The movies selected for review are the choice of the reviewer. Suggestions for DVD titles are welcome. Enjoy the movies.
Traitor [Rated: R]
Don Cheadle is such a fine actor that whatever flaws "Traitor" may have it is still worth watching. The movie is part thriller, part mystery and espionage caper that might raise your blood pressure a bit as you wonder who the "traitor" actually is.
Unfortunately, like so many current movies of this genre, the bad guys are Muslim terrorists and that plotline allows for numerous exotic locations, but stereotypical portrayals.
But then there's Cheadle as Samir. He never knows whom to trust or how far to go in pursuit of his mission. Guy Pierce and Neal McDonough are FBI agents one step behind Samir in their pursuit of truth. Jeff Daniels is a high government official who supposedly is the only contact for Samir. Ultimately, tracked down after a rookie mistake of meeting his girlfriend on her jogging path, Samir is identified and pursued with vigor.
"Traitor" is not as clever as some thrillers and certainly more predictable, but it has its moments. And, of course, there's Don Cheadle.
Dominick and Eugene [Rated: PG-13]
Thank goodness for DVDs. If you couldn't easily rent disks then you might never have the opportunity to see "Dominick and Eugene." Released in 1988, the same year as "Rain Man," this story of two brothers didn't receive the production dollars and heavy promotion that the Tom Cruise/Dustin Hoffman picture did and yet, this Hidden Gem starring Tom Hulce and Ray Liotta is as fine as storytelling as one could hope for.
Eugene (Liotta) is finishing his internship in medicine and planning on a residency at Stanford, but has strong misgivings about leaving Dominick (Hulce) on his own in their hometown of Pittsburgh. As brilliant as Eugene is, Dominick is slow, having suffered a brain injury as a child. He earns a living collect-ing garbage and endearing himself to his co-workers and people in the neighborhood with his childlike naiveté.
"Dominick and Eugene" is not only about the brothers' love it's about the love of friends and neighbors who look out for one another.
Director Robert M. Young keeps the story real and Liotta and Hulce do a great job portraying all the emotions that complicate family life.
Spread the word about "Dominick and Eugene" so it no longer stays a "Hidden Gem," but takes its rightful place as one of the best films on the shelf.
Love Affair - 1939
Retelling good stories is a time-honored tradition. Remaking successful movies is a way to bring freshness to a classic or introduce a younger audience with an updated version. The 1939 film, "Love Affair" has been remade several times, most notably the 1957 "An Affair to Remember" starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr and the 1994 Warren Beatty and Annette Bening version, "Love Affair." The original "Love Affair" starring Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer is worth seeing.
As Terry, Dunne displays a keen wit along with stunning beauty. Boyer's Michel oozes French charm and sensuality and all within the confines of what would be rated in the present time as a "G" picture.
The only drawback to renting this version is the quality of the DVD. The restoration process includes searching for good film elements and combining the best of the best and then correcting cuts and deterioration with computer technology. Sound defects such as scratching and hums routinely can be removed, not to make the soundtrack sterile but to eliminate distracting wear and tear. None of that happened - yet - in RKO studio's 1939 "Love Affair."
If you enjoy a touching love story well acted, then put those technical concerns out of your mind and enjoy this classic.
Rebecca Redshaw can be reached at
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