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What We Do (And Don’t) Want To See In ‘The Predator’ Reboot
A new trailer for the upcoming installment in America’s favorite human-flaying Predator franchise just dropped, and considering this R-rated action flick starring a big ugly space hunter doesn’t hit the screens until Sept. 14, it felt premature to “review” anything.
So we didn’t.
Instead, the Task & Purpose staff decided to do what anyone with time on their hands would do: we speculated, went off on weird tangents, compared a fictional creature’s face to female genitalia too many times, and generally made trash jokes. Enjoy.
Here’s what we want from the reboot, and what we’re frankly sick of, but know we’re gonna get anyway.
Brad Howard, multimedia producer: The trailer gives away the entire plot. The U.S. government is aware of Predators. They have an elite team that knows how to hunt them. Great, that makes sense since in Predator 2, THE EXACT SAME THING HAPPENED. Ok, so unlike Predator 2, these spooks nab a Predator (and some PTSD). But they totally didn’t catch the unknown alien, currently dubbed a ‘Super Predator’ revealed to be the actual bad guy.
The Super Predator is possibly the least imaginative thing ever. In the godawful, but cheesy-fun, Alien Vs. Predator 2 the bad guy ended up being a Pred-Alien (which is a alien that popped out of a Predator, gaining it’s genetics or something), which looks awfully similar to this Super Predator. The Super Predator forces the regular Predator to team up with the bus of VA veterans and they set a bunch of traps in the clinic to kill the super predator. The tiny Predator sacrifices himself to kill the Super Predator with his wrist nuke, turning the VA into a crater in the process. Also everyone dies but the blonde vet who was getting examined in the trailer and the love interest of his, which will be a VA nurse that he saves (she saves him once with a witty one-liner though). Calling it now.
Also the “mom’s vagina” joke in the trailer was a tongue-in-cheek nod to the Predator's infamous mouth. I have a film degree; I know cinematic subtext when I see it.
The stuff of nightmares.Predator
Jared Keller, senior editor: Brad is right about the recycled plot, and frankly, it’s not that surprising! But even though I’m really tired of the whole “gritty reboot” trend in Hollywood (even fucking Mary Poppins isn’t immune), I’m actually kind of xexcited for the blood-spattered darkness of The Predator. The last few appearances of our favorite vagina-mouthed space bounty hunter were bizarre and campy (although I did love to hate Topher Grace in 2010’s Predator), but the trailer for The Predator looks like a worthwhile successor to the franchise, a solid Batman Begins to the nipple-crazy action of Batman & Robin.
The one thing I’ll say is that I rolled my eyes the minute I heard the word “Rangers,” and not for any silly inter-SOF reason. Since I jointed Task & Purpose, I’ve noticed a lot of weird portrayals of military personnel in movies, from sloppy salutes to weird uniforms to a distinct lack of paperwork (case in point: I recently watched Transformers: The Last Knight which was basically just a commercial for the Osprey). I hope that Shane Black spent some time with the 75th Ranger Regiment and applied a level of realism to the film. And why wouldn’t he? Laser cannons and active camouflage aside, I’d still bet on a gaggle of U.S. special operators with no compunction whatsoever.
James Clark, veterans reporter: So, you know what I really would have liked — and am definitely not going to get from this? I wanted a gritty sci-fi horror film that's more like The Grey or A Quiet Place than an action blockbuster with bits of campy humor tossed in. It’d basically be the story of a big game hunt, told from the perspective of the prey:
You’ve got a group of childhood friends who meet for an annual hunting trip, but there’s something else in the woods — ooh, spooky. They’re picked off as they frantically race through the forest. By the end of it, only one of them is left alive, and as he nears a clearing, he comes across the alien hunter’s base camp. There he finds all that remains of his childhood friends: discarded heaps of meat; bones fashioned into trophies; and skins drying on tanning racks.
He drops to his knees, and you hear the clickety clack of the Predator’s mandibles as it uncloaks in front of him. Our lone survivor throws down his rifle. He’s a broken shell of a man, and he’s given up hope. The Predator let’s him live — there’s no sport in killing something that wants to die.
Roll credits. Now go change your undies.
Adam Linehan, senior staff writer: I never saw the original Predator, so all of this is new to me. I tend to gravitate toward historical period dramas — Downton Abbey, Elizabeth, Sophie’s Choice, etc. Scary space aliens just aren’t my bag. But this Predator reboot looks awesome. Shane Black did a truly remarkable job. He’s managed to earn my respect and I don’t even respect myself. My favorite part is the joke about the guy’s mom’s vagina being a video game — “it would be rated E for Everyone.” Classic! I look forward to more zingers like that when the movie premieres on Sept. 14. I’m buying two tickets in advance (one for me and one for my cat, Zester (see photo below)). 4/4 stars.
My only criticism: not enough blood. Hopefully they’ll up the the volume in post-production.
This is not a cat named Zester. Adam does not have a cat, Zester or otherwise. That was all sarcasm, because apparently we're announcing when we do that now.
2 years after the Fitzgerald and McCain collisions, the Navy has no idea if its new ship-driving training is working
Two years after a pair of deadly collisions involving Navy ships killed 17 sailors and caused hundreds of millions of dollars of damage, the Navy still can't figure out whether its plan to improve ship-driving training has been effective.
In fact, according to senior Navy officials quoted in a recent Government Accountability Office report on Navy ship-driving, it could take nearly 16 years or more to know if the planned changes will actually have an impact.
The command chief of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, was removed from his position last month after his chain of command received evidence he disrespected his subordinates.
An Air Force private housing company faked its maintenance records to get millions of dollars in bonuses
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - A U.K. company that provides housing to U.S. military families came under official investigation earlier this year, after Reuters disclosed it had faked maintenance records to pocket performance bonuses at an Oklahoma Air Force base.
At the time, Balfour Beatty Communities said it strove to correctly report its maintenance work. It blamed any problems on a sole former employee at the Oklahoma base.
Now, Reuters has found that Balfour Beatty employees systematically doctored records in a similar scheme at a Texas base.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on ProPublica.
It was 10 p.m. on Jan. 15, 2018, when the phone rang in Navy Cmdr. Bryce Benson's home tucked into a wooded corner of Northern Virginia.
Benson had just gotten into bed, and his chest tightened as he saw the number was from Japan. It was his Navy attorney calling. The lawyer said he wished he had better news, but he'd get right to the point: The Navy was going to charge Benson with negligent homicide the following day.
Benson, 40, stared at the ceiling in the dark, repeating the serenity prayer as his feet pedaled with anxiety. Next to him, his wife, Alex, who'd followed him through 11 postings while raising three kids, sobbed.
Seven months earlier, Benson had been in command of the destroyer the USS Fitzgerald when it collided with a massive civilian cargo ship off the coast of Japan, ripping open the warship's side. Seven of his sailors drowned, and Benson was almost crushed to death in his cabin. It was then the deadliest maritime accident in modern Navy history.
Benson, who'd served for 18 years, accepted full responsibility. Two months after the crash, the commander of the Pacific fleet fired Benson as captain and gave him a letter of reprimand, each act virtually guaranteeing he'd never be promoted and would have to leave the service far earlier than planned. His career was essentially over.
Then, days later, another of the fleet's destroyers, the USS John S. McCain, collided with a civilian tanker, killing 10 more sailors. The back-to-back collisions exposed the Navy to bruising questions about the worthiness of its ships and the competency of the crews. Angry lawmakers had summoned the top naval officer, Adm. John Richardson, to the Hill.
Under sustained fire, Navy leaders needed a grand, mollifying gesture. So, in a nearly unprecedented move in its history, the Navy decided to treat an accident at sea as a case of manslaughter. Hastily cobbling together charges, the Navy's top brass announced — to the shock of its officers — that the captains of both destroyers would be court-martialed for the sailors' deaths.
The Navy told ProPublica that “given the tragic loss of life, scope and complexity of both collisions," it had an “obligation to exercise due diligence" and its investigation had “informed charges against" Benson and the captain of the McCain.
To many officers, the Navy had gone too far. “There was a deflection campaign," one admiral said recently, likening the Navy's response to shielding itself from an exploding grenade. “It was pretty clear Richardson wanted to dampen the frag pattern."
Even then, no one, least of all Benson, could have predicted how relentless the Navy's pursuit of him would be.