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Top Gun: Maverick’s Iceman Scene Is A Beautiful Val Kilmer Tribute

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Top Gun: Maverick’s Iceman Scene Is A Beautiful Val Kilmer Tribute

Warning: SPOILERS below for Top Gun: Maverick!

Top Gun: Maverick handles the legacy aspects of the original movie well, particularly the relationship between Maverick and Iceman, which acts as a fitting tribute to Val Kilmer. Tom Cruise returns as Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell as the lead member of the cast for Top Gun: Maverick. Cruise is joined by a host of new pilots, with Miles Teller playing Lieutenant Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, the son of Maverick’s old wingman, Goose. Val Kilmer also returns in a small role as Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, who has become a four-star admiral in the Navy since Top Gun.

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The sequel to Top Gun features plenty of callbacks to the 1986 original movie but can also be enjoyed by newcomers to the franchise. Top Gun: Maverick centers around Tom Cruise’s Captain Mitchell preparing the U.S. Navy’s best young fighter pilots for a nearly impossible mission. Most of the movie’s emotional weight stems from the relationship between Maverick and Rooster, but Iceman’s appearance is Maverick‘s most poignant moment.

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Related: Does Top Gun: Maverick Have An After Credits Scene?

Before its release, there were reasonable concerns that the movie would not live up to the original film because Top Gun Maverick was delayed for so long. Despite that, the early reception to Top Gun: Maverick from critics and general audiences alike has been overwhelmingly positive. Maverick has been praised for successfully introducing several compelling new characters, its surprisingly heartfelt script, and, of course, the adrenaline-fueled aerobatic stunts. As well as that, Maverick is an excellent legacy sequel because of the small but important role that Val Kilmer’s Iceman plays.


Iceman’s Top Gun: Maverick Scene Is One Of The Sequel’s Best

During the first act of Top Gun: Maverick, Iceman has no screen time but his presence is still felt. The admiral’s interactions are either through text messages with Captain Mitchell or with lower-ranking Navy members enforcing his orders. Iceman is the only reason that Maverick is invited back to TOPGUN, so it is crucial that he is in the film. It also makes sense that Iceman isn’t seen that frequently given he is one of the most important Navy officers, but some audiences may have feared that he might not show up given Val Kilmer doesn’t appear in the Maverick trailers in person.

Eventually, Admiral Kazansky does appear on-screen when Captain Mitchell visits his house in the most emotional scene of Top Gun: Maverick. Iceman is the only high-ranking officer who has Maverick’s back, with Ed Harris’ Rear Admiral Chester “Hammer” Cain and other Navy commanders against Maverick because they think he’s a reckless flyer. The conversation between the two veterans plays off the dynamic that Iceman is Maverick’s boss, but actually, the relationship between the lifelong friends is what really matters between them.


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The conversation is an important cathartic moment for Maverick, who, at that point, is struggling to deal with the recruits, particularly the disinterested Rooster. Iceman’s part in Top Gun: Maverick is different from his antagonistic role in the cult classic Top Gun, but crucial because he gives Maverick the reassurance and confidence he needs to believe that he is the only person who can teach the young pilots how to fly the mission. What also makes the scene great is that despite his health, Iceman can’t help but joke about who the better pilot is between the two, referencing their rivalry from the 1986 movie. Iceman’s death soon after their reunion is naturally a sad moment, and without Val Kilmer’s performance, Maverick would have lost a big part of its emotional weight.


Related: Does Tom Cruise Fly The Plane In Top Gun 2?

How Top Gun 2’s Iceman Scene Reflects Val Kilmer’s Real Life

In 2015, Val Kilmer was diagnosed with throat cancer and consequently underwent multiple operations on his trachea. The procedures limited Kilmer’s ability to talk which explains why Iceman doesn’t talk much in Top Gun 2. For most of Iceman’s scene in Top Gun: Maverick he communicates by typing onto a computer screen. In real life, Val Kilmer is able to talk using an artificial voice box, but this is not used in Maverick, although he does speak one line to Captain Mitchell before he goes.  In 2021, Kilmer released a documentary about his life and career titled Val, which also shows how he has adapted to life since recovering from cancer.


Why Iceman Dies In Top Gun: Maverick

The death of Iceman is a pivotal moment in Top Gun: Maverick. Jon Hamm’s “Cyclone,” the commander of Naval Air Forces, is openly against Maverick teaching his young pilots how to fly the mission because Tom Cruise’s character is a constant rule breaker. The only reason Maverick had the job was because Iceman kept sticking his neck out behind the scenes to keep him there. Part of the reason why Top Gun: Maverick reviews are so positive is Maverick fall from grace and redemption arc. Losing his last ally means that he has a fall, which he then rises up from.

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Without Iceman’s death, Top Gun: Maverick would not have had the same inspirational sequence of Maverick flying the practice route in record time to inspire Rooster, Phoenix, and the rest of the crew. It also led to a change of heart in Cyclone’s mind because as well as bringing Maverick back in, he was also promoted to leader of the mission, rather than just the instructor. Although Maverick would have preferred to have his wingman by his side, Iceman’s death is a necessary step to make everyone else understand and realize Maverick’s greatness.


Why Iceman’s Death In Top Gun 2 Is A Fitting Sendoff For Him

Maverick, which will be available to stream following its cinematic release, is a fitting tribute to Val Kilmer because it satisfyingly concludes the story of the character he is most famous for playing. Kilmer has starred in a long list of high-profile movies, including Tim Burton’s Batman Forever, Ron Howard’s Willow, and Michael Mann’s Heat, but Iceman will forever be the character for which most remember him. His appearance in Top Gun: Maverick was cleverly written and the parallels to Kilmer’s real life help bring his Hollywood career full circle in an elegant and respectful way.

Related: Top Gun 2’s Original Movie Differences Show How Tom Cruise Has Changed

Val Kilmer does not have any upcoming projects planned, but that doesn’t mean he is retiring just yet. In 2021, as well as releasing Val, Kilmer also starred in The Birthday Cake alongside Ewan McGregor, which suggests his desire to continue acting is still there. But if Top Gun: Maverick is Val Kilmer’s last movie then it is a fitting way to end a distinguished career.

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Next: Top Gun & Top Gun 2 Are Both Defined By Dead Characters


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Watch Sigourney Weaver and Kevin Kline in the trailer for The Good House

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Watch Sigourney Weaver and Kevin Kline in the trailer for The Good House

Sigourney Weaver and Kevin Kline starred together in the1993’s Dave which is a great movie. They have reunited for The Good House and you can watch the trailer below.

The Good House follows Hildy Good (Sigourney Weaver), a wry New England realtor and descendant of the Salem witches, who loves her wine and her secrets. Her compartmentalized life begins to unravel as she rekindles a romance with her old high-school flame, Frank Getchell (Kevin Kline), and becomes dangerously entwined in one person’s reckless behavior. Igniting long-buried emotions and family secrets, Hildy is propelled toward a reckoning with the one person she’s been avoiding for decades: herself.

Based on the best-selling novel by Ann Leary, THE GOOD HOUSE is directed by Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky, and stars Sigourney Weaver, Kevin Kline, Morena Baccarin and Rob Delaney.

You can read our review here.

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The Good House opens in US cinemas on 30th September 2022.

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Stars Drop Marvel Hints

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Stars Drop Marvel Hints

Actors can’t be trusted. They are always on the look out for work, always have an uncanny ability to make things about them, and generally need a handler to keep them out of trouble. When they are let out unsupervised they can frequently let things slip.

At C2E2, actress Rosario Dawson spoke about the old Netflix Marvel shows being integrated into the MCU more effectively and mentioned that The Punisher was the only show she had not featured in.

Then she had this to say:

“I heard [the SDCC] announcement, but I found out yesterday that ‘The Punisher’ is happening again.

So, I feel like it’s my second chance because it was the only one of the [‘Defenders’] shows I wasn’t in, and I love Jon Bernthal. So, let’s all make it happen, collectively, you guys!”

Then she tried to backtrack on Twitter after the event:

“I can’t be trusted…! Getting intel from fans during signings is iffy, apparently. My bad. I get excited. Confirmation is key when you’re told what you want to hear.”

There is quite a bit of bit of wishful thinking on behalf of actors and the MCU. Ryan Gosling wants Ghost Rider. Taron Edgerton wants Wolverine. The fans want Giancarlo Esposito in just about anything because he’s awesome. The actor himself addressed this at an appearance at the smorgasbord of gatherings that is the TJH Superhero Car Show & Comic Con in San Antonio this past weekend.

He’s had a brief initial meeting with Marvel about joining the MCU in some capacity in the future. He said he knows he makes a good villain but he would like to play a hero. If he was offered Professor X, as per the online rumors, would he accept? He confirmed he would.

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Blu-ray Review: THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD Runs to Criterion

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Blu-ray Review: THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD Runs to Criterion

The quickness with which bold Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier’s latest, the accomplished if also a little uneven romantic shapeshifter The Worst Person in the World (Verdens verste menneske), was dubbed the third entry in a loose “Oslo trilogy” was nothing if not dizzying.  

Already sporting an equilibrium all its own as a narratively driven kind of open dialogue around male/female romantic relationships, its being lumped in with the director’s considerably heavier efforts Reprise (2006) and Oslo, August 31 (2011) only adds unnecessary baggage to a work that actively demands to run free.  

In fairness, all three not only share Trier and the setting of Norway’s capital; they also all star actor and full-time medical doctor Anders Danielsen Lie.  But he is not the main character this time.

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Finding a fully earned degree of global acclaim following a lauded run on the international festival circuit, The Worst Person in the World resonates as a singular film in twelve demarcated parts, with a prologue and an epilogue.  Depending upon one’s life experience, the story of romantic relational foibles, perils, attractions, temptations, and messy reconciliations is never not relatable.   

While the song sung is of an old, overly- familiar subject, its beat-changes run out at us with creative abandon. It wails and riffs from one movement to the next as though all the players- director, co-writers, actors, the cinematography department, the art department, wardrobe, hair and makeup, props, even the extras (many of whom found themselves “frozen” in challenging positions during the prolonged practical filming of a vital “time-stopping” fantasy sequence) are in rare accord.  Jazz by way of Norway.

In his January 2022 Sundance Film Festival review for ScreenAnarchy, Dustin Chang said, “Joachim Trier and his writing partner Eskil Vogt, as they always do, bring maturity and erstwhile wisdom to their new film, The Worst Person in the World. And they tell a story decidedly from a young woman’s point of view in an ironically titled film.”  While Dustin does a fine job of articulating the deep sensations that the film evokes, the passage of months since Worst Person’s debut has helped clarify a few aspects that can be further explored.

While The Worst Person in the World does a top-notch job of showcasing its lead, Julie (a particularly radiant-at-times Renate Reinsve), it cannot be overlooked that director/co-writer Joachim Trier and his co-writer/creative partner Eskil Vogt are male, and therefore imbuing a male perspective from the project’s initial spark. In the fifty-minute Criterion-produced bonus feature, The Making of The Worst Person in the World, Reinsve, Trier, and Vogt discuss how the actress was brought in as a key voice in shaping Julie’s perspectives and concerns, going well beyond the typical level of input an actor would be granted.  

Yet, the implication remains that the default voice would always be male.  This is never more overt than with the character of Julie’s most serious love, Aksel (Anders Danielsen Lie), a successful underground comic book artist with over a decade of life experience over Julie.  

Though sympathetic throughout, his rants and concerns tend to rain down in a Godardian way, which is to say, he’s a fired-up leftist with a born-in misogynistic streak. Late in the film, his recollection of a time when tangibity mattered in terms of media consumption, and things we could collect and hold in our hands are the words of someone of Trier’s generation (he was born in 1974; Vogt as well). That The Worst Person in the World presents as effectively from a female perspective while in actuality is thoroughly male with female advisory is perhaps the major success behind its enigmatic appeal.  

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The performances, Reinsve’s performance in particular, leaves one with the sensation that, yes, this is what vulnerability looks like — unsure, enveloping, vulnerable.  Reinsve’s moments of character exuberance are as infectious as her occasional pain-inflicting cuts are potent.  

In his aforementioned review, Dustin astutely points out that “there is a sense of defiance in these characters and especially in Julie, played by Reinsve, who gives a tour-de-force performance, trying to navigate this crazy, complex and uncertain world on her own terms, even if her life decisions were bad.”  Julie won’t let herself get too close to anyone, an anger that has something to do with her father.  (The hallucinatory lashing-out scene might be as bloody feminine-perspective as it gets).

The Worst Person in the World.jpg

Meanwhile, Aksel’s complicity in allowing his signature comix character’s famed attribute, his asterisk-shaped asshole, to be removed from his animated movie likeness is indicative of his own shedding of youthful defiance, something that Julie just can’t do.  (Also, as Aksel gets older, perhaps he no longer identifies as an asshole… even as he is more likely to be one?)  

Meanwhile in the handful of deleted scenes on the disc, Julie steals not one but two chocolate bars from a grocery store under her boyfriend’s nose.  That time, it’s the other boyfriend, the content barista Eivind (Herbert Nordrum), who cannot get behind what she’s doing.

Shot on fast 35mm film, The Worst Person in the World harbors a particularly warm, absorbing graininess and tactility.  This is the kind of realization that, for most, only comes once the non-digital method is discussed as they are in the Criterion bonus features.  

A separate featurette on the whats and hows of the film’s complex time-freezing sequence covers the added unforeseen challenges of filming just as Covid-19 hit.  Discussing new safety protocols following a long shutdown, we’re reassured that “everyone had masks on until the camera started rolling”… as we see set footage of an unmasked dolly grip lugging a section of track between the key cast and crew.  

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This guy is far from the only unmasked or mask-down crew member shown. Like Trier’s characters, not only was the set itself obviously somewhat defiant and maybe reeling, it was bordering on self-destructive.

In any case, The Worst Person in the World landed as one of the Best Films of 2021, a well-deserved recognition that, we’re told, surprised so many involved.  Now that it’s enshrined in the Criterion Collection (on Blu-ray and DVD), its esteem will be all the more ingrained.  

The disc’s packaging is hard to miss, as it is fronted with a rudimentary, warped rendering of a nude Julie smiling as she holds her own bleeding heart over the faceless likeness of her two beaus.  Is this a paper cutout?  An online doodle?  The most delightfully twisted thing ever?  It’s hard to imagine this newly commissioned and unlikely minimalist artwork by Bendik Kaltenborn not racking up purchases on its own accord.  

Criterion serves up a new 2K digital master for the film, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD master audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray.  It’s a great mix that truly compliments the many musical and aural tonal shifts heard throughout the twelve-plus chapters.  

The supplements aren’t many — just the Making Of, the time-freeze featurette, and the deleted scenes — but it’s enough.  They are rendered with terrific quality similarly to the film itself, even going as far as to utilize onscreen chapter cards.  Throughout the course of them, we hear from Trier; co-screenwriter Eskil Vogt; actors Renate Reinsve, Anders Danielsen Lie, and Herbert Nordrum; cinematographer Kasper Tuxen; and sound designer Gisle Tveito.  The essay insert is by critic Sheila O’Malley.

It’s a wee bit ironic that The Worst Person in the World, a film about contemporary human inability to intimately connect and commit fully to one another and our deep-seated lack of self-knowledge, thrives precisely because of connection, collaboration, and self-knowledge.  It’s tellingly difficult to get at the cut-out heart of this newfangled must-see, yet it resonates like a thousand romantic comedies and psyche-shattering human dramas all ground into one distinct cup of coffee.  

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That it reads as an empathetic men’s telling of a deeply relatable uncertain woman makes it kind of like that compelling cold brew that you just can’t peg, but profoundly enjoy.  You will go back to it again and again if given the chance.

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