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...
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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 »
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, and Roxy, who begins seeking glory. 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
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 //
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