'Top Gun: Maverick': Patches On Tom Cruise's Jacket Spark Controversy

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Corky, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. Peacoat

    Peacoat Bartender Bartender

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    Perhaps, but in Top Gun he should have done some research into how real pilots talk on the radio during combat. I found his portrayal of a pilot during the dogfights to be painful.
     
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  2. Deacon211

    Deacon211 Practically Family

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    Interesting topic.

    I’ll admit I was captivated by the movie Top Gun as a teen; not so much for the “story” which was truly classic ‘80s action fodder, but for the spectacular flying scenes. Honestly I can’t think of another movie that used real aircraft and had the level of cinematography necessary to capture it. No stock footage or CGI here.

    I am exceedingly dubious that TG2 will be able to deliver the same in this day and age. But I could be wrong!

    As to the OP's question. TC's jacket in the original TG was indeed supposed to be his father’s and IIRC had several Vietnam Nam/Korea vintagish patches, the patch in question being a Far East Tour ‘63 cruise patch.

    It’s unlikely that he would have a new “old” jacket with a near identical set of patches. This was almost certainly changed to address someone’s sensibilities.

    The patches are of course mostly nonsensical. IIRC he has some straightforward flying patches, but also Marine patches, a Seabee patch, and patches from non aviation ships that an aviator would likely have not served on. I seem to recall someone claiming that Maverick’s dad had been a SWO in a previous life. But that’s a lot of unused backstory and the choice of insignia was I contend done for visual appeal alone.

    As to why Maverick has so many doggone patches, I think you’ll find that was not uncommon. Particularly in the VN era, an aviator's jacket became a wearable history of his career. I’d almost suggest that this was a consequence of the leather jacket itself. Since changing patches on leather presented obvious problems and pilots grew sentimentally attached to their jacket, pilots would tend to add patches of significance rather than turning in their jackets every time they changed units.

    In my day, this trend had already begun to die out. More-so in the Marines, but also with my Navy buddies, we tended to either keep our jacket simply adorned or affixed higher quality embossed leather insignia in something of a nod to WW2. In fact I’d almost argue that the sudden popularity of “Top Gun” jackets everywhere sort of put a damper on the custom amongst actual aviators who didn’t want to be accused of being all “Hollywood”.

    Lastly, I don’t know how old Maverick is supposed to be in this movie. But by way of comparison he was an O-3 about 3 years before I was an O-1 and he is a whatever 7 years after I retired from the reserves as an O-5. He might well be an Admiral (I know of a few generals that are from my era), but it is unlikely that he would be doing much active flying. I can’t say what other countries militaries do, but sadly the American military has less foresight than some about allowing its pilots to stay in the cockpit at a reduced rank. In the US it is indeed up or out in almost all cases, though I think you can stretch out your last few ranks in the reserves.

    In short, don’t look for any more realism in the second Top Gun than the first. [emoji16]


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    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
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  3. The Jackal

    The Jackal One of the Regulars

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    I think the trailer I watched mentioned he was a Captain, so an O-6 in the Navy.
     
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  4. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Cage is an excellent example of an outstanding actor who occasionally makes "commercial choices". Gary OLdman has often done the same; I remember seeing him in an interview once essentially saying that doing mainstream fluff like Lost in Space allowed him to do the projects he really wanted to take on, like Nil By Mouth. Nobody could match Cage in leaving Las Vegas - or, indeed (for it's flaws, which were chiefly in the different choices it made from the comic book), Kick Ass (a lightness of touch which made it a superb triumph where a lesser actor would have been neither sympathetic nor believable). Of course, not one actor who has ever walked God's gren earth could have saved that abominable remake of The Wicker Man (though whoever thought of green-lighting such a woman-hating script hopefully got caught out by #metoo ).

    Waiting for the box set to hit Netflix or Prime, but the stills I've seen look great.

    Good film, just a shame about Cruise. Add in Colin Farrell (underrated as an actor) and it would have been something.
     
  5. dubpynchon

    dubpynchon Practically Family

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    Nic Cage was great in Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. He played a complete coke head corrupt cop, which suited his over the top acting style, if it is a style that is, or just him being Nic Cage.
     
  6. Blackadder

    Blackadder Call Me a Cab

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    I have always thought Top Gun was a great movie made for teens. It got all the ingredients, fast pace (including the romance) pop rock, cool dudes and gals, rebellious main character. I watched it in my early teens and I thought it was cool. I didn't care about the correctness of anything (patches, etiquette etc) back then, who in their early teens would anyway. Ok so it isn't Tora, Tora, Tora or Midway which I also watched on TV and videos as a teen and fully enjoyed them as well probably as a nerd (staying home and watching videos all the time) but Top Gun as a made for teens movie is one of the most memorable ones and Tom Cruise was mainly working on teen movies before that (The Outsiders, Risky Business, All the Right Moves, Legend etc) and The Color of Money came out the same year therefore that year was his transition so his acting would not have mattered in Top Gun given his look. I just looked at the Ebert report on Top Gun back then and was surprised that he tried to compare the romance part with that of the An Officer and a gentleman. How many teens would go to watch a romantic drama?
    As for the patch, I think it is more political correctness than appeasement in a movie. It kind of stick out because Hollywood just began to be sensitive on this topic, what is the big deal? I am not pro communism or pro China but this political correctness thing has been in all mainstream movies way before this. Product placement in a movie is way more distasteful.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
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  7. zebedee

    zebedee One Too Many

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    I have not seen it, but I'll get on to it.
     
  8. Bushman

    Bushman My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Feel exactly the same way. "Valkyrie" is a great movie, but not because of Tom Cruise. It's a great movie because it actually happened. Like my father, I'm a sucker for a "based on a true story" movie no matter how embellished. As a fan of not only The Era, but of WWII in general Operation: Valkyrie was an absolutely fascinating story of what was nearly the most successful assassination attempt of Adolf Hitler. The added paranoia the failed attempt had on Adolf Hitler led to greater strategic mistakes at crucial points of the European war, which only led to the quicker end to the war.

    It's funny because I was remarking to a friend who was going on about this whole storming Area 51 business, that we really have no idea what they were developing in those labs. In the '40s, before the Iron Curtain even fell, the US and Nazi Germany were in a race to develop the nuclear bomb. Had Nazi Germany not been defeated in May of 1945, we very well could have seen a nuclear ICBM before the end of the decade. We are talking about the government that developed the rocket, the missile, and the jet engine after all. In the face of this impact, Tom Cruise having a starring role seems small by comparison.

    Same for "Minority Report." Great for the story, not for Tom Cruise, who I honestly find forgettable in the role. Unlike "Bicentennial Man" or "I, Robot", which are also part of the Asimov "Robot" series of novel, I couldn't remember who the lead was in "Minority Report" if I had a million depending on it on "Jeopardy." "Bicentennial Man" had Robin Williams, Sam Neill, and Oliver Platt. "I, Robot" had Will Smith, Alan Tudyk, and a young Shia Labeouf. Then there's "Minority Report" where the story far outshines the star.

    Like you said, the problem I find with Tom Cruise is how generic he can be. I look at him, and I don't see Maverick, or Ethan Hunt... I see Tom Cruise. It's the same problem I have with Stallone. While Stallone is a legitimately good actor, I just look at him and see either Rocky or Rambo. I see a generic, oiled up '80s muscle guy. It's a shame, because he has talent when he's allowed to be something other than his typecast. With Bogart it worked because he had enough charisma to pull off different characters. Sure, they were always the same personality in one way or another, but it worked because whether it was "Casablanca" or "The African Queen", he had a face that blended into the role, and not into the person.

    Disagree about Cage, who I find to be a mediocre actor best left for goofy semi-comedic roles like Benjamin Gates in the "National Treasure" movies.

    Disagree that it has anything to do with being PC, and everything to do with audience. China is the fastest growing audience on the international market today, and as they grow as an audience, the more Hollywood is going to go after that market. Hollywood catering to China has been a thing for several years now. I remember that just last year, Universal changed one of the dinosaurs in their last Jurassic Park movie to be a Chinese dinosaur to appeal to Chinese audiences.
     
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  9. Blackadder

    Blackadder Call Me a Cab

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    Oh like changing a Caucasian character to Wesley Snipe in Rising Sun?
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
  10. Bushman

    Bushman My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I suppose in a remake one can take as many creative liberties they like so long as they remain within the spirit of the original.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
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  11. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    Pretty good, Bushman. Cruise is a pushy little guy with an unctuous "look at me" style of performance that appeals to a lot of people and repels as many others.

    Cage belongs to a log tradition of ham actors. Overstatement is often mistaken for talent. Nevertheless it can sometimes be fun to watch.
     
  12. Blackadder

    Blackadder Call Me a Cab

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    1) There is no mention of any Asian character in Top Gun 2. There is just the patch that has a Taiwanese and a Japanese flag that may or may not anger the Chinese audiences.
    2) I quote from- Wiki Political correctness is "used to describe language, policies, or measures that are intended to avoid offense or disadvantage to members of particular groups in society." Flip side is avoiding offense or disadvantage may be seen as catering or appeasement. What about representation? There are indeed Dinosaurs bones found in China and therefore Dinos that are named by Chinese but it sounds so bad when people say that is appeasement or catering in stead of representation.
    3) Hollywood have changed, moving from Starsky and Hutch to Lethal Weapons to Bad Boys. What is the difference this time? Representation or appeasement?
     
  13. nick123

    nick123 I'll Lock Up

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    The Bridges at Toko Ri wins my vote for best Navy flight film...just had to get this into the public record.
     
  14. Justhandguns

    Justhandguns Practically Family

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    The fact that the Chinese audiences are very sensitive in these minor details, and it can turn a billion dollar blockbuster into a flop within one day. I don't think any film producers would want that to happen. Like Blackadder said, it looks good as we haven't seen a Chinese actor/actress in the main cast, yet. The chance of seeing any 5th gen jets in TG2 is also quite slim as well, I seriously doubt that the US Navy would let them get close to their F-35 with Chinese investment involved.

    When I watch Tom Cruise's movies, I am always looking for entertainment, not for his acting chop nor his brand of charm. It was a pleasant surprised with his take on Jack Reacher. And if you have read Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels, you'll know that Reacher should be an intimidating, 6ft+, fair hair and blue eyes ex-MP man, and yet, Tom Cruise seemed to be pretty convincing in the movies as a serious character.....
     
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  15. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax

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    Correction. Chinese government.

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  16. Mich486

    Mich486 One Too Many

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    What I don’t understand about Tom Cruise is his constant state of over excitement which is kind of creepy to me. What’s up with the guy? The whole Scientology thing then... well... lol

    I enjoyed watching Top Gun although I can’t watch movies anymore where the US are the saviours of the world vs evil Russians or the likes. I find it extremely cheesy, boring etc.


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  17. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Stallone was super in Copland. That recent surgery, though.... yeesh. It's like he's trying to emulate whatever his mother is trying to turn into, with equally bad surgery.

    Cool with me if there's no plot reason the character has to be white. C/f casting a black Goebbels vs Samuel L Jackson's masterful owning of Nick Fury - a character who previously was always represented as white. (Over in DC world, Harvey Dent has varied between white and black many times, with nil effect on the story either way.)

    Well, the government are the primary censor and wouldn't let it through - but even if they did, the Chinese are fiercely nationalist and protective of the symbols as much as any American. If the government censors missed something but the audiences picked up on it, it's as likely it would be a flop. I had a colleague was reported to the party secretary of the university by students because said colleague once inadvertently referred to Taiwan as Taiwan - not "Taiwan Province", as it is officially known.

    There was a time when the Chinese government would just ban something if it had a problematic element; now they are more likely to work with the studios to produce a version that can be sold to the Chinese market, bringing money into China. Aside from this sort of thing, this can mean looking at how Chinese characters are represented. They're fine with an even balance of Chinese villains and heroes, but if all the Chinese depicted are seen to be bad guys, that is a problem (a scene in one of the Men In Black films was cut for China because the only Chinese characters in the film, running a Chinese laundry in a US city, were actually evil aliens on the run from the MiB.

    Hollywood itself is keen to keep the Chinese market sweet because capitalism, and this can have an impact on projects too. Shooting in China for tax breaks, product placement for the Asian market, and locations the local audience recognise all comes into it. Then there was the Red Dawn remake, in which during early stages of production they decided the villain would be North Korea and not China for the simple reason that this would keep the Chinese market open, and with it billions more dollars of potential income.

    As I noted above, being PC or representative or whatever else it is that makes people wet themselves because James Bond doesn't have a winky any more, has absolutely nothing to do with this decision: it starts and ends with the earning potential of the film and not wanting to do anything to limit the same.

    Also worth noting Tom Cruise is possibly the single most popular Western male movie star in China - he's revered almost like a god out there, so China is a massive market for any Cruise vehicle.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
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  18. Ernest P Shackleton

    Ernest P Shackleton One Too Many

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    This isn't to argue on his behalf, because scientology...well...scientology...he has a ton of weight and responsibility on his shoulders. High energy, hyper-positivism, keep-it mainstream and boilerplate are his duties being the face of that whole thing. Milk toast. It's no coincidence he was the glory boy for so many conformist, go-with-the-flow types in his prime (still is?). Fraternities. Athletes. Obviously, military. Party like an animal, but not like Animal House. Party like the privileged party. It's all highly calculated, which is why his bouncing around on Oprah's couch was so surprising. It was a clear miscalculation...maybe a moment of seeing behind the curtain. I'd love to know how many hours in conference rooms, and through encrypted phone calls, were made to try to spin that situation. Or maybe he's a deity in that deal and is never questioned.
     
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  19. Stand By

    Stand By One Too Many

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    Good eye on the patches! Goodness. I don't think I'd ever have noticed.
    The trailer looks good to me. I loved the original film back in the day and TC doesn't make bad films IMO. It's part of his intense, over-achieving, perfectionist personality.
    Re; the patch switch: Yep, total appeasement to the Chinese lest Hollywood offends those who've underwritten the US debt burden ... A shame, but it's a fact and there it is. And some excellent points made here throughout, even those I may disagree with. I've enjoyed them all.
    And as for TC, I can confess that he's my favourite actor along with Tom Hanks. I didn't realize until I saw The Last Samurai and that last scene where he reluctantly bows to the Emperor, veins ready to burst, the shaking, the intensity ... and ever since then, I just love his acting and roles. Jack Reacher was a most pleasant surprise (after the unremarkable trailer) and my joint-favourite film of all time is Vanilla Sky (along with The Truman Show). I adore that film and it's a most worthy remake of an otherwise unremarkable European film given the Hollywood treatment. War Of The Worlds was great too - I think people didn't like it just because the end was so abrupt - but that's just how H.G.Wells wrote it. And Edge of Tomorrow is superb! TC makes it a totally immersive movie.
    I have learnt to separate TC and his Scientology-cult thing from the characters he plays and I appreciate what he brings to every role (100%) and I just enjoy his films no end. He has great charisma and looks the part and is a great movie star.
     
  20. ton312

    ton312

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    Last samurai just hit prime and I forgot how much I liked that movie! It’s got Hollywood pitfalls for sure but overall I really enjoy that picture.
     

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