• Member Since 15th Dec, 2017
  • offline last seen 13 minutes ago

Scholarly-Cimmerian


A guy who loves movies, comic books, video games, as well as stories with colorful talking ponies in them.

More Blog Posts206

  • 8 weeks
    Home again

    Today I feel settled in enough just to say it. XD

    The trip to visit my sister was nice. Busy as all hell, but it was great to see her in person again. :twilightsmile:

    Hard to believe it's August now as well. How time flies.

    Hope that everyone's doing okay. :pinkiesmile:

    4 comments · 44 views
  • 9 weeks
    Just a heads up

    From tomorrow through this upcoming Sunday, I'll be out of town. Going with my parents to visit my sister.

    It's going to be a long drive up and back (two days over, three days visiting, and two days return trip) but I have to say I am definitely looking forward to it. I've not seen her in person since Christmas of 2019. (Man, does that feel like a lifetime ago now...)

    Read More

    5 comments · 101 views
  • 9 weeks
    Mini Movie Review Marathon, part 2

    Hello everyone.

    Found myself thinking about some of the movies I've seen over the past months, some of which I've meant to write up more in full but never got around to... and I remembered my earlier blog where I condensed each review into a few short paragraphs, and decided to do the same thing all over again. :yay:

    Read More

    7 comments · 80 views
  • 12 weeks
    Primal Season Two

    And just as I was really starting to wonder if we'd get any concrete news about it, too.

    [url=
    ]Genndy Tartakovsky's Primal | Season 2 OFFICIAL TRAILER | adult swim - YouTube[/url]

    Definitely can't wait for this show to come back. I've missed it.

    EDIT: Found another upload of the trailer. :pinkiesmile:

    1 comments · 92 views
  • 20 weeks
    Happy Star Wars Day

    Let's do our best to make it a good one, shall we?

    5 comments · 84 views
Nov
13th
2020

Movie Review: Predator (1987) · 2:35am Nov 13th, 2020

It took me a rather long time to catch up on the movies that made Arnold Schwarzenegger famous. I knew about The Terminator, though I only saw it after I'd graduated from college. I also knew about Conan the Barbarian (but, speaking as a fan of the original stories, I'm not at all interested in watching John Milius' film any time soon).

Typically, when I think of Arnold as an action star, three movies come to mind: The Terminator from '84; Predator, from '87; and Total Recall from 1990. All three of those are movies that my father is a huge fan of (he considers the original "Terminator" to be nearly perfect from what I recall XD) and so, one day in October in the spirit of Halloween, I suggested we sit down and watch the middle of those three - both because it had an actual monster in it, and because I had it on DVD and had been meaning to watch it for a while already.

So, with all of that setup out of the way, let us dive into the story of "Predator" and see what it offers us! :pinkiehappy:

We open on a spacecraft of some kind flying past the Earth, and releasing some object that enters the atmosphere.

After that, we cut to helicopters arriving in Central America, where we are introduced to Spec Ops soldier Dutch (Arnold, 'natch) being tasked by his former C.O. with rescuing a foreign cabinet minister who's been abducted by insurgents. Joining Dutch and his team to oversee their mission is one of Dutch's old buddies from Vietnam, Dillon (Carl Weathers), who is now a CIA officer. The team flies out, and along the helicopter ride we are introduced to the members of Dutch's team, ranging from the hulking commando Blain (Jesse Ventura) to the stoic Native tracker Billy (Sonny Landham), as well as Blain's best bud Mac (Bill Duke), demolitions expert Poncho (Richard Chaves) and radioman Hawkins (Shane Black).

Dutch and the team reach their drop point, and set out into the jungle. Early into their trek, it becomes apparent that something is "off" about this mission - when the team comes across a wrecked helicopter, Billy also finds three skinned corpses strung up nearby. Upon reaching the enemy camp, Dutch and his men storm the place and wipe out the insurgents... but there is no cabinet minister. When Dillon is confronted over this, he admits that the mission was a setup to retrieve intelligence.

The team, taking a captive female insurgent (Anna, played by Elpidia Carillo) with them, departs to head for the extraction point... but now they are being tracked themselves, by an unseen - and inhuman - hunter, watching them with thermal imaging. And, very soon, people begin to die...

Despite their badassery and firepower, Dutch's team is gradually wiped out by this invisible hunter, until finally - after narrowly escaping certain death by pure luck - it comes down to a desperate, primal game of cat-and-mouse between Dutch and the alien huntsman...

Predator, as a movie, is a very simple story in many ways, but it is masterful in its execution of that premise. In many ways, I'd say that this movie, in the course of three acts (the first with Dutch and his team going to lay waste to the guerilla camp, the second being the Predator hunting the commandos, and the third being Dutch versus the Predator) almost serving as a kind of "stripping down" of the story.

We begin with a pretty familiar sight for 80s action movies: Arnold Schwarzenegger as a badass action hero, the guy who can mow down hordes of goons, toss off a few one-liners, and look awesome doing it. The first third of the movie (opening shot of a spaceship aside) would be pretty comparable to a typical Arnold action movie of the era. But then, after the team starts to get hunted themselves, we see the tone and story change from a slam-bang action flick into a tense, almost slasher-style monster story. There's something in the jungle that can't be seen, that's killing these badass soldiers almost with impunity... and it scares the hell out of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

This is one of the smartest things in the whole movie, I think. People *know* who Arnold Schwarzenegger is, and knew his reputation for playing near-invincible manly men. He was Mr. Olympia, he was Conan the Barbarian, he had practically spoofed this image in Commando just two years before Predator came out... and yet here it works so well because of this expectation, and the buildup. We the audience see Arnold, as Dutch, be a badass par excellence (just check out that moment with the truck in the camp attack! :rainbowlaugh:) and yet, when the Predator goes after him after wiping out his men, it's all that he can do to just run for his life and not die. (Arnold does some great acting in that brief chase; I completely bought Dutch's fear as he's fleeing through a jungle and knowing that death can come from anywhere.) I don't think that Predator would have been nearly as effective in some parts if it had been starring a different actor.

Though I mustn't give all the credit solely to Arnold. The other players in this movie do a good job as well; in particular I must give a shout-out to Carl Weathers as Dillon, as well as Bill Duke as Mac and Sonny Landham as Billy. Jesse Ventura makes every second of screen time count as the uber-macho "ain't got time to bleed" Blain. And Kevin Peter Hall as the titular hunter does some good work too - after all, this is an opponent who can convincingly force an Arnold Schwarzenegger hero into a desperate, by-the-skin-of-his-teeth fight for survival. (A particularly nice bit from Hall is in the Predator's response to hearing Dutch roar out a challenge from across the jungle. You can tell that this creature is ready and eager for the next round!)

Earlier I mentioned how I felt that this movie works because its story "strips down" as it goes. I'd like to elaborate on that more. I've already talked about how Predator begins like a typical action movie for Arnold and company, and how in the second leg of its plot events take on a more slasher-horror feel. And then, in the final leg of the movie, when it's just Dutch and the Predator, we get an even simpler, almost elemental (certainly primal) situation: two combatants, locked in a deadly showdown. There's barely a word spoken in the entire final twenty minutes of the film. The visuals carry everything, from Dutch setting up his traps, preparing himself for an all-or-nothing last stand, to the Predator crafting its morbid trophies, and then setting out to finish the hunt... simply masterful stuff on display here. :pinkiehappy:

This is probably one of the very best movies I've seen all year, and definitely one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's greatest. I would rate this movie an eight out of ten without hesitation, and strongly recommend it to anyone with an interest in action, sci-fi or horror.

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