The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 107 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French/Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese, Cantonese, Mandarin
Starring: Adrien Brody, Alice Braga, Topher Grace, Walton Goggins, Laurence Fishburne, Danny Trejo, Louis Ozawa Changchien, Oleg Taktarov
Directed by: Nimrod Antal
Music by: John Debney
Written by: Alex Litvak & Michael Finch
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 19, 2010
"Fear is reborn "
Robert Rodriguez presents Predators, a bold new chapter in the Predator universe. Adrien Brody stars as Royce, a mercenary who reluctantly leads a group of elite warriors mysteriously brought together on a jungle planet. But when these cold-blooded human predators find themselves in all-out war against a new breed of alien Predators, it's the ultimate showdown between hunter and prey.
I am a fan of the Predator franchise, especially the original film, and have enjoyed its various incarnations over the years. I saw the trailer for Predators and seeing that Robert Rodriguez was involved piqued my interest so I anxiously waiting for it to come to Blu-ray. I like the opening and the fact that there is little setup before being thrown into the fray. This is an action film however it is also character driven which like the original Predator is essential to its narrative. The plot is simple in that 9 people from varying backgrounds, all linked to predatory skills, are dropped (literally) onto a alien planet that serves as a hunting preserve for the Predator species. Their purpose is to provide worthy prey, their objective is to survive. Eight of the nine are armed and well versed in some form of technical expertise which qualifies them as a candidate for such a purpose while one is clearly not which leaves him a question mark. He remains that way until the final act which I liked. Predators feels much like to original film and there are several moments that pay homage to it which is also something I appreciated. Lastly I thought that the inclusion of non-military types, like Hanzo, a Chinese assassin made things more interesting (he is a man of few words and my favorite of the bunch). In this story the group is facing off against a trio of Predators that are a bit larger and better equipped than those from past films. Another added elements is that we are shown that there are differing species among them and that they have captured a Predator, (like those we have seen before), and treat him as an enemy.
As the story develops we see the group of individuals begin to act and think as a unit which is vital to their survival. Unfortunately it wouldn't be a Predator film without people dying and they do. Luckily we are given a chance to connect with them which adds meaning to their demise. There is plenty of action and noteworthy special effects which keeps things moving at a nice clip. I had two minor quibbles. I felt that Laurence Fishburne's cameo was out of place, disruptive, and added nothing to the story. I felt that the ending could have been fleshed out more and ultimately wasn't rewarding. In a film like this neither was truly a detriment. I thought the cast was well chosen which added depth to the minimal subplots going on. I never really saw Adrien Brody as the leading action type but he does just fine. I have seen Alice Braga portray strong female characters before and she handles the role with aplomb. Topher Grace, Danny Trejo, Louis Ozawa Changchien, and Oleg Taktarov are equally deserving of praise as well. Predators isn't among the best action films I have seen and it does borrows a bit from the original film but its executed quite well and has a an appeal that does somehow manage to feel fresh. The result is exactly what you would expect it to be and made for a pretty exciting ride.
The rating is for strong violence and gore and pervasive language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Predators comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 27 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.8 Mbps.
Predators was shot on high definition video and has a dark and primarily singular chromatic visual style that doesn't lend itself to vivid colors and high gloss imagery. There are instances where brighter elements/deeper color extension are utilized, such as in the foliage laden jungle or crackling fires at the Predator encampment. These sequences provide stark contrast that allows them to pop visually. Otherwise onscreen images predominantly lean toward darker color schemes, and grittier textures that provide the look that the filmmakers strove for to drive the story's components. This is done to excellent effect. Shadow delineation is quite good and revealing of subtle details within dark backgrounds and low lighting which enhances visual depth. Stable contrast and well balanced/punchy blacks allow scenes containing mixed content to appear gradationally satisfying via crisp whites and dark dynamic highlights. Resolution is discerning as images are characterized by intricate and definitively rendered detail that gives the video appreciable dimension and delineated texture. The video is pristinely rendered and appears incredibly film like.
A movie such as Predators lives or dies (no pun intended) by its soundtrack and this DTS-HD MA lossless presentation gets it right. This is a active surround sound mix that features an immersive array of well placed effects and pinpoint imaging that pray upon your aural senses. Near field pans and low level detail is accurately placed within the sound field which provides multi-dimensional perspective that places you in the middle of the action. I appreciated the attention to detail that went into creating the surround mix as it effectively replicates the environments featured in the film. Bass is rich, authoritative, and room energizing as it accentuates the audio's excellent dynamic range with palpable impact. Dialogue intelligibility is never a problem even during the film's active moments. This is an entertaining surround sound experience that made this film all the more enjoyable.
- Audio commentary by Robert Rodriguez and Nimrod Antal
- (HD) Moments of extraction: Robert Rodriguez presents motion comic vignettes voiced by the films cast - 8 minutes:
- Noland intro (part 1)
- Noland ending
- (HD) Crucified - 2 minute feature
- (HD) Evolution of the species - Predators reborn (6 featurettes):
- Bloodline - 3 minutes
- Decloaking the invisible: Alien terrain - 10 minutes
- Intelligent design: The hunting camp - 5 minutes
- Predators as prey - 9 minutes
- Yuatja transformed - 6 minutes
- Rite of passage - 4 minutes
- Fox Movie Channel presents: Making a scene - 7 minutes
- (HD) 9 deleted/extended scenes
- (HD) Theatrical trailer
- Exclusive Features:
- Live Lookup - Powered by IMBD
- Live Extras: Available via download or streaming - Exclusive set visit, Robert Rodriguez Intro, Predators as prey (same as above), Theatrical trailer
- Digital Copy Bonus Disc
Predators is a decent sci-fi/action film that conceptually borrows from the original Predator without feeling like a pointless rehashing. As a fan of the original I feel that this implementation works for similar reasons by engaging viewers with plenty of action and underscored characters. Although it isn't among the best action films I have seen it's executed well and has a an appeal that manages to feel fresh. Its debut on Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox is a fans delight that offers excellent high definition audio/video quality and a strong compliment of bonus features. If you're a fan of the Predator film franchise this one is definitely worth checking out.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen
Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Better Cables, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package