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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Last Supper
The Last Supper
Columbia/Tri-Star // R // January 7, 2003
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted January 8, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

A very dark comedy from director Stacy Title, "The Last Supper" takes place in a rural area and revolves around a small group of graduate students - Jude (Cameron Diaz), Paulie (Annabeth Gish), Luke (Courtney B. Vance), Marc (Jonathan Penner), and Pete (Ron Eldard) - who live together. One night, they invite in an ex-Marine (Bill Paxton) who has given one of them a ride home after their car broke down. As they sit down to dinner, things start to fall apart. Zack (Paxton) shows himself to be a racist and violent, threatening them and breaking the arm of one. Before things go any further, one of the roommates kill Zack and he ends up buried in the backyard, right under the tomato plants.

The students decide that maybe they did the right thing in ridding the world of this violent, hateful person. They then set out to look for others to invite to dinner (Charles Durning, Jason Alexander and Mark Harmon, among others) who offer hateful views and - one by one - dispose of them. As the backyard gets more populated, the increasing amount of tomatoes begins to ripen, while the situation begins to spin out of control, especially once a local sheriff (Nora Dunn) stumbles onto the case.

It's been a few years since I've last seen "The Last Supper" and honestly, it didn't stand up quite as well the second time around. I still like several of the performances, especially Cameron Diaz, Courtney B. Vance and Ron Eldard. Although the rather short film never develops all the characters too strongly, I still liked the way that the characters find themselves falling apart under the stress of potentially being caught and the distrust that begins to brew in the house.

Still, while some of the aspects/ideas of the film are interesting - how the students turn towards the kind of darkness they thought they were trying to get rid of - some issues still turn up. The scenes where the students dispatch person after person start to get repetitive in the way they are presented and, as a result, the middle gets a little slow at times. With how crowded the backyard gets, it also becomes tough to believe that these twenty-somethings wouldn't be caught awfully quickly.

Overall, I still think this 1995 film is a fine feature-length debut for Stacy Title. While she isn't able to carry the film over every flaw in the screenplay, the performances are good and there are some memorable lines of dialogue.


The DVD

VIDEO: "The Last Supper" is presented by Columbia/Tristar is 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The picture quality is generally average throughout the movie - while no major flaws call attention to themselves, the picture never looks particularly noteworthy in any way, either. Sharpness and detail are respectable, as the picture looks crisp and clear, although fine detail is never really present.

The picture doesn't contain any major flaws, but does show some minor ones. Light instances of edge enhancement are present on a few occasions, while some traces of pixelation occasionally pop up. Print flaws are visible at times - a speckle here, a mark there - but they're never very distracting. The film's color palette, which is generally warm and bright, looked accurately rendered, with no concerns.

SOUND: "The Last Supper" is presented in Dolby 2.0 by Columbia/Tristar. Although this is almost purely a dialogue-driven soundtrack, the film's great choice of music does sound quite good, even if not in 5.1.

EXTRAS: Trailers for "As Good As It Gets" and "Charlie's Angels".

Final Thoughts: "The Last Supper" could have tightened its focus and filled out the characters a bit more. Again, it didn't work as well for me now as it did when I first saw it, but I still find a lot to like about the film, including a few of the performances. Certainly not for everyone, but worth considering as a rental.

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