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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > War Games > Terrorism > Full Battle Rattle (2008/First Run DVD)

Full Battle Rattle (2008/First Run DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Main Program: C+



In a few films and TV shows, one of the more amusing tales of fighting The Cold War had to do with the U.S.S.R. setting up special towns and camps that would train KGB agents and the like to penetrate the U.S. and this inevitably had the stuffy communists trying to learn slang, the “much-hated” Rock N Roll and other “decadent” ways so they could crush those “imperialists” once and for all.  From early episodes of Mission: Impossible to the John Travolta bomb The Experts, this was all about the shooting range of psychology and disguise.  The Tony Gerber/Jesse Moss documentary Full Battle Rattle (2008) shows a real-life version aimed at Islamic terrorists.


Crossing the psychological with the old-fashioned target range idea, the U.S. Army has set up such an operation in California’s Mojave Desert and this 85-minutes-long program argues that it is effective and working to help U.S. troops survive in the Middle East.  By being more intimate about the participants and dealing with the consequences of the need for such an arrangement, it avoids looking like War Porn and shows something is being done we can actually be told about.  Not bad.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is a little soft throughout with some motion blur, but that is to be expected with the shooting circumstances.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is also not bad, but you get location audio flaws, which is also to be expected much as with any documentary.  Extras include stills, section on related First Run DVDs, a Q&A with the filmmakers, bonus scenes and U.S. Army Guide for Cultural Awareness that is DVD-ROM accessible.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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