The Last Song Blu-ray Review
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1
- Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
- Region: A
- Rating: PG
- Discs: 2 (Blu-ray +DVD)
- Studio: Touchstone
- Blu-ray Release Date: August 17, 2010
- List Price: $39.99
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
The latest Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook, A Walk to Remember) adaptation, The Last Song, the first by the author himself, is meant to be Disney starlet Miley Cyrus’ attempt at a more mature film, her step away from the Disney Channel sitcom world and Hannah Montana alter ego into something that would stretch her capabilities. Unfortunately, not only does The Last Song expose the young Cyrus’ weakness as an actress, but it is also just an awful film all around.
Ronnie, a troubled 17-year-old, and her little brother Jonah (Bobby Coleman) are driven down to Tybee Island, Georgia to spend the summer with their father Steve Miller (Greg Kinnear) by their mom (Kelly Preston). Ronnie, dressed in black and rejecting a scholarship to Julliard that she somehow won despite not having played the piano in years, wants nothing of this familial reunion with dad. She’s apparently angry because he left their mother; we know this because she pouts a lot. Anyway, the next day, romance blossoms when the local blond hunk Will (Liam Hemsworth) literally bumps into Ronnie on the beach whilst playing volleyball and spills her strawberry milkshake all over her. The persistent Will breaks down Ronnie’s emotional wall and the two become instantly enthralled with each other after a bonding session night over a nest of sea turtle eggs — oh yeah, it turns out the perfect Will also volunteers as the local aquarium and has rich parents — cha-ching!
But wait, all is not well in this perfect little picture, this is a Nicholas Sparks story after all. Will is hiding a secret that turns out to be frankly, rather dumb, and beneath all that saccharine romance you will be in for someone having a terminal illness that only Hollywood could conjure up, featuring long walks on the beach, musical montages, and symptoms that include (yikes!) coughing, ahem.
This film pulls out every cliché in the book to try to craft some sort of tear jerker, romantic family film and stretch Miley Cyrus’ acting talents, but it doesn’t work on any level other than it has a decent musical soundtrack, but even that is predictably AAA and commercial alternative, featuring the likes of Iron & Wine and Snow Patrol. In the end, the film doesn’t even take Cyrus too far away from her last feature film outing, Hannah Montana the Movie:
- Troubled teen girl heads down south to re-connect with her “core” values? Check.
- Girl finds instant romance with hunky local guy? Check.
- Movie won’t appeal to anyone over the age of 17? Check.
The Last Song’s AVC/MPEG-4 encoding has clean and detailed transfer with strong color reproduction, extended shadow delineation and a nice, thin layer of grain that helps to give it a film-like appearance. There are some occasional moments where the image softens a tad and grain level jumps slightly. This is not necessarily due to the transfer. Overall, The Last Song looks good for this sort of film.
The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is your typical romance drama mix. It isn’t much of a home theatre showcase, with the surrounds being used mainly for ambient effects with some occasional discrete panning. The dialogue is intelligible and clear, for the most part, but I did detect some mild crackle in some passages. The musical soundtrack, filled with typical AAA and alternative tunes, is solid, with a nice midrange and smooth highs, but only a mildly extended low end.
The strongest supplement on here for Miley Cyrus fans will be the music video for ‘When I Look at You” in HD and the making-of for it. Outside of that, not much else has very much replay value, but it is all provided in 1080p, which is always a plus.
The supplements provided with this release are:
- Alternate Opening Sequence: The Church Fire with optional commentary by director Julie Anne Robinson (2.40:1; 1080p/24; 0:02.55)
- Deleted Scenes with optional commentary by director Julie Anne Robinson (1080p) — Five brief scenes that didn’t make the final cut of The Last Song.
- Set Tour with Bobby Coleman (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:05.06) — Young star Bobby Coleman gives us a behind-the-scenes tour of the set of The Last Song, complete with interviews of the cast and crew.
- Making of the Music Video “When I Look at You” with Miley Cyrus (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:04.20)
- “When I Look at You” Miley Cyrus Music Video (1.78:1; 1080p/24; Dolby Digital 5.1; 0:04.16)
- Audio Commentary with Director Julie Anne Robinson and Co-Producer Jennifer Gibgot
The Definitive Word
The Last Word looks and sounds good on Blu-ray proving once again that even the worst movies can be solid home theatre performers on the format, but The Last Word should be the last thing anyone outside of Miley Cyrus’s fan base should be picking up on Blu-ray.
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