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Customer Review

73 of 81 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best and the worst that Predator has ever looked, 3 July 2010
This review is from: Predator (Ultimate Edition) [Blu-ray] [1987] (Blu-ray)
I'm both amazed and appalled at what 20th Century Fox has done with this blu ray, providing one of the most schizophrenic video transfers I've ever seen, which despite its faults still impresses me.

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.

Whilst the Ultimate Hunter Edition is very obviously a cash-in on the new Predators movie coming out, it's honestly a better deal than the last Predator release Predator [Blu-ray] [1987]. Unlike the last bare bones version, this new edition includes every extra from the 2 disc DVD, even the still entertaining text commentary and easter eggs, as well as a brief but nice retrospective with producer John Davis and a quick look at the upcoming sequel.

If you already bought the last blu ray edition, or are unsure as to which looks better, I recommend renting them to judge the quality for yourself. There are a few moments that could have looked A LOT better here, but the film on the whole makes up for it by being much more vibrant and bold than before, and having stunning picture clarity when it counts. Not to mention the always epic DTS HD sound. Overall, I'd say this is definitely the version to pick up if you somehow don't already own this seminal action movie.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Nov 2010 23:37:22 GMT
C. Gould says:
It's exactly the same master. All they did was contrast boost it and scrub the grain. There is no more real detail in this transfer than the old one. They might have artificially sharpened it, but that's not real detail and I could do the same thing in Photoshop.

Posted on 9 Apr 2011 18:09:51 BDT
Hi CW I am in total agreement with your take on this 2nd blu-ray release, I just got my new waxy version today and made a comparison right away... I do not regret buying this cleaned up version at all. It makes the first release look like a upscaled dvd. If anyone has not bought Predator on blu-ray yet I would definitely go with this one over the first one, the waxy faces in the beginning did not detract from the overall blu-ray experience at all, the rest of the movie looks fantastic.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Sep 2012 23:11:21 BDT
Last edited by the author on 1 Sep 2012 23:14:06 BDT
A Fisher says:
Yeah but in the case of Predator, using DNR to the extend that they did on this film doesn't really matter all that much as there wasn't much detail to begin with. What I mean is, apart from the characters there's not much to really look at in the movie other than trees and foliage. So, they've kind of got away with it a bit to a certain extent.

Although, I wish they had gone down the same route as James Cameron did when he done Aliens on Blu-Ray. He used DNR minimally and only in the places it really needed it.

Posted on 10 Feb 2013 23:38:24 GMT
chiggs58th says:
A lot of this film was shot with little to no artificial light so the director was forced to shoot many times on sensitive but highly grainy film. Sadly, PREDATOR may never look better than it does now because there's very little to work with in the first place.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jul 2013 16:34:56 BDT
C. Gould says:
That's the very reason they shouldn't have used it. If there's little detail to begin with the last thing you should be doing is removing more of it with DNR. This release was universally panned by all of the decent review sites, and rightly so.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Mar 2014 11:19:55 GMT
McRonson says:
Chaps, what is DNR?

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Mar 2014 09:59:15 GMT
Selest says:
It means Digital Noise Reduction.
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