Tag Archives: Miles Teller

Film Review: Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

Captain Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell is recalled to Top Gun for a mission where instead of being a fighter pilot, he has to train the Top Gun graduates. While returning to Top Gun, Maverick’s emotional phase meets new parallels, he reunites with his former girlfriend and faces his best buddy Nick ‘Goose’ Bradshaw‘s son Bradley ‘Rooster’ Bradshaw who is infuriated for genuine reasons. More than that, Maverick is still heartbroken by Rooster’s demise.

It is a crazy theory that one of the most iconic, memorable, and beloved films of all-time, Top Gun, can be thought to fetch a sequel after crossing three decades with the same poster boy and results in the legacy of the work meeting new heights. Top Gun: Maverick is unarguably the most ideal sequel one can dream of for their favorite film. This film exceeds all the expectations. It is a groundbreaking success and in my opinion, a cinematic masterpiece dramatizing aviation. You watch such incredible flying sequences and your eyeballs dare not to locomote for a microsecond.

Tom Cruise at 60 shows no signs of slowing down. He along with Top Gun graduates who are young pilots learned to fly fighter jets. They all were put through extensive three-month training to avoid air sickness. While shooting the scenes, the cast was sitting in the fighter jets behind the military pilots. And obviously, they didn’t get to sit straight in F/A-18. They had to go through Cessna 172, then Extra EA-300, then L-39, and eventually F/A-18 when the cast had built a strong ‘G tolerance‘. The young cast can exert that physical pressure but someone at 60 has to be a metahuman. Tom Cruise cruises his life towards extraordinary bounds. This is exactly why Tom Cruise is globally respected and recognized as a true superstar.

One of the most distinguished aspects of the old Top Gun film was the rivalry between Maverick and Tom ‘Iceman’ Kazansky. With the new film moving in a different direction, it was a blessing to see Val Kilmer somehow reprising his role and face Maverick for that one memorable scene. Writing off the Iceman character from the franchise once and for all was the right idea.

Miles Teller as Goose’s son Rooster was the perfect choice who facially reminds us of Anthony Edwards as Goose in the old film. This character was added with the burden of the emotional tragedy that became a complaint towards Maverick especially when the latter wasted a few years of the former’s career. Rooster’s significance to Maverick is so much Donnie Creed to Rocky Balboa.

The writing of this film never disappointed. I liked the pressing about Maverick’s character that despite old age, he wanted to fly and fight. Because this is what he meant to do. He is not a teacher but a naval aviator, a fighter pilot. His repeated insubordination didn’t let him grow further. Or maybe he chose to refuse to obey orders so that he could remain at his post for the love of flying.

The most impressive part of the writing that was followed from the old film is the introduction of the old flame, Penny played by Jennifer Connelly. This character was mentioned twice in the old film but was never shown who she was. Thirty-six years later, we all actually happen to watch this girl coming back into Maverick’s life, and is so exciting. Not sure why Kelly McGillis was not brought back. Could have been equally exciting to see her again meeting Maverick at some point in the film.

With the passing of thirty-six years between the two films, I also liked the recognition of moving ahead from manned aircraft to remote-controlled drones as noticed in the first scene. In order to avoid the shutting of Mav’s scramjet program, he flies the prototype to Mach 10 after which Rear Admiral Hammer Cain warns Maverick that the era of crewed fighter aircraft will soon end.

There was one thing I felt missing in the flying sequences in the old film – a birdstrike. This happened here and I am glad the makers showed the consequences of such tragic incidents. There were many breathtaking flying sequences but the one that screamed my soul was when the team struggles to escape from the SAMs after destroying the Uranium enrichment plant.

I was not convinced by a few factors in the screenplay. For example, the new rivalry between Rooster and Hangman was not detailed as Ice and Mav and therefore looked forced to remind us of the old rivalry. The character of Rooster is not much significance to the film as it should be for a strong supporting role. Mav takes command of the story in its entirety that Rooster looks like filling the minutes. The writing of Rooster lacked the strength to build its own importance in front of Maverick. The way Mav and Rooster stole F-14 from the destroyed air base looked like the writer was running out of ideas. It looked flat to me.

Top Gun: Maverick, in addition to the points I praised above, is the winner in the sound department as well as cinematography and direction. The writing of the film showed that the writers were faithful to the Top Gun legacy and therefore, gifted a respectable and very dedicated sequel to the audience.

RATINGS = 8.6/10

Movie Review – Whiplash (2014)

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Curtains raise and the show begins with no silly nonsense or boring beginning. Two main characters are remotely defined. One is first-year Jazz student Andrew who is hugely inspired from the legendary Jazz drummer, Buddy Rich, and wants to make his name as a Jazz drummer like him. The other character is Dr. Terence Fletcher, who is very stern and abusive Jazz instructor at Shaffer. In microseconds, he judge the music player and promote/demote him.

As the characters are potentially well described in first 15 minutes, the next is creating a charisma in student-teacher bond. With above intros of the core characters, it is merely understood what to expect but let the bargaining of your choice be settled in the classroom where they share a bravura for your best moments of watching a high-class drama.

Let me assure you, no sweat will dry, no bandage will stop blood, no sound will go mute. You will remain attentive till the end. Your ears will have an orgasm when Andrew will be all set to perform on a big stage in the final act.

When you make a drama movie based on music or a movie based on a life of a musician, the most important element is sheer MADNESS. You have to make the viewer crazy from every inch of presentation specially the character’s relation with the instrument he/she marries. That potential is also watched when lil Buddy and smashing teacher cross all the limits to produce one legitimate and accepted sound of a beat. When the music is played, LOVE is to feel every inch of its beat that drives you to other level. Insanity is must and if you are addicted to music, then ‘Whiplash’ is an absolute marijuana.

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Whiplash is a hardcore musical drama written and directed by 30-year-old Damien Chazelle. Movie is inspired from director’s real life experience. Damien is the real-life Andrew who struggled to make it as a Jazz drummer in high school at Princeton High School.

The director gives full justice with Jazz music and remembers legendary Buddy Rich on a higher note. It is very sophomore effort of Damien Chazelle to revitalize the genre of drama and give music a new meaning to life with psychological intensity. It will hit you hard specially those who made music their path but failed or gave up. 

Why Whiplash has marvelous creation of intensity? The major reason is the burning heart and boiled rage of filmmaker towards its being a rel-life story-line which inspires him to present originality and give freshness of characters as part of his life. 

Miles Teller and J.K.Simmons have played the characters Andrew Neiman and Dr. Terence Fletcher respectively. I must admit both have given equal respect to the roles they played and have done a terrific job. I am trying to understand why Miles Teller wasn’t nominated for ‘Best Actor’ in recently concluded Academy Awards. This actor at least deserved the nomination. 

The other side of coin, J.K.Simmons, has presented or shall I say augmented a supreme skill of acting. I doubt if he even was acting or what? How can anyone be so natural? His presentation of pedagogy is a silent whisper. He looks devil but teaches gospel. Superb body language and remarkable portraying of a highly demanding music teacher who will offend you to any level but make you a perfect music player. I will not rate him less than 9.8/10 if I am asked to judge his acting on rating scale. 

You are an ass if you reject this masterpiece. No doubt, one of best pictures of 2014. 

Ratings: 8.7/10

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