REVIEW: Predator 4K Blu-ray
On Friday, Shane Black’s The Predator will arrive, intending to be a fresh take on the franchise that appears to be playing up the humor. It’s set after the 1987 original and its Predator 2 sequel so acknowledges those events happened, which is cool.
Additionally, 20th Century Home Entertainment has wisely capitalized on the new film by releasing 4K UHD releases of Predator 4K, Predator 2 4K and Predators 4K.
When the film first arrived, audiences suspected it was another Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick with sci-fi trappings. After all, the one-sheet positioned him, rifle in hand, in the crosshairs of someone. He was paired with Carl Weathers, Bill Duke, Richard Chaves, Jesse Ventura, and so on (including Black back when he acted). What no one was prepared for, though, was John McTiernan’s taut direction and Stan Winston’s amazing alien hunter; the helmet removal moment late in the film stunned audiences.
A franchise was born, populating film sequels, comics, novels, and the crossovers with 20th’s Aliens series. As a result, the thrills were gone, the surprises were quickly absent, and they become more of the same.
Therefore, it’s interesting to go back to the beginning and relive those suspenseful moments when no one was sure exactly what unearthly creature was now hunting humans. It was camouflaged, rendered seemingly invisible, through most of the film so it was a cat and mouse game until Arnold figured out how to get the upper hand. The script from Jim Thomas and John Thomas nicely ratcheted up the suspense, giving us just enough characterization to help differentiate one target from another.
It remains a good movie, a strong piece of entertainment and reminds you how the Predator was fresh.
The previous Blu-ray editions were okay but never great so it’s nice to have a strong, 4K Ultra HD release. The 2160p transfer in 1.85:1 nicely captures the original look of the film, grain and all. The colors are more vivid and the subtle alien tech is sharper which enhances the rewatching. We get a good DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix but I would have preferred they invested in the Dolby Atmos upgrade to match the visuals.
The 4K disc comes with Audio Commentary from McTiernan, Text Commentary by Eric Lichtenfeld, who contributed to the 2001 documentary, If It Bleeds We Can Kill It: The Making of Predator and interviews with various production personnel.
The 4K disc is accompanied by the most recent Blu-ray pressing and that disc contains all the same Special Features as it did when originally released. The combo pack also comes with a 4K Digital HD code, so will look very snazzy on the right monitors.