Film Sack #49: “The one about Top Gun”

Welcome to episode 49. Today, we discuss the 80’s smash action hit, “Top Gun.”

Satisfy your need for speed and launch your home theater into the jet-propelled world of the U.S. Navy’s best aviators. Tom Cruise plays Maverick, who has to struggle to control himself, responsibility and a steamy love affair (with Kelly McGillis) while competing at the Navy’s fighter-weapons school, better known as Top Gun. Anthony Edwards co-stars as Maverick’s loyal sidekick Goose, while Val Kilmer glowers as Iceman. Tony Scott directs.

Join Scott, Randy, Brian and Ibbott as we buzz your tower.


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Special thanks to this week for sponsoring the show. As usual, a HUGE thanks to Scott Fletcher, the official announcer of Film Sack Central. Hey! Why not leave us a nice review on iTunes if you like the show?

Up next week? The Running Man!

25 thoughts on “Film Sack #49: “The one about Top Gun”

  1. the anime Macross Plus was heavily inspired by top gun, they practically lifted tropes from the movie.

  2. What a fun movie that is a shining example of 80’s style schlock. I’ve noticed that in movies like this, American pilots attach and detach their face masks at will, but the evil enemies will always have their gear locked into place.

    I argue with AFI on film quotes from this movie. I still occasionally get a “Negative, Ghost Rider” from friends.

  3. Interesting you guys do this movie and there are talks about a sequel being planned with Tom Cruise.

  4. I think you need to check your Star Trek connection. There is no TNG episode called Poison. Great show anyways, but missed Scott Fletcher at the end.

  5. Hey yeah! Where WAS Scott Fletcher’s quotes? You said there was gonna be something good!

    Also, I get the feeling that Randy doesn’t get along with the rest of the gang sometimes.

  6. Careful, Greg!! They are “Naval Aviators.” From the movie I took it to be an insult to call them pilots.

    This post is in memory of the F-14 Tomcat; the US Navy retired it in 2006 (though Iran still flies them). Top Gun was one of the movies that was in heavy rotation on HBO when the channel became available in the sticks where I lived so I watched it over and over but I loved the movie because of the F-14. Favorite fighter jet ever.

    Going back years later and seeing the strength, or at least a who’s who, of the supporting cast is pretty amazing. A lot of talent sprinkled in there. On about the 20th viewing of the movie I realized Meg Ryan was much hotter than Kelly McGillis. About the same time I realized, along the line Ibbott and Randy were thinking, Iceman was the protagonist and Maverick his issue to overcome. Strange in the 80s how the anti-hero ruled nearly all movies.

    The thing I never understood was if Cougar was #1 how was Maverick AND Goose were #2? If it was a “buddy system” thing, then what happened to Cougar’s RIO? Imagine missing out on Top Gun because your naval aviator lost his edge.

  7. At the risk of sounding like a scratched LP (remember those?)…

    I just think that Film Sack is at its best when you guys sink your teeth into obscure films.
    I miss my RETROGRADE, my KRULL, .. and the oh-so-gloriously-horrible ALIEN APOCALYPSE!!!

    I also like “discovering” (or occasionally re-discovering) bad films along with you guys. But when I don’t even have to rewatch a film (“Top Gun”, “Willy Wonka”, “Wrath of Khan”, “The Breakfast Club”) the week just deflates for me.

    Not to be a complete Negative Nelly… I do indeed LOVE your podcast and the production (good work)! You guys are hilarious and I look forward to listening each week!!

    I just (selfishly perhaps) want to “play along” and watch a “new” bad film every week with you guys.

    Regardless… thanks for all the fun and hard work!

  8. As far as military porn gos look no further then Transformers 2.
    Am I the only one who thinks Scissors beaks rock when you look at the pitcher foe this one?
    And did I miss the checklist?

  9. I won’t post the whole list this time but the grand total of other movie mentions was 57.

    Like a lot of the listeners, I enjoy to watch the kooky movies you guys find, but I think doing a ‘mainstream’ movie once in a while is a welcome break.

    One thing that really got on my nerves was the obvious change in camera quality between the cockpit view and the flybys. Maybe I’m just used to more modern cameras but it really bugged me.

    Also, here’s the audio mashup for TopGun, I think it’s one of my favourite so far. Enjoy!

  10. I really look forward to this podcast, (this is both true and the top half of the oreo cookie technique for making a critical comment)

    The coughing swear word was clearly popularized by Animal House, which was 8 years before Top Gun. (I was in the Navy when Animal House came out, and I believe we watched nearly 200 times while underwater).

    Here’s the bottom half of the oreo: You guys really re-fresh a lot of movies for me, as well as lead me to look for what might be fun in something I otherwise might not have time for (Jason Goes to Hell, for instance). I think you should consider a joint Speed/Top Gun award for “extra action scene tacked onto the end of the movie that has little to do with the plot.”

  11. @Scott: I’d have to say I’d argue the reverse; I like Filmsack better when it covers a film that is at least worth watching. I enjoy the eps much more if I’ve seen the film. I wouldn’t mind reviewing a bad movie it if I had happened have seen the movie the film; however, if I have to go back and watch it, I’d like it to be a film that is worth my time to do so. I didn’t mind ‘Planet 9′ because that’s a film that’s famously bad otherwise I prefer movies worth watching even today.

    Regarding this episode, can I respond to Bryan’s comment about the fact that they talk about flying all the time. I’m not sure if you found that unrealistic or not but based on reading The Right Stuff I’d say that pilots like the ones in the film probably do eat, sleep, and live flying constantly. I guess the job they have is so extreme that it’s hard for them to relate to anyone who’s not a pilot so they constantly are talking with other pilots and thus constantly talk about flying. One thing the movie didn’t really convey IMO (based on my memory of it) was the relative danger of the flying profession. I know goose dies in the film but I dont’ think the film talked much about the ever constant possibility of fatality, and the constant worrying of the pilot’s loved ones, etc.

  12. Regarding Steven Williams, can I also add if you didn’t mention it (I haven’t seen Jason Goes to Hell so haven’t listened to that ep) that he was one of the two cops who start chasing the Blues Brothers in said move?

  13. Well, this was my first viewing for Top Gun, I thought it was an alright flick. Definitely the jet fighting parts were fantastic. I thought the romance was unnecessary though. Or maybe not the romance, but “Take My Breath Away.” I felt like I was going to tear the hair off my head with how much that song played in the movie.

    No comment on that weird green goo that Goose appeared to leak into the ocean when they crashed? I still don’t know what that stuff was. Some component to an ejector seat, I’d imagine, but what? Or maybe Goose just has radioactive blood, meaning that he was Spider-Man all along?

  14. @Mikko, trying to find a man in the water can be tricky, have a cloudy trail of brightly colored stuff makes it a lot easier.

  15. Ah of course, common sense strikes again. Cheers, mate!

    Can I keep imagining that the stuff for the signal is harvested from someone with radioactive blood, though?

  16. I have something in common with Dunnaway. I bought the soundtrack to Chess in 1986. But, I didn’t see the musical until 1993.

    Scott, Legal Eagles is hardly a “very serious legal drama.” And for the record, I liked it.

    Top Gun is a Naval Aviation movie NOT an Airforce movie. Anyway, Navy aviators must be between 62″ – 78″ for males and 58″ – 78″ for females. Tom Cruise is 5 ft 7 (67″) and Tim Robbins 6 ft 4 (76″) so they both could be Naval aviators. However, I do not know if height range restricts which planes they could fly. So maybe they could not pilot an F-14.

    You should “sack” Hudsucker Proxy because so many people have not seen it, and it is awesome! (Bonus, it would be your first Paul Neuman “sacking”)

    I knew that Pete Pettigrew was the real “viper.” But when you said it, all I could picture was Peter Pettigrew (AKA Wormtail) on a date with Kelly McGillis.

    You are correct Randy. The F-14 was retired 9/22/06 and was replaced by the F/A-18E/F Super

    I was serving aboard the USS Detroit (AOE-4) in 1986. I can tell you, first hand, that Navy aviators get away with a lot of crap. Don’t get me wrong, Navy aviators are professional in every sense of the word.

    How am I ever going to get thru the week without my Fletcher fix. What happened Scott?

    I can’t believe Scott missed the biggest trivia for the film. Top Gun was the first VHS release to come with a commercial. It was for Pepsi and had a film tie in. It allowed the video tape to sell for MUCH less that others of its day. This led the way for the lower cost point of future VHS releases.

  17. Considering this is my dad’s favorite movie (it’s seriously the only movie he can quote in its entirety, and as a result I can quote most of it), the cultural impact it’s had on me has been phenomenal.

    Good show guys, though I missed the epic Fletcher quotes, you bastards.

  18. You teased Fletcher quotes at the beginning of the show. I waited the entire show. Then, suddenly, no Scott Fletcher. Dang!

  19. I think naval aviators hate the word ‘pilot’ because of that drunk guy in Independence Day 😀

  20. Oh, I should point out: usually Tom Cruise is a douche, but since his character in this movie is also a douche, it totally works!

  21. @johnsemlak … Your point is understood. And I can see a large portion of regular movie goers enjoying what you’ve said. These guys are very funny in their reviews. The only point I was making is that I – personally – enjoyed the original premise of Film Sack, that we would have to go search out these bottom of the film sack movies and watch them, and then be entertained by the podcast as they made fun of it. Almost like MSTK, in a way.

    But again, I see how many people would rather hear about films they already know (bad OR good ones) rather than searching out really bad films… which for me anyway… was the fun part about this podcast.

    I guess I’m in the minority, and that’s cool. I just can find other podcasts reviewing films I already know about, but I was hoping Film Sack would stick to its original idea. But, ah well… majority rules… and I actually do understand that.

  22. Hey guys. I’m going back and catching up on old Filmsack episodes for movies I have interest in. I’m a filmmaker and I like getting your perspective on what works and what doesn’t. I always strive to make timeless movies and I like hearing what you guys think hold up. I’m about to watch the Breakfast Club before I listen to Ep 39.

    Anyway, I just watched a Blu-ray extra on TopGun where they go in depth on the camera rigs and techniques they used to shoot all of their Arial Combat Maneuvers. They used little to no stock footage as your podcast suggested. All the sequences were shot for the film.

  23. Also, I just finished listening to the commentary and wanted to add to the conversation on the need and reality of Maverick flying back up to help Cougar land. It’s common on carrier landings, if a pilot is having trouble, for another pilot to pace the first pilot down. A pilot could have myriad issues including vertigo and not be able to tell which way is up. But IRL, the tower would be giving the verbal instructions while Maverick would have been by Cougar’s side as a visual indicator of the proper landing approach.

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