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FRANCHISE ME: PREDATOR

post #1 of 89
Thread Starter 
by Joshua Miller: link

Absence and Arnold makes the heart grow fonder.
post #2 of 89

I'm seeing this on the big screen tomorrow with pyrotechnics and cap guns. GET TO DA JEALOUS.

post #3 of 89

Awesome article, Joshua. Welcome back.

 

I actually have the novelization for Predator and the Pred described there is very different from the one we got onscreen. Apparently its some kind of Shape shifting blob of energy. I guess we can thank McTiernan and Shane Black for not going that route.

post #4 of 89

Jesus. That sounds stupid as hell.

post #5 of 89

Damn, I miss late-80's era McTiernan. Such a great, simple storyteller. 

post #6 of 89

Saw John McTiernan's BASIC a while back. Its not basic at all.

post #7 of 89

He flamed out pretty fast. Then it seems all the scandal and legal shit from the 00s killed any interest in hiring him. 

post #8 of 89

I feel the strong urge to mention that Shane Black has a ROLE in this film - if i remember correctly he is the guy who tells Ventura that he is bleeding...

post #9 of 89

Close. Black plays the guy who is always telling jokes to Sonny Landham. 

post #10 of 89

Thanks. Guess i'll have to watch it again soon.

post #11 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Miller View Post

He flamed out pretty fast. Then it seems all the scandal and legal shit from the 00s killed any interest in hiring him. 

 

Still PREDATOR and DIE HARD buys him a lot of goodwill for me. Think he'll be interested in directing THE EXPENDABLES 3 when he gets out of prison?

post #12 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Miller View Post

He flamed out pretty fast. Then it seems all the scandal and legal shit from the 00s killed any interest in hiring him. 

 

Went from "director jail" to ACTUAL jail.  Nice goin' there, John!

 

Right before the legal crap happened, he was set to direct two new action flicks back-to-back, one with Karl Urban and another with Jason Isaacs.  Now I'll honestly be surprised if he gets back in the game once he emerges from the clink.  He had already been semi-retired before and I won't be shocked in the slightest if he stays that way, occasionally popping up in documentaries and featurettes.

 

Then again, maybe Stallone will push to get him to direct the (pretty much inevitable) Expendables 3?

post #13 of 89
I think some credit needs to be given to Kevin Peter Hall. For guy who is essentially a 'man in a suit', he does a phenomenal job of moving with grace and determination. He brings the character to real life. Look at the moments after Dutch gets covered in mud and the predator loses track of him. Physically, he's able to show you the SHIT, I LOST HIM thoughts going through his mind. That's character building, and helps give the creature something to identify with and even admire.

Great write up.
post #14 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post

 

Still PREDATOR and DIE HARD buys him a lot of goodwill for me. Think he'll be interested in directing THE EXPENDABLES 3 when he gets out of prison?

 

And throw "Hunt for Red October" on there, as well. He made those three in a row. Damn impressive, no matter how quickly he flamed out.

post #15 of 89

If my directorial career spanned only slightly more than a decade in relevancy, I'd still be pretty pleased with myself if I made DIE HARD. Hell, if my career only spanned one year and one movie, I'd die happy if I made DIE HARD. 

post #16 of 89

And lost in the shuffle is the fantastic siege of the guerilla camp, what a great action extravaganza

post #17 of 89

I'll also defend the hell out of McTiernan's remake of the THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR.  That's a damned solid film.

post #18 of 89

The original THOMAS CROWN oozes 60's cool, the remake is 90's blandness that can't rise above replacing McQueen with poor man's Bond Brosnan.

post #19 of 89
The 13th Warrior is his last great film. Love it.

Great entry, Jason. I was hoping you'd mention the Silvestri score. That thing is like the 2nd lead in the film after Arnold. It's so epic and memorable. Glad I've got it.
post #20 of 89

Great article. Predator is one of those films that I can never tire of. McTiernan nailed a tone that blends tongue-in-cheekness with genuine involvement that few since have matched. 

post #21 of 89
Rewatching "Predator" right now and just noticed that an actor who plays one of the Val Verde guerillas is also in "Predator 2" as a heavily-armed, coked up drug lord.
post #22 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post

I think some credit needs to be given to Kevin Peter Hall. For guy who is essentially a 'man in a suit', he does a phenomenal job of moving with grace and determination. He brings the character to real life. Look at the moments after Dutch gets covered in mud and the predator loses track of him. Physically, he's able to show you the SHIT, I LOST HIM thoughts going through his mind. That's character building, and helps give the creature something to identify with and even admire.
Great write up.

So true. That said, I'd love to see some footage of original Predator suit inhabitant Mr. Van Damme.
post #23 of 89

I remember Dillion's death scene being heavily edited when it was shown on TV here in Asia. They just cut to the trees after the Plasma Bolt blast.

The scenes swinging his gun to aim towards the Pred? All gone.

 

P:.S- Anyone here seen McTiernan's Rollerball?

post #24 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post

P:.S- Anyone here seen McTiernan's Rollerball?

 

Oh yes. One of the most incoherent films I've ever seen. Astounding to think that he went from DIE HARD to that, though just by watching the movie you can tell that there was a lot of shit going on behind the scenes.

post #25 of 89

Incoherent. That was the word i was thinking. Rebecca Romjin looking real ugly in that as well.

 

No mean feat indeed.

post #26 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post

I remember Dillion's death scene being heavily edited when it was shown on TV here in Asia. They just cut to the trees after the Plasma Bolt blast.

The scenes swinging his gun to aim towards the Pred? All gone.

 

 

For years and years, I thought they goofed that scene and you could clearly see Carl Weathers' arm behind his back as he was turning round. Seeing it on DVD in the correct aspect ratio, I realized that it was supposed to be out of frame the whole time and the arm was simply a victim of horrendous 80s pan-and-scan techniques for VHS.

 

Another thing the DVD cleared up? For years I wondered what Anna was talking about in her speech about the 'Demon Who Makes Strofiss of Man'. Years. Cut to later in life, watching DVD and saying:

 

"Oh yeah, what the fuck is a strofiss anyway? She did say that, right?"

 

*Hits subtitle button*

 

"Oh. 'Trophies'. It was just her accent. I'm lame."

post #27 of 89

I've been jonesin' for some Franchise Me for a while, Joshua, and you did not disappoint. That was a terrific look at one of my favorite action movies. And as much as I love the movie, I have to say my favorite part of your article was probably "What Doesn't Work." The problem I have with Predator is that it's one of those movies that I grew up with, so I just can't be objective about it; I can't imagine it being any other way than it is. So your critiques really let me see it in a new way that I hadn't been able to before. You're right that Dillon is really a more compelling character than goody-goody Mister "We're a rescue team, not assassins" Dutch. His secret agenda gives him a dark side the others don't have, he has internal conflict and actually changes over the course of the story. (And his death scene is probably the high point of the movie for me; the coolness of his severed arm continuing to fire, the tense, balletic photography as the camera turns around him and the Predator swoops in for the kill, cloaked except for the two silver blades coming out of his hand. Just fantastic.)

 

And to be honest, the Predator-vision of unintelligible red blobs always kinda bothered me too, though, thinking about it, the heat vision in his helmet—though undeniably cool—isn't much better when there isn't anything warm-blooded around (which is probably most of the time out in a sparsely populated jungle). Instead of seeing only red blobs, he sees almost only green blobs. But that gets a pass under the Rule of Cool.

 

In summation: great work.

post #28 of 89
Thank God for Stan Winston (and James Cameron)predator-original-design-van-damme-1.jpg
post #29 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Episode29 View Post


So true. That said, I'd love to see some footage of original Predator suit inhabitant Mr. Van Damme.

 

They show some clips of it on the DVD special features. It looks absurd.

post #30 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post

I remember Dillion's death scene being heavily edited when it was shown on TV here in Asia. They just cut to the trees after the Plasma Bolt blast.

The scenes swinging his gun to aim towards the Pred? All gone.

 

P:.S- Anyone here seen McTiernan's Rollerball?

 

The only thing I really remember about Rollerball is the "wtf" of seeing Oleg Taktarov.

post #31 of 89
post #32 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by User_32 View Post

Thank God for Stan Winston (and James Cameron)predator-original-design-van-damme-1.jpg

 

You guys should check out Mark Dacascos's DNA. It got a Predlike creature that looks exactly like that.

post #33 of 89
They reused that design in Predators actually.
post #34 of 89

Christ, that was fun.

post #35 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post

I think some credit needs to be given to Kevin Peter Hall. For guy who is essentially a 'man in a suit', he does a phenomenal job of moving with grace and determination. He brings the character to real life. Look at the moments after Dutch gets covered in mud and the predator loses track of him. Physically, he's able to show you the SHIT, I LOST HIM thoughts going through his mind. That's character building, and helps give the creature something to identify with and even admire.
Great write up.

Plus, I'm pretty sure he couldn't see anything while in the costume. Which makes his graceful movements even more impressive!

post #36 of 89

Kevin Peter Hall in Stan Winston's suit was great.  

However, we should probably mention, at least in passing, this:

 

 

 

Predator is one of the best men-on-a-mission movies.  It's also one of the best switching-genres-midway-though movies - there can't be too many of those...

 

 

Also, does anyone want to tackle the slightly racist "noble-savage/warrior" aspect of the Predator character?  I'm thinking there's probably an essay in there somewhere, what with his spear & his dreadlocks, being one with the jungle & all that.  I'm reaching.  But I'd still like to read about it.

post #37 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by HtP View Post

 

 

Also, does anyone want to tackle the slightly racist "noble-savage/warrior" aspect of the Predator character?  I'm thinking there's probably an essay in there somewhere, what with his spear & his dreadlocks, being one with the jungle & all that.  I'm reaching.  But I'd still like to read about it.

 

There might be material there for that kind of interpretation, but, to pick some nits, the Predator didn't have a spear in the first movie, just the shoulder-mounted laser-cannon and the retractable hand-blades. Weapons like the spear and the frisbee-blade didn't appear until Predator 2. And I don't know if you could really say that the Predator was "one with the jungle" (unless the cloaking can be read as a metaphor for that), since as an alien he wasn't from the jungle.

post #38 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by HtP View Post

Kevin Peter Hall in Stan Winston's suit was great.  

However, we should probably mention, at least in passing, this:

 

 

 

Predator is one of the best men-on-a-mission movies.  It's also one of the best switching-genres-midway-though movies - there can't be too many of those...

 

 

Also, does anyone want to tackle the slightly racist "noble-savage/warrior" aspect of the Predator character?  I'm thinking there's probably an essay in there somewhere, what with his spear & his dreadlocks, being one with the jungle & all that.  I'm reaching.  But I'd still like to read about it.

 

Except, as Renn pointed out, it's much less noble savage and much more rich hunter who takes a $10,000 rifle to shoot lions or whatever. It's not like he's eating these guys, it's just "sport."

post #39 of 89

I assumed the "noble savage" comment was going to refer to Billy, myself.

post #40 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post

I assumed the "noble savage" comment was going to refer to Billy, myself.

 

I don't know what you're talking about, it's a proven fact that all Native Americans are eerily prescient and prefer fighting with big knives instead of guns.

post #41 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post

I think some credit needs to be given to Kevin Peter Hall. For guy who is essentially a 'man in a suit', he does a phenomenal job of moving with grace and determination. He brings the character to real life. Look at the moments after Dutch gets covered in mud and the predator loses track of him. Physically, he's able to show you the SHIT, I LOST HIM thoughts going through his mind. That's character building, and helps give the creature something to identify with and even admire.
Great write up.

 

God yes.  This is something that become glaringly clear in the Hall-less Predator films, particularly the AVP entries.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Workyticket View Post

 

Another thing the DVD cleared up? For years I wondered what Anna was talking about in her speech about the 'Demon Who Makes Strofiss of Man'. Years. Cut to later in life, watching DVD and saying:

 

"Oh yeah, what the fuck is a strofiss anyway? She did say that, right?"

 

*Hits subtitle button*

 

"Oh. 'Trophies'. It was just her accent. I'm lame."

 

1000 times THIS!  You aren't the only one who heard "strofiss" all throughout their childhood.

post #42 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splatoon View Post

Except, as Renn pointed out, it's much less noble savage and much more rich hunter who takes a $10,000 rifle to shoot lions or whatever. It's not like he's eating these guys, it's just "sport."

Indeed. The sequels seemed to forget the suggestion of the first film -- if more than one of these fuckers teamed up to kill humans, and took it SERIOUSLY, we'd all be dead within a second.

post #43 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splatoon View Post

 

Except, as Renn pointed out, it's much less noble savage and much more rich hunter who takes a $10,000 rifle to shoot lions or whatever. It's not like he's eating these guys, it's just "sport."

As I said, I was really reaching here.  

Though I think there are some "interesting" design choices in the Predator's look, I don't think it makes much sense to say it's a racist movie, merely that it would be a fun interpretation of it. 

 

Much like how Commando can be read as Matrix being a repressed ex of Bennet ("I eat Green Berets for breakfast", "You don't need the girl, this is between you and me", "You want to put the knife in me... look me in the eye when it turns." the acute sense of smell clearly standing in for GAYDAR!)

 

 

Thanks for the correction about his arsenal, Mr Cosby.  Goes to show how long its been since I've watched these movies while sober.

 

 

Also, this has to have been posted on these boards before, but here it is again because it is genuinely awesome:


Edited by HtP - 9/13/12 at 2:13am
post #44 of 89

Finally got around to reading this and this threw me off:


Quote:

Originally Posted by Joshua Miller

When the Predator removes his mask, the world becomes awash in red nothingness. I’m honestly not sure what McTiernan wanted us to take away from this, because it makes it seem like the Predator is almost completely blind. Yet he isn’t. Based on how he moves around, he can clearly see just fine.

 

I thought it was clear that part of the reason the Predator used the mask/heat vision is because his normal vision wasn't attuned to the level of heat/humidity that that particular environment gave off. He could see, as it's his normal state of vision, but it wasn't preferred in a foreign environment and why they created the technology for interstellar hunting to begin with.

post #45 of 89

And yet, they're supposed to be drawn to places that are hot?  Humidity maybe, but it's implied that they're more comfortable in hot environments.

post #46 of 89

I do not believe that was what the film was trying to convey with the Predator's vision. The Predator never displays any kind of vision or perception impairments once he takes his mask off. The heat vision seemed like a hunting advantage, not something the Predator needed to function at a normal level.


Edited by Joshua Miller - 9/13/12 at 1:47pm
post #47 of 89

I dunno, I've always assumed this back when I first saw it when I was around 10 or so. The helmet enables him to separate the heat elements so he can easily tell his warm-blooded prey from the warm surroundings. When he takes it off it shows what it would look like if he wasn't utilizing it, which would make it much more of a headache.

post #48 of 89

We'll have to visit McTiernan in jail and get to the bottom of this!

post #49 of 89

Just checking, Joshua. But are you reviewing the AVP films for this series?

 

Because AVP: Requiem is going to be a doozy. It's practically a SyFy Channel Pred movie.

post #50 of 89

He is.

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