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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Visit
The Visit
HBO // R // April 2, 2002
List Price: $14.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Chuck Arrington | posted July 7, 2002 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
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P R I N T
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THE VISIT

Imprisoned for rape and dying of AIDS, Alex (Hill Harper) is trying to spend his last months and days reconciling himself with his family; the "perfect" brother and the "judgmental " father. Throughout the movie, Alex maintains his innocence but that hardly seems the point of the film. Regardless of whether he's guilty or not, it is apparent that Alex is in need of a change, a change from without and within. Truly Alex is a prisoner, not only physically, but mentally as well. His visits with his parents and his brother are cathartic on both sides. These visits are where we are introduced to the elements that helped propel Alex into the world he now inhabits. His father (Billy Dee Williams) is a harsh and rough-edged man that feels the only way to communicate with Alex is by constantly bringing up past mistakes by comparing Alex's failures to his brother's successes. His brother (Obba Babatunde), now a successful businessman, leads his life with his wife and children in a world very far away from the one his brother has found. His mother (Marla Gibbs) longs for the days when Alex was the little boy who used to play in the front yard of their home. And Felicia MacDonald (Rae Dawn Chong) is the woman he loves and has loved since they were kids. In these last few days, Alex and his family will come to realize just how important these visits are; not only to Alex but to themselves as well.

Audio/Video:

The audio is presented in a Dolby Digital 2.0 platform that adequately presents all of the aural tones of the film. The film is dialogue driven and there are no surround effects to speak of. The score is a heady brew of blistering jazz composed and performed by Ramsey Lewis, Stefan Dickerson and Michael Bearden. The video is a widescreen presentation that presents a largely dull and flat image. The colors tend to be both subdued and neutral.

Extras:

The only extra is the film's trailer.

Overall:

The Visit, like all films, is attempting to make an emotional connection with the viewer to solidify its impact. While I really wanted to "feel" for Alex, I couldn't. I felt the acting was very well done and the story line held my attention to the very end. But I can't help but think, there is definitely a missing element. The film's redemptive moments came either too late or not at all. The end result left me with a feeling of ambivalence towards the characters and their situations in total. While I think it's definitely worthy of your attention, I don't know that it's worthy of anything more than a rental.

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