Part Richard Linklater's Before Sunset series, part Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and part jazzy love letter to DC. A serendipitous, down to earth, gritty slice of four people's lives. Sky's (Judi Blair) last night in Washington DC before moving to North Carolina with her boyfriend (Benton Greene) becomes a whirlwind of emotions when a chance meeting with an attractive stranger (Danny Gavigan) tests her will.
Written By: Harold Jackson III
Directed By: Harold Jackson III
Genre: Comedy / Drama
Sitting back in my chair about to watch Harold Jackson III's Last Night brought on a bunch of expectations for me. I'm not sure why, but visions of another version of "American Pie" kept bouncing around in my head. In the end my concerns were completely unfounded. No comparison can be made between the two films. Let's start by writing that Last Night is branded as a Comedy / Drama, but in reality there's not a lot of comedy happening, except maybe a few smile moments. Does this take away from the film at all? No. Not even a little. The 'Comedy' tag should be completely removed in my opinion with the focus kept where the film's strength lies. Drama is the ticket in my humble opinion.
For the most part, Last Night is a film that revolves around some adventurous spirits, human doubts and the decisions we all have to make. Roll this all up and what you have is a surprisingly entertaining 90 minutes of character driven self discovery. To say the script is well done would be an understatement. There's a great pacing here that moves the narrative onwards in a nice flow-y fashion. A few odd choices, (such as the spoiler styled way the story opens) may seem strange at first... but it really does add to the pacing of the film. It seems a lot of effort went into the fluidity and editing style trying to bring Last Night to life. It worked. The film is stuffed with apparent industry experience both in the planning stages and post execution.
The stylistic approach to the two main characters was a risky choice that could have brought the film to it's knees. The two distinctive camera styles following the lead actors was a very artsy decision. In my humble opinion it paid off... for the most part. I personally feel a slightly toned down version of the hand-held look could have been used to the same effect, as we followed "Sky" (Judi Blair) around on her adventure. Or, a slightly less traditional approach could have been taken with Benton Greene's character.
The actor portrayals in Last Night were all done very well. I can't for the life of me think of anything coming off as really cheesy. The cheese factor is an element I've come to expect in Indie films but it's not present here. The leads all pulled off their respective roles in a near flawless fashion. What's even more surprising was that the supporting characters did as well. The cast of Last Night have done a fantastic job and should all be patting themselves on the back.
Overall this was a really great film! Once again proving that the gap between Independent and Big-Wig Hollywood is shrinking more and more each day. I would love to get a hard copy of Last Night when it becomes available and I would recommend it to anyone else who loves entertaining films. I also have to say that Harold Jackson has one hell of a gift and I can't wait to see what his future holds.
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