After the departure of Rube Sofer, a new head reaper named Cameron Kane takes over. He's a slick businessman who couldn't care less about helping the newly dead. Chaos ensues and brings out... See full summary »
Meet Georgia Lass (who prefers to be called George). She is a young Seattle college dropout who is unhappy with life. She is always at odds with her mom, Joy. One day coming back from her ... See full summary »
60's Psychedelic Counterculture clash during the "Summer of Love," when an aspiring hippie Afro-Jew from New York dupes the son of a Swedish dairy farmer into smuggling illegal margarine into butter rich Wisconsin.
Jaye Tyler is a loner living in Niagara Falls who, after graduating college, has fallen into a care-free comfortable rut living in a trailer park and working as a retail clerk in the Falls ... See full summary »
A high-school girl's first sexual experience is with another girl, and, along with her first broken heart, she must deal with her mother's reaction to her revelation that she is a lesbian and with ostracism at school.
After the departure of Rube Sofer, a new head reaper named Cameron Kane takes over. He's a slick businessman who couldn't care less about helping the newly dead. Chaos ensues and brings out the worst in Daisy and Mason who begin drinking anew. George and Reggie re-connect for the first time when George reaps a new friend of Reggie's. Written by
Unbiased (as much as possible) Review Without Spoilers
First of all, regardless what you think of the movie, if you haven't yet gotten both seasons of the series on DVD, by all means, get your copies of those as soon as possible & watch them!
Is change good or bad? Well, I suppose that can only be answered, "yes." You see, it matters what is being changed, & how that change manifests itself. Having so stated, I generally prefer the familiar which means that I generally abhor change.
In the broadcast versions of Dead Like Me, we lost Betty Rhomer (Rebecca Gayheart) after 5 episodes, & though I didn't then share with her fans profound enthusiasm for her character or performance, I had grown accustomed to her, & I was deeply disappointed.
My initial reaction to the appearance of Daisy Adair (Laura Harris) was, "OMG, they've gone "replacement blonde" in an effort to boost ratings, using the 'sex sells' model in a show not only that isn't about sex, but also that doesn't have a significant sexual component." I thought at first that the show was ruined, but I kept watching; what I quickly discovered is that Harris is a most excellent actress & that the writers understood how to integrate Daisy into the DLM story.
That Harris is very easy on the eyes turned out to be a bonus a perfect dessert to follow the substantial main course. In that case, every aspect of the change was surprisingly good.
That isn't to discount Gayheart, who is in every sense a fine actress, but to recognize that Harris earned her fans after Gayheart had already set the bar awfully high.
As the story unfolded, I was pleasantly amazed to discover the actors & writers taking the DLM experience to a level even higher than where the show began; then, in a flash, the de-orbiting toilet seat of fortune snuffed-out my favorite show.
Some time later, I was elated to discover there was being made a DLM movie & I looked forward to its theatrical release: all we DLM fans & I would be vindicated when the box office numbers were tallied. Then I learned the movie was going to be direct-to-DVD.
Okay, that's a minor setback but as soon as Rube Sofer (Mandy Patinkin) starts bustin' chops in the trailer, when people get a chance to see ... WHAT? No Rube? & Daisy stays, but someone else is going to play her? I was immediately overwhelmed with the sensation that the DLM franchise had been lost: clearly, the universe had gone mad. Or had it?
I own the complete first season of Dead Like Me, two sets of the complete second season of Dead Like Me, & now I own the direct-to-DVD movie Dead Like Me: Life After Death. Yes, I've watched them all (plus every episode of the series as it aired on Showtime, & most or all of the SciFi rebroadcasts). Kudos to the team that edited the SciFi versions: they seamlessly replaced the "foul language," so that the censorship wasn't obvious.
Without spoilers: my overall impression of Dead Like Me: Life After Death is that, like the series, it is too short; by that, I mean that it left me wanting much, much more! But, isn't that the whole idea? There were some plot twists that I think were inevitable for reason of continuity, & it's always tough to overcome prejudice arising from actor substitution.
Pleasantly, the movie also focuses more on George Lass (Ellen Muth) than did the broadcast series. This is probably as much a result of the crutch principle as anything else, but it works in a way that really saves the movie.
"Saves"? Okay, maybe that's a bit strong: remember, I'm prejudiced by the broadcasts. In reality, there's an awful lot of development that happens through the series that doesn't readily translate through the movie format, & that requires compromises.
The makers of Dead Like Me: Life After Death brilliantly incorporated storyboards to aid in the transition between scenes & to bring the uninitiated up to speed without boring longtime fans of the series.
However, even these conceits left a lot to be condensed into its 87-minute runtime, & that means among the reapers that the roles of Daisy Adair (Sarah Wynter), Roxy Harvey (Jasmine Guy) & Mason (Callum Blue) are minimized & stereotyped.
Some purists will take issues with the scripting as it relates to character development within the movie. In the end, I think the directors & editors did the best that could reasonably be expected from a comparatively short feature movie format.
I urge the readers of this review to obtain for themselves a copy of the DLM direct-to-DVD movie Dead Like Me: Life After Death; even though it is set 5 years after the George's death, it works in several different ways: 1) It is a passably good introduction of the DLM series to the uninitiated; or, alternatively, 2) It is a passably good ending to the DLM story: if it goes no further, DLM fans won't feel completely cheated; or, alternatively, 3) It is an EXCELLENT bridge between the DLM series & future DLM productions.
Given the diversity of missions & objectives defined by the DLM fanbase, & Given the budgetary constraints & political battles that threatened to kill the project before it got the green light, plus the myriad hurdles that threatened its survival during production, & Given the post-production, mastering, manufacturing & distribution problems that cropped up, that this movie ever got distributed is barely less than a miracle, & those factors must be considered in any reasonable review of this movie.
I got mine through Amazon.com; if you haven't ordered your copy yet, order it today! Review, comments by The Wireflight Group // 20090228-2021
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