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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Disappearing Acts
Disappearing Acts
HBO // R
List Price: $14.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Chuck Arrington | posted July 1, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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DISAPPEARING ACTS

Synopsis:

Zora Banks (Sanaa Lathan) is an aspiring singer/songwriter moving into a recently renovated Brooklyn Brownstone. Upon arriving with her movers and van, she's met by Franklin Swift (Wesley Snipes), the carpenter who's just completed finishing her wood grain floors. Expecting to move right in, Zora's greatly displeased at her inability to enter the apartment for another hour as the floors are drying. To add insult to injury, her moving men are off loading her belongings to the curb, where she'll have to move them to her apartment without their help. Zora's tremendous beauty and warm smile smites Franklin and he offers to move her in after the floors have dried. A freindship develops and after a period of getting to know each other, a romance blossoms and soon the two are sharing the same apartment. Among other things the two begin to share their goals with one another and their pairing seems a match made in heaven. Yet, both are hiding something in their past that they feel the other will leave them for. The abiding theme throughout the feature is that love, when it's true and with the right person, can conquer everything. Even the most daunting of hurdles can be cleared when the love is real and the emotions are genuine.

Audio/video

Disappearing Acts is presented in a DD2.0 platform with some sub activity. The dialogue is very clear and always easily understood. The musical score that accompanies the film is a mish mosh of fabulous classic and neo-soul-soul. Not too mention Lathan's powerful ballad work in the studio with Q-tip. On the whole the audio was quite pleasing and conveyed all the information in the listening space more than adequately. The Video is presented in a beautifully rendered full frame platform. The colors are all rich and deep. The blacks are true and the flesh tones are accurate. I did not notice any transfer errors whatsoever.

The DVD

HBO generally produces top-drawer discs. This is most easily seen in their miniseries entries such as the Sopranos, Sex in The City and from the Earth to the Moon. The feature presentations that are assembled by HBOFILMS generally lack the same strengths that the aforementioned titles boast. With Disappearing Acts however, Terry McMillan's novel is given excellent treatment and is presented in a way that compliments the film's tone and intent. I am a great fan of all three, McMillan, Lathan and Snipes and was anxious to see this once I heard about it. Much like Introducing Dorothy Dandridge and Soul of the Game, the elements used to bring the novel to visual life more than adequately tell the story. It should be mentioned that good/credible African American romance movies are far and few between. They tend to rely heavily on stereotype and "drama" and are usually a perceived rather than actual picture of everyday life in The African American community. For competent fodder, HBO looked to the literary world while simultaneously courting a seasoned Director and Producer and Disappearing Acts is the progeny of this union. The leader of the literary field in this regard is Terry Mc Millan. Much like her previous work "How Stella Got her Groove Back, Disappearing Acts weaves a believable tapestry that shows the realities of life and paints a truer picture of the joys and not-so joys, of life and love from a distinctly African American perspective. While the concepts are universal, it's good to have something beautiful and true coming from your own house. So it's especially sweet to see McMillan's work receive this kind of treatment and attention. The menus while static are striking in their appearance. Something else to be said about this disc is the amount of extra features found on this particular entry. (See Below) HBOFILMS has delivered a solid entry and continues to produce some of the most insightful and entertaining fare available today.

Extras:

While not a lot of extras are included, more have been included on this disc than have ever been previously released. A three (3) minute Feature is included that carries an interview with Author, Terry McMillan. Followed by a segment entitled In Character. It features in character readings from the novel by Lathan and Snipes and glimpses of McMillan throughout. There are three segments in total and each plays more like a teaser/trailer for the film than anything else.

Overall:

Disappearing Acts is a very good and true to life depiction of the ups and downs and ups of love. Wesley Snipes and Sanaa Lathan are dynamite on the screen and it goes to show the range Wesley has as well as the incredible talents, Sanaa Lathan brings to the screen. Highly Recommended

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