Last Holiday appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not grossly problematic, the transfer seemed lackluster.
Some of the problems related to sharpness, as light edge haloes appeared, and these occasionally left the image without great definition. Much of the movie was fine, and the quality improved as it progressed.
Nonetheless, I thought it sometimes looked a little too mushy. No problems with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and print flaws seemed absent.
Contrast seemed a bit off, as much of the movie looked overly bright. This complimented the dark-skinned actors but left everyone else pale and pasty.
I suppose that acted as some form of justice given all the films that went in the other direction, as too many flicks tend to lose the black performers in the shadows. Still, I thought the brightness made the movie appear odd at times.
The film’s palette reflected the same issues. The colors seemed coordinated to reflect Queen Latifah’s skin tones, and that left the entire movie with an amber tint.
Some brighter colors popped up in exterior shots, and the hues were fine within the schemes used. Overall, the transfer was muddier and less concise than I’d like.
Given the romantic comedy roots of Last Holiday, I expected little from its Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundfield. Indeed, this was a fairly restricted soundfield that fell in line with films of this genre.
The audio stayed largely focused on the front channels. A few elements like helicopters and snowboards opened up the surrounds a bit, but there wasn’t a lot of information on display. Music showed good stereo imaging, at least, and the general ambience was fine.
Audio quality was acceptable if less than impressive. Music showed lackluster bass response and could have offered more satisfying depth. Nonetheless, the track was usually reasonably solid.
Speech sounded crisp and distinctive, and effects were clean and clear. Music seemed peppy despite the absence of great low-end. This was an unexceptional mix that earned a “B-“.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? The lossless audio offered a bit more range, but the two seemed fairly similar given the low-key nature of the mix.
As for the visuals, the Blu-ray seemed better defined and more natural than the DVD. Nonetheless, its limitations made it less of an upgrade than one might hope to find.
The Blu-ray repeats most of the DVD’s extras, and we find three featurettes. Last Holiday: Packing Light runs 15 minutes, 24 seconds and offers notes from producers Jack Rapke and Laurence Mark, director Wayne Wang, and actors Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, Timothy Hutton, and Alicia Witt.
They trace the film’s development, the choice of Wang as director, casting and performances, shooting in the Austrian Alps, and general thoughts about the story. Don’t expect much real detail or insight, though.
The actors offer surprisingly good notes about their characters, but otherwise this turns into a bland overview of different matters. The two sides balance out to make “Light” an average program.
In the seven-minute, 45-second Last Holiday: Last Look, we discover remarks from Wang, production designer William Arnold, costume designer Daniel Orlandi, and director of photography Geoffrey Simpson.
“Look” covers photographic choices, sets and locations, clothes, colors and various visual concerns. Despite its brevity, the piece digs into the topics with reasonable depth and gives us a nice take.
For the final featurette, we find the seven-minute, 12-second Last Holiday: 23 Years in the Making. It features Mark, Rapke, and screenwriters Jeffrey Price and Peter Seaman.
As implied by the title, this piece looks at the immense amount of time required to get the project brought to the screen. We learn about the adaptation of the original film, the development of the script, and various attempts to make the thing over the years.
I like the discussion of the near misses over the years, especially since we hear about some folks almost attached to the project. We also find nice notes about the changes that came through the decades. This is a generally useful little show.
In addition to the film’s trailer, two Deleted Scenes finish the disc. These fill a total of two minutes, 19 seconds and include “Kick the Car” (1:33) and “Where To, Cowboy?” (0:46).
The first shows Georgia’s departure from New Orleans, while the second gives us a look at Sean when he arrives in Prague. Neither is special, but both are decent and would have been acceptable in the film.
A genial but not terribly engaging comedy, I like Last Holiday more for its social gestures than the material on the screen. It takes a nicely respectful look at its characters; too bad it sticks them in such a dull and predictable piece of work. The Blu-ray offers lackluster picture and audio with a minor set of extras. This is an average release for a bland film.
To rate this film visit the original review of LAST HOLIDAY