has an average rating of 7.8 on IMDb
1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on a 50gb disc
DTS-HD 5.1 MA / Dolby Digital 4.0
new content, DVD ports & D-BOX code
This uses 33.4GB for the movie out of 41.9GB total.
Street Date: June 29th, 2010
Overall Verdict – SMOOTH MOVE, FOX!!
— Review written by: Justin Sluss —
The Movie Itself was directed by John McTiernan, known for directing “Die Hard” a year after this in 1988, as well as other films like 1990′s “The Hunt For Red October” 1993′s “Last Action Hero” and 1995′s “Die Hard: With a Vengeance“. These all were action films which the guy was best known for doing. This film is best known for being the debut of the “Predator” franchise as well as one of the better action roles for Arnold Schwarzenegger since he had done “The Terminator” back in 1984; three years before he did this film. The film also featured a decent supporting cast of co-stars that included some recognizable faces such as Carl Weathers, who most know for playing “Apollo Creed” in the “Rocky” films, as well as former wrestler and governor Jesse Ventura to just name a few.
The film revolves around our main character of “Dutch” (Schwarzenegger) and his group of commandos that are sent in to eliminate a threat, a threat much larger than they expected. Joining dutch in the group we have first “Dillon” (Carl Weathers), “Mac” (Bill Duke), “Blain” (Jesse Ventura), “Billy” (Sonny Landham) and “Poncho” (Richard Chaves). The commando group encounters a strong threat that is invisible to their eyes and leaves them at first thinking it’s either a wild animal of great force and stealth or a human threat. They soon see some of their friends die before them and discover other dead bodies these “Predators” have left behind. I won’t really go into too much more detail if you’ve actually never seen this the first film in the “Predators” franchise.
In closing, it’s safe to say this as mentioned earlier is one of the better action films from late 80′s and has a very strong following that has spawned the “Predators” franchise in to many sequels involved “versus Aliens” films as well as a new sequel simply titled “Predators” produced by Robert Rodriguez and starring Adrien Brody that is in theaters now, or should be any day now if it isn’t. It’s great to see this film be on Blu-ray but at the same time, it already was available prior to this re-release (a.k.a. “double-dip“) which I just cannot recommend to anyone as you’ll understand when you read further below in the sections, but for video quality especially.
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte dual-layered Blu-ray Disc) in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. I honestly at first had to do a frickin’ double-take here on this “double-dip” when watching it the first time. I wasn’t quite sure I was seeing either a huge, I mean huge, excessive amount of DNR (Digital Noise Reduction) usage or I had been slipped some really good acid or mushrooms or something as things were just BLURRY as (pardon my language, yeah on a R-rated film I say that) all fuck at times. Namely it was when Carl Weathers‘ character was introduced and the first close-up of his talking with Arnold was up before me to behold was when I realized it looked like he was almost melting (see for yourself HERE in this screenshot). As if that wasn’t enough, the thing that really chapped my ass (pissed me off rather) was that some scenes actually held a bit of detail and hadn’t been “smoothed over” with heavy DNR as much as other scenes like THIS close-up of Arnold for example. That’s what really at first had me angry but also “on the fence” as to what exactly I would say here or judge in terms of a rating. After some discussion over twitter with a friend (also fellow reviewer) I was decided on my approach and you’re now witnessing it.
This is in by no means an exaggeration, there is almost NO FILM GRAIN TO BE FOUND HERE visually in this “new Hi-Def restoration or re-master” or whatever they’re trying to call it. The black level is solid, there is some detail in some close-ups and such when things aren’t totally smoothed over, the color palette is vibrant (especially through the thermal imaging of the Predator vision) and flesh tones are accurate. Yet, I still can’t ignore this heavy amount of DNR use that just flat-out ruins this visual Hi-Def presentation in my honest opinion and only merits itself a mediocre (disappointing) “2.5 Star Rating” for overall video quality. As my overall verdict above says (and should make more sense to you now), “SMOOTH MOVE, FOX!!“
Audio Quality on this release is presented in both DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio and Dolby Digital 4.0 @448kbps options, of which I obviously opted for the lossless (DTS-HD MA) track. Usually I don’t go into this much detail on the origins of the audio itself that were used to make these mixes but here I’ll elaborate a tad more. As IMDb clearly lists under “Sound Mix” this had both a 6-track (70mm) and Dolby source to begin with, so this is why we see a 5.1 mix (lossless in this case) and a lossy (AC3 contained) Dolby 4.0 Surround mix (as that was the standard at that time for Dolby, 4 channels). These two mixes are true in ways to the original mixes that came with the film in its theatrical release is my real point here; yet they aren’t so “over-the-top” that they by any means merit extreme praise. The mixes both manage to get the job done, namely more so the DTS-HD MA mix obviously. The dialogue is delivered very distinct (more so in the 5.1 as it gets an isolated center channel) here throughout and never drowned out by the action (Foley, sound effects or music). The film’s original music done by Alan Silvestri gets some alright rear channel and LFE presence as do the occasional sound effects and such during action scenes. Overall, this earns a solid “4 Star Rating” for audio quality but for the type of action film it is will surely leave you a tad bit disappointed that it lacks (in all honesty) that “oomph” that we’d come to expect for films like this. Further proof that FOX screwed this release up even not just in terms of the video quality; sadly.
Bonus materials are presented in both Hi-Def (HD) and Standard Definition (SD) video quality with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo @224kbps sound — unless otherwise noted below.
- “Predator: Evolution of a Species – Hunters of Extreme Perfection” (11:13 – HD) is an ALL-NEW featurette; it just-so-happens that it has a sub-sub title that makes you realize they sure as shit aren’t talking about the folks who worked on this so-called “restoration” or whatever; read my video quality section above for more on this if you missed that rant. This takes a look back at the film’s script and how it came to be a film at FOX and includes interviews discussing the film with Producer John Davis, Filmmakers Robert Rodriguez and Nimrod Antal as well as some great behind-the-scenes footage that has been upconverted to Hi-Def.
- Audio Commentary by Director John McTiernan
- “Text Commentary by Film Historian Eric Lichtenfeld” uses subtitles and not BD-Java features or such you’d find in pop-up trivia; it’s just a simple subtitle track, that is all. Still it’s cool to see included.
- “If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It: The Making of Predator” (28:47 – SD) is recycled but still fun to watch.
- “Inside the Predator Featurettes” include:
- – “Classified Action” (5:21 – SD)
- – “The Unseen Arnold” (4:42 – SD)
- – “Old Painless” (3:30 – SD)
- – “The Life Inside – A Tribute to Kevin Peter Hall” (4:26 – SD)
- – “Camouflage” (4:54 – SD)
- – “Welcome to the Jungle” (2:40 – SD)
- – “Character Design” (4:41 – SD)
- – “Red Suit Special Effects” (0:57 , 0:54 , 0:17 – SD)
- – “Camouflage Tests” (0:35 , 1:16 – SD)
- – “John McTiernan on Learning Film” (3:05 – SD)
- – “Jesse’s Ultimate Goal” (2:18 – SD)
- – “Stan Winston: Practical Joker” (3:02 – SD)
- – “Don’t Drink the Water” (1:58 – SD)
- – “Fleeing the Predator” (1:43 – SD)
- – “Chameleon” (0:28 – SD)
- – “Building A Trap” (2:12 – SD)
- – “Sliding Downhill” (0:56 – SD)
- – “Predator” (2:11 – HD)
- – “Pedator 2″ (1:36 – SD)
Overall, the bonus materials are decent as they include some new featurettes in Hi-Def as well as the Standard Def DVD ports as well as some additions from the previous release like the D-BOX motion code.
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Please bear with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.