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Paul Feig
Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Emma Thompson
Writing Credits:
Emma Thompson, Bryony Kimmings

Kate faces an endless streak of bad luck and poor decision-making until she meets Tom, a kind-hearted man with a mysterious past who challenges her cynical world view.

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.00:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
Spanish DTS 7.1
French DTS 5.1
English DVS
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 102 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 2/4/2020

• Audio Commentary with Director Paul Feig
• Audio Commentary with Director Paul Feig and Co-Writer/Actor Emma Thompson
• Alternate Ending
• Blooper Reel
• Deleted/Alternate/Extended Scenes
• Alternate Opening
• “Last Christmas” Full Performance
• “Director In Vision” Featurette
• “It’s All So Cold” Featurette
• “Try Not to Laugh” Featurette
• A Legacy Revealed” Featurette
• “Pure Golding” Featurette
• “Emilia Recording Session” Featurette
• “Love Letter to London” Featurette
• “Santa and Her Elf” Featurette
• “Paul Feig Takes Over the Tram” Featurette
• “12 Days of Production” Featurette
• Previews
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver;
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-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Last Christmas [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 5, 2020)

Best-known for comedies like Bridesmaids and The Heat, Paul Feig went a different route via 2018’s A Simple Favor. Feig returns to his comedic roots via 2019’s Last Christmas.

Kate (Emilia Clarke) aspires to succeed as a singer. However, she tends to shoot herself in the foot, so various bad decisions negatively impact her life and potential career. This leaves Kate unhappy, and she works as an elf in a year-round Christmas store.

Matters change when Kate meets handsome Tom (Henry Golding). A positive influence, he tries to bring out the best in Kate and help her come out of her doldrums.

The big gimmick behind the film relates to its title, as the story comes "inspired by” the 1984 Wham! song “Last Christmas”. Basically a tune about a jilted lover, that seems like thin gruel for a feature-length movie, but hey, it allows the filmmakers an excuse to populate the flick with Wham! and George Michael tracks.

With a budget of $25 million, Christmas earned $121 million worldwide. That doesn’t become a massive profit, but it seems like a good take, so I guess we can expect Careless Whisper: The Movie in a year or two.

I like Wham! – “Freedom” offers a terrific update on the Motown sound – but “Last Christmas” seems like one of the more insipid holiday songs. I guess it now gets viewed as a yuletide classic, but I still don’t hear it as anything more than a wimpy little number.

Given the silly notion of a movie inspired by a flimsy pop tune, I latched my hopes to one factor: Feig. While I wouldn’t call him money in the bank, I enjoyed all of the director’s films from Bridesmaid through Favor, so I came with reason to expect an enjoyable ride here.

Would Christmas end Feig’s streak of good movies? Yes – a huge, massive, stinking yes.

Does Christmas do anything well? Hmm… let me think…


Not that I can entirely blame Feig, as the movie’s two biggest problems don’t fall under his purview. For one, he didn’t write the atrocious script: Bryony Kimmings and Emma Thompson did.

Yes, that Emma Thompson, the one who won a screenwriting Oscar for 1995’s Sense and Sensibility. To be fair, Thompson enjoyed better source material there than a silly 35-year-old pop song.

I have no idea how Thompson and Kimmings divided the labor, but I get the feeling each one assumed the other would pick up the slack. No one did, as this thin, lazy script feels trite and tacky.

We don’t get characters as much as we get loose concepts. The film lacks any real story or development, as Kate just bops from one vaguely comedic or emotional scenario to another without rhyme or reason.

All this builds to her redemption as a Really Good Person. Not that Kate starts out as bad, but we see her as aimless and disconnected, so her relationship with Manic Pixie Dream Boy Tom will make her whole again.

Eep. Stale and inane to an extreme, nothing about the story ever ignites, and the characters annoy much more than they endear.

It doesn’t help that all exist as stock, cutesy personalities and not a single one remotely resembles a real human being. All exist in a weird Movie Fantasyland that doesn’t connect to reality.

Christmas changes tone on a dime, and these shifts feel awkward. The choice to include a mention of Brexit and bigotry comes out of nowhere and seems shoehorned into the movie for no particular reason, for instance.

The cast does nothing to elevate the material. Indeed, they drag it down with them.

The more I see Clarke, the more convinced I become that she simply can’t act. Action? Unconvincing. Drama? Chews too much scenery.

Comedy? No evidence of skill in that domain.

When I reviewed 2016’s Me Before You, I said this about Clarke’s performance: “She engages in crazy eyebrow acting, where she distends and morphs her face into all sorts of unnatural expressions more reminiscent of Jim Carrey than one would imagine.”

That remains true here. As mentioned, Clarke shows no comedic skills, so she attempts to compensate with a wild array of odd facial gestures. These make her look desperate and incompetent, and nothing she does produces charm or humor.

As our Fantasy Boy, Golding fails to create an impact, and Thompson embarrasses herself with her Borscht Belt performance as Kate’s mom.

Throw in cheap sex “jokes” too lame for Three’s Company and Last Christmas becomes an unmitigated disaster. Hopefully Paul Feig will rebound with his next film, as he has nowhere to go but up from here.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B/ Bonus B+

Last Christmas appears in an aspect ratio of 2.00:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a quality presentation.

Sharpness was strong. Virtually no softness emerged, so the flick appeared concise and accurate.

Jagged edges and shimmering didn’t occur, and edge enhancement remained absent. Source flaws also failed to present any problems, as the movie offered a clean image.

In terms of colors, the film favored a fairly broad palette that matched the holiday theme. The hues were solid within the design parameters.

Blacks seemed deep and tight, while shadows were good. I thought this was a consistently high-quality presentation.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack, it seemed satisfactory. It favored the usual “comedy mix” and didn’t present many chances for the soundscape to explode.

As expected, musical sequences added the most to the track, as they used the channels in a satisfying manner. Street scenes also provided some modest engagement. Overall, though, this was a pretty restrained soundfield.

I thought audio quality appeared positive. Speech seemed distinctive and natural, with no rough tones or other issues. Score and songs displayed clear, warm music, and effects functioned well.

Those elements were reasonably realistic and full throughout the movie. Again, nothing here dazzled, but the mix accentuated the tale in a good way.

We get a slew of extras here, and these open with two separate audio commentaries, the first of which features director Paul Feig. He provides a running, screen-specific look at how he came to the film, story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, photography, music, costumes, editing/reshoots and connected domains.

A veteran of the format, Feig provides a bubbly, engaging personality as he leads us through his movie. He provides plenty of useful details as he makes this a fun, informative chat.

For the second chat, we hear from Feig and co-writer/actor Emma Thompson. They give us a running, screen-specific discussion of essentially the same topics as Feig’s solo commentary.

With Thompson in tow, though script and acting issues become more dominant. We also learn more about the film’s influences and inspirations.

It’s probably unfair of me to refer to Thompson as being “in tow” here, for in truth, she turns into the senior partner. Not that Feig shrinks to the background, but the irrepressible Thompson does the lion’s share of the work.

Which is fine with me. We already get 100-plus minutes of Feig, so I’d rather hear Thompson’s perspective.

And she happily shares, as Thompson and Feig sip gin and chat about the movie. Inevitably, we get occasional tidbits repeated from the Feig solo chat, bit this turns into a likable and lively commentary.

The Blu-ray packs in 10 featurettes. We find “Director In Vision” (1:51), “It’s All So Cold” (2:00), “Try Not to Laugh” (6:04), “A Legacy Revealed” (2:43), “Pure Golding” (1:28), “Emilia Recording Session” (2:14), “Love Letter to London” (3:36), “Santa and Her Elf” (2:47), “Paul Feig Takes Over the Tram” (3:34), “12 Days of Production” (10:21).

Across these, we hear from Feig, Thompson, producer David Livingstone, musician Andrew Ridgeley, production designer Greg Freeman, supervising location manager Bill Darby, and actors Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, and Michelle Yeoh.

The featurettes examine the project’s roots and development, story/characters, music and the involvement of George Michael, cast and performances, sets and locations,

With nearly 37 minutes of footage, one might expect a lot of useful material from these 10 featurettes. Alas, most tend to focus on fluff, so we don’t get much substance.

Not that these seem like painful programs, as they give us some fun material. Still, one shouldn’t expect to learn a lot about the production from these largely superficial segments.

A Blooper Reel spans 14 minutes, 30 seconds. Woof – that’s a lot of goofs and giggles! This reel adds some improv bits, so those can be fun, but I think the “Reel” wears out its welcome well before it actually concludes.

Tons of cut footage appears as well. We get an Alternate Opening (1:11), an Alternate Ending (1:53) and 15 Deleted/Alternate/Extended Scenes (22:45).

With the “Opening”, we see more of a tryst gone awry for Kate. It takes a scene from the final film adds to it and places it at the beginning. It’d have been an interesting way to open the movie.

The “Ending” gives us a brief epilogue to update Kate’s status and Tom’s impact. It’s cute but unnecessary.

As for all the rest, the math indicates that the scenes don’t tend to last very long. They veer toward small comedic and/or character bits, with nothing that seems important or memorable.

Finally, we locate a Full Performance of “Last Christmas”. This three-minute, 56-second clip gives us what the title indicates, as we see the entire rendition of the title song seen partially at the flick’s end. It does little for me but fans may enjoy it.

The disc opens with ads for Wild Nights With Emily, Universal Parks and 4K UHD. No trailer for Christmas appears here.

Usually reliable, director Paul Feig goes astray with the awful Last Christmas. Stale, silly and devoid of cinematic merit, the movie turns into an utter disaster. The Blu-ray brings excellent visuals, appropriate audio and a long roster of bonus materials. While this becomes a good Blu-ray, the film itself flops.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 2
0 3:
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