DVD Review HTF REVIEW: "Predator 2" (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald Epstein, Jan 28, 2003.

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  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    [​IMG]

    Predator 2





    Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
    Year: 1990
    Rated: R
    Film Length: 108 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.85:1)
    Subtitles: English and Spanish




    Hunting season opens again...

    You know the old saying...."You can take the Predator
    out of the jungle, but don't make a movie about it."
    Well okay, I admit to making that one up, but that
    opinion pretty much sums up my feelings about this
    rather lame attempt to make a sequel of one of the
    best sci-fi movies in the past two decades.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Taking place 10 years after the original, Predator
    2
    takes us from the lush jungles to the urban
    jungle streets of Los Angeles where gang warfare has
    broken out between rival drug lords. Finding himself
    in the middle of the warfare is Lt. Mike Harrigan
    (Danny Glover), a top-notch cop with violent
    tendencies. As if the situation on the streets
    weren't bad enough, Harrington soon comes up against
    a mysterious force that is killing drug dealers in
    a bizarre manner. Things become even more suspicious
    when a team of Federal agents headed by Peter Keyes
    (Gary Busey) suddenly appear, seeming to know more
    about these killings then they are leading on.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Of course we all know that the Predator is back
    in town with a few days to kill, and this film
    provides us with Los Angeles as his own personal
    playground. Don't look for any logical story line
    here -- director Stephen Hopkins would rather provide
    mindless action sequences mixed with bad dialogue
    than to give us the kind of sensible plotting that
    made the original film so memorable.


    How is the transfer?


    Overall transfer is quite good. This print is
    in immaculate condition without a single blemish
    to be seen anywhere. Background is completely clean
    and void of any grain or video noise. The only
    slight problem I saw was that the picture looked a
    bit soft and dated. This caused many of the
    interior shots to take on a hazy-like look to them.
    Colors aren't overly vibrant, and flesh tones tend
    to take on a bit of redness. Still, the film's
    darker blue-filtered night shots, particularly a
    hunt inside a meat slaughterhouse, remain detailed.
    For the most part, this is an above average transfer.

    [​IMG]

    A rather pleasant surprise is the lively 5.1 Dolby
    surround track that constantly provides a barrage
    of effect noise in the rear channels. Every effect
    noise you can think of is included here...from
    bullets that fly in every direction to shattering
    glass, helicopter flyovers, subway tunnel echo,
    thunder and screams from both humans and alien.
    Perhaps the most effective use of surround here is
    those heat-sensing alien perception shots which
    throw all sorts of skewed dialogue and thrashing
    noises into the rear channels. Alan Silvestri's
    score also manages to cleverly divide itself amongst
    the channels in order to heighten the film's
    intensity levels. The only thing somewhat lacking
    here is the presence of deep bass that would have
    given this soundtrack added punch.


    Special Features

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Nothing overly fancy was done for this DVD, though
    there is actually more here than I expected....

    [​IMG]

    An original 1990 featurette takes us on
    location where director Stephen Hopkins is situated
    on a moving crane that captures the action happening
    on the city streets below complete with car crashes
    and helicopter landings. Danny Glover talks about
    his character and the fact that this role provided
    him with the opportunity to be more athletic. This
    featurette is more of a teaser than anything else,
    with a cast that seems generally hyped up about the
    film (one cast member claims it's the scariest movie
    he has ever seen), but it's kind of cool to see this
    kind of thing included here as it takes us back to
    the original mindset of the cast and production.
    (length: approx. 5 minutes)

    Predator 2: Creating the Ultimate Hunter
    is another original 1990 featurette that sort of
    glosses over everything far too quickly, most
    likely because it was shown in a pre-DVD age where
    audiences weren't as hip to behind-the-scenes
    footage as they are now. Quickly explained is
    how an infra-red heat camera was used to film the
    action from the Predator's perspective. The images
    are processed, colorized and put back into the film
    to show the alien's POV. Though effects artists
    talk about how well the alien can camouflage itself,
    we are never shown how that process is created on
    film. Even when the subject turns to the weapons
    used by the alien, there isn't much material covered.
    Still, the inclusion of this material is welcomed
    mainly for its historical significance.

    The film's original trailer is included
    here as well.


    Final Thoughts

    [​IMG]

    Predator was a tough act to follow. Not
    only was it a first-rate action film with a great
    story, but it starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. It
    was the kind of film that relied on suspense and
    horror to hold its audience captive. Predator 2
    comes up very short in capturing the spirit of the
    original film, but I'll give it credit for further
    developing the mythology around this alien species.

    This was obviously a DVD that fans have been
    screaming for Fox to release for the past two years,
    and I would highly expect that anyone that owns the
    original movie won't hesitate to buy this sequel,
    no matter how lackluster they may feel it is. Those
    who do purchase it will be quite happy with not
    only the transfer quality of this DVD, but the
    inclusion of original featurette material. How
    confident am I that you will purchase this film?
    Many reputable on-line retailers are selling it
    for about $11.


    Release Date: February 4, 2003


    All screen captures have been further compressed.
    They are for illustrative purposes only and do not
    represent actual picture quality
     
  2. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Cinematographer

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    Once again, nice review Ron. This is one of those film's that time has not been kind to, in my opinion. I seem to remember being relatively satisfied with the movie as I watched it at the teneder age of 17, but a recent viewing of this movie left me entirely unimpressed.

    As far as this goes:

     
  3. Rocky F

    Rocky F Second Unit

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    I don't know if its appropriate to mention this here, but I saw it packaged with the DTS version of the original for $17 at Best Buy, only $2 more than the original alone, so if you haven't picked up the first, now may be a good time to get them both cheap.
     
  4. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Rocky,

    Quite appropriate. Something I am sure many will
    look for if they don't already own the original
    film.
     
  5. Tony Scello

    Tony Scello Second Unit

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    $17 for both movies is quite a deal but it should be noted that in the most recent HTF chat with Peter Staddon of Fox, he indicated that a Predator:SE is coming to Region 1 around mid 2003. I beleive this special edition has already been released in other regions. Something to possibly factor into any purchasing decision.
     
  6. Declan

    Declan Second Unit

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    yep the r2 SpEd is great. There is about an hours worth of doc's on it...........one half hour one then little one's after that. But it's a wonder that they just did'nt make a full 1 hour doc instead of splicing it all up. But whats here is great. Havent listened to the commentry yet though.

    here is a link to the specs and stuff.......

    predator SpEd r2 specs


    oh.........after finding a review of it as well
    predator SpEd r2 review
     
  7. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Rocky may have been referring to the appropriateness of the street date violation. P2 isn't supposed to be out until next week, 2-pack or not, correct?
     
  8. Justin_S

    Justin_S Producer

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    Nice review, but I completely disagree with you're opinion on the film. I'm obviously in the minority, but I love PREDATOR 2 even more than the original! Danny Glover, Gary Busey, and Bill Paxton have always been some of my favorite actors, and all three of them are in top form in this film!

    I loved how they relocated the Predator carnage to the concrete jungle of Los Angeles, as it is a wonderful setting for this type of film, and the LA setting is milked to its fullest. Instead of trees, the Predator hides on buildings this time around, and I just thought it made for some great and stylish shots and scenes. The city also feels really dirty and violent in this film, and it makes LA seem like a not-so-great place to live.

    There are also the new weapons in this Predator's arsenal, such as that fantastic little razor sharp disc that he throws like a boomerang. I loved that weapon!

    Also, I don't see how this film's storyline is any less logical than the original's....

    Then there's the ending. The ending is just.... SPECTACULAR! I loved how all the Predators came out and rewarded Glover for his victory over the Predator he had just killed. The Predators are into the sport of bounty hunting, and the ending shows that even they can have good sportsmanship and honor for their prey. I also liked how they rewarded Glover with an old gun, and how it showed that the Predators have been coming to Earth for sport for centuries.
    Simply a classic ending in my book, and I truly loved it!

    While the original is a great film, I think part 2 is quite a bit better!

    Now, with that said, I'll definitely be picking up this disc, as I've been dying for it for a long time! Also can't wait for the SE of the original!
     
  9. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    If we're going to discuss the merits of this film in detail then let's do so in the appropriate area which is Movies. Thank you.




    Crawdaddy
     
  10. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

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    I liked P2 and will be picking this up, especially at that price. Could have been much worse, especially if done now (Aliens vs. Predator, anyone?), where the Predator would probably be CGI.
     
  11. Shane Burton

    Shane Burton Extra

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    I also really enjoyed this movie and will be
    picking it up. To me, movies like Predator 1&2
    are not "high cinema". They are just for fun,
    and I think this movie delivers. A great trans-
    fer and 5.1 are icing on the cake!

    Shane
     
  12. Beast

    Beast Second Unit

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    I liked Predator 2 as well, and can't wait to pick this up. I can finally replace my Laserdisc. As for the first film, I'll be hanging onto my Laserdisc until Fox finally releases the terrific S.E. here in the states. I wonder when we'll finally get a release date. [​IMG]
     
  13. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Count me in as another fan who'll be picking this up! Sure it ain't up to the original, but it ain't bad either. [​IMG]
     
  14. Greg Krewet

    Greg Krewet Stunt Coordinator
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    Look carefully in the "Trophy Room" and you will see
    an interesting skelaton.
     
  15. Glenn_Jn

    Glenn_Jn Stunt Coordinator

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    I guess one area where this film beats the original is the transfer. Both versions of the R1 Predator are pretty lacklustre (and from what I've read the R2 SE is no better). So I'm glad to hear that this one is decent. I'll be there for my copy.
     
  16. Rocky F

    Rocky F Second Unit

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    I'm sorry about the street date thing, I hadn't even paid attention to the fact it wasn't supposed to be out yet.:b I saw it on my lunch break, and then read the review a few hours later, and thought I would mention it.
     
  17. Michael Allred

    Michael Allred Screenwriter

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    God that cover art is awful.[​IMG]
     
  18. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    I saw the two-pack at Best Buy, then was going to buy it a few days later, but it was gone. Maybe they had to pull it until street date?
     
  19. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

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    I know I'm in for some cringing when I re-watch this movie and remember just how bad the dialogue is, but I just can't help myself...I MUST buy this film. Thanks for the accurate review, Ron.

    Bruce
     
  20. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    So The PREDATOR transfer is so-so..?
     

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