Sunday, December 20, 2015
DEAD LIKE ME: LIFE AFTER DEATH (2009)
Directed By: Stephen Herek
Created By: Bryan Fuller
Cast: Ellen Muth, Callum Blue, Sarah Wynter, Jasmine Guy, Christine Willes, Cynthia Stevenson, Henry Ian Cusick, Shenae Grimes-Beach
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.
Now for those of you who don't know the show was originally about a group of reapers. A group of characters who died and have been brought back to earth to live normal lives but moonlight as reapers they have assignments to seek out those about to die in various ways and touch them to release their souls before death. So they can go to wherever heaven or hell. Rather then be trapped on earth or in their body. While they do this as they are still stuck on earth they must make their own livelihoods and they have their natural original appearance but to those who might recognize them they appear different. We are introduced to the the group by the main character Georgia who throughout the series we learn about the job and the lifestyle through her experiences.
Now I loved the original series. So discovering there was going to be a movie version made for cable. Filled me up with excitement and hoping here would either be a reboot or at least a series of movies for cable.
While it is nice to see most of the characters back and sort of catch-up to what they were up to, not much apparently. But there is still a hole where Mandy Patinkin leaves. His character doesn't return and similar to the characters. We try to sort ourselves dealing with his absence.
The movie isn't all bad, but as it goes along. Missing Mandy Patinkin leaves a small hole that keeps getting bigger. Until it is a vortex almost sucking everything into it. It's not that bad. That is just my personal feeling.
The film keeps the shows dark humor, though it feels a little watered down and missing the life lessons and philosophy in minut details though the film shows it has a bigger budget then the series by opening up it's universe. But that may be the intent like after losing someone who took Care of you in your own taking responsibility,
The show Created By Bryan Fuller (HANNIBAL) managed to stay dark, magical and imaginative. It ranks up there with his other series. Especially WONDERFALLS. As most episodes felt deep yet breezy. With plenty of surrealistic imagery.
The cast are still up to par, Jasmine Guy came back with her sassy angry self. Laura Harris unfortunately does not return as southern debutante, slutty wanna-be actress daisy. Though Sarah Wynter tries to make her presence felt. She is ok. Only not memorable. Coincidently Sarah Wynter takes the role of Daisy Adair, previously played by Laura Harris in the series. In 24, the two actresses played sisters.
Ellen Muth is great in he lead role. She's sarcasm and dead pan delivery is inspired. It seems to be a role she was born to play. And usually don’t see her in too many things. As because of this role in my mind. I can't imagine her playing any other one, because so far I haven't. She reminds one of Leah Remini on King of queens. Only a bit more vulnerable.
In this film the group gets a new boss. More sleek then nurturing. He is more direct, decadent and new school, compared to their old school preparation. Giving them all cell phones and not one to follow the rules as much. He more spoils them then helping them or be more of a caring boss. Which is where all the problems start.
Henry Ian Cusick as their new superior doesn’t really fit. As he seems way too slick and too mean spirited. He doesn’t seem to fit into that world. As he seems to direct and uptight, while the other characters seem more ponderous and relaxed.
It's nice to revisit old friends and watching this Film is what it feels like. Not entirely successful, but good enough. As a more TV-movie and kind of new ending. Though maybe attempting to be a new beginning.
I once hoped that they would make more and improve. Give the movies and cast more things and directions to play with. Though this was not to happen.
I believe this is an unexpected goodbye for fans of the show. I also believe as the film is disappointing to a degree. It is something I believe fans of the show. Will either love or hate. As it is a film that is more enjoyable if you know the history or the show. If you are going in blind. I don't know how much the audience members will actually understand or really enjoy.