4K UHD Review: Top Gun (SteelBook)

Since this is my fourth (!) review of 1986’s Top Gun I’ll omit the usual film discussion. If you would like to see my full comments on the film, please click here.

This is an identical release to the 4K UHD disc available in May of 2020. The only difference comes from the packaging, as we get a Steelbook here. This set exists to promote the Top Gun sequel, though the COVID pandemic moved it from summer 2020 to winter 2020 to summer 2021.

Presented in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio, this 4K disc is a quality reproduction of the source. Sharpness is strong throughout. Though photography is a bit soft on occasion, the image appears accurate and well defined. A nice layer of grain is in evidence, and print flaws aren’t an issue. Colors look natural, and appropriate. While not a particularly bright palette, the hues appear well rendered and full. The Dolby Vision disc’s HDR added depth and impact to the tones as well. Blacks look deep and inky, while shadows reveal impressive clarity. Expect bright whites and strong contrast.

The Dolby Atmos soundtrack included with Top Gun is excellent. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the track provides a wide and involving soundfield. The many action scenes provide opportunity for use of the entire soundfield, and the audio uses it well. Jets zoomed around the room convincingly, and the mix turned very active on those occasions. Ambient elements also fared well, while the almost-constant music presented strong stereo imaging. Split surrounds are also used convincingly when called upon. Audio quality is strong. Dialogue is clean, clear, and concise throughout.

English, English SDH, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Cantonese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Korean, Mandarin (Simplified), Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Romanian, Russian, Swedish, and Thai subtitles are included.

The following extras are included:

On the 4K Disc:

  • Audio Commentary with Director Tony Scott, co-producer Jerry Bruckheimer, co-writer Jack Epps, Jr., and naval experts Capt. Mike Galpin, Rear Admiral Pete Pettigrew, and Vice Admiral Mike McCabe.

On the included Blu-ray:

  • Six-part, 2004 documentary, Danger Zone: The Making of Top Gun, which spans some 147 minutes, and covers just about everything you’d ever want to know about the movie from pre-production through production, visual effects, music, release, and impact of the film.
  • Two multi-angle storyboards, “Flat Spin” and “Jester’s Dead,” which you can watch in either of several ways and with optional director commentary.
  • Best of the Best: Inside the Real Top Gun, which takes us into the real-life “Top Gun” school. It runs about 28 minutes.
  • Following these items is a Vintage Gallery” of older material. These include four music videos: “Danger Zone” with Kenny Loggins; “Take My Breath Away” with Berlin; “Heaven in Your Eyes” with Loverboy; and “Top Gun Anthem” with Harold Faltermeyer and Steve Stevens; a five-minute behind-the-scenes featurette; a seven-minute “Survival Training” featurette; seven TV spots; and a little over six minutes of Tom Cruise interviews.

Top Gun (1986)
  • Movie
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras