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LAST HOLIDAY ($30) is a comedy whose plot is so predictable, that there isnít a single moment that the audience wonít know what is coming next. However, it doesnít really matter, because this is such a feel good film, with such a winning performance from Queen Latifah that audience will be too wrapped up in enjoying themselves to care. A remake of the Alec Guinness film of the same name, LAST HOLIDAY finds Queen Latifah in the role of Georgia Byrd, who works in the cookware department of a New Orleans's Department Store. A single woman, Georgia leads a very frugal lifestyle, while dreaming of becoming a professional chef. One day, while flirting with co-worker Sean Williams (LL Cool J), Georgia hits her head on a cabinet door and is taken to the store's health center for a CAT scan.

Upon reviewing the results of the scan, the company physician informs Georgia she is suffering from a rare neurological disorder, and has only a few weeks to live. Coming to grips with her situation, Georgia quits her job, liquidates her life saving and sets off to take the dream vacation of a lifetime at Grandhotel Pupp in the Czech Republic. Intent on living every moment to itís fullest, during her few remaining weeks, Georgia checks herself into the Presidential suite and buy a new wardrobe. Georgiaís generosity and zest for living does not go unnoticed by the hotel guests and staff alike, including the hotelís world-renowned Chef Didier (Gťrard Depardieu), Louisiana Senator Dillings (Giancarlo Esposito), Congressman Stewart (Michael Nouri) and businessman Matthew Kragen (Timothy Hutton), who just happens to own the Department Store where Georgia worked. While almost everyone is taken is taken with Georgiaís straightforward manner and infectious personality, egotist Kragen resents her ability to shift attention away from himÖ thus making it his mission to discover the truth about the hotelís enigmatic guest. The cast of LAST HOLIDAY also features Alicia Witt, Susan Kellermann, Jane Adams and Ranjit Chowdhry.

Paramount Home Entertainment has made LAST HOLIDAY available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. The 1080p presentation is very pleasing and highlights the beautiful locations. There are very good levels of sharpness and fine detail in the image, plus a nice sense of dimensionality. Colors are fairly warm and vibrant, while the flesh tones tend to be totally appealing. Blacks are inky, whites are crisp and contrast is smooth. Shadow detail is quite good. The elements from which LAST HOLIDAY has been mastered demonstrate virtually no imperfections. While the level of grain is usually pretty minimal, there is just enough to make the presentation seem organic.

LAST HOLIDAY is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. Sure, for the most part, LAST HOLIDAY plays in a dialogue heavy, talky comedy mode, but I still found this to be a somewhat better than average mix, with a number of moments where the outlying channels engaging nicely. Thanks to the lossless encoding, fidelity is quite good in regards to the musical component and sound effects. Still, by the nature of the material, the bass virtually nothing significant to do. Voices are cleanly rendered and the dialogue is totally understandable. French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the supplements. Featurettes include: Last Holiday: Packing Light (fifteen minutes), Last Holiday: Last Look (seven minutes) and Last Holiday: 23 Years In The Making (seven minutes). Two Deleted Scenes and a Theatrical Trailer close out the supplements.

LAST HOLIDAY is totally predicable, and totally delightful, thanks to the presence of the wonderful Queen Latifah. Sure, LAST HOLIDAY isnít what one would consider a must see a demo disc, but the Blu-ray visual presentation is highly pleasing and a perfect complement to this feel good comedy. Recommended.



Last Holiday [Blu-ray] (2006) (2006)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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