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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > Aging > Last Vegas (2013/CBS Films/Sony Blu-ray w/DVD)

Last Vegas (2013/CBS Films/Sony Blu-ray w/DVD)

Picture: A & B- Sound: A & B- Extras: C Film: B+

Last Vegas is a hilarious look at recapturing youth and having the time of your life near the end of your life. With pitch perfect casting featuring one of the greatest ensembles possible for a project like this, (Michael Douglas as Billy, Robert DeNiro as Paddy, Kevin Kline as Sam and the always charming Morgan Freeman as Archie), Last Vegas makes for a nearly flawless comedy that anyone with a group of best friends can relate to.

Our story begins in the fifties where we see our four protagonists (Billy, Paddy, Sam, and Archie) fascinated by a photo booth and stealing kisses with a young girl (whom we will come to know as Patty's future wife.) When a Greaser picks on the young kids, they stand up to him, proclaiming the tightness of their group and that nobody but they can pick on each other. This rings true when we flash forward to the present when the group has disbanded and is now living adulthood very differently. Billy has become rich and successful, Paddy has recently lost his Wife and is mourning, Sam is in a loveless marriage being bored in Florida, and Archie is trying to avoid his caring Son who is making him take his medicine and behave himself to avoid medical problems.

While at the funeral for a close rich friend, Billy decides to propose to his girlfriend who is half his age and celebrate his bachelor party in Las Vegas with his childhood buddies. The only problem is that Paddy and Billy have a tense history and have fallen apart - mainly because Billy didn't attend the funeral of Paddy's wife the year prior. Archie and Sam are easily convinced to go on the trip (each we will find have their own agenda) and decide to trick Paddy into going by not mentioning Billy at all in the conversation.

Giving permission by his wife to cheat on her in Vegas if he so pleases, Sam (Kevin Kline) is armed with a Viagra pill and a condom in a last attempt to spice up their marriage and bring the light back her husband's eyes. Archie (Morgan Freeman) has a huge pension to spend and is looking to live it up in Vegas and celebrate the way he always dreamed of. Paddy (Robert DeNiro), on the other hand is dead set in his ways and refuses to go on a date with the Grandmother of his next door neighbor because he is still in mourning. DeNiro I also want to add was the highlight of the film for me and the strongest of the four actors to really sell his disposition.

Once in Vegas, the four friends are reunited and the real comedy in the film begins as Sam tries shamelessly to get laid, Archie sits down at a gambling table and by luck wins twice his pension back to spend, and Paddy and Billy become entranced by a Lounge Singer named Diana (Mary Steenburgen) who helps Paddy past his mourning and makes Billy reconsider his future wedding to his bride to be.

Things get thick when we find out that Billy and Paddy have fallen in love with the same girl before, Paddy's ex-wife, to whom came to Billy first before settling a lifelong marriage with Paddy. This confuses emotions in the group while pushing through one of the themes of the film, which is love is not always what it appears to be.

From here the film takes some wild turns, showing the audience beautiful venues in Las Vegas, (not to mention some beautiful women) as our four protagonists live up the glory days in Sin City.

My few gripes would be some plot points in the script that are set up that you are just waiting to get paid off later. Some of the scenes with Diana (Mary Steenburgen) are a little unrealistic (She leaves the stage and her band behind to hang out with the protagonists maybe one too many times) and there are several scenes of them simply walking through scenic locales and telling us back story that maybe could have been written in a more creative way.

All in all, Last Vegas is a great film to add to your collection of great on screen ensemble comedies.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital high definition image is crisp and gorgeous on the Blu-ray; all of the scenes that take place in Las Vegas make you feel as if you are really there. The skin tones are mainly a little unforgiving for some of the older cast members, you can see every wrinkle, but it plays well for a film all about to seizing the most out of your senior years. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless soundtrack is also excellent and makes for a great presentation on any home surround system. The anamorphically enhanced DVD and lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on the DVD are not bad, but no match for the Blu-ray.

Extras include Shooting in Sin City - where we get a nice look at Vegas, The Redfoo Party and Supporting Ensemble which focuses on the cast members. Unfortunately no commentary tracks with the cast or deleted scenes which would have been nice is included.

- James Harland Lockhart V


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