Tom Cruise reveals if he prepared for ‚Top Gun 2‘ shirtless scene
Tom Cruise, Jon Hamm and singer Kenny Loggins chat with USA TODAY’s Bryan Alexander at the red carpet premiere for „Top Gun: Maverick.“
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Spoiler alert! The following contains plot reveals from a number of summer movies, so beware of things you haven’t seen.
The summer movie season took off like a certain A-list fighter pilot with a noted need for speed, and there were plenty of great film moments to go around.
Blockbusters like “Top Gun: Maverick” (this year’s biggest box-office hit to date) and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” drew crowds back into multiplexes. And the streaming era continued to provide for those who prefer their couches to theater seats with original films such as Hulu’s “Prey” and Netflix’s “Hustle.”
Here are 10 scenes from this summer seared into our film fandom forever, ranked for your pleasure.
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10. ‚Thor: Love and Thunder‘: Natalie Portman grabs Mjolnir, shows the guns
‚Twas the season where the Internet fell for Portman’s superhero biceps, one heck of a flex for the actress making her return to the Marvel world. Chris Hemsworth’s Thor returns to New Asgard to deal with a mysterious villain (Christian Bale) and is floored by the appearance of old flame Jane (Portman), rocking his old magical hammer for a sight that feels real to anybody who’s ever accidentally run into an ex.
‚Thor: Love and Thunder‘ review: Magic, music and muscle fuel Marvel’s heartfelt superhero jam
9. ‘Hustle’: Adam Sandler shoots (and scores!)
The Netflix basketball dramedy casts Sandler as an NBA scout who finds a diamond in the rough with a talented Spaniard (Juancho Hernangomez). When the youngster has a crisis of confidence going into the NBA Draft, Sandler brings the emotion – and humor, too – in rousing fashion when he asks the hoopster if he loves the game and then says, “Never back down.” If you’re not psyched for hoisting up three-pointers afterward, we can’t help you.
8. ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’: Scarlet Witch slaughters the Illuminati
Those who wanted more murder in the Marvel universe got a pleasant surprise in the superhero sequel. Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), former Avenger turned villainous Scarlet Witch, ends up in a parallel world and brutally kills its greatest heroes, from the returning Professor X (“X-Men” star Patrick Stewart) to stretchy super-genius Reed Richards (a debuting John Krasinski).
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7. ‚Prey‘: Native American warrior goes from bear to worse (a Predator!)
Played by Amber Midthunder, Naru is a Comanche girl who squares up with a high-tech alien invader in the 18th-century „Predator“ prequel. Naru hunts a bear, which pretty much just ticks off the monster beast, and she has to hide in a dam to escape its mighty jaws. That is, until the invisible Predator shows up, kills the bear easy-peasy, picks it up and the dead animal’s flowing blood reveals a new enemy to the shocked Naru.
‚Prey‘: Amber Midthunder talks axe throwing, outwitting the Predator and representation
6. ‘Elvis’: Austin Butler’s young singer wows the girls
Not sure if everyone’s heard but Elvis Presley was a big deal. And Baz Luhrmann’s musical drama pays tribute to the King of Rock ’n‘ Roll’s burgeoning appeal from the start: At an early 1950s gig, an unknown Elvis (Butler) lays into the rockabilly tune “Baby Let’s Play House,” wiggles his hips and young women (plus some older ones, too) scream and swoon in preternatural delight, possessed by the power of a fledgling rock god.
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5. ‘The Black Phone’: Don’t wake Ethan Hawke’s Grabber!
In director Scott Derrickson’s 1970s-set chiller, teenage Finney (Mason Thames) is kidnapped and kept in a soundproof basement by the Grabber (Hawke). But even sadistic serial killers need to sleep, right? Finney gets a supernatural call from one of the Grabber’s victims that the bad guy’s snoozing upstairs in his kitchen, leading to an intense sequence where the kid sneaks slowly by until one seriously jolting dog bark.
4. ‘Resurrection’: The mother of all delivery scenes
Who knew men giving birth would be the hottest movie trend of the summer? There’s an out-there sequence at the end of folk horror flick “Men” but it doesn’t reach the mind-blowing nature of its “Resurrection” counterpart. A single mom (Rebecca Hall) is forced to face her gaslighting former love (Tim Roth), who claims he ate their baby boy – and in gonzo fashion, she slices him open, pulls out his guts and finds a newborn inside.
‚Resurrection‘: The year’s wildest horror movie features burnt babies, gnarly delivery scene
3. ‘Nope’: Gordy has a bloody falling out with his human co-stars
Jordan Peele’s sci-fi horror thriller pits Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer against a UFO monster that eats people and horses (though doesn’t love big inflatable things). Yet the most unnerving tale Peele tells in flashback revolves around Gordy, chimp star of a ’90s sitcom who goes violently ape on human actors and a studio audience, leaving only young boy Jupe (later played by Steven Yeun) and an oddly upright shoe untouched.
‚Nope‘ review: Jordan Peele takes UFOs for a successful spin with Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer
2. ‘RRR’: Indian action stars partake in the coolest musical dance fight ever
The genre-smashing sensation (which hit Netflix this summer) features period drama, heartfelt romance and spectacular action with battling best friends and wild animals. You know something special’s happening, though, when our heroes (N.T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan) get up on the good foot at a British governor’s mansion and school a smarmy white guy with epic dance moves just begging to be a TikTok challenge.
1. ‘Top Gun: Maverick’: Iceman and Maverick have a final heart-to-heart
No wonder the nostalgic sequel has made crazy money – the thing is filled with great moments. The beginning aircraft carrier shot set to “Danger Zone.” Shirtless beach “dogfight” football. Miles Teller saving Tom Cruise’s bacon behind enemy lines. But the most heart-melting, tear-jerking bit comes when Maverick (Cruise) and a dying Iceman (Val Kilmer) enjoy one last bro-hug that hits every Gen Xer in the feels.
‚Straight from the heart‘: Val Kilmer on the Tom Cruise ‚Top Gun: Maverick‘ reunion