“I feel the need… the need for speed!”
Set the Way Back Machine for 1986. I, a young movie enthusiast, was walking around the video rental store. (For those of you that don’t understand: It was a store that rented video tapes of popular movies. (For those of you that don’t understand: A video tape was like bulky rectangular version of a DVD. For those of you that don’t understand: A DVD is like a Blu-Ray disc.)))
Anywho, Top Gun was coming out soon for rental. This particular video store was offering a drawing to win various Top Gun merchandise. I realllllly wanted to win a Top Gun T-shirt. The rules said enter as often as you like, so I stood there filling out entry forms and sticking them in the box. Over and over and over. A few weeks later, I received a phone call. I had won… Top Gun on VHS! My family didn’t even own a VCR! I, of course, went and picked it up. I now owned my first movie: Top Gun!
This began a mania in me that has never stopped. I now own over 1500 Blu-Rays, DVDs and VHSs! “Son, your ego’s writing checks your body can’t cash!”
One cool feature of my new Top Gun video was the Diet Pepsi commercial that appeared prior to the movie. I have since upgraded to the Top Gun DVD, but the humorous commercial is not longer included. So, I’ve provided it here for your viewing pleasure:
During college, I would go with a friend to sell plasma. As we sat in our chairs for an hour with needles sticking out of our arms, they would show movies. One day that movie was Top Gun. It had been a while since we had seen it, and we were stoked! We went back to our dorm that day and made plans for Top Gun movie night. We invited our friends over, ate popcorn and gummy jet-shaped fruit snacks, and gave away door prizes like posters from an Air Force recruiting office. It became a yearly tradition.
I have now watched it with both Geek Spawn and the Nerdling. It’s rated PG, but it’s 80s PG. There is no nudity, but lots of guys in towels and underwear. There is no sex, but a half naked make-out session that’s about to become sex (I skipped over that part for my kids). There is also liberal use of the word “s**t.” These are things you don’t notice until you’re watching it with your kids!
Some other interesting quirks: The opposing planes are never identified as a specific country, but only referred to as “The enemy.” There is also no real plot to speak of. “Maverick goes to flight school” is about it.
But it’s so watchable! There are lots of action scenes, stunts and explosions. Some heroism and some tragedy. Tom Cruise in the role that shot him to stardom. While Kelly McGillis didn’t do a whole lot of memorable work after Top Gun, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins, Tom Skerritt, Michael Ironside, “the black guy” from Die Hard (Clarence Gilyard Jr.), Mr. Strickland from Back to the Future (James Tolkan) were all very popular actors! A great cast and a great movie!
If you haven’t seen it in a while, go take a look. It’s a lot of fun! Until next time, “So long, Pete Mitchell.”
Let me know what YOU think of Top Gun in the comments!