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PREDATOR ($30) may not be Arnold Schwarzenegger's best film, but it is a highly entertaining mix of science fiction, horror, and of course, action. I know I never tire of watching this action packed gem. In PREDATOR, Arnold plays Dutch, the leader of an elite commando team that is sent into the Central American jungles on a rescue mission. After taking out a guerilla installation, Dutch discovers that the rescue mission was bogus and that his friend Dillon (Carl Weathers) used him and his men to assassinate rebels.

On their way back to the pick up point across the border, things take an unexpected turn. The commando team find themselves being hunted by an unseen foe that proves to be something other than human. The cast of PREDATOR also features Elpidia Carrillo, Bill Duke, Sonny Landham, Richard Chaves, R.G. Armstrong, Shane Black, Kevin Peter Hall, and Jesse Ventura (in his pre-political days). Director John McTiernan stages the action sequences with bravado and keeps things moving at a rapid pace. Special effects genius Stan Winston was responsible for the design of the rather nasty looking alien predator.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made PREDATOR available on DVD in a good looking wide screen presentation that lacks the 16:9 anamorphic component. The Letterboxed transfer is sharp and detailed throughout the presentation, however the transfer is somewhat grainy due to the nature of the film’s original cinematography. Film grain aside, there were no other detectable flaws in the transfer. Color reproduction is absolutely terrific. The lush greens of the jungle reproduce through every various shade of the color. Saturation was quite good, without a trace of color noise or distortion. Digital compression artifacts were camouflaged by solid DVD authoring.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack was surprisingly good. The front soundstage packed a wallop, with aggressive channel separation and natural sounding dialogue. The rear channels of this 1987 soundtrack didn’t have the power of the front section, however they did have a number of effective moments. Bass reproduction was strong; greatly enhancing the extensive gunfire and explosions found on the soundtrack. A matrixed Dolby Surround soundtrack has been encoded onto the DVD, in addition to a French language track. Subtitles are available in English and Spanish.

The simple interactive menus offer access to a theatrical trailer, plus the standard scene and language selection features.

PREDATOR is a solid and entertaining film that is certain to please Arnold’s fans, as well as those of the science fiction and action genres. Recommended.




DVD reviews are Copyright 1999 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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