Predator (Remastered Version) (DTS)

January 28, 2012 8 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

Arnold Schwarzenegger no longer makes movies so that he can show off his body. That essentially ended with the 80’s. But turn back the hands of time a few years, and that’s all you do see. Movies like “The Running Man”, “Commando”, “The Terminator” and “Red Heat” were all good in their respective venues, but it was all a showcase for Arnold’s body. The case is no different with Predator. In fact, this may be the movie where his body is most exploited, in my honest opinion. Now is that bad…I guess not, not that I spent the movie gawking at Arnold’s arms, but his costume is arguably a lot more revealing that the rest of the cast members. Also included in the roster is none other than Carl Weathers (Apollo Creed from the “Rocky” movies and “Action Jackson” himself). He offers up a yin to Schwarzenegger’s yang, but in the end…it’s all about Arnold. As for the movie, it’s a different turn for Arnold. As in “The Running Man” he is the hunted, and not the hunter. It’s hard to imagine, but it’s a role that has caught on with him…Arnold being the underdog. Who’d have thought?

Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and his team of elite soldiers are called deep into the jungle to fetch a cabinet member out of trouble. They’re “on the wrong side of the border” and the military fears the worst. So the crew, being the “best”, is sent in to do a simple rescue mission. If they only knew…It’s not long that the group realizes that among the snakes and trees, is something else. Something not human. Their mission is to get the cabinet member and his assistant out of the jungle and into a chopper that will leave at a certain time. If they don’t make it, then the whole team (and mission) is lost. But, then again, it’s hard to complete a mission when your entire team is being hunted and killed for pure sport. So what is this mysterious creature that can blend in with the jungle, make it’s eyes glow and shoot laser beams with pinpoint accuracy? No one knows. What makes this creature the ultimate “Predator” is the fact that it sees in infrared vision. So the team can wear all the camouflage it wants, it’s a lot harder to hide your body heat, than it is to hide your body. Included in the team is another man who has drawn his own bit of attention lately…Jessie “The Body” Ventura. Yes, Ventura plays Blain, a know it all mean S.O.B who wields a gun like you’ve never seen before! In hindsight, a perfect addition to the rag tag crew of Predator.

Commercially, Predator isn’t Arnold’s most successful movie. However, it is one of his more popular movies to date. The director, John McTiernan has gone onto quite a successful career of his own, directing some other movies by the name of “Die Hard” and “The Thomas Crown Affair” to name but a few. Predator is a movie that you simply must see for any fan of Action movies (or any Schwarzenegger fans). Odds are that if you’re this far down in the review, you either want to see it or already have. I can say that this new DVD version is far superior to that of Fox’s previous effort. The addition of a DTS soundtrack is a major plus as well as the new anamorphic transfer. So, see it for the action, see it for the sound or see it for one of Stan Winston’s most elaborate (and that’s saying a lot) costumes that he’s ever created. This new version of Predator will make a great addition to any DVD collection.

Video: How does it look?

The new anamorphic transfer improves upon the old transfer in the mere sense that this one is now anamorphic. Though a lot of difference can’t be told by looking at it on a regular 4:3 TV. Fox has long been known to put out some great-looking non-anamorphic titles, but now they’re becoming known for putting out some great-looking anamorphic looking titles (which is far better). The 1.85:1 image looks clean and sharp for most of the picture, but there are spots where you can see some artifacting and compression errors. Also, a few scenes seem to be a bit lighter than others, so that was a bit distracting. The movie has been included on a dual-layer disc, so that might help the image out, or it could be to accommodate the new DTS soundtrack. All I know is that the original was single-layered, and two layers are better than one! Regardless of it’s flaws, this is defiantly an improvement over the original version.

Audio: How does it sound?

There are two selling points for this movie on this new version. The first is the new anamorphic transfer and the second is the new DTS soundtrack. Fox has gone back and mastered the original 6-track soundtrack and given Predator a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack as well as a new DTS The original only featured a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. While the DTS is far superior to the Dolby Digital, either will pack quite a punch depending on your personal system. For those that have seen the movie, the occasional whispers that can be heard throughout the movie (“Anytime…”) have quite a cool sound to them, in the sense that they come from literally all channels. It’s good to see that Fox has been one of the few studios to embrace the DTS format, and they have a catalog of titles that will fully benefit from this new sound format.

Supplements: What are the extras?

It’s kind of hard to complain when Fox has gone back and “Remastered” five of their original titles by giving them new transfers and new sound mixes. But…that’s all they did. The only supplemental feature here is a trailer, so it’s looking like this may be it in terms of how good it gets. Fox has consistently shown us that they can do great Special Editions (Independence Day, Fight Club…), so hopefully in the future, they’ll give us a little more than a new transfer and a new sound mix.

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