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Member's Reviews

Serenity, a review by Jon


Serenity
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...


(From Serenity on February 28th, 2010)

Member's Reviews

The Grudge, a review by addicted2dvd


     The Grudge (2004/United States)
IMDb |Wikipedia |Trailer |
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (United States)
Director:Takashi Shimizu
Writing:Takashi Shimizu (Original Material By), Stephen Susco (Screenwriter)
Length:98 min.
Video:Widescreen 1.85:1
Audio:English: Dolby TrueHD: 5.1, French: Dolby TrueHD: 5.1, Commentary: Dolby Digital: Dolby Surround, Commentary: Dolby Digital: Dolby Surround
Subtitles:English, French

Stars:
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Karen
Jason Behr as Doug
William Mapother as Matthew
Clea DuVall as Jennifer
Kadee Strickland as Susan

Plot:
From filmmaker Sam Raimi (Spider-Man™, Army of Darkness) and acclaimed Japanese director Takashi Shimizu comes a terrifying tale of horror in the tradition of The Ring and 28 Days Later.

Sarah Michelle Gellar (TV's "Buffy The Vampire Slayer") stars as an American nurse who has come to work in Tokyo. Following a series of horrifying and mysterious deaths, she encounters the vengeful supernatural spirit that possesses its victims, claims their souls, then passes its curse to another person in a spreading chain of horror. Now she must find a way to break this supernatural spell or become the next victim of an ancient evil that never dies, but forever lives to kill.

Extras:
  • Scene Access
  • Audio Commentary
  • Bonus Trailers
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Featurettes
  • BD-Live
  • Theatrical and Unrated Versions, Two Short Films


My Thoughts:

While this is a good ghost story, I have seen better. Don't get me wrong... it is well worth watching. It is always nice to see familiar faces from TV Series in movies. And this one has 3 people I knew from TV series. Of course Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)... but there is also Jason Behr from Roswell and KaDee Strickland from Private Practice. I do like the way they did the ghosts in this film.
Rating:


(From Within My Lifetime Marathon on January 19th, 2015)

Member's TV Reviews

Pilot Season 2014-15, a review by DJ Doena


About A Boy



About A Boy @ Wikipedia
About A Boy @ IMDb

Synopsis: Will wrote a Christmas song that made him decently rich a few years ago. He is an adult but he never grew up.
His life changes when a single mother and her young son move in next door.
Marcus doesn't have any friends and is a bit "odd" but for some reason the connects with Will and vice versa.
From there on the three of them have a kind of relationship that is very hard to explain to outsiders but it works for them.

My Opinion: The show started during the Olympics back in February and will soon start its second season.
It's based on the same book and has (in the beginning) the same basic story as the movie of the same name starring Hugh Grant.

The only truly recognizable names are Minnie Driver (Good Will Hunting) and Al Madrigal (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart).

I liked the show right from the start and I am glad that it got a second season. Like most comedies I like it's not of the Ha-Ha-LOL variety but bases his humour more on the general setting and the likeability of the characters.



(From Pilot Season 2014-15 on September 6th, 2014)