The Top Gun Naval Fighter Weapons School is where the best of the best train to refine their elite flying skills. When hotshot fighter pilot Maverick (Tom Cruise) is sent to the school, his reckless attitude and cocky demeanor put him at odds with the other pilots, especially the cool and collected Iceman (Val Kilmer). But Maverick isn’t only competing to be the top fighter pilot, he’s also fighting for the attention of his beautiful flight instructor, Charlotte Blackwood (Kelly McGillis).
Plot: 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.
Director: Tony Scott
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Runtime: 110 min
Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Though it features some of the most memorable and electrifying aereial footage shot with an expert eye for action, Top Gun offers too little for non-adolescent viewers to chew on when its characters aren’t in the air.
“Source material soars to new heights in UHD.”
This movie was originally shot in 35mm, but for this 2020 release it was given a brand new 4k digital intermediate! On top of that, as per the norm with UHD releases, it was also given a HDR color grade for your viewing pleasure in both Dolby Vision & HDR10. (There’s grain, so grain-haters beware.)
It’s been quite a while since we’ve got an upgrade from the Blu-ray, but you’re in luck because Top Gun soars to new heights in UHD. The filmatic tone the movie pushes forward get’s it’s chance to shine with the use of HDR and a new set of pixels. A lot of that is due to the layer of grain that’s intact and present throughout — it lets the source material mature along with the movie.
The new level of sharpness is rather shocking, I never realized how sweaty all the faces of the pilots were — in this transfer you can make out every droplet… it’s that sharp. You’ll also see more detail in the characters faces; pores, sweat, stubble, blemishes… the works. Even little things like the patches on jackets, uniforms, flags and insignia’s show added depth and dimension. It’s not perfect all the way around, there’s still plenty of soft shots where the sharpness and clarity dip out completely — this usually happens with the jets flying at high speed through the environment. (There’s no way around that.)
When it comes to the use of HDR, the color palette highlights the warm tones the cinematographer went back to time and time again. (You know what I’m talking about, the famous sunrise and sunset shots seen throughout the film.) On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll also notice clear blue skies against the dark gray paint of the fighter jets. It doesn’t end there; this continues with the various character close up’s which showcase great skin tones — the natural lighting in every scene makes this possible.
The final thing I marked down while watching the film last night was “white tee’s, uniforms and dresses.” They are so bright and crisp I had to make a note of it — it will catch your eye more than once.
Lastly, there’s 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 Jon Hamm, Miles Teller, Glen Powell and more. You can also enjoy a retrospective segment from 2016 looking back at 30 years of Top Gun too. Any fan will love these new additions.
In conclusion —
Taking everything I’ve said into account, Top Gun gets my recommendation for an automatic day-one purchase – it’s a no-brainer at $19.99. Do yourself a favor, grab a copy at your local retailer when it releases on 4K UHD May 19th, you won’t be disappointed. It’s films like this getting a remaster that makes it more exciting to see what will get this type treatment in the future. (There are plenty of good ones on the way, so it’s nice to continue to look forward to them.)
Are you a fan of Top Gun? Will you be picking it up to own? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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