Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thursday American Cinema Classic

Welcome to a new weekly feature here at Movies with Abe, Thursday American Cinema Classic. I’m taking a course called American Cinema Since 1960 where we’re charting the history and development of American Cinema from the 1960s to the present. We’ll be watching some pretty iconic films, some of which I haven’t seen before. Each week, I’ll be providing a short review of one contemporary classic from the annals of recent history.

Top Gun
Directed by Tony Scott
Released May 16, 1986

Like last week’s entry, “Jaws,” this is another film with an extremely recognizable musical score. In this case, it’s not one that provokes fear but instead nationalist pride (and considerable laughter for audience members all too familiar with it). This All-American film is a fantastic capsule portrait of the 1980s, chock full of corniness and plenty of homoerotic insinuations. As an action movie, it’s a lot of fun even if it’s terribly predictable. Tom Cruise is fantastically unhinged and completely hilarious, walking around as if he owns the world. His attempts to seduce Top Gun instructor Charlie (Kelly McGillis) are so over-the-top and incessantly funny. The movie, though less than twenty-five years old, feels hopelessly dated and gloriously excessive in every possible way. The flying is fun, and though the dialogue ruins pretty much all of the dramatic effect, it’s still enjoyable and a little bit thrilling. It probably works better as a satire than as a film taken at face value, and it’s immensely entertaining, cheesy music and all. Relieve the ridiculousness with this terrific YouTube montage set to the eternally memorable theme. It’ll take your breath away.

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