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This review appears direct to the web courtesy of THE CINEMA LASER.

BAT 21

BAT 21

Based upon a true story, BAT 21 ($40) is the tale of a middle aged Air Force officer, who has served as a military strategist, but has never seen actual combat. On a surveillance mission in 1968, his plane is shot down in Vietnam, leaving him stranded behind enemy lines. His only lifeline is a voice on the radio, giving him instructions from a scout plane high above the jungle. Gene Hackman stars as Lt. Colonel Iceal Hambleton, the officer trapped behind enemy lines. Danny Glover is Captain Bartholomew Clark, the scout pilot determined to do whatever it takes to rescue that lone man against insurmountable odds. Thanks to the two leading performances, BAT 21 is an entertaining story of courage under fire, and the human spirit. The cast of BAT 21 also features Jerry Reed, David Marshall Grant, Clayton Rohner, Erich Anderson and Joe Dorsey.

Lumivision offers BAT 21 for the first time in the Letterbox format, rendering the film close to its proper 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio. The Letterboxed transfer was supervised by director Peter Markle and appears well balanced. Image quality is quite good; with fine detail and natural looking colors. Dark scenes also reproduce well, with a minimum of grain. The digitally encoded Dolby Surround soundtrack has a respectable mix for a film from 1988, with some nice separations. The Japanese pressing had a few speckles. As supplement, Lumivision has included an audio commentary featuring Peter Markle and director of photography Mark Irwin. The commentary describes the adverse condition under which BAT 21 was made, and gives insight into film production. Other supplements include a theatrical trailer, plus a video montage from behind-the-scenes.


Laserdisc reviews are Copyright 1997 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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