Last Christmas Blu-ray Review

Kate is a young woman subscribed to bad decisions. Working as an elf in a year-round Christmas store is not good for the wannabe singer. However, she meets Tom there. Her life takes a new turn. For Kate, it seems too good to be true. Ralph Potts reviews the Blu-ray release of Last Christmas from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

89

Details:

Studio and Year: Universal – 2019
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 102 minutes
Genre: Romance/Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.00:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, Spanish DTS-HD HR 7.1, French DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Emma Thompson
Directed by: Paul Feig
Music by: Theodore Shapiro
Written by: Emma Thompson, Greg Wise
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: February 4, 2020

“Sometimes You’ve Just Gotta Have Faith”

Synopsis:

“Kate is a young woman subscribed to bad decisions. Working as an elf in a year-round Christmas store is not good for the wannabe singer. However, she meets Tom there. Her life takes a new turn. For Kate, it seems too good to be true.” – Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

My Take:

Last Christmas is a romantic comedy inspired by the music of George Michael. Emilia Clarke stars as Kate, who works as an elf at a year-round holiday shop. Kate faces an endless streak of bad luck and poor decision-making until she meets Tom (Henry Golding), a kind-hearted man with a mysterious past who challenges her cynical world view. It seems like nothing can keep this mismatched couple together, but sometimes you gotta listen to your heart… and you gotta have faith.

Co-written by Emma Thompson, who also stars in the film and, directed by Paul Feig Last Christmas is a holiday themed rom com that features a bland tale about a jaded millennial that seems to be in search of something. The first 45 minutes of the movie very little happens other than introductions to the film’s characters and their relationships which quite frankly all seem forced. This includes the primary one between Tom and Kate. Talk about zero chemistry, there are no sparks between Emilia Clark and Henry Golding.

The storyline plods along making failed attempts to interject drama, mystery and humor. Although, I did find the characters that made up the homeless people at the shelter where Kate, to be the film’s best. The scene where they audition to participate in the Christmas fundraiser for the shelter is a hoot. The final act features a twist aimed solely at eliciting the “awwww” factor but, in reality simply plays down to the audience rather than giving us a romantic comedy with substance. I appreciated the fact that the film’s story was inspired by and featured the music of George Michael. It’s too bad that it didn’t come wrapped in a better package. Total swing and miss…

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for language and sexual content.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialog Reproduction: 
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA

 

Video: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 

  • Resolution/Clarity: 
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail: 
  • Color Reproduction: 
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression: 

 

Last Christmas comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound.

This is pleasing video presentation that boasts plenty of refinement, stable contrast, deeply saturated colors, and strong dimension. Blacks are punchy and stand out when onscreen with mixed content. Visual perspective in low lighting and darkened areas is estimable. The combination gives dark scenes appreciable depth. Images are boldly colorful, film like and perfectly suited for the source material.

The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has good dynamic range, detail rich clarity and discernible channel separation which enable the detection of subtle nuance within the recording. Dialog is firmly planted in the center channel which clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and tonal balance within the front soundstage. Low frequency effects aren’t noteworthy but the subwoofer works in tandem with the rest of the system to appropriately convey the mid bass associated with the soundtrack.

Bonus Features:

  • Alternate Ending/Opening
  • Blooper Reel
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Last Christmas Full Performance
  • Feature Commentary with Paul Feig
  • Feature Commentary with Paul Feig and Emma Thomspon
    10 Featurettes:

    1. Director in Vision
    2. It’s All So Cold
    3. Try Not to Laugh
    4. A Legacy Reveled
    5. Pure Golding
    6. Emilia Recording Session
    7. Love Letter to London
    8. Santa and Her Elf
    9. 12 Days of Production
    10. Paul Feig Takes Over the Tram
  • DVD
  • Digital Copy

Final Thoughts:

Last Christmas is an uninspired and flavorless holiday themed romantic comedy that won’t pass muster with discerning fans of the genre. It comes to Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition audio/video and a fan friendly supplemental package. Last Christmas is more or less Lifetime or Hallmark channel TV fodder for those that can get by with a weak tea of a romantic comedy that has two attractive leads. It does look great on Blu-ray so, on date night when there is little else available, a rental might work.

 

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman color calibration software and Portrait Displays C6 HDR2000 colorimeter from Portrait.com)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/Roomie Remote V6 Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems