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Predator Quadrilogy - two great films, one good film and one `what the hell was that???
on 22 February 2010
Collected here are the four films featuring one of cinema's greatest creations, the Predator. The four films are in slim line cases with a sturdy cardboard outer. Each film is the plain single disc edition with limited extras. Each is presented in widescreen with a 5.1 surround sound. English subtitles only on all four.
Predator - The original, and best. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as the commander of a select group of army types, running around the jungle trying to rescue some hostages from nasty guerrilla types. But the hunters are themselves being hunted... The ideas presented here were amazing at the time, and still feel fresh today. The alien who sees us in the same way as big game hunters see lions, and earth as a game reserve. It's `code' of sportsmanship. The action is big, the alien well realised, and the script taut - I love the way it goes a bit against convention and the mission becomes secondary to the plain fight for survival. A classic film, a must for all film lover's collections.
Predator II - A sequel that matches the original. Set in a dystopic near future, where the streets of America ar riven by violent drug wars, the Predator has a new Jungle - the city, and a new lion to hunt - tough cop Danny Glover. The action is just as good, the script still taut, the ideas still work well. It manages to build on and add to the last movie, while almost never referencing it directly. This is another great action film that should be in a movie lover's collection.
Alien vs. Predator - A tantalising glimpse at the end of the second film sets the scene for this match between two of modern cinema's greatest creatures - the ultimate prey for the sporting Predators is the ultimate killing machine the Alien. This film got quite a panning at the time, but I feel the criticsism was largely unwarranted. OK, it can never live up to the suspense and originality of Alien or Predator, but it does what it sets out to do quite effectively, and delivers an entertaining 100 minutes which doesn't go against the established mythology ofeither franchise. The basic idea is pretty good, and the all important action scenes where the two alien species get down to the business in hand are well staged and pretty darned good. Not in the same league as previous films, but still a worthy addition to the series.
Alien vs. Predator: Requiem - What the hell? After the entertaining AVP film, I was willing to give this a chance. And indeed, some of the ideas on offer here are pretty interesting - handled well you feel this could have been a good film. The trouble is in the directing and acting, both of which are uniformly terrible. The directors seem to have never heard of lights - all the action takes plac largely in the dark, and is so poorly lit that you can't see any of what is going on. You can't even make out who or what is involved in any given scene. It is appaling. At first I thought it was my telly, but no matter how much I played around with the brightness and contrast I still couldn't see what was going on. The acting is worse - they could have got better performances from the Thunderbirds puppets.
All in all, a decent set, well worth the low price being asked. Just don't bother ever taking the fourth disc out of the box!