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Top Gun: Maverick Review — A Retro Revival Done Right

Flying high or nosediving nostalgia? Check out our review of Top Gun: Maverick.

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After being delayed a few times, not to mention the 36-year-wait, it seemed like the Top Gun sequel may have missed the boat. However, Top Gun: Maverick is a welcome return to the golden era of popcorn action films, delivering a fantastic movie that doesn’t overindulge in the nostalgia, but gives it a nod, while delivering a fitting arc for Tom Cruise’s titular character.

While it was obviously retro-fitted into the universe of Top Gun, this particular sequel is so well crafted that it almost feels like it was planned from the get-go, and the three-decade wait was to give the story more context and weight. Witnessing an older and more disenchanted Maverick battling his past demons, as well as modern aviation technology, as he comes to terms with the fact that the world is moving on is an interesting and captivating watch. Cruise’s previously self-assured and cocky Maverick is now somewhat in over his head with regards to teaching a new crew of fighter pilots, and watching his transition from former team member to leader makes for some great scenes.

As expected, the performance from Cruise is solid and it’s easy to tell that he’s ‘all in’ when it comes to these passion projects of his. The veteran actor recaptures that 80s’ charm and swagger immediately, but also showcases a more vulnerable and mature side to Maverick, something Cruise has obviously become accustomed to delivering in other projects. The supporting cast is fantastic too, with Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glenn Powell, and Ed Harris showcasing their abilities, with a special mention to Miles Teller, playing Goose’s son Rooster, bringing a lot of heart to the movie.

The on-foot action and drama are as entertaining as the egos and rivalry battles of the original movie, with extra gravity thrown due to the complex relationship between Maverick and Rooster, the son of Maverick’s former wingman, which really acts as the anchor for the entire film.

Of course, it’s hard not to talk about a Top Gun movie without the real star of the show: the jets. Director Joseph Kosinski, who is actually best known for his work on CGI-fest Tron: Legacy, went to the nth degree to ensure that as many practical shots and real-life jets were captured, and he delivered. The footage of the F/A-18 Hornets is spectacular, and the cockpit shots of the actors deliver convincing (although, they’re probably real) exclamations, gasps, and reactions to the immense G-force and inertia of the jets tell a story in itself. If you’re looking for some sun-soaked sequences of awesome-looking jets launching off air-craft carriers, barrel rolling into canyons, and dodging one another, you don’t get better than this.

Top Gun: Maverick may be hitting cinemas during this era of nostalgic retro revivals, and to an extent, it is exactly that, but it’s also so much more, bringing a relevant and much-needed arc to the character of Maverick while introducing a wealth of new interesting faces and ideas that the original Top Gun set up, and that now can finally be explored.

Jeremy created MenStuff in June 2014 in order to bring unique men’s lifestyle news, features and articles to the world. While also talking about himself in the third-person, Jeremy has worked as a professional journalist at SA Rugby magazine, MyBroadband, MyGaming, and written for FHM and TFG Tech.

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5 Must-Watch Movies of July 2022

Check out the most-anticipated movie releases of July 2022!

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July brings with it a heavy dose of animated goodness and action-packed escapades to the big and small-screen, with another entry into the MCU on the horizon, along with some exciting sequels and spin-offs.

Minions: The Rise of Gru

Release date: 1 July 2022

Steve Carrell is back for another round of Minion madness with Minions: The Rise of Gru, which is a sequel to the prequel, Minions, so essentially it’s a prequel-sequel set before all the Despicable Me movies. The story follows 12-year-old Gru and his dream to become the world’s greatest supervillain, as he embarks on an adventure to join a supervillain group.

Men

Release date: 1 July 2022

One of the most intriguing movies arriving this year is Men. Directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina, Annihilation), the psychological horror follows a young woman who goes on a solo vacation to the English countryside following the death of her ex-husband. However, instead of finding peace to greave, she is confronted with someone, or something, stalking her. Men stars Jessie Buckley, Rory Kinnear, and Paapa Essiedu

Thor: Love and Thunder

Release date: 8 July 2022

The Marvel Cinematic Universe begins to move further into Phase 4 with Thor: Love and Thunder, which finds Thor (Chris Hemsworth) on a journey unlike anything he’s ever faced – a quest for inner peace. But his retirement is interrupted by a galactic killer known as Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), who seeks the extinction of the gods. To combat the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Korg (Taika Waititi) and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who – to Thor’s surprise – inexplicably wields his magical hammer, Mjolnir, as the Mighty Thor. Together, they embark upon a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher’s vengeance and stop him before it’s too late.

The Sea Beast

Release date: 8 July 2022

From Academy Award winning filmmaker Chris Williams (Moana, Big Hero Six), The Sea Beast hits Netflix this July and takes us on another animated adventure. Starring Karl Urban (taking some time out killing superheroes in The Boys), Zaris-Angel Hator, Jared Harris, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Dan Stevens and Kathy Burke, the film takes place in an era when terrifying beasts roamed the seas, monster hunters were celebrated heroes – and none were more beloved than the great Jacob Holland. But when young Maisie Brumble stows away on his fabled ship, he’s saddled with an unexpected ally. Together they embark on an epic journey into uncharted waters and make history.

DC League of Super-Pets

Release date: 29 July 2022

And if you wanted some more animated action this July, DC League of Super-Pets follows the animal companions of the likes of Superman, Batman, and other big-name DC heroes. The movie follows Krypto the Super-Dog (Superman’s dog) who has to team up with his fellow super-pets in order to save Superman and the rest of the Justice League who have been kidnapped. The voice cast includes Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Kate McKinnon, John Krasinski, Vanessa Bayer, Natasha Lyonne, Diego Luna, Thomas Middleditch, Ben Schwartz, and Keanu Reeves.

Which movies are you most looking forward to in 2022? Let us know by tweeting @MenStuffZA, posting on our Facebook page, or commenting below.

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Prey: Watch the First Trailer for the Prequel to ‘Predator’

Check out the first trailer for Prey.

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For those who may not know, there’s another Predator movie on the way. This time, however, the film is a prequel set in the 1700s, exploring the Predator’s first journey to Earth. And after releasing the teaser a few weeks back, we now get a proper look at the movie thanks to the first full trailer.

The film, directed by 10 Cloverfield Lane‘s Dan Trachtenberg, follows a Comanche tribe as they have to deal with the cloaking, high-tech alien threat while utilising their more primitive, but deadly hunting techniques themselves.

The movie is going to hit Hulu on 5 August 2022. Check out the trailer below:

Additionally, the studio released the first official poster for Prey, which is pretty cool too:

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5 Biggest Movies of June 2022

Check out the most-anticipated movie releases of June 2022!

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June sees the mid-mark of the year and some exciting big-budget releases on the big-screen, as well as some interesting entries into the streaming world. We’ve rounded up the must-watch movies to keep on your radar this June.

Jurassic World: Dominion

Release date: 10 June 2022

One of the biggest films set for a release this June is the next instalment in the beloved Jurassic Park (now, World) franchise, which will pick up following up the events of 2018’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. The third entry of the Jurassic World trilogy sees the return of Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Daniella Pineda, Isabella Sermon, Justice Smith, Omar Sy, and BD Wong reprising their roles from previous films in the franchise, and they are joined by Mamoudou Athie, Scott Haze, Dichen Lachman, Campbell Scott, and DeWanda Wise.

Lightyear

Release date: 16 June 2022

If you ever wanted to know the real story of Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story, you’re in luck. Lightyear is the animated tale of the astronaut on who the action figure was created. Chris Evans (Captain America) provides the voice for Buzz Lightyear, along with Keke Palmer, Dale Soules, and Taika Waititi, also lending their voices to the film.

Last Seen Alive

Release date: 16 June 2022

Gerard Butler stars in this action-thriller, following Will Spann (Butler), who is driving his soon-to-be ex-wife, Lisa, to her parentsʼ home when she mysteriously disappears without a trace during a stop at a gas station. A frantic Will engages the local police and Lisaʼs parents in a desperate attempt to find her, but, as time passes and suspicion falls on him, he must take matters into his own hands, delving into the townʼs criminal underbelly while running from the authorities in a race against time to find Lisa.

Elvis

Release date: 24 June 2022

Austin Butler and Tom Hanks headline this biopic on the famed singer Elvis Presley and the complex dynamic between Presley and his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker ,which spanned over twenty years. Elvis explores Presleyʼs rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against a backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America.

Spiderhead

Release date: 17 June 2022 | Netflix

Directed by Top Gun: Maverick and Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski, Spiderhead stars Chris Hemsworth and Miles Teller, and follows two inmates who form a connection while grappling with their pasts in a state-of-the-art penitentiary run by a brilliant visionary (Hemsworth) who experiments on his subjects with mind-altering drugs.

Which movies are you most looking forward to in 2022? Let us know by tweeting @MenStuffZA, posting on our Facebook page, or commenting below.

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Trailer: Ryan Gosling & Chris Evans Try to Kill Each Other in ‘The Gray Man’

Check out the first trailer for Netflix’s The Gray Man.

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Despite some tough times, Netflix is pushing ahead with its line-up of blockbuster movies on the streaming platform, including that of The Gray Man, an action-thriller written and directed by Joe and Anthony Russo Brothers (Avengers: Endgame, Captain America: The Winter Soldier).

The film stars Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans, and is based on the book by Mark Greany. The story follows CIA operative Court Gentry (Gosling), aka, Sierra Six, who is plucked from a federal penitentiary and recruited by his handler, Donald Fitzroy (Billy Bob Thornton). Gentry was once a highly-skilled, Agency-sanctioned merchant of death. But now the tables have turned and Six is the target, hunted across the globe by Lloyd Hansen (Evans), a former cohort at the CIA, who will stop at nothing to take him out.

The Gray Man hits Netflix on 22 July. Check out the trailer below:

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5 Movie Sequels You Didn’t Know Were Coming

Which movie follow-ups can you expect to hit the big and small-screen?

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The movie release schedule is pretty jam-packed for the next two or so years, largely due to many projects being pushed back as a result of the pandemic and various other delays over the past two years; so much so, that many sequels on the horizon have been totally overlooked, but we’re here to fill you in on what follow-ups are on the way:

The Meg 2: The Trench

Whatever you thought about giant-shark movie, The Meg, it was hard not to enjoy the overindulgence that such a creature feature brings to the big-screen. The 2018 film starring Jason Statham is getting a sequel, which will see Statham return, alongside Sienna Guillory and Cliff Curtis as they take on another submerged threat. British director Ben Wheatley is behind the follow-up, and being known for his love of dark comedy and horror, it should be the perfect blend for The Meg 2.

The Equalizer 3

A third instalment in Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua’s revenge-justice thriller is on the cards, and will see the return of Washington as the lead, with Fuqua on directing duty once again. There’s not much info about the project, but principal photography is set to begin shortly, but there’s no doubt that the movie will feature Washington roughing up some unsuspecting crooks in a precise and well-timed fashion — that’s a guarantee.

Prey

For those who may not know, there’s another Predator movie on the way. This time, however, the film is a prequel set in the 1700s, exploring the Predator’s first journey to Earth. The film, directed by 10 Cloverfield Lane‘s Dan Trachtenberg, follows a Comanche tribe as they have to deal with the cloaking, high-tech alien threat while utilising their more primitive, but deadly hunting techniques themselves. The movie is going to hit Hulu on 5 August 2022.

Extraction 2

Netflix’s smash-hit starring Chris Hemsworth Extraction proved to be even more successful than anticipated, and the gritty action-thriller is getting a sequel. Despite the somewhat tragic ending of the first film, Hemsworth is back to reprise his role as Black Ops mercenary Tyler Rake as he has to take on another dangerous mission.

Star Trek 4

While still in early development stages, a fourth Star Trek film in the rebooted franchise is in the works at Paramount. Chris Pine, Karl Urban, Zachary Quinto, and the rest of the cast are poised to return (barring Anton Yelchin following his death in 2016), with WandaVision director Matt Shakman on board to helm the project. Paramount Pictures has scheduled Star Trek 4 to release in theaters on 22 December 2023, but whether they hit that date or not will be down to the various actors’ schedules lining up.

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