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Top Gun: 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English Dolby True HD 5.1, English DTS-HD  Master Audio 6.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
  • Region: A (B? C?)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + Digital Copy)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • Blu-ray Release Date: August 30, 2011
  • List Price: $24.99

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BestBuy.com:
Top Gun - Widescreen Dubbed Subtitle AC3

Purchase Top Gun on Blu-ray+ Digital Copy at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:4/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)


The Film

[Rating:4/5]

It is mind-boggling that Top Gun is a quarter of a century old! The story line about a “maverick” aviator trying to fly his way to the top of the fighter pilot heap is hackneyed. But you don’t watch this film for its plot, you go for its over-the-top aerial acrobatics which are as thrilling and amazing today as they were in 1986. Tom Cruise’s performance as Pete Mitchell, a rowdy, unconventional and undisciplined naval officer may not be nuanced or Oscar-worthy, but it works adequately for the purposes of this film. Fortunately, he is abetted by a pretty darn good group of supporting actors including the luminous Kelly McGillis, one of his instructors, Tom Skerritt (the original top gun), and the other young flyers including Val Kilmer and Anthony Edwards. Although, technically this is a  “cold war movie” rather than  a  “war movie,”  it has enough dramatic tension, including a real air engagement with “bogies” near the end that will bring the audience to its feet.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

There is only so much that can that can be done with a 25-year old print. Mostly, Top Gun succeeds in conveying detail on close ups and the softer sweep of fabulous aerial panoramas. There is some residual graininess in the distance views but once you watch the many aerial shots in this movie, you forget all about it.  Of all of the military aviation films, there is really none that can compare with the action shots in this one and probably never will. You are left wondering in amazement, how’d they do that?

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

In a word, the surround effects are spectacular! The various fighter jet scenes put the viewer in the middle of the action and part of the story. The DTS-HD Master Audio 6.1 is the way to go with this one. It doesn’t hurt  that the musical soundtrack is one of the best of the era. All right, the overuse of “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling,” might be a distraction, the  rest of it just rocks.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:4/5]

The word here is the making of “Top Gun” is the one to go for. If you are a military enthusiast or a stickler for details, this is the bomb.  It was and is amazing how the cinematography was done, so production groupies, go for the “behind the scenes” featurette. There are other extra, including 4 (yes 4) music videos, the real Top Gun story, a survival training featurette, Tom Cruise interviews, and the usual trailers and spots but they all pale in comparison. Paramount has also seen fit to include a Digital Copy in this reissue of the Top Gun Blu-ray making a double-dip for those who purchased the previous BD release a little easier to swallow.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Watching Top Gun with my wife, (she of the photographic memory) reminded me that this was one of our first movie dates during our courtship. Well, she married me anyway. Twenty five years later and multiple clichés notwithstanding (McGillis to Cruise: “This  could be complicated”), Top Gun remains an entertaining if not profound film. The combination of pop songs like “Take My Breath Away”, an Oscar winner, and “Danger Zone” time capsule this movie. Not to worry, the aerial shots are off  the charts, and continue to thrill this viewer (and his  wife who watched it with me). To complete the package, the extra channels are used for the additional excitement of jets flying around the viewer.  In contemporary lingo, “gopherit.”

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B004R6JG7G[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Top Gun - Widescreen Dubbed Subtitle AC3

Purchase Top Gun on Blu-ray+ Digital Copy at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:4/5]

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