Aug 032018

Affairs of State probably could’ve been a fun and cheesy erotic political thriller but at times it wanted to be taken a bit too seriously and send a message that only would resonate with one side of the aisle.



Affairs of State

Genre(s): Suspense/Thriller, Drama
Lionsgate | R – 97 min. – $21.99 | August 14, 2018

Date Published: 08/03/2018 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Eric Bross
Writer(s): Tom Cudworth (screenplay)
Cast: David Corenswet, Thora Birch, David James Elliott, Grace Victoria Cox, Mimi Rodgers, Adrian Grenier
Features: Commentary, Deleted Scenes, Trailer
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 22.7 GB
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Lionsgate Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 1.5/5

Plot Synopsis: In his quest for power with sights set on running for congress one day, DC aide Michael Lawson (DAVID CORENSWET) will do anything to take part in Senator Baines’s (DAVID JAMES ELLIOTT) White House campaign, including blackmailing Baines’s shady advisor Rob Reynolds (ADRIAN GRENIER), sleeping with the candidate’s wife (MIMI ROGERS) and getting involved with the senator’s alluring daughter, Darcy (GRACE VICTORIA COX). Adding to the mix is his free spirit hacker roommate (THORA BIRCH) who is able to find dirt on anybody especially in politics. Lawson quickly learns it’s a dangerous game that could have a deadly payoff.

Review: Affairs of State seems to want to be a cross between House of Cards and Fifty Shades of Grey, though at the very least I wasn’t tortured with the banal dialogue of the latter, so this film does have that going for it, take that for what you will.

The movie more or less is the same kind of schlock I expect from your standard Grindstone Entertainment release with a half-baked script and a plot that really isn’t all that interesting. On the positive side of things, newcomer David Corenswet wasn’t half bad in the lead role and Adrian Grenier plays up the slimy caricature of the political fixer, but everything else is downright apathetic, that includes the actual politics which comes across as Hollywood’s wet dream for both sides of the aisle rather than anything approaching realistic, although when you have a main character serving as a gigolo “servicing” anyone who can help his career, I suppose realism does go right out the window.

Specifically on Corenswet, his character is rather bland and actually isn’t terribly likeable, especially considering he went into politics knowing full well what goes on and has a deficient moral compass that doesn’t change too much, even when he finds respect for the senator and even falls in love with the daughter, enough to change or leave some habits behind (including screwing the senator’s wife). Yet, by the end I didn’t get a sense of enough regret for his actions or a way out (for comparison, look at Tom Cruise in The Firm).

The supporting cast isn’t anything all that noteworthy. Mimi Rogers is always nice to see in anything but when you have the likes of David James Elliott trying to portray an even remotely believable idealist presidential candidate; it’s hard to be very invested when everything else pretty much falls flat. The others, like Thora Birch and Grace Victoria Cox were alright considering the material they had to work with, however it’s difficult to really care about either one of them.

Affairs of State, directed by Eric Bross (2001’s On the Line starring Lance Bass and Joey Fatone!) from a script written by Tom Cudworth (1998’s Restaurant), could’ve been either a salaciously fun and cheesy erotic thriller or serious and dramatic cautionary tale of the pratfalls of D.C. politics, but instead tried to have it both ways, and badly failed equally. This just was a poorly made movie that seemed better suited on Lifetime because at times it certainly had the look of it, alongside mundane performances.



This release comes with a title-embossed slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. This comes with an Audio Commentary with Director Eric Bross and Producer Stephen Israel, several Deleted Scenes (16:59; HD) and the Trailer (2:15; HD).

PreviewsSpinning Man, Future World, Bent, Misconduct, Acts of Violence


VIDEO – 3.0/5

Lionsgate releases Affairs of State onto Blu-ray, presented with a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio. This movie looks every bit like a made-for-TV movie, it’s a cheap looking film with only so-so detail even on the close-up shots while colors are toned down and appear faded, though skin tones during the daylight scenes weren’t too bad.

AUDIO – 3.5/5

The included DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is adequate enough with clear dialogue levels coming via the center speaker and the front and rear channels were mostly used for some ambient noises (like gunfire) or the echoes in one instance with a conversation in a parking garage.


OVERALL – 2.0/5

Overall, Affairs of State probably could’ve been a fun and cheesy erotic political thriller but at times it wanted to be taken a bit too seriously and send a message that only would resonate with one side of the aisle. That said, the lead actor David Corenswet wasn’t half bad for being a relative newcomer in his feature film debut.




Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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