Roger, Mav, and I’ll Clean ‘Em and Fry ‘Em

I have this bad habit of falling into early morning procrastination traps. You’re reading one of them even as we speak: blogging is one of the main things I like to do when I’m liking not doing other, more pressing things. MSN is another. Opening up itunes and rocking out to obscure live Smashing Pumpkins songs? Did that this morning before my second semester classes started. And before that, I did something that makes the rest of these techniques look positively trivial.

I watched the first half hour of Top Gun.

In the annals of “movies you can watch three times in a row without getting bored”, Top Gun is easily top five material, right up there with Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and any teen comedy (I’m looking in your direction, Mean Girls…not that I’ve ever done this). Seriously, can you name a more eminently watchable movie than Top Gun? Last year, Bill Simmons used thirty-two quotes from the movie to frame his NFL preview; the way I see it, that gives me license to write at least a master’s paper on it, if not an actual thesis. How can you go wrong with some of these gems?

  • The unabashed gay overtones–just look at Cruise’s smile when Goose utters his “carnal knowledge…of a woman this time!” line.
  • Anthony Edwards’ performance. Seriously, every time I watch this movie I feel as though Edwards playing Goose ranks as one of the all-time underrated performances in a movie. Can you imagine anyone else playing Goose? Nailing the Goose laugh? My cousin’s former housemate refuses to talk about Goose’s death…like, he actually becomes upset whenever it’s mentioned. Would any other actor in the world get that reaction? Anyone?
  • The songs. Is “Highway to the Danger Zone” the best-ever opening song in a movie? Conversely, is there a worst song on a movie soundtrack than “Take My Breath Away” (the Berlin version, not the Jessica Simpson cover)? And, just how good is the “Top Gun Anthem”? (By the way, did you know that each of these songs has a music video? They’re all included on the special edition of the movie, which I received not once but twice for Christmas this year. Thanks, Jamie and Aunt Di!)
  • Some of the lines are priceless. Best one? I’d argue in favour of this gem: “You screw up just this much, you’ll be flying a cargo plane full of rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong!” Classic.
  • Val Kilmer. Has there ever been a more overacted performance than this, ever? The scene where he and Cruise meet is just the most unbelievably tense encounter in the history of modern cinema…and you’re like, “Wait, what did Maverick do to Iceman??” How was Kilmer not at least nominated for an Oscar? His Jim Morrison ain’t nothing on his Ice.

The list goes on and on. Honestly, I could probably devote an entire blog to the intricacies of Top Gun and still find something new to contribute every other day. And yet I won’t, mostly because the second semester is upon me, I have two new courses to worry about and a Vikings playoff game which will involve strenuous mental preparation. Did you know that Minnesota and Green Bay have never met in the postseason? Crazy.

I’m not sure if the Vikings have ever played the Eagles in the playoffs. If not…just wait till January 16!


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