Now Streaming: The Last Movie Ever Made (2024) - Reviewed


Images Courtesy of Good Deed Entertainment

Movies are magic.  Aside from perhaps music, they are one of the most relatable artforms, bringing together people from across the globe, allowing humanity to speak a universal language of wonder and love.  Nathan Blackwell's charming independent project, The Last Movie Ever Made is a heartwarming love letter to not only films, but to the people who live and breathe them.  Taking what could have been a depressing, apocalyptic premise and subverting it with tenderness and genuine compassion, Blackwell's extraordinary cast and crew create something truly special.  Featuring an endearing ensemble, relatable dialogue, and a wonderfully amazing tribute to the black and white serials of the 40's, this is a remarkable cinematic experience. 

After learning that the world will end in 30 days, Marshall, a thirty-something artist, decides to direct the last film ever made by mankind.  Pulling together a rag tag group of friends, family, and neighbors, Marshall demonstrates not only how powerful films can be, but also remembers that friendship and love are two of the most important things in life.  Blackwell's script is stripped down and filled with genuine exchanges.  These are normal people in an unusual situation and their candor and way of finding light in the darkest of times is admirable. Adam Rini stars as Marshall and perhaps the strongest element of his performance is the lack of anger.  Typically, protagonists of this sort have a bone to pick with the world.  Marshall is lonely and has not accomplished anything memorable in his soon to be over lifetime.  He is passionate, if lazy, and extremely down to earth.  This performance, perhaps one of the most understated of the year, allows the audience to connect with Marshall very easily. Opposite him is Megan Hughes Rini as Marshall's ex and the film's leading lady and costume designer.  Their natural chemistry is what brings the entire story home and serves as an emotional anchor throughout.

Jacen Sievers' warm cinematography, alternating between the "real" world and the black white world of the film within the film, is vibrant and fresh, holding the principals in view at almost all times.  As an indie film, words are the economy, and Sievers' method of capturing the various conversations and keeping them the focus is masterful, perhaps only rivaled by the creativity of Blackwell's design team.  The sets that Marshall and his friends construct in their backyard are emblematic of the point: It is the love of movies that keeps us alive perhaps in the darkest of all times, and the way this is done through the guerilla, indie filmmaking schtick is charming.  The yield?  A film that is more than the sum of its parts, it is a vaccination against melancholy. 

Now available for digital rental, The Last Movie Ever Made is well worth the price.  Funny, sad, and ultimately uplifting, it signifies not only a loving understanding of the craft, but also the promise of great things to come from this rogue's gallery of memorable misfits.  In a time where the world is a dark and lonely place, it is lifelines such as they that remind all of us, things will get better and it is never too late to make a positive change. 

--Kyle Jonathan