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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Comedy > Teenagers > One Last Thing... (2005)

One Last Thing… (2005)


Picture: C+     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


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