WHEN: 6:00pm EST, February 2nd, 2012
WHERE: My apartment in Portland, ME (Isla Nublar)
FORMAT: Blu-Ray on a Vizio 32″ LED HDTV, English subtitles on
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Full of tortellini, pumped for 80’s Night at the club (seems more fitting than for Goth Night), curious as to how well I remembered the movie in my summary video, wondering what subtitles will add to my viewing
FOCUS OF THIS WEEK’S STUDY: The Effects of Subtitles on Recall of Top Gun
REACTIONS OF NOTE:
- Ty thinks the raising flaps and fluctuating jet engines in the opening add to the homoeroticism.
- Goose’s laugh is starting to annoy me.
- I forgot there were two MiGs in the beginning, not just one.
- Who is Ghost Rider? What is Ghost Rider? I do not remember Ghost Rider. I guess it’s the plane’s name.
- Subtitle Achievement Unlocked. Cougar says, “I’ve never even seen him,” in reference to his son. I thought he was saying, “I’ve never even seen them,” meaning he hadn’t seen his wife and son since, I assumed, he joined the Navy.
- The line about taxpayers owning the plane does not happen during the combat scene. It happens later, in Stinger’s office. I recalled that incorrectly.
- Miramar! Fightertown is in Miramar, CA. I could not remember the location in my summary.
- I failed to remember when Viper talks about pilots becoming too reliant on missiles. This is the whole purpose of TOPGUN. Now I get why the “switching to guns” line comes up so often. And as much as I appreciated Cinemanaut John mocking the opening text, I now understand the phrase “the lost art of aerial combat,” goofy as it sounds.
- Subtitle Fail. They don’t capitalize “TOPGUN” in the subtitles; they just spell it like the title of the film. Way to piss on the American flag.
- Subtitle Fail. There are no apostrophes in “lovin’ feelin'” in the subtitles; they just spell it “loving feeling.” Way to piss on The Righteous Brothers.
However, if they’re into that, I certainly won’t judge.
- I forgot just about all of the dialogue from Mav and Charlie’s first meeting. Probably because it sucks. I do like the line about Maverick’s mother naming him “Maverick” because she hated him. Probably because I like the thought of Tom Cruise’s mother hating him.
“Eye contact is forbidden, Thomas.”
- “Your friend was magnificent.” I thought he was incredible.
- “Let’s turn and burn!” Ty added: “Try spinning! That’s a good trick!” I will now think of The Phantom Menace whenever I watch Top Gun, and for this, Ty must be punished.
- Know Your 80’s Movies. Maverick’s dad disappeared on November 5th, 1965, exactly ten years after Dr. Emmett L. Brown invented the flux capacitor.
- Viper has a weird goblin skull on his helmet. Not Jester. I was wrong.
- Subtitle Achievement Unlocked. Buttnose? Great insult. I never noticed anybody saying “buttnose” before.
- Ty: “Meg Ryan is a little ball of fuck.”
- Immediately after Goose cracked his head on the canopy, Ty remarked, “Well, Meg Ryan’s single!” You dog, you.
- Of course Iceman won. The moral of the story is to follow the rules and win.
- Subtitle Achievement Unlocked. I have now learned that Goose’s official title is “RIO,” which stands for “Radar Intercept Officer.” I’d been calling him a co-pilot, but Ty informed me that this title is wholly inaccurate, as the F-14A Tomcat only has one stick. (Ty had a job refueling airplanes, so he’s my go-to aviation guy at the moment.)
- This is the first time I noticed the helmet with an ass on it. Specifically, an ass with a lipstick print on it.
- I completely forgot that they send up Maverick after Hollywood goes down.
- I also forgot that they don’t blow up all the MiGs. Two of them retreat.
- Have I even seen this movie?! I also forgot that both Maverick and Iceman buzz the tower at the end. Because camaraderie.
- When it comes to sneaking up on people, Charlie can sneak with the best of them. Where the hell was she hiding in the bar? She should be a serial killer.
Behind you! Turn around! Oh no!
Following the movie, I showed Ty the music video for “Top Gun Anthem.” After that, I looked at the “TV Spots” menu. These were the titles:
CRUISE / ACTION
CRUISE / MOODY
Ty said, “I will put money down that the ‘Male Action’ TV spot guaran-fucking-teed has the volleyball scene in it!”
THE STAKES: Loser has to be photographed shirtless in aviator sunglasses. This photo will be posted on Cinema 52.
After Ty’s defeat, we watched all of the spots. “Romance” heavily implied that Charlie fucks twenty men every eight weeks. Also, one spot actually had the volleyball scene: “Music.” Yes. Out of all those spots. Because “Playing With the Boys” is clearly the greatest music ever composed.
In terms of memory, I can remember the movie pretty well until after the first TOPGUN training sequence. After that, I drop scenes entirely or remember them completely out of order. Here is the correct order of events in the film, compared with the order I remembered them in the memory test video. (They are numbered as I recalled them, not necessarily in the order I believed them to occur in the film, ie. sometimes I mention a scene but know that it logically must have occurred earlier.) Scenes recalled in the wrong order are in italics, while scenes I missed are in bold.
- locker room 
- “butts” conference 
- Goose and Maverick talk about Maverick’s daddy issues 
- Charlie calls Mav “aggressive,” gives him her address
- volleyball 
- Charlie’s house (no sex) 
- elevator scene 
- Goose’s wife arrives at the airport 
- computer tactics class 
- motorcycle car chase 
- blue sex 
- need for speed
- combat practice with Viper, Maverick leaves his wingman
- “HAVE A BANDIT DAY” locker room scene
- Maverick looks at a photo of his dad
- “Great Balls of Fire” bar scene 
- Maverick/Charlie motorcycle make-out
- fatal combat practice 
- green water clutching 
- sink sadness time 
- car sadness time 
- Goose’s personal items sadness time
- Goose’s wife sadness time 
- board of inquiry scene 
- more combat practice 
- Mav flips out on Sundown 
- locker room sadness time with Iceman
- bar sadness time with Charlie 
- Viper’s house sadness time with Viper 
- Charlie’s house is for rent
- Maverick watches planes go whoosh
- graduation scene 
- Stinger gives orders, Ice is concerned about Mav 
- MiG combat 
- Hollywood is down, Mav goes up
- jetwash freaks Mav out, dog tags of strength 
- Ice gets hit, loses an engine
- Mav pulls back, kills MiG 
- Buzz the Tower 2: The New Batch (of Coffee)
- you can be my wingman any time 
- Stinger congratulates Maverick 
- Fightertown bar ending 
Well, that wasn’t so bad. I just missed THE ONLY LINE FROM THE FILM THAT WAS ON THE AFI’S 100 GREATEST MOVIE QUOTES LIST.
“I feel the need to call Bill a complete idiot.”
I vaguely remember certain writing teachers telling me that, when you write, the beginning and end of a story always stay with you, while the middle is easier to forget. This goes for novels, films, poems, even individual sentences. I’m not sure how true that is, but I would like to remind you that Ty lost a bet.