'Team America' showings canceled. Try some other patriotic movie options

In Texas, one theater tried to screen “Team America: World Police” instead of "The Interview." But Paramount Pictures pulled the plug. Still, there may be better patriotic movies to watch at home. 

Kevork Djansezian/REUTERS
A security guard stands at the entrance of United Artists theater during the premiere of the film "The Interview" in Los Angeles December 11. The New York premiere has been canceled as theater chains scrapped plans to show it, after threats from a hacking group.

After Sony decided to abort the release of "The Interview" in light of terrorist threats, apparently from North Korean cyber bullies, a Dallas-area movie theater tried to offer a patriotic response: A free screening of “Team America: World Police” instead.

Is immersion in American allegiance films the best response to Pyongyang's cyber bullying?

Absolutely, according to James Wallace.

“With cap guns for everyone … for free,” Mr. Wallace, who programs the Dallas/Ft. Worth Alamo Drafthouse Cinema told the Dallas Morning News. “Because you can’t spell freedom without free.”  He planned to screen "Team America" on Dec. 27.

But Paramount Pictures, which owns the rights to "Team America" has told independent theaters that they cannot screen the movie, reports Deadline.  

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema tweeted the cancellation this afternoon:

In the face of taking some hefty cyber bullying, Sony cancelled the premier of the Seth Rogen and James Franco film following an epic doxing by what appear to be North Korean hackers supported by despot Kim Jong Un – whom "The Interview" roundly mocks and assassinates in more than just character.

After terabytes of data were ripped from the company’s servers, and attacks threatened  on any theater that dares screen the film, US theater chains backed away and Sony shut the debut down. 

For some, the response smacks as kowtowing to – and even encouraging –  terrorists. And the Drafthouse Cinema was apparently trying to tap into some of that thinking. 

The canny Drafthouse programmer recognized that 2014 marks the 10-year anniversary of "Team America," which laid the groundwork for "The Interview," according to The Dallas Morning News. The satire focuses on Kim Jong-il, the late father of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Since both "Team America" and "The Interview" are crass and campy fare, those who also wish to wax jingoistic – or simply affirm the Constitutional right of free speech –  in response to North Korea's hack, may be seeking a broader selection of patriotic films to watch at home.

To that end, here’s a list of some All-American films –  culled from Ranker.com and Netflix – that plant the flag in higher cinematic ground.

According to Ranker, a constantly evolving fansite which allows visitors to ranks favorites in various categories, the top five most patriotic films of all time are:

Rocky IV starring Sylvester Stallone, James Brown, Dolph Lundgren wherein the Italian Stallion of Philadelphia defends America’s honor in Russia during the Cold War.

Saving Private Ryan starring Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel is the tale of American heroism.

Forrest Gump featuring Tom Hanks, Haley Joel Osment, Kurt Russell. Is the epitome of Americana.

Independence Day starring Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox is the America vs. the pre-Avengers universe, smack-down.

The Patriot starring Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Jason Isaacs has the name that says it all.

According to the ranking site Uproxx, which used rankings from the movie rating site Rotten Tomatoes, the top ranked patriotic films available on Netflix, include:

The Avengers from Marvel had 4.5 stars out of 6,310,701 ratings for Captain America and company saving the planet.

Forrest Gump with 4.3 stars out of 19,058,894 ratings for its Americana.

We Were Soldiers got 4 stars out of 3,721,329 ratings only because Saving Private Ryan isn’t on Netflix.

Rudy from Sony pictures had 3.9 stars out of 2,992,519 ratings for “the American can-do spirit.”

Patton 3.9 stars out of 1,408,561 ratings for George C. Scott’s portrayal of the American general.

In the theater or at home, streaming or DVD, popcorn buttered or not ,Americans may just fight-off the fear of bullies with the flick of a button or the purchase of a ticket.

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