WHEN: 10:55am EST, June 4th, 2012

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

FORMAT: Blu-Ray DVD on a Vizio 32″ LED HDTV

COMPANY: My mom. This was not a planned viewing. She wanted to go to the movies, but had no interest in seeing Sound of My Voice. She was mildly interested in The Avengers (“I liked Iron Man“) or Men in Black III, but the start times were too late for me to make it to work. She suggested renting The Help, but I took a shit in that pie right away. Seemingly out of options, she then asked, “How’s your website going? Are you done with that? What are you watching again?” I told her it was Top Gun, and I was amazed when she could recall several details from the film. I had no idea that she’d seen it before, and she never remembers movies. I had to tell her who Robert Downey, Jr. was on the Avengers poster. You know, the guy from the movie she likes? It was then that I decided: time for a parental viewing.



  • My mom mentioned that everyone shown in the menu was pretty. “Pretty people. Pretty people everywhere.”
  • Mom: “We would have owned this movie if we had any money when you were kids.”
  • During the opening scene, I recommended Carrier to my mom. I think she’d like it.
  • “That’s Dr. Green?!” Yup.
  • My mom laughed at the inverted dive scene. I asked if it was because of Maverick or the special effects. “No, I was laughing at what he’s doing. I’m not that honed [on special effects].”
  • Mom just quietly watches, not saying anything. She’s probably wondering how many stars Jesus gave the movie.

“Blessed are the subtle.”

  • “A ladies room with see-through doors?!” I don’t know if she’s opposed to it as a place to have sex or she just doesn’t like the doors. She did want to be an interior decorator. Says so right in her high school yearbook.
  • Apparently Truckmaster ads were on TV all the time when this came out, according to Mom.
  • During the volleyball scene, I suddenly remembered this terrible Kenny Loggins on ice show that I saw on TV a long time ago. Probably because my mom was the one watching it back then.


  • Mom’s pretty sure Charlie is wearing a wedding band.
  • This is the first time I’ve paid attention to all the stickers on Maverick’s motorcycle. Most of them are identical to the patches on his jacket.
  • SEX SCENE! Special guest, my mom! I’m writing this note right now so we can’t interact at all! Still going on. Yup. Still. Um, I ate a whole package of cookies over the course of a day- phew, it’s over.
  • “It’s cool how the jet exhaust curls that way.” Agreed, Mom. It’s one thing I’m not sick of yet.
  • We had a chat about Navy posters of the ’80s and ’90s and how Navy ads have changed today.

It’s not a job, it’s an adventure. I mean, it’s not an adventure, either. It’s a pursuit.

  • My mom forgot about Goose. I am incredibly surprised, considering everything she did remember. (Tom Cruise falling in love with his instructor, learning about his father’s death from Viper, etc.)
  • I heard weird creakings during the board of inquiry scene. Are they from the camera rig? They’re pretty loud. They couldn’t loop the guy talking?
  • My mom assumed Maverick would just fly without a RIO now that Goose is out. I…
  • When Viper tells Mav that his dad was “a natural heroic son-of-a-bitch,” I want Mav to say, “Don’t you talk about Nana that way!”
  • My mom said, “Whoa!” when Viper offered to be Maverick’s RIO. She got a thing for Tom Skerritt?

She should.

  • Mom: “Seems to me like they take a long time to take the shot.”
    Me: “Maybe it’s just for the benefit of the audience.”
    Mom: “Well, I’m the audience and I don’t like it!”
  • When Mav “hits the brakes” at the end: “Bam! Get him!” My mom is adorable sometimes.
  • When the quarter drops in the jukebox at the end: “Aww, it’s his girlfriend, isn’t it?”
  • Mom’s dancing to “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” at the end. Does this movie just do that to women? Oh, and now she’s singing it. Remember her “singing,” Sis? This reaction of note goes out to you, wherever you are.
  • Over the Paramount logo at the absolute end, Mom mentioned that the Blu-Ray didn’t look at good as she thought it would. I, too, noticed several scratches on the logo, but I told her scrubbing up an old movie isn’t a perfect process.

Right before I began typing up this viewing, I ejected Top Gun and we did, in fact, watch the DVD. Oops. Way to sell my mom on the power of high definition. Mom, you’ll have to come back for Pulp Fiction on Blu-Ray.

I keep my various copies of Top Gun in the cases for other movies on a rotating basis, in case John tries to get revenge on me for the time I stole his copy of High Fidelity and made him solve a bunch of elaborate puzzles. It is for this reason that I didn’t notice I had popped in a DVD; the two discs are identical except for a very tiny Blu-Ray logo.

Pro Tip: A DVD will work in a Blu-Ray player, but a Blu-Ray won’t work in a DVD player.

So, I spent a fair amount of this viewing wondering… did I see Top Gun a long, long time ago?

I couldn’t begin to tell you my mom’s taste in movies, and especially how that trickled down into what I was allowed to watch. She usually sticks to the cartoon ogre movies, stuff for the kiddies without explosions or the sex, but I guess she makes exceptions?

“I am the exception.”

And as a kid in that house? Wow. Ninja Turtles? Absolutely not. James Bond? Sure! Independence Day? Go for it! Doug? NO WAY.

Yes. This Doug. Skeeter’s blue skin was an abomination. I’m 100% serious.

So she was raising a movie-obsessed kid and giving him low-grade Disney skag instead of the pure stuff. I had to sneak out of the house to see The Matrix. I didn’t see Die Hard until college. She wasn’t always like this, but she found Jesus when I was two years old, so to me, yes, she was.

I know, you’re thinking, “Wait? Top Gun? That’s PG. And it’s tame and family-friendly popcorn crap. Nobody even F-bombs.”

First of all, ’80s PG is totally different. I direct you to the splendid rack in Airplane! Second, you don’t know my mom.

So, I asked her if it’s possible that I saw the movie as a little one (considering I previously thought I’d only seen it twice before this experiment). I would have been 11 months old when the movie was released in May of 1986. Mom can’t remember if she saw it in the theater, but claims she doesn’t remember bringing me to the movies or hiring a babysitter, so it must have been on video. Her guess is that Dad rented it on VHS. (That would have been his movie pick, she insists.) Was Top Gun in my house, violating my mind, at the tender young age of 1? This would have to be the case. Was I in the room? She can’t remember.

But wait… is she thinking of An Officer and a Gentleman? She says she often confuses the two. She’s seen both. That would have been ’82, before me and before God wiped his feet on her doormat. That’s means R-rated is on the filthy, sexy table. I guess? Who the hell was my mom thirty years ago?

And watching hedonistic smut like this? For shame.

All she remembers is that she likes Officer more, but she could recall the events of Gun in greater detail. “Top Gun is all planes and killing. Officer and a Gentleman focuses on other stuff. I like that other stuff.”

Say what you will, but my mom knows what she likes. And she didn’t love, but didn’t hate, Top Gun.

Thanks for stopping by, Mom.