Cinema Dispatch: Top Gun: Maverick

Top Gun: Maverick and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures

Directed by Joseph Kosinski

It’s true that I’m getting to this one pretty late, but it’s also true that the darn thing is still the biggest movie at the moment so I guess I can still call this review somewhat relevant. I guess it’s no surprise that one of the most enduring classics of the eighties finally getting the sequel everyone always wanted would hit like a meteor full of money, but it’s still pretty surprising just how much this has eclipsed everything else around it. Even MCU movies which are supposedly so ubiquitous that we should all be sick of them don’t manage to have the kind of staying power that this movie has! So what is the secret formula that turned this into a license to print money? Is it actually as good as its box office would suggest, or has nostalgia once again suckered us all into giving money to a movie that was better off being remembered than revived? Let’s find out!!

Captain Pete Mitchell, better known as Maverick (Tom Cruise), has been bumming around the Navy since the glory days of Eddie Money and Leisure suits, and it’s landed him a gig as a test pilot for experimental aircraft. Of course, Maverick being Maverick, he manages to screw that up by ticking off Admiral Ed Harris and is only saved from a dishonorable discharge by his old friend Admiral Tom Kazansky who was once known as Iceman (Val Kilmer). Instead, he gets sent to teach the next generation of hot shot pilots which just so happens to include Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), the son of Goose who died while flying with Maverick back in the first movie. His assignment, should he choose to accept it, is to get these Millennials in tip-top fighting shape for a ridiculously complicated and ludicrously dangerous bombing run to destroy a uranium enrichment facility, and there’s no one better than Maverick for making the impossible merely improbable! Can Maverick finally put his ego in check and be the teacher that these pilots need? What happened between him and Bradley that left him feeling so bitter, and is this Maverick’s last chance to make things right? Was waiting nearly forty years to make a sequel just a flex on Tom Cruise’s part to show how little he’s aged since then?

“Just hang tight and we’ll be done before you know it.”     “How long until we’re over Macho Grande?”     “Son, I don’t think we’ll ever get over Macho Grande…”     “Was than an Airplane 2 reference? Seriously, how old is this guy!?”
Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: Top Gun: Maverick”

Cinema Dispatch: Malignant

Malignant and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Directed by James Wan

I’m pretty sure I saw exactly one trailer for this before it was dropped on HBO Max, so I guess we’re getting to the point where Warner Bros isn’t pushing their SAME DAY RELEASE stunt as hard; at least until Dune finally comes out.  Still, I’ll take almost any chance Warner Bros wants to give me to not spend fifteen bucks to see one of their movies and James Wan has a pretty good track record across several different genres (ESPECIALLY horror), so hey!  It’s right in my wheelhouse… and I guess technically my ACTUAL house as well.  Is it a fun horror film to pad out HBO Max’s already impressive library of movies, or are they just doing a favor for the guy who brought over a BILLION dollars to the studio with a DC movie NOT starring Batman?  Let’s find out!!

Madison Lake (Annabelle Wallis) is not in a particularly good place right now with her abusive husband (Jake Abel) who is constantly belittling her despite going through a rough pregnancy and even smashes her head against the wall after an argument over nothing.  She locks herself in the room to deal with her splitting headache and her unborn child, but something goes bump in the night and she dreams of a dark figure that has killed her husband and chases her up the stairs.  It turns out a lot more of that was real than she expected as she wakes up in the hospital to find her husband dead and sadly suffering from the after-effects of a miscarriage.  Her sister Sydney (Maddie Hasson) tries to help her though this, but Madison prefers to be alone to deal with her grief.  A few days after returning home however, she starts to see visions of a mysterious figure killing people, and every vision turns out to be true which catches the attention of the officers assigned to investigate her husband’s death (George Young and Regina Moss), and questions just keep piling up as to where these visions are coming from and what connection Madison may have to the dark figure committing these crimes.  Is there something (or someone) in Madison’s past that connects her to the recent string of victims?  Just what is this dark figure that Madison is seeing, and does it have a terrifying plan for her as well?  Do those terrifying plans involve a make-over; because whatever it is, its idea of fashion died in the late nineties.

Nice duster, dork.
Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: Malignant”