Best Movies to Watch in the Park

movies-in-the-parkIt’s summertime, which means warm nights, summer romance, and of course movies in the park. What qualifies a movie for prime park viewing? There are no hard and fast rules, but certain movies have an appeal that can be broadly appreciated in an outdoor setting. Loud audience participation makes some movies better suited for outdoor viewing. Movies that take place outside or during the summer months are also contenders. We’ve gathered a handful of very popular “Movies in the Park” films that you shouldn’t miss.


The Sandlotthe-sandlot

Baseball, summer vacation, childhood, romance, and s’mores. What’s not to love? The Sandlot is an iconic film and is almost better seen while laying in the grass. Whether you slide into home base or just recline in your lawn chair, this movie is one that should be on your regular summer rotation.


The Sound of Music

sound-of-music1

This film makes our list due to the built-in audience participation. During the sing-along scene set in the enchanting Austrian Alps, most viewers take it upon themselves to sing Do-Re-Mi along with Maria and the Von Trapps. If you’re a little hesitant or embarrassed by your pipes, fear not.  No one will be able to hear you over their own off-key renditions.


The Karate Kid

karate-kid

A cult classic, The Karate Kid is just more fun to watch outside. Surrounded by like-minded wannabe karate kids, you’ll have room to practice your crane kick. Watching the Karate Kid in the park every summer has become a tradition across the country for those who once saw it on the big screen. Grab a t-shirt, and a mentor and head to a park near you! And if someone blocks your view, just sweep the leg, Johnny.


Labyrinth

labyrinthLabyrinth is a fun-for-the-whole-family type of movie.  We chose it for our list because it also has a flair of audience participation. During the Bog of eternal stench, fans will often pull out their whoopee cushions. Since you’re outside, you dont have to lower your voice as you scream every time the Goblin King’s balls come on screen. The movie is full of opportunities to use props and yell obscurities at the screen. It’s HOGGLE.


The Princess Bridethe-princess-bride-original

A pure cinematic legend, The Princess Bride is simply magical and unquestionably suited for watching in a park. Full of fantasy, sword fights, giants and pirates, this movie is also king of quotes. No one will begrudge you as you yell “Inconceivable!”, or as you introduce yourself as Inigo Montoya. Just be sure to wear one of our shirts to the showing!


The Rocky Horror Picture Show rocky-horrorWe’ve chosen this classic as a part of our park viewing collection for a few reasons. The songs, the dancing, the liveliness….and the toast! I’m sure we’ve all seen a live-action or midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show…fans get involved. Doing the Time Warp if easier to do in a park than a movie theater, and throwing dry toast outside just means more food for the birds.


The Big Lebowskithe-dude

Possibly one of the most famous cult classics of all time, this made the list simply because there is nothing greater than relaxing and reclining on a warm night, surrounded by The Dude and his friends. Extra points if you wear our Kaoru Betto shirt!

 

The Weapons of Scarface

Now a classic mob film, Scarface wasn’t always as well-received. There was criticism around nearly every aspect of the film that made it great: graphic hard drug use, over the top violence, the portrayal of Cubans, and coarse foul language all made a bitter pill for many people to swallow. But we survived through the chainsawing, the cocaine facials, and more profanity than the Big Lebowski. And what about the guns! So many great guns were used in this film. In fact there’s even one gun with an extra part bolted on that was put to work in another famous movie. More on that in a bit, but for now here’s our top 5 favorite guns wielded in Scarface.

No. 5: MAC-10

If an ‘80s movie had guns in it, one of them was bound to have been an Ingram MAC-10. You can see two versions in Scarface: the standard non-silenced model and the iconic suppressor-equipped version. Turns out the suppressor was so good the US government restricted its sale. Since the suppressor was the MAC-10’s main selling point, this restriction led to a spate of cancelled orders… and the company’s eventual bankruptcy.

No. 4: Remington 870

The Remington 870 has been around for over 60 years. Introduced in 1951 this budget-priced workhorse has sold more units than any other shotgun in history.

No. 3: Valmet M82A

With only a fleeting appearance in Tony’s gun case, the Valmet M82A is a bullpup configuration combat rifle with a production run that fared little better. Only 2000 units were manufactured between 1978-1986. On top of that, the coolness factor belied poor performance: weight distribution made for an unbalanced gun, and the rear sights would hit paratroopers in the face during landings. Regardless it would have been sweet to have seen Tony put this unusual gun to work on some goons!

No. 2: FN-FAL

With a production and useage history completely opposite of the Valmet M82, the Fabrique Nationale Fusil Automatique Leger was prototyped in the late 1940s and has been in continuous use since 1951. Over 90 countries have used this battle rifle, with over 2 million produced, and variations are still being manufactured today. It packs a heavy punch with the 7.62 NATO round, and the killers sent to hunt Tony would’ve had an easy time of it… if they didn’t meet the final gun on our list.

No. 1: Colt AR-15 with M203 Grenade Launcher

“Say hello to my little friend!”

Something about the over/under combination of the AR-15 (the civilian version of the M16) and the grenade launcher captivated audiences everywhere. Having that extra heavy duty punch really tickled movie goers, but what really made the weapon stand out on screen were the massive muzzle flashes. These were caught by cinematographer John Alonzo after he worked out a way to time the AR-15’s firing sequence with the Arriflex cameras. A pioneering achievement, this captured spectacular jets of flame that are normally lost between frames.

There’s one a neat piece of trivia about this gun setup: the exact same grenade launcher used by Tony Montana in Scarface was put to work in the Arnold Schwarzenegger hit, Predator.

The Summer of the Colon: Blockbuster Movie Roundup

This summer it’s all about the colon, and thankfully we don’t mean that colon. There must have been a memo in Hollywood because the hottest movies released during the year’s hottest months all have that two dot punctuation mark. Check out our top picks of 2015’s Summer Blockbusters!

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Domestic total as of July 27th: $465,612,712.

Written and directed by Joss “The Hits Keep On Comin’” Whedon, Avengers: Age of Ultron continues to rake in box office receipts. Released May 1st, you can still go and see this witty actioner in the theaters. Check your listings because there’s an Avengers double feature in many cities! Style check: our Avengers tees will add 150 street cred points.

Mad Max: Fury Road

Domestic total as of July 27th: $151,622,298.

George Miller said in an interview that 90% of the action in Fury Road was practical effects, so not much CGI. This is a common trait in a lot of the top movies of 2015, and one that will hopefully continue! Audiences are eating up these technical, dangerous stunts, and Mad Max has them in spades. Released May 15th this movie is killing it overseas, too. We predict the Furiousa to have her own movie in 2017.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

Release date: July 31st.

Can you believe it’s been almost 20 years since the first Mission: Impossible movie?! Tom Cruise is still kickin’ ass as Ethan Hunt, and keeping things fresh by performing his own stunts (that scene in Rogue Nation where he’s hanging on to the outside of the plane? Yup, he’s really there, strapped to the side as the plane climbs to 5000 feet). Early reviews are coming back more tepid than we expected, seemingly centered on a forgettable plot. We don’t care! We’ll be waiting in line on Friday, ready to catch this sure-fire summer blockbuster!

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

Release date: September 18th.

The first Maze Runner movie introduced many of us evil grownups to teen/young-adult scifi action writer T.S. Nowlin. This next installment (certainly leading into a third movie) moves the plot along as the group of kid-captives are presented with their next task, unironically risking their pretty faces to save the world… all while being misled by adults with ulterior motives.

Terminator: Genisys

Domestic total as of July 27th: $85,683,524.

Who could have predicted that “I’ll be back” and “come with me if you want to live” would be worth a 5-movie franchise and a TV spinoff? We predict this will be the final Terminator movie that stars Arnold (we know, we know… Terminator Salvation didn’t star Arnold, but it did have his likeness CGI’d into it), with possible future releases introducing new characters. Genisys is doing well in the international markets, which is probably going to be its saving grace. The TV show was well received, and it starred Summer Glau as a Terminator. Joss Whedon not at the helm of that show, surprising given that the premise is right up his alley and the work history he and Summer share. Style check: our Tech Noir tee is inspired from the first Terminator movie, and is a subtle nod to the franchise.

’80s Movies That Wouldn’t Be Made Today

The ’80s was a golden era for cinema. So many things that we take for granted today, from memes to favorite movie quotes, originated between 1980 and 1989. It was a beautiful time: political correctness was just a rumor and everything was fair game. The Internet hadn’t yet carved us out into our own little opinion islands, and you could get away with endangering kids and calling them inappropriate things to their face. Here’s our favorite movies that wouldn’t be made today.

Heathers

Sweet jumping jacks, there’s no way this movie would get made today. Murder of high school students by high school students is what’s on the menu from this ‘80s cult classic. The film’s opening salvo involves Christian Slater pulling a handgun (while on school grounds) and firing blanks at two bullies… with no repercussions. Shifting gears, we watch as pretty young people step up to murder-by-poison, attempts at suicide, crushing humiliations, homophobia and finally a school bombing plot.

The Monster Squad

There’s so much inappropriate material in this movie, it’d make people start an online petition to ban it if it was released today. For starters, to bring an end to the monsters, the squad needs to open a portal but to do so requires a virgin. The first choice (Lisa Fuller, cast as “Patrick’s sister”) doesn’t work out, so the next best option is Phoebe, a 5 year old girl?! If that wasn’t bad enough, later on Dracula looks Phoebe in the eyes… and calls her a bitch. There’s blackmail using nudie pics, kids with guns, kids using profanity, kids smoking, kids using sexual innuendo, the list goes on.

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Stand by Me

Imagine a movie released today whose plot revolves around a group of preteen boys simply marching off into the countryside, sans any form of adult supervision, for a couple days in search of a corpse of a kid that was killed when he was hit by a train.

Airplane!

Airplane! is a non-stop flight of insensitivity the likes we haven’t seen before or since. This classic flick serves up stereotypes like they’re going out of style. Add to that some jive talking, some child endangerment & molestation jokes, religious jabs, and a negative view towards women – focusing on violence and objectification. And who can forget the basketball tribe scene!

Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life

Loosely structured as a series of comic sketches about the various stages of life, The Meaning of Life has some scenes that would definitely not make it past the cutting room if it was shot today. In fact, Ireland outright banned the film on release. Aside from the gratuitous boob scenes, the mocking of religions, the fat man skit (“Better get me a bucket…”), there’s the one scene when the rest of the Python troupe (portraying students attending a sex ed class at a public school) watch in boredom as Cleese and Patricia Quinn physically demonstrate sexual positions.

Movies That Shrink: A Retrospective

ant-man

With Ant-Man opening July 17th at a theater near you, Marvel completes its 2015 movie release schedule. We won’t see another Marvel film hit the big screen until Captain America: Civil War drops on May 6th 2016. That’s a long time to wait, and in order to survive that long let’s entertain ourselves with other cinematic examples of shrinkage, and not the kind you get from cold water. No one wants to see that.

Beetlejuice

Tim Burton’s fantastic fantasy comedy-horror has Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin, and of course Michael Keaton shrinking down to an inch or two several times throughout the movie. While not necessarily integral to the plot, these shrinking scenes added to the immersion and fun-factor, toning down what was initially a much darker, cruel script. Who can forget the shrunken head guy!?

Fun fact: Beetlejuice only has 17.5 minutes of screentime during the 92-minute runtime.

Honey I Shrunk the Kids

Originally titled Teeny Weenies, Honey I Shrunk the Kids was a surprise hit and became the highest grossing live action Disney film ever, an honor the film held for five years. Utilizing mostly practical effect, this movie was widely praised for the innovative special effects and the engrossing story. Rick Moranis’ wife would pass from cancer 6 years after Honey I Shrunk, leading to his departure from acting, something he would never fully return to.

Innerspace

Academy Award-winning scifi-comedy Innerspace takes us on a fantastic voyage. Dennis Quaid gets shrinkydinked to microscopic size and is injected into Martin Short, who plays a hypochondriac. What happens next is comedy gold as Short’s character comes to grips with the new voice in his head. A real classic!

Alice in Wonderland

In one of the most influential literary works, Alice experiences frequent changes in size, shrinking and growing, frequently throughout the story. She’s rarely “just right” for the circumstances. Some folks say that it’s in reference to her growing up and maturing, and that the process is often unpredictable. Feeling discomfort at never being the right size works so well because it’s something we can all relate to as we transition from youth to adulthood.

Fantastic Voyage

The quintessential resizing film! Winner of two Academy Awards and three nominations, and darker than most realize (involving assassination, sabotage, and brain damage), Fantastic Voyage is one rollercoaster of a ride. Even today the film holds a 92% approval rating according to Rotten Tomatoes, the popular review aggregation website. Isaac Asimov even penned a novel based on the screenplay!

Awesome New Ant-Man Shirts


Ant-Man is crawling into theaters on July 17! The tale of Scott Lang, a con-man turned superhero with the help of a special suit, is the latest installment in the Marvel franchise. We can’t find a reliable source for the ant suits, but we’ve got the next best thing in these Ant-Man t-shirts!

Ant-Man Blueprint T-Shirt

This awesome Ant-Man Blueprint Shirt features a blueprint-style sketch of the Ant-Man suit. If you’re a fan of Dr. Hank Pym and his work, you’re going to want to be seen in this fantastic tee.

Ant-Man Swarm T-Shirt

Have you ever wanted to ride an ant? It might not be physically possible, but you can still dream with our Ant-Man Swarm T-Shirt. With a great retro comic book-style design, this shirt will keep you cool and comfy whether you’re surrounded by ants or by humans.

Dissolving Ant-Man T-Shirt

One of our more artistic designs, this Dissolving Ant-Man T-Shirt features a design of ants flying to depict Ant-Man’s helmet. This shirt is a creative and unique way to show your affinity for Ant-Man!

Classic Ant-Man T-Shirt

This retro-style Classic Ant-Man T-Shirt features a comic book Ant-Man design that celebrates one of the original members of the Avengers. Marvel fans, this shirt is for you!