September 30, 2005

Browncoaaaaats, Mount Up!

Serenity opens today, and I expect you all to be out there seeing it. To get you ready, I want you all to know what the goal is here. We're not satisfied with one successful movie, no sir. Here's what we Browncoats are about, son. A Big Damn Trilogy.

I also needs to give a shout out to Joy, who's in birthdayland today. An auspicious day indeed!

"A secret yearning lurks inside / Like a dream trying to hide / Another time, another space."


Jason said...

Ayreon-Another Time Another Space

Noumena said...

My Serenity Review
by Noumena

Short review: Serenity kicks much ass if you're a Firefly fan.

Long review: If you're already well-immersed in the Fireflyverse, then Serenity will be almost exactly what you wanted. The writing and acting are, of course, exactly what we got from Firefly, and in two hours the plot lines left open by Firefly's untimely cancellation are tied up, more or less. Most, if not all, of the film was devoted to telling the story of River Tam, as this was the most substantial arc left unfilfilled in Firefly.

This does mean, however, that very little time is spent on character development: it appears Joss simply didn't have the time (in terms of the length of the film) to really dive into the dynamics of the group. In spirit and style, Serenity is closer to the Firefly episodes The Train Job or Ariel than, say, Out of Gas or The Message. This isn't a bad thing, of course, but it does mean that, like The Train Job, this is not the first thing one's Firefly-deprived friend should see for the best possible impression.

If you wanted to get a friend up to speed before taking them to Serenity, I'd recommend watching at least the pilot (the episodes Serenity), Ariel, Heart of Gold, and Objects in Space.

One thing I dearly missed was the particular style of the CGI shots. The CGI in Firefly was usually done in a style that made it look much more realistic than anything in Lucas: the camera vibrates and bounces, zooms in and out suddenly, and the action is rarely perfectly framed. We do get some of this, towards the end, in the largest single CGI sequence, but by then many opportunities have been passed over.

Also, the Ballad of Serenity never shows up. Indeed, there isn't even a real credit sequence; they're simply shown over the first scene set in Serenity.

Joss showed early and fairly often in Buffy and Angel that he was not squeamish about killing off important characters. I think the death of Wash is significant, however, in its pointlessness. Every death in Buffy had either an efficient or final cause -- Jenny Calender is killed by Angelus to prevent the restoration of Angel, Joyce dies and leaves Buffy with all the responsibilities of adulthood, and Tara's death is the catalyst for Willow's transformation. Wash is killed almost accidentally, certainly not personally, and his death doesn't really spurn anyone to do anything different. It serves to differentiate this film from just about any other action film around, with the possible exception of Quentin Tarantino's work (where he does almost the exact opposite to the same end): this portrayal of death serves to ground all the violence, leading the viewer to realize how unbearably tragic all of these events are. It's entertaining and viscerally cool to watch River beat up every single person in a crowded bar -- but, in the context of the film world, how many good people accidentally lost their lives there?

Anonymous said...

BIRTHDAY LAND! BIRTHDAY LAND! WHEEEEEE! It's like Disneyland with more alcohol, puking, and spinnies but with less overpriced gifties and gadgets to purchase. WHEEEEE! Thanks, Benner!