"Last Night" a movie with a fascinating plot, although one that has somewhat been done before. Imagine if the world is about to end, only there is no asteroids or explosions - a movie focusing on a bunch of varying people enjoying their last hours - there's six hours to be exact. We don't learn about the whys of the end, just the hows: how these people spend their last moments saying goodbye. The suprise is that although it's certainly not a comedy, it's not as depressing as it sounds. Director Don McKellar presents the material as matter-of-fact and makes the subject involving with great performances.
Don McKellar stars as Patrick, who breaks away on his own until he meets up with a woman having trouble getting where she has to go (Sandra Oh) - the two work wonderfully together. Craig (Callum Keith Rennie) sees this as the opportunity to fool around with as many women as possible before the end draws near. Director David Cronenberg plays a gas company employee calling his customers to say thank you. We also follow Patrick's sister(the great Sarah Polley) and a number of other local characters.
The writing(McKellar wrote/directed/acted) is wonderful and feels real. He also does well with a small budget, making the streets feel empty and alone. Performances are fine as well, especially Polley and McKellar, but all of the cast generally does very well with the material. The movie passes by quickly, and I never wanted anything explosive, I just was entertained by this small group of characters. The tone is great as well: simply what is, is and what will be, won't. "Last Night" got a small theatrical release last year, but dissapeared rather quickly. I'm hoping it'll get another chance on video.
VIDEO: It's unfortunate that Universal's treatment of this great little film is rather dissapointing. Instead of being letterboxed, the image is presented in full-frame(before the movie begins, the message "this movie has been modified from its theatrical version:it has been formatted to fit this screen). It's not that bad for a full-frame picture, staying moderately sharp throughout, and displaying good detail. Colors are not bold, but remain natural and accurate.
The print used is really free of any sort of distracting marks or scratches, and shimmering or pixelation are both nonexistent. Not bad, but would have liked it letterboxed.
SOUND: "Last Night" is presented in a stereo soundtrack, and for a movie like this that's really all dialogue, it manages to be fine. Dialogue is clear and easily understood, and really, there isn't much else to the audio.
MENUS:: Pretty basic (and blah looking) main menu and sub-menus with not much to them.
EXTRAS: The trailer. A commentary from McKellar or any of the other actors would have been great.
Final Thoughts: I really liked the movie quite a bit. If you haven't seen it before, I'd definitely recommend at least giving it a try as a rental. Universal's DVD edition is really pretty plain though, unfortunately - I would have liked to see more extras about such an interesting little movie.
The Film B+
Video 79/C+ = (276/400 possible points)
Audio 80/B- = (320/400 possible points)
Extras 70/C- = (210/300 possible points)
Menus 70/C- = (130/200 possible points)
Value 79/C+ = (237/300 possible points)
FILM GRADE: B+
DVD GRADE: C