The "Predator" franchise has had its ups and downs with long cycles of inactivity in-between films. And yet, the original "Predator" has become a genre classic that is as gripping today as it was 25 years ago. Now 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has prepared a 3D version of the film, and I decided to give it a try.
"Predator" tells the story of a small insertion team of commandos on a strange mission in the Central American jungle where they are required to extract a number of hostages from their captors. However, everything about the mission just feels wrong. Not only is the mission objective a sham, as the group's leader Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) soon finds out, what's even worse is that the commandos find themselves to be hunted by something in the impenetrable forests. Incredibly well camouflaged, soon the commandos fight for their lives as the hunter picks them off one by one.
"Predator" was a powerful vehicle for action star Arnold Schwarzenegger in the late 80s and it still works extremely well today. The film is well written and structured and the pacing is gradually building tension until the film's climax. It is well cast and acted, and makes the best of the story while the direction of the film makes sure the viewer is always on the edge, especially when you see the film for the first time. But even repeat viewings are always gratifying and explosive.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is presenting "Predator" in its a widescreen format on this disc in a slightly opened 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Like in the previous Blu-Ray version of the film, you will notice that the film has been cleaned up entirely, leaving no defects and no grain remaining in the transfer itself. While this may be bothersome to some, as significant digital noise reduction has been applied in order to achieve this, the scrubbing is not distracting and did not leave overt artifacts as a result and casual viewers in particular will be very pleased with the transfer. There was, however, one scene where the look just didn't feel right. It was the first dialog between Carl Weathers and Arnold Schwarzenegger, in which Weathers' skin looks like a pasted mannequin. Since Everyone's else's faces look just fine, I think I will attribute this to a bad on-set make-up job rather than a digital artifact.
The 3D conversion of the film offers some surprising moments. Though there are sequences in the film that do not appear to have any depth information at all, other scenes will really give you a sense of depth and immersion that was not there previously.
With powerful colors and solid black levels that create deep shadows, the film can easily hold up with expectation of modern day viewers on this release. Especially during the nighttime finale of the movie, the solid blacks help create a cool image that holds all details necessary without ever washing out.
The audio on the release is presented as a 5.1 channel DTS HD Master Audio track that is aggressive and exceedingly dynamic. It is the same track found on the previous Blu-Ray release of the film. The tracks wide frequency response makes sure the countless explosions in the film will deliver the message, while high ends make sure that the music and ambient effects remain faithful and engaging throughout.
Arriving as a two disc set, the first disc accommodates the 2D and 3D presentation of the film on one Blu-Ray Disc, while the second disc features the DVD version of the movie apng with all bonus materials, including the commentary track by director John Tiernan.
Insightful featurettes, such as "Predator: Evolution Of A Species" and "If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It" are also included on the disc, along with "Inside The Predator" and a Special Effects Featurette.
Also look for deleted scenes and outtakes, along with a series of short featurettes, Camouflage test footage and more.
"Predator 3D" is solid on this Blu-Ray release, particular for a film that features post-processed 3D. The film looks and sounds absolutely stunning and the many bonus materials, make it a fun experience to go behind the scenes. "Predator" is an incredibly well-done action film with plenty of action and suspense that you definitely don't want to miss out on.