Nighthawks appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though erratic, the image usually looked pretty good.
Definition was positive. Occasional soft shots materialized, and I couldn’t call the movie razor-sharp, but the majority showed good clarity. No issues with shimmering or jaggies materialized, and but light edge haloes cropped up at times.
Print flaws remained pretty minor. A handful of specks popped up, but those issues weren’t pervasive. Instead, the movie usually looked clean.
Colors appeared largely appealing. The movie tended toward a low-key palette, and the disc replicated those with good accuracy. Blacks were reasonably dark, while low-light shots demonstrated appropriate clarity. Given the movie’s age, I felt this was a “B-“ image.
Don’t expect much from the wholly ordinary DTS-HD MA monaural soundtrack of Nighthawks. Everything about the mix felt dated and lackluster.
Speech remained intelligible, but the lines boasted little life. Dialogue was acceptably clear and lacked much edginess, but this material still seemed flat.
Music showed little range. The score seemed somewhat “rinky-dink” and didn’t present much pep. Effects also came across as mediocre at best. This became a consistently bland mix – even for its age, this audio seemed mediocre.
As we shift to extras, we find six featurettes, Lights, Camera, Action! runs 16 minutes, 10 seconds and provides an interview with producer Herb Nanas. He discusses story/character areas, the movie’s path to the screen, casting, and aspects of the shoot. Nanas offers a good mix of thoughts about the flick’s creation.
During the 24-minute, 37-second We Gotta Shoot This, we hear from director of photography James Contner. He covers problems on the set as well as his work. Contner repeats some of the comments from Nanas – mainly related to problems with the film’s original director – but he adds a lot of new insights.
Next comes A Sign of the Times, a 10-minute, 29-second conversation with actor Lindsay Wagner. She looks at her role and performance as well as scenes that got cut. Wagner’s character played a much more significant part of the original script, and it’s interesting to hear her look at what the film lost.
We hear from another castmember via Not the Other Girls. A four-minute, 24-second piece, actor Catherine Mary Stewart talks about her small role in the movie. Stewart wasn’t on the film long, but she delivers some fun thoughts – and even divulges that her first impression of Sylvester Stallone related to his height.
Nighthawks: The First Draft goes for nine minutes, 49 seconds. Story writer Paul Sylbert examines the movie’s plot, development and changes that came along the way. Sylbert presents intriguing notes about alternate paths the film might have taken.
Finally, It Was Hell lasts 10 minutes, 50 seconds and features technical adviser Randy Jurgensen. He talks about his work on the film and controversies that came along the way. Though Jurgensen contributes some decent observations, this ends up as the weakest of the featurettes.
In addition to the film’s trailer and three radio spots, we get a Still Gallery. It gives us 77 images that mix movie photos, behind the scenes shots and advertisements. It becomes a good collection.
Parts of Nighthawks threaten to turn exciting, but too much of the movie seems sluggish and disjointed. The film never manages to kick into gear and feels oddly free from passion. The Blu-ray delivers generally good picture along with mediocre audio and a nice set of bonus materials. Nighthawks offers a dated, lackluster police tale.