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Thread: Reasons Why Top Gun Is Still Awesome!

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    Smile Reasons Why Top Gun Is Still Awesome!

    Its time to celebrates the 25th anniversary of Top Gun's release by listing everything we love about the Tom Cruise flick.




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    The Unintentional (or Was It?) Homoerotic Subtext





    Between the shirtless beach-volleyball match, the tight uniforms, the tension-filled locker-room scenes and the longing glances, Top Gun is almost as famous for its barely veiled homoeroticism as for its aviators. When the film begins, the bromance between Maverick and Goose is palpable. And when Goose dies, Maverick mourns him like a lover. That is, until he finds a new prospect in Iceman. Though it has always been thought to have been unintentional, it's hard to imagine that the makers of the film couldn't see the obvious subtext. The theory has generated so much buzz that someone recut the original trailer to portray the love story between Maverick and Iceman. In the 1994 movie Sleep with Me, Quentin Tarantino argued that the plot is really about one man's struggle with his own homosexuality.




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    Wherever You Be I'll Be With You..Cause You're The One My Heart Is Yo..I need you..

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    The Reagan-Era Jingoism




    The film's an incredible historical artifact. Though the Cold War was slowly winding its way down by the time of Top Gun's 1986 release, the movie still managed to make fighting the Soviets look very, very cool. Essentially one very expensive and good-looking recruiting video for the Navy, Top Gun resulted in a particularly hearty recruitment season for the military branch following its release.

    Wherever You Are I'll Find You..Cause You're The One I Turn To
    Wherever You Be I'll Be With You..Cause You're The One My Heart Is Yo..I need you..

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    The Need for Speed




    There are any number of quotable lines: "That's right, Iceman, I am dangerous," and "Son, your ego is writing checks your body can't cash." But none is as memorable as when Maverick turns to Goose and says, "I feel the need," and then the two in unison say, "the need for speed." They then follow that line with a high (and low) five. This quote has since inspired countless speeding tickets. The line also ranks on the American Film Institute's top 100 movie quotes in American cinema at No. 94.


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    That Loving Feeling




    How many times have these guys pulled this act before? Is it just a Maverick-Goose thing, or is this something they teach you in flight school? All those other dudes in the bar seem to be completely familiar with the stunt. Is this the pick-up-a-lady-in-a-bar version of "Happy Birthday" at a restaurant? It doesn't matter. Tom Cruise and Anthony Edwards' rendition of "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" (sung charmingly off-key) inadvertently softened the U.S. for the rise of karaoke bars the following decade. Let's all be grateful for that.

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    Wherever You Be I'll Be With You..Cause You're The One My Heart Is Yo..I need you..

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    They Play Beach Volleyball in Jeans



    There are undoubtedly more than a few women who broke their VHS copy of Top Gun by rewatching Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer duel in all their shirtless, sweaty beach-volleyball-playing glory. As Kenny Loggins' "Playing with the Boys" plays, Maverick and Goose take on (and lose to) Iceman and Slider. There are spikes, dives and grunts. There's high-fiving and spanking. Sure, it's a completely gratuitous scene that furthers the plot in no way. But with all that machismo chest bumping, who cares?

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    Val Kilmer's Frosted-Blond Villain





    Iceman is so cool it hurts. As played by Val Kilmer, Iceman is the frosted-haired, arrogant, smack-talking archrival to Tom Cruise's Maverick. He's the villain you're supposed to loathe, though, really, you just want to be like him. He snaps his teeth together to punctuate his sharp-tongued retorts, is named the best pilot at Top Gun school and can spin a volleyball on the tip of his finger like nobody's business. All right, Iceman, you can be our wingman anytime.

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    Great Balls of Fire




    There's a particular type of man who, as soon as he starts to get a little tipsy, wants to sing. That's not to say that he has a great voice or even remembers all the lyrics, but he wants to sing and sing he will. Apparently, Maverick and Goose are two of those men. In this scene, the pair show Goose's boy how fun it is to drink in the middle of the day. It also introduced young children of the '80s to the greatness of Jerry Lee Lewis. (Sadly, in 2008, the bar where this was filmed a San Diego joint named Kansas City Barbeque burned down. The piano did not survive.)

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    The Dogfights






    We've seen this movie dozens of times and, to be honest, sometimes despite the F-14 Tomcat's iconic silhouette it's difficult to tell exactly what is going on, or which plane is which. Regardless, though, the editing is so top-notch (and the "let's turn around quickly in our fake cockpits" acting style so urgent) that the dogfight and training scenes remain as tense a quarter-century later as they did upon the film's premiere.


    Wherever You Are I'll Find You..Cause You're The One I Turn To
    Wherever You Be I'll Be With You..Cause You're The One My Heart Is Yo..I need you..

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    The Sound Track




    Despite being an album from the '80s, the Top Gun sound track somehow avoids the era's supreme cheesiness. Its hit ballad, Berlin's "Take My Breath Away," and Kenny Loggins' "Danger Zone" became two of the decade's signature songs. And in the summer of 1986, the Top Gun sound track topped Billboard's Top 200 album chart for five consecutive weeks. Impressive, especially considering some of the movie's best tracks weren't on the original release. "Great Balls of Fire," by Jerry Lee Lewis, and "You've Lost That Loving Feeling," by the Righteous Brothers, didn't make it on the album until the expanded edition was released in 1999.


    Wherever You Are I'll Find You..Cause You're The One I Turn To
    Wherever You Be I'll Be With You..Cause You're The One My Heart Is Yo..I need you..

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    Meg Ryan's Big Break




    Though she had done a couple of films before Top Gun (and had many appearances on daytime TV), Meg Ryan's first memorable role was as Carol, Goose's vivacious wife. While this is totally Ryan in her earliest stages of cute Meg Ryan-ness, there's also a lusty-ness to her that pretty much vanished over the next two decades. Here, she utters one of the film's many quotable lines.

    Wherever You Are I'll Find You..Cause You're The One I Turn To
    Wherever You Be I'll Be With You..Cause You're The One My Heart Is Yo..I need you..

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