PIC of the Week – Last Flag Flying
Article series by Ray Schillaci
Last week was scarce on worthy PICs, but this week is just the opposite with Professor Marston & The Wonder Women, The Square (2017), and Criterion’s release of Kameradschaft. But, it is Lionsgate roaring loud with their fine Blu of Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying. Fans of great ’70s filmmaking can rejoice with this “unofficial” sequel to Darryl Ponicsan’s novel, and the Hal Ashby/Robert Towne film, The Last Detail, starring Jack Nicholson, Randy Quaid, and Otis Young. That 1973 film gave us the tale of two surly MPs that were to escort a young man to the brig, but instead they decide to show him one last hurrah before doing his jail time. Booze, hookers, drugs, and salty sailor language runs amok.
But, the film was far from a low-brow comedy. Instead, we received an unforgettable character study, a poignant drama with sporadic humor, and scatological dialogue the likes of which audiences had ever seen back then. We also had a rising star in Jack Nicholson who seemed to be tailor-made for the foul mouthed Buddusky.
Rewatching The Last Detail is not a requirement for seeing writer/director Richard Linklater’s take on Ponicsan’s new novel, Last Flag Flying, which he co-wrote with Linklater, but it doesn’t hurt either. Once you watch Ashby’s film, the characters in Linklater’s film are as comfortable as an old favorite jacket. And damn, if they didn’t hit pay dirt with the casting. This time around we have Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Steve Carell (The 40 Year-Old Virgin) and Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix) as our hapless heroes looking at the wars and the political leaders who led them in an all new light since doing their tours of duty.
This has to be one of the best movies of 2017. Linklater and cast were robbed of Oscar nominations. The film is flat-out funny, introspective, heart wrenching, and brutally honest. It’s been a while since my pal Paul Preston of TheMovieGuys.net and I agreed on a film, but this one had us both rise up and cheer for everyone involved in bringing together this classy production. And just let me say, Cranston is amazing as the part Nicholson made so famous, Buddusky.
Lionsgate delivers a fine 1080P picture with its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Audio is a respectable DTS-HD Master 5.1. Also included, four well-put together special features and an abundance of trailers.
¥ An Expected Journey: Making Last Flag
¥ Over 9 minutes of bloopers and outtakes
¥ Three deleted scenes
¥ Veterans Day – filming a powerful scene of our boys coming home in coffins on Veterans Day
Lowest price – Walmart $18.00