Predators (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

Back in 1987 a little movie by the name of “Predator” hit the screens. John McTiernan, director of the then forthcoming “Die Hard”, was behind the camera here as well. Looking back it was just another Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, but the cast also had Carl Weathers of “Rocky” fame as well as Jessie “The Body” Ventura (future Governor of Minnesota, I might add). The movie was a hit, it inspired a less than stellar sequel and then…it happened. Dark Horse comics took the antagonist from this movie and pitted it up against the alien from the “Alien” movies. The comic was aptly-titled “Alien vs. Predator” and it was a hit. Eventually it inspired a movie (“AVP”) and the “Predator” series was once again alive. We now have somewhat of a reboot of this series with a completely different cast. Things are mostly the same, but there are a few differences. But if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

In “Predators” we meet our cast as they’re literally falling from the sky. Royce (Adrien Brody) is who we see first and a few minutes in, we’re acquainted with the entire cast. They’re in a jungle, they don’t know one another and what they’re doing there. Confusing? Yep. After the introductions are over, they start to make their way through the jungle, but things aren’t what they seem. They seem to realize that they’re being hunted and their best bet is to stay together. Do they? Of course not. Just like the original “Predator”, the team starts getting picked off one by one and we can pretty much tell who’ll be left standing at the end. They encounter a survivor from a previous “season” (Laurence Fishburne) who takes them back to his lair. He’s crazy and has everything figured out. Or does he?

“Predators” is more of what we’ve come to expect from the first two movies. If you’re a fan of this type of movie, then you’ll likely get what you expect. I will say that there’s a bit of a twist to this film, though looking back I should have seen it coming. Also there’s only one female in the movie. You think she makes it to the end? Hmmm. Admittedly, “Predators” is a fun movie and if you check your brain at the door you’ll most likely have a good time. The movie doesn’t try to break too much new ground and it’s probably a good thing as I said earlier: “if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it.” Of note, this has Robert Rodriguez attached to it, so there is a bit of his humor in there. And though he wasn’t the one directing it, you can certainly see the influence. Fans of the “Predator” movies will likely have already seen this and it does deliver what it promises – mindless entertainment.

Video: How does it look?

“Predators” comes to Blu-ray in a 2.40:1 AVC HD transfer that looks remarkably good. A majority of the film takes place in the jungle, so green hues tend to dominate. Detail is impeccable, we can see every leaf of nearly every tree. The beads of sweat on the actors’ faces and detail of the predator’s body armor. Amazing. The latter half of the movie is rather dark and I didn’t feel that it looked bad. There’s a bit of crush in a few scenes, but it’s hardly noticeable and otherwise this transfer is concurrent with what we’d expect from a day and date Blu-ray release.

Audio: How does it sound?

The DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack is right up there with the video – very good. Dialogue is clear, though Adrien Brody tries a bit too hard with his “tough guy” act and tries to whisper all of his lines. Or maybe that was just me. Still, surrounds take control in several of the ending sequences and the LFE are involved as well. The front heavy soundtrack is about what I expected and though I wouldn’t classify this as anything terribly memorable, it more than served its purpose here.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This Blu-ray is pretty heavily equipped with some pretty interesting supplements. We start off with an audio commentary with producer Robert Rodriguez and director Nimrod Antal. Admittedly, this is a pretty laid back track and I always enjoy commentaries by Rodriguez on his other films. He’s very technical, yet easily understandable if that makes sense. We also get “Motion Comic Prequels” much like those found on the “Watchmen” Blu-rays. We then delve into the Blu-ray exclusive content with “Evolution of the Species: ‘Predators’ Reborn.” This is, as the title suggests, a making of documentary that’s broken down into smaller featurettes. Essentially we get the history of the movies/comics and it tells how “Predators” finally make it (back) to the screen. “The Chosen” kind of spoils the movie, so if you’re one of those who watches the supplements first – don’t. We get “Making a Scene” in which we see the hounds chase the cast. While it’s interesting to see this sort of thing, I think they could have chosen a better scene and it’s presented in standard definition. We get nearly a dozen minutes of deleted and extended scenes which are surprisingly good. I’m kind of disappointed that these weren’t edited back into the movie, but we’ve got them here so it’s all good. Finally we end with a trailer, containing more scenes that weren’t in the actual film.

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