Predator 2: Special Edition (1990)

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Released 22-Aug-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Trailer-70 Years Of Fox
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-Stephen Hopkins (Director)
Audio Commentary-Jim Thomas And John Thomas (Writers)
Web Links
Featurette-Making Of-The Hunters And The Hunted
Featurette-Evolutions, With Commentary By FX Supervisor Joel Hynek
Featurette-Weapons Of Choice
Featurette-The Predator Goes ToTown (1990)
Featurette-Making Of-International Featurette (1990)
Featurette-Creating The Ultimate Hunter
Featurette-Hard Core Segments
Gallery-Stills
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1990
Running Time 103:33
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (50:17)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Stephen Hopkins
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Kevin Peter Hall
Danny Glover
Gary Busey
Rubén Blades
Maria Conchita Alonso
Bill Paxton
Robert Davi
Adam Baldwin
Kent McCord
Morton Downey Jr.
Calvin Lockhart
Steve Kahan
Henry Kingi
Case ?
RPI $34.95 Music Alan Silvestri


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
English Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    In 1997 gang warfare and violence are all in a day's work for Lieutenant Mike Harrigan (Danny Glover) of the Los Angeles Metro Command. He's a by-the-book cop, uncompromising and hardened from years of working in the downtown slums. Just as he's beginning to think he's seen it all, two things happen in one day that begin to change his hum-drum job. First, a new officer is assigned to work under him - Jerry Lambert (Bill Paxton): an openly sleazy but good natured cop with a reputation so bad it precedes him. Secondly, the bizarre mass-killing of a Columbian drug gang appears to have been carried out under the noses of the Police, coinciding with a massive heat wave at the peak of the city's war on drugs.

    Before the Police can search the scene of the strange massacre and begin their investigations, Harrigan is rudely put in his place by Peter Keyes (Gary Busey), a secretive and enigmatic character who claims to be part of a higher governmental authority. Harrigan's interest in the murders becomes more than a turf issue when the carnage spreads and his own officers are involved. Keyes pressures Harrigan to leave the case alone, which only fuels his interest further and leads to an encounter beyond anything he could have imagined.

    The first Predator film was a hugely successful Schwarzenegger vehicle set in the jungles of Mexico. This sequel was initially intended to star Arnold in a reprising role with the film set in New York City, however his commitment to Terminator 2 was given priority. After several rewrites the location was changed to downtown Los Angeles and the characters involved had no relationship to the first film, but it still works fantastically thanks to a great ensemble cast. Although it was filmed in 1990, the story is set in the "future" of 1997, which makes it a little funny in some respects.

    Director Stephen Hopkins had directed many music videos and also Nightmare On Elm Street 5 prior to his taking on this project. His style is quite different to that of John McTiernan who directed the first film, but retains the tension, action and excitement of the original. I'm undecided as to which of the two is my favourite. They both have their strengths, but if I was forced to decide I would probably pick the original due to the screen presence of Arnie alone.

    Predator 2 is a worthy and entertaining sequel. Whether you're a fan of the Schwarzenegger original, the excellent comic series or the recent Alien vs. Predator, this Special Edition is certainly worth a look.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This transfer is presented in the film's original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The image is sharp and shows a great deal of film-like detail. Contrast is good, with deep, strong blacks and visible detail in the film's many dark scenes. There was no low level noise evident in the transfer.

    Colouring is bold and true, without any bleeding or inconsistencies to speak of. Skin tones appeared realistic.

    I didn't notice any MPEG artefacting at all. Film artefacts are present and most are no more than tiny positive specks, although a rather large example can be seen in the middle of the frame at 54:24. A number of small scratches can be seen at certain points in the film, but these won't be a problem for most viewers. The image is free of any ugly aliasing or jagged edges.

    English subtitle streams are provided for the feature and two commentaries. I viewed the first half of the film with subtitles enabled and found the text to be easy to read, accurate and well timed with the dialogue.

    Disc one is dual layered (DVD9 format), with the layer transition placed during the feature in the middle of chapter nine, at 50:17. The pause interrupts an emotional moment in the soundtrack score and is rather obvious. Disc two is DVD5 formatted (single layered).

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are four soundtracks available, the default being English Dolby Digital 5.1 encoded at 384Kb/s. An English dts alternative is included (768Kb/s), along with two feature commentaries by the Director and Writers (192Kb/s). For this review I listened to the default soundtrack and commentaries and sampled the dts option in several key scenes.

    The English dialogue is always prominent in the mix and easy to discern above the action and effects. There were a number of occasions where I found the Latino accents either too fast or hard to follow. The film's ADR is well timed but not always realistic as some yelling voices don't match their facial expressions. Audio sync is fine.

    The front soundstage is very active, with plenty of effects panning. When I processed the soundtrack with my rear centre speaker active, all of the surround info was directed to the rear centre channel, indicating that the surround left and right channels are in fact mono. Voices are generally confined to the front centre channel for the duration of the film.

    Because of the large difference in bitrate, there are noticeable differences in the two English soundtracks. The dts soundtrack is slightly louder, brighter and contains a little more depth to effects such as explosions and gunfire. Surround activity and panning appears to be the same.

    The score by Alan Silvestri is comprised of some recycled themes from the first Predator film. When I hear the familiar themes and tribal rhythms from the first film it just doesn't seem to match the city location somehow. The themes do manage to convey the correct tension and emotion in the right places.

    The subwoofer is used to augment explosions and some of the heavier gunfire in the film. LFE usage felt appropriate considering the age of the film.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    This is a great package of extra material considering the age of the film.

Trailer-70 Years Of Fox

    I wanted to highlight this, even though it's not really an extra. When disc one is inserted, prior to the main menu loading there are three minutes of anti-piracy advertisements and Fox promos. These can be manually skipped using your remote, but there is one screen that locks your player for several seconds. I understand the reasoning behind studios having promo or anti-piracy material on rental titles, but honest consumers who purchase the disc outright shouldn't have to put up with this.

Menu Intro, Audio & Animation

    The menu pages are themed around the film and feature familiar sound effects. The main menu is particularly good, centred around the Subway sequence.

Disc One

Audio Commentary-Stephen Hopkins (Director)

    Steve shares a lot of anecdotes from the film's production and is an interesting speaker, although there are quite a few long silences and much of the info can be heard in the featurettes.

Audio Commentary-Jim Thomas & John Thomas (Writers)

    Jim and John wrote the first Predator film and came up with this script in three quick weeks as soon as the sequel was given the green light. The two gents attended every day of filming to contribute rewrites for some scenes and here they talk about their time on the set. I found this commentary far more enlightening than the Director's commentary.

Web Links

    More Fox propaganda.

Disc Two

    The menus on disc two are 16x9 enhanced, but the remaining content is presented in 1.33:1, full frame. Subtitles are available in many languages.

Featurette-Making Of-The Hunters And The Hunted (35:40)

    This featurette opens with scenes from the first film and flows into the second, comparing the two in terms of budget and scope. Newly recorded interviews are combined with footage taken on the set and we're offered many anecdotes from filming, particularly the troubles encountered when dealing with L.A. locals.

Featurette-Evolutions, With Commentary By FX Supervisor Joel Hynek (6:06)

    Three optical effects sequences are discussed by the film's effects supervisor, touching on the challenges involved and how they relate to modern CG imagery.

Featurette-Weapons Of Choice (6:51)

    The Predator's array of weaponry is expanded for this film and here we take a specific look at six pieces with designer John Rosengrant:

Featurette-The Predator Goes To Town (1990) (3:03)

    Next we have three promotional featurettes, the first of which is Predator Goes To Town. It's brief, but has some interviews not included in the other featurettes.

Featurette-Making Of-International Featurette (1990) (5:42)

    More footage taken on the set and some interview clips we've already seen.

Featurette-Creating The Ultimate Hunter (3:40)

    A specific look at the film's thermal imaging visual effects, offering us the Predator's point of view.

Featurette-Hard Core Segments (2)

    A number of fictional tabloid news reports were made, but only brief segments were used in the final cut of the film. Two can be viewed here in their entirety; City at War (3:18) and From Penthouse to Slaughterhouse (3:46). These appear to have been sourced from analogue videotape.

Gallery-Stills

    A series of production stills (57) to scroll through using your remote.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 SE includes the following additional features:

    It would appear Region 1 is slightly ahead of us in the extras department. Be sure to shop around for this one.

Summary

    Predator 2 is an intense follow-up to the classic original. This Special Edition is a must-own for any fan of the franchise.

    The video transfer is sharp and film-like.

    The audio transfer includes a great dts option.

    The extras are insightful and worthwhile viewing.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using DVI output
DisplaySanyo PLV-Z2 WXGA projector. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Region 1 has more than just Trailer additions! - REPLY POSTED
Is the r4 SE uncut? -
R vs MA (in response to HungryJonas) - Christopher