Top Gun: 25th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 41 Old 08-22-2011, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=220731&d=1314040185
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

85






Studio and Year: Paramount - 1986
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 109 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 6.1 Master Audio, Dolby TrueHD 5.1, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Tom Cruise , Anthony Edwards , Val Kilmer , Kelly McGillis, Tom Skerritt, Michael Ironside, John Stockwell, Meg Ryan Rick Rossovich, Whip Hubley, Adrian Pasdar
Directed by: Tony Scott
Music by: Harold Faltermeyer
Written by: Jim Cash & Jack Epps Jr.
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 30, 2011







"I feel the need, the need for speed"



Film Synopsis:

Top Gun takes a look at the danger and excitement that awaits every pilot at the Navy's prestigious fighter weapons school. Tom Cruise is superb as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, a daring young flyer who's out to become the best of the best. And Kelly McGillis sizzles as the civilian instructor who teaches Maverick a few things you can't learn in a classroom.



My Take:

I can’t help but find it hard to believe that Top Gun came out 25 years ago. I saw it in the theater and remember the hype that surrounded it. Watching it now it seems derivative and passé but back then it was slick, fresh and eclectic. Its blockbuster status was evident and the action was and still is engaging. The production elements hold up very well thanks to Jeffrey Kimball’s superb cinematography, lots of spectacular aerial work and the use of very few special effects. The script is a little narrow with varying levels of cheesy dialogue but the nostalgia factor runs high with plenty of memorable/quotable lines. The music soundtrack is one of the decade’s best and really helps to drive the storyline. Like him or not there is no denying Tom Cruise’s star power and this film helped propel him to superstar status. He headed a cast of young talent, some of whom would go onto to impressive careers of their own. This includes Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Tim Robbins, and Meg Ryan. Tom Skeritt and Michael Ironside are spot on as the gruff naval veterans seeking to tame the testosterone fueled proceedings. I have never thought that Kelly McGillis’ star was all that bright. After doing “Witness” with Harrison Ford her appearance in this film tossed her into the national spotlight. Other than “The Accused” with Jodie Foster she really didn’t make any follow ups worthy of note (although I like The Winter people with Kurt Russell). The chemistry between she and Cruise is mediocre at best which leaves the romantic elements in Top Gun adding very little. It’s the comradery between Maverick and Goose (Cruise and Edwards make a great pair), the over the top design of the young pilot core, and the high flying adrenaline that make this film fun to watch. 25 years later I found myself nearly as entertained as I was the first time I saw it. There is indeed something to be said for that.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for language, brief sensuality and thematic content.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 86



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699



Video: 84


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

Top Gun comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 29 Mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and DTS-HD 6.1 Master Audio sound that average 3.7 Mbps.

This marks Top Gun’s third high definition release and from what I can tell all three appear to share the same master. The outcome is a predominantly satisfying viewing experience that easily surpasses standard definition. It lacks the polish and refinement of the best catalog release offerings I have seen on Blu-ray but there are moments where it shines just the same. Resolution is quite good as images are well resolved with revealing detail during close ups and most mid level panning shots. Bright exterior sequences tend to look the best as contrast and brightness achieve an excellent balance that when coupled with the video’s high resolution has a resplendent quality. Blacks are fairly deep and gradationally satisfying which allows them to pop during sequences containing light and dark elements. The earth tones and primary colors are naturally rendered with appreciable tonal separation and pleasing quality. Reds appear to lean a little toward orange but don’t stray far enough to serve as a distraction. Fleshtones are warm with discerning complexional variety and lifelike texture.
Sharpness can fluctuate with some scenes appearing less resolute. I also noticed a few instances where lightly applied digital noise reduction smoothed over what otherwise would have been fine minutia. I didn’t find this to be an egregious break from the quality of the remainder of the video but its worth mentioning. Grain is present but not consistently rendered over the course of the presentation. The print is in decent shape with minor flecks appearing here and there.

This film’s soundtrack was highly regarded in the early days of home video. It translates very well via either of these lossless offerings and sounds great. I watched the entire film using the Dolby TrueHD soundtrack and later went back to watched key sequences in DTS-HD 6.1 Master Audio. The F14/MIG 28 battle/flying sequences and music are the track’s centerpieces. The rousing original music and pop soundtrack sound smooth, refined and dynamically satisfying as it fills the listening area. The surround mix can be fairly active and features a plethora of panning effects that use the sidewalls and rear of the room to convey flybys, flyovers and side to side near field effects. Low frequency effects and dynamic range are quantifiable but don’t achieve the level of room energizing, china breaking levels that we typically see with newer digital movie soundtracks of this type. Dialogue intelligibility is never a problem as vocal reproduction exhibits crystal clear intonation and discerning room penetration. There is aspects of this presentation that border on sounded dated however I found the overall outcome to be quite good for a 25 year old film.



Bonus Features:


  • Commentary by producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Tony Scott, co-writer Jack Epps Jr., and naval experts

  • Danger Zone: The making of Top Gun - six-part documentary (totaling 145 minutes)

  • 2 multi-angle storyboards with optional director commentary

  • Best of the best: Inside the real Top Gun – 28 minute documentary

  • Music videos:

    1. Kenny Loggins – “Danger Zone”
    2. Berlin – “Take my breath away”
    3. Loverboy – “Heaven in your eyes”
    4. Harold Faltmeyer and Steve Stevens – “Top Gun Anthem”

  • 7 TV Spots

  • Behind the scenes featurette

  • Survival training featurette

  • Tom Cruise interviews

  • Digital Copy Bonus Disc




Final Thoughts:

Looking at Top Gun now I find it to be an entertaining slice of 80’s nostalgia that manages to retain much of what made it special back in the day. This Blu-ray Disc offering from Paramount Home Entertainment gives fans the opportunity to delight in excellent lossless surround sound, gratifying high definition video and rewarding bonus features that invigorate this 25 year old film. This marks the third high definition home video release of Top Gun. If bonus supplements are important to you and you don’t already own the 2008 Blu-ray release this is worth considering. If you own the 2008 release the only upgrade this offers is a Digital Copy. For those that are contemplating an upgrade from DVD this version is the one to own. If you have never seen Top Gun I suggest you drop it into your rental queue and give it a spin on Blu-ray.








attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 41 Old 08-22-2011, 01:13 PM
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It sure doesn't seem like 25 years ago...but then again, I did own it on Laserdisc!
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post #3 of 41 Old 08-22-2011, 01:59 PM
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Wow, I feel old. I was 15 when this first came out.
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post #4 of 41 Old 08-22-2011, 02:03 PM
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Hi, Ralph.

After your review, I'm now considering this as a worthwhile purchase. I have two questions that are related:

1) Did you have any preference when comparing Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and DTS-HD 6.1 Master Audio ?

2) Does the 2008 Blu-ray version also offer both choices in sound?

Thanks!
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post #5 of 41 Old 08-22-2011, 02:39 PM
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Yeah it makes you feel old again when you read the review.
But I almost bet on it that the BR version would certainly make you feel young once again the moment you hit the "play" button on your remote.
Seen it in theater twice and once on DVD.
No doubt, this was T. Cruise's finest action movie, IMO.

Gen Coupe 3.8 Track w/ bolts-on tune: SRI , CBE

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post #6 of 41 Old 08-22-2011, 03:10 PM
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You've lost that loving feeling....

We were communicating, keeping up with foreign relations... you know the bird .....

Negative Ghost Rider, the pattern is full....

One of my favorites of all time !! Thanks for this review, I may just pick this one up, if only they could have done a sequel
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post #7 of 41 Old 08-22-2011, 03:17 PM
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Does anyone know how this compares to the HD-DVD version?

tony4k
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post #8 of 41 Old 08-22-2011, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpellChecker View Post

Hi, Ralph.

After your review, I'm now considering this as a worthwhile purchase. I have two questions that are related:

1) Did you have any preference when comparing Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and DTS-HD 6.1 Master Audio ?

2) Does the 2008 Blu-ray version also offer both choices in sound?

Thanks!

Greetings,

If I had to pick one I would say the Dolby TrueHD track. The DTS-HD MA track is hotter which some may prefer but in this case I would give the edge to the Dolby track. It's nice to have the option.

I am not sure about the audio options on the 2008 release.

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post #9 of 41 Old 08-22-2011, 03:48 PM
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Ralph, I see you have the hd dvd versin like me. Is there a noticable difference worth the upgrade?

My review comparisons of Energy RC-70s to Veritas V6.3 http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...8#post21199418
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post #10 of 41 Old 08-22-2011, 05:25 PM
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Great review King P.. I have the 2008 Blu...im going to stay put this one.
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post #11 of 41 Old 08-22-2011, 07:40 PM
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i have the 2008 version and prefers the Dolby TruHD track as the DTSHD ma seems to have more high frequency roll off and sounded flat.
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post #12 of 41 Old 08-22-2011, 08:41 PM
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Heh, when I bought my first "hi-fi" VCR at United Audio (near Chicago--long since defunct) in 1993, the salesman used this movie to demo a lovely JVC model. I didn't have the gumption to tell him I wasn't interested at all in its video capabilities: I wanted to use it to time-shift long FM radio broadcasts. I bought the JVC. It died in 5 years.

I suppose I should follow Ralph's advice and put the movie in my Netflix queue, just to watch it from beginning to end.....
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post #13 of 41 Old 08-23-2011, 08:44 AM
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25th Anniversary?!? Yikes!! Seems like it was only yesterday i was watching this movie. Oh wait that was last week. lol!

Two words...Kelly McGillis.

Collect!

Cheers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbase1 View Post
Does anyone know how this compares to the HD-DVD version?
I, too, would be interested in a comparison. The HD DVD is simply the best I have seen, better than the 2008 BD version.
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post #15 of 41 Old 08-23-2011, 01:14 PM
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One of the best movie ever made. Real Jets, none of the Hollywood CGI crap. Definitely get it for my collection.
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post #16 of 41 Old 08-23-2011, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Splicer010 View Post
I, too, would be interested in a comparison. The HD DVD is simply the best I have seen, better than the 2008 BD version.
Ralph did mention that all 3 releases seem to be from the same master...
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post #17 of 41 Old 08-24-2011, 05:28 AM
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I too saw this at release (at the drive thru... remember those?).
But I was young enough for my dad to shield my eyes at certain scenes....

Well... its good to know I dont have to replace my 2008 copy
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Would you go into combat with him??? "I don't know, I just don't know" As Jester blows smoke......
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post #19 of 41 Old 08-24-2011, 11:38 AM
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"Maverick's ENGAGING!!"
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Unfortunately, I have never seen Top Gun all the way through. I have only seen pieces of the film here and there over the years. I guess this my opportunity to finally check it out in all of its HD glory!
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post #21 of 41 Old 08-24-2011, 08:53 PM
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I forgot to ask in my previous post, is there a particular place to buy these special edition blu-rays that are reviewed here, I don't seem to find these at the local BB, so just wondering where is the best place everyone is using, if not ok to post, please PM me, I'd appreciate it, thanks!
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post #22 of 41 Old 08-25-2011, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheaterChad View Post

I forgot to ask in my previous post, is there a particular place to buy these special edition blu-rays that are reviewed here, I don't seem to find these at the local BB, so just wondering where is the best place everyone is using, if not ok to post, please PM me, I'd appreciate it, thanks!

Interesting you're not able to find these special edition BR's at your local BB's because normaly that's where they would sell them. Maybe you just need to wait 1-2 weeks. When Ralph or Lee gets a review they get them i'm guessing 1-2 weeks in advanced before it gets released to the public. Just my 2 cents.
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post #23 of 41 Old 08-25-2011, 08:34 AM
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I was a Navy pilot during the Vietnam war. When I got out, I was not welcomed home. The general public, most of my college friends and most of my extended family thought we who joined the military were evil. Jane Fonda was cool because she helped the country learn to hate the military. When I got home I destroyed everything but my leather flight jacket and log books.

The jacket hung in the back of the closet for years. “Top Gun” turned things around.

After this movie it became “OK” to be an ex Naval Aviator. My son, who was born just before I went to Vietnam, was in high school. He found my jacket in the closet and proudly wore it to football games.

For me, “Top Gun” was more than a good movie. It marked a turning point in American culture.
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post #24 of 41 Old 08-25-2011, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

I was a Navy pilot during the Vietnam war. When I got out, I was not welcomed home. The general public, most of my college friends and most of my extended family thought we who joined the military were evil. Jane Fonda was cool because she helped the country learn to hate the military. When I got home I destroyed everything but my leather flight jacket and log books.

The jacket hung in the back of the closet for years. Top Gun turned things around.

After this movie it became OK to be an ex Naval Aviator. My son, who was born just before I went to Vietnam, was in high school. He found my jacket in the closet and proudly wore it to football games.

For me, Top Gun was more than a good movie. It marked a turning point in American culture.


I was born in 1970 so all I know of Vietnam is what I have read and what my dad told me. It's a disgrace how service men and women were treated by the American people here at home. I have an infinite amount of respect for everyone that has or is wearing a uniform in service of this country. Regardless of our politics we need to remember that we are all human and in a war like Vietnam where a draft was in place, those people protesting should have been dam happy that there were others to take their place in the fight. My grandfather was a WWII POW and he was never the same after his experience there. The war lasted for years but the effects on a human being that lives through it last a lifetime.

I appreciate your service and I salute all those fallen that I will never have the pleasure of having known.
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post #25 of 41 Old 08-25-2011, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dropzone7 View Post

....I appreciate your service and I salute all those fallen that I will never have the pleasure of having known.

Thank you for that. But, the point I was trying to make was that, although it was never recognized, I think "Top Gun" turned out to be more than an entertaining movie. It subliminally changed peoples' minds about the military.
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post #26 of 41 Old 08-25-2011, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

I was a Navy pilot during the Vietnam war. When I got out, I was not welcomed home. The general public, most of my college friends and most of my extended family thought we who joined the military were evil. Jane Fonda was cool because she helped the country learn to hate the military. When I got home I destroyed everything but my leather flight jacket and log books.

The jacket hung in the back of the closet for years. Top Gun turned things around.

After this movie it became OK to be an ex Naval Aviator. My son, who was born just before I went to Vietnam, was in high school. He found my jacket in the closet and proudly wore it to football games.

For me, Top Gun was more than a good movie. It marked a turning point in American culture.

Thanks for your service and to all the people who have ever served, all of my uncles served in Vietnam and i served in Desert Storm, Somalia, and in Bosnia and Retired last year after serving for 23 years. I take my hat off to everyone who as ever served and to all the people who support the Military.
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post #27 of 41 Old 08-25-2011, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamE55 View Post

Interesting you're not able to find these special edition BR's at your local BB's because normaly that's where they would sell them. Maybe you just need to wait 1-2 weeks. When Ralph or Lee gets a review they get them i'm guessing 1-2 weeks in advanced before it gets released to the public. Just my 2 cents.

Thanks for this info, my local BB does not seem to have much, I was looking for the special edition of Gladiator, the one that was reviewed here, but they did not have it at BB, just a regular flavored one...

Thought there would be a better way to find these online.... I will keep looking, thanks.
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post #28 of 41 Old 08-25-2011, 07:35 PM
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No new master on a BD that is sure to sell??

whatever,

save your money, cause unless you want a difference in the soundtrack


it is just more wasted plastic

best move for Universal-Stop transferring, mastering.If not for the sake of the films, do it for our planet.-Harris;
TOO LATE; Out of Africa is out-the worst ever
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post #29 of 41 Old 08-27-2011, 10:26 AM
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To ALL the military....regardless of branch.....your ALL TOP GUNS in my book.

tony4k
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post #30 of 41 Old 08-31-2011, 09:31 AM
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Anyone see where I can buy this bad boy... god this movie really set me on my life path first time I saw it... Riding motorcycles, enjoying fast cars, awesome skills.... god I wish I didn't have glasses....
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