Predator (1987) Ultimate Hunter Edition Blu Ray Jul 4, 2010 3:25:50 GMT -5
Post by Erik Rupp on Jul 4, 2010 3:25:50 GMT -5
Avoid the new blu ray edition of this movie pictured above. Why? Read on...
Predator is a great action movie. It features Arnold Schwarzenegger at the top of his game. It also features a solid supporting cast including Carl Weathers. It was directed by John (Die Hard) McTiernan. The story is fresh and original. It is a rough, gritty, dirty (literally - there's a lot of dirt and mud here) movie.
And it is extremely entertaining. The pacing of the movie is perfect, the direction is perfect (for the story), the locations are perfect - they got almost everything right with this one. There is even a fair amount of legitimate suspense here.
Without a doubt, Predator was one of the cinematic highlights of the 80's for action film fans.
After a lackluster initial blu ray release of Predator (overly grainy, low bitrate of an outdated encoding, unspectacular colors) I, like many others, asked and hoped for a remastered re-relase.
We should have been more specific.
DNR. Three little letters that can either spell cleaner image or plastic people right out of a Pixar movie. Used sparingly, DNR can be a good thing. But like most things, when not used in moderation it can be damaging.
In this case it practically turned a great action movie into a Pixar computer generated movie. That may be an exaggeration - but not a huge one. The texture of people's clothing in the movie? Practically gone. Pores and wrinkles in their skin (details that show texture and prove that they are real)? Almost entirely gone.
Sure, the picture is pristine. It's as clean as a whistle. It's shiny and pretty.
Predator NEVER looked like that, and it isn't supposed to. I saw the movie 5 times in the theater, and it always looked grainy and dirty. That was John McTiernan's call. He chose the filmstock to use, he chose the filming techniques used. A DVD or blu ray should ALWAYS match up as closely as possible with the director's intentions. Predator (Ultimate Hunter Edition) doesn't even come close to what McTiernan wanted the movie to look like.
Schwarzenegger looks like Plastic Man until he gets dirty and grimy - and even then he looks like a dirty, grimy Plastic Man. It's really sad that this movie has been treated so badly over the years, and especially on blu ray. For the first edition a new encoding from the best elements should have been done. It wasn't. It was an old, outdated encoding of a mediocre print. This new version should have simply used the best print available, and used only a slight amount of DNR to clean up some of the spots where there had been excessive grain due to the lighting conditions in the jungle. Instead the picture has been scrubbed clean and most of the fine detail is gone.
There is no way that I can recommend the Predator: Ultimate Hunter Edition blu ray. No way at all - except to recommend that you AVOID it, and that's a shame because it is really a classic action movie. One of the best ever.
Come on, Fox, you blew it this time - get it right for the movie's 25th anniversary. Please.
Movie - 4.5/5
Blu Ray - 1/5