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Posts Tagged ‘Val Kilmer’

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?

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Real Genius begins with Mitch Taylor, a high school whiz kid interested in lasers, being recruited to the prestigious Pacific Tech by a Professor Holloway.  Holloway is secretly interested in using Taylor to develop a laser that the CIA can use to incinerate people from space.   Weak, right?   (This was the stuff of Reagan’s nightmares, right?)   Taylor’s thrilled just to be at Pacific Tech, but he hits the books hard much to the displeasure of his roommate Chris (played by Val Kilmer).    Chris plays Obi-Wan to Mitch’s Luke, teaching him that life isn’t all about solving problems, while Holloway puts the heat on the two to finish the laser.

When they finally figure out what Holloway has planned for their little experiment, the two recruit other students to help them sink the laser before it can do any real damage.

William Atherton plays the slimy professor keeping the students in the dark.   He also played Richard Peck, the jackass EPA agent in Ghostbusters and the jerk reporter willing to sell out anyone for a scoop in Die Hard.   Thus, Atherton seems to have a propensity for playing assholes we love to hate.  (I bet he gets stopped a lot with comments from people:  “You’re the asshole from Ghostbusters!”   “You’re the asshole from Die Hard!”  I wonder if people ever bring this one up.)  He doesn’t disappoint with Real Genius, as he plays the smarmy professor playing all the angles just right.

Kilmer’s funny enough as Chris Knight, and while the movie isn’t great, it has a sort of “real life meets a touch of wishful thinking” kind of sweetness ordinarily found in John Hughes movies.   … Or I could’ve just been mistaken by looking at all the ’80’s-tastic fashion.  Some of the characters are a bit one-dimensional, but Real Genius makes the whole experience fun.    The ending in particular is worth the price of admission.   Unrealistic?   Slightly zany?   It’s hilarious and the kind of thing that can only happen in the movies – and I mean that in the very best way.

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Okay, I apologize for the delay; due to Netflix throttling my queue a bit, the postal service blowing and the start of playoff hockey I’ve been delayed a bit in geting these up.

I really enjoyed Willow!   I did, I really did…it’s just – it’s Star Wars but not.

I actually had to go back and look at the credits to make sure I wasn’t making stuff up; sure enough, the story is by George Lucas, so there you go.   You’ve got all the Star Wars characters represented in their various roles; Madmartigan is totally the medieval Han Solo, that’s for sure.  Sorsha, the queen’s daughter, is the 13th century version of Leia, as well.

The movie’s a cross between Lord of the Rings and Star Wars but even then, it works and it stands on it’s own.   The story is of a Nelwyn, Willow, who finds a baby and is entrusted by his people to take it to it’s own kind, far away from their village.  Unbeknownst to little Willow, that baby’s really important for an evil queen; in order to continue her rule, the baby must be destroyed.  Thus a varied cast of characters comes together to either protect the baby or steal it.

I liked Willow well enough.  I’d probably never buy it to add it permanently to my DVD collection, but it’s got good moments and bad moments; the special effects obviously haven’t withstood the test of time, but it’s great to see people like Val Kilmer and Joanne Whalley early on in their careers.    I thoroughly enjoyed it, sitting on my couch with a bowl of popcorn.   The Brownies are probably the funniest of the bunch and everyone does a pretty good job.

I’d definitely rewatch it in a few months or a year.

(I apologize for the lack of the picture, but WordPress decided it didn’t want to upload my cover image correctly.  Oops!)

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