Last Night

Last Night (1999)
Universal Home Video
Cast: Don McKellar, Sandra Oh, Keith Rennie, Sarah Polley, David Cronenberg
Extras: Trailer

Imagine the world is coming to an end – and you know it. The whole world does, and everyone tries to bring a final highlight to their lives. This is the premise of Don McKellar’s movie ’Last Night, ’ a thoughtful drama that runs the entire gamut of human natures to create this compelling story of civilization’s final six hours. Written, directed and acted by McKellar, we follow Patrick Wheeler as he makes a quick love connection with a stranger while his friend tries to get half the city in his bed. Others create suicide pacts while others yet make their final calls to friends.

Universal Home Video is presenting ’Last night’ in a fullframe presentation. I am not entirely sure why this format was used for the release. There is no serious cropping evident in the release which may indicate an open matte transfer, but since no information about he movie’s original format is available, I have been unable to confirm this. The visual quality of the film features a very stark, overexposed look almost throughout that is also evident on this DVD. The transfer’s black level is very good and maintains good detail, but areas of highlight often lose definition and are shown as stark white surfaces. No signs of edge-enhancement are evident in the transfer and yet, the transfer has a staggeringly sharp look due to the extremely high contrast in the image – almost too sharp for my taste, rendering much of the picture overly cold and harsh. A slight red-tinge is evident in the transfer but other than that color reproduction is well balanced. No notable compression artifacts are evident in this DVD’s presentation.

’Last Night’ features a 2-channel Dolby Digital audio track that is well produced. It is clear and bustling with ambient effects. Dialogues are always understandable and well integrated in the overall mix.

’Last Night’ is an intriguing movie by Don McKellar who also wrote ’The Red Violin.’ It is his third movie as a director and it is clear from his work so far that he has very refined dramatic skills, a great cinematic style and a bright future ahead of himself.