Author Topic: Serenity  (Read 9717 times)


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Re: Serenity
« Reply #45 on: February 28, 2010, 12:17:01 AM »
 :redcard: Jon! you ruthless pirate! poor fox! you are taking there money away!  :redcard: you would not like it if they took your face and put it in there movies!!

... ::) "copyright infringement" load of cobblers.... bloody Youtube.... sucking up to these companies so they don't have to give there "hard earned" money away.


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Serenity ****
« Reply #46 on: February 28, 2010, 09:17:02 PM »
4 out of 5

Captain Malcolm Reynolds, a hardened veteran (on the losing side) of a galactic civil war, now ekes out a living aboard his ship, Serenity. He leads a small, eclectic crew, but when Mal takes on two new passengers - a young doctor and his telepathic sister - he gets much more than he bargained for. The pair are fugitives from the coalition dominating the universe, and so Serenity finds itself caught between the unstoppable military force of the Alliance, the horrific, cannibalistic fury of the Reavers - and another danger lurking at the very heart of the spaceship...

Taken on its own merits, Serenity is a great film. A wonderful unique cast of characters, sharp, witty dialogue and action scenes that are literally breathtaking. Plus a well developed back-story that stands being picked at. The only problems with the film come from it being a compromised big screen version of Firefly, so it isn't quite the second coming the Browncoat massive were hoping for, but it does reward perserverance. New viewers don't have to persevere at all and just strap themselves in! If only it hadn't have been so tough to market, a worthy franchise could have been born and the real strengths of the series could have come through in a sequel. As it is, it must have been a hard film to get the balance right.

Most of the people I know who saw this film before Firefly, did enjoy it, did understand it and did look up the series afterwards, so that tells me it did a good enough job. Plot wise it does do well to present an intricate world and introduce the characters without getting bogged down in exposition, but it does undermine a lot of the work done by the series, and that is such a shame.

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Leading on from that specific point, the chemistry between all the crew is awkward. It didn't strike me as the same group of people Mal asked "will you still be here when I wake up?" at the end of the Out Of Gas episode. Interesting that when you watch the gag reel (which you must do; Fillion always does excellent gags!), that chemistry is clearly still there, but they just couldn't quite capture it in 'Movie World' until about halfway through. Deleted scenes also show moments more typical of the series (Mal and Inara flying back to Serenity), so its clear hard decisions were being made about this screenplay.

The thing is, a TV episode plot is frequently uncomplicated, but played by complicated characters who don't change much across that one story, but tease little details into an arc over the whole run. A film is usually the opposite, with less detailed characters who are visibly altered over the course of a narrative. Think of Rick in Casablanca, or Mal's pop-culture granddad, Han Solo. By essentially resetting the crew to default settings, the film has something it can work with immediately.

The other thing a film needs is a strong lead that makes things happen and for those things to have a tabgible cost. Captain Mal usually just deals with what's in front of him, but now he's the lead character in a movie, he needs a quest and a good reason for it. For my money, I think the screenplay in this respect is quite brilliant because it's usually the thing that causes TV-film adaptations to fail so spectacularly. I'm going on about this because...

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In fact, all the characters get something to have a journey about. I think Whedon has shown a great deal of maturity and skill through this screenplay and his direction. He could easily cut it with big boys, if only someone would let him have a go! The final moments of this film are the best, possibly of the whole run, series and film together. His conversation with River, the quiet lashing of the rain and then the beautiful image of Serenity plowing through a storm. Then a typically Firefly full stop! "What was that?"  :hysterical:

I was disappointed that it had to lose some identity (it's a sci-fi action movie, with barely a sniff of a Western), but loved the film overall. The style of music is kept largely intact (all credit to David Newman, but why couldn't Greg Edmonson have got the gig?), as is the rougher CGI to some extent. And listen right to the end of the credits for a nice instrumental version of the Firefly theme...


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Re: Serenity
« Reply #47 on: March 21, 2010, 05:09:52 PM »

Rating: (Hard to believe for those of you who, when you watched it, your eyes glazed over  :hysterical: )

OK - a little late to the party but I finally finished Firefly and watched Serenity (again). It was good to fire up the old HD-DVD player. The video was perfect I thought. The sound was a bit strange though. It was a movie I had to keep turning up in the soft parts and then down in the loud parts. It was one of the 1st HD-DVDs I bought and was only recorded in 5.1 I guessing listening to so many 5.1 HD formats lately I've become spoiled. I'll have to check the Blu-ray version and see if it has a less compressed soundtrack. If so I guess I'll be triple dipping on this one  :laugh:

Overall I enjoyed the movie even more this time than I had previously. Perhaps it's because I've been watching a lot of the actors play other roles and it was good to see them in the role where I originally watched them. With that in mind I'm going to focus a bit on the actors and their characters as compared to the movie itself since there really is nothing I can add that hasn't been said already by others, and more eloquently than I could say it.

Nathan Fillion as Captain Mal Reynolds. What a great job of casting for the role of Captain Mal Reynolds. I wonder if the role was designed around the actor. Very well could have been knowing the relationship with Fillion and Whedon. I also enjoy Fillions role as the detective Richard Castle. The two roles are completely different but his underlying personality in both is the same. In Castle he is a playboy who has everything he wants and needs and you get the impression he never had to work very hard for it. He is happy to take orders from Detective Beckett (although so would I  :drooling: ) as well as from his daughter and his mother. As Captian Reynolds he is the man in charge. Granted he does have some of the same type of interactions with the ladies of Firefly he does with the ladies of Castle but in the end it is Captain Reynolds who calls the shots. My favorite role of his is of course the great Captain Hammer. "Haven't I seen you at the gym... wait a minute, I don't go to the gym!"  :laugh: As Whedon said in the commentary (not "Commentary, the Musical" which in itself was brilliant if you ask me) "nobody does smarm like Nathan". So.. back to Captain Reynolds (I know, I ramble on sometimes :-[ ) The character of Captain Reynolds was a bit more intense in the movie compared to the TV series. Fortunately this was something they addressed and I give Whedon credit for that (he was very good at adressing things that weren't quite right in Buffy and Angel too). After the opening heist scene he and Zoe were discussing the escape.
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That scene in itself was enough for me to see we were dealing with a different Mal but they knew it.
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although he did tell Inara when she made a comment about seeing all of his sides "if we go to war I promise you you will see something you haven't seen before" Again hinting at his intensity. Unfortunately I just watched the Firefly episode "The Message" where the had a few flashback scenes to the war where he was his typical Firefly self.
It wasn't a big deal. As has been pointed out movies are different than TV shows and the characters are developed differently. I like what they did with Captain Reynolds and am glad they did it for the movie. Nathan Fillion is someone who I will watch for in the future. In fact I follow his tweets. Most of them I get a chuckle out of. 

Jewel Staite as Keylee Jewell Staite is perfect as the cute naive young lady who has a gift for engines. They just "talk to her" I believe is what she says in an early episode. She never quite pulled off the role in Stargate Atlantis of the Doctor. Someone who reaches the rank of a lead doctor for a facility like that one would be more confident and agressive iin their personality. In order to make her character work they should have brought her in as an assistant first and then promoted her with a "we have faith in your abilities and know you can do this" kinda thing when they lost Fr. Beckett ( :( ).  It would have made her character much more believable as you could watch her grow. As Kaylee she was awesome. The Firefly episode where she accompanies Mal to  formal party was great. The other women snubbed her but after a while it was her who had all the men in the place surrounding her and hanging on her every word. She played the simple girl so good you almost believe she was raised that way. There was a scene in another Firefly episode where they were in a store. She saw something she thought was pretty and wanted to get it for Simon. Simon then comes in and is appalled by it. I think it was good they addressed the never happened love affair between Simon and Kaylee in the movie. I love the line " I ain't had nothin twixed my nethers for over a year that wasn't battery operated"  :hysterical: Jayne liked it as well  :laugh:
We know they kept Simon and Kaylee apart in the TV series so they could hopefully continue the sexual tension for a while. I'm sure they would have eventually got together but they couldn't have just done that in the 1st 13 episodes. Had the series been pickled up you would have lost a lot of opportunity for the back story of their relationship. Again I give Whedon credit for addressing it for the fans of the TV show. The way they address it was perfect too and brought a smile to my face.
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We'll get to see Kaylee and Simon together again in an upcoming episode of Warehouse 13 on SyFy. It will be interesting to watch. I don't think the actors had that much chemistry together but their characters did (if that makes sense to anyone but me  :-\ )

Gina Torres as Zoe With the exception of her role in Angel she basically plays the same part (at least from what I've seen her in). She is good at it but her role in Firefly was nothing spectacular. I wont go out of my way to watch her but certainly wouldn't not watch something because she is in it. I liked Standoff a couple of years ago but again, her role could have been played by anyone.

Alan Tudyk as WashAlan Tudyk = Steve the Pirate.  :laugh: Nothing more needs to be said.

Summer Glau as River Tam. I've now seen her in Firefly, The Unit, Terminator and Dollhouse. Regarding Firefly/Serenity I think it's a shame they had to go to her kick-ass role in Serenity so quick. I enjoyed her role in Firefly better as their was tiny hints here and there of what she was but we also got to see her re-discover the world (like the dancing scene in whatever episode of Firefly it was). I know the character could have developed over a couple of years into the role they had her in in Serenity.The Serenity River is completely kick ass and 100% awesome. I liked everything about her. Fromthe final fight scene to her sobbing as all of the thirty million pls voices are saying nothing but are all inside her head (just how does that work anyway  :stars: ). I have to say though my favorite role for Summer is that in Terminator: TSCC. She is perfect at being a terminator. I still haven't seen the final few episodes... have to do something about that.  :hmmmm:

Morena Baccarin as Anara Morena Baccarinis a beautiful, talented actress but she needs to grow her hair again!  :yucky: I'm sorry but the short hair she has in V doesnt' cut it. At least do like she did in Stargate SG-1 and put it up. The whole 'companion' thing I still find bizarre. If there ever was something like that I could see it being just how Anara is. She is... heh - i was just about to write "she is the perfect companion"....  :bag: But she is!. Get rid of the Firefly definition of companion and just think of what it means today. She would be a great companion! I throughly enjoyed her character in Firefly as well as Serenity. Unlike many of the others they didn't do much with her in the movie different than the TV show. They did show her trying to help Mal in the fight when he came to rescue her. I can't recall her doing that before. And her solution to help them escape was a side of her you hadn't seen before but it was something you could easily believe was always there.
I have to wonder what Whedon's intent was when he had Anara leave the ship in Firefly. Was she just going to be gone a few episodes? Was fate going to keep bringing her and the Firefly crew back together over the course of time? It seemed too early for her to leave for good that's for sure. Even her relationship with Captain Reynolds was a bit rushed in the TV show I thought. They had only know each other for a few months. As a trained companion I don't think she would have been as taken by someone as she seemed to be with Mal. Although her part in the "Mrs. Reynolds" episode was  :hysterical: so... never mond. I guess she was smitten by her smarmy captain.

OK, who's left. *click on preview*  :laugh: Holy crap am I babbling on or what!  :bag:

Ron Glass as Shepherd Book I watched him in the 70 as a cop on Barney Miller. I was surprised when I saw his name as a cast member in Firefly. He played his part well in both the TV show and the movie. I loved the scene in the TV show where River saw him with his hair down.  :laugh: In the movie they seemed to show more of a relationship between he and Mal then you saw in the TV show. There were very few scenes in the TV shoe (that I can remember) where the two of them talked. Of course this doesn't include the MR.s Reynolds episode where the shepherd kept repeating the same thing  :laugh: I didn't have a problem with the Serenity relationship but. like some of the others, it just felt rushed. Yea yea, I know. They had to rush it. It's just a shame that there is yet another example of what would have been developed naturally over time had the show not been cancelled. (I do sound bitter still, don't I  :whistle: )

Sean Maher as SimonProbably the easiest of the cast to replace. They could have put someone else in for the movie and I don't think it would have mattered. I don't know if it is the actor himself or the character but I never did connect with him. He didn't pull off the "i'm better than you" part of his character he seemed to show in the early episodes. There were hints of it here and there (like the scene in the store I mentioned earlier) but it wasn't consistent. Sometime he looked down on the crew while other times he showed his gratitude and then there were times when you couldn't tell what he thought. Even when he helped with the heist at the hospital he was back and forth I thought. It is unusual for a Whedon character to flounder around so much so it leads me to believe it was the actor.  :shrug:

Adam Baldwin as Jayne Looking at his IMDB profile I see he has been in a lot of things I wasn't aware of, including shows I have watched (X-files and Angel). I remember seeing My Bodyguard (his first movie) when it first came out. I'm not sure why I remember it but I do. He has the distinction of playing two of my favorite TV characters now. Jayne Cobb and Col. John Casey in "Chuck" Chuck is, without a doubt, my favorite TV show that is currently running (BTW - tune in Monday nights on ABC before it gets cancelled!!!!!). Casey is a lot like Jayne. The big difference is one fights for money and the other fights for love of his country. Neither character gets hung up with relationships (they recently explained that in Chuck  :weep: ) and are both focused on the job at hand. Jayne was one in the movie that I thought was exactly like he was in the series. Perhaps it's because there really is no depth to his character. WYSIWYG! The only part in the movie where I feel they dropped the ball was when Mal gave his 'you're with me or you leave my crew stay here' speech. Jayne, who fights for money and has already said he wasn't going to die for the Tam's should have said something. A simple promise of keeping the shares of anyone killed by Mal would have made sure Jayne went along, or even one of the other characters saying if they die he can have their share of whatever would have worked. I feel it should have been addressed. Look at how he ended up being on the crew!!!!  :laugh:
Adam Baldwin in real life is one of the few conservative actors out there. He really does come across as John Casey in real life. I hope Chuck does get renewed for another season and Adam Baldwin is a big part of why. If it doesn't I will certainly watch for his next show more so than any of the other characters. One more thing on him... can you imagine being in hollywood with the name of Baldwin but not being related to 'the' Baldwins. You have to wonder just how many times he's had to answer the "are you related to" question.  :laugh:

I believe that about covers it. I'm glad there are no rules around here as I'm sure I would have broken a few of them with my "review". And I guess I never answered the question this topic was supposed to discuss so here goes:
Did Serenity start a sci-fi revolution for which it has never been credited?
No  :tease: