Thursday, July 8, 2010

Welcome (Back) To The Jungle - Predators

Welcome (Back) To The Jungle - Predators

Looks like the CIA got me pushing too many pencils. But here I am writing about Predators, which is in theaters Friday July 9th. Why no, my company affiliation does not mean that this is a conflict of interest to write about Predators. No! Just cause I work for said same company that is releasing this film has nothing at all to do with this.

No! You see, this franchise has been a part of my life since I was way too young to be watching R rated films. Back when I was 8, a good year after its release, I was wearing the shit out of the VHS tape of Predator. I really wore that tape out. I could quote the entire film for you, to be honest.

Clearly a little kid watching an R-rated film like that should tell you that my parents weren't very good at parenting, but it was fantastic. I loved that film. If you buy the "Ultimate" re-release of Predator on BluRay or DVD, it comes with an online code to print up a free ticket to Predators. Since I couldn't pass up getting the BluRay version on my employee discount, it's got a lot of extras and features than the 1st edition. Then you factor in the price of a free admission to see the film, how could you go wrong?

Fun fact about Predator - Have you've ever seen the original outfit for the costume?

Van Damme was supposed to play the Predator. It's a little surprising that Van Damme ever wanted to do it. You wouldn't have seen his face and he always struck me as the type that was into himself enough to want the spotlight. Sharing it with Arnold Check out this early test footage of the Predator and how he was suppose to look.

They also put a monkey in the suit and did some test shots of it swinging around the jungle. Can you imagine that as the fearsome predator? The original idea was a quick ninja like predator but they found in test footage that it just didn't work. Compared to Arnold, it just was not intimidating. So they decided "why not make a creature that makes Arnold look small?"

Then you have Predator 2. I think all movies need someone who says "Dere's no killing wot khan't be killed..." in every movie. Predator 2 was suppose to take place in Los Angeles in the year 1997. Apparently in 1997 EVERY weapon had a laser on it. No matter what it was. It was also comical to see the LAPD with SPAS-15S, Colombian Gangs also had M82 50. Caliber sniper rifle and Fedoras, while the Jamaicans had gold plated revolvers.

When I first watched the movie, which I made my dad take me to the theater to see, I didn't realize it was set in the future and thought it was just showing us another average day in LA. I took much pride in knowing where the filming locations were for the film.

1997 was a popular year, oddly enough. Other fictional events set that year were;
-Skynet becomes self-aware and nukes the world
-Hal 9000 is switched on.
-V for Vendetta takes place in the comics
-Snake Plisskin is sent to rescue the president in a NYC slightly shitty than its real-self 1997 counterpart.
Though the only reason for Predator 2 being set in that year was to establish that the predators come to earth to hunt every 10 years, or at least that's what I seem to recall in my study of predators. It certainly wasn't "Fucking VOODOO MAGIC, MAN!"

I thought Predator 2 was a great movie, though its fatal flaw was in the final confrontation between Danny Glover and the Predator. I just couldn't buy him going toe to toe with the thing considering how difficult it was for Arnold in the original film, but it's still an awesome film for one simple reason, if it wasn't for Predator 2, we wouldn't have this;

Alien Vs Predator was the idea of Dark Horse comics, as Stan Winston placed the skull of the Xenomorph in the Predator trophy case as a nod to the highly successful AvP comic series that was coming out while Predator 2 was filming. But don't get me started on Alien Vs Predator the film and its sequel AvP:R. I really don't want to acknowledge those films as ever existing.

That shit was awful. You might as well make Boba Fett vs Predator as it'll do the same shit as that. The video games on the other hand were some of the best things ever created. I remember AvP2 had a lot of the correct sounds, even stealing some of the aliens sounds as well as a tiny bit from the film scores for pivotal scenes.

I think the best thing to come from the merger of these two monsters were the following ad promos

and this one

Other than that, it the whole bringing together of the two has been nothing but trouble. Requiem was an awful piece of shit film that I don't even want to think about. It's easy to forget because the whole film was so dark, it's like you didn't even see anything. It has shades of Alien3 written all over it. The whole time I watched it I was quoting Dutch;
“Come on… Come on! Do it! Do it! Come on. Come on! Kill me! I’m here! Kill me! I’m here! Kill me! Come on! Kill me! I’m here! Come on! Do it now! Kill me!”
This film, on the other hand, has much potential. Rodriguez has always been kind of hit or miss for me. but with him producing this, I'm pretty confident in the project and I'm really looking forward to the film on Friday.

I really hope Robert Rodriguez hits a home run with this film, because it's been a while since there's been a good movie involving the Predator race. Judging from the red band trailer, it's even gorier than the first 2 combined.

This time around it looks like the Predators have captured a diverse group of exceptionally dangerous humans to hunt as game on their wild game range. So who's in this new film? And even though I know you want to be bad asses and say that the only real question you need to know about the cast is which ones do and which ones do not have time to bleed, the cast goes as follows.

Adrien Brody as Royce, an American mercenary soldier
Topher Grace as Edwin, a disgraced physician and formerly on the FBI's most wanted list
Danny Trejo as Cuchillo, a Mexican Drug Cartel enforcer
Alice Braga as Isabelle, a South American Special Forces Black Ops sniper
Mahershalalhashbaz Ali as Mombasa, an Sierra Leone Death Squad Warlord
Oleg Taktarov as Nikolai, a Russian VDV commando
Walton Goggins as Stans, a deadly prison inmate
Louis Ozawa Changchien as Hanzo, a Yakuza/Ninja hitman
Laurence Fishburne as Noland, a stranded U.S. soldier

From that list it seems that Danny Trejo is basically playing the Mexican guy from Predator 2 who fell off the roof at the start. An interesting side note is that he's yet again named after a bladed weapon. This time he's Spanish for Knife.

I hope that Topher Grace's serial killer character manages to off a predator and wear its head as a hat. Now I originally laughed when I first heard that Topher "Buuuut Donnna" Grace was going to be in this film, but then again I laughed when I heard Heath Ledger was going to play the Joker and look at where we are now.

Then you have Walter Goggins, last seen as Body Crowder on Justified and before that, Shane Vendrell in The Shield. I'm thrilled to see more of this man. He needs to be in more places. You could see a couple of character shorts on the official website. But you tell me how could you beat Danny Trejo and Larry Fishburne fighting Predators?

The real surprise to me is Adrien Brody. He sounds manly as fuck in the film. I don't remember him sounding like that before. After surviving the Holocaust, an island of monsters, the giant ape rampage in Manhattan afterward and then having sex with a human-animal hybrid, I guess you'd sound manly as well. He's come a long way.

Here's a piece from Adrien Brody talking about the casting for Predators.
I know I'm not the obvious choice, I get that. I probably wouldn't have even been on the studio's list, even near the bottom. You can ask Robert, I'm very persistent. I'm very focused. I give my word that I know what I need to do to deliver a level of truth and authenticity with a role like this. I put on 25 pounds for this role, but that wasn't the point — they didn't hire me to be a body-builder. But in order to playful with it as well I should be strapped, but it's not the physical strength that outsmarts an alien with energy-based weapons and higher tracking skills, and a culture of hunting and trophy-hunting, you have to outsmart them.
While he's not going to say "Get to the Choppa" like Arnold would, I think his commitment is pretty strong here. I also like how the sniper, played by Alice Braga, is covered from head to toe in clothing but she still shows cleavage. It's.... uh... hot in the jungle. Yeah, that's it. Let's just go with that.

I have to say though, that predator dog looks pretty stupid. I sort of always preferred the idea that the Predator was being some kind of lone hunter rather than this race of proud warrior bros patrolling the galaxy killing aliens. The multiplication helped in the event of Xenomorphs, so I can see where they're coming from on that.

I'm pumped for Predators because it's been a long time since an Alien or Predator movie was good. Leading up to the release day has been nothing but good news. No reshoots. No drama on the set, minimalist trailers that don't make focus the creatures.

If you're wondering why Adrian Brody's character is carrying a large plastic toy, he's not. It's an AA-12. Which is utterly the most dangerous weapon around. It's a full auto shotgun that can have about 32 rounds in a cylinder chamber.

The AA-12 is a horrible gun in real life and was designed by Black Water. That alone should tell you something about this weapon. It also doesn't help that in the clip linked up is from Future Weapons. The show that sucks Black Water's dick all day long. I once saw him interviewing some manufacturer of a new type of ammo or something, and he was more excited about it than the people who made it. The sheer amount of admiration over guns in that guy's voice makes me very uncomfortable.

But I guess watching that clip makes you realize why the gun is so insane. Imagine having a 32 shell drum of that grenade round firing on full auto. Predators should use those instead of their shoulder cannons.

This image makes me feel like a sexual tyrannosaurus.

I am a little saddened by the fact that Dutch/Arnold's character isn't going to be in the film at all. Not even a cameo. Damn. It was said that Robert was trying to get him to show up as even a cameo but the crazy Governor schedule didn't allow for it. Maybe for Predators 2.. What would be the plural sense for that one? Predatorers?

I guess originally Rodriguez had pinned it so that Dutch was all over the script. The one survivor from previous abductions into this wild game preserve. Hiding away and surviving in a cave for all this time. Now that would be a good use of our governors time, I must say.

But in any event, I'm still looking forward to what appears to be a B-movie compared to the first one. That's alright. I thought Predator 2 was awesome for what it was and it was a step in the bad ass 80's movie direction.

So even if it's bad, which it may very well be, I'll always have my childhood favorites...


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