Sea of Love
Universal // R // $29.98 // July 31, 2007
Review by Matthew Hinkley | posted August 20, 2007
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R E V I E W S
Graphical Version
The Movie:

"Sea of Love" is sometimes considered the film that got Al Pacino back on track. With a slew of incredible films in the 70's he followed up the 80's with not much other then "Scarface." When "Sea of Love" came around, Pacino was back...bringing on films such as "Glenngarry Glen Ross," or "Carlito's Way" and even "Heat."

After reaching his 20th year in the force, Frank (Al Pacino) questions what's next for him in life. Divorced, and on the fringe of being an alcoholic, he stumbles across a string of murders. With the help of Detective Sherman (John Goodman), he sets up dates with women who respond to a certain type of newspaper dating ad. The same type of ad in which they think their killer is stalking the victims. With more bodies turning up, the two of them must figure out the identity of this killer before things escalate. But as Frank continues to set up these dates, he doesn't realize how easily he might fall for someone again. Going against Detective Sherman's advice, Frank begins dating Helen (Ellen Barkin) and starts to fall in love. As clues turn up that she could possibly be the killer, Frank is tossed into a frenzy of disbelief as he tries desperately not to believe it could be true.

"Sea of Love" is a lot of fun. It is a sexy thriller that will definitely keep you on your toes. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing until the very end. Of course you've got to love Al Pacino and John Goodman pairing up together, along with Ellen Barkin as the sexy love interest. The idea behind "Sea of Love" isn't an extremely original idea...good cop falls for bad girl...definitely has been done before, but "Sea of Love" does a fantastic job keeping us drawn to the screen, even if we already are expecting what the outcome might be.

Is "Sea of Love" the most thought provoking, mesmerizing thriller out there? Not really, but it does have a fantastic cast, a great story-line and enough passion, romance, and action to keep both you and significant other entertained for a fun and exciting evening.

The DVD

Video:

Boy do I wish that I could tell you this film has finally been given a proper release. Unfortunately for us, this release feels like they slapped the DVD version of "Sea of Love" onto HD format and said...DONE! If only it were that easy. The blacks here are really more of a grayish tone, and the whole film feels soft and flat. Nothing really pops at you color wise, except for maybe reds once and a while. The overall detail is just okay with grain present throughout. There are a couple scenes that look pretty good...they actually end up making us want more since we have seen what the entire film could have looked like, but sadly the rest of the film is actually really bad.

Sound:

Here we get a 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus track that is right on par with the video...fairly poor. The dialogue is lacking, quiet, and just can't keep up with the rest of the film. The surrounds are rarely used, and when they are it is just a whisper of sound. When there are action scenes in the film, everything is very dull, nothing pops out at you and is never crisp. Even when people yell, the audio still stays very low, and I found myself turning up the volume multiple times.

Extras:

The Creation of Sea of Love: This is a cheesy old-school feature where we get interviews and glimpses of the film. We learn about casting production, film noir, score and story...all of which is set to some awesome corny music.

Deleted Scenes: These are mildly entertaining but have awful video quality.

Commentary with Director Harold Becker: Becker is quite dry in his commentary but he still gets the job done. He goes into a good amount of detail, chatting about casting, shooting, and technical details. He does tend to take a good amount of breaks as he pauses and lets us watch the film and seems to forget to talk. Overall just an okay track.

Final Thoughts:

"Sea of Love" is actually a very entertaining flick. I didn't really know what to expect going into it, and found myself enjoying it quite a bit. Unfortunately for us, the sound and the video just don't cut it and same goes for the extras. If you love this film, then rent it and enjoy it. But everyone else skip it and stay watching the DVD release of this one.



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