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If you are going to 3D’ify an eighties flick, then why not Arnie’s Predator.  It’s got jungles, muscles, explosions and aliens; all are the mainstays of a good 3D movie.

In Australia this week  Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as Dutch, leader of a special forces mercenary team as they hunt for a missing cabinet minister in the jungles of central America.

Yes, it is 1987’s Predator, arriving in 3D form on Blu-ray disc.  It is a simple tale of mercenary muscle infiltrating a rebel infested Central American jungle on a rescue mission that turns sour when Dutch (Schwarzenegger) learns that his good buddy Dillon (Carl Weathers) has lured him and his team on the mission under false pretences.

All of the trudging around the jungle, blowing up rebel encampments, chewing of tobacco and smoking cigars is just a prelude to the sci-fi element of the story as the butch team moves from hunters to hunted.  

In 3D the opening scene really illustrates the struggle some of the post-processing 3D effects introduced with this release have.  An alien spacecraft emerges from a lovely array of dots (stars) and launches a landing craft towards the earth.

Turns out this craft contains the eponymous predator.  His (I assume he is a he) first appearance in film, but – as a race – destined to appear in a number of sequels and spin-off movies over the intervening decades.

This version has a very nice HD rendition of the original movie, despite having a number of gloomy scenes; the colours are vibrant and devoid of grain.  This works shockingly well in moments such as the grisly finding of a hapless former squad of soldiers hanging upside down from the jungle canopy, skinned.

There is also plenty of debris flying towards the camera as Arnie’s team kill everybody (sometimes multiple times over) in the rebel camp.

For the most part the 3D is pretty good, set as it is in the jungle, the team stalks through plenty of ferns and other undergrowth with plenty of foliage in the foreground and hulking men with large guns filling the midrange of the shot.

At times the age of the film struggles to maintain the 3D effect.  There are some awkward eighties style transitional shots – one in particular where Arnie’s face fades as the full moon appears in frame.  Other times the scene feels like a pop-up book with distinct and crisp delineation between depth-of-field areas on-screen.

However, all in all this is a rip-snorter bro-tastic flick to give the 3D treatment to.  After a while you are enjoying the action, rattling off the lines and simply going along for the ride.  The cheezy end-credits are a bit hard to take, but for those of us raised on Arnie’s action flicks, nothing makes him look like a walnut in a stocking than seeing him in 3D.


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Mike Bantick

joomla visitor

Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.