It may seem pretty lame to be looking at trees when Conan, Apollo Creed, the governor of Minnesota, and everyone else is trouncing through South America blowing crap up, but I found myself hypnotized by the small details (probably unforeseen by the filmmakers at the time). The clarity is remarkable considering the notoriously careless ’80s era. There are moments when colors really pop well. The red of the blood against the intentionally flatter colors of the film are a true stand out through the whole thing.
So I was saying something about being forgiving to older movies on Blu-Ray right? O.K., back to that.
Sure, there are plenty of moments in the movie when the film grain becomes a bit prominent, but it’s really hard for me to completely rip the picture when it’s derived from a source that was much less than the now-common 1080p style we’re all getting quickly accustomed to. A quick little crank down of some of the brightness took care of quite a bit of the graininess. Of course you don’t want to adjust your TV every time you watch a new disc, but if it becomes this huge distraction (which with all the movement and background detail in this movie it shouldn’t) there is an easy way around it there.
The grain becomes readily apparent when there’s a static shot with one big color dominating the screen. But in most of the jungle scenes when there’s a fair amount of browns, greens and blacks playing with each other the clarity is pretty dang sweet. It’s a flatly filmed movie anyway. Meaning the depth of characters in foreground to jungle in the background or vice versa was never really a strong point of the flick to begin with. So it’s hard to hold that as a fault of the Blu-Ray release.
The most noticeable drawbacks with the picture are when the p.o.v. shots of the Predator flash up. The black levels are mediocre. They’re not as deep as they could’ve been done. Again, it could be a matter of adjustment on different sets, but I threw this into another monitor as well to check the same thing and it still had the same lack of depth in the darker colors.