Just Like You Like It

Fabulous fantastical readers, I know Texas gets a bad rap.   There’s that whole Dubya thing.   Well, man, I don’t know what to tell you.   I’ll tell you what I tell everyone else:  no, I didn’t vote for him.  Ever.

We are the home of Chuck Norris; I used to leave my high school to see crews setting up to film Walker, Texas Ranger.   Norris thinks it’s a great idea to secede from the United States.  Texas’ governor thinks it’s a good idea too.  Perhaps Governor Goodhair and Mr. Norris, master of the roundhouse kick, both missed the U.S. History lesson that covered what exactly happened the last time this state attempted to secede from the Union.

Then there’s that embarrassing school book debacle.   In fact, I’m not sure ‘debacle’ is even the best word for it, but I know, I know, we look like a bunch of nuts.   It’s crazy-pants, I know.♦

So begins my entreaty to every person who is not a Texas resident:   we are not all like this.  I promise.   There are lots of good, sane people here and there’s lots of lovely things about my state.    Dr. Pepper!  Shiner Bock!   The television show Dallas, in a totally ironic way!   Austin’s full of damn hippie liberals, I tell you!   The Alamo’s not … lovely, but it’s historic!   Bluebonnets!  Longhorns!  Great food!   Awesome music!  Molly Ivins, Ann Richards, Tommy Lee Jones!  For the love of God, there’s good things about this place, I swears it.

Forgive us for Matthew McConaughey.   We love him, but it’s like Julia Sugarbaker said on Designing Women: In the South, we don’t hide our crazy people in the attic, we put ’em on display in the living room.   Sorry ’bout that one.

Yeah, I don’t know either.   He’s a kook.  A lovable kook, but had we known he’d keep making shit like Failure to Launch…

As a concession and a peace offering, I give you something that all Texans – liberal and conservative alike – can agree on and celebrate.   It is, truly, something we all love.

Roger Ebert has Steak n Shake.   Tommy has diners and burger places in Jersey.   I have Whataburger.

Forget McDonald’s; Californians, I’m sorry, but I have no interest in In ‘n’ Out.  Whatever to Wendy’s.   Arby’s, blech.   A few Texans will swear by Sonic, but really, Whataburger is where it’s at for most of us.  It is not the best burger ever, but it is really pretty good.   It’s comforting.   Whataburgers are everywhere here.   They’re not hard to spot; look for the A-frame building with orange and white stripes.  When you’ve been driving from, say, Austin to Dallas at 2:00 a.m. there is probably no better sight along a stretch of highway than Whataburger.

I am not sure what Whataburger does to the hamburger buns but whatever it is – cocaine, butter, something unknown to the common folks – it’s addictive.  All their buns are toasted.   The bacon is crispy.   The lettuce isn’t all wilty and gross.  The food’s made when you order it.

In all my time ordering food at Whataburger, I’ve never had an order screwed up.   Ever!  No kidding.   You’d think a plain and dry hamburger wouldn’t be a hard order to fill, but everyone else routinely screws it up.  Not Whataburger.

If you ever spend time here in this lovely state, I can guarantee you’ll probably see the following commercials:  Truck ads (bonus points if it’s “Texas Truck Month!” or some variation thereof), conservative attack ads and Whataburger ads.

I promise, the fries are good, too!

Whataburger’s spread out of Texas into most of the South, but if you’re ever here in Texas and the conservative, NRA type stuff overwhelms you, give peace a chance and stop in at  Whataburger, order a bacon cheeseburger meal with a Dr. Pepper (that’s another post).   After you’re done, go to a bar and have a Shiner Bock.  (That’s another post, too.)   It’ll zen you out, I promise.  Hell, us folks that pride ourselves on normalcy, civility and not being completely insane – well, that’s how we do it.


It should be noted that there are a lot of sane, normal conservatives that live in Texas.   My beef (pardon the pun) is usually with the extremely far-right conservatives that employ an eliminationist style rhetoric and fear-monger.   I would wager most Texas conservatives do not buy into these shenanigans (I can’t attest, since I’m an ultra-liberal hippie), but these guys do every conservative in this state a disservice when they’re profiled on television and in print.    Unfortunately, they get the most face-time it seems.  So Republicans and/or conservatives, I’m not hating on you – just acknowledging that the far-right, extremist points of view exist in the state, are tiresome and baffling to most people with common sense.  FYI.

JEAN LUC PICARD!   Make it so!

My mom’s birthday is in April, so to (partially) celebrate, I picked someone my mother and I can agree on.  My mother is a huge Star Trek fan (and you wonder where I get my geekiness from?) and when we were kids, my mother would tell us during reruns of Star Trek:  The Next Generation how fantastically sexy Patrick Stewart was.   My sisters and I generally went, “Ew, YUCK!”

The other day, though, I caught a rerun of TNG where Picard nearly dies and Q allows him to relive his whole life again without any risk.   And I thought to myself, “Damn, Mom was right!”

So, Happy Birthday, Mom.  Cheers.   And yes, Patrick Stewart really is fantastically sexy.   I was wrong, you were right.

For the past couple of days, I’ve been off of work and I desperately needed to do something that I haven’t had a chance to do in a while:  go see a movie.  And given my current situation (more on that later), I needed something light-hearted, something that didn’t take itself seriously or was going to leave me even more of an emotional wreck.  Clash of the Titans it was, then, so I hopped off to the theater yesterday in the afternoon to go see it.

Clash of the Titans‘ greatest asset is the insane cast Louis Leterrier and company got lined up.  Pete Postlethewaite opens the movie, gaunt and bearded, as Spyros.  Mads Mikkleson and Liam Cunningham play soldiers from Argos.   Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes play Zeus and Hades, respectively.   That’s a lot of good actors to squeeze into a movie.

Sam Worthington is Perseus, a boy rescued from a casket at sea by fisherman Spyros and his wife when Perseus was a mere baby.   Perseus is happy as a fisherman and Spyros tells the young orphan that someday, someone will have to stand up to the cruelty of the gods.   On a nice day, the family is fishing when a group of soldiers from Argos topple a statue of Zeus, declaring that humans no longer need to worship the gods.   Hades rises from the deep, striking the soldiers down for their insolence and destroys Perseus’ family for their insolence.

On Olympus, Zeus is furious.   In Zeus’ eyes, the humans are ungrateful for the great gift of life he has bestowed upon them; he asks in return their love and prayers to sustain his immortality.   His fury leads Hades to persuade Zeus to allow Hades free reign in punishing the humans’ uprising.   Zeus agrees and Hades schemes to overthrow his older brother that cursed him to the underworld.   After a mortal queen claims that her daughter Andromeda is more lovely than any goddess, Hades appears and punishes her by giving the city of Argos an ultimatum:  sacrifice Andromeda or sacrifice the city to Hades’ wrath.   Either way, the Kraken will be summoned.

Perseus begins a quest to find a way to save Andromeda, Argos and avenge his family’s death at the hands of Hades with a group of Argosian (?) soldiers.  They visit some witches, go slay Medusa and Perseus returns on a pegasus to defeat the Kraken.  (Spoiler!)   There are scorpion fights and djinns and all sorts of godly muckings about.

Leterrier is great at directing action; both here in and Transporter 2 he has always directed tense scenes that have necessary urgency while still being able to be clear about who is doing what and where and when, something other action directors often fail at doing.   The cast is mostly great, although Gemma Arterton as Io is so boring one is tempted to cheer when she finally exits the film.   I genuinely like Sam Worthington but not necessarily as Perseus.  Worthington has a sort of nice normalcy about him that seems to be rare in Hollywood, but Sam, darling, please, please work on losing that Australian accent or keep it altogether.  Seesawing between the two is distracting.

The whole story is very odd; the furious Zeus steps into help the humans he wishes to destroy, adopts the son he spurned previously as his own; the other gods are given the barest of mentions.  After Act I, Perseus only briefly mentions his adopted father Spyros; out of the trio of godly brothers of Poseidon, Hades and Zeus, Poseidon is given short shrift with a whopping two seconds of screen time and no involvement in the plot.   Andromeda is set up as a love interest for Perseus and then dropped in favor of the ageless Io.   It is odd and strange, but I guess I didn’t see Clash of the Titans for the story as much as the action – and Liam Neeson, natch.   (CHUD has a great article here on this.)

Which brings me to the weird of all this.

If I could ask anything, it would be what in the holy fuck the costume designer was smoking on this film, because never in my wildest nightmares did I think that it would be possible to make Liam Neeson look like someone genetically fused Waylon Jennings and Liberace together in one unholy body.   Observe:


And Fiennes doesn’t get the better treatment, either – for some reason, his hairline’s receded an inch and looks like he has a band of grit traveling down his forehead.  Why?  Who knows?!   Everyone else has long, braided locks but Sam Worthington for some inexplicable reason has a shaved head.  I don’t get it.

Clash of the Titans isn’t bad, it’s just messy in the story area and the CGI is distracting at times.   Titans is a fun movie; it was worth the $8.00 to hear Neeson order “Release the Kraken!”  and Liam Cunningham chewed some valuable scenery.   It was nice, fun, exciting and light-hearted, which was precisely what I needed at the moment.

I give it a B-, myself, but your mileage my vary.

Four Rooms is … an interesting experience.

Four Rooms is not for everyone.    Made up of four segments directed by four different directors, there’s no major story other than following a bellboy, Ted, as he works his first night at a rundown hotel.   Each segment has a different flavor, a different style but it also makes an uneven viewing experience.

The Missing Ingredient is the first and the weakest of the segments.   A coven of witches camps in the honeymoon suite and they are desperate to resurrect their goddess.   One of them has forgotten a much-needed ingredient that she can get from Ted.   You’d think a piece about a coven of witches would be interesting but The Missing Ingredient can’t even be awful, just boring.   It has a bit of inspired stunt casting in Madonna, but she’s not any good here either.

The Wrong Man centers on a man and a woman in one of the rooms who may be either playing at some sort of sexual role-playing game or…not, and Ted’s not really sure which is which and what is what.   All he can tell is that the man’s got a gun and is pointing it at him.   Most of this one relies on Tim Roth and Jennifer Beals using some precision timing and while it has a few laughs, the short wears out its welcome quickly.

Robert Rodriguez’s The Misbehavers is easily the best of all of them.   A husband and wife pay Ted $500 to watch their children while they’re gone for the night.  The kids turn out to be pint-sized, foul-mouthed tyrants who give Ted no end of grief.   By the time their parents return, they have managed to set the room on fire, discover a dead hooker in the bed, stab Ted with a syringe, smoke, drink and generally destroy all manner of property and drive Ted nearly to the brink of insanity.   It’s as though Rodriguez melded his Spy Kids sensibilities with the same sick humor in Planet Terror … just before all that.

The Man From Hollywood is directed by Tarantino and it’s got an awful lot of Tarantino trademarks in it.   What sinks The Man From Hollywood is Quentin Tarantino casting himself.   His character is Jimmie Dimmick from Pulp Fiction dialed up to eleven.   Tarantino’s fine in small doses (a la Desperado) but here it’s insufferable, obnoxious and asks way too much of the viewer to be patient as Tarantino manically bumbles along.   The Man From Hollywood is about a bet that really doesn’t end well and it feels longer than it actually is.

So what’s the guilty pleasure in Four Rooms?  Tim Roth, hands down.   Roth combines silly, well-timed comedy with slapstick and comes out with a neurotic bellboy who’s over the top but still believable.  This is a guy poorly equipped to handle the night at this hotel and reacts badly to most of the insane situations in which he ends up.

Roth is the connection between the four pieces, and even when Four Rooms is bad you hope you can still keep watching for Tim Roth and what he might do next.   I suspect The Missing Ingredient was placed first solely because it’s just not that good, and Roth’s performance is the one good thing about it.   Four Rooms would have been atrocious without him, primarily because it runs as a movie without any real sense of direction.  In fact, Four Rooms feels like four people got together on a lark to have some fun, not present stories and characters they had any investment in, so Roth has to bear a heavy weight in making things work.   He does, as best he can, and he’s the best part of it all.

On Four Rooms (no!  I am speaking the truth!  I am half-way through the write up, Allison, I have not forsaken you), I thought I’d take a bit to let you know I’m expanding the blog a tiny bit.

Not much, you see – but the problem is that for various reasons, I am feeling like I’m always running out of time.   I really am like the White Rabbit, running late more often than not, but now I feel really behind, like my watch has stopped or broken or I forgot to do a BC/AD changeover* or something and I should probably stop this metaphor and this sentence because I know where neither is going.

What I’m really trying to say is that basically, there’s more to life than movies.  There’s food and books and movies and music and fun things!   So in the interest of doing all fun things and not just one fun thing, I’m going to be blogging about some other things besides movies.   This will stay primarily a  movie blog and the non-movie stuff I will try and relate back to les films, but we’re expanding a bit, here, okay?   And if you don’t like that, then you can skip the non-movie posts and stick to the movie ones.

Just to give you the heads up.  Carry on, carry on!


*The BC/AD changeover is an Eddie Izzard joke, so I’m giving credit where credit is due and not assuming everyone knows that.  Also, if you have not seen Dressed to Kill please Netflix it.   It’s … culturally enriching.  Also:  hilarious.

Uh, not the Sean Penn version.

Jack Burden is a young newspaper reporter sent out to the small town of Kenosha to cover a story that’s interesting to his editor because it’s about “an honest man”.   Willie Stark is a Kenosha man tired of the corrupt politicians, so he runs for county tax collector.   Burden is intrigued; Stark does seem honest and righteous, the kind of guy who doesn’t drink and refuses to bow to the local good old boys who terrorize his family, throw bricks in his windows and prevent him from passing out handbills and talking to the townsfolk.   Stark warns of corruption in the contracts issued for building the new school.  He loses the election, but a group of slick politicians show up and convince Stark to run for governor.   It is their hope that he’ll split the vote between the two major candidates, thereby allowing a specific candidate to win.

Burden goes back to his newspaper job, but quits after a while, disillusioned with the fact that the paper owners want him to write stories that support a candidate other than Stark.

After Burden and campaign worker Sadie Burke inadvertently reveal to Stark the brutal truth of why he’s in the governor’s race, all bets are off.

Stark unleashes rage and fury at the men who set him up and at the establishment in general, appealing to his fellow men, the poor and the downtrodden — the “hicks”, as Stark calls them.   He goes ballistic.    He does not, however, win the election.

He spends his time preparing for the next election while Burden watches from a distance, Stark striking shady deals with corporations and spending money like its going out of style on circuses and barbeques for voters.    Stark gets elected the next time, with Burke at his side and now, in his bed.   He gives up the teetotaling in favor of drink and leaves his wife at home to spend time with Sadie and later, another woman.   His zeal for the common man turns ruthless and brutal, self-serving and greedy.   Jack Burden is hired as his hatchet man, and after that, everyone Burden knows that comes in contact with Willie Stark is painfully destroyed in some fashion.

Ideas are often noble and carry with them some sense of purity.    The problem is that once human beings must act on ideas, such concepts are left to the fallibility of human nature.   Ideas might be noble, but there is no such thing as a perfect human being.

Willie Stark starts out with a very noble goal:  to take back the government from the corrupt politicians in power.   He appeals to the very best of human nature while unleashing the absolute worst in himself.   Stark justifies some very brutal actions – bribery, blackmail, even murder – by telling himself that it is for the good of the people.   When Stark’s son kills a girl in a drunk driving accident, Stark attempts to bribe the girl’s father with a lucrative contract for the truth to remain hidden, something Stark himself railed against.   The father turns him down, disgusted, and later, the man disappears.  It is only when the man’s badly beaten body is discovered that Stark’s staff realizes the man was murdered for standing up for the right thing.   All those in Stark’s path lose their innocence or possibly even more.

Stark promised the people of his state certain things, things that he did deliver – a new hospital, museums, universities – but at what cost?    He destroys lives for the right vote or for a pair of eyes set to look the other way.   Indeed, Stark’s own reliance on the justification that he is doing all this for the little guy is just a smooth veneer on Stark’s need to feed his own ego, line his own pockets and solidify his power base.

It’s a cautionary tale, one based on Huey Long’s life, which Robert Penn Warren (the writer of the book All the King’s Men) witnessed first-hand.    The axiom absolute power corrupts absolutely might be a bit tired to trot out, but it’s nonetheless true.   Stark starts out as perhaps the best of men and ends up the wretched worst.   Broderick Crawford is perfect as Stark, a mix of righteous indignation and self-serving interest.    It’s a movie that doesn’t leave you easily, since Stark is so eerie and creepy, his staff and hangers-on so readily compliant and the crowds cheering him on.    All The King’s Men is the telling of a story of the worst of human nature, a warning, a lesson on what we choices we make to when it comes to the terrible side of life.

I know, I skipped February.
But March belongs to the one, the only, Henry Rollins.

Rollins is one of the few guys I discovered that I was younger that has stuck with me into adulthood.  Whereas I dropped bands and groups from my teen years for a variety of reasons – the music no longer resonated with me, I had outgrown and no longer found it comforting or powerful, or just plain that it held bad memories for me – Rollins is the only one, I think, that has stuck with me into adulthood and become more powerful to me, if that’s possible.

Henry Rollins entered first into my life at thirteen, when someone that I’ve forgotten since handed me a mix tape with Black Flag on it.   Later on, I discovered Rollins’ spoken word and his later work with The Rollins Band, but really, it was his spoken word that always captivated me.   Henry Rollins is funny, incisive, brutal and honest about what he believes, and if you have the chance to go get tickets to a show, it’s well worth the money you spend.   I went for his previous tour and he spent three glorious hours on stage, all of it interesting.

If I am having a very bad day, like today, when it’s tempting to just give up on your fellow human beings, when you feel cynical and bleak, there’s actually no one better to listen to.   Rollins is, if nothing else, hopeful (believe it or not) and has always been – to me, at least – refreshingly honest and inspiring.  I don’t think anyone grinds out their life quite like him.   The word ‘motivated’ isn’t anywhere near close enough to describing how insanely dedicated Rollins is to his chosen work in life.

Cheers to him.   I needed some Rollins today and I’m glad he’s around.   And I certainly wouldn’t kick him out of bed for eating crackers.  (And that’s all the shameless objectification I have in me today.)

Flashback: Silver Bullet

The Coslow family reside in the quiet town of Tarker’s Mills.   Marty and Jane Coslow are brother and sister, with Jane bearing a heavier load than most siblings, since she’s tasked by her parents to constantly assist Marty, who is paralyzed and requires a wheelchair.   Jane and Marty’s normal sibling rivalry carries with it an undercurrent of resentment, since Jane feels her parents give Marty special treatment.

Also popping up is the gregarious Uncle Red, the kind of guy who blows into town and out again, the only constant presence in his life being a bottle of booze.   It is he that encourages Marty to be a “normal” kid, gifting him with fireworks and what is essentially a motorcycle modified to fit a wheelchair instead of a saddle for Marty’s amusement.   He adores his nephew, in particular, but Red is the kind of guy who doesn’t take anything seriously at all.

Tarker’s Mills begins to experience grisly murders, something which begins to change the Coslaw family.   At first, the town believes the murders are accidents, but after a young boy is ripped to shreds, the town mobilizes into a vicious mob to seek some old-fashioned vigilante justice, only to have some of the mob attacked by the werewolf.

Marty’s new motorcycle, dubbed Silver Bullet thanks to Uncle Red, is shiny and fast, which is why Marty sneaks out in the middle of the night to ride on the back roads of Tarker’s Mills.  Naturally, he encounters the werewolf and only survives by shooting one of Red’s procured fireworks into the eye of the werewolf.  When he shares this information with Jane, they hunt for a townsperson with only one eye.

The werewolf turns out to be the most unlikely suspect – the local preacher, Lester Lowe, who is both tortured by his conscience and rationalizes his own set of murders.   Marty and Jane band together with the reluctant Uncle Red to fight the menace to Tarker’s Mills.

If you view Silver Bullet against the collected adaptations of Stephen King’s works, it falls  far to the bottom of the list.  It lacks a lot of the emotional punch of King’s other adaptations and the special effects are a bit dismal, even if you view them in the context of 1985, when the movie was made.

The King book this is based on is Cycle of the Werewolf, one that I’ve never read, but I was inspired to revisit Silver Bullet after finally finishing King’s newest book, Under the Dome.   The batshit crazy preacher of Under the Dome reminded me so strongly of Silver Bullet‘s Lester Lowe that I moved the movie to the top of my Netflix queue.   In an odd, sad sense of timing, I received Silver Bullet around the same time that Corey Haim, who played Marty Coslaw, died.  In many ways, the movie has some movement and power solely off the performances of Haim, who played sweet and innocent so very well, and Gary Busey as fun-loving Uncle Red.

Silver Bullet is flat and not very sharp; I have better memories of it from my childhood than it deserves.   It’s important to note Stephen King has been a large part of my life and was a large part of my childhood – quite a few of my childhood fears were shaped and molded by Mr. King himself.   I still shudder remembering parts of It, The Tommyknockers, The Stand and The Mist – either their film adaptations or the books themselves.   Stephen King has been sort of synonymous with horror for much of my life and I think it’s worth it to point out that I was never scared by a damn thing in Silver Bullet.  Perhaps the most lasting image is Lowe in his eyepatch, and that’s about it.

It’s a film that doesn’t carry much weight that I only viewed for the nostalgia factor, really, and I don’t know that I could wholeheartedly recommend it unless you’re longing for a movie from your childhood.  I can’t comment on how faithfully they adapted King’s book since I never read Cycle of the Werewolf, but hell, give me The Langoliers any day over this.

Gamer — For a movie that requires a lot of urgency in both style and story, Gamer has absolutely none.   It attempts some over the top social commentary that succeeds only at being tedious and unoriginal.   The movie has a shockingly well known cast, bu tthat’s about it’s only strong point.   If you ever wanted to see Gerard Butler vomit vodka into a gas tank and then relieve himself in said tank, then Gamer‘s the movie for you.   If that’s not the case, then steer clear of this one.   It’s not even worthy of being called a trainwreck, since it’s more like a really long, boring trainride that induces coma-like sleep.

Speaking of Bettany, Legion also stars him and, well… it’s just sort of middling.   Bettany’s pretty wooden as the archangel Michael, and the story’s a snoozer.   It’s entertaining for what it is, given that the supporting cast turn in performances that are watchable, but let’s face it – if you’re watching Legion, you’re probably watching it for angels with machine guns.   Legion does deliver that.   (And the popcorn at the movie theater was tastier than normal, so that was a win, too.)

Wimbledon – Paul Bettany has to be given some credit.   Hugh Grant cornered the market on the charmingly befuddled, lanky Englishman type with few challengers to the throne (Colin Firth, I think, could potentially shank Grant one of these days and usurp the title).   Bettany pulls a pretty boring and thankless role off with affable charm and sweetness.   Kirsten Dunst is … okay, and Sam Neill as Dunst’s father is fantastic in his prickliness.   it’s not one for the record books, but Wimbledon is a romantic comedy that I strangely didn’t mind, considering I have issues with so many of them.

I’m telling y’all what I told my mom about Top Gun: it gets better the more you realize that the movie’s just a simmering cauldron of gayness.

(Brings ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ home, I think.)

I refuse to provide a synopsis for Top Gun, mainly because unless you’ve been living under the heaviest rock in existence you’re at least somewhat aware of the plot.

Let’s face it:  Top Gun‘s strong suit is not really the plot; hell, it’s not even Tom Cruise.   This may have been the cinematic moment Tom Cruise tipped from being Tom Cruise, actor into Tom Cruise, celebrity who buys into his own special brand of bullshit.   Indeed, Cruise has some gigantic, awful moments in the movie – they involve fist-pumps, hugs and displays of bravado – and even after Maverick reaches his moment of fighter pilot enlightenment, it’s hard not to view the character as an emotionally stunted frat boy allowed to play with multi-million dollar pieces of equipment.

No, the real joy of Top Gun is two fold:  realizing Tom Cruise may be the only guy not in on the gag, and realizing every other actor realizes how totally fucking gay this movie is.

I mean that in the best possible way:  I wish they’d make an actual movie about gay fighter pilots.  Sadly, Top Gun is about as close as it gets but God bless Val Kilmer for playing it the way he saw it.   (I vaguely remember someone asking Val Kilmer if Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’s Perry was the first gay character he’d ever played when he was doing press; Kilmer answered along the lines of, “You mean besides Iceman?”)  The movie’s rife with moments of shirtless guys in locker rooms and stares between Iceman and Maverick that really… kind of make you wonder.   Let’s also not forget the hilarious, wonderful insanity that is the Top Gun beach volleyball scene.   It’s all oiled guys with flexing pectoral muscles grabbing each other’s asses and chest-bumping and shit.

Tom Cruise believes this is totally macho, y’all!

It is Kilmer who really shines in this movie.   He steals scenes from Cruise right and left, frosted hair be damned.   He is endlessly entertaining, probably because Val Kilmer didn’t give a shit.  This is why I will always love, love, love Val Kilmer, no matter how bloaty he gets, no matter how far out there he goes, no matter how many trees he starts hugging; you have to appreciate the fact that even when the man doesn’t give a shit, he still rocks.

Plus, Top Gun has Michael Ironside.  Nothing that has Michael Ironside in it can be said to be totally irreedemable.

The movie is an essential piece of 80s cheese.  The love story will make you laugh (oh, dear, Kelly McGillis) and Tom Cruise will make you cry (from laughing).   For heaven’s sake, if you haven’t seen it, what the hell is your problem?