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Informative movie about a life-and-death subject
lastremainingname18 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Cover (2007) exposes 'down-low' (married or not) men as the conflicted potential danger that they are, yet also portrays them with sympathy. For those previous reviews which criticized the film for being too melodramatic, they missed the point: it IS a dramatic subject and such admissions and revelations CAN be devastating to a marriage or partnership. This is, after all, a movie; the emotions are played up to drive home their intensity. Wherever love and lust mix, fireworks are bound to occur, and this happens throughout the film.

The artistic trappings and qualities (directing, acting, etc.) are open to debate, but don't let any perceived shortcomings detract you from the important message the film carries. We are treated to a rarely-seen depiction of the 'down-low' lifestyle and its consequences, and from this premise alone, the movie stands out. There are some scenes which may be too fast-paced or confusing at first, but the same can be said of the majority of movies today. Hopefully the 'back' button on the remote can be applied well in such cases and new explanations gleaned. Overall, this is a very impactful and memorable movie, compact but packed with content extravagant in illustration and gravity.
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Great movie
ja-191-28046528 October 2011
"Cover" directed by Bill Duke is a poignant film that highlights the cause and effects of infidelity, betrayal and deception. Aunjanue Ellis does very well as the religious devoted mother and housewife who soon becomes distraught after discovering her husband's double life. Not to mention, the radiant and beautiful Vivica A. Fox as the supportive, best friend. The directing is more than suitable for the film as Bill Duke keeps the viewer guessing with his intelligent and crafty use of mystery and suspense. In addition, the film has a clever storyline that's strong enough to keep one glued to their seat. Most importantly, the storyline is well thought out ,unpredictable and original. "Cover also includes performances by Leon as the seductive and charismatic Ryan Chambers, Roger Guenveur Smith("Do The Right Thing"), Paula Jai Parker("Friday"), Louis Gossett Jr, and Clifton Davis from the 1970s TV sitcom "That's My Mama". I highly recommend this film. 8/10.
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Rave: Cover (2007)
Jucelle Romande5 September 2010
Cover is a little known treat that is surprisingly suspenseful and enlightening. It tackles the highly pervasive yet equally controversial materials like homosexuality and "down-low" in the Black American community. Few movies have dared venture there and make a case for acceptance amongst Christians.

When her husband gets promoted, Valerie Mass's life begins to fall apart. Aunjanue Ellis plays Valerie Mass, an unassuming "God-fearing" church woman, who relocates to a new city with her husband. Razaaq Adoti is Dutch, Valerie's husband. Dutch's social life goes on the fast lane. He soon befriends Ryan Chambers (Leon from the movie Capers), a known womanizer, and starts acting more aloof. Neglected by her husband, Valerie turns to a church prayer group where she meets a sickly woman. The truth she will uncover is worse than anything she could have imagined. When Ryan turns up dead on New Year's Eve, she becomes the most likely suspect.

Aside for Vivica Fox and Leon, the cast is low on the mainstream acting radar. Nevertheless, it delivers decent performances. Black American movies are not without the religious idiosyncrasies but none of that detract from the serious subject matter or a solid plot.

Producers Bill Duke and Kenneth Dixon teamed up to create a complex tale of faith and redemption. The plot is quite simple but, somehow, they manage to keep a tight leash on it, keeping you guessing until the very end.

Leon delivers sex and edge without fail. Few actors in Hollywood command the screen the way this man can. Leon brings charisma and magneticism in every role he plays. Vivica Fox plays her "trademark hood" affectation, which I find annoying. Her role, essentially, brings nothing to this movie. This is a movie with a lot of twists. So, don't expect action.

This is a new recipe for Black films and I look forward to seeing more like it. I definitely recommending renting the DVD and watching it on a girls' night-in.
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10 out of 10 for content. 0 out of 10 for execution.
yourwarmembrace8 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This film sheds light on things that even I as a gay man could not clearly see before. Sure you hear about it all but actually seeing it is another thing altogether. Whoever did the editing and/ or whoever approved of the film's editing needs to be seated in a dark room and made to watch this film repeatedly. It is rushed to say the least. Three things were lost on me competently until I began reading the comments here. Two are still a mystery. Someone here also commented on the make-up and I would have to agree. Halloween is the only day of the year that this film's make-up artist should be allowed access to a brush. The murder sub-plot was somewhat clever and might have worked better if played a little differently. I personally could have done without the whole Christian woman bit. And before I go off on a tangent about the storyline, I need to first remind myself that heterosexual men cheat on their mistresses every day. It's not enough that they have one on the side; they need two, three or perhaps more. Because this guy just so happens to sleep with men really should not add any weight but he goes for the non-acceptance card. So why 10 stars? That "scene" in the restaurant paired with the video confession scenes are worth 10 stars, I know that there are cruel, heartless, mentally unstable people out there but I think, not me. Why not me? And if everybody is clueless as to who is zooming who then it may not be the person that I am currently with but someone that they had been with days, weeks, months or years prior. Sure, the red and black posters hanging in the STD clinic reminds us of this. Sure, the counselors will reinforce what we read on these posters. There's just something about seeing it all go down that just hits home. And yes I know it is just a movie. I also know that in the 90 minutes it took to watch this movie, that kind of evil had to have happened at least 3x… in NYC alone.

Before some white person gets on a soapbox here, I want to add that this is going on with white gay men as well. Unfortunately, I have been there. Try being naked in a white man's conjugal bed with wife out of town and him bidding her goodnight over the telephone. And this was nearly ten years ago… long before DL was glam. No one can be trusted!
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leka162219 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I really was surprised by this movie. It kept my attention. I kept wanting to know what was going to happen next. THis movie deals very closely to a social issue that is harming the black community. even though some parts were kind of off the wall it still turned out the be a good film. I thought that it was well acted. I kept trying to figure out who the husband was cheating with and was completely surprised by who the person turned out to be. I enjoyed the film. The other wife who tried to kill herself was just foolish but I can't say that there is not a person who would put up with what she did from her husband. I wouldn't have ever guessed that most of the black male characters in the movie were down low, but it is happening. I think that this movie was an accurate portrayal of what is going on in today's society.
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Just misses being good and ends up being a mess
dbborroughs30 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Church going house wife is arrested and charged with murder. Things become complicated as her neat little life begins to unravel and when its clear the Assistant District Attorney prosecuting the case doesn't care if she's guilty since he's looking to win the up coming election. Weakest film directed by actor turned director Bill Duke. Feeling more like a Tyler Perry wannabe thriller then the realistic and often gritty films that Duke usually turns out, this film seems more intent on being about something other than the mystery at hand. The film has a weak script which has too many "dark secrets" that the good cast can't really turn into anything truly worth watching. It just misses...and whats worse you can see it going whizzing by...
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well meaning but too contrived to be truly convincing
Roland E. Zwick29 July 2008
Bill Duke's "Cover" is like an urbanized, African-American version of "Brokeback Mountain" - only this time told from the viewpoint of the initially clueless spouse rather than the two male lovers. Aunjanue Ellis plays a deeply religious woman whose life and marriage fall apart when she discovers that her husband (Razaaq Adoti) is actually a closeted homosexual. This leads to a great deal of emotional trauma for both the wife and the husband - as well as to a patently absurd and wholly unnecessary murder subplot that's used to frame the story.

There's no question that this is a well-meaning and well-intentioned film, but its attempt to deal honestly with a serious social issue all too often falls victim to slickery and overwrought melodramatics. Many a scene will have you rolling your eyes in incredulity and disbelief, even while conceding that some of the points the movie is making are indeed insightful and valid. And, commendably, the movie does give a fair hearing to each of its genuinely torn and conflicted characters. But an overall air of amateurishness - both in the performances (even from such acting stalwarts as Louis Gossett Jr. and "Amen"'s Clifton Davis) and in the direction - keeps it from having the impact it clearly wishes to have.

All in all, a missed opportunity.
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