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Last Days (R)

Release Date: July 22nd, 2005 (NYC-Landmark Sunshine Cinema and AMC Empire 25) by Picturehouse.
The Cast: Michael Pitt,Lukas Haas,Asia Argento,Scott Green.
Directed by Gus Van Sant

BASIC PREMISE: Blake (Pitt) a washed-out, troubled rock star spends his last few days in and around a deserted house with his friends. Loosely based on the life of Kurt Cobain.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: This is not really a film in the strictest sense of the word. It has no plot or character development. It is simple an experience; a perspective inside the mind of a very troubled man. For the average viewer, this makes the film very difficult to sit through. There are many scenes when nothing happens--and then there are more similar scenes. Nothing, though, is in a way something because even though Blake is just urinating, like in the first scene, that is technically an action. However, it is a very uninteresting action just like many others throughout the film. What makes matters worse is the very slow pacing. There is one very irritating scene when two characters talk while one is driving, but the camera shows the reflection of the trees and the sky on the windshield---right on the character's faces! This scene drags for at least 5 minutes. Gus Van Sant has done movies without a plot in the past, such as the film Gerry. At least Gerry had beautiful scenery for the eyes to enjoy. This is just an irritating film that has nothing engaging or shocking about it. There is a hint of an entertaining plot when two teenager from a Mormon church visit Blake, but those scenes are far and few. Also, the scenes jump back and forth in time every now and then, just to add to the confusion. What ultimately remains is Michael Pitt's somewhat decent acting as Blake and his long hair does make him resemble Kurt Cobain. Also, the cinematography is quite superb, with many interesting angles. The cinematic score is also quite off-beat and interesting, but it is not enough to call this film entertaining.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Although very little happens in this film, there are some scenes that have though-provoking images especially in the final scene. With a tremendous amount of patience, the car scene with the reflections of the trees and the sky can be symbolically interpreted in many ways. But there is not much else to think about--just to simply experience by watching and listening.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: No plot, no character development, and minimal dialogue.


THE BOTTOM LINE: A boring film that is by no means groundbreaking or insightful. It only works as a pointless exercise in capturing the mental frame of a troubled rock star.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: VHS/DVD---as long as you watch it alone!

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