One Last Thing… (2005)
Sound: C+ Sound: B- Feature: B-
How many times have we seen the same story of a young man
dying and wanting to fulfill one last big wish, then the wish puts the wish in
wishy-washy? Too many times. Alex Steyermark’s One Last Thing…
(2005) tries to pull off an interesting take on this with the young man sick
with brain cancer (the impressive Michael Angarano) who decides at the last
minute to dump a fishing trip with his favorite established football player to
attempt a weekend alone with a hot runway model (Sunny Mabrey) with an
unscrupulous manager (Gina Gershon again the bad girl) who cares little.
Dylan (Angarano) has lost his father under unfortunate
circumstances, but has a great relationship with his mother Karen (Cynthia
Nixon in a very good performance) who has some intelligent strategies for
herself personally trying to make things best for him and handle it as much as
possible. It is a brave, progressive thing
she does for the love of her son and the kind of smart older woman we do not
see enough in any medium. Dylan also
has his two best friends trying to help him, also hanging around when he is
using his medical “pot” to help his pain.
The political incorrectness of either getting high or possibly
having sex with sexy adult models will get the stuck-up very upset, but the
problem with the film is that it is so busy being honest about those aspects of
how some people act that not enough is gained or done with the relationship
between Dylan and Nikki the model. You
can tell a guy wrote this and another guy directed it. Compare to even smarter teen films like Little
Darlings, My Bodyguard, Real Genius or Roller Coaster
(reviewed elsewhere on this site) and the limits become clear. Also the ending does not ring true for all
the “realism” the film touts to be about and show, though that is Ethan Hawke
in an uncredited cameo as the late father.
Too bad Steyermark did not go further into the characters instead of
wallowing in the teen zone.
The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image originated on
digital High Definition video and looks decent for that, with some good color
moments and detail limits typical of the better recent production in the
format. Obviously, HD Net often does
this as standard practice. The Dolby
Digital sound offers 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo Pro Logic surround mixes and though
they are not bad, they cannot hide the dialogue-based low-budget origins of the
production. The film is not going to
have wild surrounds, but I was surprised how low the audio could be upon normal
playback, even with songs on the soundtrack by the likes of Matt Costa and
co-star Wyclef Jean. The combination is
still pleasant enough to watch.
Extras include an outtakes/alternate takes sequence, the Higher
Definition series installment on the film, original trailer and full-length
audio commentary by the director that is not bad. Despite some contradictions and reservations, One Last Thing
is not bad and worth a look.
- Nicholas Sheffo