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For Schwarzenegger fans, RED HEAT ($25) is an enjoyable action movie with comedic overtones. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a Soviet police officer that comes to Chicago to extradite the drug dealer who murdered his partner. James Belushi is the rumpled Chicago cop assigned to baby-sit his Soviet counterpart when the drug dealer escapes. As you might expect, RED HEAT heads straight for "buddy movie" territory as these two polar opposite cops are forced to work together to bring down the bad guy. Schwarzenegger plays straight man and does the expected action movie stuff, while Belushi, ever the comic, gets the laughs while attempting the action movie stuff. Director Walter Hill keeps the action sequences moving at a nice entertaining clip. The cast of RED HEAT features Peter Boyle, Ed O'Ross, Laurence Fishburne and Gina Gershon.

Live Entertainment offers RED HEAT in both Letterboxed and pan and scan versions on opposite sides of the DVD. The pan and scan version is actually full frame and has the color and image quality of its Letterboxed counterpart. Overall, it makes for acceptable viewing. However, I’m sure most of you will prefer the Letterboxed version which presents RED HEAT close to its proper 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio. The Letterboxed transfer is very good looking, with the image being sharp and detailed. Mild film grain was evident in a couple of places. Colors appear natural and have a respectable level of saturation. MPEG-2 compression artifacts were seldom noticeable.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack is relatively good for a film upgraded from Dolby Surround to the discrete format. Like most action movies, RED HEAT has a mix that uses a lot of directional effects and bass for explosions, crashes and gunfire. Action fans will want to play it loud. Other soundtrack options include a matrixed Dolby Surround track as well as French and Spanish language tracks. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

The interactive menus give one access to a theatrical trailer, plus production notes and cast and crew biographies/filmographies.




DVD reviews are Copyright 1998 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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