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Last Holiday
DVD disk
05.02.2006 By: Sturdy
Last Holiday order
Director:
Wayne Wang

Actors:
Queen Latifah
LL Cool J
Timothy Hutton

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
An honest, hard working woman is diagnosed with a terminal disease. She decides she wants to spend her last three weeks blowing her life savings and living her life to the fullest.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Watching a Christmas movie in May is not really fair to the movie. Christmas movies rely on people being juiced up from the holiday spirit so they’ll forget what a bad movie they’re watching. Which is why it’s confusing to note that LAST HOLIDAY had its theatrical run in the middle of January and its DVD debut in early May. Perhaps the producers felt they had such a wonderful film on their hands that they didn’t need the added bonus of releasing the film during an appropriate time frame. Or not…

The funny thing is that LAST HOLIDAY is not a bad movie. Sure it has its problems, but overall it’s actually an uplifting film that utilizes the strengths of its star very well. With a holiday release, this could have been more successful than it was.

That’s not to say this is a great movie. However, it could have been a truly touching and inspirational film with a few tweaks. First, eliminate LL Cool J from the movie all together. He only makes movies worse and him and his character distracted from the point. Second, remove all instances of a forced laugh. Too many times the director and screenwriters inserted a joke where there didn’t need to be one. Third, make it more dramatic. A lady is facing her death and positively affecting the lives of everyone around her. That’s not funny. Finally, remove the lame, Hollywood ending. It’s not needed for a film like this.

With those few tweaks…Ok…major changes, this would’ve been a really good film. As it is, it’s decent. One of the things it does accomplish is reminding us that Timothy Hutton and Gerard Depardieu are still alive. I for one, was not sure.
THE EXTRAS
Last Holiday: Packing Light (15:25): This is kind of like a script to screen featurette. The Queen, Mr. Cool J and various members of the crew talk about how they got involved with the film. It seemed pretty basic to me, so 15 minutes was a long time to say “everything went normal”.

Last Holiday: Last Look (7:45): This is like a costume and setting featurette. It’s normal, but if you’re not in that area of the business, I doubt you’ll care about it.

Last Holiday: 23 Years in the Making (7:13): Yes, this film took 23 years to go from initial draft to final product. It was a retelling of a 1950 film by the same name and starring Obi-Wan Kenobi, but 23 years is still a long time. I’m not sure why they couldn’t have churned out a better script in that time. This featurette has the writers and producers talking about some of the obstacles. Basically, as soon as the Queen said yes, it got made. Overall a decent featurette.

Deleted Scenes (2:22): These were two quick scenes that could’ve been put back into the film without losing anything. If anything, I felt they would’ve helped the story. Even though, the scenes seemed incomplete, as if they went on longer and we didn’t get the whole scene/

There are also some Recipes and some Previews.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
This is kind of like the great Kurosawa film IKIRU, if you updated it for a modern woman and removed most of the elements that made IKIRU great. Seriously though, this film is a pleasant surprise and should fill the void of holiday movies until Christmas rolls around again.
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