Welcome back to my Home Movies! Today, Tom Cruise takes another trip to the Danger Zone with the blockbuster phenomenon that is Top Gun: Maverick. It makes things a no contest for top honors this week, but there’s also a few notable Criterion Collection releases joining the Top Gun sequel. Read on for more…
Top Gun: Maverick
Top Gun: Maverick is still in theaters and making money, nearly six months after its initial release. Not only is this one of the highest grossing films of all-time, perhaps even more unexpectedly, it’s a great and worthy sequel to Top Gun. When Tom Cruise and director Joseph Kosinski set out to make this new installment, even they couldn’t have dreamed of the raves that would follow. The movie is likely to be a Best Picture nominee at the Oscars, for crying out loud. Cruise is great, while Miles Teller and Glen Powell are great additions. Here is some of what I had to say in my rave review:
Top Gun is an 80’s classic, without question, even if few would argue that the film is a crowning achievement of cinema. So, while it’s an incredibly fun watch and a strong star vehicle, was anyone truly clamoring for a sequel? All of that suggests that a second installment, especially decades later, would not be an incredibly good idea. Factor in delays, both to fine tune the film, as well as COVID related, and it’s almost as if the universe just didn’t want it to happen. Well, happen it did, and I’m actually thrilled to report that Top Gun: Maverick is fantastic. You likely won’t find a more exciting and satisfying big budget piece of entertainment than this. It’s an unqualified success that stands tall with any 2022 release so far.
Top Gun: Maverick could easily have just been a vanity project for Tom Cruise. Instead, it’s a moving and thrilling continuation of the character/story, going in directions you would not expect. Especially considering how ageless Cruise can often be, making this a tale of temporarily staving off the scrap heap is wildly compelling. Not only are the aerial scenes amazing, there’s an emotional core here that will wallop you at times.
Also Available This Week
The Big Bang Theory: Holiday Collection
Euphoria: Seasons 1 & 2 (TV)
From The Criterion Collection: “If the entire world is bad, why shouldn’t we be? Adopting this insolent attitude as their guiding philosophy, a pair of hedonistic young women (Ivana Karbanová and Jitka Cerhová), both named Marie, embark on a gleefully debauched odyssey of gluttony, giddy destruction, and antipatriarchal resistance, in which nothing is safe from their nihilistic pursuit of pleasure. But what happens when the fun is over? Matching her anarchic message with an equally radical aesthetic, director Věra Chytilová, with the close collaboration of cinematographer Jaroslav Kučera, unleashes an optical storm of fluctuating film stocks, kaleidoscopic montages, cartoonish stop-motion cutouts, and surreal costumes designed by Ester Krumbachová, who also cowrote the script. The result is Daisies, the most defiant provocation of the Czechoslovak New Wave, an exuberant call to rebellion aimed squarely at those who uphold authoritarian oppression in any form.”
In the Mood for Love
From The Criterion Collection: “Hong Kong, 1962: Chow Mo-Wan (Tony Leung Chiu Wai) and Su Li-Zhen (Maggie Cheung Man Yuk) move into neighboring apartments on the same day. Their encounters are formal and polite—until a discovery about their spouses creates an intimate bond between them. At once delicately mannered and visually extravagant, Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love is a masterful evocation of romantic longing and fleeting moments. With its aching soundtrack and exquisitely abstract cinematography by Christopher Doyle and Mark Lee Ping Bing, this film has been a major stylistic influence on the past two decades of cinema, and is a milestone in Wong’s redoubtable career.”