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HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: Predator: Ultimate Hunter Edition



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#21 of 70 Steve Christou

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Posted June 29 2010 - 09:43 AM

"Looks like we're back on Pandora again", I said to my nephew while we were watching the new Predator blu-ray. DNR'd until not a speck of grain remains. Smooth as a baby's bottom, Arnold and Carl Weathers look so young, Weathers in particular looked about 15 years old in one shot. /img/vbsmilies/htf/biggrin.gif

Call me weird, call me perverse but apart from some waxy closeups I liked the new look Predator. Despite what others claim, there is plenty of detail on display, the film looks gorgeous and maybe that's whats wrong with it. It's a keeper, a curiosity piece, something to show friends when they ask what this DNR fuss is all about. And if I ever get a yearning for the original dark and grainy version I still have the DVD. /img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif


Here are some screenshots -


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Dave hören... auf, wille stoppen sie Dave... stoppen sie Dave... Mein gehirn geht... Ich bin gefühl es... Ich bin gefühl es... Ich bin ängstlich Dave... Guter Nachmittag. Ich bin ein HAL 9000 computer. Ich wurde funktionsfähig am HAL-Betrieb in Urbana, Illinois auf January 12 1992.


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#22 of 70 Douglas R

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Posted June 29 2010 - 10:19 AM

Those screenshots look great. Maybe someone can tell me what's wrong with them? In the meantime my copy is in the post.


#23 of 70 Zack Gibbs

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Posted June 29 2010 - 10:34 AM


Originally Posted by Steve Christou ../../..
Call me weird, call me perverse but apart from some waxy closeups I liked the new look Predator. Despite what others claim, there is plenty of detail on display, the film looks gorgeous and maybe that's whats wrong with it. It's a keeper, a curiosity piece, something to show friends when they ask what this DNR fuss is all about. And if I ever get a yearning for the original dark and grainy version I still have the DVD. ../../../img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif


Perhaps its because, despite the extremely misguided use of it, this is some of the best Noise Reduction Tech to date. They've scrubbed away an extreme amount of noise and detail, but maintained the overall image structure to a degree I've never seen before. From a certain point of view it's very cool.


Still, anyone who does this kind of work should lose their job. Simple as that.


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#24 of 70 Robert Harris

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Posted June 29 2010 - 10:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zack Gibbs 



Perhaps its because, despite the extremely misguided use of it, this is some of the best Noise Reduction Tech to date. They've scrubbed away an extreme amount of noise and detail, but maintained the overall image structure to a degree I've never seen before. From a certain point of view it's very cool.


Still, anyone who does this kind of work should lose their job. Simple as that.


Sorry, but this is not a new trick.  One can remove all grain, partial or none, and either leave resolution as it is, downgrade, or create a more highly resolved image.  Nothing to see here.  Move along.


RAH


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#25 of 70 Russell G

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Posted June 29 2010 - 12:44 PM

I don't remember any of the previous DVD releases of this one being all that great or award worthy, and each of them having their own problems.  This Blu, while maybe not the optimum, looks like the best choice to me at this time.  Those screen grabs don't look bad at all, certainly not the train wreck it's supposed to be.  Add in the value price, I think it's going for $20 instead of the usual $32.99 for a new release...  I think I'm going to pick it up.  It should play fine on my apparently poor, small, inadequate yet HD ready  34" LCD television that's the perfect size for my room and I want to revisit it before the remake comes out.

Shame all the people with projectors get burned all the time with Blu Rays looking crap...  /img/vbsmilies/htf/laugh.gif



#26 of 70 Nick Graham

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Posted June 29 2010 - 01:18 PM

Steve's screenshots give a good indication of when this disc works, but the screenshots you have seen of the crappier scenes are also accurate.


Watched this tonight.  The shots that have looked awful in every previous incarnation of Predator on home video look the worst here - like degaussed Paintshop murals.  Some of this material is a marked improvement over the previous disc, other scenes are either the same or worse due to the DNR.  It's a shame, as while this movie is never going to look that good due to source issues, had the DNR been used in moderation here we would have really had something.  That said, the doc and features are good supplements, so it's six of one and half a dozen of the other when it comes to choosing a version to buy.  When considering the $10 movie cash toward Predators (or A-Team or Knight & Day - both surprisingly very fun flicks), I wouldn't consider the $5 total invested a total waste, but really would like to see Fox offer a better disc for consumers with larger screens.



#27 of 70 Dave Scarpa

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Posted June 30 2010 - 01:15 AM

I picked up the 2 Pack at Best buy with it and Predator 2 for $15, Not an awful price.


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#28 of 70 John Hodson

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Posted June 30 2010 - 01:18 AM

I'll bet the sales graph for the first disc is going through the roof. That'll confuse 'em...


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#29 of 70 Dave Scarpa

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Posted June 30 2010 - 01:19 AM

Anyone know if Commando is getting a new Disk or how that one is?


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#30 of 70 Dave H

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Posted June 30 2010 - 01:35 AM

Dave,


The current Commando disc is fine.  It does contain noticeable film grain and I would now expect Fox to do the same sort of DNR job on that one too if it's re-released.



#31 of 70 Todd H

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Posted June 30 2010 - 02:08 AM

Originally Posted by Dave H 

Dave,


The current Commando disc is fine.  It does contain noticeable film grain and I would now expect Fox to do the same sort of DNR job on that one too if it's re-released.

Well, guess I better grab Commando while I can before they decide to turn it into a waxy abomination as well.


Robert, do you have any contacts at Fox? Would like to hear what one of the higher ups over there has to say about this botched transfer.



#32 of 70 Steve Christou

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Posted June 30 2010 - 02:48 AM

It looks like someone out there is demanding all grain be banished into oblivion, it's not me I only post here. It does not bode well for the upcoming Alien tetralogy.


Here's a shot of the predator from the freshly scrubbed dirt-free Predator print -


Posted Image


Dave hören... auf, wille stoppen sie Dave... stoppen sie Dave... Mein gehirn geht... Ich bin gefühl es... Ich bin gefühl es... Ich bin ängstlich Dave... Guter Nachmittag. Ich bin ein HAL 9000 computer. Ich wurde funktionsfähig am HAL-Betrieb in Urbana, Illinois auf January 12 1992.


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#33 of 70 robbbb1138

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Posted June 30 2010 - 05:34 AM

I have such a hard time finding Blu-Rays that I find worth buying (I'd like to get about 5 per month, but it requires lowering a lot of standards that I have on the HD quality and, mostly, the movie itself) that this is still a no-brainer purchase for me with it being $14.99 at Best Buy and having the movie cash for Predators.



#34 of 70 Aaron Silverman

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Posted June 30 2010 - 06:08 AM

Originally Posted by Dave Scarpa 

I picked up the 2 Pack at Best buy with it and Predator 2 for $15, Not an awful price.


BestBuy.com lists each film (if one can call it that!) separately for $15 apiece.  Is there a 2-pack in the store that has both for $15?


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#35 of 70 smithb

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Posted June 30 2010 - 01:00 PM


Originally Posted by Aaron Silverman 
BestBuy.com lists each film (if one can call it that!) separately for $15 apiece.  Is there a 2-pack in the store that has both for $15?


Maybe it was mismarked at that store but I stopped by the local BB on my way home and the individual films are $14.99 a piece and the two film collection is $29.99.



#36 of 70 Will_B

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Posted June 30 2010 - 07:21 PM

While I think the decision to remove all grain was odd, I am impressed enough with the evident improvements in DNR as demonstrated here to hope that they use the same software to fix up Total Recall next.


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#37 of 70 Will_B

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Posted June 30 2010 - 07:31 PM



Originally Posted by Robert Harris 

Quote:


Sorry, but this is not a new trick.  One can remove all grain, partial or none, and either leave resolution as it is, downgrade, or create a more highly resolved image.  Nothing to see here.  Move along.


RAH


I'd bet money that Zack is right that this is a major upgrade over any previous DNR used before. As he says, "they have maintained the overall image structure to a degree I've never seen before."


An interview with the folks who worked on it would reveal if this is either a breakthrough upgrade of previous DNR software, or a novel combination of some previously existing software.


Move along? Nothing to see here? Far from it. Every studio in town will be beating down the door of the house that did this, either to hire them, or to find out what products they are using.


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#38 of 70 cineMANIAC

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Posted July 01 2010 - 12:03 AM

Skimming through the new disc I can understand why some folks don't like the new transfer and are cursing the heavens (and the studio) for "ruining" the film. Personally, I don't see what all the fuss is about. The jungle scenes are lush and green, like I'd hoped they would look the first time around. The "wax figure" issue is unfortunate but to me its not distracting and the film is now razor-sharp.  In other words, the film looks more like a Blu-ray than a DVD. I'm not saying they should have removed the grain. Somewhere down the road the people who are in charge of doing new transfers will find a way to clean up film without scrubbing the grain but in the meantime I'm going to keep both new and old BDs and sit back and enjoy the movie. By the way, Best Buy has a two-pack of the first two films on sale for $30.


 

 


#39 of 70 RobertSiegel

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Posted July 01 2010 - 02:10 AM

This is really sad. Looking at the screenshots, it is actually scary because if this is what they are calling a "remaster" I am very concerned about the future of many films on the format for film fanatics. I cannot believe that the studio would ok this transfer, I don't think even Patton looked this waxy. My favorite movie of all time is coming out this year from Fox, The Sound of Music, and to be honest I am quite concerned after seeing this. Here's a studio that gives us South Pacific, in my opinion the best looking classic on Blu-ray so far, and then there's Patton and now this (though this is not a p[re-1970 film). I do believe this film could have looked better than the first release with a proper re-master from the negative. But it seems that doing a DNR job and relabeling it "remastered" is good enough for the studio. Universal knows the process well (Spartacus, ect). They are doing it all the time. But I am surprised at Fox, because some of their output is spectacular.


That is not to say a slew of people won't be very happy with this release. To each their own. I don't put anyone down for the "look" they prefer, but if you are looking for the film to look like it is supposed to, and when it was first released, forget it. This is as different as you can get from the look of the original release in  theaters.


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#40 of 70 PaulaJ

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Posted July 01 2010 - 03:42 AM

Bill Hunt at the Digital Bits has posted an epic-size rant about this new Blu-ray of Predator.


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