The Kabuki People Want To See

With heat waves, and the inevitable extinction of humanity practically around the corner, why not talk about what’s happening in the cool, comfortable theaters that we’re told are also doomed? To help us keep things light and pleasant, we’ve recruited film critic Sonny Bunch to chat about the elegiac Top Gun: Maverick, the rockin’ biopic Elvis, and the not-so-buzzy Lightyear. 

The trio also get into the President’s positive Covid test – which isn’t a big deal all of a sudden. They discuss the calls for “executive beast mode,” and ponder one of the biggest existential questions of all: what’s up with a moose in the wild?

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There are 41 comments.

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  1. ToryWarWriter Coolidge
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Why settle for less Netflix? Because we only paid for the right to watch what they, with their array of different contracts and copyright restrictions, are permitted by copyright holders to stream in our particular region.

    But are the rest of you guys actually able to watch Australia Netflix from the USA using Express VPN?

    When my VPN is activated, about 19 times out of 20 Netflix knows it’s on and only streams its own exclusive all-regions content.

    A friend of mine uses his VPN to skirt taxes. He bought his airline tickets in another country and was able to save 400 bucks.  That is the type of thing they should be advertising.  I suggest looking into ways to use VPNs online.

    Also I fully suspect most VPN’s are owned and advertised by the NSA, because thats what I would do.

    • #31
  2. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Taras (View Comment):

    As a movie reviewer, Sonny Bunch doesn’t deserve more than a C minus for this appearance.

    Asked about current and forthcoming animation, he never mentions Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank, a clever parody of Blazing Saddles, with contributions to both screenplay and voice acting by 95-year-old Mel Brooks. Instead of a black sheriff being appointed to a racist white town to make sure he will fail, in this version it’s a dog appointed the Samurai of a dog-hating village of cats.

    Bunch, and possibly the rest of the gang, treat the flight test beyond Mach 10 at the beginning of Top Gun: Maverick as far-fetched. In fact, the manned X-15 reached Mach 6.7 in the Sixties, and an unmanned scramjet topped out at Mach 9.8 in 2004 before the money ran out.

    Bunch’s far-fetched hypothesis, that the story is sort of a wish fulfillment fantasy taking place in the mind of a dying Maverick, doesn’t explain the sailing sequence, in which the pilot is entirely at a loss, and his girlfriend is in charge. While he may technically be in the Navy, he explains, all he does with ships is land on them!

    I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I thought the idea wasn’t that Mach 10 was unlikely, but that surviving “punching out” at Mach 10 would be unlikely, to say the least.

    The Russians have used Mach 10 missiles in Ukraine. These missiles make the entire US carrier force obsolete. Or as like to call them floating death traps.

    Yes but they’re not piloted.  And not saying that piloted Mach 10 jets would be impossible.  But even if there were piloted Mach 10 “fighter jets” or whatever, “punching out” would probably be fatal.

    • #32
  3. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Taras (View Comment):

    As a movie reviewer, Sonny Bunch doesn’t deserve more than a C minus for this appearance.

    Asked about current and forthcoming animation, he never mentions Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank, a clever parody of Blazing Saddles, with contributions to both screenplay and voice acting by 95-year-old Mel Brooks. Instead of a black sheriff being appointed to a racist white town to make sure he will fail, in this version it’s a dog appointed the Samurai of a dog-hating village of cats.

    Bunch, and possibly the rest of the gang, treat the flight test beyond Mach 10 at the beginning of Top Gun: Maverick as far-fetched. In fact, the manned X-15 reached Mach 6.7 in the Sixties, and an unmanned scramjet topped out at Mach 9.8 in 2004 before the money ran out.

    Bunch’s far-fetched hypothesis, that the story is sort of a wish fulfillment fantasy taking place in the mind of a dying Maverick, doesn’t explain the sailing sequence, in which the pilot is entirely at a loss, and his girlfriend is in charge. While he may technically be in the Navy, he explains, all he does with ships is land on them!

    I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I thought the idea wasn’t that Mach 10 was unlikely, but that surviving “punching out” at Mach 10 would be unlikely, to say the least.

     They don’t actually show him punching out.  For all the audience knows, he crashlanded.  Or the cockpit ejected as an escape capsule:  astronauts returning from the ISS are traveling at Mach 23, after all.

    • #33
  4. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Rob (about 8:15): “It’s easier for the Republican Party to become nuts and to be filled with weirdos and crackpots because it’s smaller.”

    Well, no, not really. The Republican Party is more conservative than the Democratic Party. That means something. It means the people who are championing every weird and radical departure from the norms are, with very few exceptions, on the left — and affiliated with the Democratic Party or, occasionally, points left of that.

    Does anyone who has familiarity with middle America and typical American conservatism actually believe that the vast difference in the typical membership of the two parties is overwhelmed by the numerical difference in membership?

    I can trot out quite a few fruitcakes in the Democratic Party. It’s easy, because a lot of them hold high elected office or cabinet positions. Even at its worst the GOP doesn’t come close.

    • #34
  5. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Taras (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Taras (View Comment):

    As a movie reviewer, Sonny Bunch doesn’t deserve more than a C minus for this appearance.

    Asked about current and forthcoming animation, he never mentions Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank, a clever parody of Blazing Saddles, with contributions to both screenplay and voice acting by 95-year-old Mel Brooks. Instead of a black sheriff being appointed to a racist white town to make sure he will fail, in this version it’s a dog appointed the Samurai of a dog-hating village of cats.

    Bunch, and possibly the rest of the gang, treat the flight test beyond Mach 10 at the beginning of Top Gun: Maverick as far-fetched. In fact, the manned X-15 reached Mach 6.7 in the Sixties, and an unmanned scramjet topped out at Mach 9.8 in 2004 before the money ran out.

    Bunch’s far-fetched hypothesis, that the story is sort of a wish fulfillment fantasy taking place in the mind of a dying Maverick, doesn’t explain the sailing sequence, in which the pilot is entirely at a loss, and his girlfriend is in charge. While he may technically be in the Navy, he explains, all he does with ships is land on them!

    I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I thought the idea wasn’t that Mach 10 was unlikely, but that surviving “punching out” at Mach 10 would be unlikely, to say the least.

    They don’t actually show him punching out. For all the audience knows, he crashlanded. Or the cockpit ejected as an escape capsule: astronauts returning from the ISS are traveling at Mach 23, after all.

    A capsule isn’t new.  The XB-70 had one and I think the FB-111 did too.

    • #35
  6. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Okay, I finished listening to the podcast. At the risk of subverting my dumping-on-Rob theme: I think he’s got it exactly right about Top Gun, about why people like it, and about what it says about what America was and what people believe it should be.

    • #36
  7. Boney Cole Member
    Boney Cole
    @BoneyCole

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Taras (View Comment):

    As a movie reviewer, Sonny Bunch doesn’t deserve more than a C minus for this appearance.

    Asked about current and forthcoming animation, he never mentions Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank, a clever parody of Blazing Saddles, with contributions to both screenplay and voice acting by 95-year-old Mel Brooks. Instead of a black sheriff being appointed to a racist white town to make sure he will fail, in this version it’s a dog appointed the Samurai of a dog-hating village of cats.

    Bunch, and possibly the rest of the gang, treat the flight test beyond Mach 10 at the beginning of Top Gun: Maverick as far-fetched. In fact, the manned X-15 reached Mach 6.7 in the Sixties, and an unmanned scramjet topped out at Mach 9.8 in 2004 before the money ran out.

    Bunch’s far-fetched hypothesis, that the story is sort of a wish fulfillment fantasy taking place in the mind of a dying Maverick, doesn’t explain the sailing sequence, in which the pilot is entirely at a loss, and his girlfriend is in charge. While he may technically be in the Navy, he explains, all he does with ships is land on them!

    I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I thought the idea wasn’t that Mach 10 was unlikely, but that surviving “punching out” at Mach 10 would be unlikely, to say the least.

    The Russians have used Mach 10 missiles in Ukraine. These missiles make the entire US carrier force obsolete. Or as like to call them floating death traps.

    I would like to hear more about that; range, accuracy, defense mechanisms, numbers,  expense etc.  Can you do a post?

    • #37
  8. Blue Yeti Staff
    Blue Yeti
    @BlueYeti

    Nico Robinson, fledgling media critic and soon to be Dr. Robinson,  has some thoughts about James Lileks’ South Dakota windmills segue on this week’s show:

     

    • #38
  9. J Ro Member
    J Ro
    @JRo

    The first Top Gun was full of Hollywood hokey scenes. No, you don’t fly upside down, cockpit to cockpit at 500 knots with a hostile aircraft (Not without extensively briefing it, anyway, using hands motions or aircraft models on sticks, and you’re probably going to need a UN level translator!). So they faked it for laughs. It works!

    I will eventually see the new TG for the real flying thrills if not for the pumped up Hollywood story. I really like the death dream theory, though. Or maybe Maverick has dreamed the entire mission, like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Maverick does seem to have a lot of serious mishaps, which is not good for aviators. If he didn’t die in this crash, some day he’ll get whacked while speeding on his motorcycle.

    Rob is correct that “Movie stars can do what they want.” In The Longest Day, 55 year old John Wayne plays the part of a 27 year old paratrooper battalion commander. Not only was Wayne twice as old as the real Lieutenant Colonel he was playing, he was even older than his boss, Supreme Allied Commander Eisenhower! Almost no one cares. Just enjoy the action and the romance and don’t look too closely. Why, look at Rob in the funny picture above! He’s not even playing a seasoned middle aged fly boy. He’s dressed as a flight student in a training squadron who has yet to earn his Wings of Gold. It works for me.

    As for Naval Aviation, not only is all the flying done by young people, the organization exists within a steep “up or out” career pyramid. Even if Old Man Maverick could pass his annual flight physical (surely he has the eye charts memorized by now), to be promotable he would have been under pressure to take non-flying assignments (Aircraft Carrier Navigator or Safety Officer. Air Boss, if you’re lucky.), to spend years at staff college and war college (better get that Masters, too, while you’re home with family and not flying the dawn patrol!), or carrying some senior officer’s bag around the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill.

    So, outside of Hollywood, senior citizen Maverick wouldn’t be flying top secret missions in LaLa Land. He would be logging 100 hours a month flying T-shirts and ball caps from Asia in a FedEx 777. And now that I think of it, Hollywood can make a fine, hit movie out of even that if they’d just get their heads out of the boring woke writers room.

    • #39
  10. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    J Ro (View Comment):
    He would be logging 100 hours a month flying T-shirts and ball caps from Asia in a FedEx 777. And now that I think of it, Hollywood can make a fine, hit movie out of even that if they’d just get their heads out of the boring woke writers room.

    Tom Hanks already did it.

     

    • #40
  11. Charlotte Inactive
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    J Ro (View Comment):
    He would be logging 100 hours a month flying T-shirts and ball caps from Asia in a FedEx 777.

    Or, you know, rubber dog s**t.

    • #41
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