Kelly Watches Top Gun

There are so many movies that I’ve never watched that everyone else has and when it comes up in conversation that I’ve never seen ______, I always astound people with my response. A few days ago, I decided to bring Top Gun home from the library because there’s a new installment coming out this summer that looks good and I figured I needed to see the original before watching any sort of sequel.

I posted about it on Instagram and got some responses that I should do a review and tell people what I thought, which led me to an idea: what if I watch some of those iconic movies I’ve never seen and then chat about my experience on my blog?

In all honesty, it would probably make a cool YouTube series, but I’m better with words than video, so here we are. I hope you’ll enjoy this little diversion from books, travel, food and lifestyle from time to time.

top_gun_grande

So let’s get into it! What did I think about Top Gun?

Honestly? I was pleasantly surprised! For a film that was released in 1986, it holds up pretty well cinematically and it was probably a maverick (see what I did there?) of its time with the type of aerial shots and stunts they filmed for the movie.

If you know nothing about the plot like I did, here’s a quick synopsis for you: Tom Cruise (Maverick) stars in this action/drama about a group of Navy fighter pilots as they attend an elite school to hone in on their flying skills. Maverick, falls for his instructor Charlie (Kelly McGillis) along the way. Anthony Edwards (Goose) and Val Kilmer (Iceman) also star.

For most of the first half of the movie, I couldn’t figure out if I was watching a chick flick or an action film. We’ve got romance, forbidden love and hot sweaty men in towels in locker rooms, yet there’s all the action going on with the fighter pilots up in the air, so it kind of bends genres.

I’d also never seen Anthony Edwards with hair before. Hello, Dr. Greene from ER! Sorry that you seem to always die in everything you star in. RIP Goose.

And something else I noticed – everyone except Charlie is SO SWEATY. All the dang time. I get why the fighter pilots might be sweating it out up in the air, but why are you all sitting around sweating in the classroom? Haha.

Then there’s the soundtrack. 80s music at it’s finest folks! “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin even won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Here are some interesting facts about the movie, via Mental Floss.

1. IT’S BASED ON A REAL SCHOOL.

2. THE U.S. GOVERNMENT HELPED FINANCE THE FILM.

3. THE NAVY USED THE FILM AS A RECRUITING TOOL.

4. KELLY MCGILLIS’ CHARACTER IS BASED ON A REAL-LIFE NAVY EMPLOYEE.

5. THE FILM’S SOUNDTRACK SOLD NINE MILLION COPIES

So, the verdict? This was a fun movie that I enjoyed way more than I thought I would. If you haven’t seen it, add it to your “to-watch” list!

 

Best Movies of 2018

Movies always seem to be the last thing I write about at the end of the year. I’m not sure why – maybe it’s because I don’t enjoy them as much as I do other forms of entertainment? My movie watching also slowed this year; Adam moved on from reviewing movies at the Southside Times and since we were no longer getting to see them for free, we’ve barely gone to the theater the last few months.

But I do have a few favorites from 2018 that I thought I would share and since it doesn’t look like I’m going to make it to see Mary Poppins Returns before the year is over, I decided it was time to sit down and write this thing.

Continue reading “Best Movies of 2018”

Favorite Movies of 2017

The movies this year were pretty mediocre. There are still several I haven’t seen that possibly could have made this list but life gets busy and it’s impossible to make it to the theater every time something is released that I’d like to see. Still, here are nine films I enjoyed this year.

Beauty and the Beast

One of my all-time favorite animated Disney movies gets the live action treatment. movieposter

Emma Watson is perfect as Belle and I was happy they stayed pretty true to the original. Some stories just shouldn’t be messed with and with a classic like Beauty and the Beast, sticking to the original concept was the right choice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Zookeeper’s Wife
movieposter (1)
War movies are generally not my thing, but this is a different kind of war movie. Set in 1939 Poland at the beginning of WW II, The Zookeeper’s Wife tells the true story of how Antonina and Jan Zabinski hid Jews in their zoo for the duration of the war. The couple smuggled Jews in and out, right under the Nazi’s noses and saved 300 lives in all. After the war, the zoo was rebuilt and is still open to visitors today.

Jessica Chastain is one of my favorite actresses right now and gives a fantastic performance in this heart-wrenching war drama.

 

The Fate of the Furious

AKA, Fast and the Furious 8. Can you believe they are still making these? I’m sure I’ll get some flak for adding this to my list, but the Fast and Furious movies have always been a guilty pleasure of mine.
the-fate-of-the-furious-58cd6e604bec6Sure the acting isn’t great – but what movie with Vin Diesel is? This is one you just want to enjoy for the high speed, adrenaline fueled and all around fun action sequences. And Charlize Theron who steals the show this time around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby Driver

Baby is a getaway driver for a crime ring. His parents were killed in an accident when he was a child and as a result, he was left with tinnitus in his ears. So he drives the criminals around Atlanta, saying very little and listening to a bunch of rockin’ tunes.
DDi9fwXXkAAv6xb
This is a really fun, stylized movie with an excellent cast and one of the best films of 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wonder Woman

Full disclosure: I am more of a Marvel fan. I just prefer the cast of characters from Marvels versus those from the DC universe. Wonder Woman has never been all that interesting to me – she’s fine but I wasn’t greatly anticipating this movie or anything.
wonder_woman_whv_keyart
However, I thought it was a solid film and DC’s best (excluding the Nolan Batman films).
Gal Gadot is an excellent choice for the role and she really shines in this origin story as well as Justice League, which did not make my list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Logan

While we’re on a superhero kick, let’s talk about Logan! One of the X-Men’s most beloved character’s story arc seemingly comes to an end with this final (at least for Hugh Jackman) Wolverine film. download

Set in the future, Logan is aging and no new mutants have been born for twenty-five years. He’s caring for Charles Xavier, who’s also very ill. When a nurse hires Logan to transport her and another young girl to a safe haven in North Dakota, trouble begins and Logan discovers some startling facts about his young transport.

The Wolverine films have been uneven but this one is excellent. It’s a bit bloodier than usual, so if gore bothers you, be prepared. It’s also heart-wrenching in a few places if the X-Men are near and dear to your heart. Bring tissues if you plan to watch.

 

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

master_gotg2-b3de7b1c93Star-Lord and company are back in this sequel to vol. 1. While not as good as its predecessor, there are still lots of laughs and a killer soundtrack, which make for an enjoyable two hours.

Rocket steals some cargo the Guardians were hired to protect and as the crew tries to elude the angry aliens, they’re rescued by an individual with a tie to Star-Lord’s past.

 

 

 

 

 

Lego Batman

Once again, the Joker is out to destroy Gotham and it’s all Batman’s fault.
Lego-Batman-Movie-poster
In this superior spin off of The Lego Movie, Batman must save his city, along with the help of Robin and a whole host of other DC characters. There are some exciting cameos from other non-DC characters and as always, the writers of Lego Batman bring us a movie with a message and important life lessons. A fun movie the whole family can enjoy.

 

 

 

Atomic Blonde

Let’s be honest, Charlize Theron kicks major butt. She’s amazing in just about everything she’s in and Atomic Blonde is no exception.
large_kV9R5h0Yct1kR8Hf8sJ1nX0Vz4x
This is a highly stylized action movie set in 1989 Germany just before the fall of the Berlin Wall. You aren’t really sure who the bad guys/bad girls are and twists abound, even until the very end.

The soundtrack rivals that of Baby Driver in terms of excellence and you get the sense that the studio behind the movie is setting this up to be the next James Bond, but with a female lead.

 

 

Favorite Movies of 2016

My list of favorite movies is quite short this year. There are many that I haven’t seen yet that I want to from the last quarter of 2016 that probably would have made the list but we simply haven’t had time to go to the theater and Adam’s work schedule has made it harder for us to see free movies this year. That may change soon, so 2017’s list might be a little more robust 🙂

Here are the six that I really enjoyed in 2016.

orfayhwlpei-movieposter_maxres
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
Starring: John Krasinski

In 13 Hours: the Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, Jim from the Office becomes a legit action star. Based on the book by the same name, the movie follows the six security team members who defend against the attack on the US diplomatic compound in Libya on Sept. 11, 2012. Undoubtedly some liberties have been taken with the story to make it more sensational, but it’s still a sobering look at the events of the day.

 

deadpool_movie_poster_by_chronoxiong-d8tfamw
Deadpool
Starring: Ryan Reynolds

After being diagnosed with terminal cancer, Wade Wilson is approached by a man who says he has the cure. Wade takes a gamble and while it works, he is left with disfiguring scars for life. Unable to return to his former life, Wade becomes a masked vigilante and assumes the identity of Deadpool. Ryan Reynolds is perfectly cast as a sarcastic superhero with a penchant for old school rap tunes and Hello Kitty in this raunchy, rollicking good time of a film.

the_bronze_poster
The Bronze
Starring: Melissa Rauch

Ten years ago Hope Greggory won a Bronze Medal at the Olympics but also injured her herself in the process, cutting her career short. She’s still a celebrity in her hometown but to say she’s doing well is an understatement. When a young rising star needs a coach, Greggory takes on the challenge but hopes to regain glory for herself instead of her protege.  A hilarious dramedy written by and also starring The Big Bang Theory‘s Melissa Rauch.

mv5bmtexmzu0odcxndheqtjeqwpwz15bbwu4mde1oti4mzay-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_
Arrival
Starring: Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner

Mysterious spacecraft hover over twelve different locations on planet Earth. No one knows what they want or why they are here and linguist expert Louise Banks is brought in to try to learn their language and communicate with the visitors. If you’re looking for an alien movie along the lines of Independence Day or War of the Worlds, this is not it. Instead, Arrival is  a thought provoking film about humanity, the future and the choices we make in life.

fundamentals_of_caring_xlg
The Fundamentals of Caring
Starring: Paul Rudd

After a tragic accident alters his life forever, a retired writer takes a job as a caregiver to a young man with muscular dystrophy. The two embark on a road trip across the country and pick up a few passengers along the way.  A funny, yet touching dramedy based on the book by the same name. Find it on Netflix.

onesheet
The Shallows
Starring: Blake Lively

Following her mother’s death, Nancy Adams visits a secret beach in Mexico to do some surfing and soul searching. On her last wave of the day, she is attacked by a great white shark and is forced to spend the night trying to survive on a small rock that will soon be covered in water as high tide approaches. The story is simple, but less is more works in the film’s favor in this suspenseful tale. Blake Lively’s best performance to date.