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'Top Gun: Maverick' is apparently a total Gen X win and frankly, we deserve this

top gun, tom cruise, movies

"Top Gun: Maverick" reviews are raving.

If you're anything like me, when you heard that a "Top Gun" sequel was being made nearly three decades after the original, you may have rolled your eyes a bit. I mean, come on. "Top Gun" was great, but who makes a sequel 30 years later and expects people to be excited? Especially considering how scrutinizing both audiences and critics tend to be with second films.

Then I saw a trailer for "Top Gun: Maverick," and was surprised that it looked … super not terrible. Then more and more details about the film emerged, then more trailers and behind-the-scenes footage were released, then early reviews started rolling in and … you guys. You guysssss. I don't know how the filmmakers managed to pull it off, but everything about this film looks absolutely incredible.

And frankly, as a member of Gen X who saw the original "Top Gun" at least a dozen times, I could not be more thrilled. We deserve this win. We've been through so much. Many of us have spent the better part of the past two decades raising our kids and then spent the prime of our middle age dealing with a pandemic on top of political and social upheaval. We've been forgotten more than once—shocker—in discussions on generation gaps and battles. So to have our late-'80s heartstrings plucked by an iconic opening melody and then taken into the danger zone in what reviewers are saying is the best blockbuster in decades? Yes, please.


I was concerned that "Maverick" might not be as good as the initial trailer looked, but the vast majority of film critics who have screened it have said it will exceed everyone's expectations. It got a five-minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival over the weekend. More than one reviewer has used the word "perfect" to describe it. Seriously.

Check out this sampling of rave reviews:

"I’m stunned, STUNNED at how absolutely outstanding TOP GUN: MAVERICK is! Perfect pace, thrills, cast, chemistry!!!" Rob Liefeld.

"As soon as #TopGunMaverick ended, I wanted to watch it again. And again. And again. One of the greatest sequels of all time." Cameron Frew.

"Yes I’m gonna say it and I don’t care who disagrees. #TopGunMaverick is a perfect movie. They don’t make movies like that anymore. You wait and see. Your expectations of this movie should be higher than you think."Kristian Harloff

"TOP GUN: MAVERICK is the perfect blockbuster. Not only did it feature dazzling aerial combat sequences, but I actually cried, it’s that emotional. And call me crazy, but I humbly predict that it WILL land a Best Picture nod next year. It’s not just THAT good, it’s VERY good." Jeff Sneider

Have you seen the trailer? You have to watch this trailer. (Goose's son. Oh. My. Gracious.)

I'm not a big fan of rah-rah military movies, nor am I a fan of testosterone-filled bro films. I'm not even a huge Tom Cruise fan, so the fact that I can't wait to see "Top Gun: Maverick" has come as a surprise to some people who know me. I can't help it. I loved the intensity and excitement of the original and from everything I've seen and read, this movie outdoes its predecessor in every way.

"Top Gun," only better? Be still my cynical Gen X heart.

To understand why this is a movie that must be seen in the theaters, check out how they had the actors actually go through naval training and fly in the fighter jets to film the action scenes. So incredible.

In theaters May 17. Can. Not. Wait.

Pop Culture

Two brothers Irish stepdancing to Beyoncé's country hit 'Texas Hold 'Em' is pure delight

The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.

Gardiner Brothers/TikTok (with permission)

The Gardiner Brothers stepping in time to Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em."

In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.

As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.

And she inspired the Gardiner Brothers to add yet another element to the mix—Irish stepdance.

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Maybe that's the thought process Kellogg's CEO Gary Pilnick was going with when he unintentionally sparked some serious backlash. Pilnick was interviewed by CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" discussing the cereal giant's new commercial featuring Tony the Tiger. The commercial itself isn't really the problem. It features a mom holding a box of cereal with kids excitedly awaiting their cereal for dinner chanting along with Tony the Tiger's call to eat the sweet meal.

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Kevin Bozeat had that fact in mind when he fell ill while living in Taiwan and needed to go to the hospital. He didn't have insurance and he had no idea how much it was going to cost him. He shared the experience in a now-viral Facebook post he called "The Horrors of Socialized Medicine: A first hand experience."

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Lewinsky partnered with Reformation for their "You've Got The Power" voting campaign

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The former White House intern became the source of media obsession after her affair with former President Bill Clinton become public. It solidified her place in history against her will, but through her actions since, Lewinsky has transformed her public persona into a feminist icon and champion of a powerful anti-bullying campaign.

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A combo meal from Wendy's.

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Recently, Ticketmaster, known for charging high fees, has been charging customers even more for tickets as demand rises.

On Monday, February 26, news reports began circulating that Wendy’s, America's 5th most popular fast-food chain, would implement dynamic pricing at its restaurants. Many assumed that meant a Dave’s Double burger would cost an extra $3 during dinner time or medium fries would cost an extra buck during the lunch rush.

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There's so much good out there if you know where to look.

Canva

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There is an anecdote to all of that, though: Curating and cultivating the good. Sometimes it's just knowing where to look to find examples of problems being solved, discoveries being made, innovation taking huge leaps and other evidence that humans are moving our collective life forward in incredible ways.

Someone on Reddit asked, "What is currently in its 'Golden age,' but not enough people know about it?" and thousands of people responded. Reading through the answers is an enlightening and uplifting glimpse of things we might not personally be involved with but are happy to see having a heyday. Like, who wouldn't like to know that we're in a golden age of astronomy and paleontology. Space and dinosaurs? It's like realizing our 5-year-old selves' ideal future.

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