We've got the need -- the need for speed! Top Gun: Maverick is finally here, and our excitement for the movie alone got us through the week. But don't worry, there were still plenty of other comedy, music, and huge sports moments that we loved this week to fill out Volume 74. So strap in, get your popcorn ready, and enjoy!
Top Gun: Maverick
Top Gun: Maverick is finally here, and honestly, we don't know what else we really have to say. It's Top freakin' Gun. We've literally been waiting two years to see this movie after COVID delays -and honestly it feels like we've been waiting our whole lives for a Top Gun sequel. Maverick is back, as Tom Cruise continues to be arguably the greatest action star (maybe movie star?) on the planet. And Miles Teller looks like he plays a pretty convincing son (Rooster) to Anthony Edwards' much-beloved Goose. The rest of the cast is stellar, too, with Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Jay Ellis and Jennifer Connelly headlining a loaded supporting cast. On top of it all -- the reviews are great! The movie looks like it hits on a lot of the same beats as the original, with air combat, beach sports, and drunk singalongs taking up most of the trailer. But there's a dramatic side, too, as Maverick reckons with aging and Goose's death. We are seeing it this weekend on the biggest movie theater screen we can find, and we recommend you do the same.
Tom Cruise Flying With James Corden
While we are obviously most excited for the movie, the Top Gun: Maverick press tour has also been incredible. It reached its high point with Tom Cruise on The Late Late Show With James Corden, as Cruise took Corden to flight school. One of the most fun parts about Cruise as an action star is that he does his own stunts - including flying his own plane. While surely some of it is Corden playing up the bit, the late-night host looked like he really was scared to death, and we are a bit surprised he didn't get sick. The duo of course did a fun beach volleyball bit to play homage to the original film, and the needle drops throughout the segment are all fun throwbacks. We even get to see Cruise singing along to some of the songs from the original soundtrack. Even though he's a big-time star, Cruise is willing to lean into a comedic, over-the-top version of himself, and it makes his appearance a lot of fun. While we didn't think it was possible, this 15-minute bit made us even more excited to go see the movie.
Pete Davidson - Forgot About Lorne
If you're still looking for more, quick comedy this weekend, Saturday Night Live just aired its season finale, and saw the departure of some of its biggest names. Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, and Kyle Mooney all had their last shows, and they all went out in style, giving their iconic characters one last go. Davidson's final performance was probably our favorites. Over the last few years, he found a niche for himself on the show by creating rap parodies, and he dedicated one to Lorne Michaels for his finale. It's impressive to see Davidson's evolution from young stand-up into central cast member, and his music videos have always been especially fun. This one was shockingly catchy, and of course, SNL had to bring in Eminem for a cameo. Overall, it was a really fun season from SNL, and we definitely recommend going back to watch some of the highlights, and not just from the finale. We're excited to see where Davidson's career goes from here, along with all the other cast-members that just "graduated," and SNL definitely won't be the same without them.
Mavis Staples + Levon Helm - "The Weight"
While we didn't fall in love with any contemporary musicians' work this week, the legendary Staples and late Levon Helm finally released an album this week that was recorded a decade ago. Just before Helm passed away of cancer, he recorded a full album backing up Mavis Staples in his Woodstock barn. The duo managed to capture the sound of their era even decades after their primes, and while the whole of Carry Me Home is pretty great, their rendition of "The Weight" is what leapt out to us. Staples' powerful vocals pair perfectly with Helm's gravelly voice, and really elevated one of our favorite songs. Just like the live recording on The Last Waltz, this feels like how "The Weight" was meant to be performed. There's a big backing band, in front of a crowd, with raw emotion just humming out of the speakers. The great instrumentation and killer back-up vocals further elevate the two legendary rockers' performances. It is an absolute jam, and while maybe it won't light up your next beach party, it's definitely worth getting into your musical rotation for pretty much any other activity.
Andrew Wiggins Dunk
The Golden State Warriors' recent run of postseason dominance has been built largely on the lights-out three-point shooting from Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and (for a time) Kevin Durant. But this week, the main Warriors highlight people were watching was a ridiculous poster slam from Andrew Wiggins. In Game 3, the former No. 1 pick victimized Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic, and while it was actually called an offensive foul at first, everyone in the arena knew it was a good dunk. The referees reversed the call after review, and Wiggins got to celebrate his sensational dunk. Wiggins has found a home in a supporting role with Golden State, and gave us what might be the signature highlight of the postseason (at least from someone not named Ja Morant). As always, we weren't just impressed by the athleticism the dunk required, but the audacity. Wiggins saw an opportunity and launched himself into the opening, despite being ridiculously far from the rim. Golden State is onto the Finals, waiting to meet the Celtics or the Heat, and hopefully we will get a few more big highlights before the season is over. Until then, we've got Wiggins on repeat.