Predator Ultimate Hunter Edition (Blu-ray)
- Reviewed by: joecooler2u
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Current Rating 5.5/10 | 2 Votes
Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terminator, T2) wages an all-out war with his elite team on a guerrilla group in Central America after being told they are to rescue hostages including a presidential cabinet minister. Unknown to the group they are also being hunted by an unseen force, the hunters are being hunted. Carl Weathers (Rocky 1-IV) is the CIA Special Actions Division Officer George Dillon a special advisor to Dutch’s elite team of soldiers. The jungle is alive and dangerous, but so are these fighting soldiers and the creature that stalks them………the Predator.
Director John McTiernan (Die Hard) does a fantastic job here. Handling the cast of actors with egos the size of their bulging biceps, he gets the job done. Not only does he handle the cast well and have them in their roles, but he did a spectacular job with special effects from a budget of only $18 million. It’s no wonder this film went on to make nearly $100 million in box office receipts. Cinematography is superb, Donald McAlpine (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) did some great work on this film with such a low budget yet the visuals still amaze even with today’s technology. A perfect example of the beauty of his work, given the technology of the time is when a spaceship comes out of space, breaks off in two with one part entering Earth’s atmosphere, this shot actually holds up just as well as any CGI shot today. It looks like space. Every shot of this film is crystal clear quality and it isn’t just because it is Blu-ray. McAlpine’s work just holds up so well that it was easy to fix up images.
Actors are perfectly cast from Schwarzenegger to Carl Weathers as Dillon, Bill Duke as Mac Eliot, Jesse Ventura as Blain Cooper, Elpidia Carrillo as the lovely Anna, Kevin Peter Hall The Predator, Sonny Landham as Billy Sole, Richard Chaves as Jorge “Poncho“ Ramirez, Shane Black as Rick Hawkins. Each actor becomes his or her role. As much as the crew from the director to cinematographer and makeup is responsible for the success of Predator so is the cast. They became immortal and made all the right moves to become a timeless classic. Particular standouts for me was of course Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers was the man you love to hate as is revealed in a scene where Dutch finds out the truth of their mission, Weathers holds his ground and plays up his role as a jerk. Jesse Ventura does very well in this outing as Blain, adding a real-life toughness along with his real-world experience as a Navy Seal. You can’t fake the reality there. He helped make this film all the more creditable. I also liked Duke who played Mac, you felt his pain and anger in his performance. Sonny Landham as Billy made it all the more natural as a Native-American tracker. You can feel his performance here. All actors did great jobs here above and beyond the call of duty.
Makeup and effects by Stan Winston (Michael Jackson’s Thriller) were way ahead of it’s time and still holds up, though the initial creature was vastly different. The story goes (from a DVD release) that Winston was on a plane and sitting next to Director James Cameron (Aliens, Avatar) and they were discussing ideas and Cameron suggested that he always wanted to see a creature with “mandibles” which became a huge part of the Predator’s iconic look. His work as a makeup artist, visual effects supervisor and creator of puppets and horror creatures is legendary and this is one of his very best.
Not to be outdone, Alan Silvestri (Back To The Future Trilogy) delivers a heart-pounding score that compliments the movie perfectly. Adding tension and suspense every moment it is needed, Silvestri shows how a Sci-Fi film should be scored here. Not just adding sound and music for effect’s sake, he does so in such a way that it compliments the film as much as any score in any movie. It’s so iconic you hear it and you know it is Predator just as you do with JAWS & Halloween and Terminator. It’s a perfect marriage of sound and visuals not to be taken for granted.
The Blu-ray is a huge step up and I’m not talking just about DVD releases here even the previous Blu-ray which lacked extras outside of trailers, just disappointed me so much. I was pretty critical of Fox for this, but I have to give a ton of credit here. They corrected their mistake as far as lack of extras go. You can get pretty lost in all the content and very well-entertained in the process. As of this writing I’m still watching extras and will re-re-re-re-watch this Blu-ray. Colors are even brighter and more realistic than the previous Blu-ray release. You almost feel the actors are going to pop off the screen at times and this isn‘t even in 3-D. The level of details are astonishing, especially the scene on the helicopter as a good reference. I didn’t get nearly the details in the last Blu-ray release, but you get this when a film is re-mastered, Backgrounds are blurred at times for example when Dutch and Dillon meet up it’s blurred behind the actors, but that is as intended because the focus is clearly on the actors so we can follow their dialogue. Some of the material included as extras are from previous releases on DVD, but at least it’s on the Blu-ray now. There are some new and HD content here to enjoy. Let’s just say this release is so good it makes up for the previous release’s failures. Some of the extras are broken up into smaller parts so there is so much to watch just keep exploring the disc. The re-mastering of this film is so amazing it looks pretty much like a brand-new 2010 movie that just came from the theaters to Blu-ray.
Honestly, Predator has never looked so good before. Not in my experience and I remember seeing this in theaters back when it first came out in theaters. Some of the extras are in standard definition, but you can tell the difference immediately when it goes from standard to high def. The previous Blu-ray release was fine and can be found on the cheap side if you don’t care for extras, but this release is even a huge step-up from that in quality and is by far the better of the two Blu-rays. If you are questioning whether to double-dip for this release if you already have the initial Blu-ray release. I say - go for it! I’m happy to have this in my collection. This is the kind of Blu-ray and movie release that satisfies customers. If you don’t like this then there is something wrong with you, your Blu-ray player or your HDTV. Overall, I give Predator Ultimate Hunter Edition my Highest Recommendation!
Special Features -
- All-New - Digital Restoration of Predator
- All-New - Sneak Peak at Predators
- All-New - “Evolution of the Species: Hunters of Extreme Perfection” Featurette
- Feature-Length Audio Commentary by John McTiernan
- Text Commentary by Historian Eric Lichtensfeld
- “If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It” Making-Of Documentary
- “Inside The Predator” Documentary
- Special Effects Featurettes
- Deleted Scenes and Outtakes
- Short Takes
- Theatrical Trailers
- Photo Galleries
- Predator Profile
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