure they’re in a safe, secure location when the noise starts.