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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Adventure > Cold War > Top Gun (HD-DVD)

Top Gun (HD-DVD)


Picture: B     Sound: B     Extras: D     Film: B-



One of the more awaited back catalog titles on HD-DVD is Tony Scott’s Top Gun, his slick 1986 Cold War-era Music Video film about an elite flying school that turned out to be a huge hit.  We originally covered the DTS DVD set at this link:





Despite being an upgrade, the performance of the set was a disappointment, with a weak picture and 5.1 upgrades that ruined the surrounds.  This new HD-DVD is better, but still has more issues than it should.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image is an improvement over the latest DVD, but not by much.  Colors are richer, images are more solid, Video Black is somewhat improved, but there are still detail issues and range limits that should not be here.  The age of the film is not an excuse and many of the problems have nothing to do with the age of the print used.


The sound here is again in DTS 6.1 ES and in Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 barely richer than the standard Dolby 5.1 on the DVD.  This time, though not listed on the HD case, Dolby TrueHD 5.1 is also included and has a much smoother sound than either soundtrack here or on the DVD overall, with richer, warmer bass throughout.  Unfortunately, the surrounds are not only still an issue, they sound more dated here than they should for their age in a way that I do not think has to do with TrueHD’s superior sonic capacity.  The DTS still having some moments over the TrueHD confirms this.  So by default, this is the best version of the film out there, but far from how good it should or could be in this format.  The extras from that set and from any previous version are absolutely missing here.  Not even a trailer.


Hopefully, a special edition would fix that, the picture and add some DTS MA.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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