REVIEW: Predator 3D (Blu Ray) – ManlyMovie

REVIEW: Predator 3D (Blu Ray)

Runtime: 107 Mins
Rated: R

It’s showtime, kid.  Predator 3D is here, for better or worse.  It’s a movie that shouldn’t have worked well in 3D.  And it doesn’t.  But not for reasons of which I had originally postulated – such as a screen full of abstract vegetation presenting a large separation job, something which isn’t as easy as… for example, The Titanic sitting on the ocean, a large object composed of computer friendly right-angles.  After all, this is not a dedicated conversion but an automated one.  But nowadays, with the likes of Jurassic Park on 3D Blu Ray (review) proving that an automated conversion can work, jungle antics and all, we’ll have to put this down to laziness and greed. And for reference, no.  It is not the panel this was reviewed on, which is a properly calibrated top-end Active Bravia.  The problem is is Fox, who have their hands out, nothing more, nothing less.  

It is without hesitation that I say that Predator is probably the Manliest movie ever made.  If we were to have such a list on this site, Predator would top it.  Only Die Hard would come close.  Big Mac, eh?  What a director.  When Predator appears on the TV, perhaps by accident flicking through the channels, females know, they know that it’s pointless to argue.  They know that Predator is going to stay on until it’s finished.  Even if it was only on two weeks prior.  You know a movie is special when it demands routine viewing.  Several times a year is nothing for Predator, a true mark of a classic.  It has aged so little too, something that’s probably down to the lack of descriptors you’ll find in a jungle to give away the year, such as 1980’s cars or nightclubs.  Two things that change very little are the military and badass bush.


But onto the 3D, which is the whole point of this release, or the tool used here to facilitate money grabbing.  The core transfer used for the conversion is the 2D 1080p ‘Ultimate Hunter Edition’, better known as the DNR’ed to hell wax man edition.  In theory, that’s not necessarily a problem and may even work to the benefit of a 3D conversion. Theory be damned though, it’s bad release.  Because of the footage released earlier this year at Comic Con, people who had seen it reported that it was a strong conversion.  But now we can draw a line under it – what they witnessed was select footage taken from the movie that worked, probably down to circumstance or particulars of McTiernan’s style.  For comparison, I ran these scenes through Sony’s Bravia upscaling technology on the 2D version, they looked very similar.  This ‘good’ footage only accounts for about 20% of the movie.  The rest of it is flat and lifeless.  Darker than usual with washed out contrast. 

This release is packaged with two discs.  The 3D Blu Ray release and the ‘Ultimate Hunter’ 2D release, complete with the features that came with that original release.  To show how lazy Fox have been, they’ve simply taken the UHE disc out of it’s own packaging and bundled it in with this one.  Even the Copyright 2010 text is on the inner spindle.  It’s the exact same disc that I already have.  Most don’t rate that second release either.  Personally, I find UHE to have pros and cons versus the 2008 ‘grain’ release.  Some parts are superior, some are atrocious.  At best, the 3D release is a ‘third option’.  Some people might prefer this viewing experience for Predator, even if it’s mediocre.  Again, it has pros versus the other two releases.  But I could only recommend holding onto the 2008 original release – if only for a consistent viewing experience.

ManlyMovie was hoping for something pretty sophisticated.  Instead, we get a conversion handled by a bunch of half-assed mountain boys.