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post #1 of 60 Old 05-12-2020, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Top Gun Ultra HD Blu-ray Review



As students at the United States Navy's elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young pilot learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom. Ralph Potts reviews the Ultra HD Blu-ray debut of Top Gun from Paramount Home Entertainment.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

93



Details:

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

Disc Format: BD-100
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, French/Portuguese/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Portuguese, Spanish, French
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


Release Date: May 19, 2020


"I Feel the Need, The Need for Speed!"


Synopsis:

“As students at the United States Navy's elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young pilot learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom.” – Paramount Home Entertainment

My Take:

I reviewed Top Gun when it released on Blu-ray in 2011 and have included comments from that review here. The rating for the film is the same. New ratings for the Ultra HD video (and remastered high definition video on the included Blu-ray), Dolby Atmos mix and bonus features are below.

I can’t help but find it hard to believe that Top Gun was released over 30 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 dialog 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. Watching it today, I found it nearly as entertaining as it was first when I first saw it. There is indeed something to be said for that.



Replay Value: 4 Stars


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.**


UHD Presentation(HDR-10): 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution:
  • Visual Impact:



UHD Presentation (Dolby Vision): 98
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution:
  • Visual Impact:




Dolby Atmos Rating: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Level of immersion:
  • Soundstage integration:
  • Audio object placement:
  • Effectiveness of Atmos platform:
  • Entertainment factor:



Top Gun comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Paramount Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

Top Gun recently underwent a 4K restoration from the original film elements, and its presentation in Ultra HD is derived from the resulting 4K Digital Intermediate.

It's important to note that the ultimate goal for any release on home video is to present a film in the highest possible quality based upon its original elements. A film like Top Gun has an aesthetic that incorporates film grain and the use of cinematography that won't result in the type of high gloss, tack-like sharpness of many newer films shot today. This isn't a problem and shouldn't be seen as such.

Top Gun is a visually compelling film that successfully illustrates the look and feel of director Tony Scott’s vision. The video restoration featured on this Ultra HD rendering is something to behold. This has always been an engaging film, both in narrative, and scope. The film’s gorgeous cinematography benefits from the enhanced resolution and emboldened contrast.

Copious amounts of detail can be seen, both in wide-angle and close-up perspectives, imparting a discernible increase in depth/dimension. The rendering of the finest minutia in the film’s variety of textures are reproduced with stark realism. Captured on film, grain and minor innate softening are present. Neither are compromising.

The benefits of high dynamic range and wide color gamut are on display as earth toned colors have an added dimension that enlivens shots where they would normally have blended in, being seen as a less provocative background element that would generally go unnoticed. The film’s color base and variants of sepia are beautifully rendered, offering eye catching depth, that compliments the thematic tone.

Whites are emboldened, detailed and bright, especially during low level transitions viewed in a darkened environment. Contrast abounds, lending an authenticity that underscores the subject matter, bringing it to a visually rewarding level. Fleshtones are reproduced beautifully throughout the course of the presentation. I was pleased with the new 1080p rendering but found the Ultra HD presentation took it to the next level, allowing its attributes to be fully realized in a way that it hadn’t been before. Hands down this is the best that this film has looked since coming to home video. Kudos to Paramount..

Note: The Digital and disc releases will include a brand-new featurette that explores the film’s legacy and enduring popularity through new interviews with Tom Cruise, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and members of the cast of Top Gun: Maverick, including John Hamm, Miles Teller, Glen Powell, and more. Fans can also enjoy a retrospective segment from 2016 looking back at 30 years of Top Gun. Additional previously released bonus content on the disc includes commentary by producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Tony Scott, co-screenwriter Jack Epps, Jr. and naval experts; Danger Zone: The Making of Top Gun; a look inside the real Top Gun; original theatrical promotional material; music videos, and more.


Dolby Vision vs HDR-10:

I utilize the TCL 55P607 UHD Dolby Vision HDR flat panel in my review system to enable me to compare the visual quality of titles that contained the Dolby Vision metadata versus its HDR-10 counterpart on the same disc. All titles are first watched via my JVC front projector. I then select specific scenes which are watched on the TCL, first via HDR-10 then via Dolby Vision. The TCL isn’t among the top tier flat panels with DV, however it came recommended by AVS Senior Editor Mark Henninger, and calibrates/performs extremely well for a set at its price point.

* The cumulative A/V score will still be based upon the HDR-10 rating, with the DV rating serving as informational only for now.*

In comparing the DV and HDR10 renderings I ran the same scenes using my reference UHD player. The film’s elements looked outstanding on both formats with respect to the reproduction of HDR. I did feel that the DV presentation offered slightly richer color rendition and the handling of the finest details in brightly lit scenes. The latter wasn’t enough to warrant a rating difference but, I felt the former was. As I said, you can’t go wrong with either.


Dolby Atmos:

In listening to the Dolby Atmos soundtracks, I was pleased with how the mix was handled. When applied, the use of overhead sound objects elevated proportional correlation. When compared to the original 5.1 channel mix, the immersive sound offers a noticeable improvement by opening up the soundstage, elevating the perception of low-level detail. During the various encounters/action/interior/exterior venues featured in the film, the tracks brim with atmospherics and discrete sound objects which adds an enriching layer to the film’s soundtrack. This is noticeable right from the beginning, with examples being found throughout.

Top Gun doesn’t have the solidity and dynamism of newer genre films, which leaves it feeling a bit dated but, I would prefer to have it retain the original recording’s overall essence rather than sounding forced and bloated. When called for the Dolby Atmos mixes took a subtle or more active approach, and conveyed the spirit and overall feel of the original soundtrack while adding a complimentary element. I had a good time revisiting it.


For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Blu-ray Video:


Video: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



Audio: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialog Reproduction:
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA


Top Gun comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

Paramount remastered Top Gun from the original 35mm film elements, and that 4K restoration was used for this 1080p rendering.

Comparing it to the 2011 release the image does appear sharper, with improved color rendering, and overall definition. If I had to summarize it I would say that this is a pleasing video presentation that seems a perfect match for the source material. Colors are deeply saturated with eye pleasing vitality and delineated depth. Images are resolute, with stable sharpness, crisp detail and appreciable subtle refinement. Certain scenes appear better resolved than others although I suspect this is related to the photography. Contrast is dynamic without being overpowering and blacks are respectable in depth with discernible detail visible in low lighting and shadows. I didn’t see any signs of video related artifacts and thought that in general video quality was excellent.

The lossless Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (Atmos core) soundtrack bests the original 5.1 channel mix, offering solid dynamics, detail rich clarity, and noteworthy use of the entire surround platform to drive the film’s elements. The detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room’s acoustic environment is notable. The low frequency effects channel is active as the subwoofer works in tandem with the rest of the system to convey the bass response associated with the action-based sequences. Dialog is firmly planted in the center channel and renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction. I am so pleased that Paramount opted to include the Dolby Atmos/7.1TrueHD soundtrack on the Blu-ray.


Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: Top Gun Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Top Gun Blu-ray
    • NEW! The Legacy of Top Gun
    • NEW! On Your Six - Thirty Years of Top Gun: Five-Part Production Feature.
    o Looking Back
    o
    o America's Best
    o
    o Into the Danger Zone
    o
    o Going Ballistic
    o
    o Narrow Targets and the Future
  • Legacy Bonus Material
  • Digital Code



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. It comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray in this Combo Pack, from Paramount Home Entertainment, featuring newly restored video quality that befits its status, a terrific Dolby Atmos immersive listening experience that enhances its already renowned soundtrack, and new/ legacy supplements. Top Gun, in this Ultra HD Blu-ray/Blu-ray release is simply a must have for fans that are set up for Ultra HD Blu-ray and or Dolby Atmos immersive sound. Enjoy!















Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews


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post #2 of 60 Old 05-12-2020, 11:58 AM
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This is one my wife's favourite movies so we are looking forward to the upgraded experience in the near future.
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post #3 of 60 Old 05-12-2020, 12:29 PM
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One of my all-time favorites Ralph, sounds like they did it right, so I'll probably dip for this one again.

Thanks for the review!
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post #4 of 60 Old 05-12-2020, 12:30 PM
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Glad this turned out so well.
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post #5 of 60 Old 05-12-2020, 12:56 PM
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I have never seen this movie! Going to have to do something about that (adds to pre-order cart).
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post #6 of 60 Old 05-12-2020, 02:01 PM
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Pre-ordered this one today... along with Days of Thunder. Hopefully that one is done as good as this one.


Thanks for the review Ralph!
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post #7 of 60 Old 05-12-2020, 02:09 PM
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I have been waiting for a 4k version of this movie ever since 4k became a thing...

I absolutely love this movie... although I still fast forward past that one particular scene that Im sure everyone knows what I am talking about, I just cant watch it... no spoilers BrolicBeast hasn't seen it yet...

But yeah the moment this was available for pre-order I placed my order and for Days of Thunder too, War of the Worlds I can wait for it to be on sale for Black Friday.

TG and DoT are easily my top two favorite Tom Cruise movies and I feel are some of his best work.
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post #8 of 60 Old 05-12-2020, 02:13 PM
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I am so very happy that Paramount decided to do right by this film and really remaster the video and, perhaps, even remix the audio for Atmos. Truly am looking forward to watching it arriving and watching it again. Will share your review, Ralph, on the many Facebook film sites I visit.
Thanks again for another splendid review.
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post #9 of 60 Old 05-12-2020, 02:49 PM
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Great to see your review was a positive one for this iconic movie Ralph, good to see Paramount did the 4K remake justice. Really looking forward to getting this for my 4K collection now as I was worried it may have been done wrong, thanks again for everyone's go to reviews Ralph.
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post #10 of 60 Old 05-12-2020, 04:32 PM
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One of my all time favorites! Great review, Ralph! I can’t wait for my copy to arrive.
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post #11 of 60 Old 05-12-2020, 04:53 PM
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Don't think I've ever triple-dipped any other movie, but guess I'm hooked in here for a quintuple-dip (VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, 3D & UHD). Also received an equally rave review by Martin Liebman over at Blu-ray.com.

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post #12 of 60 Old 05-12-2020, 07:26 PM
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Day one purchase for me. Glad to hear they did this one justice.
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post #13 of 60 Old 05-13-2020, 12:37 AM
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Yeah, it's not often that the 1080p Blu-Ray also gets remastered on a UHD release. Usually the Blu-Ray is just a copy of an already released edition. So I think I have half a dozen copies of this movie...
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post #14 of 60 Old 05-13-2020, 04:40 AM
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Thanks for another great review Ralph. Based upon your review, I think that this is going to be an immediate purchase for me. I've previously owned it on DVD, BluRay and now UHD. But I have no regrets triple dipping on this one!

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post #15 of 60 Old 05-13-2020, 04:53 AM
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Thanks @Ralph Potts for the review. Pre-ordered. Looking forward to seeing this in DV, since you gave this a nice score.
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post #16 of 60 Old 05-13-2020, 05:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post
I have never seen this movie! Going to have to do something about that (adds to pre-order cart).
Mr Brolic: Seriously? You are only one of 19 people in the US who has not seen this film . Your audio/video-phile card is temporarily revoked until such time as you have viewed it. It was "the go to" demo piece for YEARS and I can't tell you how many visitors to our theater STILL bring it up!

As was noted in Ralph's reviews, it may not have the audio of some of our more current films but this movie is, a classic (at least to me). And given your love for certain German cars, you will love the car Kelly McGillis drives! Talk about a classic.

I pre-ordered this movie as soon as it was announced (and, of course, have the new one or order as well). This is the perfect film to be re-done and improved with HDR and Atmos and based upon the few reviews I have read, it was done well. Really looking forward to viewing this one.

Good job, as usual Ralph. At least your review didn't cause me to spend more money. I did it this time on my own. I have a number of friends who will be anxious to re-watch this one with us.

I may as well order Days of Thunder too. I only have it on DVD!!
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post #17 of 60 Old 05-13-2020, 05:28 AM
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Was looking to do the same @audioguy , but it is Dolby True HD 5.1....?
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post #18 of 60 Old 05-13-2020, 05:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizrussspike View Post
Was looking to do the same @audioguy , but it is Dolby True HD 5.1....?

According to BluRay.com, it contains Dolby Atmos AND Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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post #19 of 60 Old 05-13-2020, 06:24 AM
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Thanks @audioguy. I pre-ordered Top Gun from Amazon, and the cover indicates Dolby Atmos on the back.
When looking at Days of Thunder on Amazon for pre-order, that cover indicates Dolby True HD 5.1. I will look at another source
for possibly purchasing Days of Thunder.....help me Ricky Bobby..
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post #20 of 60 Old 05-13-2020, 07:13 AM
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I watched the whole movie last night!

It really does look terrific all the way through! Really an impressive UHD release..
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post #21 of 60 Old 05-13-2020, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizrussspike View Post
Thanks @audioguy. I pre-ordered Top Gun from Amazon, and the cover indicates Dolby Atmos on the back.
When looking at Days of Thunder on Amazon for pre-order, that cover indicates Dolby True HD 5.1. I will look at another source
for possibly purchasing Days of Thunder.....help me Ricky Bobby..
Blu-ray.com has the 4K UHD release of "Days of Thunder" as having a TrueHD 7.1 Atmos mix.
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post #22 of 60 Old 05-13-2020, 07:42 AM
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I'm really in the minority here, but I feel the same "watching it now it seems derivative and passé". Over the top, er Top Gun hasn't aged well in my eyes.
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post #23 of 60 Old 05-13-2020, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by edved1 View Post
I'm really in the minority here, but I feel the same "watching it now it seems derivative and passé". Over the top, er Top Gun hasn't aged well in my eyes.

There are lots of older films that could be placed into that category. But like virtually EVERYTHING in the audio and video world, personal preference is still king. This may be one of those movies that I watch once every 5 years or 12 months or never again. But it is still worth the money, even if for a single viewing - AND to pick out those demo worthy scenes that most certainly have "aged well".
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post #24 of 60 Old 05-13-2020, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by audioguy View Post
There are lots of older films that could be placed into that category. But like virtually EVERYTHING in the audio and video world, personal preference is still king. This may be one of those movies that I watch once every 5 years or 12 months or never again. But it is still worth the money, even if for a single viewing - AND to pick out those demo worthy scenes that most certainly have "aged well".
You make some good points no doubt. It took me a long time to get around and actually see this which I think tainted my opinion of the film. I think it was within the last 5 years that I got around to seeing it which left me not too impressed. Oh well, plenty of other movies out there.
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post #25 of 60 Old 05-13-2020, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by DOC1963 View Post
Blu-ray.com has the 4K UHD release of "Days of Thunder" as having a TrueHD 7.1 Atmos mix.
Thanks @DOC1963 , I will look to order from there!
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post #26 of 60 Old 05-13-2020, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by edved1 View Post
You make some good points no doubt. It took me a long time to get around and actually see this which I think tainted my opinion of the film. I think it was within the last 5 years that I got around to seeing it which left me not too impressed. Oh well, plenty of other movies out there.
Words like that in a Top Gun thread will have you flying a cargo plane full of rubber dog sh*t out of Hong Kong!
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post #27 of 60 Old 05-13-2020, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by BIC2 View Post
Don't think I've ever triple-dipped any other movie, but guess I'm hooked in here for a quintuple-dip (VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, 3D & UHD). Also received an equally rave review by Martin Liebman over at Blu-ray.com.
You didn't buy The 5th Element on DVD, Superbit DVD, Blu-ray and now 4K UHD Blu-ray ?

Can't wait to get this - I pre-ordered it quite some time ago. Fun movie and everyone looks so young in this film ( Cruise never seems to age though - it's like The Picture of Dorian Gray ).
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post #28 of 60 Old 05-13-2020, 09:27 AM
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Mr Brolic: Seriously? You are only one of 19 people in the US who has not seen this film . Your audio/video-phile card is temporarily revoked until such time as you have viewed it. It was "the go to" demo piece for YEARS and I can't tell you how many visitors to our theater STILL bring it up!

As was noted in Ralph's reviews, it may not have the audio of some of our more current films but this movie is, a classic (at least to me). And given your love for certain German cars, you will love the car Kelly McGillis drives! Talk about a classic.

I pre-ordered this movie as soon as it was announced (and, of course, have the new one or order as well). This is the perfect film to be re-done and improved with HDR and Atmos and based upon the few reviews I have read, it was done well. Really looking forward to viewing this one.

Good job, as usual Ralph. At least your review didn't cause me to spend more money. I did it this time on my own. I have a number of friends who will be anxious to re-watch this one with us.

I may as well order Days of Thunder too. I only have it on DVD!!
Ha! Well, I was literally an infant when this movie was released, so by the time I was old enough to enjoy these type of movies, the movie was too old for me to care (this is before I entered the HT hobby). So, I put it in the "that's for my dad's generation" file and forgot about it for years. My interest only became piqued when the trailer for the new one with "Goose's Son(?)" dropped. Then, I thought to myself how cool an Atmos fighter-jet movie would be. So I checked online for Top Gun and only found the non-Atmos surround Blu Rays, so I completely let the thought go until I saw this review! Now, I must own it!! MUST!!!! I want to know who the heck Goose is! I like watching older movies these days (just watched Timecop for the first time earlier this year) and I've been catching up on all my other older favorites (Enter the Dragon, Bloodsport, Demolition Man, etc.) Shoot--I had always thought that Rambo II was Rambo First Blood, as I had only caught it on WPIX (Channel 11 for my New Yorkers) here and there in the age before onscreen TV Guides. Saw the real First Blood in January of this year, and marveled at how different it was from the others. This Top Gear disc is at the top of my list right now! I hope they keep pushing these out, because with no movie production happening right now.....there's going to be a long dry spell without movie releases once things get back to *normal*
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post #29 of 60 Old 05-13-2020, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Great Discussion!

Greetings,

Nothing special to add other than how much I am enjoying the discussion in this thread. The community here is the main reason that I enjoy reviewing discs for AVS. Thanks everyone for allowing me to be a part of such a great group.



Regards,
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post #30 of 60 Old 05-13-2020, 10:54 AM
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I see that the iTunes version being sold is still HD. Anyone know if this will be a title that Apple will switch to UHD? I believe it's studio-dependent.

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