on 11 January 2014
PREDATOR 3D [1987/2013] [3D Blu-ray + 2D Blu-ray] Return to the Hunt In 3D! Soon The Hunt Will Begin!
Arnold Schwarzenegger wages an all-out war against an unstoppable enemy in this pulse-pounding action thriller, now in spectacular 3D for the first time ever! On a rescue mission deep within a Central American jungle, a team of U.S. commandos find themselves hunted by a terrifying creature more powerful and deadly than any on Earth...because the Predator is not of this Earth.
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Sonny Landham, Richard Chaves, R.G. Armstrong, Shane Black, Steve Boyum (uncredited), William H. Burton Jr. (uncredited), Peter Cullen (The Predator (voice) uncredited), Henry Kingi (uncredited), Sven-Ole Thorsen (uncredited), and Kevin Peter Hall (The Predator / Helicopter Pilot)
Director: John McTiernan
Producers: Beau Marks, Jim Thomas, John Davis, John Vallone, Joel Silver, Laurence Pereira and Lawrence Gordon
Screenplay: Jim Thomas and John Thomas
Composer: Alan Silvestri
Cinematography: Donald McAlpine
Video Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French: 5.1 DTS, Spanish: 5.1 DTS and Italian: 5.1 DTS
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Thai, Italian, Norway and Swedish
Running Time: 107 minutes
Number of discs: 2
Region: All Regions
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Andrew's Blu-ray Review: A group of mercenaries lead by Major Alan “Doesn’t my accent sound ‘Dutch’” Schaefer [Arnold Schwarzenegger] is hired by his old military buddy, George Dillon [Carl Weathers], to rescue a captured presidential cabinet member from guerrilla forces in Val Verde. When they get there, they find a downed helicopter and the skinned bodies of an Army Special Forces unit. They take out a nearby rebel encampment, but soon start to realize that there’s something else in the jungle, hunting them with thermal vision, a laser gun, cloaking device, and dreadlocks. This is a very cool sci-fi action flick.
Some consider `Predator' to be the best action film ever made. While I wouldn't go quite that far, it's certainly up there in the top 10, and it's also one of my favourite films of all time. It easily ticks all the right boxes with a simple plot, big beefy men with big beefy guns, some cracking one-liners and plenty of blood and gore. And speaking of the plot: Dutch [Arnold Schwarzenegger] and his team of commandos are sent on a mission to a South American jungle to rescue some missing dignitaries. Instead, they end up being hunted by an alien. But who will win out in the end. Even after multiple viewings, `Predator' still manages to be tense, exciting and surprising. It's easily one of the biggest Arnold Schwarzenegger's best films yet and it certainly helped to cement his place on the Hollywood map and Carl Weathers, best known as Apollo Creed in three Rocky films, has not done anything half as good since.
It's big; it's loud and incredibly well-paced. And to top it all off, it's got one of the best movie villains ever created and the Predator himself, a marvellous piece of design from special effects supremo Stan Winston. Sadly, the sequel and `Alien vs Predator' spinoffs have all been terrible. It's true to say that they just don't make them like this anymore. ‘Predator’ definitely holds up. The story leads you in one direction before dropping an alien on you to make it science fiction, and the action is still great fun to watch and the film is still great and still entirely watchable, even by today’s standards. ‘Predator’ gets “So you cooked up a story and dropped the six of us into a meat grinder?” out of “I ain’t got time to bleed.”
As the film moves along, John McTiernan shows great control of the camera by maintaining focus on his main attraction, namely Arnold Schwarzenegger. And later, when the elite commando team raids a rebel encampment, the filmmakers have us fully convinced that things will continue in this direction. Essentially, the entire first act is nothing more than a setup, a crafty swindle of sorts to draw viewers in with expectations of a typical Arnold Schwarzenegger action film. It's much like what Dillon [Carl Weathers] does to Dutch in the story. It's no coincidence the film follows a small fighting force into the jungles of Central America with what at the time was standard action violence.
Despite the humorous coincidence of co-star Jesse Ventura and Arnold Schwarzenegger both ending up in politics, the acting in the film is exactly the way it should be, with authentic fear, panic, camaraderie, and fortitude and who would have thought Arnold Schwarzenegger could ever find another role as fitting as his turn in ‘The Terminator’ . The sheer intensity of the skilled troopers makes for some worthy chase sequences and boisterous battles. While it is entirely for entertainment, the violence in the film also enhances the severity and immediacy of the situations, increasing the nerve-wracking nature of the hunt and rousingly garnished with thundering music by Alan Silvestri. Transcending typical creature features with its mix of genres, including action/adventure, horror, and science-fiction, ‘Predator’ has proven itself to be much more than just a cult monster film, especially seeing in glorious 3D. This superior blend of firepower, machismo, bloodshed, and one of the most exhilarating showdowns in cinema is often imitated but rarely equalled.
Blu-ray 3D Quality – The 3D is nothing short of stunning and awesome and this `Predator' upgrade has been done 100% perfectly. There is not a ghosting to be seen, and the 3D effect really does enhance the film and taking you deep into the jungle with Arnie and his men. You can almost feel the sweat and smell the danger and the terror when the Predator attacks are palpable. And this is probably the best the film has ever looked much better than previous inferior DVD and 2D Blu-ray releases. Can we please have MORE Blu-ray films like this?
Blu-ray Audio Quality – `Predator' offers the same multiple audio options that graced the Ultimate Hunter Edition, with most audiophiles probably gravitating to the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix. While this isn't as ubiquitously immersive a mix as that found in newer action fare, it's still a fairly relentless onslaught of effects, especially in the several set pieces where Arnold and the boys take out their big guns and defoliate the jungle with bullets. There's a very notable low frequency sound effect that accompanies each shift into the "thermo imaging" point of view shots from the Predator's perspective, and those are forceful enough to perhaps provoke a startle response in some viewers. For me, anyway, the most remarkable thing about this mix is Alan Silvestri's almost nonstop underscore, one which utilizes a lot of cool percussive effects. Alan Silvestri's score easily fills the surrounds and really helps to augment the awesom listening experience. It's an unusually effective score for a film that is often dominated by sound effects and it deserves more attention than it routinely gets, even by fans of the film.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras: All supplemental material can be found only on the standard definition 2D Blu-ray disc and most are the same set of documentaries from the "Ultimate Hunter Edition" and with this United Kingdom 3D release, you get a few extra supplements. The 3D Blu-ray only contains the actual film version.
Audio Commentary: Commentary with director John McTiernan: This is a slow laborious, lumbering slog. There are long stretches of uncomfortable silence, and most of the highlights have already been tackled elsewhere on the disc. John McTiernan does delve into why Predator was shot flat rather than in scope, expands on some of the specifics of the creature suit, and covers the frequently told story about trying to put a monkey in a red suit for the alien effects, but there's too much repetition and far too much dead air to be worth a bother. He also has a tendency to get caught up in random tangents, ranting about studio politics and the role Hollywood plays in tragedies like Columbine. Not really worth a listen.
Special Feature: Predator: Evolution of a Species: Hunters of Extreme Perfection [1080p] [11:13] Producer John Davis and filmmakers Robert Rodriguez and Nimrod Antal discuss Predator's lasting impact in this new documentary. We get to hear especially from Producer John Davis discussing about the script that came his way and who has worked with Arnie before and on top of all that Arnie also suggested John Davis make the film. We also get told by John Davis that `Predator' nearly never got made, as the money ran out, but eventually it got made and that he didn't realise what an impact it would make on the audience. Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez who is the Director of the latest re-make of the ghastly `Predators' talks about how the original `Predator' made an massive impact on him. And finally, filmmaker Nimrod Antal also tells how `Predator' made a massive impact on him and how it gave him an incentive to make films.
Special Feature: Text Commentary by Film Journalist and Historian Eric Lichtenfeld: This text-only commentary, when selected, runs as subtitles across the bottom of the screen. It's mostly comprised of interviews with the film's editor, sound effects designers, stunt choreographers, casting director and screenwriters.
Special Feature: If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It: The Making of Predator [1080p] [29:00] This making-of documentary is actually a retrospect that features footage from the set and allows a good majority of the folks who worked on the film to speak. Conversations cover everything from the script literally landing at the doorsteps of Fox Studios, the origins of the alien's fearsome appearance, and filming under humid conditions. For those fans unfamiliar with the history of 'Predator,' this makes for a must watch.
Special Feature: Inside the Predator [1080p] [31:00] Inside the Predator gives us seven vintage documentaries. Classified Action [5:21] takes us on set for some of the stunts, the cast and crew discuss Arnie's star-power in The Unseen Arnold [4:42]; Old Painless [3:30] is an ode to the massive Gatling gun that Ventura totes and The Life Inside [4:26] is a tribute to the late Kevin Peter Hall. Wrapping it up, we have Camouflage [4:54] a look at the make-up work, Welcome to the Jungle [2:40] a discussion of the film's sense of place, and Character Design [4:41] which covers each characters' personality.
Special Feature: Special Effects [1080p] [4:00] Five really short pieces which are weirdly organised makeup and is a look at the camouflage effects in the film.
Special Feature: Short Takes: Four short interviews that didn't fit anywhere else. In John McTiernan on Learning Film [3:05] the director talks about his film school experience, Jesse's Ultimate Goal [2:18] is about Jesse Ventura's venture into politics, Stan Winston: Practical Joker [3:02] is the story of a bullfrog-related prank and Don't Drink the Water [1:58] is expert advice for all travellers to Mexico.
Deleted Scenes and Outtakes [5:00] Includes four scenes: Fleeing the Predator [1:43], Chameleon [00:28], Building a Trap [2:12] and Sliding Downhill [00:56].
Special Feature: Photo Gallery [1080p] It goes without saying that these on-set stills are only interesting to those who like looking at production photos.
Special Feature: Predator Profile [1080p] A text-and-photo-only profile of the alien predator, detailing all of his weapons and armour.
Theatrical Trailers [1080p] Includes trailers for ‘Predator’ [2:11] and ‘Predator 2’ [1:36].
Sneak Peak: Predators  [1080p] [1:44] Director Robert Rodriguez talks about his vision for the upcoming ghastly third re-make of `Predators' film.
Finally, in the end, `Predator' is one brilliant sci-fi/action extravaganza with a shrewdly understated sense of irony, using genre conventions effectively for a fun time at the films. No matter how we look at this now classic, the creature-feature was a novel twist to the summer blockbuster, igniting a popular franchise. Today, it remains just as entertaining as ever with one of Stan Winston's most memorable creations. John McTiernan's `Predator' 3D is a fun and entertaining creature-feature which revels in its animated machismo and an exuberant display of graphic action. The movie is a surprisingly well-structured blend of genre conventions which draws viewers in with one set of expectations and abruptly changes pace for a suspenseful thrill ride. The 3D Blu-ray surprises with a strong 3D spectacular image. The bonus Special Features and Extras is only accessible via the accompanying 2D Blu-ray disc. All in all I can heartily recommend picking up `Predator' 3D. A totally brilliant film, with an excellent transfer and of course a wonderful 3D Blu-ray disc and it is a massive honour to add this special Arnold Schwarzenegger film to my Arnie Blu-ray Collection. What is also beautiful about this Blu-ray is the fantastic Slip Blu-ray Cover, which is a totally brilliant design, and gives you a sort of insight into what to expect from this awesome 3D film. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom