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FOX

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Nimród Antal
Cast:
Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Laurence Fishburne, Danny Trejo, Alice Braga, Walton Goggins, Oleg Taktarov
Writing Credits:
Alex Litvak, Michael Finch, Jim Thomas (characters), John Thomas (characters)

Tagline:
Fear is Reborn.

Synopsis:
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.

Box Office:
Budget
$45 million.
Opening Weekend
$24.760 million on 2699 screens.
Domestic Gross
$52.000 million.

MPAA:
Rated R

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Portuguese
Mandarin Chinese
Cantonese Chinese
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 107 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 10/19/2010

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director Nimrod Antal and Producer Robert Rodriguez
• “Prequel Vignettes” Motion Comics
• “Evolution of the Species: Predators Reborn” Documentary
• “The Chosen”
• “Fox Movie Channel Presents Making a Scene” Featurette
• Deleted and Extended Scenes
• Trailer
• Digital Copy
• Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Predators [Blu-Ray] (2010)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 99, 2009)

In my ever-so-humble opinion, Predator has always been a franchise with a good idea and not-so-great execution. Many people love the first flick; I think it’s okay but not especially memorable. Many people don’t love the first sequel; I actually think it’s got problems but is generally pretty enjoyable.

And it seems that few people are particularly wild about the Alien Vs. Predator movies. I agree with those assessments; the two releases are watchable at most but clearly don’t live up to their potential.

Which continues to be my opinion of the entire Predator franchise, though I hoped 2010’s Predators might force me to rethink things. A bunch of strangers get dumped out of aircraft and end up in a mysterious jungle. None of them know why they’re there but they soon figure out that they’re meant to be prey for a hunter species. Essentially led by the stoic Royce (Adrien Brody), they battle the predators as they attempt to stay alive and find a way out of their situation.

While I hoped that Predators would finally allow the series to live up to its potential, it didn’t. For all intents and purposes, it remakes the original film with a bigger allotment of predators. We’re back in the jungle and see skilled prey fight against the aliens – that’s about all she wrote.

When I wrote the plot synopsis, I thought it seemed sketchy and too short. However, it’s really all you need for this movie. Although Predators involves a long list of characters, few of them stand out. Brody proves to be a surprisingly capable action hero, but Royce never becomes anything more than a standard issue Clint Eastwood sort.

Among the others, Topher Grace’s Edwin has some moments, though mostly due to his apparent uniqueness. Among a crew of killers, Edwin is a doctor whose presence makes no sense. (Initially, at least; we figure out why the predators chose him along the way.) Grace doesn’t stretch his skills for the part, but he adds some spice to what could’ve been a one-note role.

We also find a semi-big star in a semi-small part. Essentially he turns in a cameo, and it’s a weird one at that. I won’t say more because it might ruin the surprise, but I will say that I like this actor’s broad performance. Some have criticized his work as being too overtly cartoony, but I think it works; if nothing else, he stands out among all the gritty killers.

While the one-dimensional characters don’t bring anything to the table, they don’t really hurt the flick either, as we don’t expect much more from this sort of tale. Predators does lose points due to its moderate flatness, though. As I mentioned earlier, it never seems to aspire to be much more than a semi-remake of the original movie. Sure, it takes us to a different setting and spices things up in a mix of ways, but it still feels awfully familiar. For big fans of the original, that may be a good thing, but as someone who always thought the first flick was a letdown, “more of the same” doesn’t satisfy.

This doesn’t mean I dislike Predators. Just like the original, it offers decent entertainment and keeps us with it across its 107 minutes. Unfortunately, “decent entertainment” isn’t what I’d call a ringing endorsement. Predators provides a serviceable extension of the franchise but it doesn’t bring any new spark to the situation.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B+/ Bonus B

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.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.0312 Stars Number of Votes: 32
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main