Tom Cruise Is Here to Fill Your ‘Top Gun’ Void

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Tom Cruise as Maverick in 1986's "Top Gun." (Paramount Pictures)

Back when the folks at Paramount were planning their Very Big Year for “Top Gun: Maverick,” the long-awaited sequel to the 1986 classic “Top Gun,” a reissue of classic Tom Cruise titles on 4K UHD disks was just a bit of icing on their marketing cake.

Well, things changed, and the first-time-on-4K release of original “Top Gun,” “Days of Thunder” and “War of the Worlds” is now the main Cruise event of the spring. The disks will be available for purchase on May 19th, following the three films’ first-time availability in Digital 4K on May 13th.

It’s the 34th anniversary of the movie’s original release, and the newly remastered “Top Gun” comes with a brand-new featurette that explores the film’s legacy and enduring popularity. It includes new interviews with Tom Cruise, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and members of the cast of “Top Gun: Maverick,” including John Hamm, Miles Teller, Glen Powell and more. That short is likely to be our best look at the sequel before December, so here’s a chance to take a peek.

The “Top Gun” release also has all the bonus material from earlier Blu-ray reissues, including a retrospective segment from 2016 looking back at 30 years of “Top Gun.” Additional previously released bonus content on the disc includes commentary by producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Tony Scott, co-screenwriter Jack Epps, Jr. and naval experts; Danger Zone: The Making of Top Gun; and a look inside the real Top Gun.

This year is also the 30th anniversary of “Days of Thunder,” a movie that reunited Cruise, director Tony Scott and producer Jerry Bruckheimer in their attempt to make NASCAR racing as thrilling as military aviation. They didn’t quite succeed on that front, but the movie still has its charms. The new 4K UHD release includes a brand-new featurette looking back on the production with Bruckheimer.

And it’s the 15th anniversary of Steven Spielberg’s take on “War of the Worlds,” a movie that proved Cruise was going to continue as a top box-office draw well into the 21st century. In addition to its upgraded visuals, the release includes over an hour of previously released bonus content, including multiple behind-the-scenes featurettes, production diaries and a look at the characters.

As the current pandemic has caused a lot of us to rethink our future entertainment options, you may be asking yourself if a 4K UHD Blu-ray player is worth the bucks as an add-on to your 4K television. If you can afford the $200-$250 (the going rate for a first quality Sony player), you’ll find that no “4K” streaming option can match the quality you’re going to get from the actual disk.

Most 4K titles run around $25 and come with the 4K disc, a Blu-ray (that often includes bonus features that won’t fit on the 4K disc) and a code for a digital copy. If you’ve been paying $15-$20 for digital movies, the physical copies are a real bargain once you’ve made the investment in a player.

We’ll be back with a report on the disks next month and continue to search the far corners of the internet for Top Gun news.

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