Today's Flick: Dead Like Me: Life After Death
Why the fuck do all my favourite TV series end up as DVD movies? Futurama gave birth to four of them (three of which I would prefer to think never existed), and Arrested Development is even getting the Big Screen treatment. Like any good show, Dead Like Me recently was given new life* as a straight-to-DVD movie. But was it any good?
Short Story: Yeah, it’s pretty good. (Suck it, Lainey and Cameron!)
Long Story: It takes a pretty ballsy leap from its source material to create a movie that’s on par with the series itself, without leaning so heavily on fan service that they start working the balls with one hand while cranking the shaft with the other.
If anything, any hope of fan service is pretty much taken into a back alley, beaten to within an inch of its life and left face down in a gutter within the first five minutes as Der Waffel Haus is burnt to the ground and the group finds out that Rube, their old boss, has moved on to the afterlife. Instead, they get saddled with a smarmy ass business man who begins fucking up their reaps while spoiling them senseless. Rules are broken, people die in cartoony ways...you get the drift.
Change is one of the biggest themes of the movie, and ultimately, it’s both Life After Death’s greatest strength and its biggest weakness.
My biggest problem with ¾ of Futurama’s DVD predecessors was that it just didn’t feel like it was part of the series. It tried too hard to fit in with the rest of it, it ended up turning into what can almost be described as a self-aware parody of what Futurama was. Life After Death feels more like a final goodbye to the audience, rather than some crappy drawn out “Oh look! We still got it! Let us back on the air, you assholes!”
Granted, it wasn’t exactly perfect. For the most part, it felt like the writers were trying to squeeze ten pounds of sugar into a five pound bag. Sure, what’s there is plenty good, but it’s just too much trying to be crammed into it. The result is that the story doesn’t feel like it’s as fleshed out as it should be.
One other problem? Not-Daisy. For some ass-backwards reason, they couldn’t sang the original actress who portrayed Daisy, so apparently they decided “Oh, let’s just throw some other blond bitch in there. Nobody’ll notice!”
We do. Compared with the rest of the cast, she’s painfully wooden in her delivery, and even the character herself doesn’t serve much of a purpose in the movie, other than looking pretty and acting slutty. And on a side note to Mandy Patinkin, what the fuck man? You get kicked off of Criminal Minds, and now this? You must have really shit the bed on this one, huh?
But all in all, Life After Death does justice to the series. It’s less of a rip-off of the old series, and more like a new direction for something great. It’s different, yes, but I would still take it over some eager to please fan-service that most people would shit out for the masses. It’s refreshing as hell, really, and we could really use a little more of it.
Oh, and did I mention Mason slices someone up with a fucking Chainsaw? Hells yeah.
*HA! I hate myself.