WHEN: 12:56pm EST, August 4th, 2012

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

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


PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Completely and utterly pissed off (an improv gig I had tonight was canceled for reasons unjustifiable), just watched Tom Cruise’s performance in Taps

I was originally going to do a mini-marathon of films based upon the following criteria: 1) the film had to be on Netflix Watch Instantly, 2) it had to feature Tom Cruise in a major role, and 3) it had to be a film I hadn’t seen yet.

Guess what? That’s one movie. Just one. You can nix the third rule. Yeah, they even removed Top Gun from Watch Instantly since I viewed it on Netflix. That was less than two months ago. So that means Tom Cruise’s only representation on Netflix is this fine film.

Okay, well, I guess I’m watching this.

I’m about to sound exactly like my mother, but, seriously, “he’s just a baby in this one!” This is Tommy Cruise at his tiniest. And he’s enrolled in classes. In the military. And his first scene in the movie is flipping someone off. It’s a completely different role! What’s interesting is that he’s kind of the opposite of Maverick in this movie. He is entirely serious about the rules and regulations of the military academy. I don’t want to give too much away, but he eventually snaps, and you get the sense that he’s not so much bound by a sense of duty, but trigger-happiness. So maybe still a wild streak, but in a different way?

Anyway, for a quick and dirty assessment, I thought it was going to be a fairly boring drama film, but then I remembered that a group of determined kids in the ’80s and ’90s could do anything, so it takes on a Red Dawn/Home Alone sort of twist and becomes properly ridiculous. Maybe that’s an unfair assessment; it’s not as wacky as either of those films, but it definitely slaps you with its high concept at the 45-minute mark. But I have to say: better than Top Gun. Really. The performances are pretty good for a bunch of kids, the plot never gets too muddled, and it doesn’t add a bunch of bullshit romance or extra conflicts out of nowhere to suck in every demographic. A situation arises and must be dealt with. That’s called a movie!

So, I decided to continue the marathon by picking the rest of today’s movies by actors from Top Gun in order of billing. That’s when I found out that my gig had been canceled for… just, stupid… you don’t need to hear about it. Movies! Science! Fun! I decided to get the Gun out of the way before the ensuing shit-storm could prevent me from getting it watched on a Saturday, the last possible day to get it in under the rules of the experiment.

Yeah, I didn’t make it. Ahead of the shit-storm, that is.

Let’s rock!


  • I shouted “Top Gun!” at the title, probably from the anger of losing the gig and then following it up with this horse shit.
  • The picture quality looks bad. Did I accidentally put in the DVD again? Checking… nope. Hmm. Opening credits looked splotchy. Don’t know why.
  • I laughed at another shit-eating grin from Goose. I guess I always forget when he’ll be in frame. This is the absolute last thing I still laugh at in the movie. It will be over soon and I will have nothing left.

Look at this goofy doomed bastard.

  • The fuck does “Mr. Iceman to you” mean? This is literally just a macho filler line to give Val Kilmer time to walk over. Nobody in this movie is Mr. Viper or Mr. Hollywood. Or Mr. Charlie. I wonder how much of this dialogue was improvised. It’s August… I suppose it’s time to watch some special features.
  • I am just zonked for this viewing. I’m staring at the screen in a haze. Still thinking about the canceled show.
  • I suddenly got a barrage of phone calls from my improv troupe members, starting at the volleyball scene and lasting, thanks to call waiting, all the way until the flight status review. I kept my eyes on the screen and attempted to remain focused while on speakerphone. I informed each caller of just how important Top Gun is.
  • Paused at 2:16pm EST, the 1:19:17 mark, to answer the doorbell. It was the mailman. (More on what I received in a minute.) Resumed at 12:18pm EST. What’s with all the interruptions? Never watching on a Saturday again. Mark my words.
  • My Facebook is blowing up with “Why is your show canceled?” messages. I’m trying to ignore them, but it’s nice to know people care.
  • This is not a movie to watch when you’re angry, though I don’t know what is. Something violent? Gestalt therapy’s bullshit, though. Something hopeful? I dunno, I have movies for when I’m depressed. But angry? I don’t know. I don’t think there are movies for being angry. I’ll take it to the people on our Facebook and Twitter pages. [Between posting the question and typing this viewing, the only response I’ve gotten is from Junior Movie Science Cadet Matt G, who suggests Fight Club. Since I hate that movie, he’s probably right on the money.]
  • I’m fucking belting out “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” at the end, because why not?

Kinda shitty this week, eh? Not to worry, I set up a thing earlier. Did you see the thing?

Here’s a hint.

In a bit of absolute perfect timing, the mailman brought me a box containing three CDs. I ordered these CDs for an end-of-a-viewing experiment, and this guy managed to pull it off right around when Charlie jokes that Maverick should kill himself.

“Boo hoo, your friend’s dead. Why don’t you poison yourself, you fucking pussy? Ha ha!”

The three albums contained in the package were as follows:

1) Slippery When Wet by Bon Jovi (1986)

2) 1984 by Van Halen (1984, clever)

3) Dead Man’s Party by Oingo Boingo (1985)

If you read my last batch of results, I theorized that the only way to get a song out of your head is to replace it with a song from around the same year with a similar sound; also, you can’t love the song. You just have to like it a little more than the song that’s already stuck in your head. My perfect album to fight the Top Gun OST was Slippery When Wet.

Time to test the theory. We don’t just make educated guesses about pop culture ’round here.

This list of albums gives us quite the sticky batch of tunes. We’ve got “You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Livin’ on a Prayer,” “Wanted Dead or Alive,” “Jump,” “Panama,” “Dead Man’s Party,” “Weird Science,” and depending on who you are, some other ones! Those are plenty of songs to distract you from sub-par Cheap Trick or the fact that I said “sticky batch” back there. And believe me, I’m not thrilled about most of those songs (Boingo’s my favorite band of the three), but I’ve been listening to the same Kenny Loggins songs for 31 weeks, guys. I’ll take pretty much anything.

I’ll be honest; I didn’t even have to listen to these albums to put them to the test. I started mentally substituting “Panama” in for “Mighty Wings” at the beginning of the week without even listening to it, and it seems to be working. In fact, the song that keeps sticking the most this week is “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” one of the older songs in Top Gun. So I’ll probably need another CD to combat “Great Balls of Fire” and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.” Elvis or Roy Orbison, maybe?

Don’t think of Maverick, don’t think of Maverick, DON’T THINK OF MAVERICK…

So, my goal is to put on these three albums, probably in the order listed above, after every viewing. At least long enough to see if there is a significant decrease in songs from Top Gun getting lodged in my skull. I’ve been listening to them as I write this; “Weird Science” just finished, as a matter of fact. Yeah, we spend three whole albums’ worth of time on these articles. Well, I know I do.

No fucking reason for this picture. Just wanted to use it again.

So, will it work? Will I just get sick of these albums and be screwed all over again? Is the secret to always listen to a new album? Am I overthinking this? Have you met me?

Pictured: me.

Well, it’s been a while since I tried out an experiment on here, though I have had “Danger Zone” as my alarm clock for several months and haven’t really run any numbers on it. But this one will be interesting. I promise I’ll follow up on…