Last Vegas (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
January 23, 2014 by Dennis Amith
Four of America’s Hollywood legends together in one comedy. A delightful comedy, “Last Vegas” is recommended.
© 2013 CBS Films Inc. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Last Vegas
FILM RELEASE DATE: 2013
DURATION: 105 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 2:40:1 Aspect Ratio, English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RATED: PG-13 (Sexual Content and Language)
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Directed by Jon Turteltaub
Written by Dan Fogelman
Produced by Lake Bell, Mark Robers, Jett Steiger, Eddie Vaisman
Co-Producer: David Grace
Executive Producer: Ross Jacboson, Sean King O’Grady
Music by Ryan Miller
Cinematography by Seamus Tierney
Edited by Tom McArdle
Production Design by Megan Fenton
Art Direction by Ashley Fenton
Set Decoration by Elizabeth Garner
Costume Design by Lindy McMichael
Michael Douglas as Billy
Robert De Niro as Paddy
Morgan Freeman as Archie
Kevin Kline as Sam
Mary Steenburgen as Diana
Jerry Ferrara as Dean
Romany Malco as Lonnie
Roger Bart as Maurice
Joanna Gleason as Miram
Michael Ealy as Ezra
Bre Blair as Lisa
Four best friends in their late-60’s decide to escape retirement and throw a Las Vegas bachelor party for the only one of them who has remained single.
Jon Turteltaub may be known for his action films, from the “National Treasure” films and “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, he now returns with a comedy titled “Last Vegas”, written by Dan Fogelman (“Crazy, Stupid Love”, “Tangled”, “Cars”, “Bolt”).
The film would star Michael Douglas (“Basic Instinct”, “Falling Down”, “Fatal Attraction”), Robert De Niro (“Goodfellas”, “The Godfather: Part II”, “Taxi Driver”, “Meet the Parents”), Morgan Freeman (“Driving Miss Daisy”, “Se7en”, “The Shawshank Redemption”), Kevin Kline (“The Ice Storm”, “A Fish Called Wanda”, “Wild Wild West”) and Mary Steenburgen (“The Proposal”, “Step Brothers”, “Back to the Future Part III”).
The film did very well in the box office, with a budget of $28 million, “Last Vegas” would go on to earn over $117 million.
And now, “Last Vegas” will be released on Blu-ray and DVD in January 2014.
The film begins with an introduction to a young Billy, Paddy, Archie and Sam, four kids known as the Flatbush Four who are best friends and tend to get into a little trouble. We are given a glimpse of how Billy and Paddy like the same girl.
Fastforward to the decades later, Billy Garson (portrayed by Michael Douglas) attends his friend’s funeral. A successful and busy businessman dating a young woman, he proposes to her during the funeral and now, wanting to celebrate his upcoming marriage, he calls up Sam (portrayed by Kevin Kline) and Archie (portrayed by Morgan Freeman) with his good news.
And the guys decide to celebrate his upcoming marriage in Las Vegas.
But they want to bring their buddy Paddy (portrayed by Robert De Niro), who hasn’t had a great relationship with Billy for some unknown reason. At first Paddy resists, but when Archie pretends that he’s sick, Paddy decides to give in and go with them.
Meanwhile, as the group plans to head off to Las Vegas, Sam’s wife Miriam (portrayed by Joanna Gleeson) wants him to have fun in Vegas, giving him a note that says “What happen in Vegas, stays in Vegas” along with some Viagra and a condom in order to make him happy. She tells him that she misses the man he used to be but Sam is shocked that his wife would even allow such a thing.
And as the group arrive in Las Vegas, they meet a lounge singer named Diana (portrayed by Mary Steenburgen) and when she meets the four men, we learn that part of Paddy’s anger towards Billy was because Billy wasn’t there for him when his wife died. All he sent was a note and flowers, no phone call, nothing.
But Billy wants everyone’s life to be festive and cheerful in Las Vegas, so with the help of Diana, he tells everyone that he wants to see them get into some trouble and have fun while they are all out in Vegas.
As Sam tries to use his stay in Las Vegas to find a woman to have sex with, Archie wants to gamble, while Paddy has a difficult time hanging out with the guys because of his bitter feelings of his former best friend, Billy and why he never came to his wife’s funeral.
But as the four try to have a great time in Las Vegas, during the course of hanging out with his friends, will Billy get married to his young fiance and what is the true reason that Billy never attended the funeral of Paddy’s wife?
“Last Vegas” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio). As one can expect from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, “Last Vegas” features wonderful picture quality. With many shots outdoors or in areas well-lit in Vegas, one can expect great detail in close-ups, great clarity and for the most part, plenty of vibrant colors. Black levels are nice and deep, skin tones are natural and for the most part, no compression or any banding issues.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Last Vegas” is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD MA. Dialogue and music are crystal clear (there is a lot of music featured in the film). There is good use of the surround channels during scenes with crowds. Good use of ambiance for the club scenes but the soundtrack is dialogue and musically driven via the center and front channels.
Subtitles are in English, English SDH and Spanish.
“Last Vegas” comes with the following special features:
- Audio Commentary – Audio commentary from director Jon Turteltaub and writer Dan Fogelman.
- It’s Going to Be Legendary – (3:13) The cast talks about their characters in “Last Vegas”.
- Four Legends – (2:57) A short featurette about the film’s casting of Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline and how they never worked together until now.
- The Flatbush Four – (1:37) A featurette about The Flatbush Four gang.
“Last Vegas” comes with a Blu-ray and DVD version of the film plus an UltraViolet code for a digital version of the film. Plus a slipcover is included.
As a cinema fan, there is part of you who are thrilled to see these big stars of the big screen together for the first time. Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline are no doubt among the most talented actors in America and together, they have delivered hit films within the last 40 years.
Of course, there is the other side of viewers who may watch this film and wonder if it’s another “Wild Hogs” (which starred John Travolta, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy) albeit an over 60 version.
But “Last Vegas” is a delightful comedy because it’s a topic that many men go through, the memories of having fun as a child and next thing you know, you’re an older man. Some who accept their older age, some who try to stay young.
And for the primary character of Billy (portrayed by Michael Douglas), there is no doubt that he is a man who is trying to look and stay young, while the others have pretty much have their issues with their older age. Paddy, living alone after his wife died and is a bit miserable; Sam is not happy in life and has not pleased his wife in a very long time and Archie, after suffering a stroke, his son is often trying to be a parent around them.
But for these four friends who were known as “The Flatbush Four”, being together in Las Vegas, to relive their youth in their ’60s, will give them the wake-up call they need in order to deal with life.
As I mentioned, the film is delightful but there are scenes that end up a bit cheesy. For example, watching the four trying to party it up at a club while a club version of FUN’s “Tonight We are Young” or even seeing LMFAO in Vegas doing their little “wiggle wiggle” dance in one of the guys’ faces.
But we also get to see other cool musical moments such as actress Mary Steenburgen singing but also capturing the life of Las Vegas and its atmosphere through modern music.
As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is fantastic. The lossless soundtrack is dialogue and musically driven and you get a few short special features and an audio commentary.
For the most part, I enjoyed “Last Vegas” and it’s quite wonderful to see these four talented stars come together. The storyline is one that many men can relate to, may you be in your ’40s, ’50s, ’60s or older, the realization that time flies and we all have gotten older can be scary but also knowing that there are still many years for happiness, surprises and more, if you find a way to make your life exciting and a life worth living.
A delightful comedy, “Last Vegas” is recommended.
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