Sunday, October 02, 2005

Spoiler-Free Review: Serenity

So they do the thing, with the--the zoom, and the whoosh, and the big--omigod, and they--oh, wow, and the bit with the fight, and when the guy does the--and that scene where Mal--it was SO COOL!

It's not the kind of movie you can give a spoiler-free review of. Go. See it for yourself. I'll just give you one line as a bonus.

"Doctor, I'm taking your sister under my protection here. If anything happens to her, anything at all, I swear to you I will get very choked up. Honestly. There could be tears."

6 comments:

Arturo said...

I liked the movie, but let's be honest: it was a glorified two-part television episode. I would like to see more of Serenity, but it would probably be well at-home as original tv-movies rather than big screens.

And I was so hoping to hear the theme (or the Jayne song) again...

Mags said...

Jayne! The man they call Jayne!

I thought it was a decent film, but characterisation was sacrificed for plot. My initial review was written in a net cafe having been knocking back chocolate schnapps into the August night though, so I'm going back this Thursday for a rewatch without the hoopla of the advance screenings.

I was singing the theme to my cat tonight: he did not look impressed.

John Seavey said...

I suppose I don't really know what Arturo means by, "It was a glorified TV episode." I mean, I know what that means in regards to, say, 'Star Trek: Insurrection', where it means that they didn't feel they needed to do anything big, or epic, or important, they just put the characters you remember up on screen and had them doing stuff, and went "Go," but 'Serenity' had a beginning, a middle, and an end.

If you'd watched "Firefly", you'd know that the beginning wasn't the first beginning (the Operative wasn't the first person sent after River), but I thought it certainly didn't lack ambition.

As for characterization...I don't know that it was 'sacrificed', but I have a hard time telling, because I obviously brought baggage to the movie. :) That is to say, I watched everyone in light of what I already knew about them, so I can't really say, "This character was vaguely defined." Certainly everyone didn't get equal screen time, but I don't think that's always how Whedon works; Wash gets enough character in two lines ("Can I bring up a suggestion that doesn't involve violence, or is this the wrong crowd?" and "I am a leaf on the wind; watch how I soar") to last a movie.

If anything, I had a problem with Jayne's character, as he sort of reverted through all the intervening time and several episodes back through the series just so they could get him to be the on-board antagonist in the big argument with Mal. :)

Mags said...

Wash was my biggest problem with the sketchy way I think the characters have been drawn. I didn't care about him, based just on the film.

I think they did some smart stuff, like removing Inara and Shepard from the initial crew so as not to overload the intro of the characters. But the whole Kaylee/Simon attraction was indicated as much by a crashing musical gear change...

As I said on shiny shelf, I thought the intro was an excellent way to bring an audience both up to speed on the setup and engage them with the story. I have zero problem with the agent being an official version of bounty hunter Earl. And, obviously, it's hard to tell how the characters would come across if you do not have the foreknowledge from Firefly because, er, I do but I do think character is one of the things Whedon does best and I do think it's lacking in the movie

Arturo said...

Yes, Serenity had a beginning, middle, and end; and Whedon did some things he might not have done on a show that is a regular (vis a vis two of his main characters). On the other hand, I can see this exact plot (perhaps with a bit of rewriting on Book) being shown as a two-hour season finale for Firefly, perhaps with fewer expensive effect shots (the view from outside Mr. Universe's lair, the big armadas). It didn't take a movie to tell this story, I guess is what I'm saying...

Mags said...

saw it again last night, free of all the hoopla of the Edinburgh screenings , and it improves with a rewatch.

We also had a control with us, who had never even heard of Firefly and didn't know who Whedon was. Two-thirds of the way through she leaned over and said "this is brilliant".