Top Gun fan who watched movie 45 times in 45 days still hopes for career in aviation
When news broke of Mr Christopher Paul watching Top Gun: Maverick 45 times in 45 days, most thought he was simply a crazed fanatic.
But for the trade manager, 38, who once held childhood dreams of being a fighter pilot, the blockbuster film starring Tom Cruise offers a glimpse into what could still be.
While growing up in Malaysia, Mr Paul had applied for military school but was rejected due to poor eyesight.
He then lost all hope for a career in aviation -- until the iconic sequel, released here in May, reignited old passions.
“Before screenings of the film, there were RSAF (Republic of Singapore Airforce) recruitment advertisements. I actually went home and applied for all open positions,” said Mr Paul.
While he has yet to receive any favourable replies, he remains hopeful to join any aviation company that will have him, adding that he has already started looking into attaining a private pilot licence.
The original Top Gun film started Mr Paul’s lifelong fascination with aviation.
“I remember watching the original Top Gun countless times when I was in primary school... I started collecting die-cast model aircrafts, reading aviation magazines like Take-Off, and playing all sorts of computer games related to air planes and military warfare.”
A self-proclaimed “cinema geek”, Mr Paul previously watched Transformers: Dark of The Moon, Avengers: End Game and Spiderman: No Way Home, 13 times each.
“There's just something about watching movies at the cinema that you can't replicate at home, (it's) a combination of the entire experience,” he said, citing audience reactions, immersive screens and sound systems.
Given the sentimental connection, it comes with no surprise that the number of times he watched Top Gun: Maverick far exceeds any previous record.
“When Top Gun: Maverick came out in the cinemas, my original intention was to equal my previous personal records, but the more I watched the movie, something just triggered the inner child in me and the desire to keep on going and setting a new personal best.”
“I knew the world record was 292 (American Ramiro Alanis watched “Spider-Man: No Way Home” 292 times in theatres to top the Guinness World Record for most in-theatre viewings of one film), but that didn’t matter to me. I wanted to have my own number for my favourite all-time movie instead. It’s the feeling of setting a ‘perfect lap’.”
“What I love most about the sequel is that they managed to bring the iconic F-14 Tomcat back, in such a meaningful and somewhat realistic storyline.
“Just seeing that dogfight scene against the SU-57 Felons, and experiencing it in 4DX motion seats, makes me want to keep on going back to the cinema to relive the experience, because I'm not sure when there will ever be another movie that features this iconic and retired Navy fighter jet.”
When asked if he would ever get bored of the movie, Mr Paul replied: “Movies for me are good entertainment, and a good way to kill boredom. When I discover good movies and soundtracks, they are great to play in the background at home as I go about my day.
“It's a good mood booster and gets me motivated to accomplish my daily routine,” adding that he foresees himself listening to the movie’s soundtrack on long road trips.
Having watched the film so many times to recognise every easter egg and mistake, Mr Paul is already itching for new unreleased content to follow.
“I'm looking forward to seeing the movie released in a Special Edition 4K Blue-Ray with a lot of additional extra content.
“Soundtrack-wise, I'm hoping Interscope releases a full version of the movie's music, because the current versions on sale are still missing songs and parts of the score that is featured in the movie.”
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