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George At 

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Featured Movie Reviews

Top Gun

In anticipation of seeing “Top Gun Maverick” tonight, we went back and watched the original TOP GUN last night. A blast from the past (1986 to be exact), the action-packed thriller still holds up well in its perfectly cheesy 80’s style. In his first true blockbuster hit, Tom Cruise shows all the star power we’ve come to expect for 40 years. But damn, was he young here.

We all know the story. Who hasn’t seen TOP GUN?

Cruise is cocky pilot Maverick, recruited along with his sidekick Goose (hilarious Anthony Edwards) to join the Top Gun school for the most elite fighter pilots in the US

There, they go up the instructors, including Tom Skerritt (Alien) in one his most likeable roles as Viper, who sees a lot of himself in Maverick.

Kelly McGillis is Charlie, the civilian flight engineer who Maverick serenades before knowing she’s one of his instructors. McGillis and Cruise have zero chemistry as the film starts, but realistically build the relationship into more than a fling.

Val Kilmer is terrific as Iceman, Maverick’s biggest competition to be the best. Their tension from the very first scene is a hell of a lot of fun to watch. Kilmer and Cruise never socialized on the set and kept their distance during filming but became great friends after the film was released. Meg Ryan and Tim Robbins serve up solid support in some of their earliest roles.

Classic 80’s scenes that have been parodied for decades abound, including the beachside volleyball match that sets some sort of record for baby oil used. Mav and Charlie zoom around on his motorcycle with Berlin’s Oscar Winning song “You Take My Breath Away” rolling into the background to great effect.

Director Tony Scott (True Romance, Beverly Hills Cop II) was THE 80’s/90’s master of the summer action flick and he nails it here. The opening scenes of jets taking off from a carrier and Kenny Loggins belting out “Danger Zone” are as good as it gets. Turn up the subwoofer and feel the jets take off around you.

Tense scenes in the Indian Ocean with our pilots facing off against Russian pilots (hey, the Russians are bad guys again! Everything old is new again…) are well shot and bookend the story well.

It’s pretty predictable, beautifully executed, polished to 80’s perfection and served up plenty of lines we’re still quoting 36 years after its release.

“I feel the need….the need for speed!”

“You can be my wingman anytime”

“Talk to me Goose!”

Impossibly young and loaded with star power, a young Tom Cruise throws TOP GUN on his back and soars it to an A. In its dramatic moments, Cruise is such a superior actor, he immediately elevated himself above the other action stars of the day.

It’s still the same absolute blast it was seeing it in theatres in 1986. We’re cranking up Harold Faltermeyer’s iconic score and getting ready for the record setting sequel MAVERICK: TOP GUN tonight in all its Dolby Cinema glory.

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