Movie Review: NIGHTHAWKS (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray

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NIGHTHAWKS  was directed by Bruce Malmuth and stars Sylvester Stallone, Rutger Hauer, Lindsay Wagner, Persis Khambatta, Nigel Davenport, Catherine Mary Stewart and Joe Spinell.

This 1981 action-thriller follows international terrorist Wulfgar (Rutger Hauer) who strikes London, Paris and ultimately makes his way to New York City to do some major damage to the American city. Standing in his way are Deke DaSilva (Sylvester Stallone) and Matthew Fox (Billy Dee Williams), two street smart detectives who are assigned to the case to try and stop Wulfgar before he strikes again. Several chases take place throughout the city streets where the terrorist ends up taking an odd liking to DaSilva so instead of running away and not getting captured, he decides to stick around and play a game with the detective. Wulfgar and DaSilva come face-to-face several times but in the end, DaSilva’s street smarts and fondness of wearing women’s clothing allows him to outsmart the terrorist and put an end to his path of destruction.

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The story for NightHawks was one that feels like it’s ripped straight out of present day headlines, with so much terrorism and threats in the news today. This is a touchy subject for so many people but you just have to remember that it’s just an old school action movie and one that was made over 35 years ago. Bruce Malmuth did a really good job capturing the intensity that this dark and gritty thriller offers considering the fact that he was brought in at the last minute (see more in the extras about this story). NightHawks was evidently a difficult shoot but the movie ended up being a really exciting and intense watch. The movie is full of old school violence so there’s a lot of action, explosions, and gunfire offered up.

Sylvester Stallone plays this cool, street smart New York detective who takes no crap off of anyone, especially international terrorists like the one played by Rutger Hauer. Hauer’s character likes to communicate with the media and calls himself a liberator of sorts. Even though he is a hired hand, Wulfgar does it his way and calls all the shots. The terrorist also enjoys the attention he is given. By the way, Hauer has played so many bad guys over the years and he always nails these characters. The smooth one himself, Billy Dee Williams plays Stallone’s foul-mouth partner who ends up having a near death encounter with the terrorist. Lindsay Wagner plays Stallone’s love interest but really isn’t in the movie much at all.

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The front of the packaging features the artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features an image from the movie. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, NightHawks was another first time watch for me even though I had caught a scene or two from the movie before, probably by one of my late night remote flipping adventures on some premium channel. I enjoyed this movie that dealt with the hot topic of terrorism, something we see in the news way too much today. The movie itself is nothing more than an exciting old school action-thriller that featured a stellar cast. It’s a good movie but not a great one. Sly Stallone has always played the tough guy part and this movie here is really no different.  The supporting cast for this intense action-thriller included quite a few familiar faces that movie lovers should hopefully recognize. NightHawks makes its high-def debut when this Collector’s Edition Blu-ray drops on October 18th from Shout! Factory’s new Shout Select line.

Distributor: Shout! Factory

Run Time: 99 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

Subtitles: English

Special Features: Good Stuff! This Collector’s Edition Blu-ray is loaded with all-new extras that include six interviews with some of the cast and crew. There’s also the trailer, radio spots and still gallery imported over from previous standard-definition releases.

  • NEW Lights, Camera, Action! – An Audio Interview With Producer Herb Nanas (16:10)
  • NEW Nighthawks: The First Draft – An Interview With Writer Paul Sylbert (09:49)
  • NEW We Gotta Shoot This! – An Interview With Director Of Photography James A. Contner (24:37)
  • NEW A Sign Of The Times – An Interview With Actress Lindsay Wagner (10:29)
  • NEW Not The Other Girls – An Interview With Actress Catherine Mary Stewart (04:24)
  • NEW It Was Hell – An Interview With Technical Adviser Randy Jurgensen (10:50)
  • Theatrical Trailer (01:43)
  • Radio Spots (01:35)
  • Still Gallery (06:42)
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