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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Domestic Disturbance
Domestic Disturbance
Paramount // PG-13 // April 15, 2002
List Price: $29.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Phillip Duncan | posted April 22, 2002 | E-mail the Author
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I remember being fascinated by connect-the-dots puzzles when I was a kid. There was something about slowly drawing your pen or pencil from 1, 2, 3… until you finally revealed the image hidden within. As I got older, the charm began to wear off as I began to realize what they were before even putting pencil to paper. As I watched Domestic Disturbance (Vince Vaughn, John Travolta) I was reminded of this whole process.

Travolta is Frank Morrison, a divorced father to Danny. His son has never learned to deal with his parents divorce and constantly causes trouble when another life altering event rears its ugly head. When his mother, Susan (Teri Polo), readies to remarry the towns wealthiest resident-Rick Barnes (Vince Vaughn)-it's obviously trouble time again.

But, as in any good movie, things aren't always what they seem and Rick is a questionable character. When Danny complains to his Dad about Rick becoming hurtful toward him while playing catch, Frank tells his son to grow up. After another big event, Danny is determined to find his way to his father's house and hides out in Rick's car. Here he witnesses an event that shows Rick's true colors.

From here out, it's a race to get Frank to believe him (which he's wary to do because of his frequent lies) and protect himself from the threat of Rick. No one else believes him except his Dad and when Danny changes his story, it's up to his Frank to prove it without any help.

I'm being vague to keep from spoiling the details of the plot, but like an adult working a connect-the dots puzzle; they're obvious from the beginning. There are no subtleties in this film. Everything moves from one point to the next in broad strokes and leaves nothing to the imagination. It's all wrapped up in the end in one all-to convenient package that is overly simple.

Video: The video is presented in a nice 16:9 Anamorphic transfer. It's a beautiful transfer. There are frequent night and water shots that never lose any detail or suffer from pixelation. Print and video flaws are minimal and shouldn't distract even the most diligent viewer.

Audio: A rather flat Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is included (along with English and French Dolby Surround). I constantly found myself reaching for the remote to adjust the volume. There were times the vocals were indistinguishable from the background. It sounded as if a stereo mix were playing from all 5 speakers (which, I assure you, was not the case). It was a disappointing mix, to say the least.

Extras: There is a commentary with director Harold Becker included on the disc that leaves much to be desired. It's basically a running description of what's happening on the screen and why. There are no behind-the-scenes stories that reveal new details. The comments run along the line of "John Travolta drives a truck because his character is a working man." Also included are 6 deleted scenes that are common to most deleted scenes. They don't improve the story or provide interest on their own. Top it off with a storyboard gallery and a trailer.

Overall: There is no real suspense in this thriller due to the simplified plot and obvious train of events happening. However, the performances are excellent and worth a viewing if you're a Travolta or Vaughn fan. It's nothing extraordinary, but worth watching on a rainy day.

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