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The Independent Critic

Adam Rini, Megan Hughes Rini, Craig Curtis, Dallas Teat, Grace Rini
Nathan Blackwell
95 Mins.
Good Deed Entertainment

 Movie Review: The Last Movie Ever Made 
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There are a myriad of ways that writer-director Nathan Blackwell could have approached The Last Movie Ever Made, an indie gem released by the under-the-radar yet always dependable Good Deed Entertainment this past week. 

The Last Movie Ever Made could have been a pure sci-fi flick. The Last Movie Ever Made could have been a melancholy drama. The Last Movie Ever Made could have been a straight-out laffer. However, The Last Movie Ever Made is something perhaps a little more special. It would be easy, and lazy, to chalk up The Last Movie Ever Made as a companion to such films as Safety Not Guaranteed and Be Kind Rewind among others. We're introduced quickly to Marshall (Adam Rini), an ordinary joe adrift and pushing 40 with not a lot to show for it. He awakens one morning to discover that the world is ending in 30 days. 

Big news, eh? 


After initially farting around for a few days, Marshall stumbles across some old movies he made with his high school buds including the long ago abandoned sci-fi epic he started but never got around to to finishing. 

The Last Movie Ever Made bursts to life, not with CGI and special effects but with humor, heart, poignancy, and the universal creative spirit that simply cannot be extinguished. Recruiting buddies Lance (Ryan Gaumont) and Arthur (Craig Curtis), Marshall sets out to sets out to make his life mean something even if, in less than 30 days, it may not actually mean much of anything. 

Blackwell nails the perfect tone for this story to unfold, a sort of magical whimsy meets heartfelt humanity amplified by Michael Markowski's original music and lensing by Jacen Sievers that seems to always have the camera in just the right spot to capture not just the humor but also the richness of these human beings and their relationships. 

The journey toward this one final film becomes complicated when Marshall's ex-wife Audrey (Megan Hughes Rini) shows up with daughter in tow (Grace Rini) wanting to find closure before, well, closure. This, again, could have gone a myriad of ways in terms of tone and yet Blackwell manages to get it just right with both Megan Hughes Rini and Grace Rini an absolute glorious delight here. 

In fact, this bears mentioning. While Blackwell never goes after a melancholy tone here, there's a quiet awareness of the finality of everything that's unfolding here. Somehow, amidst all of this, young Grace Rini strikes a performance that is simply sublime and sends this quiet little reminder not just that "the" world will be ending but "her" world will be ending. Rini's performance is one of slivers of hopefulness and I can't imagine this film without her. 

Truthfully, however, this entire ensemble is strong. Adam Rini shines as an almost middle-aged guy whose sense of resignation almost makes the whole "the world is ending" announcement a moot point. Yet, there's an inherent goodness in the guy that compels you to invest in his journey and that goodness comes to life in Rini's performance. Megan Hughes Rini is, perhaps, also a secret weapon for the film with a layer of humanity slathered across the film's abundant humor. 

Craig Curtis is inspired as Arthur, Logan Blackwell impresses as former co-worker Todd, and Dallas Teat is particularly strong with the humor as a neighbor with a bit of a flavor. Again, this entire ensemble is just a blast to watch. 

And then it comes down to the end. Once again, Blackwell finds magic and I may very well have both laughed and had a wee bit of a tear in my eye. It's a surprisingly perfect way to end a journey where we never quite know what to expect and where we're going. 

The Last Movie Ever Made had a successful festival journey that included prizes at Phoenix Film Festival (Best Arizona Feature, Phoenix Film Foundation Arizona Filmmaker of the Year), FilmQuest (Director's Prize, Overall Cinematic Achievement), and Tallahassee Film Festival (Audience Choice, Best Comedy Feature). Now, it's yours to enjoy on digital courtesy of Good Deed Entertainment. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic