WHEN: 7:37pm EST, September 14th, 2012

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

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

COMPANY: Future Cinemanaut Becca and Friend Amanda for parts of it. I kind of dominate the living room when I do this.

PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Sick! It’s a sick viewing! I’m eating chicken cordon bleu casserole (see the recipe from my February 8th viewing) and drinking some Colt 45 that’s been in the fridge for way too long. I’m gonna kick this cold in the dick like a man.

Recommended by Dr. Calrissian.


  • I don’t know why, but I’m pumped for this viewing. Yeah! Kill my cold with missiles!
  • Eight minutes in, I’ve gone from manly enthusiasm to feeling like my body is trying to kill me. This calls for more flat Colt 45.
  • I’m quoting along with the movie. It’s kind of sad how good I’m getting at it.
  • I’m dazzled by how the runway lights blink in order. What if they were out of sequence? You’d have a vague idea of where the runway is, right?
  • I drank my beer at the same time Maverick drank his. It freaked me out and I put it down quickly. I don’t want to be like Maverick.
  • Becca: “I like how his method of impressing [Charlie] is belittling her.”

Fortunately, this form of negativity-based flirting died out in the 1980s.

  • I legitimately can’t place where in the movie “Heaven in Your Eyes” is. I think it’s at the airport bar. Pretty sure. I’m amazed I don’t know for certain this far into the experiment.
  • Becca observes that the RIOs do all the spiking in the volleyball game. “What a change in power dynamic.” She’s gonna be a lot of fun to read next year, everybody.
  • Amanda is still pissed that Charlie’s parrot has no toys. “I want it to go crazy and kill her. Fuckin’ bitch! Oh, but it does have treats. That’s good. And that cage looks too small!” This rant went on for a minute, but she stopped when she noticed I was writing everything down.

Movie lighting will kill a small gopher. That bird never made it to the wrap party.

  • The TACTS trailer made me think of the Death Star trench run planning session. As opposed to Battlestar Galactica.
  • Becca and I had a long conversation about when the PG-13 rating was first put to use. I knew it was post-Gremlins. We looked it up because our movie fights last hours without Google.
  • Becca brings up the documentary series The Human Face, which posits that Tom Cruise has a perfect mug, mathematically speaking. I might have to watch that again.

Can’t argue with math.

  • I just remembered Dave Barry’s rule that the more helicopters in a movie, the worse it is. Top Gun has some helicopters in it.
  • I’m wondering why nobody mentioned An Officer and a Gentleman on the commentary. Because I think Tony Scott was told, “Make that again, but with cocaine.”
  • I’m getting Freud-y here. Charlie is totally Maverick’s mom. She’s an authority figure, she dries his tears… I don’t want to get into it this week. Though, I would like to point out that I wrote a Freudian analysis of The Truman Show in college. That boat at the end? Totally Truman’s dick, blasting into the metaphorical mother that spawned him, the outside world. Yeah, got an A for that shit.
  • I want to see the recording session where Tim Robbins had to shout, “MAVERICK! GET IN THE FIGHT, FOR CHRISSAKES! MAVERICK! MAVERICK!” in the background. That must have been fun.
  • Becca started reenacting the “wing man any time” scene in a sexy voice. I tried to grope her. “No! Don’t do that! I don’t want to be in your notes!” Too late.
  • Tits! Tits alert! Becca thinks she spotted a large photograph of bare tits in a locker at the end. I did not catch it. There’s always next week…
  • “Great Balls of Fire” was written by Jack Hammer. Now that’s a call sign.

During this viewing, I thought I’d test out my SoundHound app, which claims to pick up any song and give you the name, artist, lyrics, etc. It supposedly even works with singing or humming. I bought it a few days ago and hadn’t really tried it out for my intended use, identifying songs in movies. How did it handle the music from Top Gun?

  • Right out of the gate, SoundHound brought up the lyrics to “Danger Zone,” but that’s arguably one of the biggest songs from the film. Let’s see how it handles the really obscure shit.
  • “Lead Me On” by Teena Marie was picked up during the bar scene.
  • Activating the app while all the pilots were singing “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” yielded this error message: “When singing, make sure to have only one person sing at a time with no background music.”
  • “Hot Summer Nights” was a bust. It was drowned out by dialogue.
  • The instrumental version of “Mighty Wings” turned up nothing.
  • Surprisingly, “Top Gun Anthem” could not be recognized during the entire tower buzz scene. Too much jet noise, perhaps?
  • “Playing With the Boys”? No problem.
  • SoundHound incredibly picked up a very quiet and very dialogue-covered “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.” I also turned my phone sideways while taking notes and it started scrolling through the lyrics in real time! That’s pretty damn amazing.
  • No dice on the “Take My Breath Away” instrumental in the elevator scene.
  • “Heaven in Your Eyes”: Was in the airport bar. Was not detected by SoundHound.
  • “Take My Breath Away” didn’t work during the love chase. Perhaps worth noting that no instance of the song up to this point has contained lyrics.
  • “Take My Breath Away” was also a bust during the sex scene… until the lyrics kicked in. I’m thinking this app detects words, rather than music. For a second, though, I was shocked that the Oscar-winning song from the movie would go unnoticed. Oh, also, I let the lyrics roll while watching. They’re terrible!
  • I’ve been avoiding score, but the piece called “Memories” is available on the Top Gun deluxe soundtrack, so I thought I’d try to pick it up while Maverick is looking at the photo of his dad. Didn’t take.
  • Goose singing “Great Balls of Fire”: Negative.
  • Jerry Lee Lewis playing “Great Balls of Fire”: Also negative. This may have been the point that I was unimpressed with my purchase. The song is at full blast in the movie, without any dialogue, but also without any lyrics. If this won’t pick up specific riffs and melodies, it may be useless to me. All my favorite songs don’t have lyrics. (All my favorite songs are “Frankenstein” by the Edgar Winter Group.)
  • I now retract my lyrics theory, as SoundHound latched onto “Memories” while Maverick was crying into Goose’s box. Ain’t one damn word in that ditty.
  • That terrible synth score from Maverick’s flight status review was not deemed to be actual music by SoundHound. As I expected, since it’s not on any soundtrack, because things that aren’t music don’t go on soundtracks.
  • “Top Gun Anthem” at the end was a failure. Repeatedly. Just too much jet noise?
  • “Radar Radio” didn’t take, though it’s only in the movie for about ten seconds and was never featured on any official soundtrack. (But that’s never stopped YouTube! Please have a listen to this rightfully neglected crumb of pop culture in its entirety.)
  • Despite the dialogue, SoundHound nailed “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.” And I mean nailed it. Fast. Like, in 6 seconds.
  • Another crack at “Mighty Wings” was unsuccessful. I was flabbergasted that a credits song wouldn’t work, so I tried it again when the lyrics came in. Picked it up immediately. Turned the phone sideways and had a Shatneresque talk-singing karaoke session for the remainder of the film.

The original reason we started this website was to test if watching Top Gun once a week would improve your health. (No, really.) If repeated exposure to Rick Rossovich and Berlin actually made my white blood cells bulletproof, I wouldn’t be sick in the first place, though, would I? So I guess we have some evidence for the pile.

Part of me was hoping that maybe I could return my body to a “save state.” My basic line of thought was: “I haven’t been sick for months on end, and all that time, there have been planes on my TV. Another round of planes on my TV should trick my body into feeling the same way it did last week, returning me to a state of Not Sick.” Does this make sense? It shouldn’t. I think my disease-coated brain is confusing Buddhism, an episode of Mythbusters, and the Christopher Reeve movie Somewhere in Time.

Mental clarity test: is this the poster for Somewhere in Time? I answered “yes.”

I like that my movie was essentially just a way for me to test a piece of equipment this week. I should get some use out of this experiment, right? Maybe buy some new glasses or test out some TVs. How’s the panning on these headphones? Is Top Gun a good movie to leave on for your dog? The possibilities are endless, friends.