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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Last Metro
The Last Metro
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Review by Chris Hughes | posted February 23, 2000 | E-mail the Author
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Features: Widescreen Letterboxed - 1.66:1. Audio Tracks: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono). Production notes. Awards. Vintage Truffaut Trailer Collection.

The Movie:
The Last Metro isn't one of Truffaut's greatest but that hardly justifies Fox Lorber's dastardly treatment of this film on DVD.

The film concerns a Jewish theater director who, due to the Nazi occupation of northern France, is forced to go into hiding. His wife sets him up in the basement of the theater and does her best to cover his disappearance but when a pro Nazi critic begins to sniff around things become very tense. Meanwhile she begins to become emotionally distant from her husband and drawn to the lead actor in the theater's latest production.

Gerard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve put in passable if somewhat lackluster performances and Truffaut himself seems a little lost in his approach. The Last Metro doesn't have the zest and depth of such Truffaut classics as The 400 Blows and Stolen Kisses. Be that as it may, The Last Metro is still a highly enjoyable movie and a cut above most mainstream Hollywood fare.

The Picture:
This is another sub standard transfer from Fox Lorber. They seem to love cropping widescreen films and they've done that again here taking the original 1.85:1 aspect and making it 1.66:1 (non-anamorphic). The film elements look clean but the transfer is lacking in contrast and has a washed out look. Colors are decidedly under saturated and film has a soft, blurry look. As if that weren't enough, the English subtitles are printed on the film itself obscuring the picture, making them hard to read and denying viewers the option to turn them off.

The Sound:
The Last Metro includes a simple mono soundtrack and it's about what you'd expect. There's little his and no perceptible distortion but the general feel is flat and un-involving. There's a fairly severe limitation of dynamic range that fails to do justice to the delightful musical score.

The Extras:
Once again we find a lame Fox Lorber selection of extras. There are a few text screens with production credits, filmographies and awards and there's a collection of Truffaut trailers for about a dozen other films. These are the same trailers found on Fox Lorber's The 400 Blows (a much better disc by the way). The interactive menus are among the worst I've ever seen. Button selections are achieved with an amorphous translucent blotch.

Conclusion:
Even Truffaut fans are going to have a hard time justifying the purchase of this disc. The Last Metro is worth seeing but you may spend more time bemoaning the low quality of this disc than enjoying the film. I'm recommending that you skip it and hope that Fox gives up the rights to its Truffaut films to a better studio.
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