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Top Gun (SE)
BLU-RAY disk
08.31.2011 By: Jason Adams
Top Gun (SE) order download
Director:
Tony Scott

Actors:
Tom Cruise
Kelly McGillis
Anthony Edwards

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A hotshot young pilot with a need for speed could be the best flyboy in his class –if he didn’t play by his own rules!
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
It’s been 25 years since TOP GUN was released, so now is a great time to examine the film’s long lasting legacy: TOP GUN is one of the most homoerotic films ever made. Sure, there may be more obvious examples (FREDDY'S REVENGE, SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKYO?), but for a mainstream, popular movie, this might be as subtly gay as it gets. The sweaty volleyball game is proof itself, but there’s plenty of talk about the pilots’ members, shower scenes with everyone in towels, and singing…so much singing. Heck, even the female romantic lead is named Charlie.

Mockery aside, TOP GUN is exactly how you remember it and unapologetic for what it is. It’s light on brains, heavy on the clichés with a young energetic cast and fast action—a popcorn movie perfectly summed up by Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone.” It’s cheesy pretty much all the way through the fairly bad script, not just when it comes to the romance (both between Maverick and Charlie and Maverick and Goose). What does hold up well are the thrilling flight sequences. With the cooperation of the military, the footage captured is still pretty amazing. With modern movies everything is done with greenscreen and CGI, but in TOP GUN, the aerial combat is all real. The movie also serves as a reminder that Tony Scott knows action (when he’s not editing on meth).

The cast ain’t too shabby either. Tom Cruise’s cocky flyboy is a character he would go on to perfect in future films but the young actor still shows some real chops. Though often a joke, Cruise and Anthony Edwards really do have great chemistry together as Maverick and Goose (though it’s funny to see where their careers diverged after this). A contractually-obligated Val Kilmer isn’t given much to do except scowl and be a dick, but he’s still memorable as Cruise’s honorary lifetime wingman. Tom Skerritt and Michael Ironside are also fairly one-note, but fine for how the script shapes them. Unfortunately, I never saw the big deal about Kelly McGillis as Charlie, one of the least appealing romantic interests of the decade. Their completely forced love story is perhaps the weakest part of this 80s favorite.
THE EXTRAS
TOP GUN was already released on Blu-Ray back in 2008, but hey…it's the 25th anniversary! For the most part, all the bonus material here is taken from previous releases, save for one small featurette.

Commentary by producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Tony Scott, writer Jack Epps and Naval Experts: I hate when tracks are recorded separately and then spliced together, and unfortunately that's what we get here. There's some good info to be shared here (mostly at the hands of Scott, who admits to being fired from the film three times) but I don't think it's worth listening to this disjointed commentary.

Danger Zone: This six-part Making Of documentary clocks in at nearly two and a half hours—longer than the film itself! It goes in-depth in to pretty much every facet of TOP GUN, from the difficult production (both on the ground and in the air), the visual effects, the initial reception and release (test audiences hated it!) and of course the famous music. Even if I didn't go gaga for the film, this is still an amazing piece of work, both as a special feature and on its own.

Best of the Best: Get a half-hour tour inside the real Top Gun training school to meet some of the instructors and see what life would've really been like for Cruise. (NOTE: This is the only special feature new to the Blu-Ray.)

Storyboards: Two flight scenes are shown in both storyboarded and finished formats so you can compare (and toggle different angles). Tony Scott provides commentary to talk you through it.

Behind the Scenes and Survival Training Featurettes: Both of these are EPK-style pieces taken from the original 1986 release, so it's fun to see everyone 25 years younger (including the late Don Simpson). The first is your typical PR fluff piece, while the second focuses on the actors learning emergency preparedness for their flight. Both total about 15 minutes.

Tom Cruise Interviews: a six-minute interview with the young star.

You also get a set of Music Videos and TV Spots to round things out.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
TOP GUN, you can be my wingman anytime. As long as I'm in the mood for a lighthearted action romp drenched in 80s clichés, nostalgia and slight homoeroticism. This Blu-Ray celebrates the film's 25th anniversary with an amazing 2.5 hour documentary that should take any TOP GUN fan to the danger zone.

Extra Tidbit: I always forget that Meg Ryan and Tim Robbins are both in this movie too.
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