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Major Alan 'Dutch' Schaefer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and a band of mercenaries head into the Central American jungle to rescue some Americans from guerillas. However, there is an additional evil force at work in the jungle, something not human. The mercenaries are picked off one by one and soon Schaefer must face the alien predator alone.
Although it was only made in 1987, Predator is already the kind of film that has action fans sighing, "They don't make 'em like that any more". Few later films can equal its testosterone-fuelled scenario, its graphic violence or its genuinely unnerving sense of danger. An alien big-game hunter comes to Earth to hunt the meanest, most dangerous creatures on the planet. Naturally, Arnold Schwarzenegger and his astonishingly muscle-bound team of marines are prime targets. The premise has a compelling Zen-like simplicity and the correspondingly minimalist script consists, for the most part, of the statuesque soldiers snarling one-liners at each other ("I ain't got time to bleed", "If it bleeds we can kill it") in between firing unfeasibly large weapons.
Director John McTiernan emphasises the claustrophobic confines of the jungle setting, allowing tension to build for the film's first two thirds by keeping the titular hunter concealed from both its prey and the audience. Composer Alan Silvestri's nerve-jangling percussive score racks up the tension yet further. When the creature does show its handiwork the results are horrifically gory, and, thanks to the film's insistently realistic tone, all the more terrifying. By the final act, a memorably mud-caked Arnie must discard all his high-tech weaponry and fight hand-to-hand against creature effects wizard Stan Winston's classic monster; McTiernan's action choreography ensures that the outcome of this hard-fought duel is never a foregone conclusion.
On the DVD: Predator at last gets the DVD release it deserves. Its previous incarnations used the bowdlerised TV edit; but this two-disc set restores the full theatrical cut, with skinned corpses aplenty and Carl Weathers' lopped-off arm among other messy delights. Not only that, but the sound options are now ultra-vivid Dolby 5.1 or DTS 5.1, though the anamorphic picture is still grainy in some of the darker scenes. John McTiernan provides a decent director's commentary, but much more fascinating information can be had from a text commentary option.
On the generously filled second disc there are seven short behind-the-scenes featurettes (including one dedicated to "Old Painless" the Gatling gun) plus a retrospective documentary, "If It Bleeds We Can Kill It", which includes both old and new interviews with many of the cast and crew. There are also outtakes and a deleted scene, special effects segments, camouflage tests and a text profile of the creature and its weaponry, plus a photo gallery. --Mark Walker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I've always liked this film and was really looking forward to seeing it again when I heard that it was being given the 3D treatment. The jungle environment in particular had me eagerly awaiting it's release.
Now I've seen it, it's fair to say that I am extremely disappointed with the results. At times, the jungle does seem to have some nice depth to it, but there are portions of the film that seem to have had no conversion whatsoever. At times watching it, I thought there was a problem with my glasses and had to take them off to check what I was seeing.
The day before watching "Predator 3D" I had watched the "Jurassic Park 3D" blu-ray and like Predator, large portions of the film are set in the jungle, but, unlike Predator, the 3D was consistent and it was an immersive experience.
Predator 3D is a lazy conversion and you can't help thinking that it's release was a half hearted effort, of minimal cost by Fox to rake in money from a film they know would be extremely popular with 3D enthusiasts.
I've now got approximately 150 3D titles and Predator 3D has to be the poorest in my collection.
Picture and sound quality are okay, but again, nothing special.
When Predator debuted on Blu-ray a couple of years back there were some mixed reviews. I actually rated it quite highly, although it could obviously have been better, (featuring a relatively low bit-rate MPEG-2 transfer), that it was certainly a marked improvement over the really shoddy looking DVD with it's noise and grain. The other gripe about the original release was of course, the fact that it completely lacked any extras. So now, Fox have recitifed the situation (or if you're feeling more cynical - decided to nick some more cash out the fans back pockets) by releasing an inevitabvle remastered special edition to blu ray.
And here it is, newly encoded, dual layer 50GB disc crammed with all the extras from the DVD including McTiernan's commentary and the 'If it bleeds we can kill it' making of documentary.
So how does it fare? Well, in fairness I think the remastered picture in this edition could well incite the same amount of criticism as the old one, but for the opposite reason. Personally I think it's great, bright, clear, immensely vived and colourful and whereas the previous edition only really looked "Hi-Def" in a number of places, this looks pretty immaculate throughout. Black levels are also greatly improved. However, all of this comes at a price, which some fans may not like, because seemingly to combat the gripes about grain and noise this remaster is pretty heavy on the digital noise reduction. So if you liked the rougher, grittier texture of the original print, you're probably going to be disappointed. Faces look particularly "smoothed over" and a little waxy in certain shots, but I should add that this is NOT the case all the time.Read more ›
Because eighty percent of the time, it's beautiful.
They must have used a different source print than they had previously. Many scenes that were dull and dark before now show wonderfully vivid colours and much greater contrast. Also, it seems Fox has done a heavy amount of grain reduction, which I know will be an instant deal breaker for some cinephiles, but I do think that Predator benefitted from the treatment. I was astounded at the clarity some scenes have, every piece of foliage is razor sharp, and the Predator himself is so detailed in closeup it's scary. And it doesn't stop there.. From being able to see each bead of sweat on Carl Weathers' face, to the intricate patterns of the lightning effects as Predator decloaks, the new video transfer often presents scenes that look light years ahead of older versions of the film.
But then there's the other twenty percent...
The infamous scene at the start, when Dillon and Dutch lock arms, is one of the most egregious examples of video tampering. Carl Weathers' moustache looks like it's a blurry smudge on his face in this scene, whilst R.G. Armstrong now appears to be made of rubber. Arnold's closeups here are just plain ugly. Certainly not a great start to the movie, and it sets a trend of blurred shots and smudged faces that continues off and on through the film. A scene will be playing out, looking detailed and film-like, then suddenly it cuts to a closeup and we're examining a wax figure from Madame Tussauds acting in a Predator movie. Luckily this doesn't happen too often.Read more ›
Due to a pressing or packaging error Disc One was the old single-disc edition of Predator - i.e. no DTS, no audio commentary, and a heavily-censored version of the film! Disc Two was correct.
Disc One SHOULD have a large picture of Arnie's face and say "Disc One" on it - the incorrect disc has a fuzzy picture of Arnie with a gun and DOES NOT say Disc One.
Seeing as the previous UK DVD release of Predator was a foul-up on Fox's part in the first place - apparently they mistakenly used a heavily-censored master intended for the German market - you would have thought they'd have taken a little more care this time around...
It's a good film, as I'm sure you already know, and it's good to see that it's finally been given a decent release in the UK - providing you've got the right disc in the pack!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great blue ray version of a classic just one or two scenes that don't look good because of the hd conversionPublished 4 days ago by MR C R ANNABLE
Classic film which to me even in 2016 does not seem to fill like it was filmed in the 1980's... Except how young both Arnie and Carl look...Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
One of the best films you can watch over and over again and never tire of watching.Published 2 months ago by Tanya H.
Arguably, one of the best action movies of all time. Possibly, one of the best sci-fi movies of all time. Definitely, one of my favorite movies of all time. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Koobismo
There's been a lot of hype about this film, and in many ways I can see why. This said, when I whacked it on, it wasn't anything like I expected. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Elizabeth Munro