Night Train appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Only some minor concerns cropped up in this generally solid transfer.
For the most part, sharpness seemed to be very good. A little softness crept into a few wider shots, but those instances remained mild. Overall, the flick provided nice clarity and definition. I witnessed no signs of jagged edges or shimmering, and edge enhancement wasn’t a distraction. In terms of source defects, I saw a couple of small specks but no other problems manifested themselves.
Colors worked pretty well. The film usually went with a warm, holiday-themed palette, and the disc delivered the hues with nice vivacity. Blacks came across as dark and tight, while shadows were clear and smooth. Overall, I thought the flick provided a solid visual presentation.
While not really flawed, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Night Train seemed lackluster. The soundfield didn’t boast a lot to impress us. Much of the audio concentrated on elements related to the train, and they opened up matters to a decent degree. However, they often came across as rather vaguely placed, and they didn’t show great localization and specificity. The train effects cropped up around the spectrum but didn’t give us a great sense of place.
Movement was also limited. We heard the occasional zoom of the train from the front to the rear or from side to side, but these instances remained somewhat unconvincing. The track simply didn’t involve us in the material well.
Quality was acceptable. Speech always appeared intelligible, though the lines tended to be a little thin and stiff. Music was too bass-heavy and lacked great presence; the score didn’t sound bad, but it didn’t give us terrific range. The same went for the effects, as they were decent but not impressive in their clarity or punch. The track worked well enough for a “C+” but it didn’t do more for me than that.
We get only a few extras here. First comes a Making Of featurette that runs 22 minutes, 52 seconds. It includes comments from producers Brian Etting, Arnold Rifkin, Michael Philip and Jo Marr, director Brian King, SFX makeup designer Elvis Jones, and actors Steve Zahn, Danny Glover, Leelee Sobieski, Richard O’Brien, and Constantine Gregory. The program looks at sets and the use of the train setting, story, characters and inspirations, various effects, cast and performances, and a few other production thoughts.
Expect a competent but unexceptional featurette here. It’s longer than the average piece of this sort, so that allows it to develop a bit more depth than usual. However, it still doesn’t do a lot to flesh out many of the issues. We find a smattering of interesting notes but this essentially remains a superficial, promotional show.
A collection of Interviews/Soundbites with Cast and Crew fills 28 minutes, 13 seconds. In these, we hear from Glover, Zahn, Sobieski, O’Brien, King, Philip, Marr, Rifkin, and Jones. These interviews come from the same sessions seen in the prior featurette, so they cover the same subjects.
And they also repeat many of the same comments, so expect a fair amount of repetition. The additional footage manages to expand things to a decent degree, but we still don’t learn a ton about the movie. The information remains fairly ordinary; we get a passable look at the film and that’s it.
In addition to the film’s trailer, we find a Photo Gallery. This running collection includes 29 pictures and lasts two minutes, 11 seconds. We find nothing more than images from the flick in this dull package.
Because Alfred Hitchcock was so good as what he did, those who attempt to follow in his footsteps usually flop. That’s true for Night Train, a sloppy, often silly thriller in the Hitchcock vein. It rambles along for its 91 minutes without much logic or coherence; it hopes its plot twists will keep us occupied, but they don’t. The Blu-ray provides very good picture along with mediocre audio and some minor extras. Skip this forgettable flick and rewatch The Lady Vanishes or The 39 Steps instead.