Director: Tony Scott
Cast: Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer
Release Date: Available On Blu-ray Steelbook May 3, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 9.5/10
The story of an elite group of pilots competing to be the best in their class and earn the title of “Top Gun” captured the imagination of moviegoers upon its release on May 16, 1986, ultimately earning a worldwide box office of over $350 million. Tom Cruise is superb as the cocky but talented pilot Maverick and Kelly McGillis sizzles as the civilian instructor who teaches him a few things you can’t learn in a classroom. Featuring a sensational soundtrack with unforgettable songs including Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” and Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone”, the film also stars Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards and Meg Ryan.
Beloved by generations and a film I’ve personally enjoyed countless times since first experiencing its wonder as a child in the 1980’s, for those two folks who may not be familiar with this timeless masterpiece, ‘Top Gun’ tells the story of a talented fighter pilot and his journey to becoming the best amid the numerous obstacles in his way. Directed by the talented Tony Scott and starring a powerhouse cast including Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt, Michael Ironside, Tim Robbins and more, ‘Top Gun’ was initially unleashed upon moviegoers everywhere in May of 1986 and it still holds up in nearly every regard thirty years later.
The ‘Top Gun: 30th Anniversary’ Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook release is a great looking release featuring collective Steelbook packaging that is sure to fit well into any Blu-ray collection. Fans of this timeless classic who don’t already own the film on Blu-ray yet have been meaning to acquire a copy will quite likely want to finally relent and pick up this edition, and it would certainly make an outstanding Father’s Day gift for that dad who doesn’t yet own it in glorious high definition. Those who already own the film on Blu-ray on the other hand may want to hold off unless they are adamant about possessing the Steelbook, as the actual disc doesn’t appear to contain any new content exclusive to this release; the physical Blu-ray disc in fact even retains a 2008 copyright. Even with the disc content being identical to the previous release, we have nonetheless decided to cover the technical specifications below as this is the first Blu-ray review of ‘Top Gun’ posted on Screen-Connections and wanted to provide ample information for those interested in picking up the release.
Overall, fellow fans of this classic film who don’t yet own the film on Blu-ray will definitely want to consider picking up a copy of the ‘Top Gun’ 30th Anniversary Limited Edition Steelbook release on Blu-ray which looks fantastic and is more than reasonably priced. It delivers fantastic high definition video and audio presentations, along with numerous hours of great extras and would likely also make a perfect gift for many fathers. Those who already own the 2008 Blu-ray release or another previous edition of ‘Top Gun’ will probably prefer to hold off (or at least compare the specs and content) as they likely won’t be treated to anything new here aside from the featured Steelbook case and artwork.
The ‘Top Gun: 30th Anniversary’ Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook release features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio which should be identical to the 2008 Blu-ray release judging by the 2008 copyright on the physical disc. The video presentation looks magnificent as a whole, providing a sharp and detailed presentation from start to finish that retains some mild grain and other elements representative of its original source while always holding up beautifully throughout, even during the fast moving and/or darkly lit sequences and never causing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is an impressive high definition video presentation that should easily please.
Just as with the 2008 ‘Top Gun’ Blu-ray release, this 30th Anniversary Limited Edition Steelbook release features both a lossless 6.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack and a lossless 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. I opted to view with the 6.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack selected as it offered a superior bitrate and an additional channel of information, therefore the following audio portion of this review will pertain solely to that soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack sounds wonderful and delivers a consistently crisp, clean and aggressive audio presentation, frequently utilizing all six available channels in order to fully immerse the viewer with the legendary soundtrack to the movie, as well as plenty of jets (and some ground vehicles) and plenty more regularly whipping throughout the various speakers, yet never causing any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is an outstanding 6.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that shouldn’t disappoint in the slightest.
The ‘Top Gun: 30th Anniversary’ Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook release includes an impressive collection of supplemental material, although once again the inclusions should be identical to the 2008 Blu-ray release. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Director Tony Scott, Co-screenwriter Jack Epps, Jr. and Naval Experts’, along with the feature length Documentary ‘Danger Zone: The Making of Top Gun’ (running approximately 2 hours, 28 minutes in length), in addition to ‘Best of the Best: Inside the Real Top Gun’ (running approximately 29 minutes), and ‘Multi-angle Storyboards with optional commentary by Director Tony Scott’ for two scenes (approximately 7 minutes in total). We are additionally treated to a ‘Vintage Gallery’ of bonus content which includes 4 ‘Music Videos’ (approximately 17 minutes altogether), numerous ‘TV Spots’ for the film (4 minutes in total), a ‘Behind the Scenes Featurette’ (6 minutes), a ‘Survival Training Featurette’ (8 minutes), and ‘Tom Cruise Interviews’ (7 minutes).