Fifteen years on and "Predator" still impresses, both in tension and, perhaps more surprisingly, in its special effects. Fox has given it the special edition treatment, which by now we all know means that the news is good.
Picture As John McTiernan bemoans in the audio commentary, Fox wouldn't allow him to film the movie using anamorphic lenses, and as a result there are some quite grainy sequences in the movie. The quality of the transfer is good, but some misty jungle shots turn out quite murky.
Sound The Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 sound mixes are anything but murky, with kick-ass bass to back up the mighty munitions unleashed in the film, and creepy rear effects for the predator.
Audio Commentary John McTiernan sits down to watch a film he admits he hasn't seen in years. He describes the original intention of the script to create a "Rocky" meets "Alien", while he was keener to pursue a film that would rather reflect "King Kong". It was his first big studio movie, which he admits to finding terrifying. As the commentary goes on, McTiernan starts to mumble incoherently about goodness knows what, and you soon find yourself losing track of what he's saying. There are some nuggets in there, but perhaps a coffee might have helped him out.
Text Commentary Everything you ever wanted to know about the film is likely to be found in the optional comprehensive subtitles.
Alien vs Predator Load this disc into the DVD-ROM drive of your PC (what do you mean, you don't have one!) and play the popular game.
Disc Two Special Features
If it Bleeds We Can Kill it This new half-hour documentary uncovers the origins of a film which started out as a script no one would read. When it finally did get optioned, McTiernan was definite that he wanted to make a "popcorn movie", although the casting threw up some interesting issues. Carl Weathers was too expensive, but eventually they got him on board, while Sonny Landham was so fearsome he had to be accompanied by a bodyguard to keep him out of trouble. Competition between all these muscle men was tough, with each trying to become the king of the strenuous workout. All but Weathers, that is, who teased them by working out secretly and claiming just to look good naturally.
Inside the Predator The are seven short featurettes in this section, which involve a lot of behind-the-scenes footage shot during the making of the film. We find out that Arnie is apparently friendly to even the lowest minion on set, how much all enjoyed playing with huge guns, how each character had their own weapon and distinctive camouflage paint, and who really was in that Predator suit.
"Predator" Special Effects In this section you'll find some unfinished special effects shots, and test sequences.
Deleted Scene and Outtakes There's one deleted scene with unfinished effects, and some outtakes, including a shot of Arnie slowly rumbling down a hill trying to look scared.
Additional Extra Features Also on the DVD is a photo gallery and a "Predator" Profile.
Ratio: 1.85:1 (anamorphic)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1
Technical Features: Scene selection, animated menus, multiple language subtitles, and English captions for the hearing impaired.
This DVD was reviewed on a JVC XV-S57 DVD player.