Predator: Ultimate Edition

Predator: Ultimate Edition (1987)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers
Extras: Commentary Track, Documentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scene, Outtakes, and more

As the latest film in the franchise is making it to theaters, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has created a new Blu-Ray version of the original "Predator," trying to remind everyone how cool the original movie, really was. It's been a while since I last saw the movie so I decided to give it a try.

The movie 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. 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 original 1.85:1 widescreen format in a 1080p high definition transfer on this disc. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, as some 80s movies simply do not live up to today's standards in terms of image quality. "Predator," however, is a fantastic-looking presentation. Highly detailed, the transfer reveals details that were previously unseen. Add to it Blu-Ray's incredible color capabilities and you have a movie where the lush jungle canopies literally come to life – and I do not mean this as a pun. There is no grain evident in the transfer anywhere, leading me to believe that the print has been scrubbed digitally. It has been done very well so that it doesn't leave any notable artifacts. 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.
Black levels are powerful and deep, giving the image create visual depth as the jungle expands in front of the viewer. 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. 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.

The release includes all the extras found on the previously released 2-disc DVD version, offering a wealth of bonus materials, such as an engaging commentary track by director John Tiernan. It is complemented by a Text Commentary by Film Historian Eric Lichtenfeld, that adds some additional trivia info on the film.

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 short takes by the filmmakers, and Photo Galleries. A Sneak Peek trailer of the upcoming "Predators" is also included.

"Predator" rocks on this Blu-Ray release. 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.