Thunder And Lightning

Thunder And Lightning (1977)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Cast: David Carradine, Kate Jackson, Eddie Barth, Roger C. Carmel

"Thunder and Lightning" is an action-filled comedy in the vein of "Smokey and the Bandit." Films like these were the staple during the late 70s and were mostly designed around car chases and crashes, booze, tough guys and some light funny. This film is no different. Starring David Carradine and Kate Jackson the film is entertaining but not a whole lot more. It's the story of a booze smuggler in the Florida Everglades under pressure from the local liquor mob, standing up against his oppressors. I never understood why there was a need to moonshine in the 70s – couldn't you just buy your booze in a store? – but whatever.

The acting in the film is good, and especially the two stars manage to bring their characters across believably. A number of great side characters are part of the story, ranging from the goofy to the plain old dumb. The Florida backdrop is nice and the filmmakers made great use of the locales in the Everglades.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has prepared a transfer for the movie here that is restoring the movie's original 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio and is enhanced for 16×9 TV sets. A fullframe version is also included on the release. The image is clean and generally free of defects or speckles. Color reproduction is faithful, restoring the movie's somewhat muted 70s colors while never feeling washed out. Skin tones are naturally rendered, rooting the image. With its solid black levels the image has visual depth and shadows are nicely delineated without edge-enhancement and the compression is free of distracting artifacts.

The release offers a number of audio options, such as a Dolby Stereo track as well as the movie's original mono track. Additionally, mono tracks in French and Spanish are provided on the disc.

"Thunder and Lightning" is a silly little flick that doesn't take itself seriously and neither should you. It isn't as memorable as "Smokey" but it still offers some nice entertainment with cool car pile-ups and chases. With a suggested retail price of only $9.98, you can't go wrong on this one if you like the genre.