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New on DVD: 'Unknown,' 'Adjustment Bureau' and 'Cedar Rapids'

Posted 7:33am on Wednesday, Jun. 22, 2011


Provided you don't think too hard about its many gaps in logic, the new Liam Neeson vehicle Unknown proves to be a modest surprise: A Hitchcockian thriller with a slick modern gloss. Neeson plays Dr. Martin Harris, who is traveling to Berlin with his beautiful wife (January Jones) to deliver the keynote speech at a biotech conference. After a mix-up at the taxi stand, he accidentally leaves his briefcase at the airport, setting off a chain of events that ultimately sends him into a four-day coma. When he wakes and tracks down his wife at their hotel, she insists that she doesn't know this ranting lunatic. In fact, Dr. Martin Harris is standing right next to her, and now he's played by Aidan Quinn. The hulking Neeson commits fully to the anguish of a man who fears he may have lost everything; as in 2009's Taken, he gives the sometimes dopey material far more weight than it deserves.

The Adjustment Bureau is about a politician (Matt Damon) who discovers a secret world of fedora-wearing men who keep people's fates on course and who are determined to break up his romance with a free-spirited woman (Emily Blunt). For all the visually striking passages, the romance here never heats up.

Cedar Rapids follows an oddball insurance salesman (Ed Helms) charged with representing his company at a regional conference in Cedar Rapids. The character is so relentlessly naive that you begin to wonder if he might actually be suffering from some sort of mental disability.

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