Posted in: Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on May 8th, 2005
Based on real events, The Last Shot is a Hollywood comedy about an FBI sting operation. The joke (and the real life event) is that the sting is a Hollywood production. Get it? The sting operation will employ mob level types, who are toughing there way into the movie industry. Will the FBI catch the bad guys? Will this fictional movie get made? Rent it and find out.
Alec Baldwin and Matthew Broderick are the two stars of the film. Baldwin plays Joe Devine, the FBI agent running the opera…ion from the inside. Broderick plays Steven Schats (yes, the last name does sound like that), an aspiring screenwriter. The Last Shot also sports a great supporting cast: Tony Shalhoub, Toni Collette, Ray Liotta, Buck Henry, Tim Black Nelson, Calista Flockheart, and an always hilarious Joan Cusack. It’s a great premise for a film. And I was hoping the “real” screenwriters who got duped would’ve written the screenplay. Jeff Nathanson, a veteran screenwriter but a newbie director, goes for a Get Shorty style satirical Hollywood stab, but also tries to create a quirky comedy. Both attempts are mildly successful. The strength of the film is Broderick and Baldwin. They create characters that, seemingly, are worlds apart. But really, these two men are looking for the same thing.
Sporting a 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track, Shot has a fairly clean mix. However, the mix is very front heavy. Rear speakers do not get the workout they vastly deserve. But this is comedy. Some sound effects and music are used to good effect, but only sparingly.
The Last Shot sports a 1.85:1 widescreen transfer. It’s fairly clean, colors are natural and not overdone. There were some slight edge enhancements, but not a lot of pixilation defects. A nice transfer, but not overly spectacular.
First off, there is a commentary by director Jeff Nathanson and actor Matthew Broderick. Broderick is the more amiable of the pair; he’s always fun to listen to. Next up is an inspired by actual events featurette. This is a 12 minute piece about the first meeting, after 10 years, with the real FBI agent and the real screenwriters. Interesting. We also have four deleted scenes. Most of these scenes are extended from the ones found in the movie itself. There is a Joan Cusack montage. This feature is just a few minutes of Cusack “improvising” funny stuff. Robert Evans presents… is a curious feature. Nathanson shot about 2 minutes of footage featuring the famous producer Robert Evans (The Godfather, Chinatown) as the narrator of the movie. In the end, Nathanson decided not to use the footage. But it’s all here. You can watch the footage itself. Or…watch the whole movie again with the footage inserted. Not sure why one would do that, since the footage is so slight.
The Final Shot is a somewhat successful comedy. The main joke of the movie is about moving a movie, set in Arizona, all the way to Providence in order to catch some mob types. I’m not sure if “fiction” is the best arena for this “based on real life events” film. A fascinating documentary, I’m sure, could be made. But quality extras, video, and audio make The Last Shot a good choice for a rental.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary with Director Jeff Nathanson and Actor Matthew Broderick
- “Inspired by Actual Events” Featurette
- Deleted Scenes
- “Robert Evans Presents…”
- “Joan Cusack’s Montage”