Dead Like Me: Life After Death (2009)

Genre(s): Comedy / Fantasy
MGM || R - 87 minutes - $26.98 || February 17, 2009
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2009-02-16


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Stephen Herek
Writer(s): Stephen Godchaux & John Masius (written by)
Cast: Ellen Muth, Callum Blue, Sarah Wynter, Jasmine Guy


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • Featurette


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

I never caught “Dead Like Me” when it actually aired on Showtime but instead picked up both Seasons on DVD while they were on sale because the cover art really grabbed my attention. After watching all 29 episodes I really wanted to know how George Lass' story would end, especially since the Series finale left us with the question if Reggie (then 12 or 13) knew George was alive... in a different body.

The movie picks up a few years after the series ended, and a total of five since George (Muth) was killed by a Toilet Seat from outer space (literally). As the Reapers (Mason, Roxy, Daisy and George) meet at their favorite morning establishment, Der Waffle Hause, they notice something odd... it’s been burned to the ground. After pondering what happened, and where their leader Rube is, a limousine pulls up and offers them a ride. As the gang walks into a fancy restaurant they spot the new boss, Cameron (Cusick), a smart, rich European who is going to change the way the reap. Gone are the sticky notes and say hello to the Treo's!

Cameron explains that Rube had did his last reap the night before and has passed on...while the powers that be have appointed him the new leader of our favorite gang. Each Reaper begins to get their latest reap TXTed over to them....but there is a problem. George's is several minutes late. She follows the dying young boy to the hospital where she can't take his soul...and soon knows why. Reggie, Georges still-alive sister, had a secret love affair with him and she needs to set things right so she can say goodbye.

Some things just had to change to make the movie a reality. At the time when the movie was being written and filmed (2006!), Mandy Patkin was locked into a contract with his show "Criminal Minds" and was unable to leave to film. So they essentially killed (well, let him pass into the light) so that we could get a new boss, Cameron. While I love Henry Ian Cusick from "Lost", he just seemed a bit...boring. He is clearly no Rube but he gets the job done. The other replacement is for the character of Daisy who, instead of just letting her pass on like Mandy, was recast with Sarah Wynter who does a decent job of keeping the character alive.

So is the movie as good as the show? In some ways yes and in some no. I'm really pleased to see us, the fans, got a small wrap-up film (like Serenity) that gives us some closure and answers some questions... but it also opened the door for bringing back the series and continuing on. Hopefully, if it does they find a way to bring Rube back.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Commentary with Director Stephen Herek and Ellen Muth

Dead Like Me - Resurrecting the Show (14 Minutes) - Shame, most of these features has talking heads discussing how great the two new "replacement" cast members were. A few times we get some real insight on how the show was changed a bit to be a movie instead of a TV show and draw in new viewers. Ellen Muth... she has some huge lips. Never noticed them before but here it looks like she got a fresh shot of collagen in them.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

As usual, MGM has provided a watermarked copy so I can't speak to the true quality (of the picture, not the movie...), but it is presented in its OAR of 1.85. I will update this when the final product arrives.

MGM has included an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Dialog was fine, sounding just a bit better than the previous two Seasons on DVD. The only affects my rears had were the occasional phone ringing or the end theme song...



.::OVERALL::.

Fans of the show will love the chance to get another 90 minutes with George Lass... but the chances of a revival re very slim. MGM sat on this film for almost two years so any buzz it had is pretty much gone.