Blu-ray Review HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: Predator: Ultimate Hunter Edition

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Matt Hough, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Predator first came out on blu-ray in april 2008, not that long ago. I'm wondering if they had many complaints about the quality then, maybe it was too grainy and dirty or didn't look that much better than the DVD. So a new transfer was in order for the special edition, "clean it up boys I don't want to see any grain on this" and they went to work, making it look spotless. [/url]
     
  2. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    Although I'm sure it's been said before, the film is supposed to look like the film, not a Blu-ray. Changing the look of a work of art to meet the standards of the most current technological medium ruins the art. This is almost akin to colorization in my book.
     
  3. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    [deleting]
     
  4. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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  5. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    I'm sure that the only reason they re-released it was to leverage languid sales of a well-known catalog title using the theatrical release of Predators as a tie-in. I'd also bet that the production costs associated with this, ahem, "remaster", were fairly negligible in relation to projected sales. Complaints about the original Blu-ray release probably had nothing at all to do with the new transfer. Being able to advertise it as a remaster is simply marketing designed to part fans with their money. Run it through some DNR software, come up with some new cover art and a promotional campaign, and you're done.
     
  6. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    [please delete]
     
  7. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    I just viewed this Blu-ray and it's an absolute *tragedy*.

    The transfer has better definition and color saturation than my DVD of the movie ... but the upscaled DVD has more apparent detail! That should *never* happen with BD.


    The tragedy is that the transfer was *oh so close* to being the best home presentation of Predator ever. This *is* a new transfer. I did A/B comparisons against my DVD and print damage evident on the DVD is now gone. So just a little less application of whatever DNR process was used would have rendered an absolutely glorious transfer of this movie. And that's a *real* shame!! *sigh*
     
  8. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I'm hoping that you're using a bit of dark humor here, but when read by others, it reads like a rave review.


    If you're serious then the next we'll hear is about this wonderful new process being nominated for a Tech Award by the Academy. These companies need very little sizzle to turn something negative into something extremely positive -- on a dime.


    This process does not work. It turns film into garbage. It will only look good to those who spend their time playing video games. This is not a matter of opinion.


    RAH
     
  9. smithb

    smithb Screenwriter

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    That the look has been manipulated from its original source is fact. Whether the process works or it is garbage is and always will be opinion in my view. But I'm open to your explanation on how there is no subjectivity in this finding.
     
  10. Zack Gibbs

    Zack Gibbs Screenwriter

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    DNR software does not come with a simple on/off switch. It can allow for enormous control over how its used, and is applied to practically every dvd/bluray release you're likely to see-- even the critically lauded ones.
     
  11. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    I don't think anyone has ever said that DNR isn't used on almost every film to some degree. Nobody is saying that the use of DNR is wrong, as long as it is done skillfully and serves to preserve the image quality of the original source. The debate here is that DNR and other tools were used, hamhandedly, to fundamentally change the look of this film to something that never existed before. The result is that a technician, using a bunch of digital tools, managed to "remake" Predator, without actually reshooting it.
     
  12. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    This is what I don't understand. Obviously there's a debate between fans about how the film should look. Is the grain intentional or not? But, we're not talking about a movie from 1930 here. The guys who made it are still alive. How hard is it to include them? Sure, you may have to bail McTiernan out of jail for an afternoon, but if that's too hard then ask Donald McAlpine. Have one of them approve the transfer.


    Even if they say "the grain should be there", and the fans who hate the grain still complain, at least Fox would know that they put out the correct version.


    Really, why is this so hard?
     
  13. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    I have to wonder how many of those bitching about the "excessive grain" in the original Blu release actually watched the disc all the way through. How many took one look at the Fox logo at the start of the movie, which is ridiculously grainy, and said, "Well, this sucks...Fox has given us another dog."


    Personally, I do not find the original Blu to be at all offensive, except that it does not include the special edition features of the most recent DVD (which I kept). There are a few shots that are pretty grainy, but the vast majority of this film looks just fine, the way I remember it theatrically. Theatrical presentations frequently look grainier than most of this disc. I am scratching my head trying to figure out what the big deal is. I think the consensus of some is probably correct: people who whined about the first Blu-ray had Fox scrambling to appease them for the new one, and the results are now well-documented.


    Please, can we stop making an issue of transfers are acceptably movie-like so we don't get more of these awful DNR-d disasters?
     
  14. Zack Gibbs

    Zack Gibbs Screenwriter

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    A favorite of mine, "Ghostbusters," is a great example of why it is so hard. The bluray doesn't look bad, I can enjoy it, but it doesn't quite represent the film either. They've increased the contrast quite a bit, to make it look more 'modern,' and this makes the somewhat grain-heavy movie heavier. And then they've sharpened it a bit, making it heavier still. So now the movie doesn't really look like the movie, and they've exasperated its grain to the point where filmed objects can cease to be and all you're left with are abstract particle swarms.


    And all of this was done at the behest of its filmmakers, who probably no longer have any clue what they were doing on a film 20-30 years ago.


    And that's why its so hard.
     
  15. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    Well, sorry. If that's the way the filmmakers want it to look, then I will trust it more than your memory of how it's supposed to look. I don't mean to sound harsh, I'm sorry if it comes off that way.
     
  16. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    With me it wasn't a matter of "grain or no grain". I'm mostly upset about the lack of detail. Of course the two do go hand-and-hand to a certain degree, but there can be some grain reduction applied which doesn't just wipe it all away along with the detail.


    This new Blu-ray has no edge enhancement or other apparent compression artifacts, good definition, outstanding color saturation, an (apparently) clean source, more than adequate audio presentation ... and all of that good work has been wiped-out by somebody applying DNR with a sledge hammer ...! I'm pretty sick about it ...
     
  17. marsnkc

    marsnkc Supporting Actor

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    Brad-


    You say it yourself: 'That the look has been manipulated from its original source is fact.'

    There's nothing subjective about comparing this digitally manipulated version unfavorably with its original FILM source, unless of course you consider the pretty, grain-free look of the former superior, or at least more enjoyable to look at. That would be a matter for subjective 'opinion.'
    However, there's no excuse today for anything less than an accurate, film-like result. Robert Harris has repeatedly, and with unimaginable patience in my view, said that the tools exist - nothing subjective about that, they EXIST- to achieve a result worthy of the wonders of high definition. Some here are hailing 'NEW - GRAIN SCRUBBING PROCESSES (!!!)' as though they are actually new - which they're not; so all our worries are over. From now on, everything grainy and ugly will be 'improved' enough to remind them of their child-hood years watching Saturday morning cartoons on a 19" set.
    Robert Harris's review in his 'A few words about...' thread of 'The Red Shoes', a movie decades older than Predator, reinforces the fact - not opinion - that great results are achievable.
     
  18. Zack Gibbs

    Zack Gibbs Screenwriter

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    It has nothing to do with my memory, the movie has simply never been presented that way. Another good example is The Wrath of Khan, which also had the filmmakers input. But the bluray release has had an extreme shift in hue to blue, another case of modern sensibilities altering history. Khan hasn't looked that way for the last 25 years, but it looks like that now.


    Filmmakers don't always care about preserving their films as originally released, so placing your trust in them to do so is misguided. Surely we've all realized that by now.
     
  19. smithb

    smithb Screenwriter

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    No, I'm sorry but I disagree. One can prove without a doubt that the image looks different, that is factual. But this very thread in itself helps prove that the subjective nature of the change. Things like unwatchable, garbage, and only video gamers would like it are subjective phrases. Just like the phrases used to say it looks great.


    This has nothing to do with one side being right or wrong. You can argue the merits back and forth all you want. I just don't think it is accurate for either side to state they are correct based on facts. What RAH stated was nothing more then his opinion in my book. That's all.
     
  20. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    It has very much to do with being right or wrong. Changing the look of the original film is wrong. No ifs or buts. Otherwise, you can't say that pan and scan is wrong, or colorization is wrong, or bleeping out words you don't like is wrong.
     

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