HOME THEATER & SOUND -- DVD Review



The Last
Chapter


October 2005

Reviewed by:
Vince Hanada

Format: DVD

(all ratings out of 5):
Overall Enjoyment

***1/2


Picture Quality

**1/2

Packaged Extras
**

Sound Quality
**
. .
Starring: Michael Ironside, Roy Dupuis, Marina Orsini, Dan Bigras, Michel Forget

Directed by: Richard Roy

Original Broadcast Date: 2002-2003
DVD Release: 2005
Released by: BFS Video

Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
Letterbox

The Last Chapter is a Canadian-made miniseries that originally aired on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) TV network -- the first six episodes in 2002 and the final six episodes in 2003. Michael Ironside stars as Bob Durelle, a member of the Devil’s Riders motorcycle gang, a small group that controls the illegal drug trade in Ontario.

Durelle has bigger ambitions, and when the rival Canada-wide Triple Sixers motorcycle gang wants to expand operations into Ontario, Durelle wants to join them rather than have the Devil’s Riders fight them. When a major international drug lord comes to Montreal, Durelle sees an opportunity to gain favor with the Triple Sixers and kills him. With that hit, the Triple Sixers make him the head of the Ontario chapter. As with any merger, some members are opposed to it. The main opposition to the merger is Durelle’s best friend, Ross Desbiens (Roy Dupuis). Durelle keeps his buddy in check by leaving control of the drug trade in certain areas of Ontario with the Devil’s Riders. This doesn’t please his new friends with the Triple Sixers. Throughout the series, we see loyalties change, friends become enemies, and gang members killed as Durelle loses control.

The story is essentially about the relationship between Durelle and Desbiens; Ironside and Dupuis are strong in their roles. However, I think the strongest acting performance is by Michel Forget in the role of Bill Guenette, a police officer who’s an expert on Canada’s motorcycle gangs. His performance is subtle yet convincing as Guenette tries to keep the biker gangs in check. Another great performance is by Dan Bigras as Roots, the head of the Triple Sixers in the province of Quebec. Bigras plays Roots as a loose cannon who doesn’t trust Bob Durelle from the start.

The soundtrack is disappointing, recorded in Dolby 2.0 only. With only two channels, I had to rely on my receiver’s Dolby Pro Logic circuitry and tweak the levels so that I could understand the dialogue, which can be difficult to follow at times. Except when the characters speak French, there aren’t any subtitles to help follow the dialogue. The music on the soundtrack is well recorded, however.

The video transfer is also disappointing. It is letterboxed widescreen as opposed to anamorphic widescreen, which results in fewer lines of resolution. I don’t notice any loss of quality on my 32" CRT TV, but on my front projector, the lack of resolution results in a soft picture.

The extras on The Last Chapter DVD are scattered throughout all four discs. They consist of a "making of" featurette, cast and crew biographies, and deleted scenes. The deleted scenes are well worth watching because they round out the plot.

Although lacking the slick production values of an American-made series, The Last Chapter is worth watching for the engrossing story development and rich characters.

 


PART OF THE SOUNDSTAGE NETWORK -- www.soundstagenetwork.com

All contents copyright Schneider Publishing Inc., all rights reserved.
Any reproduction, without permission, is prohibited.

HomeTheaterSound.com is part of the SoundStage! Network.
A world of websites and publications for audio, video, music and movie enthusiasts.