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  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • English: Dolby Digital Surround
  • Theatrical trailer

Disappearing Acts

HBO/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 111 mins . M15+ . PAL


This is what I might call a 'couples friendly'. Or maybe I'm thinking about some other line of adult entertainment that is topic of the week for DVD.net staff. This is the story of a messy relationship between Franklin or 'Frankie' who is a uneducated contruction worker (Wesley Snipes) and Zora, a talented singer (Sanaa Lathan). Frankie has trouble finding work due to his lack of education (he lacks formal qualifications due to his lack of a high school certificate equivalent). He longs to study for a contractors' certifcate to get away from his irregular employment.

Zora is a high school music teacher who can sing but needs to be 'discovered'. She needs money and time to record the elusive 'demo tape' to present to a studio. She is also a sophisticated woman who does not want to get involved with a 'blue collar' person like Frankie. Her friends also are not all that happy about her dating 'beneath' her station. Frankie is not the easiest person to get along with and you can see a number of Wesley Snipes' characters here.

This is a complicated love (and hate) story. Frankie has a whole bunch of skeletons in the closet and his irregular work proves difficult especially when their situation changes due to impending nuptials. Anyway I feel like I'm writing for the wrong audience and complex male-female relationships aren't what I thought I'd have to write about when I decides to start this stewardship. Does it end happily? Do the stresses of these two complex characters make for a separation? Do they make a happy nuclear family?

The performances are fine, both are excellent and the supporting players are also satisfactory. The direction and script are fine; pacing is perhaps a bit slow due to the nature of the story. I was expecting Snipes to mete out a beating to some unsuspecting person but I was sadly disappointed.


Roadshow anamorphic 1.85:1 and it's essentially textbook - excellent colour, definition and a pervasive quality thru the whole feature. Significant parts of the film takes place at night and there's good shadow and dark detail. There is an unadorned 'naturalness' about the print; it certainly isn't as colourful or brilliant as other Roadshow films that have an unlimited budget but it is a great looking transfer with only isolated noise and some slight speck damage that I can detect.


There is one track despite what the box says, a Dolby 2.0 Surround track at an elevated 320k/s. This is an clear, crisp track for what is a dialog driven film. It is a very relaxe and well articulated track even when people are shouting or whispering. I could delete nothing for surround except for the ambience when there is strong use of music. The female lead is a singer and spends some time in a recording studio. There is extended bass and music during these sequences and the track treats this very well which is expected from the elevated bitrate. That is it.


Firstly there's a non-skippable one minute Roadshow trailer. Bad. It starts with Dolby Temple. And there is a Theatrical Trailer. English subtitles. Fini.


This is a rental. You weren't expecting a big budget production from HBO. It's a nice enough film however it does look like a telemovie or a side project for Snipes who is also executive producer.

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      And I quote...
    "A complex story about modern relationships... ZzZzZz... sorry... good Roadshow quality disc "
    - Tony Lai
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Rom:
          Pioneer 105(s)
    • MPEG Card:
          Geforce2 32MB AGP
    • Decoder:
          Sony TA-E9000ES
    • Amplifier:
          Parasound HCA-1206THX
    • Speakers:
          Mission 763
    • Centre Speaker:
          Mission 75c
    • Surrounds:
          Mission 760
    • Subwoofer:
          Mission 75as
    • Audio Cables:
          rca coaxial SPDIF
    • Video Cables:
          VGA connector
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