Meat Loaf: In Search of Paradise

At once hagiographic and revealing, docu follows the burly rocker backstage.

With: Meat Loaf (Marvin Lee Aday), Kasim Sulton, Dennis Quaid.

At once hagiographic and revealing, backstage docu “Meat Loaf: In Search of Paradise” follows the never-a-dull-moment rocker during Los Angeles rehearsals and an early 2007 Canadian tour in support of the third disc in the “Bat Out of Hell” franchise. Set for a 2008 U.S. tube preem on the RAVE hi-def channel, pic’s obvious eventual home is the fan shelf.

“I’m total improvisation continuously,” says the burly singer, and love his shtick or hate it, respect must be paid to a guy who can take on the physicality of a theatrical stage show at age 59. Pic’s twin tensions arise from his legendarily unstable health and the ever-mutating staging of the 1977 hit “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.” Deftly sidestepping the singer’s fractious relationship with original “Bat” partner Jim Steinman, whose name is mentioned only once in passing, helmer Bruce David Klein’s near-reverential treatment is a nice contrast to the rough-and-tumble of tour life. HD image fairly leaps off the screen. Pic’s most steadying presence is affable and unshakably supportive bandleader Kasim Sulton, while a grinning Dennis Quaid crashes one show to front the band on Van Morrison’s “Gloria.”

Meat Loaf: In Search of Paradise

Production: An Atlas Media Corp. production, in association with Voom HD, Tenth Street Management. (International sales: Voom HD, New York.) Produced by Greg Moyer, Sal LoCurto, Jordan Berliant, Bruce David Klein. Directed by Bruce David Klein.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), David West; editor, Erik Klein. Reviewed at Montreal World Film Festival (Documentaries of the World), Aug. 30, 2007. Running time: 90 MIN.

With: With: Meat Loaf (Marvin Lee Aday), Kasim Sulton, Dennis Quaid.

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