The Last Movie Star – Blu-ray Review

The Last Movie Star (formerly known as Dog Years) is a 2017 American drama film that was written and directed by Adam Rifkin. The film features stars like Burt Reynolds, Ariel Winter, Clark Duke, Ellar Coltrane and Chevy Chase.

Chronicling the story of Vic Edwards (portrayed by Burt Reynolds) as he was the biggest star in Hollywood, a college football legend turned stunt double turned leading man.  Now, as he is into his eighties, he is convinced by an old friend (played by Chevy Chase) to accept an invitation to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at a two-bit film festival in Nashville, Tennessee.  The trip to the festival launches him on both a hilarious fish-out-of-water adventure and a considerably unexpected poignant journey into his past.

The film had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 22, 2017 and was released through DirecTV Cinema on February 22, 2018, before being released in a limited release and through video on demand on March 30, 2018 by A24.

The Film Itself (3/5):

Presented with a significant amount of biographical references to the notorious career that Burt Reynolds had throughout his earlier years, The Last Movie Star takes aim at a lot of, what ultimately felt like, references to experiences that he had himself as he’s aged.  I mean, the man had more confidence in himself than anyone during their peak; but, as he’s grown older and ultimately slowed himself down, his box office appeal has dissipated; and I couldn’t help but feel as if the titular character, Vic Edwards, and his regret for not taking enough risks is how Reynolds feels about his time in Hollywood.  While the movie was a nice display of appreciation for the work that someone like Reynolds has done, this movie is chock full of generation gap humor and crude remarks that it really took away a lot from the overall story that they had set out to tell with this movie.  But, one of the things that I really liked was the “coming of age” (for lack of a better term) moment that he has with the girl that plays his driver while he’s in Nashville.

Picture Quality (5/5):

Overall, the visual presentation that the Blu-ray release of The Last Movie Star was very nicely done.  Offering a clean look into not only the considerably aged and stressful life that someone in Vic’s position may find themselves in; but, a lot of the camera angles that were used really did a fantastic job at portraying the emotional experience that each character had during a given scene.  The scenery throughout downtown Nashville and the various cities that Edwards and the other characters visited were really beautifully done and offered a nice, scenic view of the city.  Everything about this release was clean, clear and able to be seen and understood without having to pay any kind of additional attention in fear of missing something.

Audio Quality (4/5):

Packaged with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track, The Last Movie Star really, really tries to offer an immersive experience for its viewers.  While it may seem that this particular movie wouldn’t call for the inclusion of the surround channels; however, I feel that a lot of the more scenic moments within the story would have done a much better job at presenting those particular moments had they included these channels.  Reynolds was a little difficult to hear and understand; but, I ultimately attribute that to being a factor of his age and the use of subtitles while I watched through this release really helped me to experience and understand his time while he was in Nashville.  Other than that, the dialogue was clean and clear and easily understandable; while the rear channels made for a perfect inclusion of the position of the camera and relaying the environmental elements as the movie progressed.

The Packaging (2/5):

The Blu-ray release of The Last Movie Star comes packaged in your standard single disc Blu-ray amaray case.  Within that case is the standard Blu-ray copy of the film, with the disc featuring absolutely no artwork whatsoever.  There are no DVD copies of the film included with this release; however, a digital copy redemption pamphlet has been included for streaming options.  A slipcover has been made available during the original pressing run of this release that features the same piece of artwork that’s featured on the case art.

  

Special Features (2.5/5):

Unfortunately, the content that’s provided on the Blu-ray release of The Last Movie Star offers a considerably small look into the story at hand.  The bonus materials do offer a nice look into the work that went into the feature film, and the deleted scenes that were included were really nice to see and experience.

  • Deleted Scenes
  • “The Best Is Yet To Come: Adam Rifkin of The Last Movie Star” Featurette
  • Feature Audio Commentary with Director Adam Rifkin

Technical Specs:

Video

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Audio

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles

English SDH, Spanish

Runtime

Original Film: 94 minutes

Final Thoughts:

Generally speaking, The Last Movie Star wasn’t horrible.  However, it definitely was not one of my more favorite releases from A24.  The story that we are given with this movie was decently provided and one that I think a lot of people can really appreciate.  The generational gap jokes that played out were quite distracting and considerably off-putting.  And as I finished the movie, I couldn’t help but feel as if this was an homage to the peak of Reynolds’ career.  The visual and audible presentation of the Blu-ray release were nicely done, however I really think they should have gone with a 7.1 audio track at a minimum.  If you’re considering adding this movie to your library, I’d definitely recommend checking it out; especially if you’re a fan of the movies that A24 puts out.  The Last Movie Star will be available on Blu-ray and DVD beginning on Tuesday, March 27, 2018.

Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.

Doug

Movie lover, technophile, moderator of /r/dvdcollection and just your average, everyday movie viewer. Haven't heard of our subreddit? Check us out!

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