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Fox/1987/107m/WS 1.85

     Soldiers are disappearing on a covert operation in the jungles of Central America. On pretense of finding a downed congressional mission, a crack team of rescue specialists is sent into the jungle. Unaware of the true nature of their mission, the hard-nosed Vietnam vets led by Major Dutch Schaefer move into the jungle with purpose and uncover a nest of apparent revolutionaries about to set a major offensive in motion. When the real purpose of the mission is revealed, it only remains to make rendezvous. But it’s not that simple. Thrashing through the thick cover of the jungle is an Alien hunter, making sport of the soldiers, taking them out one by one. Can any of them survive the superior power of the Alien?
     A clever take on the classic film The Most Dangerous Game, Predator moves through its paces at breathless speed. Director John McTiernan knows how to pull the trigger on this sort of entertainment and he uses the thick camouflage of the setting to maximize suspense and action. With dynamic photography by Aussie DP Don McAlpine, and excellent special creature effects, Predator is an intensely visual movie.
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Don't kill 'em till you see the whites of their eyes.©Fox

Arnold Schwarzenegger is very effective in the role of Dutch Schaefer. In the final Alien confrontation, Schwarzenegger’s brawn and hard stare almost make the fight seem reasonable. Carl Weathers is on hand to give a one dimensional performance as a CIA operative and Bill Duke does a lot of muscled staring into the jungle.
     Included in the first wave of DVDs from the Fox archives, Predator is a good choice for the medium. Though it’s not presented anamorphic, the image is very sharp. The white opening credits jump slightly, suggesting that Predator may have problematic enhancement, but aside from some image ringing in strong transition shots, the image is happily very stabile. The colors of the jungle are richly transferred. Detail is excellent in all lighting conditions. The white of Arnold’s eyes stand out clearly against his mud-covered face. And the slimy countenance of the Alien is captured with slithery relish. Given a Dolby Digital 5:1 remix, Predator packs plenty of bass into every explosion. The deep presence of the creature is felt through the surrounds. The sound is very aggressive with Alan Silvestri’s pounding alongside the hearts of the hunted.