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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I swear on the eyes of my children.
Sea of Love is directed by Harold Becker and written by Richard Price. It stars Al Pacino, Ellen Barkin, John Goodman, Michael Rooker and William Hickey. Music is by Trevor Jones and Ronnie Taylor is the cinematographer. Plot has Pacino as New York Police Detective Frank Keller, a borderline alcoholic and lonely after his wife left him for one of his colleagues. Tracking...
Published on 26 Aug. 2011 by Spike Owen

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray transfer
I will not comment on the film itself as it is in my opinion a classic 80s film and well worth owning.
My comments however will be directed at the somewhat poor transfer to Blu-ray, I have owned the DVD version for several years and although the picture quality was a little flat lacking in contrast in the darker scenes I can understand that this may possibly be the...
Published on 31 Jan. 2013 by Keith Phillips


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I swear on the eyes of my children., 26 Aug. 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sea Of Love [DVD] [1990] (DVD)
Sea of Love is directed by Harold Becker and written by Richard Price. It stars Al Pacino, Ellen Barkin, John Goodman, Michael Rooker and William Hickey. Music is by Trevor Jones and Ronnie Taylor is the cinematographer. Plot has Pacino as New York Police Detective Frank Keller, a borderline alcoholic and lonely after his wife left him for one of his colleagues. Tracking a serial killer of men, an investigation set-up leads him to date a number of women with the idea of obtaining forensic evidence off of the wine glasses. One of these women is sultry blonde, Helen Cruger (Barkin), who Frank starts to have a passionate relationship with...

The erotic thriller is a tough premise to get right on film, so many elements have to fall in to place for the film to win over critics and film goers alike. Chemistry of lead cast members, a gripping plot, plausible outcome, and so on. Too many over the years have failed miserably at it, resorting to either gratuitous tactics or simple star casting to entice the paying public in to the theatre. Sea of Love is not a complete success, but it's certainly one of the best of its type. Were it not for a weak murder motive that's not fully explored, resulting in something of an unsatisfying finale, we would probably be talking about Sea of Love being the template movie for the erotic thriller.

All else that leads up to the last 15 minutes is sizzling, Barkin and Pacino spark in every scene they share, where even with the sex scenes, the fact that Barkin towers over Pacino doesn't detract from the sexual chemistry, it adds to it. It's smart, too, that we don't see Barkin for the first third of the movie, the anticipation builds up and thankfully upon arriving into the picture she doesn't disappoint. Goodman is ebullient and makes a good foil for Pacino's haggard life sucks act, his Sherman an easy to get on side with character.

The guessing game at the heart of the plot is well handled by the makers, there's no stupid giveaways or overkill of red herrings, while the edgy lonely hearts basis for both the killings and the investigative trap is nicely written by Richard Price. Fusing both loneliness and sexual needs together as one, Becker is able to get much emotional mileage out of the story. If only the ending could have made good on the promise shown. Come the last 15 minutes the "is she or isn't she the killer?" factor has run out of steam, with what follows inducing cries of "oh, is that it?"- instead of- "oh my god!". Damn shame that. 7.5/10
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pacino's Best Ever - Honestly, 8 Mar. 2004
By 
Mr. Alfred A. Blackler "Alf Blackler" (Crawley, West Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sea Of Love [DVD] [1990] (DVD)
From the opening scene - in which you see the 45 of 'Sea Of Love' playing and the first shooting - this film has you waiting and wondering just what will happen next.
Up steps Pacino in an almost typical down and out portrayal of a cop who just cannot accept things at face value, a sort of Columbo with style!
Falling for a potential suspect - the very sexy Ellen Barkin - seems an almost inevitable outcome from the moment you meet her, but it's the chemistry between the two, in bad times as well as good, that crackles across the screen and makes you sympathise with both characters.
Throughout the film, you start to suspect almost everybody, and even though you're half expecting someone to attempt to kill Pacino, it sill makes you jump out of your seat when it finally materialises!
And this film also has the best stand up sex scene in history as Pacino alternates between believing Barkin to be the killer to feeling compassion for her in the only way he can demonstrate!
Pacino is simply awesome in this role, whilst Barkin shows that she has a talent that has never truly blossomed. When she actually finds out that Pacino is a cop and that he's been using her, her expression would make you believe that she hadn't read the script and that she was really fooled!
There have been many other great Pacino performances, many of them giving him huge plaudits, but for me this is his finest of all. Absolutely sensational.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A steamy, genuinely suspenseful thriller, 26 Jan. 2006
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sea Of Love [DVD] [1990] (DVD)
Sea of Love is certainly a better than average steamy crime thriller, but it didn't really bowl me over. Pacino's very good, of course, and Ellen Barkin more than holds her own against him, but Pacino's character can become tiresome after a while, and what I regard as a pretty sizeable red herring thrown into your lap midway through the story makes the ending a little less dramatic. I'm not saying the mystery is predictable – it's just not that shocking of a surprise.
Frank Keller (Al Pacino) isn't exactly Steve McGarrett material when it comes to his career as a detective, mainly because the guy is basically pretty pathetic. His wife left him for another detective on the force, and he's not handling that very well – drunken calls in the middle of the night to his ex-wife are not uncommon. The guy drinks like a fish all day and all night, whether he's on duty or not, he gets into serious shoving matches with other cops, and he spends more time getting under the skin of his fellow detective (and ex-wife's new man) than investigating the crime at the scene of the film's opening murder. Later on, he gets into a serious relationship with one of the murder suspects, which has to break a lot of rules in the old code of conduct. About all he gleans from the first murder is the fact that someone plugged a fat naked guy in the back of his head and that the killer was apparently a big fan of the song Sea of Love. Fortunately for him, a Queens detective (played by John Goodman) working on a similar case teams up with him on a two-man task force to find the mutual killer. The common thread linking the murders together is the fact that each victim had recently placed a poetic personal ad in the newspaper. Since no one seems to have bothered looking at any of the evidence too closely, Keller and Detective Sherman (Goodman) decide to place a similar ad in the paper, meet all of the women who respond, get their prints and compare them with those found at the murder scenes, and break the case wide open.
Keller meets Helen (Ellen Barkin) at one of these undercover dates. She blows him off early on, before she even comes close to leaving a fingerprint on anything. When they meet accidentally soon thereafter, though, a spark is lit, and the two are lovers before you can say Jack Sprat. Frank puts his feelings for Helen above his job, thereby leaving Helen hanging out there as a possible murder suspect. This is where all of the suspense comes in; is she or isn't she? The story zigs and zags both ways on the question, leaving the viewer in a measure of doubt until the very end. The whole thing turns into a weird love story for the most part, with Frank trying to avoid losing Helen even as he sometimes wonders whether she's the killer he's looking for. It is quite suspenseful, largely thanks to Ellen Barkin's very strong performance. The ultimate ending's a little weak, but that takes nothing at all away from the sustained mystery that will command your rapt attention all the way up to that point.
It's not hard to see why the movie was so successful. It just goes to show what good acting and a reasonably strong script can do for a movie. There are probably two camps when it comes to the ending, I should note – but it's not a hate it or love it thing. Some will not find it all that surprising, while others may feel as if it comes right out of left field. Either way, Sea of Love is a film that all fans of steamy thrillers can lose themselves in and, at the very least, come out feeling reasonably satisfied.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid thriller hides in this lesser known production, 30 Jun. 2014
By 
Mr Baz - See all my reviews
(#1 REVIEWER)    (No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sea Of Love [DVD] [1990] (DVD)
I bought this on VHS firstly then later DVD (another accidental rental viewing), normally a Pacino film is hugely followed, but this has escaped the attention of many fans for some reason. Which is a shame as the film is really very good.

Al Pacino plays homicide detective Frank Keller, who is investigating a series of unusual killings. The victims are always face down on the bed, male, naked and with a record playing "sea of love". Keller teams up with Detective Sherman Touhey (John Goodman) from another district to try to track down the killer as more victims turn up. Eventually they work out that the men who are murdered all placed personal ads in the lonely hearts local paper columns, they try to catch the killer placing their own ads in the paper.

However the story takes a nice twist from that to it's eventual conclusion (which I won't spoil) Keller also develops a love interest in the form of Helen Cruger (Ellen Barkin) a recently divorced woman whom has a hot/cold relationship with.

Acting is solid as ever from Pacino (yes he has his temper moments as per his usual trademark, but I like it all the same) Goodman injects some nice humour in places too, and Ellen Barkin is convincing as the hard to handle girlfriend. Story wise I like it, nice twist at the end. Maybe it doesn't take lots of repeated viewings (once the story is known it does lose some impact) But still an overlooked "good" thriller that deserving of a watch. Maybe not quite the 5 star film, it's not far off it though.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu-Ray vs Dvd, 12 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Blu-Ray picture quality is definitely better than the already good Dvd picture quality.
Audio (in both formats) sounds fine to my ears.
Blu-Ray is Vanilla, Dvd has a commentary,Featurette,Deleted Scenes and Trailer.
Well Worth upgrading to Blu-Ray, for those upgrading just add an Amaray swing tray to the Blu Case for old Dvd and you have the extras.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It Deserves Some Respect, 22 Feb. 2012
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sea Of Love [DVD] [1990] (DVD)
Seems to me 1989's "Sea of Love,", like the late Rodney Dangerfield, seldom gets the respect it deserves. It's generally mentioned in the same paragraph as those other terrific 1980's romantic thrillers: Against All Odds , Year of Living Dangerously , Tequila Sunrise, The Big Easy,Body Heat , Body Double, and, if you insist, No Way Out. But SEA has its own particular strengths.

For starters, the smart script is by Richard Price, New York bred and buttered, with lots of street cred. Someone on Internet Movie Database states Price was writing this script for Dustin Hoffman, who demanded too many rewrites, so Price gave it to Al Pacino, another New York actor. At any rate, Price had burst into print with The Wanderers, a novel about young New York gang members, while still a young man. He really gets New York down on his pages, and also in his scripts: this is a real New York, New York movie. It was produced by Martin Bregman and directed by Harold Becker; they undoubtedly add to the richness of the city we see on screen.

In its broad outlines, the script is original. Some of the subplots are the usual cop shop stuff that should have been retired by now: the jaded, burnt-out cop looking to retirement; the second generation cop looking to live up to the first; the cop's partner who steals the wife. But the plotting's tight, the ending's unexpected, and the movie's very well acted. Al Pacino Dog Day Afternoon stars, giving us another New York cop, Frank Keller, who's investigating a serial killer. Ellen Barkin, THE BIG EASY, at her most sexy and beautiful, plays the number one suspect and love interest. Their love scenes really could scorch the screen.

This movie of the same name, made 30 years later, evidently uses "Sea of Love," an evergreen rock and roll hit, as a theme. The song was written by New Orleans native John Phillip Baptiste, AKA Phil Phillips, who had a hit with it on its first release in 1959. John Goodman (The Big Lebowski) brings a lot to this movie: he ably supports the stars, when they've got their clothes on, playing Pacino's new cop partner Sherman Touhey. And when the Missouri-born Goodman delivers an "a capella" version of "Sea of Love," in that New Orleans accent he's entitled to use, well, he just stops the show.

This movie has great New York ambiance, a good plot, good acting, a good sound track, Ellen Barkin at her most gorgeous, hot sex scenes, and touches of humor. It stands up to repeated viewings, and like Mr. Dangerfield, it deserves some respect.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dangerous and Sexy Thriller, 2 Mar. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Sea Of Love [DVD] [1990] (DVD)
When Al Pacino, one of the greatest actors of our time, decided to return to movies after a long self imposed absence, he chose this Harold Becker thriller and simply exploded back into American cinema. A moody, pulsating score, a lonely city at night atmosphere, and the sexy Ellen Barkin helped to create an erotic and suspenseful thriller like no other.
Someone is placing personals and killing men, leaving the old '45 "Sea of Love" playing at every murder scene. Pacino and his partner John Goodman decide to place their own personal and meet women, hoping one will be the killer. In steps Barkin, a single mom hotter and sexier than origional sin. Pacino doesn't follow procedure and can't eliminate Barkin as a suspect who answers the ad and we spend the rest of the film wondering if this mistake will cost him his life.

A lot of this film is about mistrust and suspicion, and a very messed up Pacino, desperately lonely and trying to move on from his divorce. Barkin is dynamite, but may also be the killer. When Pacino discovers all the victims knew Barkin, things get evermore dangerous. In addition to the electricity between the two leads there is also a fine script and great support from minor players to create one of the most nail biting thrill rides of all time.

One of the most erotic scenes in screen history takes place in a supermarket late at night as Sade's band instrumental "Siempre Hay Esperanza" from her Stronger Than Pride album plays sexily in the background. An exciting and shocking ending add to an already terrific thriller, making this a film you just have to own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review of Sea of Love (Blue-ray), 5 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought this as i am a big Pacino fan. Had seen it before on television a few years back and remembered liking it, so decided to buy it on blue-ray.

The plot consists of two new york city cops (Pacino and Goodman) trying to track down a serial killer who seems to choose victims from lonely hearts columns. Added to this is Pacino's involvement with one of the suspects (Ellen Barkin) which provides much of the film's tension and eroticism e.g. is she or is she not the killer. The film builds pretty well and its only the ending which disappoints a bit.

Al Pacino is very good as always and John Goodman is a standout, Ellen Barkin also does a good job as Pacino's love interest.

The picture on the Blue-ray is good but there are no extras which was a bit of a disappointment, it would have been nice to see a documentary or heard a commentary. The film is very good though and i would recommend it to anyone who likes Al Pacino or likes this type of film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Thriller!!!, 6 April 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Sea Of Love [DVD] [1990] (DVD)
AL Pacino (Quickly becoming my favourite actor), plays Frank Keller, a divorced cop who has to find a killer who is killing men in their bedrooms and are found naked. Al Pacino goes undercover with partner John Goodman to find the killer when Al Pacino starts dating a Suspect.
This film has many twists and turns and leads you into believing something that turns out in the end to be completely wrong.
Pacino gives a brilliant performance as the desperate but witty cop and has produced a underated classic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Expertly written and acted, 23 Dec. 2011
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sea Of Love [DVD] [1990] (DVD)
An intelligent, very well acted character thriller, with a nourish
mood, and a sharp, smart script by Richard Price.

Al Pacino is at his considerable best as a lonely, hard-drinking cop
who falls for a woman who just may be the killer he's searching for,
played with sexy intensity by Ellen Barkin. John Goodman is also very
good as Pacino's partner on the case.

A clever, tense tale, well told, and that's enough for a very good
film.
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Sea Of Love [DVD] [1990]
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