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Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > Comedy > Suspense > Monster > Shark > Italy > Science Fiction > Thriller > Japan > Exploitation > Nightbeast (1982/Troma Blu-ray)

Another Thin Man (1939/MGM/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Deep Blood (1990/Severin Blu-ray)/Gattaca 4K (1997/Sony 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Invisible Man Appears (1949)/Invisible Man Vs. The Human Fly (1957/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray)/Nightbeast (1982/Troma Blu-ray)

4K Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: B/B/B+/B+/B Sound: C+/B-/A-/B+/B Extras: C+/C-/B/B/C+ Films: C+/C/B/C+/C

PLEASE NOTE: The Another Thin Man Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.

The following films are from various genres, but offer suspense and mystery...

W.S. Van Dyke II's Another Thin Man (1939) is the third of six films in MGM's hit mystery film series of the mystery adventures of Nick (William Powell) and Nora (Myrna Loy) Charles, based on the books by Dashell Hammett. One of the most respected of all the mystery series of the time, it was not the longest-running or most intense (we would site the Charlie Chan films at Fox or Rathbone Sherlock Holmes films for that title) and obviously had its share of wit, comedy and as much money as any of them. However, the series started to get a little too cutesy for its own good as they have their first child.

Still, it can be witty and have a few good moments, yet this tale of an old mentor of Nora's (C. Aubrey Smith) being killed and his daughter (Virginia Grey) hanging with some shady types when this film works best in its 102 minutes. That is longer than average for films in such series (65 to 70 minutes was the usual, though that made for tighter mysteries) and supporting turns by Otto Kruger, Ruth Hussey, Nat Pendleton, Tom Neal and Patric Knowles do not hurt. Now you can really see for yourself in the only way to watch the film outside of a mint-condition film print. I would start with the first film, though, if you have not seen the series.

The 1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image transfer sometimes shows the age of the materials used, but this is far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film and shows off the high quality, even glossy monochrome look of MGM films and their labs. However, the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix cannot hide the age of the optical mono soundmaster. This sounds as good as it ever will, but expect some limits.

Extras include an Original Theatrical Trailer, live action short Love On Tap and Technicolor, animated MGM short The Bookworm, celebrating books as they come alive with some comic results.

Joe D'Amato's Deep Blood (1990) is a cheap, belated Jaws-takeoff (by 15 years?) with bad acting, 1980s clothes and a strange sense of blood and gore for any such imitator. A group of children listen to a old Native American (???) about curses and when they become teenaged, a deadly shark starts attacking (the Native is dead by then and never discussed again, a good thing) and despite some deaths, no officials believe it is a shark.

Can the teens (with the help of some of their parents) stop the killer creature? You know you're in trouble when the shark, made up of stock footage of several sharks (footage of different quality) plus some 'models' (to be kind about it) is more convincing than most of the actors. Mitzi McCall and Charles Ball, a comedy team that began in the 1960s and also did everything from acting turns to game shows, are here, but not enough to save this or steal the show.

This is not even as good as Great White (the Italian Jaws ripoff Universal successfully sued to have pulled) or Cruel Jaws (reviewed elsewhere on this site) so it is for the most curious and completists only. Still, expect some graphic violence, cheap or not.

The 1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image is a nice 2K scan from the original 35mm camera negative and color looks best, even when a few shots look a little soft and this looks like it was shot soft matte so it could be projected at 1.85 X 1 or the like for theatrical presentations. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix is here in its original English sound and an Italian dub that does not sound as good or work as well, sounds like the one made for the film at the time and sounds more compressed.

An Original Theatrical Trailer is the only extra.

Director Andrew Niccols' (Lord of War, In Time) sci-fi cult hit, Gattaca (1997), starring Ethan Hawke, Jude Law, and Uma Thurman is now available in stunning 2160p on 4K UHD disc in a collectible steelbook packaging which is prime for collectors like myself! In terms of intellectual sci-fi cinema, this one is certainly on the top of many lists. It also helped Ethan Hawke solidify himself as a leading man and has Uma Thurman looking as beautiful as ever.

The film also stars Alan Arkin and Gore Vidal.

In the future, DNA cells, hair molecules, and stem cells are able to determine everything about a human being even more so than today. A brilliant yet weak man (Hawke) ends up stealing the fingerprints and identity of another man (Law) in order to become a member of the genetic elite to pursue his dream of traveling into space with the prestigious Gattaca Aerospace Corporation. Shuttles are launched several times a day and he is finally chosen due to his skills and intellect which declare him the perfect mental candidate. However a week before his mission, a murder marks Vincent as a suspect, and he finds himself wrapped up with an investigator in pursuit and a woman (Thurman) that he has fallen in love, who learns his true identity. Thus, his goal of accomplishing his dream is in jeopardy.

Gattaca is presented here in 2160p native 4K with an HEVC / H.265 with HDR10 and a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and audio mixes in lossless Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) and English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit). This is a new transfer was taken from the original camera negative and certainly bests many of the previous versions of the film that have been available over the years. The HDR (high dynamic range) helps the color spectrum even more and delivers a startling crisp image.

Also included is the original 1080p Blu-ray version of the film with a 2.39:1 widescreen aspect ratio and audio mixes in just lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1. The image looks pretty good, but not as nice as the 4K UHD.

Special Features:

Deleted Scenes

Blooper Reel

and Welcome to Gattaca featurette.

Gattaca is a bit slow at times, but is visually stunning, and full of interesting ideas. It is nice to finally see it get the 4K UHD treatment after seeing the film on several different formats over the years.

Back when the use of special effects was in its infancy in Japan, these interesting Invisible Man movies were produced, The Invisible Man Appears (1949) and The Invisible Man vs. The Human Fly (1957). In Appears, a group of jewel thieves become interesting in acquiring the invisibility formula for obvious reasons. In the sequel, a serial killer faces off against a police officer who has invisibly powers - who will win?

The films star Shz Nanbu, Ryji Shinagawa, Chizuru Kitagawa, Yoshir Kitahara, Takiko Mizunoe, and Junko Kan.

The Invisible Man Appears / The Invisible Man Vs. The Human Fly are presented in 1080p high definition black and white with full frame aspect ratios of 1.37:1 and 1.33:1 with original LPCM lossless Japanese mono audio on both films - both films have optional English subtitles as well. The transfers are both pretty impressive.

Special Features:

Transparent Terrors, a newly filmed interview with critic and genre scholar Kim Newman on the history of the 'Invisible Man' in cinema

Theatrical trailer for The Invisible Man Appears

Image galleries for both films

Reversible sleeve featuring new and original artwork by Graham Humphreys

and FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectors' booklet featuring new writing by Keith Allison, Hayley Scanlon and Tom Vincent.

Don Dohler's Nightbeast (1982) gets a new HD Blu-ray release from Troma Video and features music by the iconic Hollywood director J.J. Abrams (listed here as 'Jeffrey Abrams'). This creature feature is silly fun and a precursor to films like Predator in some ways. The special effects are primitive but yet charming, the monster himself has a cool look to him, but there isn't any movement on its face or any range of expression, and so its obviously a mask! In essence, an alien lands on earth and several shootouts and murders ensue. That's about the jist in terms of plot. This labor of love isn't as raunchy and gore-tastic and other Lloyd Kaufman endorsed films, but that doesn't make it any less fun to watch.

The film stars Tom Griffith, Jamie Zemarel, Karin Kardian, George Stover, Don Leifert, and Anne Frith.

Nightbeast is presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and an audio mix in lossy English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. Troma did a decent job with the transfer here, but it isn't anything particularly jaw dropping outside of a standard Blu-ray presentation. The soundtrack is synth and very '80s, and suits the film fine.

Special Features:

Intro w Lloyd Kaufman

Outtakes and Bloopers

Visual FX Gallery

and Trailers.

Nightbeast is pure B-movie monster silliness and nothing more.

To order either of the Warner Archive Blu-ray of Another Thin Man, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo (Thin, Deep) and James Lockhart



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