The movie I saw this afternoon blew me out of my seat.
You might say I have high standards for such things. With the state of Hollywood (and I don't mean California) there hasn't been much reason to shell out $15 and an afternoon to sit through a boring lecture produced by uncreative vipers.
First movie I've seen in a theater since maybe 2015.
If you're guessing, you might have guessed what I'm talking about.
You know I'm not watching that.
I'm talking about Top Gun: Maverick.
I don't know or care what you think of Tom Cruise, the man can make a movie.
Without spoiling anything, I can best describe the experience as like slipping on a pair of comfy old shoes and walking back into a long-forgotten childhood memory with old friends for a couple of hours.
It managed the right dose of nostalgia without being sappy, firmly planted in The Current Year without caving into the cynicism of the moment. There's no over the top pro-America patriotism, yet it avoids the opposite reaction popular among the Very Smart People. There's a strong balance between character moments and white-knuckle jet-fighter action at Mach One.
Knowing that I complain about most every movie and live with the burden of being 100% right, this was as close to cinematic perfection as I've seen in the last 20 years.
I say that acknowledging Christopher Nolan's movies, Prometheus, and Blade Runner 2049.
After a few decades of frankly awful sequels and reboots and endless cape-films that exhausted my patience by 2011, this was refreshing and not a little surprising.
Granted my interests push hard towards the action/adventure kind of film. If you're into rom-coms or whatever, I don't know. All I know is that I was pleased in a way I haven't been in years.
I'm pumped just writing about it.
There's a point in all this about honesty.
The reason most movies suck now is because they're either
Boring and unoriginal copies of far superior originals
Boring and unoriginal lectures meant to talk down to the audience while pushing an agenda
The recent Star Wars films, which had the budget and talent pool to knock it out of the park, were a sad blend of both and a shining example of the curse that a lack of integrity and honesty bring to your creations.
Hemingway said in an interview that a writer only has to write one true sentence, and then another.
Whereas the people responsible for mainstream art and entertainment can't even spell the words right. True sentences are a few levels beyond them.
This is what integrity means. It's not about refusing to "sell out". Go forth and earn your filthy lucre with my blessing.
Your integrity depends on whether you remember to write the true sentences while you're making that bank.
Be good & take it easy.
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