Directed by Tony Scott (1986)
by Rosalie Kicks!
Old Sport at Moviejawn
*This column is typically written by Benjamin Leonard, MJ’s BEST BOY. This month your favorite OLD SPORT is filling in.
I never pictured myself as someone that would climb aboard the “Booze Cruise”. No! I’m not talking about an actual cruise ship, no no no. The “Booze Cruise” as defined by my friend and fellow MJ contributor, Susan from Honesdale, PA: The “Booze Cruise” was originally founded by Aaron Vietri of Letterhead Comics. It is an occasion when one drinks booze and watches Tom Cruise films.
For those that are acquainted with The Old Sport, I’m sure you are not surprised that I had no problem with the booze part. The CRUISE aka Tommy C. wellll…that is where I have to shut this entire plan down. Tommy C. just never seemed like my cup of tea. I kinda always thought of him as an insane person with narcissistic qualities. Plus! Tommy C.’s laughing has always kinda scared me. THE TEETH. Have you ever really looked at the TEETH? Who would have ever thought that after popping in Top Gun an hour and fifty minutes later I would be drafting up flyers to start the Official Tommy C. Appreciation Club and having dreams about the guy (don’t worry I’ll get to the dream later). He literally took my breath away. Before I swoon let’s get down to business. Prior to the infamous night of 7/16/16, I had never in my life watched Top Gun. When the MJ crew learned this Old Sport factoid: Minds. Were. Blown. Apparently Top Gun is an iconic friendship movie that everyone MUST SEE before they crawl in the box.
Your favorite Old Sport tends to be many steps behind any sort of trends and the hipper things in life. At the age of 33, I literally just started wearing denim jeans within the past three years. When it comes to actors, I much prefer the dead ones. I have no sense of what is cool. I remember as a gangly teenager seeing commercials for Top Gun constantly. It seemed to be one of those flicks that was always on. And I never watched it for one reason: Tom Cruise just seemed too damn cool. He was the epitome of cool which in theory made him completely uncool to me. He’s got that smile that makes you melt, the perfect hair, the straight teeth, and those damn one liners that often induce eye rolling. When laying out all the facts on the table, it always seemed like the Buscemi type was much more the speed for Old Sport.
Initially I thought that if I was going to survive this thing booze was a must. For those that ever doubted google, think again. Google is powerful; it found the Top Gun drinking game (as pictured below, credit: drinkingcinema.com). I must add that drinking did not in any way affect my perceptions of this film, instead it truly enhanced the experience. Guys, in Top Gun not just Tommy C. is cool…everyone is. Booze is not going to change that. These dudes wear rad jump suits, fly super fast planes, and wear aviator glasses…they are super cool. Not to get into all the intricacies of the plot as I seem to be the last human being on planet earth to actually watch this thing (seriously, I have heard most babies watch this film in the hospital right after they are birthed…it is their first introduction to American pop culture). I don’t want to bore you…However, the basic gist is that these really cool dudes are part of the Top Gun Flight School. An elite school where only the best of the best/really cool pilots go to refine their flying skills. Tommy C. plays Maverick, a young, cocky, man about town who lives in the danger zone. When him and his best friend Goose (I can’t make these names up) get sent to Top Gun they immediately clash with the Iceman, played by Val Kilmer. The Iceman is cool (of course) and collected. He doesn’t have time for all this horsing around. By the end of the flick Maverick and Iceman learn to respect one another but it does not come easily. Maverick goes through a lot during the film: acclimating to Top Gun, falling in love with Kelly McGillis while listening to “Take my Breath Away," witnessing his best friend die and oh yea, thinking it may have been his own fault.
This movie made me remember what it was like to see a good ole’ American action romp. Hollywood if you are listening: I miss these type of films. I miss these type of actors. I miss these types of soundtracks (can’t stop listening to it). Where have these type of films gone? Putting aside all of his weird (very weird) quirks and disgustingly pompous attitude one thing is clear: the guy can act. Years from now Tommy C. will be looked upon as the Cary Grant of our generation. A weird little dude that could sometimes act really well (watch Magnolia).
Top Gun was definitely a film I missed out on. Maybe it was good that I capsuled it for so long, as it made me appreciate its greatness even more. With all the garbage Hollywood has been whipping our way, this film is a good reminder of what a friendship film used to be. Will there ever be a bond so strong as the one of Goose and Maverick? You can almost feel that love come out of the picture when they raise their hands to perform the iconic high five (oh yea, they totally miss by the way…slow mo it and LEARN).
Without this film I would never had experienced my Tommy C. dream. Picture it: Tommy C. and I in space coming at you live with our radical podcast “Prepare for The FUTURE." We somehow (fortunately) obtained a list of Hollywood studio personnel that will be terminated in the FUTURE. To help them prepare for the FUTURE we rattle off their names. Tommy C. & Kicks - just a couple of old sports changing lives, helping people prepare. I can only hope that he visits me again. Maybe next time we can grab a slice of pizza or rock out to Danger Zone. Until then I will be traveling down the rabbit hole of the Tommy C. filmography.