Wednesday, January 28, 2015

we're gonna have a good time

I don't know how accurate this is, but my Media Theory teacher told us last week (a fellow grad student talked about this movie for his presentation) that Top Gun was the first movie to really play entire songs like this opening bit with "Danger Zone" and the aircraft carrier montage. Seems not quite right, since the song trails off just like many a movie song. They do keep coming back to it, though.

Yes, to cap off the 80s action movie month, I'm going to enjoy me some Top Gun. Simpson and Bruckheimer before they got too big.

It's day one, so I'll let the movie just play for a bit. Haven't watched this movie in a long time.

One immediate response: it's remarkable how little the film is explaining about what's going on. We're just there in the air with these pilots with their lingo (though the film, apparently, misuses "bogey") and their call signs.

Since it's day one, I'm also looking at the box office, figuring out what my movie context for this was. I'm in the fifth grade when this movie came out. And, there weren't a lot of movies in first run theaters I was probably seeing that month, May 1986. Top Gun was # 1 it's opening weekend. We surely saw it that weekend. Short Circuit was #2, but I didn't see that in the theater. Don't recognize the titles for #3 or #4--Sweet Liberty and Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling, respectively. Fire with Fire, #5--I'd see that on video at some point. The Money Pit was #6. Pretty sure I saw that in the theater, but that was probably early in its run and this was it's 8th weekend. Same goes for Police Academy 3: Back in Training, # 7 in its 9th weekend. No Retreat, No Surrender, #8 in its second weekend--I would see that later on cable or video. Critters at #9 - video. Blue City at #10 and Wise Guys at #11--don't think I've ever seen either one.

Gotta interrupt this box office business to point out, this movie might be where I learned that giving someone the bird was called giving someone the bird." Which, I don't think I have ever done while inverted, piloting a plane or otherwise. I did once grab my sister's middle finger when she gave me the bird and threatened to hold onto it until we got home. I think that may have happened in a movie theater, but I can't recall what movie we were seeing.

Pretty in Pink at #12 in its12th weekend--don't remember if I saw that in the theater. Gung Ho at #13 in its tenth weekend--that one I definitely saw in the theater, probably its opening weekend.

(And, I just got sidetracked looking at pages from the Los Angeles Times Calendar section for the Friday Top Gun came out. I was curious what movies were at the Academy that weekend. The Academy has been a second run theater since June 1984, and we went there often, but I cannot see that theater listed in the Calendar.)

And then, I'm just here, watching the movie.

(In the meantime, another Top Gun-related anecdote: we were playing pictionary one time, at the dining room table, and "Great Balls of Fire" is the thing to guess. Thing is--and I don't know if I've ever talked about this side of it with my family--at school we'd taken to singing that song, but because we were pre- or adolescent boys, and we thought it was so clever to change the lyrics to "my balls are on fire." We sang "You've Lost that Lovin' Feeling" from time to time as well, sang it on the school bus once... but that was actually a few years later, I think. But, I digress from the punchline of the story. So, my sister is drawing; there's a ball, and it's on fire, and I know it's that song, and the words aren't coming to me, and then suddenly, epiphany. I blurt out, "Goodness gracious, my balls are on fire!" And, many laughs were had. And, I can't remember, but we better have gotten the point.)

It amuses me that this movie never really deals with the consequences of these dogfights with Russian MiGs. (Note: I'm not sure the movie ever actually says they're Russian.) I mean, an open fight like the one on my screen right now--that's potential for war... maybe.

Anyway, this bonus movie (only six days) ought to be fun.

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