Eye For Film >> Movies >> Predator (1987) DVD Review
Reviewed by: Gator MacReadyRead Gator MacReady's film review of Predator
Predator was filmed "open-matte", with a ratio of 1.37:1. So you ARE losing picture off the top and bottom with the 1.85:1 anamorphic. But the widescreen bars are supposed to be there. The fullscreen VHS revealed dozens of goofs and boom mikes, so don't moan about widescreen cut-offs. While technically this is true with some movies, it is also true that theatrical aspect ratio is always the most dynamic.
The quality of the picture is a tad inconsistent. The Fox logo at the beginning is VERY grainy and may scare you into thinking that the rest of the film will be this way. But as soon as the sun rises, the zillion different greens of the jungle look absolutely gorgeous. Some other shots were filmed on a grainy film stock, so there is nothing the DVD can do about it. Fleshtones are very pink and accurate and the fireballs of explosions totally lifelike.
Released theatrically in Dolby 4.0, the Dolby Digital and DTS tracks are excellent remastering efforts. Obviously the DTS is the superior track and the gunfire and booms will rock your living room. Blain's mini-gun sounds absolutely gut-wrenching. Split surrounds are used effectively. Silvestri's score is clear as a bell and the front soundstage is very deep and wide. Check out the scene when Dutch kicks the gun from Anna's hands and fires at the Predator. The sound is incredible.
McTiernan isn't the best dude when it comes to commentaries. He seems almost catatonic and too laid back. Thankfully, he does have some interesting stuff to say, but, while his voice isn't exactly soothing, it will send you to sleep.
An above average retrospective documentary is included, featuring new and old clips of the cast and crew. They all have pleasant memories of the shoot and are still thrilled at being a part of the movie.
The making of the film is followed in chronological order and it's cool to see some behind-the-scenes action on a 15-year-old movie. The best stuff is the original, moronic version of The Predator that McTiernan refused to work with.
Seven Featurettes are also included. Why these were not added to the main documentary, to beef it up, is beyond me. They explore stuff like Blain's gun, the characters and shooting in the jungle - both kinds of shooting.
A deleted scene has Dutch running away from the Predator. This obviously came between Poncho's death and Dutch falling off the cliff. It is a cool scene and shows Dutch being more vulnerable than he is in the rest of the movie. Despite the fact that the scene is not extraneous, I guess it was cut to make the chase faster and more exciting.
Text commentary can be turned on and off with the subtitle control.
Camouflage tests for the Predator's bizarre cloaking device show different types of "blending" into the jungle. The last of these is from the original and not-so-scary version. Several pages, showcasing the Predator's weaponry, seem a bit out of place, since most of the stuff they describe is only in the sequel.
Three Easter Eggs are hidden on the second disc. I won't tell you where, since they are fairly easy to find. But they are quite cool and one of them is particularly amusing.
A photo gallery - better than the usual rubbish - is also included, although, curiously, no trailer.Reviewed on: 29 Jun 2002