Episode 100: Top Gun (1986)

The guys head into the Danger Zone with Maverick and Goose on this week’s podcast for the big episode 100 on Tony Scott’s 1986 film, Top Gun. The Bit Players celebrate this listener-selected movie by talking about the film’s seemingly limitless cultural reach, the film’s iconic soundtrack and moments that go with the songs, as well as the incongruous relationship of critical and audience response. The guys give a big upside-down middle finger to the first 100 episodes and look forward to 100 more.

Top Gun (1986)
Director
Tony Scott
Stars
Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt, Michael Ironside, Tim Robbins

Selected By
Listener Vote

5.0

what movies are
About

Aired Monday, September 11, 2017

The guys head into the Danger Zone with Maverick and Goose on this week's podcast for the big episode 100 on Tony Scott's 1986 film, Top Gun. The Bit Players celebrate this listener-selected movie by talking about the film's seemingly limitless cultural reach, the film's iconic soundtrack and moments that go with the songs, as well as the incongruous relationship of critical and audience response. The guys give a big upside-down middle finger to the first 100 episodes and look forward to 100 more.

Featuring "Playing with the Boys" by Kenny Loggins

Episode 89: Minority Report (2002)

On this week’s podcast, the guys break down Steven Spielberg’s 2002 adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise and Colin Farrell. The Bit Players dig deep into the efficiency of 2054’s Washington D.C. pre-crime unit, marvel at how they stopped a single murder at all with such an insane system, but mostly just sit back and take solace in the fact that Cops is still on air. They discuss how quickly it takes for Cruise to enter full-on sprint in this movie, perhaps the fastest in his career, the interesting ways that Spielberg plays with tone in such a serious world, and the brilliant performance from Max von Sydow, who was also in the Seventh Seal. Don’t forget, Max von Sydow, actor in the Seventh Seal.

Minority Report (2002)
Director
Steven Spielberg
Stars
Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, Max von Sydow

Selected By
Clark

4.2

Aired Monday, April 10, 2017

On this week's podcast, the guys break down Steven Spielberg's 2002 adaptation of Philip K. Dick's Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise and Colin Farrell. The Bit Players dig deep into the efficiency of 2054's Washington D.C. pre-crime unit, marvel at how they stopped a single murder at all with such an insane system, but mostly just sit back and take solace in the fact that Cops is still on air. They discuss how quickly it takes for Cruise to enter full-on sprint in this movie, perhaps the fastest in his career, the interesting ways that Spielberg plays with tone in such a serious world, and the brilliant performance from Max von Sydow, who was also in the Seventh Seal. Don't forget, Max von Sydow, actor in the Seventh Seal.

Episode 77: Collateral (2004)

The Bit Players hop in the cab in with Jamie Foxx and Tom Cruise as they discuss Michael Mann’s 2004 film Collateral on this week’s podcast. They talk about how Mann’s style is once again front and center in his film, which is especially impressive given the close proximity the viewer is afforded to such mega-stars as Cruise and Foxx. The film, like his 1995 film Heat before it, explores two characters on the opposite ends of morality who might have more in common than they originally thought, and the guys discuss the ways in which Mann chooses to reflect that. Some of those choices work (Foxx’s Max meticulous with his cab as Vincent is with a pistol) while some…just don’t (Audioslave and coyotes).

Collateral (2004)
Director
Michael Mann
Stars
Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett-Smith

Selected By
Jarryd

4.4

what movies are
About

Aired Monday, November 21, 2016

The Bit Players hop in the cab in with Jamie Foxx and Tom Cruise as they discuss Michael Mann's 2004 film Collateral on this week's podcast. They talk about how Mann's style is once again front and center in his film, which is especially impressive given the close proximity the viewer is afforded to such mega-stars as Cruise and Foxx. The film, like his 1995 film Heat before it, explores two characters on the opposite ends of morality who might have more in common than they originally thought, and the guys discuss the ways in which Mann chooses to reflect that. Some of those choices work (Foxx's Max meticulous with his cab as Vincent is with a pistol) while some...just don't (Audioslave and coyotes).

Episode 73: Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)

Listen with your vampire ears as the Bit Players talk about the puffy-shirted, rouge-coated 1994 film Interview with the Vampire on this week’s podcast. The Anne Rice adaptation starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt is all pomp and circumstance, leaning heavily into grandiosity and stage-worthy theatrics and presents a classy, cultured view of vampire lore with Pitt and Cruise playing opposing sides of the coin with Cruise’s Lestat relishing in his nightly delights and Pitt’s Louis brooding and crying all over the film’s rather protracted runtime. The guys talk how the film constantly feels at odds because of its unrelenting focus on Louis, a bonafide bummer of a creature, when all we want is Lestat Lestat Lestat. They break down how Pitt learned the hard way that you can’t share a screen with Blonde Tom Cruise and come out looking adept at your job.

Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)
Director
Neil Jordan
Stars
Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Antonio Banderas, Kirsten Dunst, Christian Slater

Selected By
Brian

4.0

Aired Monday, October 17, 2016

Listen with your vampire ears as the Bit Players talk about the puffy-shirted, rouge-coated 1994 film Interview with the Vampire on this week's podcast. The Anne Rice adaptation starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt is all pomp and circumstance, leaning heavily into grandiosity and stage-worthy theatrics and presents a classy, cultured view of vampire lore with Pitt and Cruise playing opposing sides of the coin with Cruise's Lestat relishing in his nightly delights and Pitt's Louis brooding and crying all over the film's rather protracted runtime. The guys talk how the film constantly feels at odds because of its unrelenting focus on Louis, a bonafide bummer of a creature, when all we want is Lestat Lestat Lestat. They break down how Pitt learned the hard way that you can't share a screen with Blonde Tom Cruise and come out looking adept at your job.

Cruis’n World: The Firm (1993)

The guys are back to Cruis’n the World with Sydney Pollack’s 1993 legal thriller The Firm. They talk about what a bizarre film it truly is, probably saved only by some of Tom Cruise’s finest running sequences as he smokes a silken blonde baddie, Gene Hackman’s wonderfully phoned-in nuance, and the various ways to distinguish one John Grisham film from another. Despite all of the film’s obvious flaws, it features some amazing character performances from Holly Hunter and Gary Busey, and Lil’ Tommy is on top of his game, making it an essential piece of his filmography.

The Firm (1993)
Director
Sydney Pollack
Stars
Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman, Hal Holbrook, Wilford Brimley, Holly Hunter, Gary Busey

Selected By
The Bit Players

3.2

Aired Monday, April 25, 2016

The guys are back to Cruis'n the World with Sydney Pollack's 1993 legal thriller The Firm. They talk about what a bizarre film it truly is, probably saved only by some of Tom Cruise's finest running sequences as he smokes a silken blonde baddie, Gene Hackman's wonderfully phoned-in nuance, and the various ways to distinguish one John Grisham film from another. Despite all of the film's obvious flaws, it features some amazing character performances from Holly Hunter and Gary Busey, and Lil' Tommy is on top of his game, making it an essential piece of his filmography.

Cruis’n World: Days of Thunder (1990)

Rev up your engines for the first installment of Cruis’n World, the Bit Players semi-regular celebration of Tom Cruise. For the first time out, the guys head to Daytona, Florida for Cruise’s 1990 NASCAR film Days of Thunder, directed by Tony Scott. The film sees Cruise steaming up the screen with Nicole Kidman and burning up the track with Robert Duvall and Michael Rooker. Days of Thunder came at a time when Cruise was nearly at his most powerful, riding the success of another Scott-directed film, Top Gun, and he could do no wrong here. A character named Cole Trickle doesn’t even need a backstory, as long as he’s got some smoke to emerge from.

Days of Thunder (1990)
Director
Tony Scott
Stars
Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Robert Duvall, Randy Quaid, Michael Rooker, Cary Elwes

Selected By
The Bit Players

3.8

Aired Friday, October 2, 2015

Rev up your engines for the first installment of Cruis'n World, the Bit Players semi-regular celebration of Tom Cruise. For the first time out, the guys head to Daytona, Florida for Cruise's 1990 NASCAR film Days of Thunder, directed by Tony Scott. The film sees Cruise steaming up the screen with Nicole Kidman and burning up the track with Robert Duvall and Michael Rooker. Days of Thunder came at a time when Cruise was nearly at his most powerful, riding the success of another Scott-directed film, Top Gun, and he could do no wrong here. A character named Cole Trickle doesn't even need a backstory, as long as he's got some smoke to emerge from.

Midnight Showing: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)

The guys bust out the popcorn and soda again for another Midnight Showing episode, this time for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. The fifth installment of the Tom Cruise-helmed series is one of the strongest yet, and they break down what about the film they liked, didn’t like, and what made it such a unique experience. Writer and director Christopher McQuarrie uses the team ensemble of regulars Cruise, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, and Ving Rhames to great effect, highlighting friendship as a major theme throughout, but perhaps the character who steals the show the most is the British spy Ilsa, played by Rebecca Ferguson, whose fighting skills would make even Jack Reacher blush. As Midnight Showing is as much about the experience of moviegoing as the movie itself, the guys discuss the trailers that played before their screening, the ways they got hyped for the fifth installment, and the atmosphere surrounding the cinema.

Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation (2015)
Director
Christopher McQuarrie
Stars
Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris

Selected By
The Bit Players

3.6

Aired Wednesday, August 5, 2015
The guys bust out the popcorn and soda again for another Midnight Showing episode, this time for Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation. The fifth installment of the Tom Cruise-helmed series is one of the strongest yet, and they break down what about the film they liked, didn't like, and what made it such a unique experience. Writer and director Christopher McQuarrie uses the team ensemble of regulars Cruise, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, and Ving Rhames to great effect, highlighting friendship as a major theme throughout, but perhaps the character who steals the show the most is the British spy Ilsa, played by Rebecca Ferguson, whose fighting skills would make even Jack Reacher blush. As Midnight Showing is as much about the experience of moviegoing as the movie itself, the guys discuss the trailers that played before their screening, the ways they got hyped for the fifth installment, and the atmosphere surrounding the cinema.