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The Last Song (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)) - Blu-ray / adaptation DVD / drama DVD review
THE LAST SONG (TWO-DISC BLU-RAY / DVD COMBO) Rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 4 stars
Featuring: Miley Cyrus, Greg Kinnear, Liam Hemsworth, Bobby Coleman, Kelly Preston
Director: Julie Anne Robinson Studio: Touchstone Pictures
DVD release: 17 August 2010 Runtime: 107 min. (2 discs)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, Blu-ray
DVD features: 1080p HD, Aspect ratio 2.35:1, Audio tracks (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 - English; Dolby Digital 5.1 - French), Subtitles (English SDH, French, Spanish), Set Tour with Bobby Coleman, Making-of the music video "When I Look At You" with Miley Cyrus, Miley Cyrus music video: "When I Look At You," Alternate opening sequence: The Church Fire (w/ optional commentary by director), Deleted scenes (w/ optional commentary by director), Audio Commentary (director Julie Anne Robinson, co-producer Jennifer Gibgot)

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth in *The Last Song (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)*The movie The Last Song is a first for author Nicholas Sparks: he was approached to write the screenplay before the novel. So, unlike his previous novels-turned-movies, the novel The Last Song was published in September 2009, with the movie released at the end of March in 2010. I had read the book prior to seeing the movie and was pleased to see that Sparks did an excellent job maintaining the integrity of the story with the movie.

Newly graduated seventeen-year-old Veronica "Ronnie" Miller (Miley Cyrus) and her brother, Jonah (Bobby Coleman), are taken from New York City to Georgia to spend the summer with their father, Steve (Greg Kinnear). Due to a messy divorce three years previous, Ronnie has been estranged from her father and is openly antagonistic and rebellious when their mother, Kim (Kelly Preston), drops them off at his house. Ronnie was once a piano prodigy, playing at Carnegie Hall when she was very young, with her musician father as her teacher and mentor. After the divorce, Ronnie stopped playing piano and has spurned all contact with her father.

Ronnie doesn't want to spend time near her father, so she wanders down the beach. She meets handsome Will Blakelee (Liam Hemsworth) and initially brushes him aside, but the two become close when Ronnie finds a loggerhead turtle nest and sets out to protect it; Will helps out. The two eventually fall in love, and Ronnie slowly reestablishes contact and a relationship with her father again. When events turn tragic, Ronnie must learn about true love and forgiveness.

The Last Song is a breakout film for Miley Cyrus, the Disney teen idol of Hannah Montana fame. She does an admirable job and is quite believable as Ronnie; her angst and rebellion don't even feel like acting when you watch it on the screen. The storyline is an excellent combination of humor and drama, the humor especially well-played by Bobby Coleman (who is perfect for his role as well).

The one plot point from the book that is not well explained in the movie is the reason behind Ronnie's estrangement from her father and her decision to quit playing piano. Adults will likely infer that it is due to the divorce, but the book does a far better job at setting up the back story for this event and making it much more understandable. When I asked my pre-teens why they thought Ronnie was so angry at her father, they couldn't come up with a reason.

Even though the movie is rated PG, the themes are fairly mature and probably won't appeal to or be appropriate for younger children - although they will probably want to see it due to the Miley Cyrus appeal. The Blu-ray quality is fantastic; the Georgia scenery is a major part of the storyline and the Blu-Ray places the viewer right in the middle of the action. The scenes where the turtles hatch are amazing to watch with this format.

Overall, The Last Song is a decent Nicholas Sparks movie. Fans of his books and movies know what they are in for: a little romance, some tears, lots of sentimentality. It's not high art, but it's entertainment and enjoyable for the right audience.
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reviewed by Melissa Parcel
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