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December 7, 2009
An American Affair Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
None27/10/2009Eagle EntertainmentWilliam Stenolsson
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD MA 5.1MGretchen Mol

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Adam, played by Cameron Bright.

An American Affair it loosely based on real events, although ultimately faily to capture those events on film. Still here's an interesting little tale of a woman with much "unofficial" power and her relationship with the boy next door...

Washington DC, 1963: the Cuban Missile Crisis is last year's news, and John Fitzgerald Kennedy's young administration is starting to hit it's stride. Behind the scenes, however, winds of discontent are swirling. Thirteen-year-old Adam Stafford has his own problems to deal with. At that uncomfortable age when both everything and nothing seems possible, he's a bit of a loner, a kid who spends too much time wrapped up in his own thoughts as he suffers through the daily grind of nuns, bullies, and girls at Holy Cross School. Until the evening his adolescent yearnings come to life: Adam spies a beautiful naked woman in the house across the street, and his curiosity is inflamed.

The woman is Catherine Caswell, a stunning thirty-something blond beauty who has just moved in. Captivated, Adam is determined to learn all he can about his new neighbour. Catherine is an artist, a divorcee and a confidante (if not more....) of JFK. Against all odds, an unlikely friendship blossoms between the innocent thirteen-year-old and the world weary survivor. but friendship is never enough, not in Washington, and not at the height of the Cold War. Catherine's hidden past soon catches up with them as she and Adam find themselves enmeshed in the growing confusion and intrigue leading to the assassination of the President.

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Gretchen Mol in An American Affair.
An American Affair is an interesting movie which impressed a little more then I expected although it's not without issues. Is this a coming of age movie? Is this a movie about one of JFK's "women". Is it about the assassination of JFK? It tries to cover all the bases but in doing so also becomes a little confusing about the focus of this film.

I did find however that the character of Adam, played by Cameron Bright, was a little stiff and uninviting however there were scenes where he comes to life and really becomes someone you can admire - the painting scene being one particular case in point.

Ultimately my biggest reservation about this movie is how factual it is. How much of this movie really took place? Were these actually real characters? Sadly I haven't been able to find out much information online about these characters or events other then that, in real life, Catherin Caswell is actually Mary Meyer (you can read a lot more information about this very interesting woman here - although don't read it until after you see this movie).

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Hmm, a little more then painting I think.
Not knowing what to expect from An American Affair, this actually turned out to be a rather interesting movie. Certainly a highlight is the superb performance put in by Gretchen Mol.

An American Affair is presented on Blu-Ray in the films original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 using the AVC MPEG-4 codec. For the most part the video quality is fairly impressive with a sharp, 1080p image. At times though the image appeared a little soft, and some shadow detail was lacking but it's another solid, if somewhat uninspiring, release from Eagle Entertainment.

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The parents are telling Adam off.
This Blu-Ray release includes two audio tracks. Certainly the best option is the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which offers a clarity that can't fail to impress. If your player is incapable of decoding that format though, the disc also includes a Dolby Digital 5.1 track encoded at 640kbps. Sadly there are no subtitle tracks on this disc which is disappointing.

There are only a couple of extras on this disc, but here's what you can expect...

Deleted & Extended Scenes (5:54): Three scenes are presented here "Catherine's Son", "The Dentist" and "A Civil Servant". They are decent in terms of content but their actual presentation (Standard Definition, poor quality audio, and with time codes) leaves a bit to be desired.

Meet the Cast/Meet the Crew: Four pages with very short bios with the key cast and crew from the movie. Nothing too special here.

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Gretchen Mol puts in a very solid performance.
Trailers (9:28): Trailers for The Red Baron (this one is in HD), Turn The River, Fire & Ice, Expelled (also in HD) and Will You Merry Me?.

The Red Baron: Pixomondo Visual Effects Featurette (11:59): Obviously put on this disc for the upcoming Blu-Ray release of The Red Baron this is nonetheless an interesting look at the amount of, and effort that went into, the visual effects for this movie. It's worth a look.

The Red Baron: Music Clip - Reamonn: Open Skies (4:35): A music video clip from the upcoming movie The Red Baron.

An American Affair is an interesting movie with a solid performance from Gretchen Mol. The audio visual transfer is solid but the extras are a bit lacking. Perhaps best as a rental.

Review By: Dave Warner


Note: All images in this article are Copyrightę Eagle Entertainment. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.