Plot: What’s it about?
The Valentine’s Day weekend of 2014 saw not one, not two, but three remakes of 80’s films hit theaters. Robocop, About Last Night and Endless Love were all titles that literally had already “been there and done that” but that didn’t stop Hollywood from doing what they do best – re-making a film that’s a generation old. Robocop benefitted from technology and while not as groundbreaking as Paul Verehoeven’s 1987 work, it could be justified. About Last Night took a new spin on the previous film which worked and Endless Love is…well, it’s essentially the same film as the 1981 version. I’d remembered seeing trailers for this movie and was quite taken with its lead, Gabriella Wilde, who starred in another re-make last year – Carrie. That aside, I suppose in the film’s defense I can say that love never dies and that films about it will probably never go out of style. Then again why re-make a film that wasn’t that good to begin with? At any rate, let’s dive in and check it out.
Jade Butterfield (Gabriella Wilde) lives a privileged life. Her father (Bruce Greenwood) is a Cardiologist and had hopes for his oldest son to carry on the torch. Unfortunately he died of Cancer and this caused Jade to spend her high school days hanging out with her parents or her nose in a book. But high school is now over and Jade decides to turn over a new leaf by throwing a party. At said party she meets David (Alex Pettyfer) and, well, the sparks fly. Suffice it to say that Hugh (Greenwood) isn’t too thrilled about this summer fling mainly because David comes from a blue collar family. David’s dad (Robert Patrick) owns a repair shop and that’s just not good enough. But love always finds a way! There are a few odds and ends that pop up, but we have to keep our fingers crossed that Jade and David will end up together. Or will they?
Endless Love isn’t a bad movie, it’s just that it’s full of tired cliches that we’ve seen in so many films so many times before. The kid from the wrong side of the tracks who is attracted to the beautiful, privileged girl (not so next) door. We can see each twist coming a mile away, down to the ultimate confrontation between David and Hugh. To be totally fair, the casting is pretty good and I’ll say that it’s nice to see Alex Pettyfer in a role like this – maybe he can do what Channing Tatum did and find a balance between romance, comedy and action? The film wasn’t exactly a hit at the box office, barely grossing back the budget, so maybe that’s the sign they need to stop re-making films that don’t need to be re-made? The bottom line is that this is a passable romance film, but I wouldn’t think it’ll leave a lasting impression. I’d give it a rental, but only if your wife or girlfriend is mad at you.
Video: How’s it look?
Endless Love is a product of the studio system (Universal) and is new to Blu-ray. We all know what that means. The 2.40:1 HD AVC image is literally flawless and when we’re looking at Gabriella Wilde for 100 minutes, that’s certainly not a bad thing (especially when she dons several bikinis). Detail is impressive as the flawless complexion of Wilde is contrasted with the age and wrinkles of Bruce Greenwood and Joely Richardson. The color palette is warm and inviting with yellows and earthy tones taking front and center. Contrast is strong and solid. Essentially everything that embodies HD is present here. No complaints.
Audio: How’s it sound?
Though not written, romantic films usually don’t pack a punch when it comes to dynamic audio. I think one thing that surprised me (ok, the only thing) was how immersive this soundtrack really is. The DTS HD Master Audio mix has some moments that really had me scratching my head. Granted these are at a party scene and the music is pumped up, but still I wasn’t expecting it. Vocals are strong and solid and I’m always amazed at how many of today’s stars aren’t from the USA. Yes, that’s right, Alex Pettyfer, Gabriela Wilde, Joely Richardson and Rhys Wakefield (who plays Jade’s brother) are all from either the UK or Australia. What I’m getting at is that the vocals are so crisp and clear that we do catch a few times when their native accents shine through. All in all it’s a very nice and robust mix.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Like the recent Non-Stop, Universal hasn’t added a plethora of supplements to this disc, but rather puts one on the DVD and the others as “Exclusives” on the Blu-ray. Let’s take a look.
- The Making of Endless Love – This is your standard “Making of…” featurette with some behind the scenes footage, interviews with the main cast of characters and the director. Nothing too incisive here, but then again I wasn’t expecting it to be.
- Extended Ending – Honestly, I really couldn’t tell the difference from the original ending except the font used for the “Endless Love” titles at the end. Perhaps I missed something?
- Deleted and Extended Scenes – A bevy of these are included, though some clearly didn’t belong in the film. The extended ones might have been better used for an extended version of the film, perhaps?