WHEN: 9:44am EST, May 3rd, 2012

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

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

COMPANY: Nobody. Again.

PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Cranky. Hung over. Just walked home from Cinemanaut John‘s place. Would like very much to crack open the Blu-Rays I’ve purchased but haven’t watched this year (Bullitt, Speed, Drive, How the West Was Won, The Searchers, The Wild Bunch, Pulp Fiction, Secretary) or the DVDs I’ve purchased but haven’t watched this year (Guns, Arena, Lucky Number Slevin, Crank, Superfly, Risky Business) or the movies I’ve borrowed from friends (No Country for Old Men, Escanaba in da Moonlight) or the movies my mother swiped from my father before he moved out (Batman Forever, Frogs, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3), but no. It’s time for Top Gun.

FOCUS OF THIS WEEK’S STUDY: Why Does Anybody Watch Top Gun Alone (Besides Science)?

DESPERATE PLEAS FOR COMPANIONSHIP: I was planning to watch with a Top Gun superfan who contacted me on Facebook. Unfortunately, she was feeling ill. So I texted a work buddy who’d never seen the movie. No response.


  • I started recording my loneliness on my FlipCam, then deleted the video and turned it off because that’s woe-is-me bullshit.
  • Work buddy texted back. He’s at his other job. Sad.
  • I was annoyed that James Tolkan’s performance is bogged down by exposition. Like, he angrily says, “I’m gonna send you up against the best!” We, the audience, are happy for Mav and Goose, but Stinger has to get across this inspiring news while he’s pissed off… all the emotion rests on him and it comes out weirdly.
  • I just noticed Sundown borderline strangling a guy on the right side of the screen at the beginning of the singalong scene. Yeah, I’ve seen this 20 times in my life and I’m still noticing new things.
  • I thought a fan was a boom mic for a second. I really wanted it to be a boom mic.

Big time.

  • They totally dubbed in the second time Charlie says “the MiG” over dinner. Did they think we would forget what they were talking about if that dramatic pause was a little too long?
  • Out of nowhere, I got really scared that if I do Die Hard for the potential Movie You Love year of Cinema 52, I will eventually hate it. This made me sad.
  • I dig Charlie’s Sally Jessy Raphael glasses. Have I mentioned that before? Probably. I must be telling the same ten “buzz the tower” jokes every week, but I can’t be certain because my concept of time is boned by now.
  • They deliver the “need for speed” line like they had a huge fight with the director over it. “What? Fuck you, we’re not saying that. Wait, in unison? Seriously? I… okay, alright, whatever. I’ll do it, but I am not happy about this.”
  • I tried to make out what comic Goose’s kid is reading. I could not.
  • Cracked open some Cheez-Its at the 1:14 mark. That’s the number on Maverick’s plane. Oh, God.
  • The number on Maverick’s plane keeps changing. It’s mostly 114, but if they need a quick, exciting close-up, they don’t care what number’s on it.
  • I keep beatboxing during the movie.

Like so…

If they remove this for copyright, I think it was a pretty funny parody of hip-hop in a post-Top Gun world. And it was fairly used.

Alright, I’m making an assessment: Top Gun was not made to be watched alone. I mean, no popcorn movie is, right? It’s designed to draw tears and sighs and cheers from the viewers, and that’s weird when you’re the only one watching.

I have a problem with being alone. No, really. I can’t be in an empty room for more than a few hours before I have to call somebody to make sure that people still exist. I grew up watching The Twilight Zone; I think it affected me.

“What if your friends are actually YOUR TOES? Quick, shoot them! You’ll need this!”

Another problem: the people who watch movies with me are Becca and the Cinemanauts. (DO NOT take that band name.) Becca, being a  cohabitating girlfriend, has been avoiding Top Gun (even though she’s a fan) every time it’s on. And the rest of the Cinemanauts are already sick of watching the same one movie over and over; why make it two? John positively refused to see Top Gun again this week. The day before this viewing, he proposed that, if I’m really that lonely, I can watch Top Gun on his phone with earbuds… while he watches Bang the Drum Slowly on his TV.

Yes. So close to a Yo Dawg viewing.

 I’ll be honest… I almost wish I had accepted. Almost.

The short version of this… rant (?) is that I work weekends and nobody is available to watch Top Gun with me every week. That’s all, boo hoo, get a new job, let’s move on.

This isolation sent me down a broader path about what makes you enjoy a movie. Having friends with you is just one of those factors. Has anybody ever told you that you can’t watch Napoleon Dynamite or Superbad alone? I’ve done both solo, but also with friends. Napoleon was better, and Superbad was one of the best nights of my life. But it’s the same movie. It doesn’t change. We do.

I’d better stop before this becomes a beacon for hipster emotion porn.