WHEN: 12:27pm EST, September 8th, 2012

WHERE: In the living room of my apartment in Portland, ME (Isla Nublar)

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

COMPANY: None.

PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Eating a meatball sub and drinking a glass of apple juice, wearing nothing but shorts (ladies…), trying to just chill after, honestly, working two months of overtime.

OBSERVATIONS OF NOTE:

  • DRIVE. The opening reminds me of Drive. It’s a tense action scene without any shots fired, just like the first scene in Drive is an intense getaway without that much actual speeding.
  • I’ve never been good at estimating distances. When they tell Mav he’s 3/4 of a mile, I guess that’s right. Maybe. I dunno. What do you think?

Interactive! Comment below with how close you think this plane is!

  • I think I focus on the music so much because it feels like I might be making it up in my head. Is that weird? Probably.
  • I keep remembering trivia tidbits from the commentary, but in the wrong spots. I’m noticing all the haircuts and wondering what the hairstyles look like in the photo that Iceman and Maverick are based on. I really need to track down this Bruce Weber photograph.
  • I’m flashing back to watching this with my mom. Do you get nostalgic for your other viewings after the 35th time?
  • I noticed a Navy Exchange sign during the dumb boner chase scene.

It’s above where Charlie mowed down two toddlers and a grandmother to get to Maverick’s penis.

  • I swear Maverick said, “I can’t control it! I’m going Republican!” while his plane was going down. Too funny to bother figuring out what he actually said.
  • There is something about meatball sub burps that seems so very very right during Top Gun.
  • I got this weird feeling that this movie was directed the same way that I would direct a movie. “Now pull up to the realty sign, look sad, there you go. Audience gets it, move on…” That’s bad. Don’t direct actors like I would.
  • I’ve never spotted a camera plane during any of these viewings. Good work, everybody. I wonder if they mention any camera planes in the Goofs section on IMDb. (Nope.)
  • I get the symbolism of chucking the dog tags into the ocean, but I feel like it would have been just as fitting an ending if Maverick put them in his pocket. Or gave them to Carole. Though I suppose he’d be passing the burden of Goose’s death to her? Eh. Movie.

THOUGHTS:
Okay, who the fuck are these guys?

No, that’s not the dude you work with who never talks to anyone and a Steve Carell impersonator… but then who are they?

I’ve been pretty quiet about this mystery for a while, mentioning it here and there, but it’s time to end the silence. I’m going to find out who these people really are.

First of all, Bowl Cut and Not Steve Carell show up in an earlier scene. We see them at the first briefing at TOPGUN.

While obtaining this screenshot, I also noticed a second team that I don’t recognize.

You may say that it’s cheating to add in details that did not come from this viewing, but this mystery must be solved. So, Bowl Cut and… Kinda Like Jon Hamm But We’ll Split the Difference and Say Steve Hamm are earlier in the film. What about the final conflict?

You’ll notice that while everyone else is reading an envelope filled with military orders, Bowl Cut is enjoying a refreshing Pepsi and having a conversation with Niles Crane. Steve Hamm is looking at something offscreen, probably a bird trapped in a billowy curtain. So it’s a safe guess that they will not be on the aircraft carrier at the end.

Dammit. Bowl Cut, Steve Hamm, or the other team are not in the background. As a matter of fact, it’s a bunch of guys we don’t see anywhere else in the movie, except for Tim Robbins. These must be students from MIDDLEGUN or BOTTOMGUN.

Okay, and now, to the most important screenshot of this whole riddle.

BINGO. So Cut and Hamm are either the Cowboy and Woody team (hey, wait a minute…) or the Psycho and Bubba team. To the credits!

Not one damn name. Not a Bubba or Cowboy anywhere in sight. I was going to Google the actors’ names and match the faces and this whole mystery would be solved. But noooooo

…wait, who’s Chipper?

I know that guy. He’s smoking in the briefing scene!

So… who’s he?! Is Chipper a pilot?! Why isn’t “CHIPPER” written on the board?! What in the name of Damon Lindelof is going on here?!

I quit. Your names are Bowl Cut and Steve Hamm. Now and forever. Mystery Team, you’re Mystery Team. I live in my own reality now. It’s sweaty here.

Too sweaty.