Sea of Love (HD DVD)

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Frank Keller (Al Pacino) is a detective for the New York City police department, a position that has worn him down and has him on the brink. He has two decades on the force and puts in long, brutal hours, which has cost him a lot in his personal life. His wife left him for another police officer, but Keller still thinks about her quite often. As he battles loneliness and depression, Keller also battles the city’s criminals, not a simple task. A new case has his attention however, as a man was found shot to death in his own bed, the same type crime scene found in a case outside of Manhattan. Keller works with fellow detective Sherman Touhey (John Goodman), learning that both victims had placed unique ads in the personals column. The plan is to put out an ad of their own, meet the women, then use fingerprints from the dates to find the killer. But will the plan draw out the killer and if so, will Keller be able to deal with what follows?

When the topic of erotic thrillers comes up, I think the first movie most people think of is Basic Instinct. While that film did spark the trend, before Sharon Stone spread her legs, there was Sea of Love. While the two films do share some common traits, Sea of Love is more focused on the thriller aspect, though eroticism is present. I have to be honest and admit that I think Basic Instinct is a much more entertaining film, but this one is still a solid production. Al Pacino carries the movie with a throwback to his earlier days, while Ellen Barkin and John Goodman provide good support. The story is decent and provides ample twists and turns, even if the final revelation isn’t ideal. I had fun revisiting Sea of Love and while it isn’t a great movie, it is entertaining and I was never bored even for a moment. Universal’s HD-DVD is only a slight upgrade, but it does offer all the previous supplements. So whether or not to move up depends on how much you’re into the movie.

Video: How does it look?

Sea of Love is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. This new transfer is a minor upgrade, but the film’s soft visuals restrain detail and overall sharpness. The softness isn’t extreme, but it is noticeable and along with some subtle grain presence, causes detail to be less than impressive. I still think this looks clearer than the DVD, but by high definition standards, this is not that great. I did find colors to be well handled, with bold hues free from errors, while contrast shows some fading, burdened by the overall softness. Not as good as we’d like, but it is better than the DVD.

Audio: How does it sound?

A Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 option is on deck, but there is little surround presence to mention. In truth, I only recall the music and a few isolated scenes having presence in the rear channels. The front channels shoulder the burden and while the audio is a touch flat, it still sounds passable. I don’t think anyone will be impressed, as the soundtrack never rises above average performance wise, but at least dialogue is clear. This disc also includes a French language track, as well as subtitles in English and French.

Supplements: What are the extras?

An audio commentary is up first, as director Harold Becker shares his memories of the production. He isn’t much of a speaker, but he does have a few tidbits here and there. I wouldn’t want to revisit the track, but its not bad. This disc also includes a brief behind the scenes featurette, some deleted scenes, and the film’s theatrical trailer.

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