So. It begins.
I’m watching Top Gun 52 times this year. But before all this unfolds, let me tell you about the two other times in my life that I’ve seen this movie.
The first was in late 2007, on a squiggly VHS, after having just moved into an apartment in Bangor, Maine with my woman-person Becca. Most of our possessions were in an agreeable spot, nothing too Stephen Kingly had come out of the woods so far, and I believe we had a couch. I assumed it was one of those date movies with something for everyone (love, explosions, love-explosions), but, truth be told, I wasn’t really paying attention to it. A lot of my movie-watching was a way to forget that I hadn’t found a job yet, and I was probably jealous of what a cool career flying jets to bitchin’ music is. Frankly, I’m having trouble remembering quite a few Top Gun scenes at the moment. (That last sentence will be false for, I’m assuming, the next ten years.) Anyway, I didn’t have a very strong opinion of it the first time around, making it perfect for this experiment, but I do at least remember saying, “Well, I suppose it’s good that I got that out of the way,” not knowing I was five years from tossing-it-into-the-sun levels of getting it out of the way.
My second viewing of Top Gun was part of LogginsFest 2010. You heard right; a triple feature of Footloose, Caddyshack, and Top Gun, all tied together around the theme of THIS GUY.
Nice to beard you, I’m Kenny Loggins.
Top Gun punched me hard that time. Footloose was all about fighting the power with the Bible and dancing, Caddyshack made me laugh until it hurt, and by the time I entered the Danger Zone™ face first, I was so goddamn ready to buzz the fucking tower. (Holy shit, I have to spare all the danger and the towers. It’s my first entry. What am I doing to myself?) Needless to say, I got right the hell into it. I had my then-roommates Derek (webmancer of this very site, by the way) and Elliot along for the ride. When [sad stuff] happened, we were blubbery. When [that awesome thing] went down, we fist-pumped. It was like The Toppy Horror Picture Gun, but more coherent and not stupid. And I found myself saying, “Huh, I certainly had a good time today.” I cannot confirm if this had to do with drinking, my best pals by my side, or Val Kilmer, but this project should certainly help me find out.
Oh, and hey, can I address the bracketed bits back there? We need to talk spoilers, you and me. So the big reveal of what we’re watching JUST happened. Seriously, we went live an hour ago, as of this sentence that I am currently done typing NOW. I’m going to give you a little while to see Top Gun if you haven’t, and hopefully to see my colleagues’ films as well, but we can’t play Let’s Pretend This Movie Only Has a First Act forever. So please, if you haven’t seen Top Gun, commit to 1/52 of my goal this year so you can enjoy all the stuff I say about Kelly McGillis. And I’m going to say a lot about Kelly McGillis.
See her ears burning?
Okay, let’s get to the predictions.
1) I think I will end up liking the movie more. I have zero basis for this. The hypothesis is the part of the scientific method I never understood. You can’t see what happens and write it down; you have to guess what’s going to happen and write, “I was wrong.” So, I’m predicting I will end up loving Top Gun because everybody already thinks that we’re going to hate these movies by the end of the year. Even Spider-Man 3.
2) I think I will have a more positive outlook on life. Maybe. I dunno, I already hum Loggins tunes to shift into Fuck Yeah mode. But Top Gun strikes me as pop-cultural inspiration porn most days, so maybe that will happen.
3) I think I’m going to watch dudes play volleyball a lot. I don’t know how that will affect me, but apparently this movie has some subtext?
4) I think patriotism? Come back to me on that one. Ah, whatever, let’s go. I’m not very Toby Keith about the States or the military, but I like watching planes go fwoosh. I love America for its supposed ideals and my freedom of several things, but not in that “put a flag on everything” way. On top of the inspiration porn, Top Gun is war porn, but softcore. Maybe porn isn’t the right word. Propaganda? I dunno, let’s get to the givens. The best part of Fake Science is the stuff you definitely know will happen. (Sarcasm’n y’all. Please don’t revoke my Fake Science card.)
5) I think I will be quoting Top Gun a lot. Currently, the only line I can recite verbatim is about Tom Cruise needing speed, and sometimes I think that line is in Speed. By the end of this experiment, I will not be able to hear any sentence that’s in this film. I don’t just think this. I know this. It’s a UNIX system! I know this! See? If a couple of words vaguely arrange themselves in the same order that they’re found in anything with dinosaurs or robots, I’m already spitting out the screenplay. Trust me; I’ll be reenacting this whole flick in supermarkets.
6) I think I’ll be having dreams about Top Gun. Probably volleyball dreams? But really, I dream every couple of months that I own a time-travelling DeLorean, and I’m probably just shy of seeing Back to the Future 52 times in my entire life. Whatever I watch before I go to bed, it comes back in my dreams. If I pass out watching Seinfeld, I’m hanging out with George and Kramer that night. I’m the kind of guy who calls bullshit on Inception. There’s no symbolism in my head. It’s as simple as that; I will have jet dreams.
Speaking of not being able to shop Tom Cruise into a Christopher Nolan movie, how about our posters? Slick, eh? All that pure, uncut pixel magic comes to us courtesy of one Mr. Matt Selva, who should be plugged a thousand times all over this site for his amazing visual trickeries. And again, a big hand to the aforementioned Mr. Derek Gilbert, who changed this project from four idiots scrambling in the dark to four idiots scrambling in the prettiest website I’ve ever been a part of. This blog would be absolutely nothing without these two kooky wunderkinds.
Regarding the four idiots, you’ve heard enough about one of them. Here are some quick predictions I have for the other three.
Nancy and Spider-Man 3: I don’t see her becoming a Marvel gal overnight, but I’m at least hoping it drives her to some Spider-Man comics. Maybe she’ll see it for the disappointment it was. Hell, I probably need to watch it again. I’m going to watch all of our movies a lot this year.
Ty and The Truman Show: This isn’t based on Ty whatsoever, but I want to see him become paranoid. And my prediction is that it won’t happen. I think watching the movie that much will actually deaden him to paranoia. But we’ll see. Wait, why didn’t I pick eXistenZ? Dammit.
John and High Fidelity: John is absolutely not going to change. This has nothing to do with High Fidelity and everything to do with John.
Final note and then I’m out: “every week” means “one viewing of your movie each calendar week.” So once any day between the first and the seventh, then any day between the eighth and the fourteenth, etc. You can absolutely watch your movie at 10pm on the seventh and then watch it again at midnight on the eighth and have fulfilled your duties for those two weeks. Therefore, the longest you can possibly go without watching your movie is roughly thirteen days and twenty hours. If you think the rule should have been “no longer than seven days without watching,” I wholeheartedly encourage you to enforce that mandate on your own website where you require yourself to see the same film repeatedly for an entire year. Maybe call it Theaterhouse-7 or something nifty. Really go for it; I think it’s a phenomenal idea.
Alright, I feel the need… the need for sleep. Happy New Year, everybody!