WHEN: 5:31pm EST, February 22nd, 2012 (with a false start at 5:30pm EST because the Blu-Ray player “helpfully” started the film up at the last bookmark I viewed)

WHERE: My apartment in Portland, ME (Isla Nublar)

FORMAT: Blu-Ray on a Vizio 47″ LCD HDTV

COMPANY: Eric, Jared, and Tim (all senior members of the UMF improv comedy troupe the Lawn Chair Pirates), as well as Cinemanaut Ty, also a former member. Um, and I was also in that troupe. So five Lawn Chair Pirates in various stages of membership. Eric and Jared had never seen Top Gun. In contrast, Tim often has to be reminded that he is not actually Goose.

One of these is Tim. Choose wisely.

PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Excited to be in a room full of humorous college pals, pumped to hang out afterward, hungry for the world’s tastiest palindrome: the Top Gun Nug Pot.

For maximum flavor, serve with Omega Sauce. Ask for one of each McNugget sauce, put them all in the same bowl, stir, and dip to your heart’s content. There is no definitive list of sauces; whatever they hand you, it goes in the bowl. If the server considers ketchup a sauce, whoa, it’s all different!

SPECIAL FEATURES: While waiting for Eric, Jared, and Ty to arrive, Tim and I amused ourselves by watching the following features on the Blu-Ray.

  • The “I want some butts!” scene I had bookmarked
  • The “I want some butts!” scene I had bookmarked with the French audio track
  • The music video for Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away”
  • The music video for Loverboy’s “Heaven in Your Eyes”

In the French version, it sounds like somebody calls Maverick “Monsieur Chapeau.” Maybe this is his call sign in the French version? Must research further. Also, the Loverboy video is just a lame concert music video, but Top Gun is playing on screens behind them. Tim noted that this would improve the majority of concerts.

WHAT ERIC KNEW ABOUT TOP GUN BEFORE WATCHING IT:
“I remember a lot of high-fiving, the need for speed, Goose dying… beach volleyball… I believe there’s a sex scene… lots of airplanes… then Val Kilmer: approving look at Tom Cruise.”

WHAT JARED KNEW ABOUT TOP GUN BEFORE WATCHING IT:
“There’s airplanes, and a… Goose! And there’s jumpsuits! The only other thing I know is ‘Danger Zone.’ That’s it.”

FOCUS OF THIS WEEK’S STUDY: The Effects of Wearing Aviator Sunglasses on Enjoyment of Top Gun; Also, Applying Top Gun to a Room Filled With Improv Comedians

Yup. Wore ‘em for the whole movie.

REACTIONS OF NOTE:

  • Everybody in the room is mad about the continuity of the jet wings being folded in or out. It had never crossed my mind before.
  • There were big laughs at the shitty inverted dive special effects.
  • Ty informs us that there is nothing wrong with having loose objects (like a Polaroid camera) in the cockpit, thanks to the lapboard.
  • We joked about how “Maverick” is a bad call sign. You’re kind of encouraging him. You might as well name him Reckless or Kills His Teammates.
  • Tim mentions how great it would be to watch the actual wizard Merlin fly a jet with a cougar. Eric: “And John McCain and a goose.”
  • Nobody can ignore all the sweat in this movie.
  • Ty: “This is a buddy cop movie in the sky.”
  • Jared: “Stinger is short. Holy shit.”
  • Eric is absolutely taken aback by the “This stuff gives me a hard-on” scene. “What the fuck did I just witness?”
  • So far, the aviator sunglasses just make it hard to read words, both because they make everything darker and because I’m not wearing my regular eyeglasses. I also don’t feel any cooler. Not even around these guys.

  • Tim: “This is the perfect date movie, because there’s romance and action.” Me: “I prefer Die Hard as a date movie, because I don’t date lame chicks.” They told me to write that down. So there you go, lame chicks.
  • Tim notes that they always seem to frame Val Kilmer so that you can see his mole.
  • It looks like the “G” on the back of Goose’s helmet has been scratched off partially so it reads “Loose.” I’ll check on the next viewing.
  • Everyone complains that Air Boss Johnson does not scream enough for having spilled piping hot coffee on his chest.
  • Eric wonders if Mav saying “over and over” is a painful reminder of how many times I’ve seen this movie.
  • Eric mishears “ass draggin'” as “Ass Dragon.” He thinks it sounds like a call sign.
  • Ty and I started making it awkward by bitching about Cinema 52 in front of the three guys who aren’t part of Cinema 52.
  • Eric thinks Goose is trying hard not to look at Maverick’s penis in the locker room scene. He’s trying to think of Carole instead of peeking at the little flap in the towel.
  • When Goose smacks into the canopy, everyone is silent for a little bit, then Eric asks: “I assume… the ejector seat isn’t supposed to do that?” Cue four sarcastic assholes saying, “No, they all do that, it’s a major design flaw.” Then Ty actually explaining the situation because he knows lots about airplanes.
  • Kelly McGillis is like a hot aunt.
  • Jared is very distracted by Tom Cruise’s unibrow
  • FUCK! I took the aviator sunglasses off for a second, right at the final aircraft carrier scene, and my eyes were stinging.
  • Merlin never went to TOPGUN. Because of Cougar. That’s sad. And then Goose dies, so Merlin gets to take part in the heroics at the end. That’s… fair?
  • Tim: “If a Tomcat pilot and a MiG pilot both eject and land next to each other in the ocean, do they start fistfighting?”
  • Everybody is pissed that Maverick plans a maneuver “on the count of three” and then counts,”3! 2! 1!” I think this bugged me on a past viewing, but I forgot to write it down.
  • Me: “I’m naming my penis Air Boss Johnson. No! I’m naming it Fightertown, U.S.A. No! I’m naming it Have a Bandit Day.” (“Use Quarters Only” suddenly pops up on screen.) Everybody: “NAME IT USE QUARTERS ONLY!”

WHAT ERIC THOUGHT OF TOP GUN AFTER WATCHING IT:
“I’m not sold on this movie.”

WHAT JARED THOUGHT OF TOP GUN AFTER WATCHING IT:
“In hindsight, I would add ‘Take My Breath Away’ and sweat.”

THOUGHTS:
First of all, the aviator sunglasses did very little to enhance the film. I did not think they would improve the visual aspects (except for making the sex scene look less like a freakish aquamarine alien abduction lick-a-thon). I was at least hoping that they would make me feel more like a pilot, like I was one of the badass members of the TOPGUN program, but no. Nothing. Even with friends around to witness how cool I looked, I did not feel anything like Maverick. I pretty much just looked like this for 110 minutes:

Yeap. Pretty… reflective.

However, for positive results, applying Top Gun to a room full of improv comedians is a powerful stimulant. Confusion gives way to outbursts of creative fury, not unlike early man attempting to depict the origins of the Earth through cave art.

The sheer complexities of the film drive each subject to radically different forms of expression.

I think this week’s focus should have been the opposite, however; applying improv comedians to Top Gun. After a few weeks of just watching it alone, it was much more entertaining with a group of friends shouting at the horrors, cheering at the triumphs, and laughing at the 1980s.

Yeah, that’s right, major announcement: it’s more fun to watch a movie with friends. You suspected it, but did you test it? That’s movie science at work for you.

So, the nuggets were tasty (go try Omega Sauce), the Pirates were funny (go see the Lawn Chair Pirates), and the movie was the perfect catalyst for an enjoyable evening (rent Top Gun sometime). But, does the cinematic power of Tony Scott’s love letter to naval aviators merely end at the final credit?

You’ll have to check the Results section for my Top Gun Week #8 Notes in the next couple of days. Here’s a teaser.