Top Gun (1986) [Blu-Ray]

Genre(s): Action / Drama / Romance
Paramount || PG - 110 minutes - $29.99 || July 29, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-08-07


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Tony Scott
Writer(s): Ehud Yonay (article); Jim Cash & Jack Epps Jr. (written by)
Cast: Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt, Michael Ironside, John Stockwell, Tim Robbins, Meg Ryan


Theatrical Release Date: May 16, 1986


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • Danger Zone: The Making of Top Gun
  • Best of the Best: Inside the REAL Top Gun
  • Music Videos
  • Behind the Scenes Featurette
  • Survival Training
  • Interview with Tom Cruise
  • TV Spots
  • Multi-Angle Storyboards


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (6.1 DTS MA), English (Dolby TrueHD), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

"Highway to the Danger Zone... Ride into the Danger Zone"

Maverick (Tom Cruise) and his wingman Goose (Anthony Edwards) are lucky enough to get into the Navy's Elite fighting school after the first choice, Cougar, loses his cool and quits. While there they meet fellow rival Ice Man (Val Kilmer) where they compete in a series of training events to become the "Top Gun".

Believe it or not this is my first time ever watching Top Gun in its entirety. Iíve seen clips here and there and the obvious "you can be my wingman" term is so ingrained in my young adult culture that even without seeing the film I seemed to know exactly what was going to happen during the film. After finally seeing what many people call a true 80's classic... I got to to say, I'm not really that impressed with it.

Like I mentioned, it does have tons of quotable lines that could keep anyone busy for days. With cheesy dialog mixed in with some questionable comedic performances I can see why it became such a staple for my generation. But even after watching the film and all of the bonus materials I still can't say that I actually like the film.

The love story they threw into the mix seems unnecessary and only appears to be there for a reason to get the ladies to watch the film in the theaters with their boyfriends. Charlotte (Kelly McGillis) begins to "fall for you [Maverick]" after one date? They were only suppose to be in the academy for five weeks, and she was already in love with him well before a certain character is killed half-way through the training.

Is the film entertaining? Yeah. It stars a cast of pretty much unknowns at the time, but now, you can see one of the main stars (Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer or Anthony Edwards) in a new film almost every few months. I personally became a bit bored with the film when Maverick goes out to 'find himself', but once he comes back to the fold and the final mission begins its non-stop action from there... just as the film should be.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

All Special Features are presented in SD.

Commentary with Jerry Bruckheimer, Tony Scott Jack Eps and Naval Experts - A very informative track that deals with some of the issues the film overcome to become what it is today. However I could have done without the silly comments from the Naval Experts.

Danger Zone: The Making of Top Gun (~150 Minutes for all 6 featurettes)
- The Making of Top Gun from the Ground Up
- Playing with the Boys
- The Need for Speed
- Back to Basics
- Combat Rocks
- Afterburn

Ok, WOW! Who would have though a film that is now over twenty years old would have this much info? Certainly not me. Here we get an enormous look two and a half hour look at nearly every aspect of the film which includes pre-production, the music, visual effects and more.

Best of the Best - Inside the REAL Top Gun (~30 Minutes) - Believe it or not, this is real footage and interviews of people who really fly the planes shown in the film. Interesting... but very basic.

Music Videos
- Danger Zone (Kenny Loggins)
- Take My Breath Away (Berlin)
- Heaven in Arms (Loverboy)
- Top Gun Anthem

To be honest with you, after watching the film twice (with and without commentary) I would die a happy man if I never had to listen to Danger Zone ever again.

Behind the Scenes (~6 Minutes) - Poorly done fluff piece that has a few interviews mixed in with film footage.

Survival Training (~8 Minutes) - A very short look at the actors training for the film.

Interview with Tom Cruise (~7 Minutes) - Some incredibly old interviews with Tom Cruise before he became that jumping on Oprah's couch nut we know today. Also included are TV Spots and 2 Multi-Angle Storyboards.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Top Gun is presented in its Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 (AVC/MPEG-4) on a 50GB Disc. I've typically been fairly impressed with most of Paramount's title catalogs on Blu-ray (and HD DVD) and this one is no exception. For a film over twenty years ago this transfer looks pretty good with only a few instances of dirty and speckles here and there. I was less impressed with some of the aerial shots which seemed to be a bit inconsistent at times, but overall this is a worthy purchase. Please keep in mind this is the exact same transfer that also appeared on last yearís HD DVD version.

Paramount once again steps up and provides not one, but two different lossless tracks. First up is an English 6.1 DTS MA track followed by a Dolby Digital 5.1 TrueHD track. I switched back and forth and I honestly could not tell much of a difference, with the exception that DTS MA always sounded a few notches louder than the TrueHD one. Right from the moment Danger Zone starts up you are in for a treat. Anytime the actors are in the sky your sub woofer will be working overtime to bring you all the glorious sounds of the planes buzzing ahead. Dialog is exceptionally clear for a film of this age. Also included are French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 Tracks.



.::OVERALL::.

Top Gun is a staple of 80's cinema and if you're a fan of the film then this Blu-ray version belongs on your shelf. With impressive picture quality, the option of two different lossless tracks and loaded with special features it truly is a "Special Collections Edition".