Author Topic: Serenity  (Read 9371 times)

RossRoy

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Re: Serenity
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2010, 03:27:53 AM »
Since you set your videos private, you do have to explicitly grant us access to them if we are to see them.

There should be a mechanism for friend requests, going by the message given in the video
« Last Edit: February 20, 2010, 03:29:48 AM by RossRoy »

Najemikon

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Re: Serenity
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2010, 03:47:05 AM »
Sod it, I'll just unlock 'em!  ;) Try it again...

I wondered if it might let them play if I gave a specific link and it just hid them from searches.

Offline Achim

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Re: Serenity
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2010, 03:18:28 PM »
MOVIE / DVD INFO:

Title: Serenity
Year: 2005
Director: Joss Whedon
Rating: PG-13
Length: 119 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1, Commentary: Dolby Digital Surround
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Stars:
Nathan Fillion
Gina Torres
Alan Tudyk
Morena Baccarin
Adam Baldwin

Plot:
A passenger with a deadly secret. Six rebels on the run. An assassin in pursuit. When the renegade crew of 'Serenity' agrees to hide a fugitive on their ship, they find themselves in an action-packed battle between the relentless military might of a totalitarian regime that will destroy anything – or anyone – to get the girl back and the bloodthirsty creatures who roam the uncharted areas of space. But the greatest danger of all may be on their ship. From the mind of Joss Whedon (TV's 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer', 'Angel') comes a new edge-of-your-seat adventure loaded with explosive battles, gripping special effects and fantastic new worlds!

Extras:
Scene Access
Audio Commentary
Deleted Scenes
Featurettes
Outtakes/Bloopers

-------THERE MAY BE SPOILERS BELOW HERE-------

My Thoughts:
While it does work as a standalone film it is clear that the director is grabbing his chance to give the TV show that Fox had prematurely cancelled a proper finish. Introductions to the many of the characters is extremely limited or non-existant, making it at times difficult to the uninitiated. For example Inara and Shepherd are thrown in there without further  explanation of their strong history with the Serenity; on the other hand the obvious history of Mal and Mr. Universe is left to our imagination all the same.

The film does a beautiful job though in the first 10 minutes to set up basic relationships. Simon's original rescue of River, which we hadn't seen before (at least not in such detail), which includes a dream sequence of River's past, which in turn sets up the universe, leading to the introduction of the film's plot with the Operative. I found it amazing at what breakneck speed the film moves along, giving us a very condensed plot and lots of the character interaction. The dialog is extremely witty and I found it highly enjoyable. Realizing the speed I was even more surprised that Whedon was still able to crank it up even more during the climax. The Reavers are set up so superbly (Jon mentioned it in relation to the TV show before) that we never actually see them "in action" (doing the unspeakable stuff) and therefore fear them even more.

Serentity shows that it is a labor of love for Cast & Crew, made for the fans who hold the TV series so dearly. Thanks to Universal for getting this made.


Offline Achim

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Re: Serenity
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2010, 03:31:01 PM »
Did Serenity start a sci-fi revolution for which it has never been credited?

No.

Maybe I am missing it, but to "start" a revolution means that there was a revolution afterwards. I am not seeing it :shrug: What did it supposedly revolutionize? Yes, few other went for the "no sound in space", but certainly not the droves the word "revolution" implies. The used universe? That became popular in 1977... Or the "realistic" universe, where people fly in space ships but everything evolved still at a reasonable pace? Again, I amy not see enough Sci-Fi to judge that, but I am not seeing a revolution here.

The film is clearly a very able continuation of a story previously told in a very different format: TV. If you take out some of the scale at which things happen here you can still see the TV specific pacing in many parts of the film. The plot is very condensed and more room is giving for the characters to interact. Only in the final act this is somewhat reversed, when we get into full action gear and at times it appears that anyone may be killed off any second.

Najemikon

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Re: Serenity
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2010, 04:04:12 PM »
No-one seems to picking up on my reason for that statement. I've even made videos, dammit! :slaphead: I don't know if I'm even right, it's just something that piqued my interest.

There's nothing about the story or the way it's told that I think influenced anyone in particular. The structure is a bit Star Wars, the used, dirty look might be Alien and Bladerunner (Ridley Scott was at pains to not show a "Shiny" future ;)), and mixing sci-fi with western is more obvious here, but as such stories were already western so far as genres are concerned, it's hardly worth mentioning.

No, I purely mean visually in the CGi and purposefully creating defects in the photography. I can't think of anything else that did it before Firefly and by that rationale, Serenity was the big screen demo of how to do it. Since then we've had similar tricks in The Host, Wall.E and Avatar at least.

I think part of the reason I focused on this is that one of my favourite shows is Red Dwarf and actually the format isn't hugely different to Firefly. Before Firefly, I hadn't noticed that whenever there was call for model and cgi effects in Red Dwarf, they looked so good and the other scenes were just typical sitcom, I was subconsciously making excuses for them to fit together. In Firefly, it's far more organic, obviously because on one hand the CGi is much better quality, but on the other, the direction doesn't alter except for it to be even more haphazard. Normally effects sequences are so smooth.

I think making CGi organic is essential to it being taken seriously by film-makers and making it such a realistic tool that it is taken for granted. All credit to James Cameron that he took this approach (regardless of where it came from) in Avatar because I think the 3D side is a case of running before they can walk for most directors. We still get shit like I Am Legend which was a good story ruined by its own effects, yet they're already looking at the next generation.

Offline Achim

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Re: Serenity
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2010, 05:13:28 PM »
No-one seems to picking up on my reason for that statement. I've even made videos, dammit! :slaphead: I don't know if I'm even right, it's just something that piqued my interest.
:-[

Short memory and such somehow prohibited that I want back to any post above my review...

So, yes, I saw your videos (:thumbup:) and they illustrate your point very well.


Quote
There's nothing about the story or the way it's told that I think influenced anyone in particular. The structure is a bit Star Wars, the used, dirty look might be Alien and Bladerunner (Ridley Scott was at pains to not show a "Shiny" future ;)), and mixing sci-fi with western is more obvious here, but as such stories were already western so far as genres are concerned, it's hardly worth mentioning.
Well, actually even Lucas already went for the "used" look. While most stuff on the Death Star is shiny, that is because it's new; it does however have a trash compactor! Then there is the Millenium Falcon...

Quote
No, I purely mean visually in the CGi and purposefully creating defects in the photography. I can't think of anything else that did it before Firefly and by that rationale, Serenity was the big screen demo of how to do it. Since then we've had similar tricks in The Host, Wall.E and Avatar at least.
So, yes, that is indeed something they may have initiated (although "revolution" may be a bit much of a word here). In my recent viewing of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy I very much noticed how, especially in The Two Towers, Gollum often sticks out way too much, because his CGI body is lacking all the trouble that comes with proper film (grain for starters...). While they improved it already for Return of the King it still popped out occasionally.

What is the measure though? The style in particular (as underlined by the videos) or the fact that it conceals the CGI much better? The latter would be much more difficult to determine who went first, since you'd be looking for something that you can't see ;)


I think Avatar is arguable as an example though, as here the 3D was actually the limiting factor to a large part...

Najemikon

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Re: Serenity
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2010, 10:03:42 PM »
No-one seems to picking up on my reason for that statement. I've even made videos, dammit! :slaphead: I don't know if I'm even right, it's just something that piqued my interest.
:-[

Short memory and such somehow prohibited that I want back to any post above my review...

So, yes, I saw your videos (:thumbup:) and they illustrate your point very well.

 :laugh: Much obliged!  :phew:

Quote
So, yes, that is indeed something they may have initiated (although "revolution" may be a bit much of a word here). In my recent viewing of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy I very much noticed how, especially in The Two Towers, Gollum often sticks out way too much, because his CGI body is lacking all the trouble that comes with proper film (grain for starters...). While they improved it already for Return of the King it still popped out occasionally.

What is the measure though? The style in particular (as underlined by the videos) or the fact that it conceals the CGI much better? The latter would be much more difficult to determine who went first, since you'd be looking for something that you can't see ;)

I think Avatar is arguable as an example though, as here the 3D was actually the limiting factor to a large part...

"Revolution" is a big word, but sparks the imagination. :P

I think a lot of effects heavy movies fall into the trap of concentrating so much on how cool the effects are, they end up with nothing more than an elaborate cartoon, frequently bested by movie clips in video games. They forget they are making a film and should really consider more attention to the rules of genre, mise en scene and as you say, the natural limitations of proper film like grain, that forever separates the medium from anything else. It gives it a soul.

You're right about Star Wars being the used look and I don't know why I split it in my last post. Interesting though that is a point I hadn't considered between the trilogies before. The prequels are so CGi heavy they lose the "dirtiness". I think I have heard it commented on before that perhaps Lucas was trying to show that the world isn't quite so worn out and suffering as in the original trilogy. More likely he couldn't be bothered to do anything more than standard CG footage!

If they were to remake Lawrence of Arabia (the very thought of this should make you feel physically ill, but go with it for a moment!) and recreate Omar Sharif's entrance via CGi, would they bother putting the line down the centre of the screen, caused by the sun? Because they should, but to do so would be to ask animators to understand why sunlight affects film like that. The Wall.E animators thought it so important they asked live action cinematographers to help them basically handicap the software as if it were utilising a heavy camera with traditional lenses.

And that's why I mentioned Avatar. It's very effects heavy, of course, and often the 3D is a distraction as Karsten said in his review, so therefore the exact opposite of what I'm describing. Except occasionally (very occasionally!) there are moments that suggest Cameron didn't forget to direct the CGi just as he would live action. Slow motion is very difficult to get right (always right with Kurosawa, hardly ever for Woo!), but he nails it. Plus there is a blurred shot of some vehicles at one point, that sort of come into focus via a handheld zoom. And there we have it. "Handheld" and "zoom" have to manufactured in CGi. They bother because they're learning it matters and I felt there was a tangible difference between some scenes in Avatar because of it.

The measure will be when we finally stop noticing CGi at all and while the Na'vi looked incredible, I still made that conscious recognition that they looked incredible. Ironically, if he hadn't bothered with 3D at all, Cameron might well have done it on this occasion. :shrug:




lovemunkey187

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Re: Serenity
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2010, 04:12:03 AM »
The measure will be when we finally stop noticing CGi at all and while the Na'vi looked incredible, I still made that conscious recognition that they looked incredible. Ironically, if he hadn't bothered with 3D at all, Cameron might well have done it on this occasion. :shrug:

There are some films, where you just don't (or at least I didn't) notice the use of cgi, the most notable for me was Sahara.

I remember watching this at the cinema and really, really enjoying it, as after it seeming like everything had become too reliant on cg stuff this had gone old school in it's effects and the stunts and what not were done for real.

The shine was taken off of this a little for me when I was told that an awful lot of the gags were computer generated rather than live.

Offline Achim

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Re: Serenity
« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2010, 08:21:26 AM »
Regardless is abilities to actually direct people and make a proper film, where does Michael Bay come in with all this? His CGI is often dirty and I would guess he makes "shaky CGI" just to match what he does otherwise. :P


...although I that is going off on a tangent...
« Last Edit: February 21, 2010, 08:23:17 AM by Achim »

Najemikon

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Re: Serenity
« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2010, 01:53:20 PM »
If the result of this concludes that Michael Bay is actually a responsible and thoughtful director, I may just withdraw now! :laugh:

I haven't seen Sahara and while it got poor reviews, they were also indifferent and actually, it does sound like an enjoyable little flick.

Offline Achim

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Re: Serenity
« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2010, 05:47:13 AM »
If the result of this concludes that Michael Bay is actually a responsible and thoughtful director, I may just withdraw now! :laugh:
:laugh:

...

 :-\ No.

snowcat

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Re: Serenity
« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2010, 08:57:02 PM »
¬_¬ Guys... I ve tried three times to watch Serenity and I can't get in to it. Ill keep trying though.... I think the problem us, it just seems.... uhh, borring... and unrealistic...

and Ok now... you could say of course its unrealistic, but I mean.... in Star Wars the characters were believable in there little world :S ... I couldnt believe any of the characters... and I didn't even end up liking them :S I watched just over an hour of it :/

Offline Tom

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Re: Serenity
« Reply #27 on: February 22, 2010, 09:02:22 PM »
I couldnt believe any of the characters... and I didn't even end up liking them :S I watched just over an hour of it :/

I think it's because you started with Serenity instead of Firefly. I very much liked them in Firefly. Not so much in Serenity. I think they are out-of-character there.



Offline Achim

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Re: Serenity
« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2010, 05:04:01 AM »
¬_¬ Guys... I ve tried three times to watch Serenity and I can't get in to it. Ill keep trying though.... I think the problem us, it just seems.... uhh, borring... and unrealistic...

and Ok now... you could say of course its unrealistic, but I mean.... in Star Wars the characters were believable in there little world :S ... I couldnt believe any of the characters... and I didn't even end up liking them :S I watched just over an hour of it :/
:redcard:

You suggested it! :hysterical:

Otherwise I agree with Tom. I can see where a first time viewer can be alienated by the characters.

lovemunkey187

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Re: Serenity
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2010, 09:21:22 AM »
If the result of this concludes that Michael Bay is actually a responsible and thoughtful director, I may just withdraw now! :laugh:

I haven't seen Sahara and while it got poor reviews, they were also indifferent and actually, it does sound like an enjoyable little flick.

It's well worth a watch, it fits nicely into a similar vein to the National Treasure films and Before The Sunset, well I think so anyway.