Predator Blu-ray Review
PicturePredator is presented on this BluRay release using the same MPEG-2 1.85:1 1080p transfer on the recently released US version. Like that version the transfer is the best I have ever seen, and that in itself is a joy to behold, but it's nowhere near the quality of some more recent pristine releases.
The print is generally pretty good; there is some camera shake near the start but not on screen for too long a period of time. The main letdown of the print is the grain, again apparent at the start and in bursts throughout the film, it wouldn't be too bad if the grain was consistent but it isn't. At times during scenes in the jungle or the encampment the image is crystal clear and whilst this is welcome you do wonder why the whole feature couldn't have been more like this.
In these cleaner areas the print looks very good, textures of the jungle, rotting branches and facial pigmentation comes across very well indeed. Colours are excellent throughout obviously dominated by the natural green and brown of the jungle and the characters clothing. Reds can be a little oversaturated at times but like the camera shake before it never overly intrusive.
Contrast bears up remarkably well for a print of this age although again at times the bright skies do bloom at little and in the night time scenes later in the movie the blacks never really get as strong as they could; they seem a little foggy for my liking. Overall though although this will never be reference material this is the best I have ever seen Predator and was glad of this BluRay upgrade.
SoundThere's Italian and Spanish DTS tracks but unlike the Region A release this only has the one English track, fortunately though that track is of the DTS-HD variety. On the whole the track is acceptable enough for a film dating back to a time when Dolby Stereo was the main player in town.
The tonal range is more than acceptable with the slightest pinpricks of metallic ricochets during the encampment easily identifiable and bouncing from the fronts to the surrounds. It is again in this scene that LFE gets is full use due to the sheer number of explosions contained in a short period of time. Dialogue during the quieter jungle scenes is rooted in the centre and every syllable easily understood. It is noticeable though that during these quieter moments there's no additional ambiance created from the background noises of the jungle itself and this can be a little of a let down.
The score is wide from the fronts with the individual elements easily distinguished. The score adds to the atmosphere of the piece so it's welcome that it comes across well. Ultimately I was a little disappointed with the whole sound mix though, I never thought it was solid or immersive enough for a film of this nature and so much more could be done with it in a re-mastering process, perhaps for a later date. Steerage could have been better from some of the effects on show and as mentioned the surrounds could have been used more fully. I hasten to add though that the audio is really a product of its time and without extensive re-employment it's difficult to see how it could be better.
ExtrasA trailer, again the Fox usual style for their back catalogue releases.
VerdictPredator is a product of its time and that time was brash and bloody. An ongoing war between three of Hollywood's main players saw each action adventure film try and better the last iin either muscle power, number of rounds released or even the witticism of the quips coming from our hero's mouth.
Predator ticks all the right boxes for this period though and still does to this day and that's a credit to the production as a whole but specifically to the Predator itself. Stan Winston Studios have excelled themselves yet again and brought to the screen another iconic figure which will last in the memories of the movie going public. The disc offers a worthy upgrade on the video front and a recommended purchase for fans of this franchise.
It's Arnie through and through and one of his better pieces. He wasn't born to act but he was born to play a few roles and this I feel is one of them. His quips are low key and not as apparent as some others but he has left us with another. And on that note I now have to Get To The Choppaahhh.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £22.99
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