Mortal remains of a Viking

Vikings and Women: Maybe Not Warriors, But Still Pretty Awesome

A few weeks ago, an article was published on Tor.com with the title “Better Identification of Viking Corpses Reveals: Half of the Warriors Were Female”. This “news” quickly blew up on sites around the web including Reddit, and was even picked up by publications such as the Globe and Mail. However, it was quickly revealed that the article was based on a misrepresentation of a 2011 paper by Shane McLeod titled “Warriors and women: the sex ratio of Norse migrants to eastern England up to 900 AD”. This article explained that many previous archaeologists had misidentified female Viking remains as male because they were buried with weapons. It asserted that many more Viking migrants were women than previously thought, and that women were sometimes buried with weapons, but made no claims about women’s presence on the front lines of battle.

Before people get too disappointed, though, we should remember that just because Viking women weren’t warriors as frequently as men doesn’t mean they were just sitting at home with babies, which the Tor article suggests is the alternative. Viking women could be quite powerful and influential in their culture—one of the most famous and lavish ship burials, the Oseberg ship, contained two women. Women were also held to the same standards as men in terms of honor; this can be seen in how they are portrayed in Norse literature. One saga where this is very apparent is the Saga of the Volsungs, which was written in late 13th century Iceland but based on earlier oral tradition. It contains the famous story of Sigurd the dragon slayer, but he only appears in about half the story; the saga is bookended by the tales of two women whose families have been killed by their current husband. Both women orchestrate the utter destruction of their husband and his followers almost singlehandedly, and are applauded for their actions, since they have fulfilled the societal obligations of taking revenge for their murdered families.

As a woman who also loves medieval history, I can see why it might be tempting from a modern perspective to propagate claims that women were out there pillaging and fighting with the men. However, as awesome as the idea of the empowered shieldmaiden is, it was not the norm—and we shouldn’t pretend that is was. But that doesn’t make actual historical women any less important or any less interesting, and we should respect their contributions to their societies, which were much more than just staying home and having babies. Until actual archaeological evidence confirms it, though, we shouldn’t allow wishful thinking to interfere with journalism or history.

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The 5 Most Badass Historical Badasses In Movies

Whatever happened to the badass American president? The type of person who could ride a moose into battle and hoist the banners of freedom high with a bullet between the teeth! Theodore Roosevelt and Andrew Jackson are prime examples of such historical badassees. After all, Andrew Jackson let a man have the first shot in a duel just to be sporting. The stereotypical archetype of the badass has permeated throughout the film medium; what many might not know is that these film badasses are often based on historical figures that existed! Whether the individual is a hero or villain, audiences love a historical badass. Here are some of the ones that left the greatest impression on us.

1. Bill “The Butcher” Cutting (Gangs of New York, 2002)

Played by Daniel Day-Lewis in Martin Scorsese’s sprawling epic about Lower Manhattan’s Five Points in the second half of the 19th century, Bill Cutting is a gangster who rules with an iron first and dispenses justice at the end of his butcher’s cleaver. Cutting describes himself as a patriot and fervently believes that America belongs to those who fought and bled for her freedom, not to the newly arrived Irish immigrants. When he’s not monologuing about American honor, Cutting is juggling knives, engaging in urban warfare on the streets of New York, and drinking beverages that are on fire. His real life inspiration was William Poole, the leader of the New York City Bowery Boys gang who also was a boxer and leader of the anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant Know Nothing political movement.

2. Maximus Decimus Meridius (Gladiator, 2000)

Played by Russell Crowe, Maximus is a Roman general turned slave turned gladiator seeking vengeance for his murdered wife and son. And the person he is trying to take vengeance on is the detestable Roman emperor Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix’s performance inspired Jack Gleeson’s performance as Joffrey in Game of Thrones, so you know he’s a classic S-O-B)! Maximus does not take any shit: he is willing to kill those who get in his way and challenge the very conventions of the bloodthirsty Roman Coliseum. An amalgam of historical figures including Maximus of Hispania, Marcus Nonius Marcrinus, and Spartacus, Maximus is a hero for the ages. Russell Crowe’s Academy Award-winning performance filled Maximus, a character who may seem cliché on paper, with so much life, nuance, and overall untamed badassery.

3. Frank Lucas (American Gangster, 2007)


Denzel Washington’s perforamnce as Harlmen’s heroin kingpin during the 1970s is absolutely fantastic. The film follows Lucas’ rise and fall as he struggles to build and maintain his drug empire. Distinguishing himself from other gangsters and drug dealers by his usual restraint from violence and business-focused mindset, Lucas has to contend not only with the DEA, but with the ire of the racist Italian gangs and infighting with his African American constituents. Much like Bill the Butcher, Frank Lucas is not a model citizen, but the audience respects his way of dealing with problems and utter determination to succeed.

4. Moritsugu Katsumoto (The Last Samurai, 2003)


Before narrating Godzilla’s exploits, Ken Watanabe was kicking all types of ass in this historical epic. Based on Saigo Takamori, the leader of the 1877 Satsuma Rebellion, Katsumoto not only leads the rebellion and makes the necessary sacrifices, but also works to convert Tom Cruise’s character to the side of the samurai. The most badass moments of the film come from Katsumoto’s heartfelt acceptance of what he considers to be his duty for Japan, even if it will cost him and his men their lives and place him in direct opposition to the Emperor. A badass without parallel in the film, Katsumoto’s fully deserves his place on this list.

5. Leonidas (300, 2007)


This film may not be entirely historically accurate, but the last stand of Leonidas and the 300 Spartans has entered Western popular culture as one of the most historically significant moments of bravery and badassery, and the film adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel captures the popular feeling in Western mentality about this event. Gerard Butler plays Leonidas perfectly and stands out as a bona fide badass, serving up sass to Xerxes even when outnumbered and refusing to ever surrender. With many inspirational speeches about standing resolute and refusing to surrender, and the violent killings in battle to back up his words, the Leonidas of 300 makes up for any badassery his true life counterpart may have lacked.

The Land of the Buy One, Get One Free

I was reading up on last Thursday’s fast food workers’ strikes, the most recent in a campaign of protests and walk-outs dating back to November 2012 and organized primarily by Fast Food Forward, a group dedicated to securing collective bargaining rights for fast food workers. September 4th marked a significant turning point for Fast Food Forward, if you haven’t already heard; hundreds of protesters were arrested or detained while demonstrating for a wage increase to $15 an hour from the federal minimum of $7.25, on which many struggle to survive. I was all set to talk about the revitalized American labor movement, and then I was distracted by this advertisement.

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It appeared in the margins of this New Yorker article, an in-depth look at the fast food workers’ movement. It was positioned less than two inches from a heart-rending profile of a McDonald’s employee and single mother struggling to survive on a wage that is, in reality, a death sentence.

Now, my understanding of the internet is sketchy at best, but I’m pretty sure ads like this (unlike sponsored content) are randomly paired with webpages, making the juxtaposition deeply ironic rather than offensive. But it’s also revelatory about what we, as a culture, value.

Just look at what subtext is encoded along with this conventionally good-looking, racially ambiguous, 21 – 34-year-old man. In case you’ve been dazzled by his smouldering gaze, the point of the ad is that you can buy things faster with PayPal. But not just that you can buy things faster with PayPal. It’s couched in the language of our Declaration of Independence — you are free to buy things faster with PayPal. It is your inalienable human right to buy things faster with PayPal. Life, liberty and the ability to buy things faster with PayPal: it’s the American way. (It’s worth remembering that Jefferson did jack the whole natural rights business from John Locke, whose big three were life, liberty, and property.) Our culture is one of easy consumption, whether it’s online shopping or fast food.

But what if you can’t afford it? What if, like fast food workers making $15,000 a year, you struggle to pay your rent and feed yourself and your children, let alone maintain health insurance or — heavens forbid — buy anything for pleasure. How can you participate in the American dream then?

Maybe the notion that the American dream is fundamentally classist and based on a culture of consumption isn’t exactly a bombshell. But advertisements that so flagrantly conflate consumerism and patriotism are a disheartening reminder that while wage increases and collective bargaining rights are an important goal, they treat the effects of late-stage capitalism, not the cause.

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How to Become a Weed Warrior (a.k.a. a Boss Ass Bitch)

Since it’s the beginning of the semester, you may be looking for some ways to expand your involvement in extracurricular activities and/or improve yourself. If you’re feeling uninspired about how to do this, just follow Nicki Minaj’s advice in her song “Boss Ass Bitch”. Nicki gives some clear steps that can be applied to pretty much any aspect of life; for example, if you love nature, you can use her advice to guide you as you become a DC Weed Warrior and help remove invasive species from local parks. Non-native plants such as English Holly threaten to overtake native species in local parks, such as Glover Archibald Park near campus, but the Weed Warriors are fighting back.

Following Nicki’s advice, here’s how you can get involved.

Step 1: Never let someone try to play you.

Obviously, these invasive species are trying to play you and make you think they belong in our forests. Don’t let that happen. You’re better than that.

Step 2: If they try to play you, sleep with their best friends and rub it in their face.

The alternative here for a Weed Warrior is to cut up the invasive plants with a machete, similar to the way Nicki Minaj cuts up her rejected man’s heart with her actions.

Step 3: Wear a lot of flashy jewelry.

There’s no rule that you can’t look fly while you protect the forest.

If this sounds appealing to you, which it definitely should, you can go to the District Department of the Environment’s website and find more information about how to become a Weed Warrior. It’s a fairly straightforward process–you have to take some online classes and then a field course where you learn how to manage non-native plant species. Just remember to embrace your inner Boss Ass Bitch environmentalist.

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VHS Is the New Black?

Real-life surrealism alert: today in a FILM THEORY class a group of about 20 students STUDYING FILM uncomfortably dug through memories to find the first movie they had ever seen on celluloid. We live in the future now, because the first student who spoke up asked “Does VHS count?” followed in kind by the rest of us. Virtually none of us could tell if we had ever seen a movie projected through physical film, or if we had only been around for digital.

“Why?!?” you shout at your monitor, nearly flinging your coffee aside, “would anyone care about this?”

“Well,” I say, gingerly repositioning your mug, “maybe nobody should care! But, at the very least, isn’t it weird that I have no idea whether I’ve seen something on physical film or not?”

Because that’s the unsettling bit – it’s not that I was born too late, missed the celluloid boat – I honestly can’t tell if my first cinematic experiences were shot on 16mm or projected from a hard drive.

Also, “Something something ‘The medium is the message’,” says the film studies textbook, and I definitely agree with it. Watching experiences can be radically different depending on how and where they occur: my viewing of The Land Before Time on VHS on a tiny portable CRT on a childhood road trip is decidedly a different experience than Guardians of the Galaxy last month in digital 3D in theaters.

While I can’t personally tell off the top of my head whether or not my film memories are digital or analog, the experience at the time would have been different. Film strips need more dedicated projectionist work, portray color differently, and operate in mechanically different ways from a digital distribution. VHS works differently from DVD, even if the difference comes down to the “Be kind, rewind!” stamp on the top side. Remember, folks, Michel Gondry actually made a whole movie about that.

A whole bunch of critics and scholars have written a whole bunch of essays and books about this stuff and this is but a lowly blog post. But the relevant part in media studies is often spectatorship and audience experiences, so the stuff we see and think about matters. VHS is the new film strip and CDs are our vinyl, and that’s something worth paying attention to.

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On Catcalling

There’s a lot to be said for wandering. Wandering through the streets is an unbeatable way to get to know a new (or old environment). You can become lost in your thoughts. You can take the time to appreciate a feeling of isolation, while still being in public. But what if you don’t feel safe wandering the streets? Catcalling might not be one the most dangerous things you can encounter on the streets, but it certainly sends a chill up the spine, and may invite me to rethink my route through the city.

But it’s hard to quantify why catcalling is disquieting, and to explore why it’s so ingrained in our society, considered normal, harmless, and ignorable.

If you’ve been doing a different kind of wandering over the past few days, of the news-reading, website hopping variety, you may have come across an article that tries to attack the issue of catcalling from that of humor. In an attempt to make harassment digestible and approachable, artist Ursa Eyer’s has created a series of comics that show how catcalling evolves, how it blends into society, and how it ultimately wears down its victims.

Comments that seem commonplace such as “she’s gunna be a heartbreaker” actually fit into a wider paradigm that makes it acceptable for men of all ages to hurl harmful words at girls…of all ages. What seems innocent and cute when told to children becomes aggressive and sexualized with maturity, and regardless of age and intent, it’s still unsolicited.

Suddenly, there’s an inescapable stereotype, and if you do escape it, you get ostracized for it. Girls are taught to ignore it, and to accept the norm. Further panels actually depict a girl who lashes out against the catcallers and is branded a bitch, while the man gets to boost his reputation by bothering a stranger.

Seems like a bit of a double standard. You might have also come across a short film in the past six months that turns the table on this hypocrisy to really expose the inequality. Now, bear with me for a moment, because I know it’s in French (there are subtitles, I promise), but in this short film the man becomes the victim and the women the attackers. It’s part of the larger idea of roles of men and women in society, and the role reversal they’ve explored is stark and jarring. And whether you want to or not, watching this film, reading these comics, it makes you re-evaluate actions that seem harmless. That girl probably didn’t wear that skirt so you could comment on her legs, and frankly, it’s not a compliment when you scream something about those aforementioned legs across the street. And if a girl isn’t smiling, you asking “baby” to smile for you, probably isn’t going to be what brightens her day.


 

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5 90s Shows You Should Watch Now

This summer, in a poorly constructed attempt to reconnect with my younger self, I decided to begin watching 90s television programs that I may have missed out on due to my age or my interests at the time. To my surprise, I learned that the 90s were an untapped treasure trove of television wonders. Many of these shows are perfect for Georgetown students to watch when procrastinating about that essay you really should have started last weekend. Here are five of the best shows you should make an effort to check out.

1. Spin City – Imagine if Parks and Recreation merged with the political dimensions of House of Cards and starred Michael J. Fox. The show you’re an imaging is Spin City, a comedy about the inner workings of the New York City mayor’s office and the lives of those who inhabit it. Other cast members include famous (or infamous) actors such as Charlie Sheen, Carla Gugino, and Heather Locklear.

2. Twin Peaks – If a surreal and mind-twisting murder mystery is more your style, then Twin Peaks might be the show for you. The series follows FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper’s investigation into the murder of a young girl named Laura Palmer in Twin Peaks, Washington. From there, the series takes a twist for the surreal and puzzling that has characterized so much of David Lynch’s work. Particularly recommended for fans of Welcome to Night Vale.

3. Are You Afraid of the Dark? – Are creepy horror anthologies your cup of tea? The overarching conceit of the program is that a group of children gather in the dark woods to form The Midnight Society in order to tell each other scary stories every night; the events of the story then play out on screen for the audience to see. While it may be a Nickelodeon program, and thus lacking in blood, gore, and other truly disturbing elements traditionally associated with horror tales, this show has some stories that will send chills up your spine and keep you awake for the night.

4. The Nanny – While it may not be considered highbrow programming, it is absolutely entertaining. Set in New York City, The Nanny follows the adventures of a nasal voiced Jewish woman from Queens who accidentally becomes the nanny of three children of a British Broadway producer. Needless to say, there is a clash of cultures and beliefs, resulting in six seasons of hijinks, humor, and even occasional social commentary about class differences. Famous guest stars include Pamela Anderson, Ray Charles, Chevy Chase, Elton John, Hugh Grant, and Jon Stewart.

5. Batman Beyond – It may have debuted in 1999, but this show is too fantastic to not include on the list. The series depicts a cyberpunk dystopian version of Gotham, in which a young teenager takes up the mantle of Batman under the guidance of an older Bruce Wayne in order to avenge his father’s death. Intriguing, dark, and way more mature and intellectually engaging than it had any right to be, Batman Beyond is a fantastic cartoon series that adults and children alike can enjoy. It is definitely recommended for fans of Batman and those that enjoy futuristic films such as Blade Runner or Minority Report.

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The Politics of Athletes Coming Out

    I was born into a lacrosse family: my dad started out in high school, played for Cornell all through college, and went on to play for three seasons in the “Major” Indoor Lacrosse League for the Baltimore Thunder. Naturally I had a lacrosse stick in my hand from a very young age. And the truth is, I loved the sport. I was never the best player on the field, but something about being into a team and really giving it your all in a game just felt exhilarating.

    And then I got to high school. That was around that time that I noticed that I just didn’t really fit into the team anymore. I noticed some other changes then too: I had fewer and fewer guy friends and more girls, I was a bit more quiet and sensitive than most of the other guys, and – hey! – I was attracted to dudes.

    Sports have proven to be one of the toughest arenas for LGBT persons in the United States to break into, the most obvious reason being that the very qualities valued in an athlete tend to also be the values breed homophobia – foremost, masculinity. It’s rather funny, actually – it seems to me that the average gay man is hitting the gym much more regularly than the average straight.

    But this exclusivity between LGBT culture and sports has been vanishing at a fast pace, with prominent athletes such as Jason Collins playing in the NBA, Tom Daley getting photographed with his boyfriend, WNBA players Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson getting engaged, and now Michael Sam getting drafted into the NFL with ESPN airing his celebratory (gay!) kiss.

    Well, now the news got out that Michael was actually dropped by the St. Louis Rams, a move that coincided with an offensive ESPN segment about whether his teammates would need to feel insecure with him in the lockerroom. There were a few days when it wasn’t looking good for Sam – other teams didn’t appear interested. At least until Sept 4, when it was announced that the Dallas Cowboys will be picking up Sam’s contract. I would imagine that they chose to do this because Sam is truly a talented player, but it also brings up an interesting question: should the opportunity to make LGBT sports history improve a gay player’s chances of getting onto a team?

    Sports teams are brands after all, and brands are business. Deliberately causing controversy and news by signing a gay player may bring attention to the Cowboys name that could bring in serious cash. This is a risky venture, however: they have the opportunity to bring in a completely new fanbase to the sport, that is, gay men; but they also could alienate a serious portion of their old, dependable fanbase, that is, masculine, heterosexual men who are just fine with the way things have been thank you very much.

    There is no way to know the motivations of either the Rams or the Cowboys in their respective decisions regarding Michael Sam – to what extent were they motivated by the desire to build the best team possible, and to what extent did their political and financial interests push them towards one direction or the other? Or, more simply, should we have affirmative action in our professional sports teams?

    In my opinion, if Sam is a truly qualified player, then he should be given preference over someone over a similarly talented player, for openly LGBT players are a new frontier in American sports. If I had had role models like Jason Collins to look up to when I was a kid, maybe I would have stuck with playing lacrosse.

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An Open Letter to the Senior Citizen Who is Absolutely Killing it At the Gym

Dear Senior Citizen who is Absolutely Killing it at the Gym,

You probably don’t know me, Senior Citizen who is Absolutely Killing it at the Gym. I’m just another flushed face in a sea of sweaty youths, whereas you, as I’ve mentioned, are absolutely killing it. I see you, sometimes, as I’m struggling on the treadmill or (more frequently) phoning it in on the leg extension machine. From across Yates I can just spot you on the elliptical, bringing dignity, dare I say grace, to an otherwise preposterous machine.

You’ve been on that elliptical every time I’ve been to the gym for several months now, Senior Citizen who is Absolutely Killing it at the Gym. You’re there when I arrive, and you’re still there when I leave. Always the same machine. Always the same pace. You never falter. Do you live in Yates, Senior Citizen who is Absolutely Killing it at the Gym? I’m not sure how else you gain access to a college gym. What will happen if you get off the elliptical? Will Georgetown lose power? Does your stalwart ellipticizing propel the Earth around the sun? If you start pedaling backwards, will time reverse?

I am in awe of your physical fitness, Senior Citizen who is Absolutely Killing it at the Gym, and of the regularity of your workout. The sky could fall, the seas could rise, but I know in my heart of hearts that you would remain at your elliptical, bounding like a 70-year-old gazelle across the savannah. Your stately white head bobbing in the distance is the green light to my Gatsby – a deep and painful longing for a level of cardiovascular health that I will never attain. And yet I chase it; I chase it without making any progress because I’m on a goddamn stationary bicycle.

Yours unathletically,

Kathleen

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Fritzsche: 5 Action Movies That Don’t Take Themselves Seriously

The fun action movie with a sense of self-aware humor has become a something of a lost art form following its prominence during the 1980s and through the 1990s. Today, action movies take themselves so seriously! Many action films these days try to be serious, gritty, realistic, and offer social commentary about our post-9/11 world (as I discovered with Liam Neeson’s Non-Stop). There is nothing objectively wrong with these films, for many of them are well made and feature stellar performances, but they do not easily lend themselves to a casual viewing with friends on a summer day. Whatever happened to the action movie a bunch of guys could sit around and watch, appreciating its one-liners and over-the-top fights? Even with films that aim to emulate this format, such as the Expendables series, seem to be missing the mark somehow. Do not fret though! There are actually plenty of fun action movies that quite easily lend themselves to casual viewings with friends over a summer evening looking for just something purely fun to watch. Here are 5 of such movies you might have missed.

1. Transporter 2 (2005) – The best iteration of the Transporter series, Jason Statham stars as Frank Martin, ex-shady government agent who now operates as a driver (or as some may say…. a transporter!) for hire. In this film, he is serving as chauffeur for a wealthy family. The family’s young son gets kidnapped, and Frank is now on a mission to find him before it is too late. This movie has it all: insane car chases, amazingly choreographed fights, plenty of purposely-outrageous stereotypes, a blatant disregard for the laws of physics (they’re overrated anyway if you ask me), and just an all-around fun vibe. Watching Jason Statham kick ass while quipping about how he can’t fight in his suit jacket because it just got back from the dry cleaner is priceless. You can pick the film apart for some plot holes and most of the female characters seem to have been cast based more on their physical appearance than their acting ability, but if you’re taking issue with a movie that has the main character drive his car over a ledge so it flips over a construction crane in order to dislodge the bomb that has been attached to the bottom of it, you may be missing the point. The movie is fun; all you need to do is go along for the ride.

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2. True Lies (1994) – Before he was remaking Dances with Wolves in space or drowning DiCaprio in Titanic, James Cameron directed this action spy movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a counter-terrorist operative trying to balance his work with his personal life. I grew up watching this movie on TNT reruns, and it is a thing of beauty. Yes, the movie deals with terrorists from the Middle East in the pre-9/11 world, so it is all played for laughs. But that is the beauty of the film – even in situations as dire as these, we can laugh. We can cheer on the good guy and breathe a sigh of relief whenever he dispatches a villain. From a James Bond-esque party infiltration in Switzerland to a thrilling chase to Schwarzenegger fighting terrorists using a AV-8B Harrier, this movie has it all. More importantly, not once does it lose the sense of charm and lightheartedness that surrounds these events that other films would treat with absolute dread. “This is the problem with terrorists,” Schwarzenegger’s character remarks as he is chasing a suspect through a mall on horseback while on his way home for his birthday party (I am not making this up), “they are very inconsiderate when it comes to people’s schedules.”

3. Jumper (2008) – I have heard some people say this is a bad movie with little plot and wooden acting from Hayden Christensen and Samuel L. Jackson. To these people, I say that the movie is damn enjoyable and fun regardless of how much of a film elitist you are. Anakin Skywalker can teleport around the world and is being hunted by those who believe his power makes him an abomination. What is not to love about that premise? The film offers snapshots of the best locations in the world to have a dramatic conversation. Want to talk to your sort-of-girlfriend about your problems? Casually sitting on top of the Sphinx in Egypt seems like the prime location. This movie thinks it is being serious, but we all know that deep down, it really isn’t. It shows how teleporting battles should be done in film (Thor: The Dark World really should have taken notes) and is just an all-around cool movie. Also Kristen Stewart is in the movie for a little bit and isn’t annoying, so there’s that.

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4. The Rock (1996) – This movie taught us all a valuable lesson about what it means to be a winner, at least according to Sean Connery: “Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fuck the prom queen.” Wise words indeed. This Michael Bay classic stars Nicolas Cage as a chemical weapons expert for the FBI tasked with stopping rouge US marines who have taken over Alcatraz and plan to launch poison gas at San Francisco. To do so, Cage enlists the help of Sean Connery, a super spy who is the only person known to have escaped from Alcatraz. This movie has all the good elements of a Michael Bay films without any of the sexist/racist humor found in his recent efforts. Cool cars, gorgeous sights, a soaring soundtrack, and amazing chemistry between two acting legends. Watching Nicolas Cage play against type as a calm, collected weapons expert and Sean Connery play the foul-mouthed renegade is absolutely hilarious. With plenty of action, humor, and “hooray America!” to go around, this is a film that everyone can get behind and enjoy.

5. Rush Hour 2 (2001) – The poster for this film was the first poster to ever grace the walls of my bedroom, and it was because even as a young lad, I knew this movie was amazing. Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker star in the best iteration of the Rush Hour series, which puts two mismatched detectives together to solve a crime that will take them from Hong Kong to Las Vegas. The comedic timing between Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan is stunning and their chemistry is unparalleled. The two bounce jokes and witty comments off of each other during martial arts battles against the deadliest gangs of China. The film also has heart (or at least more emotion than you were expecting from a movie starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker), as Chan’s character struggles to resolve the issues surrounding his father’s death. Everyone I have shown this movie to has absolutely loved it. It is one of the funniest movies I have seen and has something everyone can enjoy, making it one of the perfect summer action movies to watch with friends.