Don Simpson

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Top Gun Review


Very Good
Anyone fondly remembering Top Gun as a prototypical action-packed Jerry Bruckheimer 'nad-fest probably hasn't seen it in awhile. Newly released as a mega-deluxe DVD, it's time to remember what Top Gun really is: From "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" to "Take My Breath Away," it's mushy love story first, fighter-pilots-in-training movie second.

Ironically, the early 1990s would bring to light the fact that carousing was what naval pilots seemed to do best: The 1986 Tailhook scandal occured during the same year Top Gun was released.

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Beverly Hills Cop Review


Excellent
Boy, looking back at Berverly Hills Cop, almost 20 years after its original release, it's easy to see why people fell in love with the movie, earning a then unheard-of of $316 million worldwide (the highest grossing R-rated movie ever) and propelling Eddie Murphy from a funny ensemble player in films like Trading Places and 48 HRS. to a megastar.

Beverly Hills Cop is actually a bit of a nutty idea -- combine a standard cop actioner with a fish out of water tale. Who would've thought that would be any good? But it works, and how, with Murphy turning in perhaps his funniest performance ever -- mocking the supporting cast at every turn (favorite targets: gay men, uptight men, and gay/uptight men) and tossing off one-liners like he's got a wad of them stuffed in his pocket. His Axel Foley, one of the most widely impersonated characters in film (remember the popularity of the "Mumford Phys. Ed." sweatshirt?), heads from rough-and-tumble Detroit to prim-and-proper Beverly Hills to investigate the murder of his best friend, uncovering a much bigger plot, of course.

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The Rock Review


Excellent
Long touted as the low-budget (in action movie terms) alternative to this summer's Hollywood blockbusters, The Rock has been something of a question mark among movie forecasters. It doesn't have any real special effects like Twister or Independence Day. It doesn't build on a 40 year-old history like Mission: Impossible. It doesn't even have any big name action stars.

What it does have is some of the best actors working in film today (Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery, and Ed Harris), seasoned producers Jerry Bruckheimer and the late Don Simpson (Top Gun, for starters), Bad Boys director Michael Bay, and some relatively unknown screenwriters (David Weisberg, Douglas S. Cook, and Mark Rosner), who all pull together to tell one hell of a story -- and hands-down the best action flick of the year-to-date.

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