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I just read on the CBC news website that talks are underway for Top Gun (1986) sequel.

I just read on the CBC news website that talks are underway for Top Gun (1986) sequel.

It was reported that “Tom Cruise recently confirmed he is in talks for a Top Gun sequel.”

“I hope we can figure this out, to do it again,” the 49-year-old actor told MTV News in Dubai.

“We all want to make a film that is in the same kind of tone as the other one and shoot it in the same way as we shot Top Gun.”

A Top Gun sequel, I am not sure how to react to this news.  While I may be giving away my age, I saw Top Gun in the theater (several times) and looking back on it now, the cast was “power house” to say the least.  The film starred Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Meg Ryan, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt and Michael Ironside.  Directed by Tony Scott and produced by the famed Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer.

What interests me most is who will produce the film?  For 14 years Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer were probably the most successful producing partnership in history.  Their films include Flashdance (1983) with Jennifer Beals, Beverly Hills Cop (1984) starring Eddie Murphy, Top Gun (1986) with Tom Cruise, Beverly Hills Cop II (1987) and Days of Thunder (1990) with Tom Cruise as “Cole Trickle.”  And that is just their 1980’s repertoire.  By 1995, they produced one hit after another.  In that year alone, Simpson was responsible for Bad Boys (1995), the Will Smith/Martin Lawrence film that was Columbia Pictures’ highest grossing movie of the year; Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds (1995); and Crimson Tide (1995).  In 1996, Simpson produced The Rock (1996) starring Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage. The film brought in nearly $350 million worldwide at the box office, and set the video rental market record as the most-ordered film in history.  Unfortunately, the Rock was Simpson’s last movie.  Don Simpson died in 1996 “of natural causes.”  This is B.S. because after reading the biography of Simpson, the amount of drugs he did rivaled (if not surpassed) that of the fabled Hunter S. Thompson character described in his most famous book (and later two films) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Bruckheimer, nicknamed “Mr. Block Buster” is still producing like crazy.  He was recently quoted as saying: “Top Gun (1986) is no different from Pirates of the Caribbean – in fact, they’re very similar because both movies were working in genres that were dead.  Fighter pilot movies had all failed and pirate movies had been dead for a long time.  We approached them from a different angle.”

A curious quote, from a very successful man.

This gives me the inspiration to do another trilogy, a tribute to Don Simpson.  So that is what is coming next folks.

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2011 in Movie Reviews

 

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Let’s Take a Trip Back to the 1980s: Fast Times At Ridgemont High.

Where do you start with a movie like this?  Let’s go with the fact that Fast Times served as an incubator for many of today’s great actors and actresses: Sean Penn (one of my personal favorites), Anthony Edwards, Eric Stoltz, Phoebe Cates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, a young Nicolas Cage performing under his real name “Copolla,” Judge Rienhold,  James Russo and Forrest Whitaker each appeared in this film early in their careers.  The cast was not solely composed of soon to be stars; Fast Times also had some more seasoned actors in it like Ray Walston (My Favorite Martian) who played Mr. Hand, the history teacher and the dearly departed Vincent Schiavelli who played the biology teacher, Mr. Vargas.  Fast Times was a launching pad for many of these major movie and T.V. stars.

Next is the movie’s great soundtrack.  Songs like “Speeding” by The Go Go’s, “Somebody’s Baby” by Jackson Browne—on a side note, this song reached #7 on the Hot 100 and became Browne’s highest charting single, interestingly “Somebody’s Baby” was not included in a Jackson Browne album until 15 years later when his first “best of” collection was released.  Other great songs include  “Love Rules” by Don Henley, “Fast Times At Ridgemont High” by Sammy Hagar, “I Don’t Know” by Jimmy Buffett, “Goodbye, Goodbye” by Oingo Boingo, “Fast Times (The Best Years Of Our Lives)” by Billy Squier, and “Raised On The Radio” by The Ravyns.  The Fast Times soundtrack reads like a Who’s Who of 1980s top bands and music for the decade.
Now the story of Fast Times: the movie portrays teenage life but is virtually plotless, it simply chronicles a group of teenagers as they stumble their way through high school.  Typical of so many 1980s teen movies, much of it (rightfully so) takes place at the local mall giving the viewer the opportunity to reminisce about all those timeless 80s arcade games.   Though virtually plotless, the basic storyline involves Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn), the ideal slang-talking emptyheaded surfer sporting Hawaiian shirts.  Spicoli has a hard time with the formality of school, especially as it is personified by his history teacher, Mr. Hand (Ray Walston).  The two begin to have a battle of wills which surprisingly evens out in the end.  Brad Hamilton (Judge Reinhold) is a senior who hops from one fast-food job to the next but has no idea what he is supposed to do in life even though everyone, including his guidance counselor, expects a lot from him.  Stacy Hamilton is a guy-crazy chick who is sensitive, but always wants sex and attention, leading her first into the arms of an older man, and eventually into those of Mike Damone, a cocky hustler, when the only guy who genuinely cares for her is nerdy Mark Ratner. Damone is a shady character, a charming sweet-talker who scalps tickets with his piano scarf and does what he can to make a quick buck.  He tries to help Ratner score with Stacy, then steals the girl right out from under him.  Ratner is an insecure nerd-type who has a good heart and just wants his shot with Stacy.  He finds himself brokenhearted when he uncovers Damone’s betrayal.  Linda Barrett is Stacy’s best friend and confidante, a very sexy, confident girl who is constantly moving from one guy to the next and sort of becomes a quasi role model for Stacy. That’s essentially the basic foundation for what goes on.

In conclusion, this is the best 80s teen movie. Fast Times separates itself from “Brat Pack” films (the group of young actors and actresses who frequently appeared together typically in John Hughes’ films like The Breakfast Club) due in part to a much stronger cast.  Think of where the actors and actresses from Fast Times are now versus members of the Brat Pack.  Fast Times is required viewing for teens, adults and anyone with a fondness for 80s culture.

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2010 in Movie Reviews

 

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