Predators appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. I expected the film to look good, and look good it did.
At all times, sharpness satisfied. The movie consistently appeared crisp and concise, with virtually no instances of softness on display. Moiré effects and jagged edges failed to distract, and the presentation also lacked any edge haloes. Source flaws created no distractions; this remained a clean image.
Like the original flick, green dominated the palette of Predators. Some blues and ambers also materialized, but jungle green was the main tone. Within those restrictions, the hues looked fine. Blacks were deep and dark, and low-light scenes – of which we found many – came across as clear and well-developed. No problems emerged in this solid presentation.
While good, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Predators wasn’t quite as impressive as expected. The soundscape became a minor disappointment, as it didn’t provide the super-active setting I anticipated. Still, it added a fair amount to the experience, especially as the film progressed; unquestionably, the third act was more dynamic than the first, even when both featured similar action.
Movement and integration were always good, and localization seemed positive. Surround usage was the only minor weak link, especially during the movie’s first half. The back speakers got more use toward the end, but they tended to be somewhat subdued earlier. Overall involvement was pretty good, however, and the track blended together well.
Audio quality was always positive. Speech seemed natural and distinctive, without edginess or other issues. Music appeared lively and full, and effects demonstrated good power. Those elements came across as taut and powerful, with nice low-end to add punch. While I thought the track could’ve been more active at times, it still deserved a solid “B+”.
As we move to extras, we launch with an audio commentary from director Nimrod Antal and producer Robert Rodriguez. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at the film’s development, story, editing and cut sequences, effects and stunts, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, and a few other areas.
If you’ve heard other Rodriguez commentaries, you’ll know he’s a chatty sort, and his presence ensures this discussion cranks along nicely. At times, Rodriguez and Antal form a bit too much of a mutual admiration society, but they still deliver a lot of good info about the movie. The piece moves at a strong pace and turns into an enjoyable listen.
Listed as “prequel vignettes”, we find two Motion Comics. These are called “Moments of Extraction” (8:45) and “Crucified” (2:11). The first shows how some of the film’s characters ended up on the predator hunting preserve, while the second allows us to learn how a predator ended up punished by his own kind. I like these, as they give us some interesting – though non-essential – background.
A documentary entitled Evolution of the Species: Predators Reborn runs 40 minutes, 12 seconds and includes notes from Antal, Rodriguez, producer Elizabeth Avellan and John Davis, location manager Logan Cooper, stunt coordinator Jeff Dashnaw, production designers Steve Joyner and Caylah Eddleblute, makeup effects designer Greg Nicotero, VFX producer Emily Davis, and actors Adrien Brody, Alice Braga, Walt Goggins, Topher Grace, Laurence Fishburne, and Danny Trejo. “Evolution” covers the attempt to relaunch and expand the franchise, the flick’s development, visual choices, sets and locations, stunts and action, cast, characters and performances, effects and designing the predators, and Antal’s impact on the production.
Despite some repetition from the commentary, “Evolution” delivers a solid program. It digs into the expected topics and does so in a compelling way. Add to that a fair amount of good footage from the set and the show deserves a look.
In the four-minute, 52-second The Chosen, we learn more about the various characters. Most of this simply consists of footage from the film, though a few unique elements appear. It’s mildly interesting but nothing vital. Note that it includes some character spoilers, so don’t watch it until you’ve seen the movie.
After this we get Fox Movie Channel Presents Making a Scene. The program lasts seven minutes, six seconds and features remarks from Goggins, Nicotero, Antal, and on-set visual effects supervisor Jabbar Raisani. They provide details about the shooting of the “dog alien” sequence. This piece tends to be somewhat fluffy, but it still includes some decent details.
Nine Deleted and Extended Scenes fill a total of 11 minutes, 21 seconds. These include “Dead Man’s Parachute” (0:53), “Cuchillo and Isabelle” (0:58), “Team ‘Orientated’ Group” (1:20), “Third Most Wanted” (1:41), “Cuchillo Unleashes” (0:38), “’Why Are You Here?” (2:52), “’They’re Smarter Than That” (0:48), “Stans and Isabelle Naked” (1:31) and “’They’re Still Coming’” (0:40). Most of these offer a little extra character time for some secondary roles, so don’t expect anything big. (And don’t expect any nudity in “Naked”.) “Why” is interesting as a red herring, though.
In addition to the trailer for Predators, we find some Sneak Peeks for Knight and Day, Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps and “What’s Hot on TV on DVD”.
A few ads open the disc. We get clips for Machete, The A Team, and Mirrors.
A second disc includes a Digital Copy of Predators. With that, you can slap the movie onto a computer or digital gizmo. Whoopee!
Maybe someday the franchise will produce a really great action flick, but Predators fails to reach that level. While it has its moments, the movie seems a bit flat and forgettable. The Blu-ray offers excellent picture, very good audio and some enjoyable supplements. Though Predators doesn’t do much for me, I suspect fans of the series will like it.