The Last Song (Blu-ray)
Another Nicholas Sparks story hits the big screen in THE LAST SONG. I really liked THE NOTEBOOK and A WALK TO REMEMBER, but the last two film adaptations feel like easy retreads. DEAR JOHN being the first to come out this year and not hit any of the marks. The second is THE LAST SONG, which teetered on a line between likeable and trite. I’m currently still battling my opinion on which one wins out.
Troubled teen Ronnie Miller (Miley Cyrus) and her talkative little brother Jonah (Bobby Coleman) are headed off to a beachfront property to live with their father (Greg Kinnear) for the summer. Ronnie has some built up anger towards life and her father for leaving them after divorcing their mother. Luckily she meets a cute boy name Will (Liam Hemsworth). This quickly becomes more than just a summer fling and their relationship grows, as does the one with her father. More unforeseen problems arise when she finds out her father was accused of burning down a church and diagnosed with cancer, which he had kept secret from his children. Ronnie must learn not to push people away but cherish those that love her and embrace her gift as a talented pianist. Wait, what? Actually they fit that storyline in nicely.
The film narrowly pulls through due mostly to Greg Kinnear who was not utilized enough. He is just so darn likeable that I want the film to work and all the relationships to work within. Ronnie and Will’s relationship takes off a little too contrived and quickly for my taste. As the film progressed I did feel like their relationship was true and strong, however, there were far too many scenes of Ronnie running off angry pushing Will away. It got old. I hate it when bad communication and lack of logical thinking are the dilemmas.
Other than the natural Kinnear, the acting isn’t the best but it isn’t the worst either. Miley Cyrus had bad moments but also had some ok moments. I think with a little more practice she could become a little above adequate. She did a good job of shedding her Hannah Montana child image but then again I have never seen HANNAH MONTANA. I think Liam Hemsworth has a promising future and expect to see him blowing up everywhere. Bobby Coleman as the cute little kid was trying a bit too hard coming off more annoying than funny but I’m sure he will have his fans.
What we have here is a film split with two stories, the young love story and the father daughter relationship, and on both accounts I’ve seen other films do it better. It’s consciously hard for me sometimes to bash a nice, good clean film with positive relationships so if that sounds like your cup of tea go for it, but I recommend watching A WALK TO REMEMBER or the far more mature LIFE AS A HOUSE. They will give you those touching inspirational moments that I wished THE LAST SONG had.
Video: (Widescreen 2:35.1) A nice clean picture with beautiful ocean line shots.
Audio: (5.1 DTS-HD MA) Sound was clear with great music cues
Audio Commentary with Director Julie Anne Robinson and Co-Producer Jennifer Gibgot: A typical commentary, the two do a good job keeping thing moving. They chat about the actors, story and the making of the film but nothing overly interesting.
Alternate Opening Sequence (2:55): An extension of the short church fire opening.
Deleted Scenes (7:08): Five deleted scenes with optional commentary by the director. All our a bit redundant and unnecessary, so they were wisely cut.
Set Tour With Bobby Coleman (5:06): This is basically a bunch of short interviews with the crew including a producer, make-up artist, hair stylist, craft service, video assistant, grip and security.
Miley Cyrus Music Video “When I Look At You” (4:16): I genuinely really like this song.
The Making of the Music Video with Miley Cyrus (4:20): Director Adam Shankman who also produces the film and is a judge on So You Think You Can Dance leads us through a quick making of process of the video.