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Our picks from the highest-grossing box office list for July 4 weekend

Bringing in nearly $98 million box office, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, released in 2011, was certainly popular. It’s the highest grossing July 4 weekend release, according to boxofficemojo.com. But, is this really the caliber of film we want to enjoy on the nation’s birthday? If so, then enjoy it. For those who seek more from their movie-watching experiences, I have found five Independence Day releases that offer more substance than the usual fare. And no, Independence Day is not one of them.

The whole premise for that Transformers movie is wrong. Courtesy of Earthsky.org

The whole premise for that Transformers movie is wrong.
Courtesy of Earthsky.org

Get ready for the rousing speeches.

Get ready for the rousing speeches.

The movie that sits at 11 on the highest-grossing July 4 weekend releases is Men In Black. Barry Sonnenfeld directed this film following the success of Get Shorty (which isn’t too shabby either). While he might have strayed a bit in his career, Sonnenfeld was one of the best cinematographers in the early ’90s. His skill translated well to directing, especially in his early pictures.

A great example of Sonnenfeld's camera skills.

A great example of Sonnenfeld’s camera skills.

 Men In Black redefined the way we see sci-fi comedies and aliens in general. The camera’s movement in relation to the scenes is a thing of beauty, as it adds its own element of comedy to the production. If nothing else, revisit this for a look at a young Will Smith, fresh off Fresh Prince, arguing with Tommy Lee Jones.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Before we knew Will Smith would be a scientologist with two annoying famous kids.

Before we knew Will Smith would be a scientologist with two annoying famous kids.

Next up, The Perfect Storm, which comes in at 15 on the July 4 list with just over $41 million. This movie is a raw drama with some big-budget special effects. The drama might be a little too raw, but the movie still makes good use of the actors to deliver a visual and tense story. Read the rest

Thirty months in jail? Priceless.

Jesse Jackson Jr., Sandra JacksonFormer U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, Sandi, were sentenced yesterday for spending $750,000 in campaign money on luxury personal items. Jackson ended up with 30 months in federal prison and his wife will see a year, with their terms served back to back.
If you asked the Jacksons today, I’m sure they would say, “No, it wasn’t worth it.” But then again, if you’re going to use close to $1 million in campaign funds illegally, you might as well do it right.

Of all the strange and lavish items the Jacksons bought with campaign cash, what do you consider the most understandable expense?

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Hairy situation

A beautifully bearded man.

A beautifully bearded man.

Proctor & Gamble, maker of Gillette and the Mach-3 razorblade, says their sales are down in developed countries, and competitor Schick is doing no better — their razor sales have dropped 10 percent in the last year. The companies are trying to pick up the slack by offering special options for super-hip beard-cuts and powerful Titanium blades (Schick). The problem with Titanium blades is that they don’t have to be replaced as often, thus still hurt sales (derp).

Sounds like there are plenty of ways the two companies are explaining their losses but what is this really about?

Razor sales are falling and the big companies are wondering why. What do you think accounts for this trend?

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