Students gathered in the Aloha Ballroom on Jan. 25 for a double feature of “Top Gun” and “Edge of Tomorrow,” two popular movies starring actor Tom Cruise. The name of the event hosted by the BYUH Seasider Sports and Activities committee was “Tom Cruise Presents: Cruise Control - A Celebration of Tom Through the Ages.” Students expressed what they like most about Cruise, shared what their favorite movies are, and why they decided to come to the event.
When asked the reason they chose to feature Tom Cruise for the event, Events Specialist Supervisor Jacob Bateman, a senior political science major from Washington, said, “We do a lot of movie nights so we’re always looking for themes and ideas. We spend a lot of time [in the office] spitballing.
“We’re trying to be thematic… it used to be we did movies that sort of go together, but starting last Spring we’ve tried to stick with one actor or one idea. Like a war movie night or romance night. We did a [Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson] marathon last Spring. So this one’s Tom Cruise because he’s got a lot of movies that are playable for the students.”
Another thing the Seasider Sports and Activities committee members said they were excited about was the food they were serving at the event.
“Students always [expect] pizza,” said Ivanna Roggiero, a senior from Washington majoring in business management. “We get pizza all the time. But tonight we’ve got wings and fruit, and I dunno about you guys, but fruit is expensive in Hawaii! So I’m way stoked about the [food.] And it’s just a good time. People love the inflatable couches and watching a good movie. It’s a rainy day so it’s a perfect night to stay in.”
In addition to the fruit trays and chicken wings served at the beginning of each movie, there was also a popcorn machine steadily supplying the movie watchers with snacks to eat as they watched Tom Cruise on screen. Each student who attended the event was also given free aviator sunglasses or pilot wings to commemorate the famous action star.
“I think his stunts are cool. He’s very talented. I feel like he puts a lot of work into his movies,” said Alexis Jimenez, a senior from California majoring in psychology, who was volunteering at the event. “I love ‘Vanilla Sky’,” she said when asked if she had a favorite Tom Cruise movie.
“That’s a really good one,” agreed her friend, Mia Boice, a junior from Georgia also majoring in psychology. “I’m really impressed by how he can make himself seem so tall. Honestly, I know a lot of that is camera work, but I’m sure he’s got to do stuff too.”
Jimenez added, “I’ve also heard that he does a lot of his own stunts, which I think is incredible because he’s not old, but he’s getting there. So I just think he puts a lot of work… into his work.”
“I think that makes him more authentic,” Boice said. “If he’s doing his own stunts, then it’s like he’s actually displaying the real emotions, I guess. He’s in that moment. It’s real.”
Emily Althoff, a social work major from Missouri, said, “When I was younger, I loved the idea of working for the CIA and being a spy, so I thought his ‘Mission Impossible’ movies were kind of entertaining. But it’s just fake. It’s a movie.”
Kelsy Simmons, a BYUH alumna from Oregon who majored in interdisciplinary studies, said, “Well, I’ve gotta say the most intriguing part of Tom Cruise for me truly is his face and his pecs. At his age, there's no logical reason he should continue to have such a young looking face and such young looking pecs. That’s what I think is ridiculous. If you look at Arnold Schwarzenegger, he’s super saggy by now. That’s one thing I think is cool about Tom Cruise. Unfortunately, that’s kind of objectifying. I will say that he’s an excellent actor as well… although, I haven’t seen a lot of his movies.”
David Bannister, a political science major from California, said one of his favorite Tom Cruise movies is “Edge of Tomorrow,” because it’s about a man trying to run away and hide from who he really is. “He starts out in the movie completely scared, not wanting to be in the situation he’s in. But he purges himself, he tempers himself, and bridles himself and does what he needs to do, even if he doesn’t want to do it.
“He keeps improving. But then he reaches a crossroad where he needs to make the right choice, even though it’s the hard choice. He does the blunt necessary thing with a black heart, but he’s still doing it the right way, and trying to help everyone else along the way… He moves out of his comfort zone, and helps the [other characters] do the same. Then they prepare to make the ultimate sacrifice, and that’s when they finally overcome.”