WHEN: 1:47pm EST, August 18th, 2012

WHERE: My apartment in Portland, ME (Isla Nublar). I was in the bedroom this time; all previous viewings have been in the living room.

FORMAT: iTunes digital copy on my new iPhone 4S (nicknamed “Awesome Andy”), wearing Sony clip-on earbuds.

COMPANY: None, though my friend Amanda was watching Burn Notice in the living room.

PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Freshly showered, rested, happy to have a day off, eating veggie straws and drinking some cran-acai juice that Becca picked up.

TODAY’S MISSION: For a good part of this crazy project, I think we’ve all experimented with getting shit done. If we have to “waste” approximately 4.3 days of our lives on watching the same movie over and over, we might as well get something out of it. I’ve mostly been using this opportunity to learn more about Top Gun and film in general, because knowledge is power. And maybe bar dollars? Mostly bar dollars. If there’s a Top Gun night. But I probably wouldn’t go to a bar that has a Top Gun night.

You’re gonna have to narrow that down, guys.

My list of goals for today’s viewing, however, were all related to testing my new iPhone. David Lynch is famously opposed to watching movies on a phone, so I thought I’d use that as inspiration for today’s tasks.

  • Test the battery. From a full charge, and with the GPS Location Services turned on for everything, which I hear will absolutely murder that sucker.
  • Judge the quality of my viewing experience. Minus the fact that I’m watching Top Gun, of course. That doesn’t change for another 19 weeks.
  • Log all interruptions from various apps. Because seriously, that’s annoying. I’m with Lynch there.
  • For kicks, ask Siri some questions from the movie. That will be fun.

No, no, Siri. It’s a voice-activated iPhone robot that’s 50% helpful.


  • It’s smaller.
  • I love the sound with earbuds on. I’m a drum machine junkie and the opening theme sounds great.
  • Epiphany moment: MAVERICK SAVES THE CAT. Literally; he saves Cougar. COUGAR. You guys know about saving the cat, right? Well, he does. Maverick may be a reckless self-centered ass-douche-face-hat-head-shit-fuck-dip-clown, but he does a good deed right in the first 15 minutes. How did I never notice this?
  • I can tell which lines of dialogue were added in post because they put just a little too much echo on them. You might not catch it on your TV, but it sounds exceptionally fake with earbuds.
  • The crickets are distractingly loud while Maverick is looking at the picture of his dad.
  • I noticed a weird flange effect on the piece of score called “Memories.” I’ll have to see if I hear it on the soundtrack album.
  • The end battle was much more exciting with the panning sounds of the jets whizzing from left to right and back again.


21 minutes, 49 seconds – Notification of fellow Cinemanaut John Scribner making his move in Chess with Friends.

31 minutes, 42 seconds – Notification of a friend request being accepted on Facebook.

34 minutes, 12 seconds – Notification of a message sent via Facebook.

47 minutes, 43 seconds – Notification of child-owner and Friend of the Site Brian Brinegar making his move in Chess with Friends.


After this viewing, I told Siri to load up the playlist “Top Gun Detox Box” (Slippery When Wet1984, and Dead Man’s Party), which is great for getting the film’s soundtrack out of your head and for getting chores done. Or fixing up a rec center. Or training for a boxing match. Or building a magic computer woman. ’80s music is just built for getting shit done.


Good work, Siri. (I deliberately left the camera unfocused in case anyone’s personal information came up. So, of course, it didn’t.)

Okay, David Lynch, I can kind of understand where you’re coming from on iPhone viewings, but the audio was an absolute treat this time around. I really appreciated the work that went into the sound. Earlier this week, I even heard the filmmakers lament on the commentary that Top Gun never won anything for sound, and I agree. I’ll rank the sound up there with the flight choreography as something that does not blow.

Visually, yes, the iPhone is a problem. Text is almost impossible to read. Subtle details are hard to make out. Could be a real mistake for a first-time viewing of a film. I suppose Lynch would argue that, even on a rewatch, you wouldn’t want to pick such a terrible way to watch a movie, but seriously, man, have you ever ridden a bus? Do they make stops at your ivory tower?

I know they don’t make chapter stops there. SO BURNED, DAVID LYNCH!

Oh, and he’s totally in the right when it comes to the notifications. Very annoying. The sound drops out for a second and a little message pops up on the screen. Ick. Though I suppose it’s more convenient when I get a call, because I’d want to pause the movie anyway. Eh.

In the end, I think the ideal viewing would be on a large screen with headphones. Which I will do. I’ll have plenty of chances.

And seriously, if anybody has truly “seen” Top Gun, it’s me.

– Sent from my iPhone