Posted: September 13, 2013 at 2:17 a.m.
Love Is All You Need, directed by Susanne Bier (R, 116 minutes)
On the very afternoon Copenhagen hairdresser Ida (Trine Dyrholm) finishes a grueling round of chemotherapy to battle breast cancer, she gets home to find her loutish husband Leif (Kim Bodnia) in bed with a young co-worker. More stunned than distressed, Ida heads to the airport - alone - to attend her daughter’s wedding in Italy, but not before crashing her car into the car of Philip (Pierce Brosnan), the recently widowed and quite wealthy English father of the bridegroom, whose gorgeous villa is the setting for the marriage.
Philip is annoyed. Ida thinks he’s a jerk.
Do you see where this is going? Everybody else does too. That doesn’t mean Love Is All You Need isn’t a breezy warm-weather romance, seasoned with a dash of Danish absurdity (complete with the threat of cancer, which doesn’t show up in too many boy-meets-girl stories), that has the added pleasure of inviting viewers to vicariously experience the high life on the lemon tree-studded coast of Sorrento overlooking the Bay of Naples. Although no one is likely to win a screenwriting award for Love Is All You Need, there’s something to be said for whiling away a couple of hours watching pretty people behaving in silly, funny and sad ways in a beautiful setting to the well-worn strains of “That’s Amore.”
The Blu-ray and DVD come with bonus features including commentary with Brosnan and director Bier; a Q&A with Brosnan, Dyrholm and Bier; a behind-the-scenes featurette with Dyrholm, and interviews with the cast at the 2012 Venice Film Festival.
Wither (unrated, 95 minutes) A Swedish tribute to Sam Raimi’s horror classic Evil Dead, Wither is a tense, gory fright-fest that concerns a group of young people who find that their carefree weekend in an isolated country house goes downhill when one of them accidentally unleashes a mysterious and murderous creature (well, a demonic zombie, to be precise) trapped in the basement, forcing them to mount a desperate counter-attack. With Patrik Almkvist, Lisa Henni, Patrick Saxe; directed by Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund. It’s violent, bloody and creepy, with well-done special effects. Subtitled.
The DVD extras include an illustrated eight-page booklet, a deleted scene and a behind- the-scenes look at the making of the film.
The Spy Who Came In From the Cold (not rated, 112 minutes) This compelling, credible 1965 espionage drama, now available on Blu-Ray, stars Richard Burton as aging Alec Leamas, a bitter and cynical secret agent who has been removed from field operations after a mission goes wrong. Next assignment: going undercover in East Germany, where subterfuge and double-crossings reign. Based on the novel by John Le Carre, the film gets added punch from the bleak but excellent black and white photography by Oswald Morris. With Claire Bloom, Oskar Werner; directed by Martin Ritt.
Blood (rating, 92 minutes) This intense British investigation of family loyalty stars Paul Bettany and Stephen Graham as Joe and Chrissie Fairburn, detective brothers who struggle to overcome the shadow of their father, an effective-at-all-costs former police chief, and maintain their sense of morality while investigating the horrific murder of a young girl. The crime drama features strong performances, attention to detail, and stylish direction, all of which almost make up for the unsubtle plot. With Brian Cox, Mark Strong; directed by Nick Murphy.
Frank Riva: The Complete Series (French TV mystery) We at Home Movies usually don’t deal with TV series, but if we don’t share information about this intriguing French show, who will? It concerns ex-undercover police officer Frank Riva (played by French stage and screen actor Alain Delon, still handsome and charming in his 70s), who is called back to Paris from retirement to investigate the murder of a Crime Squad superintendent in a drug sting operation. This puts Frank back on the trail of the notorious Loggia crime family, who had put a bounty on his head during the French Connection days. So Frank is forced to pick up the pieces of a life he left behind a quarter of a century ago that includes former lovers, old partners and a new investigative team.
The complete series, directed by Patrick Jamain, aired from 2003-2004. The 12 episodes come on three discs (not rated, 552 minutes). In French with English subtitles.
MovieStyle, Pages 31 on 09/13/2013