Flutterby™! : Serenity

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2006-03-02 20:57:13.627513+00 by Dan Lyke 7 comments

Watched Serenity[Wiki] last night, after finishing up Firefly[Wiki]. I have to thank the folks who funded that for not leaving me hanging on so many story lines, and for summing up differences in politics wonderfully (I need to go back and transcribe Mal's "You believe that you can make people better, I don't" speech).

It's a damned shame that the movie wasn't up to the snuff of the TV series (the effects seemed uneven, sound in space, and so on), and I understand why people who didn't see the TV series didn't get it, had I seen the movie without being introduced by way of Firefly[Wiki] I'd have said "ho, hum". My regret is that I won't be discovering new stories with those wonderful characters, but I'm happy to have had the tale tied up so nicely, even if it did feel a bit abrupt and concessions were made to it being a stand-alone movie.

Recommended (and I realize that I'm preaching to the choir here), but try the Firefly[Wiki] series first, in order, to see if it hooks you, 'cause the movie is a pale shadow of the series.

[ related topics: Politics Technology and Culture Movies Television Joss Whedon - Serenity / Firefly ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-02 21:49:23.836055+00 by: crasch [edit history]

For the record, most critics who saw the movie (most of whom probably haven't seen the series), thought it was still a pretty good movie: 87% from the Cream of the Crop (NYT, Ebert, etc.), and 80% overall according to RottenTomatoes:


Spoiler Alert! Don't read below this line if you want to see this movie untainted! . . . . .

I enjoyed the movie, although I would much rather have seen it played out over multiple TV seasons, rather than a single 2 hour movie.

My biggest gripe was the handling of the Reavers. It seems wildly implausible that an entire planet of 30 million people could be almost wiped out, with the remaining 1% turned into vicious space cannibals, without it becoming widely known. Also, how were the Reavers able to operate space ships? Why don't they attack each other? Where do they get spare parts? Are there Reaver mechanics?

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-02 22:24:38.782252+00 by: Dan Lyke

Similar spoiler, here's Mal's line:

Sure as I know anything, I know this: In a year or maybe ten, perhaps even on this very ground, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people better; and I don't hold to that.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-03 00:11:41.654698+00 by: Pete

You guys find the dialogue hard to make out at times? I sure did. No similar problems with the series or other material on the same gear.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-03 00:28:35.201393+00 by: Dan Lyke

Pete, I wasn't specifically aware of that, but I did think that the sound was overdone. The TV series did wonderful things with the spareness of sound, the movie felt like it was trying to do too much with sound, so, yeah, I could see that too many things going off at once would muddy the dialogue.

I also got sick of the stylistic color timing. I mean, it's fine when you're doing the different timeline thing, but when every time they walk through the cargo bay it looks like they're doing yet another stage number rather than working in a gritty reality it starts to grate.

I offer this criticism up with the caveat that I still loved the movie as a capper to the TV series, but it really felt like there was some overpaid exec saying "no, audiences aren't smart enough to get that" overriding the director at too many points. Somewhere down in LA there are a couple of VP level guys who just deserve a good smacking around.

But I guess that observation could apply to a whole lot of movies.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-03 00:42:38.862855+00 by: Pete

At this remove from when I watched it, it's hard to think of good scenes to point to for poor dialogue audio, but I think I remember a scene of Mal and the shepherd speaking to each other (perhaps in the evening? near the cargo bay doors?) as one example of what I'm talking about.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-03 20:57:43.941801+00 by: baylink

> some overpaid exec saying "no, audiences aren't smart enough to get that"

Just the sort of thing that Joss is

  1. smart enough
  2. inclined to and
  3. carries enough water to

call Bullshit, and make it stick

Katie Heigl as Wonder Woman. <sigh>

#Comment Re: made: 2006-03-08 02:15:04.836443+00 by: TaoJones