The Invisible Man appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.33:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. I felt quite pleased with this appealing presentation.
Overall sharpness seemed strong. A little softness occasionally affected some shots, but those were minor instances, as the majority of the flick looked pretty accurate and tight. I witnessed no issues with jaggies or moiré effects, and edge haloes were absent.
With a nice layer of grain, I didn’t suspect any heavy-handed digital noise reduction usage, and print flaws remained minor; I saw an occasional small blotch but that was about it. Blacks looked deep and taut, while shadows showed clear, smooth tones. This was a splendid image.
Though not quite as good, the DTS-HD MA 2.0 monaural soundtrack of Invisible Man worked well for its age. Speech could be a bit brittle, but the lines seemed reasonably natural, and they lacked any substantial edginess or other concerns.
Effects came across as decent. Those elements could seem rough in louder sequences, and they never boasted great dimensionality, but they were more than acceptable for their age.
The occasional instances of music showed fair clarity, and the track lacked much source noise; some light popping and background interference occurred, but nothing substantial. This was a more than competent track for an 82-year-old flick.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the original 1999 DVD? Audio was cleaner and clearer, and the visuals demonstrated enormous improvements. The Blu-way was tighter and smoother, with many fewer print flaws. This was a night and day step up in quality.
The Blu-ray replicates most of the DVD’s extras. First we get an audio commentary from film historian Rudy Behlmer. For this running, screen-specific piece, he details the genesis of the original H.G. Wells novel, aspects of story/characters, cast and performances, visual effects, related films, filmmaker biographies, and some additional production notes.
As a commentator, Behlmer is money in the bank; he always provides thorough, engaging examinations of the films he discusses, and that remains true here. Behlmer seems informed but not stuffy, as he delivers a spirited examination of the movie. I love Behlmer’s work and he makes this another strong commentary.
Hosted by Behlmer, Now You See Him: The Invisible Man Revealed runs 35 minutes and 21 seconds. The program provides notes from actor Claude Rains' daughter Jessica, Gods and Monsters director Bill Condon and actor Ian McKellen, James Whale’s friend Curtis Harrington, and film historians David J. Skal and Paul M. Jensen.
“Revealed” covers the HG Wells novel and its adaptation for the screen, notes about Whale and his career, cast and performances, visual effects, the film’s reception and sequels. “Revealed” moves through its subjects quickly but well, so it delivers a good overview.
For a piece new to Blu-ray, 100 Years of Universal: Unforgettable Characters lasts eight minutes, 18 seconds. It features a slew of movie snippets as a narrator tells us about different roles. It’s mildly entertaining but it essentially exists as an advertisement.