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[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=7049[/img]
Title: Top Gun
Starring: Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt
Directed by: Tony Scott
Written by: Jim Cash, Jack Epps jr
Studio: Paramount
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 110 Minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date:


Movie: :3.5stars:
Video: :4stars:
Audio: :4.5stars:
Extras: :5stars:
Overall: :4stars:


HTS Overall Score:84

Summary:
For those of you who aren’t familiar with this 1986 action film from Director Tony Scott, here is my brief summary. Maverick (Cruise) and Goose (Edwards) are two Navy pilots who have been recruited by the top flight school that the Navy has to offer. Top Gun is the name of the school and to be the best a student must compete against his peers and in Maverick’s case, against himself. See his nickname is no coincidence; Maverick is a loner who doesn’t depend on anyone but himself. But when his arrogance and selfishness costs the life of his partner, Maverick has to reconcile with his past and prove to himself, and everyone else, that they can depend on him.

I remember when Top Gun came out. I was in the 8th grade and I was already sick of hearing my friends say “I feel the need; the need for speed!” To say that I wasn’t a fan was putting it mildly. I mean I enjoyed the movie alright, but I could never understand the overall popularity of it. 25 years later and I still don’t really get it however; the nostalgia associated with it is something else entirely.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=7050[/img]


Top Gun brings back a lot of memories of 80’s movies. From Rambo, Rocky IV and Back to the Future to Breakfast Club, Footloose and Ghostbusters; everything about the 80’s was over produced and shiny compared to the 70’s. That isn’t to say the 70’s were bad at all, just that filmmakers in the 80’s seemed to be less concerned with originality or plot and more concerned with big productions with lots of explosions and action. I enjoy watching certain 80's movies like Big Trouble in Little China, Aliens and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, but looking at some of these now really makes me wonder what were people thinking back then...


Rating:

PG-13 for language, violence and adult situations.


Video: :4stars:

The video transfer on this Bluray is the exact same transfer that was used on the Bluray that was released about a year ago. This is definitely the best the PQ for Top Gun has ever looked however; it isn’t quite up to the quality that Paramount has been able to produce on other catalog titles; I reveiewed The Ten Commandments and I know what can be done if given the proper resources. The resolution volleys between outstanding to dull. Black levels are deep, but often times falter and end up crushing. Color reproduction varies between extremely accurate with vivid and natural looking hues to muted tones that just don’t pop enough. Fleashtones are pretty accurate throughout the film and I did notice some light digital noise in a couple of the sequences but nothing that I found to distracting. Overall this is a very good transfer that should give fans of the film a much needed update, but fails to overwhelm when compared to some other catalog releases.


Audio: :4.5stars:

I am going to have to give Paramount some credit on this one. The last time I actually watched Top Gun was sometime before 2005 on DVD and the system I watched it on wasn’t near up to par with the technology available today. I always remember people talking about the awesome audio on the film and for the first time I have to agree. While this is by no means comparable to today’s bass laden digital extravaganza action fests, whoever re-mastered this one showed it a lot of love. While directional audio was limited, imaging and surround activity was fairly abundant and the opening sequence, yes Kenny Loggins and that Danger Zone song, was exceptionally well presented. LFE was absolutely bare bones and limited to a few sprinkles throughout the film but I truly believe, similarly to the video transfer, that Top Gun has never sounded better.

Extras: :5stars:

This one comes pretty loaded...

  • Commentary by Jerry Bruckheimer, Tony Scott, Jack Epps Jr.
  • Danger Zone: The making of Top Gun
  • 2 multi-angle storyboards with optional director commentary
  • Best of the best: Inside the real Top Gun
  • 7 TV Spots
  • Behind the scenes featurette
  • Survival training featurette
  • Tom Cruise interviews
  • Digital Copy Bonus Disc

Music videos:
  • Kenny Loggins – “Danger Zone”
  • Berlin – “Take my breath away”
  • Loverboy – “Heaven in your eyes”
  • Harold Faltmeyer and Steve Stevens – “Top Gun Anthem”

Overall: :4stars:
As I stated earlier, I was never and am still not a huge fan of Top Gun. But even I have to admit that this is the best I have ever heard or seen this movie presented. I would think that a movie this popular would have warranted a treatment similar to that of Warner’s Blade Runner but evidently the powers that be disagree with that philosophy. Fans of the film that did not pick up Top Gun’s original Blu Ray release will definitely want to pick this one up; all others will probably just want to give it a rent.

Recommendation: Rent it!
Official Blu-Ray Reviews Scoring
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm going to be in sooooo much trouble with my bride when this month is over. XMEN, Thor, Star Wars, Gears of War 3, lions, tigers and bears... Oh my!
 

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I picked this up today and watched it with my son. He was blown away and I got quite the thrill watching him watch it. I had forgotten about the language use in this movie though. No F-bombs, but lots of other stuff I don't want to hear out of my kids mouths. We paused it a few minutes after the dialog started and had a pretty stern talk about the language and what soap tastes like on a toothbrush. Personally, I think it should have been rated PG-13 instead of PG but either way, we enjoyed the experience and I'm sure we'll pull out this disc many more times in the future.

I agree with the picture quality analysis. Definitely seen better transfers from other films of that era but don't let it stop you from renting/buying! There movie stands on it's own and if you're like me and never got to see it in the theatre, this disc is the next best thing. My wife remarked on the level of detail and was particularly impressed with the beach volleyball scene.

A note to anyone buying this disc... Dale mentioned that there are a couple different releases out there. The disc I got only has a couple special features:

Commentary by Jerry Bruckheimer, Tony Scott, Jack Epps Jr.
Danger Zone: The making of Top Gun
2 multi-angle storyboards with optional director commentary

I'm a little disappointed about that as I was looking forward to watching the interview with Tom Cruise. Still, it cost less than a dinner out with the family and lasted longer.

Bottom line, if you've only ever seen this on 60" or smaller, you really need to find someone with a decent home theatre and bribe them to let you watch it the way it was meant to be seen.
 

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Dale,

"I feel the need, the need for speed!"

"Any of you boys seen an aircraft-carrier around here?"

"You know, the finger....Charlie: Yes, I know the finger, Goose."


Probably one of my favorite military movies. I don't know why either. Probably because of the reasons you stated....

The most ridiculous scenes when rewatching are the ones where they need a quick video of the guns firing on the airplanes....some minigun in a blacked out shed----ridiculous now with our effects!

My favorite military movie of all time: The Hunt for Red October. Seen it about 50 times. LOVE IT.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Maverick: Hey, Slider.
[sniffs]
Maverick: You stink...

I think my favorite military movie is probably Black Hawk Down. I love that movie and can watch it just about anytime!
 

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I watched the action scenes a few months ago after getting the DTS DVD and I was really impressed by the surround mix. Sure there's very little bass but the scene where the F-14 is in a flat spin sounds awesome.
 

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I haven't seen this new version yet, can't wait.
But I also watched the DVD version recently and was struck by the lack of bass, but in a good way.
I love bass, but over the last couple of years I have been a bit disgruntled with the over use of bass where it seems to do nothing for the movie.
Go ahead and give me a movie with a crud load of bass, but I want there to be a reason for having it.

Hopefully with this Bluray Top Gun there is a little more bass where it warrants it.

Aslo I got all excited when I saw that this review Bluray had several music videos, gotta get that one (love that Top Gun Anthem)!
 

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I'm with you Glenn, I love bass heavy content, but sometimes it's just too much of a good thing. If every little thump is shaking your house, you tend to lose the effect when it's needed for something really serious.

I love Top Gun, and I think this one will go on my Christmas list because I'd love to see it in HD with a good surround mix. I have the DVD, but if the BD improves on that, this is one I might be OK re-purchasing.
 
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