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Quick cut: One Last Thing

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Sam Posten, May 25, 2006.

  1. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Since my main gig here at HTF has been kind of slim pickings lately I have looked for other opportunities to review films that are not covered by our other staff reviewers. One thing that has intrigued me is the rise of Magnolia Home Entertainment and 2929 Entertainment and HDNET Films, the same folks who were behind Enron: The Smartest Guys in the room and Steven Soderburghs (hope I spelled that right!) Bubble, also noted for being the brainchild of Dallas Mavericks owner and noted blogger (www.blogmaverick.com) Mark Cuban. I was offered the chance to take a look at Magnolia's latest release, One Last Thing and I'm glad I did.

    Like Bubble, OLT is available at for viewing at Landmark Theaters (and possibly other chains!), on HDNET and via prepackaged DVD. Regardless of how its viewed this is a film with a terrific message with a cast that is full of surprises. One Last Thing introduces us to Dylan (Michael Angarano), a 16 year old dying of malignant tumors, and his final wish. Originally hoping to go fishing with his pro football hero (Johnny Messner), Dylan has a change of heart and announces on TV that his final wish is instead to meet and spend some time with a supermodel he has a crush on, Nikki Sinclair (Sunny Mabrey). Dylan and his two best friends will do whatever it takes to make it to New York to see that Dylan gets his chance. OLT features a breakout performance by Sex and The City's Cynthia Nixon, who portrays Dylan's mom Carol who has dealt with the loss of her husband (Ethan Hawke, strangely uncredited) and now faces the loss of her only child, both due to cancer.

    As someone who has a pituitary tumor (thanfully mine was found to be benign!) I found this film to navigate that condition brilliantly. Dylan goes out being his own man and living life on his terms, whether it be in pursuing his dream, facing his mortality and the afterlife, or dealing with new york tough guys. It also gives a great slice of life in the Philadelphia burbs, a lifestyle I can identify with from across the river. =) While this film isnt the Philly 'Clerks' I'm sure local residents got a kick out of how the characters really personify the philly attitude.

    As a small independent film its expected that the audio and video are not the focus of this film and I wont be overly critical. While the sountrack is in Dolby 5.1 its not used to much effect but the video quality is surprisingly good, with a nice color palette and good sharp focus throughout, with just a hint of color oddities particularly on Carol's skin color and some annoying edge enhancement, particularly during the end sequence. If you are viewing this movie for sound or video quality you've missed the point, but it is comforting that they are of acceptable quality.

    Extras are a strange lot, with a few outtakes, a directors commentary and an HDNET episode on the plus column, but on the down side there is no trailer and the only subtitles are spanish!

    Overall I was moderately impressed with this film. It never sank to the level of an After School Special and while it doesnt run with the big studios, it does show that Magnolia and 2929 have the potential at least to turn out some good pictures. Time will tell how their business plan works out, but if this is the minimum quality of picture that those folks produce, then they are off to a good start indeed, regardless of where those films get shown.

    Sam
     
  2. Jeff Whitford

    Jeff Whitford Screenwriter

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    I saw it on HDNet last friday and really enjoyed it
     
  3. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Anyone else have a chance to catch this one?
     

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