George Worthy

I’m not a movie critic. I don’t even play one on TV. In fact, I only go to the movies once in a while. I’m paying a fortune to see all sorts of movies on TV, that I don’t even watch very often. In my early years of writing, I mistakenly thought that my recommendation of a movie could assist one or two readers to follow my lead, I was wrong. 

I had been to Salinas with my lovely bride and sons to see a movie that had been recommended by a couple of friends. So on the next column I wrote that it would be a good idea to attend this movie.

One of my readers took my advice and took his son; he was not as pleased with my recommendation. It seems there were a few words that I hadn’t noticed. At first I was really sad. In fact, I almost quit writing this column in defense. Ah, but my family wouldn’t allow that. It seems they get a kick out of my writing, at least that’s what they said.

I don’t think they know how much dedication it takes to write a column every week. I try to write something that I would like to read. I try to write about the everyday stuff that doesn’t cause anyone to be displeased. I don’t want to save the world. I leave that to the influencers that get paid and therefore give you the answers to questions you didn’t know you had. Some think they are writers that can change the world. I just want to write something interesting. It’s not all about my family who loves me, they are also my own personal critics.

My family sees me sitting at the computer with a glazed look on my face, mumbling to myself every so often. I seem to be lost in thought about how to thrill the reader with interest. Oh, how I wish it were that easy. I keep looking out the window hoping that a colorful bird flies by. I try to imagine what it would be like to fly overhead, twisting and turning in the wind. That or, with the winds we have here, I think I’ll see a small child holding the leash of their dog as they are carried off on the mid-afternoon winds. Now that would be interesting.

If you are a little older, as I am, you can probably remember the old westerns where the hero does as he is supposed to and all good guys win. We haven’t won any type of engagement since World War II. My heroes were cowboys like John Wayne. Do you remember? He was pretty special. He always carried himself as a hero should. He never bad-mouthed America and helped produce a film about the Green Berets in Vietnam. The film gathered no awards, and was panned by the critics. It was simply a morale booster to this young Team Leader and to all the Green Berets serving.

So, my confession for the week is that I went to the movies with my favorite girlfriend. I have taken her to the movies many times in our married life, and since I consider myself a warrior it is usually not something she would have chosen.

We went to see the much-hyped movie, “Top Gun: Maverick,” starring Tom Cruise. We both like Tom Cruise, although for me, it took a little longer. I now think he is a great actor. He is only about 3-foot-6 in height, but you would think he was 6-foot-12 when you see him whip up on some dirty sheriff or walk into a small town that needs him so badly. He did not let me down in this time either.

It would be simple to just tell you what happens, but that would be a cop out. I’ll tell you that along with his money, which is significant, I would like to be able to run like he does. He just seems to fly across the screen when he runs, and he runs often in “Top Gun.” He does a lot and I’ll tell you why you should go see it. 

You never wonder who the good guy is and who is a bad guy. There is no part of the movie that is not interesting. There are no fistfights or gun battles, but if you are a fan of those type of movies, you won’t walk out of this one feeling like you were shortchanged.

Another reason to see this movie is that you won’t hear cuss words and everyone is always fully dressed. There is love demonstrated and you are never in doubt, but it’s all done tastefully.

This new movie by Tom Cruise reminded me what a real hero is all about. He instilled confidence in his team and performed death-defying feats that few could do. The movie was a continuation of the first “Top Gun,” but the flying was as much about the planes as it was the stars. Dangers were greater but not insurmountable. 

Since writing this column is primarily about this new movie, I’ll end by saying this was the most exciting film I have seen since the original “Top Gun” was shown. The special effects look very real, as Tom Cruise insisted that his actors learn to fly in these planes. 

Oh yeah! I forgot to tell you that you might want to carry a tissue into the movie because there are some very poignant scenes that may affect you. Also, as the lights came up and folks started leaving, my beautiful bride says to me, “Why can’t you take me to more movies like this?”

God Bless.

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Gonzales columnist George Worthy may be reached at [email protected].


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