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The Last Time More at IMDbPro »

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41 out of 57 people found the following review useful:

It doesn't know what it wants to be

6/10
Author: mj_882 from United Kingdom
20 February 2007

I had the privilege of watching this film a few minutes ago. Since my opinion is still fresh and wouldn't be influenced by anything else at this very moment (at least not dramatically), I thought I'd share my thoughts.

Yes, my summary is "It doesn't know what it wants to be", and that is it's main flaw. Director, Michael Caleo, was brave enough to incorporate numerous themes and genres into this confused work. What starts off to be your average two lead comedy, wanders off into the thriller territory, and attempts to simultaneously touch upon the Rom-Com genre. I say Caleo was brave, because he took a risk where the odds were against him. He attempted something that could have easily failed, he tried to defy the conventions of your average Comedy/Drama by reinforcing (forcing, even) innovation.

Was it a complete failure? I wouldn't say so. I've been rather generous with my '6' rating, but there were a few redeeming qualities about it. The most overt quality was mainly Michael Keaton's on screen presence. His charisma was present, as always, and quirky demeanour was reminiscent of his pre 90s career. As for the rest of the cast, Brendan Fraser and Amber Valletta were tolerable, but nothing amazing.

The twist that unravels as the conclusion was lowbrow and felt rushed. In fact, a lot of the dialogue felt rushed. There seemed to be a lot of reliance on foul language to encapsulate it's comedic elements that it attempted to implement.

I'd like to sum this up by saying that if you aren't a Michael Keaton or Brendan Fraser fan, you might find it hard to be engaged, because as a movie on it's own, it isn't very good. However, it isn't all bad, Caleo's attempt is worth having a look at. The Last Time is an unconventional Dramedy (sort of) that didn't quite achieve what it wanted to.

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24 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Incredibly underestimated drama thriller

10/10
Author: LaserLounge from Wil, Switzerland
24 August 2007

I usually agree pretty much with the IMDb-Ratings but in this case I find it really amazing that it only gets 6.3 points (08/07). Okay, sometimes when you don't expect too much (because of poor ratings you get surprised and tend to overrate it. I give it a perfect ten anyway. Why? This is a wonderfully drafted/crafted drama thriller with excellent acting (especially Michael Keaton). The twists are fantastic and so are the dialogue. (I envy the screenwriter and will keep track of the director's career, too!) It delivers a great insight into the everyday life of an (unsuccessful) salesman. If you loved Wall Street and have a soft spot for B movies, you will like this one even more than Wall Street. Watch it!

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24 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

A good film. An incredible Keaton.

Author: aprovost-2 from United States
12 July 2007

Before reviewing this film, let me state that I don't think there's another actor who can create as much interest and tension as Michael Keaton. I often wonder how different the career of this beyond-brilliant actor would be if he had played the second Batman. Anyway, The Last Time is Michael's film. He looks great, he's thin, he's complex and he's outwardly cold. Which makes you wonder why he would put up with so many of Brendan Fraser's flaws, even if it meant getting to romance BF's beautiful wife, Amber Valletta. The story was for the most part compelling, though I wasn't totally comfortable with not knowing what the corporation actually made (Was I supposed to?) and why Daniel Stern was so hilariously freaked out. Near the end,the film took an emotional dip which led one to guess the ending before one should. Despite many flaws in logic, I think this was a fascinating film and would recommend it to anyone. My main complaint is what it always is: the swearing. Not because I don't like swearing, but it's always those false Hollywood-type vulgarities that everyone uses in the film, but very few men employ in real life. How do they come up with these sexual-scatological-homoerotic/phobic and ultimately silly curses. Try using any one of them at a business office, and you'd be out the door or on the carpet. Good film. Good performances. However, Michael Keaton, deserves to be in much more important films.

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29 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

Fluctuates more than my Internet Connection...

5/10
Author: aisiop from Greece
12 October 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I just watched this potential disaster of a movie (comercially at least) in Athens, Greece. My feelings are mixed as I can never slam a Michael Keaton movie.

Lets me elaborate on what you may not like first.

1) If you've read the synopsis on the IMDb site, you've basically seen three quarters of the film. And if you thought this would enhance character development, guess again. It doesn't happen...

2) Frasier, on most parts, reminded me of Hayden's attitude on Attack of the Clones (with a spice of the Three Stooges all rolled into one), a whinny stupid 5-year old.

3) The use of the 'F' word (and I don't mean 'Freedom'). I must have heard it about 150 times in less than 100 minutes (you figure out the ratio).

4) The whole film tries to be interesting by incorporating ideas that where successful elsewhere (flashbacks, conspiracy theories etc) but fails to maintain focus on any of those tricks. Alas, the fluctuation is present every 2 to 3 minutes. An overly-simplistic plot may be an excuse for the directors efforts, but not for the audiences' $$$...

5) There is too much evidence on what's going to take place at the end of the movie. It may not be entirely predictable, but if you take a closer look at what could really be going on, you'd see how this one ends, halfway through the movie.

True, this was never going to be a Miami Vice in terms of hype or action sequences but it does have some plus points...

1) Keaton is good. Not top notch mind you, but he delivered as expected. He portrayed his character in a believable fashion for most part of the film and proved once again that he can still be the difference between an average movie and a movie that sucked... Unfortunately the same cannot be said about the rest of the cast...

2) Bitter ending. It doesn't try to sell the extra ticket by miraculously turning things around (like 'Click' did so infuriatingly, in an otherwise excellent showing). In other words, the film does not really have any 'sci-fi' connections but gives you a dry, directly-from-life ending which is so often missed in Hollywood...

3) You may find yourself feeling for the lead (Keaton) a little: once his true character is revealed, you know he would somehow get the shorter end of the stick...

To sum it up: Go see it if you're a Keaton fan... Otherwise...

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22 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Excellent FILM

10/10
Author: Jessie James from Dallas, TX
18 July 2007

So many of Hollywood's most popular movies have become so painfully formulaic that 15 minutes into the thing, you can figure out who wins the girl, who loses his life and who gets what he deserves. This movie starts out that way but the ending caught me by surprise. I first saw this movie one week ago and as the days have passed, I continue to think about the ending and the story line. It's *that* good a movie.

It's also a thinking person's movie. Nothing explodes and no one's head rolls down a staircase and there's no blood and gore, but my oh my, is it a compelling story.

There are a lot of messages you can take away from this movie but the one that rings most true to me is a quote I heard many years ago from William Barclay (Bible scholar). He said that evil seeks to breech our spiritual fortress in our weakest places and in our strongest places and that we should be vigilant to guard those two "low spots." The other reason I loved this movie is it's about "every man" and each plot and sub-plot is very believable and has no discernible plot holes (as so many movies do). It's very well-written, well-acted and deliciously interesting. You may want to watch it twice, to make sure you miss nothing.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

The salesman

7/10
Author: jotix100 from New York
31 May 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's easy to dismiss "The Last Time" because like most people that have commented about it keep comparing it to David Mamet's "Glengarry Glen Ross", an adaptation of his play directed by James Foley. While this film presents a different situation, basically, it is easy to see why Michael Caleo's film will be likened to the other one. In fact, Mr. Caleo made his name writing for television. His claim to fame is tied to the success of "The Sopranos", for which he contributed.

We are introduced to the sales department of what might be a corporation involved in computer systems, although nothing is made clear. The star salesman is Ted, a man with a filthy mouth and an aggressive attitude toward his prospective customers. He totally dominates the work force because he is a successful salesman who generates a lot of revenue for his company.

In spite of his exterior, Ted is a lonely guy. We see him getting to his huge loft apartment, a sterile atmosphere. One thing he can't be blamed for is the amount of books in the place; he is a big question mark with no apparent relationship at the moment. Ted is given the task of breaking in a new salesman from Ohio, Jamie, who has been hired based on his previous performance.

Ted obviously hates the assignment. There is no love lost between the men. Ted realizes Jamie doesn't have what it takes to make in New York, a tough territory, indeed. When Ted meets Belisa, Jamie's fiancé, he sees a gorgeous creature ready for the attention his groom to be doesn't give her. The two embark into a dangerous affair that could only lead to trouble, as we watch it play out.

In the process, we discover that Ted was a professor of literature at Northwestern. He has turned into sales from the world of academia, quite a change for him, or anyone for that matter. Ted, in a way, sees Jamie as the person he is not. In fact, that is the reason he goes after Belisa. Having conquered her, he has nothing else to prove.

The whole reason for watching "The Last Time" is its star, Michael Keaton. He runs away with the film. Model, turned actress, Amber Valletta, is a beautiful woman. She is believable as Belisa. As the addled salesman from Ohio, Brendan Fraser convinces us, but his presence can be irritating.

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11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining

Author: drjsway from United States
2 September 2007

Now, this is a movie with a ton of flaws, I won't deny that but I'm not going to as nit-picky as some of the users here. Some people seem to enjoy movies but then later find flaws or plot holes or question some of the believability of scenes, then later decide they didn't like it even though they enjoyed the movie when they saw it, and throughout the course of 100 minutes, they were thoroughly entertained. Michael Keaton in this movie is such an unpredictable fascinating character that nobody can say they were bored. They may not think the performance is believable as a real person, but it wasn't boring.

I'm recommending this movie because I was entertained, simple as that. There was many problems I had throughout the film that were all solved by the end, but the ending created more problems if I took the time to think about it. But taking the time to think about it after the fact shouldn't affect my emotional response I had when the credits were rolling.

People blast movies like Sixth Sense for the same reason. By the twist ending, everybody in the audience were shocked. Their minds were reeling. They were entertained. Then, driving home, they rethink the movie with knowledge of the twist, and find all sorts of plot holes. Then they decide they hate the movie.

If you are entertained during the course of the movie, that's all that matters. Don't analyze everything and try to find problems.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

The closer you look...

9/10
Author: litpics from United States
17 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

~Possible Spoilers herein~

The Last Time represents a dramatic character reversal, inevitably a character study, as opposed to just another independent feature.

From the get-go, you don't really like Keaton's (Ted), the cocky, sarcastic, ambitious, and, worst of all, always right salesman. He knows all about his trade; what he's doing, and how he's doing it. Each moment we spend with him, however, we come to understand his nature. We dig to find his personal flaws, that which built the man portrayed before us.

In the opposite, we have Fraser (Jaime), a green salesman who was big news in his small town, then comes the big city. We've seen this formula before, true, but Brendan has always been able to lose the veracity of himself in his character. You could compare this to the way he interviews, and his commentary on The Mummy DVD. In fact, you tend to feel sorry for him in this particular role.

Finally, you have Valletta (Belisa), a housewife in complete support of her husband, going so far as to move to the big city with him so he may accomplish dreams so grand (hopes to start a family notwithstanding).

This is all well and fine, but think when you watch of how you feel toward them in the beginning versus how you end up feeling about them.

Ted turns out to be a very brilliant, but troubled, individual who's sole purpose in this job is not to crush others but actually to make as much money as possible. He was a professor, you see, highly successful at it due to his intelligence, but not altogether wealthy (a reason his wife decided to up and leave him). This chain of events propelled our man to move to the big city and prove his worth in this world. He attacks the forefront of sales under the disguise of confidence, but the soul of pain. Taking what he wants seems a primary motive, at first, until he meets Belisa, who renews in him that sense of purity and living. Though they begin and live an affair throughout, it would seem as true love. Ted, finally, is able to open up to someone and give his personality, not that guise that has guided him to her.

Which brings us to Belisa, who fronts the lie of a happy housewife. Her Jaime is focused on doing his best, but is failing miserably. So, his work stalks him in his personal life, hitting her full swing with the loss of love, and a renewed seek of interest. Enter Ted, that sure-of-himself professional who takes charge where needed. Thus, we begin the affair.

Back to Jaime, who we define as weak and afraid throughout. Someone, like I said before, we feel sorry for from the beginning primarily because we have all been there (starting out and not altogether sure of how). His lack of interest in his wife causes her to run to the arms of another man, and it seeps through as he knows she's going behind his back, but never to whom. He finds a fatherly figure in Ted, think of a son attempting all he can to win his father's respect, but never learned enough to do so. With the guilt of the affair, Ted feels sorry for the young man, and so assists him in any way possible.

This, again, is a fairly typical formula, but as I said, each character takes a complete 180 near the end.

We find Ted a poet by heart, and actually feel sorry for what happens to him. We find Jaime a conniving opportunist who knows full well how to manipulate others, and Belisa becomes the embodiment of (if this were a spy novel) a femme fatal.

I will not to spoil how this comes to light, as not to be the purpose of this review.

My intent is to give potential viewers a fair realization of what The Last Time is truly about, not what the surface will have you believe. If you walk into this thinking the overall production will be spectacular, disappointment will ensue. The music is not very well synthesized, the cinematography is average at best (but gets the point across), and the dialogue could've used a bit of strengthening.

However, the direction is remarkable, the characters believable and full circle, and the story is superb in terms of originality. Keaton and Fraser deliver Ted and Jaime in such a way that you forget they are acting after only a bit of time (in my opinion, Keaton begins in character and never ends, whereas Fraser had moments of similarity to his other works {although quite remarkable, nonetheless}), while Valletta gives a rich performance.

And, as I preemptively mentioned, all of these characters (including the supporting players {Daniel Stern especially}) oppose their first impression, which is how life really works this day in age. Actions govern personality, and vice versa.

Rent this when you are ready to watch a character study, along with clever storytelling, not when you want to see overly dramatic play upon your TV screen. For that, I recommend you start watching Lifetime or a good percentage of movie channel (HBO, Showtime, etc) original series.

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17 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Thought provoking

6/10
Author: swicksall from United States
13 July 2007

I did not think that this movie totally sucked. It was a thought provoking reflection of American culture and values. It causes one to wonder how far another human being will go to make money and how easily non-materialistic individuals in a capitalistically oriented culture can be duped by sharks that will rip them to shreds like defenseless bait. One weakness of the film was its depiction of women as greedy piranhas that only seek nourishment from money not love. There were no non-materialistic female characters in the film to balance out this theme resulting in a rather over-generalized characterization of women. If one can get past this problem, the premise that those obsessed with making money will go to unspeakable, evil lengths to attempt to satisfy their insatiable greed is an interesting theme to consider. If you rent the DVD expect to be entertained, but not completely enthralled.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

It's like when Mom would make dinner out of the leftovers from the last three nights

4/10
Author: MBunge from Waterloo, Iowa
3 October 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film is what you get when everyone has a different idea about what sort of movie they're making. Writer/director Michael Caleo thought he was making some sort of hip, clever drama like The Usual Suspects. Michael Keaton and Daniel Stern thought they were doing a comedy. Brendan Fraser apparently believed he was playing in some sort of angst-filled indy flick and Amber Valletta appears to have been doing some sort of tragic romance. Those disparate intentions slide into each other and produce a film that makes no sense and becomes more and more unintentionally hilarious as it tries to pretend that it does.

Ted (Michael Keaton) is the top salesman at a computer technology company in New York City. He's a living, breathing Yosemite Sam, so angry at everything and everyone in the world that steam is practically coming out of his ears. His pathetic boss (Daniel Stern) has teamed Ted up with Jaime (Brendan Fraser), the new salesman on staff. Jaime is fresh into town from Ohio and is the bright and chipper opposite of Ted. At first, Ted is simply disgusted with Jaime's happiness and can-do attitude, but that changes after he meets Jaime's fiancé Belisa (Amber Valletta). Ted and Belisa quickly fall in lust, leading to Ted trying to help Jaime due to both guilt and to keep him busy so Ted can have Belisa all to himself. But as Jaime's failures continue, he turns into an ever surlier version of Ted. And as Ted's own sales falter because he's obsessed with Belisa, the company starts to collapse around him. Then there's a big twist at the end which even the dimmest bulb will have halfway figured out before the movie is halfway over. You'll only figure out about 50% of the twist, though, because it's just so stupid. It's like a 14 year old's notion of a cunning plan.

The best thing about The Last Time is that the acting is good, but only in spurts. When he gets his chance, Keaton again demonstrates he's one of the great angry/funny ranters of his age. Stern is also good when he's on screen as the harried, sloganeering sales manager who always feels like he's drowning in quicksand. Valetta is suitably appealing as an object of desire and Fraser is almost as entertaining as Keaston when Jaime is allowed to just be funny.

The worst thing about The Last Time is that writer/director Caleo understands his own script about as well as a jellyfish understands algebra. There are parts of this movie that are straight comedy, parts that are serious drama, parts that as edgy, parts that are mushy, parts that are over-the-top ridiculous and about 7 different other stuff. Caleo, quite bizarrely, treats all of it exactly the same. This isn't a serious movie with funny bits, it's not a comedy with dark moments and it's not goofy film that gets a little outrageous. It tries to be all of those things equally to laughably lame effect. It'll be things like an overtly humorous scene that has starkly dramatic music playing on the soundtrack at the same time or something as insane as Ted and Belisa having sex on the same bed where Jaime is passed out drunk being treated like a garden variety affair. It creates this overriding sense of unreality that prevents you from enjoying any part of the movie that much.

Its little eruptions of comedy from Keaton and Stern, along with Amber Valetta going topless, prevent The Last Time from being completely unwatchable. There's a clunky fakeness to the whole film, though, that stops it from being that entertaining. You don't need to see this film but you won't end up hating yourself if you do.

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