Turn Your Yard Into a July 4th Hollywood Production

If you aren't already planning your third trip to theaters to see The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (and we at Fandango certainly aren't discouraging you to do so), what better way to take advantage of the long, warm Fourth of July weekend than to turn your own backyard into a Hollywood production?

Occasionally in this blog I'll cover new home tech as well as my regular Tuesday blog on new DVD and Blu-ray releases, and I feel compelled to let you know about one super fun home tech item I found that's perfect for those summer nights when you simply can't make it to the theater. Home projector tech is keeping right up with HD TV and Blu-ray advances, and one such projector, Epson's MovieMate 60, not only projects movies, it allows to you play video games, karaoke, watch live TV, and show off iPod videos and photos right on the wall of your house (or inside too, if you so choose) at a whopping 120 inches--double or more the size of most TV screens. It has built-in Dolby Digital 5.1 speakers, HDMI input, 3LCD quality, 16:9 widescreen ratio and 540p resolution (not quite HD, but close) and with a carrying case and handle it's easily portable. Not only are the picture and sound great, it offers a ton of bang for the buck and it's not that expensive to boot at around $600. Pick a favorite theme ('80s favorites, B-movies, horror flicks or family fun), throw up a white sheet or tablecloth (or just use a plain white wall) as a screen, and go to town. Here are six classic flicks we recommend airing in your own backyard for the July 4th weekend.
 
 * Independence Day Cheesy as it is, few films out there feel more Fourth of July than this one, with Will Smith starring as the unwitting savior of Planet Earth from aliens hovering in ships whose special effects still stand up pretty well today.
 
* Jaws Still scary enough to remind you why you never played in the ocean as a kid, don't show this one with the young 'uns around--it's for you adults who remember seeing it at the drive-in and now refuse to watch Shark Week on Discovery.
 
* Grease Summer lovin' never looked and sounded so good when played large and loud, and this classic 1978 musical starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John will have the entire family belting out the tunes. You're the one that I want, indeed!
 
* Meatballs Bill Murray stars, short shorts and all, in this endearing ode to summer camp where his horndog counselor becomes a champion for misfit teens and made everyone wish two weeks at camp was really like that.
 
* Goonies "It's our time! What says summer like a treasure hunt, secret pirate ship, caves and a scary criminal family? This '80s gem has it all--laughs, heart, Cyndi Lauper and best of all, CHUNK.
 
* National Lampoon's Summer Vacation Who doesn't remember rolling around in the back of their folks' giant station wagon heading out for their annual summer trip? In this classic the Griswolds are hell-bent on making it to Wally World, misadventures like dead aunts and car wrecks be damned.
 
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