Movies for Independence Day-Part 2


This is the second part of our suggestions for movies to consider for your July 4 holiday.  Each one tells its part of the drama of the American story.

Glory (TriStar Pictures)

Glory is the true story of the first African-American military fighting force. No, this film does not take place during World War II. This is the Civil War and in Glory, these men have gathered in the North as former slaves seeking to literally earn their freedom. Glory is tense, dramatic, powerful and beyond compare when it comes to witnessing the birth of the racial coming together that in 2008 would elect America's first black president.  Starring Denzel Washington and Matthew Broderick.
Top Gun (Paramount Pictures)

Tom Cruise is not the only star burning bright in Top Gun. The U.S. Military is the true star of this patriotic classic. Bruckheimer would not have such a hit in Top Gun if not for those incredible flying and battle sequences that gave a country something to cheer about in the fading days of a Cold War that still could have gone either way

Patton (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment)
Does it get any more rah-rah American military tough guy than Patton? Chronicling the infamous General's career culminating in the great war -- World War II -- we truly understand that it's men that fight wars, not countries in this classic.

Apollo 13 (Universal Pictures)

Sometimes brave Americans aren't fighting on the battlefield, but exploring space and risking their lives in the pursuit of knowledge, and our country's reputation. This true mission to the moon story has it all -- danger, valor, and devotion.

Air Force One (Columbia Pictures)

How could we leave out a movie that features a tough-talking, gun-toting president taking down a bunch of terrorists? Harrison Ford plays an American president whose plane is hijacked by evil Soviets. Being both the president and Harrison Ford, he knows that he has no choice but to hunt them all down himself.

Tora! Tora! Tora! (20th Century Fox)

This 25-million dollar epic collaboration accurately recreates the events that led to the Japanese attack on the American naval base during World War II. Key American personnel ignored warnings of the possibility of Japanese aggression. The first part of the film divides scenes from both countries. Part two contains spectacular battle scenes of the bombing that destroyed the American naval base of operations in Hawaii. Governmental errors on both sides add to the confusion, but the Japanese ultimately carry out the deadly mission. The film remains an insightful and well crafted World War II action drama that was the result of years of negotiations between the two countries.

Casablanca (Warner Bros. Pictures)

At first glance, Casablanca is hardly a patriotic movie. Rick is an ex-patriate living in France. He might not be a fan of the Germans, but he’s also run guns for different sides of the war, and generally takes care of himself and nobody else. But Rick’s love for Ilsa starts him on the path to doing the right thing – and soon, he and everyone else are making sacrifices to do what’s right. He might not be draped in the American flag, but Rick shows his heart is true red white and blue.

The Hunt for Red October (Paramount Pictures)

The Hunt for Red October is a well-crafted political thriller about a reputed Soviet submarine captain who plays a cat-in-mouse game with the Americans. Piloting a submarine with a revolutionary new propulsion system, Marko Ramius (Sean Connery) plays a brilliant game of strategy with the CIA. Definitely a great pro-American feel to this one, and the best Tom Clancy novel-to-film adaptation.

Field of Dreams (Universal Pictures)

This is a movie that has a subtle patriotic message; if you build it, they will come. Kevin Costner stars in this quirky drama about an Iowa farmer who receives a message to build a baseball diamond in his corn field. He’s told that if he builds it, a mysterious “they” will come. Of course, baseball and America are practically synonymous. But beyond that, a certain spirit of “if you build it, they will come” has been urging America on for decades; building up cities, technologies, and other advancements.

To Kill A Mockingbird (Universal International Pictures)

Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning autobiographical novel was translated to film in 1962.  Set in a small Alabama town in the 1930s, the story focuses on scrupulously honest, highly respected lawyer Atticus Finch, magnificently embodied by Gregory Peck. Finch puts his career on the line when he agrees to represent Tom Robinson, a black man accused of rape. The trial and the events surrounding it are seen through the eyes of Finch's six-year-old daughter Scout. To Kill a Mockingbird won Academy Awards for Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Art Direction

Red Dawn (MGM/UA)

Set at an indeterminate point in the future, this drama with an overt anti-communist message begins as an ostensible war movie: Russian and Cuban forces have invaded the U.S. and are viciously eliminating the inhabitants of a small town, when a group of teens escapes and plans a counterattack. Jed (Patrick Swayze), Robert (C. Thomas Howell), and six of their friends watch in amazement as soldiers parachute into their town and start shooting. The teens grab a pickup truck, stock up on supplies at the local store, and head for the hills. After a successful ambush, the teen guerrillas gear up for future forays, when they are suddenly betrayed by one of their number and by doubts about the morality of what they are doing.

by Bryan Naquin.  Follow Bryan on Twitter @ACIexperts.  And you can always contact him at 225.906.2589 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Bryan Naquin is president of Acadian Home Theater and Automation based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  CEPro Magazine has ranked Acadian in the top 100 consumer electronic companies in the U.S. for the third year in a row.

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Movies for Independence Day-Part 1

Thought I'd give everyone a head start on movies you might like to consider watching that portray part of the American story.  We checked over a dozen websites for their lists of patriotic movies and this is a compilation of some of those and their descriptions (not ours).

Captain America: The First Avenger (Paramount Pictures)

After scrawny everyman Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is deemed unfit for military service during World War II, he signs up for a top-secret project that physically transforms him into a Nazi-fighting superhero.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

Idealistic Jefferson Smith (Jimmy Stewart) is appointed on a lark to fill a vacancy in the U.S. Senate. He's confronted with crooked politicians and corrupt practices in Washington, but he refuses to give up fighting for a democratic government, for the people and by the people. The Oscar-winning film was attacked by Congress at the time, but is now hailed as a quintessential whistleblower film that shows deep love for America's democratic heritage.

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Olympics Broadcast in 3D


The 2012 Summer Olymic Games in London will be broadcast in 3D by NBC in partnership with their programming distributors.  The 3D access will likely be available through Comcast and DirecTV and other pay-TV services.

The always anticipated opening ceremonies will be Friday, July 27, 2012.

The 200-plus hours of 3D coverage, to be produced by Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) and shown on next-day delay in the U.S., will use Panasonic's technology on such visually dynamic events as the opening and closing ceremonies, swimming, diving and gymnastics.

For those who already are 3D ready, prepare to be dazzled by the feeling of being right in the middle of all the action.  For those who aren't yet 3D capable, time is running out before  the trumpets sound the start of the Opening Ceremonies.

by Bryan Naquin.  Follow Bryan on Twitter @ACIexperts.  And you can always contact him at 225.906.2589 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Bryan Naquin is president of Acadian Home Theater and Automation based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  CEPro Magazine has ranked Acadian in the top 100 consumer electronic companies in the U.S. for the third year in a row.

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Builders Seeing the Light on New Technology?

It may just be that builders are beginning to see the value in offering technology packages in new home construction.  And why not?  Residential technology is here to stay.

Jason Knott of CE Pro's website cited a joint study between Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).  The percentage of builders installing energy management systems in new homes has risen 133 percent in two years (from 6 percent to 14 percent of new homes). Moreover, the percentage of builders actually offering energy management grew from just 40 percent in 2009 to 59 percent in 2011.

The percentage of new homes with multiroom audio has also more than doubled, while home automation and lighting control have also doubled.

He writes:

"The long-term trend is that technology is here to stay," says Chris Ely, manager of industry analysis for CEA. "The category of audio has seen a resurgence across the board." It should be noted that the data from the study is not strictly related to new home construction. Ely notes that the average respondent to the study did 46 new residential "projects" in 2011 of either new or remodel single-family homes or MDUs. Meanwhile, that same builder did an average of 34 light commercial or remodeling projects.

Smart builders are doing what others are doing; offering technology packages of different scales to their buyers.  In doing so, they automatically set themselves apart as regional leaders in the construction field.

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Beware Saving a Nickel to Spend a Dollar

True story: A homeowner, ready to build their country dream home, hired the contractor that came in with the lowest bid.  As preparations for move-in day were being made, the homeowner asked when they would see their 225-foot concrete driveway constructed.  "Oh, you'd like us to build the driveway also?" replied their contractor, "Our original estimate was only to build your house."

Like every industry, the A/V business has plenty of wanna-be's and start-ups who will price your A/V work at bargain prices just so they can turn a dollar.  I've been in this business long enough to have to go behind their work later when frustrated homeowners call us because they can't find their original installer.  In short, they're hoping we can make the substandard workmanship sparkle.  Mostly, it can't be done--not without making considerable changes to get them the performance they originally envisioned.

To save yourself an unexpected "hit" in the future, here are some guidelines to help you get the best value for your money at the outset of your A/V installation.

1.  Strictly define the scope of work.  In nearly every case, the real difference in pricing is in what different A/V companies are proposing the scope of work should entail.  Have everyone stick with the original scope of work so you can compare apples with apples.  Then, if an audio-video integrator recommends additional work to better round out your system, have them present that as a separate proposal.

2.  What is being left out?  There is a significant difference between being priced a stripped-down version of what you think you want versus a version that may offer better equipment with perhaps better warranties AND capacity for future expansion.  Growing your system later need not require the future expense of replacing perfectly good components when you could have gone with something more than the "just enough" model.

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