Predator – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Predator - Theatrical Poster

We may know of the Predator as the galaxy’s most dangerous hunters. However, as you watch begin to watch the film, it doesn’t seem like a sci-fi film. It seems like a sequel to Schwarzenegger’s earlier film Commando. Yet it’s this bait-and-switch that makes Predator so unique. It’s essentially a slasher flick. In fact, it poses a question to audiences: What happens when a seemingly unstoppable killer goes up against the baddest macho men on Earth.

The answer to that question is they die one-by-one and Schwarzenegger is frightened by this enemy. In fact, he gets his butt kicked when he finally goes one-on-one against the Predator. This is something you don’t quite often see in Schwarzenegger’s earlier films.

But Dutch and the rest of his crew aren’t just your stereotypical macho men. These characters are people that you connect with because of all the humanistic emotions that they convey. Their fear is your fear.

As unique as the film is, the film is still super cheesy. A lot of Schwarzenegger’s most memorable one-liners have come from this film. Not to mention, all of the crazy 80s-style action sequences where bullets and explosions come in from every which way. It’s all incredibly stupid but it’s so much fun to watch.

John McTiernan knows how to direct action films. The man who’s given us Die Hard and The Hunt for Red October has a knack for giving us some creative action films.

Arnold Schwarzenegger essentially performs the same way as he does in his other films. In other words, he’s very physical in his performance but his acting still isn’t the best. Nevertheless, the amount of fear seen in his eyes is something that we haven’t really seen from him before.

Overall, Predator is a film that definitely earns that classic status. Not only does the film have that classic 80s action but it has such a unique sci-fi storyline that differentiates it from other 80s action films. It’s a big reason why so many people love this film to this day.

Movie Rating: 4/5 atoms

Predator - Arnold Schwarzenegger

Predator hits 4K Ultra HD with an HDR10 4K transfer and a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. There’s a nice level of contrast in this release as the picture doesn’t look flat at all. In turn, the black levels are inky black with slight crushing in the shadow details. In addition, the brightness is incredibly brilliant without any bloom whatsoever. It’s a nice looking mixture of light and dark areas. From the lush greenery of the jungles to the Predator’s heat vision, the colors just pop from the screen. Not to mention, the colors and skin tones all look natural too.

Because the film was shot in native 4K, the detail clarity is magnificent. You can clearly see every single sharp detail including the sweat on the pores. Unfortunately, this also highlights all of the VERY dated CG-effects. As it is with a lot of these 4K re-releases of 80s films, there is a lot of noticeable grain in this film. Overall, this is a great video presentation.

Video Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Predator - Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Duke, and Sonny Landham

Predator hits 4K Ultra HD with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. It’s a rarity these days but there is a ton of bass and LFEs in this audio mix. It’s not just with the explosions either. The subwoofer feels like a big part of the mix instead of something used on the side. Unfortunately, the dialogue doesn’t sound crisp at all. From the sound of it, the original audio recordings haven’t aged well at all.

There are very little atmospheric effects that fill up the soundstage but at least the sound effects provide a good amount of immersion in this film. When the action ramps up, the soundstage comes alive with the sound of explosions. In addition, Alan Silvestri’s score fills up the soundstage too. The Predator audio isn’t a dynamic mix but it’s still a satisfying mix.

Audio Rating: 4/5 atoms

Special Features
Predator - Kevin Peter Hall

Predator has the following special fratures on the 4K Ultra HD blu-ray disc:

  • Commentary by Director John McTiernan
  • Text Commentary by Film Historian Eric Lichtenfeld

In addition, you can find the following special features on the 1080p Blu-ray disc:

  • Predators: Sneak Peek
  • Predator: Evolution of a Species: Hunters of Extreme Perfection
  • If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It: The Making of Predator
  • Inside the Predator
    • Classified Action
    • The Unseen Arnold
    • Old Painless
    • The Life Inside: A Tribute to Kevin Peter Hall
    • Camouflage
    • Welcome to the Jungle
    • Character Design
  • Special Effects
    • “Red Suit” Special Effects
      • Looking Down
      • In Jungle
      • Man Walking Layer
    • Camouflage Tests
      • Moth
      • Layers
  • Short Takes
    • John McTiernan on Learning Film
    • Jesse’s Ultimate Goal
    • Stan Winston: Practical Joker
    • Don’t Drink the Water
  • Deleted Scenes & Outtakes
    • Fleeing the Predator
    • Chameleon
    • Building a Trap
    • Sliding Downhill
  • Theatrical Trailers
    • Predator
    • Predator 2
  • Photo Gallery
  • Predator Profile

“Evolution of a Species” isn’t so much a featurette about Predator but instead it feels like a promotional tool for Predators. Robert Rodriguez and Predators director Nimród Antal talk about their history with Predator and the influence it had on Predators.

“If It Bleeds” is a legacy featurette that covers a ton of subjects regarding the making of the film. This featurette is in its original 4:3 format so don’t expect to see anything too modern. Nevertheless, the featurette provides a ton of stories, information, and behind-the-scenes stuff.

“Inside the Predator” and “Short Takes” are a series of mini-featurettes that is an extension of the “If It Bleeds” featurette. It’s produced in the same vein as “If It Bleeds” and covers a random number of subjects.

“Special Effects” are nothing but raw footage and CG-tests of the Predator’s camouflage look. Surprisingly, some of the deleted scenes are quite cool to watch. You can see why they were cut but you can also see why it should’ve been in the film.

Special Features Rating: 3/5 atoms

Overall, Predator is an amazing 80s action film that just so happens to be a sci-fi film too. That’s why people consider the film to be a classic. The video looks phenomenal but the audio mix isn’t as dynamic or immersive as it should be. The special features may be seventeen years old but it still provides you with a ton of information about the making of the film.

Overall Rating: 4/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

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