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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.
For more about Last Vegas and the Last Vegas Blu-ray release, see Last Vegas Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on January 13, 2014 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, Kevin Kline, Mary Steenburgen, Jerry Ferrara
Director: Jon Turteltaub
» See full cast & crew
Last Vegas Blu-ray Review
Four National Treasures in Fabulous Las Vegas.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, January 13, 2014
Here's to being invincible.
Special things tend to happen when special actors all share the same special stage. Take Last Vegas, a movie that places Kevin Kline (A Fish Called Wanda), Morgan Freeman (The Bucket List), Robert De Niro (Goodfellas), and Michael Douglas (Wall Street) in the middle of fabulous Las Vegas for a bachelor party for the ages, of perhaps better said, the aged. Mix in a great script, plenty of home run jokes, unbeatable cast chemistry, a tremendous amount of heart, and more than a handful of scantily clad young women, and behold what may very well be the perfect escapist Comedy, at least for those in search of a relatively clean and accessible Comedy. Director Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure) provides a steady hand behind the camera, but he's tasked with little more than making sure that camera is properly positioned and rolling. His cast does all the heavy lifting, and the movie in turn works -- and excels well beyond norm -- because of that cast's effortless camaraderie and very real sense of lifelong companionship that's evident in every scene.
Four inseparable friends, collectively known as "The Flatbush Four," grew up together but have since grown apart, literally but not necessarily figuratively. They're still in contact with one another and best of friends, though they're now scattered all over the country. When Billy (Douglas), a west coast businessman, announces his engagement to the significantly younger Lisa (Bre Blair), his friends Archie (Freeman) and Sam (Kline) convince him to participate in a Vegas bachelor party. There are only two problems. One, they're too old to go, and two, their friend Paddy (De Niro) will be a tough sell, particularly considering his falling out with Billy after his wife's death. Once Archie has escaped his overbearing and overprotective son and Sam has received his wife's blessing to have a good time in Sin City, they travel to Brooklyn in hopes of bringing Paddy along for the ride. He agrees, with a little arm-twisting, but is discouraged to meet Billy at the Vegas airport. Nevertheless, the men proceed to enjoy themselves, though their stay in Vegas is complicated by a lounge singer named Diana (Mary Steenburgen) of whom both Billy and Paddy grow fond.
A picture with this many stars must always be on guard, lest it collapse under its own weight. That's not a worry in Last Vegas. The story outline is strong, its details both humorous and touching, and the characters feel unusually real. The cast is expectedly stellar, but collectively so and not on an individual level. There's plenty of material here for all four, and rarely does one of them steal the scene from the others. The film exudes a palpable sense of lifelong friendship and the bonds that can only be built by decades of togetherness and deeper understanding of how they work individually and together alike or, in this case, through a strong script and four tremendous actors bringing it to life. All four primaries tell old jokes, recall days gone by, open and heal old wounds, and have their fun around Vegas like they've lived in those shoes their entire lives. Mary Steenburgen, however, does come in and steal the scene away on several occasions, portraying what is arguably the film's most dramatically pivotal character in shaping the guys' Vegas trip as almost destiny seems to have in mind. She's a match for all the talent that surrounds her and the real driving force behind their life and times in Sin City.
Yet for all the cast and character excellence that swirls around the film, it's the emotional core that truly sets it apart. Even considering the wonderful performances, the tight script, and all the fun surprises (including an unforgettable 50 Cent cameo), that center of gravity, that underlying conflict that brews, comes to a head, and bubbles over, solidifies the picture's success beyond the incessant laughs and perfect character portrayals. The conflict between Billy and Paddy flows believably, built on a strong foundational premise and toppled for good when a hurtful secret is revealed. It's in how the film moves on from that conflict where it finds its emotional beauty, and the result is a movie that's rewarding well beyond its wonderful exterior and deeply satisfying from an unexpected angle. Certainly, the movie is far more buoyant and joyous than it is serious, but that seriousness evolves into a very loving and sincere finale that restores hope in the human condition, in the possibilities for living a full life with age, in the bonds of friendship, in the strength of love, and in the power of brotherhood to overcome even the most tragic circumstances, hurtful revelations, and festering wounds.
Last Vegas Blu-ray, Video Quality
Last Vegas looks incredible on Blu-ray. This is a clean, accurate image, picture-perfect in every way. Details are striking, aided by excellent clarity throughout, whether inside bright casinos or under the Vegas sun. Facial and clothing textures excel in every scene, and fine details around the casino, in hotel rooms, and out on the town are immaculate. Colors are bold and natural, presenting viewers with a wide array of flashing lights, neon, and more natural but no less prominent shades throughout every frame, from Paddy's closed-off apartment to the wide-open casino floors. This faultless cinema-quality image showcases perfect black levels and flawless flesh tones. No compression issues or other varieties of eyesore are present. In short, a superb, reference-quality image from Sony.
Last Vegas Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Last Vegas features a balanced, accurate, and satisfying sonic presentation. Sony's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack recreates its music and environments with relative ease. It pumps through the opening notes richly and cleanly, perhaps at a slightly lower volume than audiences may find the norm, but it nevertheless satisfies in fullness and stage presence. There are more significantly powerful beats when the men arrive in Vegas and plenty of more robust and filling notes in a number of dance tunes heard throughout the film. There is plenty of wonderful ambience throughout, whether the sounds of a party crowd in the final act or the street-level and casino interior din that practically places the listening audience in the middle of Las Vegas. Rounded into form by faultless dialogue reproduction, this is a fine, satisfying presentation from Sony.
Last Vegas Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Last Vegas contains a commentary and several short featurettes.
Last Vegas Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Last Vegas works on every level. It's perfectly cast and wonderfully scripted, enjoying plenty of humor and just the right offset of heart. It's the perfect little escapist movie, sure to bring a smile to the face and maybe even a tear to the eye by the time it's done. This is the relatively safe and group-accessible end of the Comedy genre done right and a film with tremendous replay value. Sony's Blu-ray release of Last Vegas offers stellar picture and sound. Supplements are fair, though everything beyond the commentary is more or less fluff. Highly recommended.
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Last Vegas Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Exclusive Giveaway: Last Vegas - January 23, 2014
Blu-ray.com and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are offering three members a chance to win a copy of Jon Turteltaub's comedy Last Vegas, starring Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline and Mary Steenburgen. The hit comedy arrives on Blu-ray ...
• Last Vegas Blu-ray - December 23, 2013
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release on Blu-ray Jon Turteltaub's comedy Last Vegas (2013), starring Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline, and Mary Steenburgen. The release will be available for purchase online and in stores across ...
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