Last Face, The

Featured In Issue 225, March 2018

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
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Strong bloody violence including disturbing images of war atrocities, language, and brief sexuality
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Sean Penn
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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"The Last Face" is the story of a director (Theron) of an international aid agency in Africa who meets a relief-aid doctor (Bardem) in the middle of a political/social revolution, and together they face tough choices surrounding humanitarianism and life during civil unrest. (Gary Reber)

Special features include the featurette "Picturing The Last Face" (HD 10:51), upfront previews and an UltraViolet digital copy.

The 1080p AVC picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed digitally in Panavision® and sourced from a 2K master Digital Intermediate format. The stylization creates a very raw and realistic picture that elicits emotional feelings for the intolerable conditions of survival. The production design focuses on creating location realism, including large refugee encampments. The color palette is comprised of warmly rich hues and strong saturation. Colors at times pop with intensity. Fleshtones retain naturalness throughout under various lighting conditions from bright to extremely dim. Contrast is decent with solid black levels but shadows are often so dark as to not be well delineated. But then such dimness manages to appear as the realistic condition. Still, resolution suffers under such dim conditions. During brighter segment, which actually predominate, fine detail is revealed in facial feaures, hair, beards, clothing and the primitive rural encampment textures. The stylized lighting design is very dramatic. Overall, the imagery is sharp and well detailed, especially in well lit conditions such as the concert hall performance and offices of the United Nations, as well as daylight conditions in the rural areas. This is a strongly emotional picture that really captures the unimaginable plight of Africans faced with waring mayhem. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1-channel soundtrack delivers a strong Hans Zimmer score laced with African songs and rhythms, as well pop selections. This extends strongly to the surrounds, as does the violent mayhem caused by rocket and gun fire. Largely the sonics are outside environmental atmospherics and sound effects during the violent scenes. Panning of sonics often is effective and deep bass extension heightens the emotional tensions. Dialogue is strong and effective with generally good spatial integration. This is an effective, often holosonic®-sounding soundtrack is emotionally stimulating. (Gary Reber)