‘Top Gun – Maverick’ is Action-Based “Dad Cinema” At Its Very Best

‘Top Gun – Maverick’ is Action-Based “Dad Cinema” At Its Very Best

The moving story in “Top Gun: Maverick” of a fatherless son’s journey toward healing is proving popular with audiences worldwide. This is a film highlighting the importance of fatherhood, portraying a tale of reconciliation and redemption.

Top Gun: Maverick is smashing box offices, and it’s easy to understand why.

The film is spectacularly outpacing its weak-because-they’re-woke counterparts, because the film’s unapologetic dad themes resonate.

Alongside the gutsy F-18 camera shots, audiences are in love with the Tom Cruise/Joseph Kosinski sequel because its father-son backstory hits home.

Even the, “it’s all flag-waving, MAGA propagandist tripe” critics are applauding the sequel for keeping to the consistency of the first film’s deep relational backbone.

As The Atlantic’s David Sims explained, the film’s ‘emotional weight rests on Pete Mitchell (Maverick) fighting to earn the respect of Goose’s son (Rooster), who blames Maverick for the tragic loss of his father.’

Childhood Memory

For me, Top Gun: Maverick cut deeper.

My family and I recently saw the film for a birthday bash. The only thing missing was my dad.

Watching the first Top Gun at the cinema with my dad was to be one of the only long-lasting positive memories I would have of him.

It was 1986, I was 9, and we’d turned up late to the cinema.

Missing the iconic afterburner intro of the first Top Gun, dad and I slid into our seats in rhythm with Tony Scott’s smooth golden orange sunset, shot high above a lone F-14 landing on the silhouette of the USS Enterprise.

It became a shared interest, a mutual pursuit, a common bond solely shared between father and son.

From the soundtrack, which always seemed to be on repeat in our broken-down housing commission home, to the old-school Amstrad computer game, the movie connected us.

This was true, right up until my dad’s final week, when, knowing he would never get a chance to wear it, I gifted him a T-shirt with the Top Gun logo on it.

Now covered in dust, I still hold onto the volumes of Warplane magazines he’d chosen to buy me, instead of paying “through the teeth” for participation in a weekend sport.

Healing

I related to the second film because of the first.

Similar to ‘Goose’s’ son in the film, I was confronted by what was lost, what might have been, and what my dad chose to abandon somewhere along the way.

The sequel made the memories all the more material when Val Kilmer (Iceman), tells Maverick — still haunted by the death of ‘Goose’ — “It’s time to let go.”

Seeing the first film at the cinema in 1986 with my dad was an oasis event, an anomaly of normalcy in a wasteland of ash.

This explains why, in almost every scene of Top Gun: Maverick, I heard, and felt my dad’s absence, and choked up at Hans Zimmer’s rendition of Faltermeyer’s iconic Top Gun anthem.

We’re taught in The Good Book to raise up thanksgiving in the face of suffering. Even the smallest object or event that is worthy of our gratitude puts points on the board when it comes to healing trauma.

In retrospect, watching Top Gun with my dad in ’86 was the first, and only time he offered me a healthy introduction to manhood.

His wasn’t perfect, but that was a perfect day. That day my dad did good, and for that I thank him.

For me, the only thing missing from Top Gun: Maverick was the man who took me to see the first one, sitting, at his best, beside me and my uber-impressed family.

Top Gun was, and is, about loss, grief, and recovery; fatherhood, and fatherlessness — as much as it is about courage, defiance, and the determination to overcome obstructions encountered along the way.

The sequel builds on its original father-son backstory. It is “dad cinema” at its very best.

To lean on Miles Surrey’s review in The Ringer,

‘Every single dad — past, present, and those who are expecting to be dads in the near future — should check out Maverick, if not for the sanctity of ensuring Dad Cinema doesn’t fade away, then for experiencing a blockbuster that surpasses its predecessor in every respect.’

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First published at Dads4Kids.

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Pat Boone Smashes Hollywood’s Slow Death By a Thousand Woke Cuts

Pat Boone Smashes Hollywood’s Slow Death By a Thousand Woke Cuts

American singer and actor Pat Boone speaks up about the toxic effects of declining morals and increasing political correctness on Hollywood productions. Their virtue-signalling is in stark contrast with their cowardice in the face of actual human rights abuses.

Living legend Pat Boone has slammed Hollywoke in a promotional event for his latest faith-based film, The Mulligan.

Boone, 87, criticised Hollywood’s new ‘morality’, and how it is dragging the American entertainment industry further away from its ‘altruistic’ roots.

He told Fox News,

“I don’t know how to put it strongly enough, but I just think the film industry is committing suicide. It’s killing itself as far as I’m concerned. America’s image is being destroyed. High ratings have become more important these days. We used to try to put our best foot forward.”

The biggest name next to Elvis in the 1950s described movies being made today as ‘immoral’, unimpressive, and devoid of meaning.

Mucked-Up Media

For Boone, it’s not just the film world. The depravity is also infecting streaming services and television.

He added,

“On television, you can hear all sorts of swear words. Nothing short of actual pornography is celebrated now. Sure, people can criticize those films today and call them unrealistic, but we were being altruistic. We wanted to present people in the best light. Now, we’re just taking pleasure in profit, presenting people in the worst light and celebrating it.”

Boone, a friend of Christian vaudeville-esque rock musician Alice Cooper, used Netflix’s Big Mouth as an example, with Fox noting the animated show’s “vulgar sexualising” of children in their early teens.

Expanding on this, the NYPost wrote, Boone, who is still a devout Christian, laid the blame for the mess Hollywood is in at the feet of ‘studio executives.’

Boone ‘claimed’ they were ‘resorting to shock tactics in a desperate bid to gain ratings.’

The NYP article cited the Walk of Fame star’s moral backbone, explaining how his consistent morality was linked to his faith, and how this, coupled with a discerning work ethic, keeps Boone from “scrapping his moral code for the box office.”

He once turned down a Marilyn Monroe film, expressing concern about playing a man who has an affair with an older woman.

Pat Boone has sold over 45 million albums and starred in 12 Hollywood films. Billboard rated the singer as the ‘second-biggest charting artist of the later 1950s.’

His latest film, The Mulligan, tells the story of an avid golf player and businessman who meets a retired golf pro. He is then challenged to repair his damaged life by turning towards God, and ‘what really matters in life.’

Stifling

Boone’s criticisms of Hollywood’s corrosive moral downgrade are shared by Hollywood in Toto editor, Christian Toto.Virtue Bombs Hollywood book

Toto’s new book, Virtue Bombs: How Hollywood Got Woke and Lost its Soul, analyses the politically correct paralysis holding back creativity.

One of his key premises is that the woke revolution is the ‘antithesis of creativity.’

Quoting God’s Not Dead and Unplanned co-creators Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman, Toto asserted “the goal should be to tell a good story or great story.”

However, going woke means applying Cultural Marxist restrictions to storytelling:

“The stories that the woke people want to tell are for only one point of view and one perspective […] They don’t want our virtues. They don’t want our vision of what’s right and wrong. They don’t believe in families, in traditions.”

Peeling back the layers of wokeism, Toto explains how Hollywood is, always has, and always will be, guided by fear.

On top of the fear of missing out, aging, and offending the wrong director sits the new fear of ‘being cancelled’ for not being “woke” enough.

In light of Toto’s analysis, Pat Boone’s blunt critique of the industry he’s called home for over 50 years takes on sharp poignance.

Boone is closer to the bone of fact than disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s fairytale assertion in 2009, “Hollywood has the best moral compass.”

As I stated in a Caldron Pool article criticising actor John Cena’s woke apology to the CCP from June last year: Christians and Conservatives are out. Cultural Marxism is in.

Whitewashed

Putting to one side the terror of McCarthyism, Hollywood and Communism have a shared history.

The ongoing appeasement of Chinese Communists is not far from Hollywood’s celebration of Stalin’s barbaric “antifascists.”

(See Disney’s “social justice” woke warriorism vs. Disney’s silence on the CCP’s human rights abuses, such as the persecution of Christians, mistreatment of prisoners, and ethnic minorities.)

This appeasement is also not far from Hollywood’s decision in the 1930s to maintain neutrality wherever possible. In order to keep from directly enraging the Germans, Hollywood practised a selective self-censorship of anything which displayed blatant opposition to the Nazis, or Nazi ideology.

When Hollywood did move to oppose Nazism, it froze that activism, in support of the Soviet Molotov-Ribbentrop-pact from which the Soviets and Nazis carved up Poland.

This two-faced nature of the Hollywoke industry is probably why A.W. Tozer called the entertainment world one of the ‘sleaziest fields of human endeavour.’

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King of Kings: Reflections of a 14-Year-Old Girl

King of Kings: Reflections of a 14-Year-Old Girl

Memories of a classic film on the life and death of Christ bring forth moving reflections on the wonderful gift of love and salvation which God has bestowed on us all. This Good Friday, let us contemplate the immeasurable love which God has for each of us, that He chose to die on the cross for our sins, that we may join Him in peace and joy forever.

The most influential movie regarding the Gospel, at least in my ‘B.C.’ (Before Christ) young life, was this:
Back in the 1960s, King of Kings came to the screen. Jeffrey Hunter, a dark-haired handsome young man with piercing blue eyes, played the role of Jesus Christ.

TormentKing of Kings blu-ray

I remember sitting in our house on one Good Friday. I had showered and washed my hair, mopping the water up with a turban twist towel. All I could do was cry and cry.

Being a teenager, I was a bit conscious of my blubbering and kept the noise level down. I was brokenhearted and deeply touched at the Gospel come to life.

My towel mopped up tears without ceasing.

Jesus was stoic and “opened not His mouth” through the cruel, inhumane punishment he was subject to. I, on the other hand, was screaming silently in abject terror and horror at what my Jesus suffered.

Unexpected Revelation

The Holy Spirit was revealing God to me.

Another layer of reaching out with such infinite love. Hollywood, the most self-indulgent bunch of people walking on the face of the earth, had put His story to film and brought it to life. Those were more tolerant times regarding Christianity, of course. Ask Mel Gibson what he faced when working toward and through The Passion of the Christ!

Redeemed

As I write this, it’s Palm Sunday 2022.

As I remember the impact King of Kings had upon me that afternoon, I remember being incensed at the thought that anyone could possibly call the day He died ‘Good Friday’.  How could they?

Now I know why. He took EVERYTHING that was bad and miserable about ME and made it Good. Only His Blood could forgive and take away my sins; there was no other way.

The Lamb of God, slain from the foundations of the world, was going to be enough to save me from hell, eternal separation from Him. Had you or I had taken His place, it would have been woefully inadequate, even though well-intentioned.

He was the ONLY spotless one. The ONLY sinless one. The only truly GOOD One.

From Sorrow to Joy

My old Pastor used to say to me, “Leonie, injustice is like waving a red flag in front of a bull to you.” And I still rage against the machine in this regard.

How was I to know that this injustice produced righteous justice? Salvation and restoration became available to mankind, once and for all.

Greater Love has no one than this: that a man should lay down his life for his friends.

Jeffrey Hunter died not long after the making of King of Kings. I pray He came to really know Jesus personally, and his biography signifies the chances of it being very likely.

Because his portrayal of my Saviour certainly impacted my life forever, I remember that Good Friday with bittersweet memories of a young girl crying her heart out in a towel. Tears of grief became tears of repentance, then tears of joy. How Great Thou Art!

CALVARY
Music: Ivan Robson, Lyrics: Leonie Robson. 1987

Calvary, on a dark April day
While the cold wind it blows,
Thunder roars, the sun holds back its rays.

See Him, hanging there on that tree,
By the palms of His hands,
And His feet, ripped with spikes of steel.

Tortured, by the lash, flaying skin
And His head crowned with thorns,
Inches long, His skull they gash and pierce.

Weeping, all His loved ones they grieve,
Watch as life slips away
From the Man they followed and believed.

In His dying moments, spoke this sinless Man
Prayed and asked His Father,
Forgive those killing Him!
Look at His face, His loving eyes
He saw the truth they all hid inside
He knew them all, their every sin
And so they sought to silence Him.

So, He was rejected, accused of blasphemy
By all those priests and rulers
Who claimed that they knew God!

And so He died, in anguished pain
His life of good seemed was lived in vain
God’s miracles, wrought by His hand
Now lost in hate, at a man’s command…

First flickers of sunlight, breaking through the trees,
A still and heavy calmness fills the air;
The tomb in which they laid Him stood open to the day,
But Jesus, no Jesus wasn’t there! He wasn’t there,
He wasn’t there…

He’s risen, He’s risen!
He defeated the powers of death and hell
He truly is the Son of God, why couldn’t they all tell?
They waited for His coming, and yet they didn’t know Him,
Or His love.

He’s risen, He’s living
Died on earth but broke death’s chains
His purpose completed, victory form sin and pain!

Lamb of God,
Righteousness,
Holy One,
Saviour,
Son of God,
Prince of Peace,
King of Kings,
Jesus Our Lord!

___

Image: Titian, Christ Carrying the Cross (c. 1565)

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