TNT ran The Predator in HD the other night and I gotta tell ya I wasn’t impressed. While this is probably not TNT’s fault, nor the fault of my service provider, the movie was realistically about half way to high-definition.
I haven’t seen the Blu-ray version which was released back in April 2008 to compare, so this review is strictly of the HD broadcast. First off, the format looked strange. It looked as if it was stretched horizontally, although at times I was thrown off because the broadcast looked vertically challenged.
The second thing that stood out was that there were so many shots in the movie that looked blurry, especially at the center of the frame. It was as if you were in a movie theater and the projector was out-of-focus. I kept wanting to yell “Focus” to someone in the back.
The alien views looked like a bad copy of Tron on VHS or early video art from the 70’s. But this you can live with because you are looking through the eyes of the predator.
The color of the the film overall was completely flat. The “print” also lacked any kind of contrast or range in blacks. You’ve heard of Pioneer’s Kuro line that boasts “black is everything” right? Well this broadcast would be “nothing” if that were the standard.
But by no means am I saying “Don’t watch this film.” This is classic Schwarzenegger and the ‘governator’ looked bad-ass as usual. Some scenes to remember are the squashed scorpion and Arnold hiding under some tree roots covered in mud. And, you can’t forget the classic line “If it bleeds, we can kill it.”
The best shot of the film as far as contrast and sharpness was the image of Mac (Bill Duke) breaking his disposable razor on his face. If the whole film looked that good I wouldn’t be complaining. A few other highlights here and there but this broadcast won’t motivate you to upgrade to high-definition any time soon.