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Fourteen Reviews Precipitated ByThursday Night

I am – Hercules!!

First off? Those who attended the “Serenity” screenings (and those who wish they did) will be keen to read this fabulous first-person account by cartoonist M.E. Russell.

Joss Whedon’s feature directorial debut doesn’t formally go into release until Sept. 30, but Universal so little fears bad buzz (and for good reason) that the studio on Thursday night hosted 20 screenings of “Serenity” in 20 cities. Find the verdicts below, and beware GIANTIC, UNINVISOTEXTED SPOILERS YOU LIKELY DON’T WANT TO READ …

1) “Overall the film was excellent,” says “Quirky muse.” “Anyone familiar with Angel or Buffy knows Joss Whedon takes the human condition seriously.”

Saw Serenity tonight in DC I won’t give spoilers…and I reserve a special place in hell for those that do.

But for those that loved the show, I will tell you what dangling plot threads are resolved.

Book’s past… nope, and dialogue suggests we may never know

River’s powers… a focal point of the movie, so yeah its dealt with a lot

Inara’s desire to leave the ship…yes

Inara and Mal…somewhat

Kaylee and Simon…yes

Hands of blue…hands are neither explained nor seen

Mal’s faith…yes

Wash and Zoe wanting a baby?…not so much

Reaver’s….oh my yes. Answers are given to questions you didn’t think to ask, but remember how the borg got kind of lame the more and more they were explained…yeah, well that aint the case here.

Sound in space…hard to know…appeared not to, but big battle (whoops theres a semi-spoiler) seemed to have explosions

Blue Sun or whatever that company was named….no

Overall the film was excellent, though not yet color-treated and possessing in many places filler soundtrack ( recognized Waterworld at least twice). Also a rather odd “hand of god” decision, that one must really think about it to understand (or rationalize), in the movie leads one to believe that joss may not be finished editing yet.

One final note…Anyone familiar with Angel or Buffy knows Joss Whedon takes the human condition seriously, including its frailties, so you can probably guess that outcome may not be completely “feel good”. Do yourself a favor and stay spoiler-free. Mr Whedon has gone to great links to give you your $8.00 (or how much it costs by then) worth of blood and laughter, keep up your end of the bargain

Oh, and by the way, the lovely Morena Baccarin was there with her mother as well, hope other venues got meet other crew members.

Quirky muse

2) “The movie is great!” says “Willhelm.” “If you are a fan of the show, you should definitely enjoy the movie. It’s hard to tell if it’s a movie that non fans will get.”:

Hey Harry! I was lucky enough to attend the May 26th showing of Serenity in Dallas TX and thought I'd send in a review.

First off we got to the theater an hour early and we were the last in line! There were people in costume and they were giving away prizes to people that could answer trivia questions (It looked like they were small books on Joss Whedon). So there was quite a big hoopla and everyone was obviously pumped to see the movie.

About 20 minutes before the movie they let us in and the theater was PACKED! Right before the show there was only 2 seats left in the entire room.

Onto the movie...

It starts off with the introduction by Joss which was quite good. There were many times when the crowd erupted into applause.

The movie starts off explaining how River was rescued and then moves onto the ship. The movie seems to start about midway through the series (character development wise). River and Simon are on the ship but are not yet considered a part of the crew. Of course, except for Kaylee who's still creaming for Simon. Then the Alliance and their trained assassin get involved and the shit hits the fan.

The movie is great! If you are a fan of the show, you should definitely enjoy the movie. It’s hard to tell if it’s a movie that non fans will get. They don’t spend a lot of time on back story so non fans could get confused.

The movie is classic Firefly though. The best part of Firefly was its wit and the movie has that in spades.

There is one choice in the movie that I am not too sure about though. As some people have already posted on the site, there is great tragedy in the movie. I'm not one of those people that can’t watch a movie because it doesn’t have a happy ending. I understand not every movie can be "Herbie the Love Bug" and I can handle that, but DAMN IT if it wasn’t one of my favorite characters!!! I'm just not sure about the choice, and where they will go in the future if they continue the story.

With that said, it didn’t kill the movie for me at all! It’s a great movie and like I said if you liked the series you will NOT be disappointed! If they have another Advanced Screening I will probably try to snag tickets to that too.

Just thought I would pass my opinion along,

3) “I might sound like I'm being negative and nitpicky, but it's only because I loved this movie so much,” says “betterJedi.” “I loved the experience and will pay to see the film a few times when it comes out in September.”:

Hello all. I had a 2 hour drive back from Atlanta last night to contemplate how to deliver this SERENITY review. I will not give any spoilers and will try and be as fair and honest about this movie as possible. You should know up front that I'm a die hard Browncoat – watched every episode that aired when it came on, bought the boxset the day it came out and have converted over twenty people into becoming Browncoats. I went through a lot of heartache (and money) to get my ticket for the 5/26 screening. I say this just so you'll know where I'm coming from.

From what I've read in other reviews, I think die hard fans of the FIREFLY show are being more critical of this movie than folks who have never seen it. Now that I've seen it I understand where they're coming from but I also think that with repeat viewings this movie will grow on any disgruntled Browncoats. I might sound like I'm being negative and nitpicky, but it's only because I loved this movie so much. If I didn't care for this movie then I wouldn't be writing a review. Because I loved it so much, the tiny imperfections really stood out to me. I can only write this review comparing the TV show versus the movie. Both are great but they are very different from one another. I know that you can't do the same type of storytelling in movies that you can with TV and vice versa so that explains some of the concerns I have about the movie.

So here we go…

1. Captain Malcolm Reynolds: in the show Mal was a 'Han Solo'-type character with some dark edges hinted at. In the show he had plenty of humor but was able to play serious very well when the need arose. When this movie starts I couldn't help but feel a little disconnected with Mal. His dark edges seem to be the focus of his character, which didn't feel right after having watched each of the episodes so many times. The problem to me was that Mal spends most of this movie being mad – mainly with his own crew. On the show Mal had the occasional run-ins with Jayne and Simon – and of course Inara. In this film you don't ever really get a sense that this is the same crew that, despite their differences, became somewhat of a dysfunctional family. Mal spends a lot of time yelling and fussing at his crew, telling them that they can leave whenever they're ready. Though that's not a complete contradiction with the TV Mal, in the old version of Mal you at least got the sense that he was fiercely loyal to his crew and would protect them no matter what. You don't get that with this Mal – at least not at first (with the exception of River). As the film progresses Mal has more and more humorous bits and seems to lighten up slightly, which worked well in the end. My main concern here is that with the audience watching this movie who knows nothing of FIREFLY might find Mal hard to understand and like right away. Those of us who know him well will probably be a little forgiving and by the time the credits roll I felt that Mal was back to being himself again.

2. Zoe: Zoe in this film is pretty much the same Zoe we had on the show, though I felt that she didn't get as many one-liners here as she did on the show. There were some great moments toward the end of the movie where her character really had a time to shine in moments of contemplation and reflection but unfortunately the movie never dares to show you those slow, character-building shots. For the most part she's likeable here. I just wish that we (especially Mal) could have spent a few quiet seconds with her near the end.

3. Wash: Wash is great. He's got some really outstanding one-liners and keeps the film from getting too dark and heavy. Though I did notice that the bulk of Wash's funny lines came in the first half of the film. He has a few great moments to shine and his character feels like one of the strongest ties that remain true to the show.

4. River: Oh River. I'll admit that she was never one of my favorites on the show but I was at least interested to find out her back story, especially with those aspects of it that are hinted at in the show. River has plenty of screen time here and I've seen in other reviews that this is her movie. I'll disagree with that. This is Mal's movie, but the plot has everything to do with River – mainly about Mal's decisions concerning what to do with River and then following him as he takes action. I didn't expect that we'd get so much information on River's background but I was pleasantly surprised about this aspect of the story. In the first ten minutes you will get a broad, general understanding of why the Alliance thinks it's vital that River is hunted down and destroyed. As the movie progresses toward a climax, River leads us to a planet where secrets are uncovered that put a more precise point to the reason why the Alliance must kill River – because of what she knows. River kicks butt in this movie and by the end of the story she's one of the characters that I liked the most. Which brings me to a major problem: her brother!

5. Simon: Simon Tam here is NOT the Simon Tam from the show unfortunately. The one on the show was a brilliant doctor but was socially a misfit – awkward in a love/no interest/is he interested relationship with Kaylee. He was a quiet man, ignorant to the ways of what it's like to live on the frontier. I think my problem with Simon in this movie is that he's too much like Mal. Simon stays mad the entire movie. That's not the Simon we knew on the show. People who never watched the show won't have a problem with this so this might not be a valid concern. I know the point to be emphasized in the movie is that Simon is willing to do anything to protect his sister. It just seems like Simon came off as a little harsh and cold and a bit of a spoiled brat, wanting to leave because he's not getting his way – not acting the least bit grateful that Mal took them in and kept them safe for the last eight months.

6. Jayne: Ah, Jayne. Jayne is Jayne and all is right with the world. He's funny – just about every line of dialogue he has is something that makes you laugh. Much like Wash, his movie character is very much the same as his television character. He's selfish, just like on the show, and is more than capable at handling the action sequences.

7. Kaylee: Kaylee, just like Jayne and Wash, is pretty much the same character in the movie as she was with the TV show. She's sweet and funny. Her character is a great sounding board for the audience – she actually delivers some thoughts and lines of dialogue to Mal that reflects what the audience is thinking. We want Mal to listen to Kaylee. She's the voice of reason.

8. Inara: I absolutely loved the way Whedon incorporated Inara into the story. I'm not a big STAR TREK fan but I at least go see the movies when they come out. One of the things that really bothered me about the last couple of TREK films is the fact that Worf was no longer a crew member on the Enterprise yet the writers seemed to go out of their way to come up with cheesy reasons to have him along for the ride – as if they didn't think they could do a TREK movie without him. This is not the case with Inara in this movie. When she first appears on a video screen to talk with Mal it's because she's vital to the story. It's no accident or cheesy circumstance that binds her with SERENITY. It's great the way she's brought in to the story. However, the poor girl has absolutely nothing to do once she's back on board. She just sort of stands around for most of the second half of the movie, watching events unfold. During the big action finale she does use a weapon that somewhat surprised me. I hope in the future that Whedon gives her more to do.

9. Book: One of the saddest things is that Book has so little screen time, yet something I was glad about is that his character is vital to the story as well. Mal needs advice. Book is the old school Yoda of the Firefly universe. He gives Mal some valuable instruction on faith. The problem is that the story is so fast paced that after Book's short screen time the crew is racing off again to their next destination. Book is fun to watch while he's on screen and the movie leaves you wishing you had more of him.

10. Whedon: he created this wonderful vision of the future, these fantastic characters that through the show became a part of each Browncoat's family, and the style of the show. Whedon wrote a great sci-fi story that surprisingly answers just about everything you wanted to know about River and he intelligently incorporates that with… well, I can't say because I don't want to spoil it for anyone. The one problem I had is that the story is so fast-paced that I feel like Whedon as a director missed some opportunities. There are moments (either sad or where a character is weighing some heavy options) that I wish we could have gotten a five to ten second shot showing the character with a contemplative look on their face. That would have given the audience a chance to catch our breath and given the story a chance to really pour on the emotional impact. Whedon wrote a funny story and he was very smart in how he tied everything together. As reported in other reviews, Whedon gives a brief introduction to the movie. This was laugh out loud funny and I'll be disappointed if it doesn't make it to the DVD. I was pleasantly surprised with an important Firefly aspect that he explains (though I can't say here in this non-spoiler review) but I was a little disappointed that there are hardly any western aspects to this story. I missed horses and small towns and that feeling of being on the wild, untamed frontier. Hopefully future stories will return a little more of that frontier feeling to the screen.

11. The story: (non-spoiler of course) coming into this movie there were three questions from the TV show that I wanted answered: A) Why does the Alliance want River so bad? B) What is Shepherd Book's real back story? C) What secret is Inara hiding about her past? Well, you get the first one answered pretty thoroughly – and in surprising ways with how River's story ties in with other aspects of the Firefly universe. We find out nothing about Book or Inara's past and I guess that's something that can be explored in the future. Talking with other Browncoats, they seem to want Whedon to keep making Firefly movies but after having seen this movie (which I loved) I find myself hoping that this comes back as a TV show and they put off doing any more movies for a while. The movie is great fun, but I would rather have twenty fun stories with these characters a year than just one great story every few years.

Hope this wasn't too long and boring. And I know it sounds like I'm bashing the movie but I'm really not. I loved the experience and will pay to see the film a few times when it comes out in September. Go see this movie. Bring a friend to it. Tell them to bring a friend. It's not a perfect movie but it at least gives new life to one of the best television shows ever aired.

Thank you Joss for making this film. Please continue telling Firefly stories.


4) “My two friends and I are Joss fans though one of them had never seen Firefly whereas my girlfriend was explicitly not a Joss fan and actually wanted to go into Serenity with no background info,” says “Dallas Reaver.” “All four of us LOVED it.”:

Hi, long time reader first time reviewer etc...

I've got the reactions of four people to deal with: Me, my two friends and my girlfriend. My two friends and I are Joss fans though one of them had never seen Firefly whereas my girlfriend was explicitly not a Joss fan and actually wanted to go into Serenity with no background info(because she was pretty much in the dark for Ep III and ended up wanting to watch all six films so she wanted to give this one the same treatment).

All four of us LOVED it.

Now let me say that the fact that I walked into the film knowing that just 1 year and a few days ago, Angel ended. I've read some of the Astonishing X-Men comics but haven't been able to really get into them. They're well written, of course, but I've been out of that 'verse for so long that I wasn't able to really enjoy it. Serenity was well worth the wait.

I was lucky enough to see it in Dallas and the print I saw was pretty good but needed to be filtered or processed (my girlfriend is a film major and actually used the correct term but I don't remember what it was). There were a few inconsistencies in the film regarding the sound such as "why is there sound in space at some points but not in others?" This was a question that didn't bother me too much because the sound was used effectively i.e. there's sound in battle and atmospheric entry but not when just out in space. Well, for the most part...

At any rate, the origin of the Reavers was amazing. I've never gotten too into Firefly (more of a Buffy/Angel fan to be honest) but the scenes with the Reavers always scared me. Seeing how they were *really* created was mind blowing. Joss took this whole "can't stop the signal" line and made it important. I mean, the show and the film almost seem to be about two different things. Whereas the show was more about the characters, the film is epic in scope. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of character development (and it's nice to see Mal be as dark as he was originally intended to be), but the film is about so much more than just the people on the boat.

I don't want to give away this major spoiler because I had accidentally read about it before seeing the film (which sucked because I actually didn't know much more about the plot other than this) but the way in which one major character died was incredibly painful. It reminds me of what Joss once said about writing for what the fans need, not for what they want. Something like that...yeah...but anyway, I walked out of this thinking "We didn't need that nor did we want it." When Wesley died at the end of Angel, it was very fitting and in hindsight, it was what we needed. This wasn't; this was borderline cruelty.

What amazed me so much was the reaction of the fans around me. With only half a season, I wasn't able to get truly involved in Firefly the way I have with other shows. This didn't quite hold true for the people around me who would gasp and mutter "oh no!" whenever something shocking happened onscreen. I just don't feel like I'm as devoted a browncoat as the others, I suppose.

But here's the crux: People keep wondering if Firefly/Serenity will replace the Star Wars/Trek void and they wonder whether people who aren't already Joss fans will even like the flick. The answer to those questions are "yes, if Universal handles the film better than Fox did" and "Yes, they can and they will." The two of us who had seen the show agreed that Serenity was better while the other Joss fan (but Firefly neophyte) was definitely engrossed in the story. Finally, my girlfriend isn't into sci-fi, she even got mad at me for being so into Buffy...she walked out of the film and told me "I really liked it, I can't wait to see it again when it's cleaned up and actually released."

Score one for the Browncoats.

If you choose to post this, call me the Dallas Reaver

5) “The movie was amazing, I have to say,” says “Lithera.” “The space battles were amazing and more impressive, to me at least, than the Star Wars battles.”:

I know you all got a lot of review from the first batch of Serenity vewings but I just wanted to add my two cents. There will be some spoilers in here so, all of you reading beware.

The movie was amazing, I have to say. There were a few places where there were problems and I don't know how much will be fixed in post production but I will be seeing it then. The space battles were amazing and more impressive, to me at least, than the Star Wars battles. They weren't nearly as shiny but they rang closer to true for me.

The entire film was very tightly paced. I think there are a few places where it might be a little too quickly paced, a little too tight. For at least the last thirty minutes, you don't get to catch your breath, things are coming at you so closely.

There were some complaints I saw in previous reviews that I want to address. The first is that characters die. Of course they die. If there were no risk to the characters than we wouldn't love them as much. Part of what I love about Joss Whedon is he isn't afraid of taking aim at great characters because he wants to spare them. No. This is a real world he's making and there are consequences, there are balances and I don't think we've seen them all yet. There is a further story to tell here if this movie does well enough.

Another complaint I saw was that there wasn't enough grieving. I can't disagree more. (HUGE SPOILER) Zoe grieved in the way she understood. She flipped out for a few moments and then snapped into psychotic vengeful mode. She was going to kill the people coming after them and she was going to kill them all - personally. Even at the very end when she and Mal have that conversation about the ship... He's asking her about how she's fairing. (END SPOILER)

I will say that I think Book got the short end of the stick here. I understand why he doesn't really get more time but I don't think we get enough time here to feel that Haven really is a haven for these people that are running so hard.

I enjoyed catching all of the music holders (5th Element anyone?) and I know I will be in line when this comes out in September. There will be a lot of Firely DVD sets being given out as presents between now and then.


6) “I'm a casual fan of ‘Firefly,’ saw the show on DVD, liked it...didn't love it,” says “Paul in Stratford.” “Sadly, I must say that this movie won't go beyond pleasing anyone but the dedicated fan base.”:

Greetings gents,

I was privileged to see a 4-month early look at Joss Whedon's "Serenity". Now, I'm a casual fan of "Firefly", saw the show on DVD, liked it...didn't love it. But I figured, why not check out a screening of the flick to see how it would play to me and my friend who never even heard of "Firefly". Sadly, I must say that this movie won't go beyond pleasing anyone but the dedicated fan base. Fanboys and girls of "Firefly" and all things Browncoated, enjoy! You will definitely have a good time. To everyone else, this plays as if you should be home on your couch, holding a remote and turning said remote to the Sci-Fi Channel. Whomever wrote that this movie is epic must have been a plant. The effects were on par, maybe a little better than the TV show. The settings were just a few notches above the idiot box as well. I didn't hate the movie, but it left me with such a "Star Trek: Insurrection" feeling. You know the one, as if they just made me sit through an overblown episode of "Firefly". Not disappointing, but it will NOT be a huge blockbuster. I give this to the realm of cult status.

That's my short and sweet non-spoiler review, and I'm sticking to it.

Stratford, CT

7) “Serenity is one hell of a great movie and it was purely satisfying for me,” says “Joel C.” “I read somewhere that this would make a great season one finale for the show. But screw that--this would make one hell of a SERIES finale.”:

Just saw the Portland screening of Serenity. I'm going to try to give you a review with very mild spoilers in case you're interested.

First of all, I'm a big fan of Firefly, as you would probably imagine. So I'm not unbiased, to be certain. With that out of the way, let me say that Serenity is one hell of a great movie and it was purely satisfying for me. I read somewhere that this would make a great season one finale for the show. But screw that--this would make one hell of a SERIES finale.

The focus of the movie is on River and just what is up with her. Right off the bat, we see Simon breaking her out of an Alliance facility and we partly learn why the Alliance is so hell bent on getting her back. As the movie progresses, you'll learn quite a bit about her backstory, about what the Alliance was doing to her and about the abilities she has.

Now, the nice thing about a movie as opposed to a TV show is that storylines can be better wrapped up. While not every storyline and question was concluded, we got the full backstory on River and found out all about the Reavers, and that's not something that you're going to get in a television episode. You need to keep those storylines going for awhile. With the show gone and this movie possibly being it (yes, I hope for sequels, but you never know) it was great to see Joss just lay it all on the line. As I said, the movie played, for me, like a series finale. There could be sequels, without question, but this would also be a satisfactory end.

The movie is a very different beast from the television show. The characters, for starters, are slightly different. Mal is darker and more frazzled, Simon is more combative, Kaylee seems a bit more forthright. There are some other differences as well. The movie also feels as if a lot has happened between the last episode of the series and where this picks up. Joss really pushes the sense of struggling for survival to a greater degree than he did in the show--in any of the episodes. There is a greater desperation pervading the atmosphere of the movie and the moral ambiguity from the series is on full display and ratcheted up a few notches right from the outset. Malcolm Reynolds is definitely a good guy, but he isn't exactly a straight up hero, either. He's a flawed character, a flawed human being hoping to do what's right but also willing, at times, to do what may be wrong.

And have no doubt, this movie gets very dark the longer it goes on. There's plenty of humorand lots of lines that got big laughs. But there's a heaviness, a darkness, that will weigh on you as the movie unravels itself. Nothing is safe in this movie.

The way I see it, you have two big concerns with Serenity. One is that it will play like a two hour, thirty million dollar episode of Firefly rather than a real movie and the second is that people who don't know a thing about this universe or these characters won't be able to follow or enjoy the movie.

The first concern is largely moot. This damn well is a movie and not an episode of Firefly. Everything is bigger and badder, the storylines are better resolved, the plot is much more bleak and nothing is held back--there are scenes in which the movie is devastating. Everything is bigger, with rougher edges and a lack of that TV polish that always seems to keep the plot from becoming too harsh. I never felt like this played as a big TV episode--in fact, it had a very distinctly different feel than the television show. This is a movie, plain and simple. Granted, it's a sci fi movie with a relatively low budget, but they still make good use of it. This could easily pass as having had a bigger budget. Perhaps the point when the lack of money is most evident is during a fairly large space battle that just is not seen that much. It's still a great, tense scene, but you get the sense that with a larger budget, there would have been more shots of the actual battle in space.

Now, will nonfans like the movie? I'm very biased, but I really think that people who don't know the show will still really enjoy the movie. It's funny, it's fast paced, it's filled with action, it's incredibly tense and suspenseful and has a fascinating story. I think the characters are introduced well enough that people will be able to follow along with minimal confusion. The basic backstory on the universe is laid out in a very simple manner right at the beginning. I don't think it's a particularly hard movie to follow and there is damn near NO downtime throughout the entire flick. The hardest part is going to be getting people into the theater in the first place, since it's a bit of a hard sell concept and there are no big stars. But if you can get the people in the theater, I think they're going to really enjoy it.

So that's about what I have to say. Fans of the show should love the movie and I'm relieved to say that if this is the last we see of this universe, fans should go away satisfied. People who have never seen the show? I think they're in for a treat and I hope they'll give the movie a shot. It's incredibly entertaining and affecting, period, and it's a movie that will stay with you long after you leave the theater.

8) “Serenity is the most entertaining movie from start to finish I've seen in a long time,” says “Boston Browncoat”:

Serenity is the most entertaining movie from start to finish I've seen in a long time. The acting is great and there are countless parts in the movie when the dialogue is funny one moment and chilling the next.

I hope this movie makes money so they'll make another sequel or at least greenlight another TV series. In my humble opinion, the Star Wars prequel pale in comparison to Serenity, especially the already overrated Episode III. You'll find no "She's lost the will to live!" or "NOOOO!!!" dialogue in Serenity.

A little side note, I drove from Boston to Providence last night to see this movie expecting to see maybe twenty or thirty people in the theater. I arrived at 9:45 and it was packed. I had to walk around for 10 minutes to find an open spot, and when I did, I heard how people paid over $100 per ticket to see this movie and drove all the way from Philadelphia to Providence just to see it. It's nice to have something this cool us geeks can gather around once again...

If you use this call me

Boston Browncoat

9) “While I always admired the whole Browncoats movement, I wouldn’t have considered myself one of them. Until I saw this gorram movie, that is!” says “Zombie Messiah.” “All I can say is... WOW.”:


I was at the Boston screening of Serenity last night. It was the Loew’s theater’s biggest screen (700 people capacity) and the place was packed 45 minutes before the screening started. No celebs there this time, but a local TV station (CN8) was in attendance interviewing fans for a feature of some sort.

A lot of people had clearly attended the earlier screening, but this was my first time and I was really excited to see what Joss had come up with. I was a fan of the Firefly TV series, but I don’t own the DVDs and haven’t seen the unaired episodes yet. So while I always admired the whole Browncoats movement, I wouldn’t have considered myself one of them. Until I saw this gorram movie, that is!

All I can say is... WOW. Actually, more than wow—I thought the movie hit every note perfectly and gave each character a moment to shine, although I think Book was underutilized a little (but used to good effect in the plot) and, of course, Nathan Fillion absolutely stole the show. Capt Mal is like Han Solo on a really, really, really bad day. Let’s just say I don’t see Joss revising his movie in 20 years and making Greedo shoot first—there’s no doubt that Mal is absolute badass in this pic.

The crowd loved the movie, and while it was almost exclusively made up of Firefly fans, it bodes well that the movie doesn’t disappoint them/us. I think the start of the movie might be a tad inaccessible for new viewers (that’s a lot of characters to keep track of), but each character really does emerge with his/her own personality and has a moment or two that steals the show. Wash is very, very funny, and Jayne gets almost all of the great one-liners. The only one who really doesn’t do much of interest is Zoe, although she has a nice moment with Mal early on after an encounter with the Reavers that goes a long way to revealing the moral dilemmas that Mal lives with as captain of the ship.

In summary, this movie really captures the spirit of the TV show, but makes it a little more mainstream scifi (less cowboy stuff) and should—with proper marketing and word of mouth like this—be a sleeper hit for Universal. I foresee lots of repeat visits to the multiplex for people who see the movie. I know I’ll be back in September.

If you use this, call me.... Zombie Messiah

10) “It's just shy of perfection,” says “Anonymous Firely Freak.” “I realized about three quarters in I'd had a dumb grin on my face.”:

Hey there Harry,

Take this for what it's worth--a very biased review from a Buffy/Angel/all around Joss freak. In spite of all that, I didn't watch Firefly when it originally aired (Universal's marketing it with Joss' name is dead-on, by the way, and exactly what Fox should have done . . . but nevermind.) I bought the series on DVD, and I was hooked from the second or third episode.

So I beat the odds and managed to get tickets to one of the Serenity screenings tonight (and I got the nifty special keychain to prove it). Joss had a hilarious personal message before the film. ("You all made this happen . . . so if it's bad, it's your fault.)

Into the film. To be quick, it's just shy of perfection. I realized about three quarters in I'd had a dumb grin on my face.


The Good River kicking Reaver ass. River in general. Everything Jayne says, does . . . and wears (check out the graphic on the t-shirt). The resolution to all dangling plotlines from the series. Video tombstones. Sexbots! The Wrath of Khan moment. "Screw this, I'm gonna live!"

The Not-So-Good Zoe's weird reaction to a certain someone's untimely demise. A couple delivery issues (the "battery-operated" comment.) Some scenes need trimming--the pace is off here and there.

Now, I liked Star Wars Ep III, but to go from that script to a Whedon script . . . I can tell you which movie I'll be seeing again, and buying on DVD . . .

So Joss, fix some minor stuff, and it's a home run.

See it. And get yourself a birthday present and buy Firefly on DVD. You deserve it.

-Anonymous Firely Freak

11) “Firefly fully restored my faith in network television. My wife and I are Buffy and Angel fans, but not fanatics. Firefly made me a fanatic, says “Anna Morfick.” “What did I think of SERENITY? A mixed bag. There was a LOT of stuff I liked, some things I loved, but also a few fundamental gripes.”:

Hey guys,

Last night, I had the honor (read as "luck") of attending the second Boston screening of Joss Whedon's SERENITY. Seeing as how I'm so goram tired right now and I'm still trying to fully process what I thought of the film, this is going to be somewhat less lengthy than I originally planned.

Let me start by saying that I've been a browncoat since Fox first aired the pilot episode, err, I mean "The Train Job." As hard as Fox tried to bury this show, with its terrible time slot and unaired, out-of-sequence episodes, Firefly fully restored my faith in network television. My wife and I are Buffy and Angel fans, but not fanatics. Firefly made me a fanatic. The dialogue, the cast, the music, Whedon's remarkable ability to combine every genre under the sun and make it work seamlessly. So, when I heard about the Big Damned Movie, "giddy" doesn't begin to explain my mood. Yeah, yeah, but what did I think of SERENITY?

(No spoilers in the following two paragraphs) A mixed bag. There was a LOT of stuff I liked, some things I loved, but also a few fundamental gripes. I think die-hard fans will find plenty to thrill over and get an absolute kick out of seeing everyone on the big screen; I know I did. Newbies who have never seen Firefly are going to have questions, but it's still a fun movie any way you slice it. I spoke with 3 guys last night en route to our cars in the Boston Common Garage, and one of them was a rookie. He really liked it. And that makes me happy.

The print was clearly unfinished and didn't look nearly as shiny as the Quicktime trailer. The result was a dark print without much in the Visual Punch department. The audio was also unfinished (I hope) and sounded rather flat. I hope the surround track kick ass come September. The film needs some spit and polish and some tighter editing here and there. But all told, I gave it a qualified "B" with the hope that September will bring us at least an "A-"

(*** Spoilers ahead. Beware! ***) This is hard for me, because I've never before uttered a criticism of the Firefly 'verse. If you know and love the show, the things you love about the movie will be obvious and loved by all fellow browcoats. (Simon and Kaylee... HOORAY! ; Reaver backstory... very interesting stuff and nice to finally know how the hell THEY happened; River kicking some serious booty...all good things) Ejiofor as The Operative and David Krumholtz were great additions; Ejiofor in particular had commanding screen presence.

What I want to focus on however is the negative. The stuff that has me hoping that Joss reads this and decides to make some changes. In a nutshell: where's the fun? The show was often exciting, often scary and often serious, but there was a lightheartedness coarsing through its veins. I didn't sense that nearly enough last night. There were plenty of hysterical moments and one-liners, but they seemed almost out of place considering the weighty tone and driving plot of the film. Also, Firefly gave us a family. They laughed together, ate together and fought together. The film needs to show more of that love that exists between them all. (Yes, even for Jayne.)

Wash, Inara, Kaylee and Book were all vastly underutilized and didn't get nearly enough screen time for my tastes. I know the story revolved around Simon and River, but the others seemed more like co-stars or cameos and less like the ensemble leads they were on Firefly. Wash was always a favorite of mine and it was upsetting that he wasn't more integral. He does get a kickass sequence to shine, but my Wash quota wasn't fulfilled as I hoped it would be.

The music... was ok, nothing great. I really wanted to hear that awesome Firefly theme song at some point but it never happened. Unacceptable! More fiddles, more banjo and more cowbell! (OK, maybe not cowbell) This brings me to my final complaint. I loved that Firefly was a sci-fi/western (among other things) and I felt that they almost complely eliminated the western-ness in SERENITY. This saddens me because it's probably that unique combination that made Firefly so unique to immediately capture my interest. Here, they gloss over the Old West-ish state of the border planets and keep everything feeling rather futuristic. Hmm.

I know Joss said that "now is a time for quiet" if we didn't like the film. Well, you might not know it from reading my comments, but I loved the film. I did. But I also had some issues with it. There is a ton of time between now and Sept 30. I hope that comments like these will not fall on deaf ears and SERENITY becomes what it truly has the potential to be: a fitting finale to one of the greatest series ever aired on prime time television.

No power in the 'verse will stop me from seeing this again come September...

Anna Morfick

12) “Serenity is fantastic,” says “M Satori.” “Whether or not you've seen the show is irrelevant.”:

I'm a long-time reader of this site but have never had a chance to review anything for it. But tonight I saw Serenity. I'm not going to bother setting it up, what the crowd was like, what my experience getting to the theater was like, or any of the other introductions some of your reviewers provide. It doesn't matter.

I watched Firefly when it was on the air, liked it, watched the full DVD set shortly after it came out, loved it. I'm not a raving Whedonite, and though I did enjoy much of Buffy I felt it went downhill very steeply towards the end. That's my bias, if you care to know where I'm coming from. It doesn't matter either.

Serenity is fantastic.

Whether or not you've seen the show is irrelevant. Having no small prior attachment to Firefly, I'm not going to even pretend to distance myself from it, and I might've enjoyed the movie more because I had that attachment going in to it. But there's truly nothing that you need to know going in to this movie that isn't adequately explained up front. You might not have all the nuances, but you're given every piece of information you need. There's as much introduction to the setting and insight into the characters as you get in any movie, and there's plenty of character development on screen. It stands on its own.

Serenity might not be high art. It might not be particularly deep or impart valuable life lessons, though I think you could argue that if you're so inclined. It has a very fast-paced plot, so it might not linger on a few scenes as long as some might like. But it's never fast-paced enough to be confusing or feel forced. It's got a couple of cliches, but they're handled better than you'd find in most mainstream pictures.

Is this movie perfect? I could nitpick a few minor points, but honestly I'm so pleased with it I don't really care to sully my experience of it with personal gripes. It is so obvious that every scene in this movie was made with genuine passion for the material, that it makes me feel like my very minor complaints (which I'll go into in the spoiler section at the end) aren't even worth caring about.

Above all else, *that* is why I will tell you to see this movie. The passion. If you read this site, you're like me in some way. You love some aspect of fandom, you love some show, some comic, some movie, *something* enough to come here and read these reviews and flame each other in these talkbacks and speculate about casting decisions for movies that may never get made. You have felt this passion for something, and it's left its mark on you. And I'd bet that you've probably been let down at some point when something you felt so passionately about was handled badly. Whether it was a poorly-adapted novel, or a TV show that lost its way, or a promising concept that got focus-grouped apart and put through the wringer of the Hollywood process until the soul of it was bled dry and all that remained was the trappings of something you could have once loved. If you really care about the stuff that gets reported on this site, you probably know what that's like.

Well, that didn't happen here. There's a damn good reason why so many Firefly fans who've been to the preview screenings are raving about this movie. It's because this thing we feel so passionate about has been beaten down by the system and survived intact. The very existence of this movie is a big Fuck You to the shallow executives at Fox who tried to scuttle the series. It is a living testament to the power of fandom, an example of what can happen when word spreads and suddenly this thing that was written off by the people in power has a million advocates shouting its glories so loudly that they can't be ignored.

How often can you remember that happening? How often do you get a chance to revisit something precious to you that seemed gone forever?

I'd implore you to see this movie for that reason alone - I don't want to see this opportunity squandered. And it is an opportunity, a chance to set an example that the process isn't always right. I'd want you to see the movie so that maybe, if only for a brief second, it would give pause to the purveyors of conventional wisdom in Hollywood and make the marketers sit down and have to actually ponder what made it successful.

But quite honestly, I think you'll like it. At the *very least* I do not think you will regret seeing this movie in a theater - it has a great many moments of pure action entertainment, a healthy dose of humor, and enough emotional resonance that anyone could identify with something in it. You never know - you might even catch this impassioned fever you see so many of us sharing.

What is Serenity? A story about some good-hearted outlaws harboring a girl who was turned into a psychic assassin who is now being pursued from planet to planet by the fascist government that created her for her knowledge of their secrets, secrets shocking enough to stir a solar system to revolt if they got out.

It's a well-made sci-fi flick with a quick wit, honest and utterly convincing characterization, and some clever ideas that neither define the genre or nor go off in some groundbreaking direction. But it is genuine in its approach to the material, and it just feels earnest from start to finish. That's what takes it from good to exceptional in my mind.

Moderate Spoilers follow.................................................................

I think just about any fan of the series is in for some serious pay-offs. You learn what happened to River and why she's being hunted. You get a great deal of insight into the Reavers. You see some significant character development with Mal, and really with nearly all of the main characters. You learn more about the government and why the war was worth fighting in the first place. You get dozens of lovely character moments that you're waiting for.

There are two character deaths that I'd like to address briefly. While I thought the scene of the first death was a little cliched, I can see why it was necessary to inspire the rest of the story. I've seen some people complaining about the second character death, how it seemed like the rest of the cast didn't grieve the loss and just kept moving. I disagree, as their grief was evident and given some mention later in the film - what happens is that we as an audience don't get the chance to grieve for the character after the death occurs. The movie doesn't slow down for it. I found that entirely consistent with the events unfolding on the screen though, as there was no time for the characters to stop if they wanted to live, and I think that makes it all the more poignant, especially given the character's personality and last words.

If I felt like complaining, I'd say that the introduction of a new character - Mr. Universe - isn't fleshed out enough. If I hadn't seen the show, I'd probably assume that he'd been introduced previously, as they don't really set him up much. Still, it's a really minor complaint, as his place in the movie is pretty easily understood. ..................................end of spoilers

The only other concern I have is that this movie is very fast-paced. I don't think that will be a problem for fans of Firefly, but it might leave some newcomers scratching their heads in a few places. But the movie is always comprehensible, never boring and keeps your focus on the events as they unfold, so much so that it should satisfy most people and will likely delight many.

It's not a perfect movie. But it's really fucking good. It's worth your time.

Believe it.

If you use this, call me M Satori.

Thank you.

13) “If you're a fan of the tv show, this is DEFINITELY a treat,” says “Xmenfan.” “If you're not a fan of the show, well then, it's hard to say.”:

..I don't care, i'm still free, you can't take the sky from meeeeeee..

If you're a fan of Joss Whedon, then those song lyrics are probably as familiar to you as the back of your hand. If that's the case, you will probably reasonably enjoy Whedon's flick, Serenity, an 2 hour film sequal of sorts to his cancelled(though critically acclaimed and beloved by fans) 13 episode series known as Firefly. If you're not a fan...well...

I'm getting ahead of myself. For the uninitiated, the tv show Firefly was a sci-fi western hybrid which followed the weekly adventures of a band of rag tag smugglers led by their Captain Mal Reynolds(Nathan Fillion) who rode around in a big spaceship called Serenity. 2 of the crew were the Tams, Simon(Sean Maher) and River(Summer Glau). They were fugitives on the run from the evil Alliance of planets and River was a hot commodity because she had psychic powers(or something or another). The crew was rounded out by Jayne the muscular comic relief(Adam Baldwin), Wash the loveable pilot(Alan Tudyk), Zoe the captain's first mate and wife of Wash(Gina Torres), The ship's resident classy prostitute Inara(Morena Baccarin), a preacher/shepard named Book(Ron Glass), and Kaylee the cute mechanic(Jewel Staite). Every week the crew would get into some sort of swashbuckling heist OR they'd be on the run from the Alliance who were trying to get River back and we'd often learn more about her "mysterious past".

The movie is pretty much the same sort of thing. In the movie version, we get a new bounty hunter(Chiwetal Ejiofor) looking for River. The movie seems to be acting as some sort of season finale(or even series finale) for the series. 2 major characters loose their lives, we learn a lot about River's secrets, and their is definite closure.

Enough about the plot, you want to know if it's a good movie right? Well, yes and no and theirin lies the problem.

If you're a fan of the tv show, this is DEFINITELY a treat. You will at least like it and many, MANY of you will outright love it. I'm a hardcore Whedon fan and i thought it was hilarious(when played for comedy), action packed(the fight scenes were good. They had a certain kind of realism to them that many film fights lack) and best of all, fantastic drama(if the climax of the film doesn't move you in some way, you're just not a fan.). The acting is also amazing as usual. Ron Glass and Morena Baccarin have too little to do but given the size of the cast and how much needed to be done, it's understandable.

If you're not a fan of the show, well then, it's hard to say. I think even if you've never seen the show, it's definitely an entertaining and thought provoking sci-fi film and for many that will be enough. But unfortunatly, i'm not sure it is. For example, during one of the big character deaths, I said to myself,"wow, that's really sad and shocking but If i was someone who hadn't seen that character for 13 hours of tv, what would I think?". I know exactly what I would've thought. I would've thought,"well, that's shocking and sad but i dont' really care".

And that's why ultimately Serenity is pretty much just a really REALLY entertaining fanboy movie. For someone who already loves these characters, it's a slamdunk. I do. I'll be seeing the film again come September and buying the dvd. But for an outsider, at best, it's just "an entertaining sci-fi film". It's dialogue is amazing(but again, that also kinda depends on your tolerance for Whedon's dialogue) but unless you already care about these characters you're gonna sit there and go,"yeah, that's nice but why should i care?". I recommend it but I'm afraid the movie might be too fan inclusive for it's own good.

9/10 or 4/5 at movieman's site.( That’s where I’m a reviewer at.

p.s., Universal has a real uphill battle on it's hands. The fans will be there. They'll get there 20 million plus opening weekend, but I don't think this'll go further than 50 million domestic.

14) “Is a rough cut of Serenity worth a $50 ticket on Ebay and a 400 mile roundtrip?” asks the Tredeger. “Oh my. Let me count the reasons.”

Just got back from the D.C. screening of the new rough cut of Serenity. Morena in attendance. Tremendous experience. extensive review attached. Basically spoiler free. Do with as you please. Please delete anything you deem to be too spoilerish.

cheers, Jazz Tigan

My last review for aintitcoolnews was the very first review of a little show called Lost. Nothing was more thrilling than being mistaken for a plant in talkback. Here, I’d like to take the time to answer the question:

Is a rough cut of Serenity worth a $50 ticket on Ebay and a 400 mile round trip?

Oh my. Let me count the reasons. In excruciating detail. This is by far the most sustained visceral experience a film has given me since, well, possibly ever.

For the record, this will not be a perfectly glowing review, but a spoiler free analysis of what we as fans can expect in September. The movie also goes a long way in clarifying the future of the Firefly verse, and I’ll try to cover that as well.

I am cursed with an affinity for prematurely cancelled television. My enduring sadness toward Farscape: Peacekeeper Wars was that a story was told in four hours (including adverts) that should have been given 23 episodes. As the curtain call begins for Serenity I am acutely aware of the fact that I’m not going to get a full season or even a 3 hour film. More than anything else, I fear this movie will fail to find it’s proper balance.

My pet theory for why great television often fails to make a suitable transition to film revolves around the notion that “epic” means something entirely different in the two media. Failures of scope and scale derail this transition more often than any other factor. An epic film should feel like the Iliad. It may take place over a decade, but the time frame is condensed in the telling, Hektor and Achilles must die, and Troy must be reduced to a smoldering ruin. Epic television feels like the Aeneid. The journey is the thing and the passage of time should be a major force shaping the growth and development of the characters. Mr. Whedon has demonstrated an unsurpassed mastery for telling Odysseys but can he cap a half season masterpiece with a 2 hour film and leave us feeling fulfilled?

First, the Audience: I didn’t see any of the Universal people taking note of the gender distribution of the audience, but if they had, I think they would have been left scratching their heads and wondering if they were screening a sci-fi flick or a movie with the word Sisterhood in the title. The ratio was about 3-2 female (which for SF is basically unprecedented).

Best part of the experience: I just can’t bury the lead here, mine was the D.C. screening in which the surpassingly lovely Ms. Baccarin was in attendance with her equally lovely mother. There was much speculation as to who might be in attendance, and upon her introduction, I couldn’t help but blurt out “We win!” A fine laugh of agreement from the crowd even if 3/5ths of them were not so secretly craving Adam Baldwin. Ms. Baccarin stayed for the entire screening and reported that it was a rather different cut from the last screening. I do rather wish I had the proper basis for comparison. There was an autograph signing afterward and for those of you who are wondering, yes, she is that ridiculously beautiful in person. She is also exceptionally gracious and seemed genuinely appreciative of the fans.

The Movie:

Exposition: Less than 10 minutes. Concise yet comprehensive. In media res at it’s very best. You get the sense that Joss could have made a twenty minute version of Episodes I & II that would have rocked that galaxy far far away. And that’s my last comparison to that other space story. Though the comparisons at the current time are inevitable, it’s much more interesting to compare Serenity to the rest of the Whedon canon.

Before the film began, I set out to continually ask the question: How would this story play to the Firefly neophyte? The opening scene flashes back to the Tams’ escape from the central planets (this is hardly a spoiler). Despite knowing that they must succeed, I was completely caught up in the suspense of the action - a remarkable feat indeed. But the uninitiated will experience this in a completely different way, in a manner that is almost diametrically opposed to that of the learned browncoat. After all, they don’t know who these people are or if they will evade the bad men.

In fact, this dual experience turns out to hold for large swathes of the film, both from the standpoint of the plot and, more impressively, our sense of the characters. It is clear that Joss took exceeding pains to craft (and craft is definitely the right word) his scenes so that they work seamlessly in either experience. Suffice to say that he tells one story to those out of the loop which can be appreciated on its own merits. For those in the know, the story is infinitely richer, and deserves all kinds of praise for never playing like a series of inside jokes and homages. Instead, it simply says welcome back to this ‘Verse, everything is still where we left it, please come in and stay a while. A wonderful callback to the crybaby device is tossed off casually without unnecessary fanfare. We are grown up enough not to need a wink and a nudge and Joss respects that.

Fans, please admire the way we step out of the escape scene. Notice how it brings the newbie through the entire series history with a driving question that propels them through the scenes to come despite their ignorance. Then enjoy the fact that we aren’t left tapping our toes while the rest of the world plays catch up. Rather, we’re catching our breath after the introduction of the new nemesis (is anyone really a villain in the Verse?). When we last left off, we were celebrating our triumph over Jubal Early and now Joss hits us over the head with a wet fish and says “um, don’t get too comfortable, I’m sending this your way…right now”. Still before credits roll. This may be the greatest achievement of Joss’s career destined to go unrecognized and unappreciated. Given the unique history of this project, he ’s chosen the most difficult route as a writer and pulled off a singular feat in story structure. Chock full of lessons for the film school set. But I digress.

The continuity error that wasn’t: In Objects in Space, as the gang discusses River’s abilities, Simon professes extreme skepticism at the notion of psychic powers. We discover in the very first moments of the film that Simon is well aware of River’s psychic peculiarities. I took this to be a continuity error until I realized that it would be entirely natural for Simon to feign ignorance to the rest of the crew in an effort to protect his sibling. But it took a second thought.

Moving on. Roll credits. Tracking shot through the ship as Simon and Mal have one serious disagreement. It could have played as a director on his first feature film trying to do too much with the camera. It could have looked like a film student’s version of *that* shot from *that* gangster movie. It did not. It felt like a loving tribute to the 10th character. A shot that was always implied in the feel of the series.

On that note, I come upon my first disappointment. The interior of the ship really feels different on the big screen. Sort of the opposite of coming back to a childhood home where everything feels smaller. Visually, everything feels a little further away from everything else. Nothing seems quite as cozy. This may have been intentional, as the story is not a cozy one, but Kaylee’s room, the kitchen table, and the room with the yellow couch all felt way too spacious and a touch forbidding.

The second thing you notice right away with this shot is that Mal is not a happy camper this outing. When you consider the series as a whole, you have a really rich sense of a multifaceted character. Malcolm Reynolds has more moods than a leopard has spots. And we never feel like we’ve seen them all. That ability to surprise with nuance was Nathan Fillon’s supreme gift to the series. But look back now at each episode in the series and you also notice that each one has it’s own internal consistency. Each one is intimately tied to Malcolm’s moods, rhythms, dispositions, fears and struggles at that point in time. The Message and Out of Gas are light-years away from Trash and Shindig. It would be an utter mistake to try to present all the facets of this character in a single story. No fear of that. But what is absolutely shocking shocking shocking is which Malcolm Reynolds Joss decided to put on the big screen. If Joss starts telling you in September that he’s really presenting a darker vision of his Verse than in the past, well he IS NOT SPINNING YOU.

I don’t know how he managed to do it, but this Malcolm is 100% free of studio input. From my vantage, I believe he could very well be utterly unappealing to the uninitiated. He isn’t sold as an action figure, but he isn’t sold as a slick anti-hero either. He is so much more. Let me put it this way: Black and white look the same in any light. The most interesting thing about a given shade of grey is that it appears differently depending upon the light in which it is cast. And our Mr. Reynolds is many different shades of grey. He is NOT a samurai, NOT a ronin, and definitely NOT a Jedi Knight. He is not a soldier either. Anymore. But he was once upon a time and a true believer. On the loosing side. And now things are about as bad as they can be.

The Malcolm Reynolds of this film is a man fighting for his life and in the process doing battle with his own sense of right, wrong, honor and purpose.

It’s truly something to behold. He doesn’t have a clear cut code, but he does have a strong internal compass, and we watch him struggle with these varying shades, constantly trying to find the right balance in a perpetually shifting set of circumstances. And he lies to himself. But if you’ve never witnessed his Shindig side, it can be offputting to say the least.

Malcolm makes choices that surprise him. And that means they can surprise us.

It is my great and abiding hope that the audience is worthy of Joss’s trust and bravery. He has decided to put forth the dark Malcolm that this dark story required, rather than shoe horn a more palatable and charming rendition into what becomes an inexorably woeful tale. M

Readers Talkback
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  • May 27, 2005, 10:12 p.m. CST

    SERENITY: Will it be the biggest grossing movie of all time?

    by Daddy Tones

    Yes it will.

  • May 27, 2005, 10:16 p.m. CST


    by Daddy Tones

    Fact. He makes Jesus look like a boy! Joss should be renamed Josus.

  • May 27, 2005, 10:28 p.m. CST

    Careful, that kind of rampant hyperbole is what gives us brownco

    by Anlashok

    That being said, there are only fourteen reviews for the sweet voluptuous goodness that is Serenity. Now does that sound right to you?

  • May 27, 2005, 10:37 p.m. CST

    Yawn times two

    by Shawn F.

    Saw the preview in front of Episode III. Should be great for fans. For anyone else, like me and Blarneyman, I quote Harvey Kietel from "Reservoir Dogs": PISS ON THIS FUCKING TURD! Man, that was a weak-ass coming attractions trailer!

  • May 27, 2005, 10:37 p.m. CST

    Has Harry seen it yet?

    by IMMORTAL-1

    Enough with the fan reviews. We get it they liked it. The they've had two screenings in Texas,let's get a non-Whedon kiss ass AICN staff review. Step up Harry.

  • May 27, 2005, 10:38 p.m. CST

    This movie will be great.

    by Screwdriver

  • May 27, 2005, 10:38 p.m. CST

    "Mr Whedon has gone to great links to give you your $8.00 (or ho

    by DAS JANKE

    no way is quirky muse from dc. i call plant. dc area prices have skyrocketed--i don't know an evening/nighttime film (big release) that costs a lowly 8.00 in the DC metro area. i'm fairly certain the only one showing the thing was Loew's in Georgetown which costs over 9.00 apiece. so suck it you plant.

  • May 27, 2005, 10:43 p.m. CST


    by DAS JANKE

    oh lordy, i can just smell the conservatives lubricating their finger joints for what will prove to be an onslaught of innuendo, vague debate, and general dodginess.

  • May 27, 2005, 10:47 p.m. CST

    Hey, sounds good!

    by Ribbons

    I'm a die-hard "Firefly" fan. Unfortunately I'm guessing we have approximately 2 hours, 47 minutes and 16 seconds until this thread is hijacked by people who have nothing better to do than scoff at how many people are fans of "that hack" Whedon. Well, for now let's pretend we all get along, shall we? Good block of reviews. I understand that they sold like hotcakes and so the people who are reporting back from screenings are either diehard Whedonites or Browncoats, but since I guess I can be considered a Browncoat myself, I think these reviews are probably a pretty close approximation of how I'll feel about the movie when I finally see it in September. Peace.

  • May 27, 2005, 10:48 p.m. CST

    Double yawn

    by Alfred_Packer

    Hitchiker's had more of fan base and look how that did [Granted, the miscasting or dumbing-down of the principals didnt help] I have never even heard of this show/movie until these talkbacks, but I'm glad you fans get some more content, that's cool. But to expect anyone beyond a die hard fan to give a damn about this movie is wearing the rosiest colored glasses around [just like Hitchikers]. Enjoy the DVD.

  • May 27, 2005, 10:49 p.m. CST

    saw it in Philly

    by Doc Brown

    Well, technically a county away, but it was the "Philly" showing. And I have to say that, after a day, I love it more and more and more every minute. As a fan of the series this film truly delivers. The MOMENT that one of the reviewers is truly heart wrenching, and he's totally right about how Joss juwst keeps going at full speed. For the next 5 minutes, even if someone tried to crack a joke, I just couldn't react, as if I shut down for a few minutes to absorb what just happened. Cannot wait until September to see it with the final score, which hopefully will take the place of the sounds in space!

  • May 27, 2005, 10:51 p.m. CST

    Y'know, I can't decide...

    by Ribbons

    Whether or not "Daddy Tones"/"Tonay" is an actual crazy person or whether he's deliberately trying to make Whedon fans look bad. Somehow I don't think many people with common sense or no ulterior motives would say things quite so...bizarre? Hyperbolic? Cultish? Take your pick.

  • May 27, 2005, 10:54 p.m. CST

    Sounds in Space

    by Ribbons

    Yeah, 'twould be nice if those were eliminated before the final cut, especially since I thought the silence of space was so effective in the TV show anyway. But, if it's a studio-enforced thing or a bid to win more fans, whatever. I can deal.

  • May 27, 2005, 11:05 p.m. CST

    STILL not sure why this movie is OMFG BEST EVAR!!1111

    by d8cam


  • May 27, 2005, 11:10 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    I'm not so sure anybody said that...besides for you, of course. Also, what have you seen, a teaser trailer and a handful of "Firefly" episodes in a scatterbrained order, at the most? So it's not exactly like your opinion/cynicism is any more credible...

  • May 27, 2005, 11:14 p.m. CST

    Exclusive! Hercules reviews Joss Whedon's cock! *Spoilers!*

    by adambalm

    I am Hercules! Smacking my ass he called out 'What happens to a toad when it gets struck by lightning!' 'The same thing that happens to anything else!' I screamed in reply as he yelled 'Once more, with feeling!' He cried out like we cried when Buffy died the first three times. He rammed into me like us Whedon zombies ram our opinion down everyone's throats. Speaking of which, after he ploughed my putrid pucker, he took it shitter-to-spitter and it was the best chili dog this geek has ever tasted! I sucked harder than Alien Resurrection. Speaking of which, did I mention Joss Whedon should write and direct a new Alien trilogy? He grabbed tufts of my hair and began forcing my head back and forth in undulations like a Puccini opera...oh wait, I wouldn't have the vaguest idea what that is... And when he was finished I was baptized and born anew in his silver shower of showbiz sewage. Speaking of which, did I mention Joss Whedon should remake the bible? lonely.

  • May 27, 2005, 11:15 p.m. CST


    by King Psyz

    I saw this thing at the first Vegas premire and it was okay, I was intrigued but IT NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM WILL THIS MOVIE APPEAL TO THE MASSES. Nice try Joss...

  • May 27, 2005, 11:19 p.m. CST

    Okay, last one...

    by Ribbons

    ...since I don't wanna tell people what they're allowed to like/dislike, and also because this frustration is harshing my vibe. But ummm...adambalm, you know, it seems to me that the ones "ramming opinions down [others'] throats," if at all, are the people who ENTER THE TALKBACKS of movies/TV shows by people they have "no interest in" or even a special kind of aggressive antipathy towards and tell all of their fans that they're worshipping a porcelain idol. That is all.

  • May 27, 2005, 11:21 p.m. CST

    This movie will bomb

    by Dannychico

  • May 27, 2005, 11:24 p.m. CST


    by adambalm

    Actually I don't have any ill will toward Serenity. I'll probably end up seeing the movie, only on account of the fact that there isn't enough space SF in movies if you ask me. That's why I follow its development on AICN. I just think the level of Whedon worship is pretty hilarious.

  • May 27, 2005, 11:26 p.m. CST

    Rats, I really wanted to see the raw cut, before they start maki

    by FrankDrebin

    As for the Sounds-In-Space issue, all movies have a ridiculously pumped-up audio track these days. I was watching Kill Bill again, and every time a sword is waved, there's a tremendous 'whoosh', like a wrecking ball was swinging past. These days, every time you see a car, you hear tires screeching; every time a gun is fired, it sounds like a cannon; every time there's a neon sign, it'll buzz and flicker; etc. And trailers are worse, with a 'whoomp' added at each edit.

  • May 27, 2005, 11:31 p.m. CST

    Let me put my Studio suit on for a second...

    by IMMORTAL-1

    Opening Sept 30th: The Greatest Game Ever Played, A History of Violence, Into the Blue, Oliver Twist and Serenity. I think they are going to move Serenity up.

  • May 27, 2005, 11:37 p.m. CST

    Don't believe the hype

    by Razorback

    Total plants. This movie is dull and looks like every other Whedon creation... crappy martial arts, goofy characters, and a bad Han Solo act. If Lucas made this movie these people would be calling it the worst pic ever made.

  • May 27, 2005, 11:46 p.m. CST

    I hope it turns out that the Reavers are under the control of so

    by FrankDrebin

    Because I never bought the idea that they could operate and repair spaceships. I just can't see them pulling up to a galactic Chevron station and asking for dilithium crystals.

  • May 27, 2005, 11:56 p.m. CST

    I liked it better when it was called BATTLEFIELD EART!!!!

    by Rant Breath

    This shit sucks compared to Star Wars!

  • May 28, 2005, 12:06 a.m. CST

    The Film Only Cost $40 mill To Make.

    by The Outlander

    A $15-17 mill opening weekend would make it a guaranteed success and with so much positive word of mouth there is no way it would have a 60% drop off. I think you might be thinking of Revenge of the Sith. How over hyped was that movie?

  • May 28, 2005, 12:14 a.m. CST

    "Biggest Grossing Movie Of All Time"

    by DarthCorleone

    I'm interested in seeing it, but that statement is absurdity at its highest level.

  • May 28, 2005, 12:24 a.m. CST

    Star Wars versus Firefly

    by Theta

    I have not seen "Revenge of the Sith." Look, I've had better things to do, okay? But I have seen the first two prequels, and I've seen "Serenity", so a few points. 1) The prequels are absolutely, positively totally unnecessary. We have all the backstory on Vader that we need for the Real Trilogy. "Serenity" one could argue the same thing; although the series does end with a lot of loose threads, "Objects In Space" is as good a resolution as any. 2) Due to the fact that they are prequels to one of the most beloved SF franchises of all time, we know how the fucking Star Wars prequels end. I'm sorry, but someone needs to say it. "Serenity" is a continuation of the story, not what amounts to two hours of exposition. 3) The first two prequels are bad on their own merits. Whether they are good as "Star Wars" is irrelevant, the Star Wars movies were good as MOVIES, period. Nobody walked out of "A New Hope" saying "That was awesome 'Star Wars'!" The two prequels are decidedly not good movies; the screenplays are flabby, there's no dramatic suspense, Lucas continually undercuts the actors, and so on. "Serenity", to put it mildly, works as a movie and in fact Whedon takes real risks. This is an attempt to launch a franchise that doesn't play it safe, and frankly good for them. That said, it is not unreasonable to criticize it as more a series finale than a proper movie; I'm not sure how it will play for non-fans. Then again, the Talkback haters are a vocal minority; the vast majority of geeks are going to show up for this just because it's SF, even if they don't like Joss Whedon. And for the record, I think the date will be moved up too, probably to mid-September. The buzz is just too good on this for Universal to not exploit it.

  • May 28, 2005, 12:29 a.m. CST

    Oh my god, this movie COULD make money!

    by Outrider304

    I think they might have a great model here for this movie to actually come close to making back what it cost. Just don't release it to the masses, but keep having small screenings where you sell the tickets on ebay to the same hundred fans of this junk over and over. Since they are completely deluted, they'll keep paying $50-$100 a pop for them! This might even work with Wonder Woman when it comes out! :)

  • Just kidding! Since I love Firefly and own the DVD, even if this film were badly reviewed I would see it. I am totally attached to the characters. That said, I agree with whomever said they would love this back on TV, rather than more movies!

  • May 28, 2005, 12:54 a.m. CST

    Saw it. It rocks.

    by Logo Lou

    Wanna know who dies? Because I know. How come nobody has posted it? didn't that used to be the pioint of this place? I just don't know though, do I want to be banned a fourth time?

  • May 28, 2005, 1:32 a.m. CST

    Agent Orange

    by Shan

    Go for the good stuff! Accept no subtitute!

  • May 28, 2005, 1:55 a.m. CST

    Plant? I think not!

    by Paul_in_CT

    I love it, I give this movie a lukewarm review, saying it will only play to fans of "Firefly" and people will still cry "PLANT"! Or more pathetically..."FIRST!" "PLANT!". UGH. I saw it, thought it was just OK. It really is a Sci-Fi channel movie of the week. Good acting, interesting story, but won't play to the majority of filmgoers who have no idea what "Firefly" was. I mean, the opening of the film has a little, and I mean little, exposition on what's going on in the film. The TV show did a better job introducing the characters. When my friend was barely laughing while the rest of the diehards were cackling like rabid hyenas...that's a clue that the masses won't accept this movie. After the showing, my uninitiated friend looked at me and said "It didn't suck, but the most fun part was watching that dude (Joss) intro the movie.". If that isn't a statement about the state of "Firefly"..I don't know what is.

  • May 28, 2005, 1:59 a.m. CST


    by Paul_in_CT

    Shepherd Book goes out like a puff of weak a$$ smoke. The assassination scene of the Jedi in ROTS was more poignant than this. And I LOVED that character! Also, the Reavers were horrible. Pure rip offs of every zombie movie to date. Would have been better if they were at least somewhat civilized or shown a modicum of intelligence...they can fly complex starships for chrissakes. Joss turned them into "28 More Days Later On" types. UGH.

  • May 28, 2005, 2:06 a.m. CST

    Firefly rules - The Whedon Strikes Again

    by moviemaniac-7

    I've heard a lot about it, the show was broadcast here in the Netherlands on a god-awful schedule and so I bought the DVD box. I fucking love this show!!

  • May 28, 2005, 2:10 a.m. CST

    M.E. Russell is a great cartoonist-reporter

    by DOGSOUP

    His work here in Portland is the first time I've ever seen interviews with local PDX celebrities done in a weekly cartoon. His depiction of Storm and the Balls was hilarious! I'm glad to see him get a little world wide web recognition. Oh, and Joss Wheden is the best X-Man writer ever.Bleah.

  • May 28, 2005, 3:52 a.m. CST

    Just watched the series...

    by tstone

    Based on the strength of the trailer of Serenity. The first showing of Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy I saw showed a bunch of geek oriented trailers, including ROTS, Serenity, Zathura and Dark Waters. I had heard much about Firefly, and had recently become an Angel fan. I also read Astonishing X-Men (best take on those characters in awhile). After seeing that trailer, I went out and bought the series. Hooked. Looking forward to the film, and along with Farscape, I'm hoping there's more.

  • May 28, 2005, 6:18 a.m. CST

    To all those who say there is no interest in this movie except f

    by Mr. Dogfart

    I found this poll taken back in January on Boxoffice mojo concerning most anticipated movie of the year. The results were pretty damned eye-opening!

  • May 28, 2005, 6:24 a.m. CST

    The fact that it doesn't have a huge guaranteed fanbase is i

    by ChorleyFM

    Apart from films like Lord of the Rings the fact that not many people are familiar with the source material is irrelevant, if it gets good reviews it will do well as a movie, Hitchiker's got pretty poor reviews all over the place, hence the lukewarm reception. To those who say they don't like the trailer, it is nothing more than a trailer the ROTS trailer ruled, the film sadly didn't.

  • May 28, 2005, 6:28 a.m. CST

    In case you couldn't view the mojo link, here's what it

    by Mr. Dogfart

    What is your most ANTICIPATED movie of 2005? 26.2% Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith 15.9% Serenity 9.5% Batman Begins 8.2% The War of the Worlds 8.0% Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 5.7% King Kong 4.2% Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 3.8% Sin City 2.8% Fantastic Four 2.8% The Chronicles of Narnia 2.6% The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 2.2% The Ring Two 1.8% Mr. and Mrs. Smith 1.7% Other 1.5% Kingdom of Heaven 1.1% Cinderella Man 0.9% Constantine 0.6% Be Cool 0.5% The Legend of Zorro 3,816 users polled.

  • May 28, 2005, 6:48 a.m. CST

    Okay, Mr. Dogfart.

    by dr_dreadlocks

    9.5% of 3,816 is: 362.52 people, so lets say 363. That means, that Serenity officially has $3267.00 of Boxofficemojo dollars... My eyes are officially open, Joss... You now own the home of Lucas.

  • May 28, 2005, 6:51 a.m. CST

    Okay, Mr. Dogfart (Revised after checking the, far more clear, l

    by dr_dreadlocks

    15.9% of 3,816 is: 606.74 people, so lets say 607. That means, that Serenity officially has $5463.00 of Boxofficemojo dollars... My eyes are officially open, Joss... You now own the home of Spielberg.

  • May 28, 2005, 7:43 a.m. CST


    by SoldierSquirrel

    Just out of curiosity, what is the definition of a plant on this site? If I'm reading some of these moronic posts correctly, I guess it means, "someone who really liked something and wants to share that opinion." Does this mean that the only valid reviews are those trashing something you already don't want to see? Give me a break.

  • May 28, 2005, 7:55 a.m. CST

    My definition of a plant, however useless it may be:

    by dr_dreadlocks

    A plant, essentially, is just a review that flat out lies. I don't think it has to be written by someone involved with the film, or even the director/writer or staff etc. Simply because I doubt they'd have the time to do so anyway, since now it seems rather pointless. But a "plant" review is one that is usually so disgustingly positive that it couldn't be possible. Like when you read a review for "The Longest Yard" that a.) seemed suspiciously fake, and b.) did nothing but praise the film unabashedly, you have the right to call it a plant. In my opinion it most firmly was. Was it written by someone involved with the film? Maybe, maybe not. But whoever wrote it was obviously lying, to themselves or us... I'm not so sure. Same thing goes with Serenity, when you get a review that is so positive, calling the film a masterpiece, etc. it's obviously someone just trying to glorify the film. Whedon is a fine writer, a not so subtle director (his 'one shots' usually bother me, but I like his Angel work) and I'm sure Serenity is a nice, fluffy piece of entertainment. But when a rabid group is formed around the film as a blanket, like the browncoats, any review citing that the film is the next genre busting super-blockbuster, you immediately realize this person is not only lying, but predicting. This is the sign of a fan who has become so rabid that he can't even judge anything properly. When you get a nice, subtle, level-headed review with pros and cons and some consideration as to what didn't work and what did, you can say "That was a good damn review." Even if the review is a complete lust for the movie, if it is done right it can also be considered a "good review". But when it's just some slobbering idiot trying to 'fool' people into thinking the film is great, when it might not be, you can call it a plant. That's my not so coherent definition of plant. Plus, to be honest, the more you pour loving plants on a film, the more it seems like you're trying to overcompensate... which will hurt the film in the long run anyway. It's like a few people said here: Daddy Tones is being so positive that he's going to get people to hate Whedon. Whether or not that is, in fact, his intention is TBD.

  • May 28, 2005, 7:58 a.m. CST

    Why no Buffy/Angel movie?

    by liljuniorbrown

    How can this get the greenlight when there are a hell of alot more Buffy Angel fans out there and like 13 or so seasons between the two series. No offense to the "Browncoats" i'm glad you got your movie and i hate your show got canceled but come on,i'm not even asking for two seperate movies...just one set in the Buffy/Angelverse would be awesome.I'm not saying Whedon is flawless and the best thing ever,but come on,all the hate for the man is undeserved.He's talented,probably the best TV writer in the past decade.You want to hate on somebody JJ Abrams has been on my shit list since the Superman script he wrote hit the net.If that piece of dog shit would have been made i'd be scared for that mans life.

  • May 28, 2005, 8:08 a.m. CST


    by The Temp

    It's incredible how many people are already in denial... What, maybe 50 glowing and a few mixed reviews? How can these people stand being so wrong? Don't they REALIZE they're wrong? Fortunately, there was this one guy that didn't like the movie a month ago, and as I read of his disappointment tears of joy flowed down my cheeks... For I knew ONE man at least saw the light... Saw how WRONG everyone else who saw the movie must be... Because we KNOW that Serenity can't POSSIBLY be good... I KNOW, I saw it in advance TELEPATHICALLY! I DID! REALLY!!! ITS EVIL WAS REVEALED TO ME!!!!

  • May 28, 2005, 8:11 a.m. CST

    I saw Serenity on Thursday night in Kansas City.

    by Barry Egan

    I really liked it, but I think it will not play well to the masses. Universal needs to rerun the original series ad nauseum on Sci Fi Channel from now to September 30.

  • May 28, 2005, 8:12 a.m. CST


    by The Temp

    ...but doesn't it seem pretty clear? Using Occam's razor, isn't a vast network of conspiratorial denial just a bit less likely than the possibility that the movie is simply *good*?

  • May 28, 2005, 8:14 a.m. CST

    I liked the movie, but I also think acroyear77 ia right about Se

    by Barry Egan

    This is a movie for the show's fans. Mainstream critics will defnintely pan it.

  • May 28, 2005, 8:15 a.m. CST

    I've seen this movie twice, both times in Chicago, where Sum

    by ProzacMorris

    Well, no, I don't want to give anything away.

  • May 28, 2005, 8:31 a.m. CST

    I do kind of agree with Shawn F., sort of, that they need to mak

    by ProzacMorris

    Similar to the "Cowboy Bebop: The Movie Trailer" that ran a few years ago.

  • May 28, 2005, 8:36 a.m. CST

    Who gives a flying fuck about Serenshitty? Revenge of the Sith

    by Atticus Finch

    Don't even try to compare the majesty of Star Wars, especially the universally hailed Revenge of the Sith, to this turd, as if Serenshitty is anything more than a pimple on the forehead of Star Wars. I used pimple because that is something all you Whedonites should be familiar with.

  • May 28, 2005, 8:41 a.m. CST

    "Universally hailed"? Uh huh.

    by The Temp


  • May 28, 2005, 8:43 a.m. CST

    All reviewers complaining about the effects and music...

    by Jack Gladney

    do realize that the introduction to the film with Whedon told us that the soundtrack and effects weren't done yet, right?

  • May 28, 2005, 8:50 a.m. CST

    Temp, how many times have you seen ROTS by now?

    by Atticus Finch

    I betting at least three.

  • May 28, 2005, 8:55 a.m. CST


    by thedoctor28

    Thanks for no spoiler heading before saying who dies. Fucking Asshole!!!

  • May 28, 2005, 9:14 a.m. CST

    Just saw the trailer...

    by Fixxxer

    ...and I really can't believe Universal is setting themselves up for a sure-fire failure like this. I'm sorry, Whedonites, but this movie will be a gigantic flop. The guy who pessimistically predicted a $15-$17 million opening overshot by about $10 million, if you ask me. The trailer makes this look like your standard Sci-Fi Channel flick, the movie can't boast even one face recognizable to the public at large, and the trailer's claim that "Firefly" is a "cult phenomenon" "beloved by millions" will only further alienate people. Don't be surprised when this only opens on 1,000 screens and finishes with a domestic gross of $25 million. At least the DVD will probably be available by Christmas. I wanted to be excited about this flick, really I did, but that trailer...Ugh. "Chronicles of Riddick" comes to mind.

  • May 28, 2005, 9:18 a.m. CST


    by The Temp

    You betting wrong. Try zero. Small town, small cinema, no ROTS yet. Thought about driving to a screening, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Will do it one of these days, 'cause I like pretty CGI on a big screen. Saw AOTC twice so far (1 cinema, 1 DVD), so I'm guessing I'll also see ROTS about twice before everyone forgets about it. (+ Ditto thedoctor28, a big Fuck You to the Prior Walter moron. Your parents must be really proud.)

  • May 28, 2005, 10:02 a.m. CST


    by Jack Gladney

    Chill, nothing that poster desrcibes happens in the movie. He was just being a jerk.

  • May 28, 2005, 10:30 a.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    Hey, why are you telling us like we're the ones responsible dude? "Buffy" and "Angel" proabbly have just as vociferous a fanbase; it was either Joss or Universal's decision to go ahead with this movie. Or, perhaps there were mitigating circumstances. I think I've heard Whedon on several occasions say that whether or not a movie, even a TV movie, for Buffy goes forward "isn't up to [him]," which is probably a reference to Sarah Michelle Gellar and her quest for stardom. Or maybe not, I don't know. Anyway, it's cool that you like Whedon's other shows and all, but don't displace your frustration onto us poor saps.

  • May 28, 2005, 10:33 a.m. CST

    ....Prior Walter

    by Ribbons

    So I don't know if what he wrote was true (my advice: DON'T READ IT if you haven't already), but if it was, that was an incredibly douchey thing to do. Now I know something I definitely would have rather gone into 'Serenity' not knowing. But I'm probably just encouraging you by putting your name in a subject heading. And no, "douchey" is not a real word.

  • May 28, 2005, 10:34 a.m. CST

    I saw it on the 26th also

    by Eshu

    I know it was just place holder music but personally I think it needed its western music to tie things like the side arms and lingo together. It wasn

  • May 28, 2005, 10:45 a.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    Interesting observation...I say! I agree, the closeness of the Serenity "family" would be an important nuance that would be missed.

  • May 28, 2005, 10:49 a.m. CST

    This is funny

    by Ribbons

    When the last major 'Serenity' news came out, the mantra was "Whedonites are crazed, frothing-at-the-mouth cult members," or something to that extent. Now, when a stack of reviews comes in that is articulate and at times intelligent and well-written, the mantra shifts to... "PLANT!" There are no "obvious" plant reviews among any of these, and I'd be genuinely surprised to discover that any of them *were* plants. Take them with skepticism if you must (like you wouldn't find some reason to do so anyway), but spare me the pomposity of how us "Firefly" fans are all blind to their "obvious" leafiness.

  • May 28, 2005, 11:11 a.m. CST

    Why the sides-taking?

    by Barry Egan

    I am often perplexed by the fanboy need to take sides in the discussion over certain films. We have the LOTR v Star Wars feud. We have the original trilogy versus the prequel trilogy. We have Jackson v Lucas. Now we seem to have a Serenity versus Star Wars fight a-brewin. Can't people like both, for God's sake? It's like a bunch of fucking rednecks with their Ford versus Chevy war.

  • May 28, 2005, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Just curious...

    by Ribbons

    ...what constitutes real movies? Besides for, of course, not having that "made for TV look," whatever that means. I bow before your disaffection and superior intellect and await your next droplets of wisdom, O Flip63Hole.

  • May 28, 2005, 11:37 a.m. CST


    by The Temp

    Good point, Barry Egan. I was pushed and I pushed back. Shouldn't have done it. I got no principal beef with Star Wars, quite fond of it actually. "LOTR vs Star Wars" sucked, wouldn't want to see that happen again. Apologies to all the nice people here who like Star Wars, and the original smuggling gang. When a Kessel run is what you need, you know the ship that'll make it for ya!

  • May 28, 2005, 12:13 p.m. CST

    to dr_dreadlocks

    by Thorfin

    "the more you pour loving plants on a film, the more it seems like you're trying to overcompensate... which will hurt the film in the long run anyway." How exactly does overcompensating with plants hurt the film in the long run? Seems like the the long run is how a film is judged on its merits/demerits.

  • May 28, 2005, 12:58 p.m. CST

    BUFFYVERSE Fan Here...

    by ZombieSolutions

    i'm a big fan of Buffy/Angel, but don't consider myself a "Whedonite" per se, as there were many writers involved in the show, Whedon was but one of them. that being said, i have never seen FIREFLY, but i reckon that it must be decent. now, my point, what is it about FIRELFY that you like specifically? does it have the smart playfulness that Buffy/Angel had? would you consider it on par with Buffy/Angel or an entirely different animal? just curious...

  • It sets up expectations to work against the film. Case in point Hitchhikers, which (though I liked the film) the obvious fan gushing all throughout the film's production didn't help it when fans saw it and were shocked to see that it didn't live up to expectations that almost no movie could. Bad word of mouth spread and it's possible it might have hurt the movie's chances. Yes, film geeks make up a very small minority of actual movie goers. But to answer your question, theoretically that's how it could happen.

  • May 28, 2005, 1:21 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    I've only caught a handful of episodes of "Buffy" and "Angel," so I can't really compare, although I think it is something of a different animal. There is Whedon's trademark, this-side-of realistic wordplay involved (although to his testament, the episodes of "Firefly" that he wrote are pretty good about not trying to make every single character a wiseass; Mal and Wash are generally the lightning rods for his favorite lines), so if that's something you're a fan of you won't be disappointed. The reason I like it so much is because it's about going on when it doesn't seem like there's much left to go on for. There's an incredible sense of desolation that permeates the series, especially during quieter scenes; none of the characters on the crew of Serenity have much of a future outside of one another. It basically raises the question, or issue, of how to find faith after faith has been lost, and the interesting part of the series is how human relationships form to fill that space. I assume that the reason for the horse opera motif is because West-bound pioneers had to confront the same issue when they finally ran out of land. Then again, maybe Whedon just thought it looked cool. Your guess is as good as mine on that one. But it's what I like to think, you understand, and I think it helps the series. The pilot episode was my favorite of the entire show, and I basically think it's because it established the themes of "Firefly" from the get-go. Very last line: "We're still flying. [That's] enough." Good stuff. If you're a fan of Whedon I recommend it.

  • May 28, 2005, 1:49 p.m. CST

    To Thorfin

    by dr_dreadlocks

    Plants can do two things in the long run. One, plants come very early on most of the time so a film has plenty of time to gestate in the minds of others while they read the plants. This builds up a ridiculous amount of expectation that most films could never ever live up to. When a film is highly over-praised people get geared up and ready to see the greatest film. When that doesn't happen people say the film was terrible, and useless. If it was standing alone without hype it might've been widely accepted as a damn great film. Also, like I mentioned before, you get people who go: "Well, why are they releasing plants? They must be really worried." Which also kills the film even before it comes out, because everyone denies it even a chance. Which will kill it in the long run because no one will see it, and it vanishes into the SUPER-DUPER HD-BLU-RAY DVD BIN for 2.99, fifteen years from now. I'm sure no one wants that, at all, ever. Which renders plants pointless, in my opinion at least.

  • May 28, 2005, 2:05 p.m. CST

    I guess I havent watched enough "Buffy"...

    by Alatar_Blue

    ... or whatever to fully appreciate young Mr. Whedons vision or SOMETHING, but the trailer for this looks like ASS, IMO...

  • May 28, 2005, 2:13 p.m. CST

    Aw, come off it adambalm...

    by Pontsing Barset

    ... even you, the person who made posted it, can't beieve something as stupid as your "bad word of mouth" post suggests. You know you don't HAVE to post whatever you can think of to say just for the sake of posting.

  • May 28, 2005, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Harry misses another big obituary

    by HarrisonsDad

    Eddie Albert (1908 - 2005) R.I.P.

  • May 28, 2005, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Just one problem with your thesis there dr dread...

    by Alatar_Blue

    ... average movie goers are completely unaware of the phenomenon you're theorizing. The average "Joe public movie goer" never reads ANY of his stuff, so how can his expectations be as ridiculously inflated as you suggest, by something he's entirely unaware of?

  • May 28, 2005, 2:37 p.m. CST

    This movie will come and go in one weekend.

    by fiester

    Then will come the inevitable deluxe DVD for all these hyperbolic nutjobs. Which will be good because it will keep them off the streets. Firefly is The Suck.

  • May 28, 2005, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Whedon fandom: Fat people who love watching Skinny people talk c

    by pcpandfistfite

    "HAVING A FREAKOUT HERE! MY PROM DATE IS TOTALLY A LEVEL FOUR DEMON SPIRIT!" Jesus, how pathetic. I especially like the poster who says she wants to catch this before it's "dumbed down" for the "noobies." Yeah, because I'm sure it's wicked complicated: WB slampigs in space... At least you Whedorks will have the theater to yourselves, so nobody will be annoyed at you reciting the lines out loud in synch with the (thin) actors on the screen.

  • May 28, 2005, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Sign the Darth Vader in 'ROTS' Petition

    by RIVERO

  • May 28, 2005, 3:19 p.m. CST


    by SoldierSquirrel

    pcpandfistfite and fiester (et most)... what exactly do you come away with after you post? A feeling of superiority? I'd love to know. Whatever it is, take it elsewhere, please.

  • May 28, 2005, 3:26 p.m. CST


    by dr_dreadlocks

    Most films, especially films that get plants here, are "geek" films. The fanbase is generated mainly through the internet, especially something like Serenity. "Joe Public" isn't necessarily an internet-geek, but has access to the internet and if they require information they may fall upon this site, they may not. But plants aren't restricted to just this place. Also, consider that the Serenity trailer (for example) talks about its fanbase of millions, etc. Which is an immediate cause for alienation, saying that "A lot of people love it already!" It's not really that big of a deal, but if you look at something like Serenity, the browncoats have been created and sustained on the internet. They plan on going outside and screaming about the film from the mountain-tops, now when you have someone doing that to "Joe Public"... Let's see how quickly they run to the theatre. I apologise for my lack of coherence, but in all honesty planting, or false advertising, or lying, or anything about a film will cause trouble for the movie itself. It boils down rather easily. But I can see right now that Serenity, or some films, will start quoting internet websites for "commercial/trailer quotes". I could imagine seeing something like that happening, telling people things like: "The greatest sci-fi film ever made." - Darth Vadar Sux, Oh, the life.

  • May 28, 2005, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Not sure what movie PriorWalters has or hasn't seen . . .

    by ProzacMorris

    But after seeing "Serenity" twice I can tell you not to worry about too much about the "Mechanic Girl."

  • May 28, 2005, 3:30 p.m. CST

    My sentence doesn't make any sense but you KNOW what I mean

    by ProzacMorris

    "Don't worry too much about KAYLEE!"

  • May 28, 2005, 3:49 p.m. CST

    saw "Serenity" in Boston this past Thursday... Outstanding.. rea

    by waynesworld

    No spoilers.. just wanted to offer that there were more creative ideas in a third of this film then there were in 7+ hours of the recent SW prequels. George Lucas really ought to be ashamed, he knows he has a built-in audience for his critic-proof films so he just mails in the directing and the script and delegates all the pretty visuals to his hired team... Joss, on the other hand, just let it all hang out in a movie (and a TV show) that might not have a 500th of the audience of SW... and for my money, he absolutely pured it (to use a golf term) right down the middle of the fairway... a definite departure from the tv show.. this film took chances, made big decisions and pulled it off with everyone believing in what they were doing. this is, again IMHO, a historically eventful occurence... when has a barely-half-a-season failed TV show ever been made into a motion picture at all??? and to have it succeed like this?!? amazing! we should support stuff like this... not unfortunate lifeless dreck like ROTS... good god, does that movie suck. and wow.. is Serenity one hell of a film. Go Joss!

  • May 28, 2005, 3:53 p.m. CST

    Not convinced Dr D.

    by Alatar_Blue

    While I concede that your argument sounds somewhat plausible on the surface, it's based purely upon anecdotal evidence. A perceived phenomenon, has no tangible relationship with

  • May 28, 2005, 4:09 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    Besides for being in space, I'm pretty sure the world of "Firefly" exists on its own merits. And an advocate of Star Wars has no business decrying a film for ripping anything off.

  • May 28, 2005, 4:12 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    Dude, hype nothin'. It's not like browncoats are going to intrude into "Joe Public's" plans that weekend. All I was gonna do was paint my chest. God.

  • May 28, 2005, 4:14 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    No thanks. Good luck with that though.

  • May 28, 2005, 4:16 p.m. CST

    Hey Ribbons, have you seen "Serenity" yet?

    by ProzacMorris

  • May 28, 2005, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Thanks Everybody!!

    by thedoctor28

    I like the Mechanic Chick!! :-))

  • May 28, 2005, 4:34 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    No. Loaded question, so I await the gunshot, but my defense of the TV show and its fans is not in preparation to embrace the film as a work of art, but rather a reaction to the nerfherding trolls who frequent these TalkBacks and say stuff like "at least it'll keep them off the street" or "they're all a bunch of Han Solo wannabes." And I thought Whedon's jokes were lame. I regret doing it because there are probably people with more dignity than me who enjoyed the show without having to apologize for it, but seeing as how the only legitimate observation made about the cult that surrounds Whedon is that it's at times hyperbolic and overestimates his appeal, the attempts at intellectual leverage by the people who purport to consider Whedon of utterly no consequence yet help make 'Serenity' TalkBacks some of the longest on the site smacks of hypocrisy to me and frankly, it's damn annoying. There aren't many crazed fans out there, loose among neighborhoods, hustling copies of "Buffy" DVDs at the doorstep of heathens. The only time I ever hear a peep from other fans of this show is inside the Coaxial Section of Ain't-It-Cool-News or inside a Whedon-related article, which apparently is too much for some people. Or maybe it's just more fun to think there are people out there worse off than oneself. Well, if you critcize my questionable pastimes, I'll criticize yours. ************* P.S. Thank you for the 411 regarding Prior Walter's post, Prozac. Have to say I'm a bit relieved as I've been trying to avoid spoilers and doing a pretty good job so far.

  • May 28, 2005, 4:41 p.m. CST


    by thedoctor28

    Fuckin A, and Right On to all that!!

  • May 28, 2005, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Unreal yourself!

    by fiester

    The only thing unreal about this talkback is the Chairmen Mao level of zealotry that some people are expressing for a lame space western version of a cancelled TV show that is not Star Trek. You're damn right I feel superior to you trogs, but that's not saying much. On the evolutionary chart of geekdom, Firefly worshippers are somewhere between the Babylon 5 tools and the Stargate SG-1 dweebs. Pure Grade B small screen entertainment. Nothing wrong with that, but that's all it is. It's chronically amusing to me to watch the roar arising from this delusional minority. This movie will come and go faster than "Battlefield Earth." That's the truth. If you don't like the truth, like Jack says, it's because you can't handle the truth! Heh.

  • May 28, 2005, 5:12 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    I'm sorry dude, but nobody besides for that Daddy Tones dude (who everyone agrees is looney tunes) and that one guy who said it would recoup its 50 million dollars said anything about this film being destined for box office success. If anything, I'd be surprised myself if it did well. But then, I said in my last post that people overestimate Whedon's appeal. I don't give a shit what you think, so long as you don't hassle me for thinking differently. By the way, you're the idiot who compared Venom to Stilt-Man, so I actually wouldn't have given a shit what you thought regardless of whether or not it was obnoxious.

  • May 28, 2005, 5:15 p.m. CST

    Rib head

    by fiester

    I don't give a flying fuck about any bit of nonses that springs from your fingertips either--which is why I don't typically waste time responding to any of your posts. If you're sincere about your apathy towards mine, you should consider doing likewise. Eff Venom!

  • Someone's not biased...

  • May 28, 2005, 5:30 p.m. CST

    "On the defensive?"

    by fiester

    Give us a break! I post some general thought on the carnival of masturbation surrounding this dog of a film and you post a personal attack follow-up referencing crap from prior talkbacks more than a week old now. Real "defensive." You're a frickin' martyr, is what you are.

  • Ouch.

  • May 28, 2005, 5:35 p.m. CST

    What happened to the Fantastic Four talkback?

    by mrfan

    There one minute then "poof."

  • May 28, 2005, 5:35 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    Let's see: I'm defending the fanbase that I consider myself a part of from idiots who call the film they haven't yet seen a "dog." You're defending...what, exactly? Your right to call people trogs? Mao-like zealots? Give me a frickin' break. You're defending YOUR right to play know-it-all. Talk to me about deluded martyrs after you call out the people who actually wear costumes to movies and talk about having their childhoods raped.

  • May 28, 2005, 5:35 p.m. CST

    I'm too old for this sh*t

    by Harold The Great

    Hey. I'm pretty new to the geek fandom thing. Don't have a tv where I live, don't care much for star wars. But on a long weekend a friend of mine introduced me to his Firefly dvds, and got me pretty much cought on it. So I'm expecting the movie, and I hope more people will see and enjoy it than some overhyped trash. Honestly I'm pretty much shoked by the reactions I see on the talkback (my first time being here - these are my first steps toward geekdom I guess) and some guys are pretty insulting around here. Sure, the movie probably won't make much money, but it will still be considered a success thanks to it's low budget. But why is that border you guys so much? Don't get it. The weak minority (example: Star war geeks) are picking on an even minor group (firefly fans) by the rules of the playground? Watching the box office is like rooting for your own team on a sport event? That's pretty much takes all the fun away from going to the movies. The star wars firefly fight is like O.J. Simpson with a chainsaw in his hands going up against a tied up Jerry Seinfeld. The fight might be one sided, but there is no doubt about who I find the more sympatetic. Or I'm simply too old for this shit?

  • May 28, 2005, 5:44 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    I would say "as are you," but "manfully going down with the ship" isn't something I would consider my M.O., if I had an M.O., nor am I sure what this ship is that I'm going down with. But that's because I'm an idiot. ("Now we're onto something here!") Whatever. I shouldn't have gotten tangled up in this anyway. If fiester and other goons want to make smug references to 'Battlefield Earth,' go right ahead. I'm done trying to justify my love of this series to an obnoxious minority of people who think that they don't like it, so it must suck.

  • May 28, 2005, 5:46 p.m. CST

    A final caveat

    by Ribbons

  • May 28, 2005, 5:49 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    A final caveat ("Look, he used the word caveat! Told you he was a pretentious wanker!") to anyone following this at home: pay attention to how the argument shifted from how this film will do poorly at the box office, to how Whedonites are like Communists, to how anyone who thinks that kind of bile is unjustified considers themselves a "martyr." I'm sure all of you who say you hate Whedon and his TV shows genuinely do. I'm just not sure how much sense it makes.

  • May 28, 2005, 6:04 p.m. CST

    too old? naaaa.

    by orphea

    good post, galatt. you're not too old. it's just that a few of the vocal brats on this site didn't take their ritalin -- they're too young for the site. at least, the nanny should take their keyboards away until they are able to articulate cogent or entertaining thought. anyway, i've seen the movie twice. it's great. there will be those who don't like it, as there are with any movie. but in my opinion, it's one of the better films i've seen in years. it works on a surface level as a big, exciting space movie. but it also works on political levels, social levels, totally abstract and philosophical levels and it takes dark inspiration from a certain shakespeare play. it's really a rich story. to those who are suspicious about the hype, i don't blame you. i hate hype. i hope you get the chance to see it with an open mind, though. i think it's far more likely you'll love it than hate it. :)

  • May 28, 2005, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Not plants, just True Believers.

    by AnnoyYou

    Wow, I was kidding when I once said that Whedonites are starting to sound like the more rabid followers of L. Ron Hubbard, but I'm starting to believe it's true. Sure, every Buffy/Angel/Joss lover out there thinks this movie is the Second Coming (but they think anything he farts out is gold -- just check out the Amazon comments on the totally derivative Buffy musical), but your standard filmgoer is going to look at the cast list and go "Huh? I never heard of any of these people." And since this isn't a cheap horror film but rather a cheap sci-fi film, there isn't a built-in audience waiting for blood and shocks. The fanatics may run around trying to get people to see this film, which I suppose Whedon is banking on, but it's an iffy proposition at best.

  • May 28, 2005, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Battlestar Galactica is much better than Firefly

    by PaddyO'Neill

    I watched that Firefly shit and made it to episode 4 before I got bored. Why couldn't it have been as entertaining as BSG, which is the best Sci Fi series ever created? You only need to look at the fact BSG was renewed for a second season as proof of this. I'm amazed anyone let Whedon the hack waste a movie sized budget on this by-the-numbers, badly acted garbage.

  • May 28, 2005, 6:18 p.m. CST

    My 2 cents...

    by uberman

    I never saw or felt enticed to view Buffy or Angel or whatever, and I am a big classic horror fan and love new stuff if its done well and fresh. Those just had a major 'Ugh' factor to them-I never gave it much thought but they just looked like Soap Opera ala Beverely Hills 902...whatever. This Firefly project just sounds DOA from a complete outsiders point of view and general interest. I mean, Racing Stripes or 'Are We there Yet?' look more interesting to me than this, and I slept through one when I took my kid to see it. This looks like a little known, tierd Sci Fi star trek generations type 'human interest' story from what I've read. If the last couple Star Trek Generations movies tanked, what do you think the chances are for this, which looks like a low rent, straight to cable movie? I could be wrong all around, but if I was a betting man I would'nt put 2 cents on this.

  • Oh man, what a waste. I'm sure it'll gross at least 5 million or so in it's first week.

  • May 28, 2005, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Battlestar Galacitca

    by Harold The Great

    PaddyO'Neill, the fact a show renewed or not is not always a valid determination of quality. That's why I sold my idiot box :) That said, after the exams, I'll check out the Battlestar Galactica miniseries, I heard it's pretty damn good (one of my professors is pretty much obsessed with it). Oh, and Orphea, thanks I'm glad to hear every positive comment. And you're right the main problem is the lack of open minden people around here, it's more like a "I liked the movie." "I didn't but it sucks balls! There are no action figures or happy meal presents to Serenity, so the movie is gonna flop. Now I go and watch the prequel special edition of "Yoda's Bar Mitzvah!" kind of discussion.

  • As you can see in this talkback, I'm one of those who can't stand the Whedon Zombies. I say this because I caught that Buffy musical, and honestly at the time I thought it was the best hour of television I had seen all year. I'm not looking for an argument on this one, just curious, but can you tell me how it was derivative?

  • May 28, 2005, 6:44 p.m. CST


    by Harold The Great

    damn it's my second post, and I already miss the edit function. The part of my last post that doesn't make sense - ignore that.

  • May 28, 2005, 7:10 p.m. CST

    good old 1980's

    by dr.bulber

    and i do mean OLD.

  • May 28, 2005, 7:13 p.m. CST

    Serenity fans (Ribbons, etc.): Give it up

    by The Temp

    You can't win this argument; you're using the wrong tools. You expect character development, emotional resonance and a certain sense of indie coolness to make this movie great for these people. It will not. These people do not care about that. These people are twelve year olds. Read their posts: they want big names acting and directing. They want awesome visual effects, not awesome characters. Fast editing, not fast dialogue. Serenity is ultimately already passe because its values do not match those of the lowest common denominator these haters proudly identify with. If it's really as good as the reviews say (and I honestly don't know yet), it will likely fail. Blade Runner bombed, you know. And if it fails, the trolls will feel as though it validates all the hate, because (as Michael Bay can tell you) a movie's worth is in its box office. PS1: I might only regret if bad box office prevents a (possibly) good movie from getting a sequel. PS2: For you deluded optimists who think flashy VFX with moronic characters haven't taken over yet, I'm truly sorry, I'm even an old fan, but... just look at the Prequel Trilogy (1&2).

  • May 28, 2005, 7:18 p.m. CST

    I don't have anything against Whedon, but I do think this mo

    by FluffyUnbound

    It will not be a big box office success. It might be a very good film, but that does not mean it will be a BO success. You have to look at it this way: I'm a genre fan. I follow this shit for fun. I read and post at movie websites for genre fans. And even I have never seen an episode of Firefly, couldn't name one of the characters even if I would win a prize for doing so, and don't really feel any excitement or urgency over this release. And, while I'm just one person, frankly guys if you can't get a genre type like me interested, how on Earth do you expect to interest the general public?

  • May 28, 2005, 7:31 p.m. CST

    Powermetal1, shut up you worthless idiot.

    by PaddyO'Neill

    6 Star Wars movies is TOO MANY! The originals were ok, but the prequels were shit beyond words and anyone who thinks making MORE shit like them is a fucking moron, so shut up and piss off. James Bond movies are actually entertaining, a word George Lucas forgot after Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

  • I think it's hilarious how everybody's so excited about a film that the general public doesn't give two shits about. Anyone who isn't in the know, won't be enticed by the trailers that I've seen so far, so really this film just appeals to its built in audience. So I agree with RabbiSodomy that it will have a poor box office performance.

  • May 28, 2005, 7:47 p.m. CST

    What happened to you goons?

    by Jack Gladney

    You used to be funny and kind of charming...when did eveybody get so hung up on the hatin' and the character defamationin'? I caught Serenity in Boston two nights ago. I think it will play very well with fans, but who knows how people unfamiliar with the characters will react? I thought that all the performances were pretty solid but that there was an awful lot of exposition getting thrown about. I would imagine that it will easily make its money back, as it wasn't a terribly expensive picture to make, and the dvd sales will probably be considerable if the tv show sales were any indication. I don't know how box office numbers became the standard for judging what films are good, but it confuses me. Most of my favorite films were box office failures, and so were most of yours, I'm sure. Is Titanic the best film ever made, or one of the most unremarkable?

  • May 28, 2005, 7:53 p.m. CST

    Powermetal1, You kiss your mother with that mouth?

    by PaddyO'Neill

    Or should that be "Do you get your mother off with those fingers?" You are a pathetic little worm who seems to follow the "Throw enough shit and see what sticks" school of arguing. Well I have news for ya fella, you only embarass yourself with all those obscenities. Also, I notice you seem to be unusual fixated with homosexual activity in your insults. So I'm guessing you're trying to "suppress some urges" there. Don't fight it, get out of that closet and be honest with yourself. You'll be all the happier for it.

  • May 28, 2005, 8:07 p.m. CST

    Ah, brilliant...

    by PaddyO'Neill

    Thanks for that Powermetal1, I haven't laughed that hard in a while, you're alright, y'know that? I do think you need to be a bit more subtle and clever with your insults though, the method you're using right now is rather flawed. Good show all the same.

  • May 28, 2005, 9:31 p.m. CST

    Who really cares ...

    by TrustTyler

    ... if people think the film is shit, or whether it will cover it's costs? I want to see it and I will see it and I'll buy it on DVD. I don't care if it breaks box office records or not. It's already been made and I will watch it because I enjoyed the series. Revenge of The Sith was an overhyped, badly executed piece of crap that all the Luca$ ass kissers have swallowed up like 9 day old Big Mac. And people say Whedon has his ass kissed too much! Luca$ has the biggest group of ass kissers around!

  • May 28, 2005, 9:48 p.m. CST

    Wow, Powermetal, you're a regular Dale Carnegie.

    by FluffyUnbound

    I mean, I know that I often treat people that way, but I can do that because I don't want anything from them. Like, you know, visiting a website or helping a campaign to get another SW movie made. Do you think calling someone a pillow-muncher is going to make them want to drop what they're doing and help you out? I can only imagine it if your house was on fire. RING RING. "Hello, Fire Department? Listen you ass-spelunking cockmasters, get your sorry wrinkled old guy asses in that fucking piece of shit truck of yours, and get over here and put this fire out! Oh, and pick me up a donut, if you don't want me to tickle your tonsils with my dick!" Click.

  • May 29, 2005, 2:38 a.m. CST

    I don't know know how people can bow at Whedon's feet

    by zikade zarathos

    after proving he has the ability to write such absolute, mindblowing crap like ALIEN: RESURRECTION. BUFFY was a fun diversion, but that's about it. I don't get the worship.

  • May 29, 2005, 3:02 a.m. CST

    This Sounds Like Whedon's "Hamlet"

    by Mark Twain

    Once every 500 years we get a Whedon or Shakespeare, this may be Whedon's definitive work up to this point. The nice thing is, I don't think we've seen his best yet. Oh, and for all you mentioning "Alien Resurrection," Bill had his Tempest. Even the greats miss occasionally.

  • May 29, 2005, 3:49 a.m. CST

    the tempest was great!

    by orphea

    and actually, that was the shakespeare play i alluded to up there in my previous post (the one i think SERENITY is at least partially inspired by) i heart caliban.

  • May 29, 2005, 4:12 a.m. CST

    Please don't tell me you're invoking Shakespeare to desc

    by zikade zarathos

    Please. PLEEEEEEASE.

  • May 29, 2005, 4:28 a.m. CST

    You liked The Tempest?

    by Mark Twain

    I've always felt it was a weak work (although there is much to admire), so maybe I'm missing something or perhaps the wrong gender. Since I've only read it a few times and seen it performed once, I may have overlooked something. What about about it appeals to you, if you don't mind me asking.

  • May 29, 2005, 8:43 a.m. CST

    resy easy

    by Eshu

    No Starship Trooper gear to be found.

  • May 29, 2005, 9:54 a.m. CST

    The Tempest

    by Ribbons

    Haven't read it but isn't that the one where they crash on an island and monsters start appearing after being pulled out of their subconscious or something like that? If so, gets a pass in my book.

  • May 29, 2005, 11:18 a.m. CST


    by Eshu

    That's Lost not Serenity.

  • May 29, 2005, 11:19 a.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    Sounds like it, doesn't it? But I was talking about "The Tempest," not 'Serenity.'

  • May 29, 2005, 11:24 a.m. CST

    MAL and INARA

    by Eshu

    If Serenity gets a second movie (or dare I say a Trilogy of it's very own) I'd love for their romance to be developed. This space scoundrel needs his princess (um, hooker).

  • May 29, 2005, 11:25 a.m. CST


    by Ribbons


  • May 29, 2005, 11:26 a.m. CST


    by Eshu

    Oh, I know you were talking about The Tempest (I mean, it was your subject) but I thought you were comparing it to Serenity, which isn't accurate... so I was comparing it to Lost. Sorry if I wasn

  • May 29, 2005, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Orphea Compared it to The Tempest

    by Mark Twain

    I have no idea if they are similar, since I have yet to see Serenity. If they are, it sounds like Whedon has taken Shakespeare's worst play (in MY opinion, not Orphea's) and made a masterpiece. Course I'll have to see the movie to know for sure, but all signs look promising.

  • May 29, 2005, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Mark Twain

    by Ribbons

    Seriously? Even *I* don't think the movie's gonna be all that great...but as someone who's seen "Firefly" (but hasn't read "The Tempest," but thinks he knows what it's about), I'm totally confused by that comparison.

  • May 29, 2005, 12:41 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    No, actually I was just sort of wondering out loud what "The Tempest" was about. No comparisons inherent.

  • May 29, 2005, 1:06 p.m. CST

    Something I think that needs to be understood MINOR SPOILERS a b

    by ProzacMorris

    MILD SPOILERS Joss Whedon does do an excellent job of explaining who and what all the cast members are when the movie first begins. Within the first five minutes we understand the terraforming efforts, what-Reavers-be, who Simon and River Tam are and meet The Operative. Within the next four, we meet most of the Serenity crew and get a good idea of what they are like (funny pilot, hard-ass first mate, hard-boiled captain, devilish thug and sweet little mechanic.) That whole time frame has a couple of jump out of your seat moments AND a shit load of laughs. Once the action and kills starts up, they don

  • May 29, 2005, 1:23 p.m. CST

    The Shakespeare Comparison

    by Mark Twain

    I think she meant it applied to the movie Serenity, not the Firefly series as a whole. I can't really comment accurately, because while I have read The Tempest, I'm probly gonna have to wait until September to see the movie. Unless I find a golden ticket in these candy bars I've been eating . . .

  • May 29, 2005, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Compareing Whedon to Shakespeare???!!!

    by Alatar_Blue

    You guys take the cake. Mad as hatters every one.

  • May 29, 2005, 2:29 p.m. CST

    tempest comparison

    by orphea

    SPOILERS....................................... .............copied from my post in the forum: A shipwrecked crew, a storm, an island. Master of the island is Prospero, who manipulates everyone and everything to his own ends. His servants, Ariel (a magical spirit he attempts to wield as a tool and a weapon) and Caliban (the savage). His daughter, MIRANDA, who is an innocent. That's all I remember from the play -- last read ages and ages ago. But I remember some basic themes -- xenophobia, authoritarian control over what people do and don't know, and a sympathetic villainy in Prospero -- who had good intentions. What is humanity and what is savagery? What does it mean to be weilded as a weapon instead of treated as a person? What does it mean to be protected from the world, even if that protection harms you? What are the real ramifications on the island society of Prospero's books being kept secret and mystified?...................... That summation describes THE TEMPEST, but for anyone who has seen SERENITY, I think the references are subtle but there. and I think Joss was sowing the seeds for this thematic storyline during the FIREFLY TV series, too: case in point, the episode about River called "Ariel." :) ...................... Also, this is like the umpteenth time Joss has invoked Shakespeare in his work. Really! He's kind of a fanboy. It shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

  • May 29, 2005, 2:32 p.m. CST

    by orphea

    p.s. the LOST comparison is cool, too! i hadn't thought of that before, but it makes perfect sense.

  • May 29, 2005, 3:38 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    Yes, "us" guys for comparing the plot of a Shakespeare play to the plot of a movie. So unheard of. Again, nobody but "Daddy Tones" has ever made claim to anything as batshit crazy as Whedon being as good, or better than Shakespeare. Shakespeare dwarfs Whedon in terms of talent, wit, and contribution to his art, and I think most people would agree. Jesus, could you try any harder?

  • May 29, 2005, 5:51 p.m. CST


    by Mark Twain

    Thanks for that. Still curious why you liked The Tempest so much, was it the themes, dialogue, characters?

  • May 29, 2005, 5:53 p.m. CST

    This Just In: Shakespeare Ripped Off The Lion King

    by Mark Twain

    Couldn't resist.

  • May 29, 2005, 6:41 p.m. CST

    mark twain -- why do i like it so much?

    by orphea

    hard question, as taste is subjective. i do like the themes and characters. it also seems to be the most mature, ambitious, mystical and dark of his plays (well, those i've read). it ends on a very unresolved note and raises lots of big bad questions about humanity and i like that. ...........but then again, some might say the same thing about titus andronicus, which is the only one of the shakespeare plays i've read that i really don't like. :) ................. and you know, i suspect people here will point and laugh but i don't care: i think joss whedon is one of our greatest living writers. highbrow critics turned their noses up at "popular" writers like shakespeare in their day, but what was so cool about him is that he worked on so many different levels. straight entertainment that works on an almost infinite amount of deeper levels. i recently attended an academic conference and was amazed (but not so surprised) at the amount of really quality scholarly attention that Whedon shows (and LOTR and Harry Potter and all sorts of other fun popular stuff) was getting. there are lots of TV programs that are doing really good stuff; reputation only suffers because it's in a supposedly inartistic medium. i just think the kneejerk sniggering people do when someone compares a GASP GASP TV writer to other writers of [trumpet flourish]Great Literature[/trumpet flourish] is premature. TV and film are, whether the dorks in the robes at oxford like it or not, our most popular mediums. i think it's only natural that gifted storytelling finds a place on TV, even if it hides in the dusty cancel-file at FOX (stupid, stupid FOX).

  • May 29, 2005, 6:43 p.m. CST

    About The Tempest.

    by FluffyUnbound

    It is generally regarded as the Shakespeare play whose subject matter best lends itself to modern sensibilities and concerns, other than Hamlet, of course. [Some people might point to Julius Caesar or Richard III, but I think The Tempest edges them out, mainly because it's not a tragedy but an absurdist farce. That makes it suit our absurd and farcical era well.] Other Shakespearean works like Lear and MacBeth, or certainly any of the Henrys, are immense literary and dramatic achievements and provided us with archetypical characters, but the philosophical concerns they reflect are slightly more antiquated, and we look back at them more with nostalgia or sentimentality than with actual direct concern. Not to mention works like Romeo and Juliet or The Merchant of Venice, which are now essentially completely alien, despite the fact that we still know all the words and mouth a superficial affection for the characters and situations. And seriously, wouldn't Titus Andronicus, Coriolanus, and Timon of Athens be "worse" Shakespearean works than the Tempest, even if you don't particularly buy into the play?

  • May 29, 2005, 8:57 p.m. CST

    Not Shakespeare's Fault

    by Mark Twain

    Tough to really bag on Shakespeare for not being able to write for television, who knows? He might have excelled in that format. Certainly he was at least suited for the medium of the time. Quite possibly given film or television he would have shown equal or greater proficiency. And we don't KNOW that he couldn't wtite a musical. As for Titus Andronicus et al., Fluffy, depends on what you mean by worse. Certainly Shakespeare didn't hit a home run every time and neither does Whedon (see Alien Resurrection and certain episodes of Buffy and Angel). And it certainly does come down in some cases to individual preferences. Titus (just to pick one) is certainly dull, but I have a problem with The Tempest because it is much more ambitious and falls short, in my eyes. Now that's unfair, I suppose, but to me the finished product is what you judge, not the artist's intentions, however great or noble. I ADMIRE Sylvester Stallone's efforts to stretch himself and not coast on what's working for him, but Rhinestone and Oscar are still unpleasant to watch. I can't sit through those films and enjoy them by saying to myself "I give it points just because Stallone chose to do this instead of a Rambo or Rocky movie." Arguably Victory is as a worse movie than either of those, but it isn't trying to be more than The Bad News Bears Take The Nazis and works on that level, no matter how low the bar may be. If Whedon's made a bad movie (and nothing indicates he has), I'll be greatfull as a Firefly Fan that he did so, but I'll only see it once. And I will see it opening week and drug the unwashed in with me.

  • May 29, 2005, 9:55 p.m. CST

    The thing is...

    by Ribbons

    ...Star Wars, as far as I can see it, was never meant to be an ongoing series. You may disagree about whether or not it CAN be one, but it was never meant to be one. As soon as Bond made it to movie #6, the whole "milk it 'til it's dry" mentality set in. It's managed to survive all these years because of the inconography of the character, and it's had sporadically good and bad runs. The Star Wars series has an archetypal symmetry to it that would be destroyed by perpetuating it. That's why I find it hard to believe Lucas could stretch the thing out to 9 episodes and pretend to be anything but money hungry. If that's really what he wants, and that's really what you want, then by all means go ahead and try to get as many people as you can to see Episode III as many times as you can and make Lucas as rich as you can. I just think it's a bad idea. Star Wars would always have its charms even if it wasn't always good, like the James Bond series. Then again, the franchise of James Bond is larger than any one creator. Anyway, the more money Episode III makes, I'm thinking the less inclined Lucas would be to make more movies. The TV thing's going, he's itching to do other films anyway, and in most cases, creatively frustrated artists only return to their most popular work when they're strapped for cash.

  • May 29, 2005, 10:04 p.m. CST

    You know...

    by Ribbons

    ...despite what you may think, orphea, I actually put thought into my comments. You may be of the mind that Whedon is a talent comparable to Shakespeare; I disagree. It's not a kneejerk reaction, in any case, and there's no "sniggering" on my part because of an assumed obligation to love all things Shakespeare.

  • May 29, 2005, 10:31 p.m. CST

    I wouldn't put Whedon above using the Tempest metaphor...

    by adambalm

    As I've said on other occaisions, it all smacks of the fanboy's favorite pastime of imparting meaning where none exists, to make ourselves feel better about the stuff we spend our lives holding dear to our hearts, and how it's all somehow more profound and important than the rest of the world realizes. Case in point all the mythological BS whenever a superhero gets discussed. This was especially evident after episode I, where you had the endless analysis of what certain smile or look in an actor's eye meant, how the look between Shmi and Qui-Gon meant that he was Anakin's father. How this, that and the other thing related to ancient vedic texts, et cetera and how Lucas set us up for so and so. None of these predictions panned out, of course.

  • May 29, 2005, 10:45 p.m. CST

    by orphea

    i wasn't referring to you, ribbons. ;)

  • May 29, 2005, 10:47 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    Sorry for the rant then.

  • May 29, 2005, 10:53 p.m. CST

    Don't bother hiding the spoilers

    by Bart of Darkness

    There is no way to spoil this film as it will hold no interest for 95% or more of the viewing public.

  • May 29, 2005, 10:54 p.m. CST

    This won't do well. Here's why:

    by Darth TJ Mackey

    Everyone who would be interested in it has already seen it now, pretty much. There is a movie out now called "The Game of Their Lives". It's a movie about the US soccer team beating England in the 50s, "from the people who brought you 'Rudy' and 'Hoosiers'..." You know, the usual rah-rah feel good stuff that mainstream people normally dis. Well, they did free screenings in every US city that has a major league soccer team (I went to one of the well-attended viewings in Dallas), and it got decent marks from most folks. In its theatrical release, however, it has made LESS THAN A MILLION DOLLARS...waaaaaay failure. And it's not because it's terrible (it's not), it's because its audience has already been saturated. And I think it's the same with this "Serenity" (along with the stupid titles--really. What are "Firefly" and "Serenity" supposed to mean to the average moviegoer, even those who dig sci-fi?)...apart from the True Believers who will go back and drag unwilling friends, this movie has already reached anyone interested.

  • May 29, 2005, 10:56 p.m. CST

    Darth TJ

    by Ribbons


  • May 29, 2005, 11:01 p.m. CST

    THE TEMPEST is considered one of Willy's weaker plays (and o

    by FrankDrebin

    The first "space opera" and a major influence on sci-fi books & films for decades after.

  • May 29, 2005, 11:10 p.m. CST

    Speaking of Lucas, INDIANA JONES 4 is supposedly ready to go

    by FrankDrebin

  • May 29, 2005, 11:12 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    (I'll keep it on the D.L.)

  • May 29, 2005, 11:14 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    Indeedy. Lots of science fiction is still inspired by 'Forbidden Planet.' And 'Indiana Jones 4' is ready to go? Pinch me.

  • May 29, 2005, 11:19 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    "down low"

  • May 30, 2005, 1:23 a.m. CST

    Now I Have to Read The Tempest and See Forbidden Planet Back to

    by Mark Twain

    Anything else The Tempest inspired? I may have to make a day of it at this rate.

  • May 30, 2005, 1:53 a.m. CST

    Confused.. Shakespeare and wit?

    by Trienco

    My dictionary says something along the lines of "clever humor". Wasn't S. the guy who couldn't crack a joke to safe his life? Great writer and many qualities, no doubt, but his idea of comic relief was a pissing bum. And about that weird concept of measuring quality in money? Is this Uwe Boll or one of his fans? When we talk about the QUALITY of a movie we generally don't care how much "quality" it held for the studio in terms of financial success. On the consuming end movies are about entertainment, not making a shitload of cash. So I still won't hail Titanic as the best movie ever or claim that Plan 9 From Outer Space is a great movie, because it probalby made a lot of money thanks to people wanting to see just how bad the "worst movie of all time" really is. The must be a whole lot of really crappy paintings in the Louvre, seeing how many of the artists died as poor men. And never forget all the high quality reality shows on TV *cough*

  • May 30, 2005, 2:15 a.m. CST

    Mark Twain: A list of FORBIDDEN PLANET references in other movi

    by FrankDrebin

    Robbie The Robot, a character in FP, had his own spin-off movie (INVISIBLE BOY) and appeared in the original TWILIGHT ZONE, THE MAN FROM UNCLE, GREMLINS and most recently THE CHUBB-CHUBBS cartoon attached to MEN IN BLACK 2. In fact, even though the movie is a half century old, you can still find Robbie The Robot toys in stores (a plastic model kit from Polar Lights/Aurora, a $10 wind-up toy from Turner/Time-Warner, and various battery-operated versions costing up to $600). And there's even a guy in California who builds & sells full-size replicas ( Altair, the planet in FP, is mentioned in Stephen King's Tommyknockers (even though the book is more inspired by QUATERMASS & THE PIT) and I'm sure was in Michael Crichton's mind when he wrote SPHERE. Have I bored you to death yet? If not, the electronic music in the movie--50 years ago!--is also still available from Crescendo Records, and was recently covered by techno musician Jack Dangers. And then there's the campy stageplay, RETURN TO FORBIDDEN PLANET, and so on...

  • May 30, 2005, 7:02 a.m. CST

    I actually saw the campy stageplay.

    by FluffyUnbound

    If seeing Shakespeare as a space opera wasn't funny enough, seeing Shakespeare as a space opera musical comedy including audience interaction was funny indeed. By the way, to the person who said Shakespeare had no wit and no sense of humor - you do realize that most romantic comedies today are rip-offs of one or another of his comedies? He didn't just write tragedies, ya know. And "wit" includes more than just situation comedy. There's wit in his use of the language, even when the situation is serious. There's an extremely black wit in every interaction between Hamlet and his mother, for example. Hell, even the "St. Crispin's Day" soliloquy in Henry V is actually just a long-ish joke - although it's also a commentary on leadership, courage, history and poetry as well as a core moment for an iconic character.

  • May 30, 2005, 8:56 a.m. CST

    our little movie

    by Harold The Great

    Okay, I came back, seeing things don't go any better than last day :). I really don't get the hostility. You guys got your Revenge of the Sith, what you have been waiting for. you watched it you liked it. Star Wars don't hold interest for me since I saw episode six with the freaking ewoks taking down the empire. You liked that, liked the prequels - that's fine. But some people are behaving like if we're watching firefly, or purchasing a serenity ticket, there will be less yoda cola to buy. you got your giant movie that was made for you. Can't we except our little film, that was made for us? Also if popularity is the best way to measure quality, how the hell can you explain Titanic, Reality Shows, Paris Hilton, and some really fucked up dictators from the last century? Also, I gotta admit, the first post, and the shakespeare-whedon thing is mental too :). Sorry, but they are.

  • May 30, 2005, 9:07 a.m. CST

    Amen, Brutha!

    by Eshu

    You folks got your, now let us have ours. Nobody is saying the movie is perfect, we're just saying we enjoy it.

  • May 30, 2005, 11:41 a.m. CST

    Police Squad was cancelled because nobody watched it.

    by Logo Lou

    The Naked Gun movies did okay still.

  • May 30, 2005, 1:05 p.m. CST


    by Harold The Great

    yep, you're pretty much right. noone watched Firefly. And it's a shame, really, if you consider what are the most popular shows on air. It draws a freaking scary picture :). Also - in spite of it's perfect simplicity - there is something wrong with the "The show was cancelled, so no one will watch the movie" logic, but I can't really put my finger on it. Can it be that TV execs are not always the brightest, most open minded people, who would give up on a great show, if they can't earn huge amounts of cash, without promotion? You're right, that's just crazy talk.

  • May 30, 2005, 1:17 p.m. CST

    FIREFLY didn't succeed because Fox didn't promote it. F

    by FrankDrebin

    Whedon held onto the rights, which is how he was able to take the movie to Universal. It's the Futurama syndrome all over again. Would Paramount have developed STAR TREK movies/shows if Roddenberry hadn't sold them his creator's rights.

  • May 30, 2005, 1:23 p.m. CST

    There's no interest in FIREFLY? Look at the length of this

    by FrankDrebin (Scroll down to CulturePulp 028: 'Serenity' Now!)

  • May 30, 2005, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Whatevs. AICN alone cannot make a movie successful

    by Darth TJ Mackey

    There are too many instances to the contrary. I love the site, but it is definitely playing to a niche market. LOTR and Star Wars would have done fine whether it existed or not. Again, the people who are posting about this movie here are PRESOLD on it. They do not represent the general moviegoing public, the unwashed masses who do not know who "Whedon" is. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to slam the movie or the show or the people who enjoy it. I'm glad this movie is being released, and I hope it does well enough that more such films get made from beloved-yet-canceled TV shows (I don't think the "ratings" system, as it stands, is truly representative of the tastes of the viewing public). But to cite an AICN talkback as evidence that "oooh this movie's gonna be HUUUUGE!! Bigger Than Jesus!!!" is, I would say, more than a little naive.

  • May 30, 2005, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Galatt and Shakespeare

    by Mark Twain

    I guess I infer from your post that Serenity is nothing like The Tempest, and you seem to express it strongly. While I admit I haven't yet seen Serenity, the people posting on the subject certainly are taking great pains to say why and don't seem "mental" to me. Firefly flans get enough flames from non fans that it seems we don't need one of our own throwing gasoline on that fire. Of course, if when I see the movie I wind up thinking "Tempest? That was sooo Canterbury Tales," I'll humbly eat crow and help you institutionalize these benign mental patients who are polluting this talkback with references to non-films. Orphea, I hope you realize this is tongue-in cheek. :)

  • May 30, 2005, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Hey, Tredeger. Two words: "TRY DECAF."


    Writing that extensive is legally obligated to be registered with the Library of Congress, if I'm not mistaken.

  • May 30, 2005, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Mark Twain

    by Harold The Great

    Sorry, I don't want to insult "my people" I ust can't think like we're wearing war here. I just felt compraring Whedon to Shakespeare was a little out there. Also I didn't refer to the posts about Whedon's inspiration. I was reffering to "Once every 500 years we get a Whedon or Shakespeare" kind of things, wich is a little too early to say. Don't get me wrong, I love Whedon, and I'm glad to see such enthusiasm. I try to be at least a little bit objective about firefly or Whedon - look what did too much confidence and blinded fan support did to some directors and franchises. i would reall hate if Whedon ended up like that. Plus - even though I dig his work - I have yet to see a movie from him on the big screen, that only he can held responsible for. So what I'm trying to say here, he has to accomplish some more before we can make such a statement. And if we can keep our statements about whedon and firefly a little more objective they will be more valid. In this case we can't figh fire with fire.

  • May 30, 2005, 4:02 p.m. CST


    by Harold The Great

    sorry if i don't make sense, still learning the language.

  • May 30, 2005, 5:29 p.m. CST

    I will allow you to insult Firefly. I will allow you to berate B

    by Daddy Tones

    Seriously: I am fuming. You do that once more, whoever it was, and I will personally tear your fucking head off.

  • May 30, 2005, 5:31 p.m. CST

    Nobody has yet to put up a convincing arguement for why Shakespe

    by Daddy Tones

    Does it really matter that Shakespeare wrote plays at a time when there were no other big names in the business? Does it matter than he was a pioneer in his time? What matters is, and what we're arguing is WHO IS THE BETTER WRITER. Joss Whedon manages to make his writing perfect for his audience, and perfect for what can be filmed on screen. Has has only 45 minutes to tell a story, conclude the story and make it a fun and entertaining experience for all. Shakespeare writes plays set on Moors, and huge battles, which can't possibly be shown on the stage. He doesn't adapt his writing to the format. Joss's screenplays are TIGHT, they only include what is absolutely necessary. And so the 45 minute limit helps him be a better writer, since his stories are consise and don't drift off on tangents (unlike A Midsummmer Nights Dream, for example). Above all, Joss writes ORIGINAL stories that can be enjoyed by everyone. Shakespeare writes remakes and re-does old boring love stories without adding anything new. When Joss does love stories, he makes them interesing - see Angel/Surprise/Innocence You say that the bard people were to busy trying to feed themselves, and generally not die to worry about witty dialog. Well doesn't that go to show that Joss has to write much better things to impress a modern audience? In Shakespeares time THERE WERE NO GOOD COMPETITORS. These days, there are 500 channels competing with him, and he still stands out. And for that, he should be applauded. And worshipped.

  • May 30, 2005, 5:34 p.m. CST

    Actually, playwriting and TV writing are VERY SIMILAR. Shakespea

    by Daddy Tones

    I can't believe EVERYONE always thinks that Shakespeares is automatically the best writer ever, just because they learn about him in school. You probably don't even like him. I've been in 2 productions of Shakespeare plays so I know what I'm talking about when I say that Shakespeare is good. But he's not AS GOOD as Joss Whedon. Lets compare Macbeth to Becoming. Which one has the better dialogue? Becoming. Which one has more heartbreak and emotion? Becoming. Which one has more action, excitement, varied characters and brilliant scenes? Becoming. Just because Shakespeare is famous, you can't just say 'hes better than everyone'. If they taught Joss Whedon in schools maybe he'd get the respect and adulation he deserves.

  • May 30, 2005, 7:03 p.m. CST

    Never saw the show, but saw the movie on thursday and...

    by PurityOfEssence

    ... I thoroughly enjoyed it. The dialogue in the trailer made me a little uneasy about what I was going to see, but it works very well. I think I will try to post a full review but for now I have to get ready for finals.

  • May 30, 2005, 7:54 p.m. CST

    Daddy Tones

    by Ribbons

    Let's have Joss write in iambic pentameter and still see if he can convey as much characterization and emotion as Shakespeare managed to. More than anything, Whedon caters to no one's whims but himself as far as writing dialogue goes. It's some of the most idiosyncratic (that's worth talking about; no pop-culture fests like "The OC" count) dialogue on TV.

  • May 30, 2005, 8:41 p.m. CST


    by Mark Twain

    Ah, all clear. You are definitely correct in saying let's not fight fire with fire. Although I don't think Firefly fans are popping on Batman Talkbacks or Star Wars Talk Backs and bashing those fans. Of course I could be mistaken, but I've never seen a single post to that effect (and if someone finds one, I'm sure the ratio is nowhere near 1:1). Since you were quoting my statement, I'll elucidate a bit. I'm not the first person to make that comparison, nor is it an original thought. There are already classes in universites on Whedon's work (there are also classes on Star Trek as well). You're point that he has yet to be soley responsible for a film is valid, and I agree with it. I'll be the first to trash Alien Resurrection. Now without knowing more about why Joss wrote what he did, it's hard to dump the movie on his shoulders, but certainly what made it to the screen was lacking. To be fair though, his orders may have been "Make sure you include an android, audiences want an android in the Alien movies. And it MUST have Ripley, so find a way to bring her back." He could have been told NOT to re-invent the wheel. Since we don't know (cause I don't have an original script), it's pointless to specualte and Serenity will be the only fair way to judge. And it should be judged as a work by a first time FILM director. All that out of the way, why do I feel a comparison to Shakespear has a lid place in these talkbacks? Well, I was not the one to mention The Tempest, but that alone justifies the inclusion of The Bard's name into these talkbacks. Not where I was going when I posted, but credit where credit is due my Pappy always taught me. Shakespeare at his best emphasized character and the grey areas in the choices we make. So does Whedon. Shakespeare loved tragedy and was at his best writing them. Whedon sometimes seems to live for tragic moments. Both writers had snappy dialogue. Both have followings. The comparisons don't stop there, but I just ran out of time, so I'll have to poist the rest later. Damn getting side-tracked by Alien Resurrection. Just one more reason to dislike that film.

  • May 30, 2005, 10:48 p.m. CST

    The Shakespeare/Weldon thing...

    by Eshu

    First of all let me just say this is a pretty retarded argument. Second of all since I

  • May 30, 2005, 11 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    I brought up iambic pentameter not because I thought it was especially difficult to write in (though it is for me) but because it places certain limitations on one's choice of words. That's all. And if we put this argument to rest, it's fine by me, I just don't get how people could say "Whedon is better than Shakespeare. I defy you to prove me wrong." Like, where does that even come from? And for my part, I know that Shakespeare's plays aren't "high art;" never said they were. Peace.

  • May 30, 2005, 11:17 p.m. CST

    It's cool

    by Eshu

    I'm not all hot and bothered or anything. I mean, I know why people are saying that, cause they love Whedon and are excited about his material. Just like I understand why people exaggerate about Lucas and Tolkien and Shakespeare, to a fan "their" writer is the best. I'm cool with that. I'm just not cool with people bashing other people for not liking

  • May 31, 2005, 12:02 a.m. CST

    Hey man, don't get me wrong...

    by Ribbons

    ...I'm a pretty big "Firefly" geek. Got into a bunch of stupid arguments about that kind of crap attitude farther up the TalkBack.

  • May 31, 2005, 12:47 a.m. CST

    My Whedon/Shakespeare Rant Part II

    by Mark Twain

    Before I get started Eshu, you've got a good case for your Alan Moore statement. You also filled in a lot where I left off and saved me some work. Galatt, if you've skipped Eshu's post, he says a lot of what I was going to say. Now on the stuff he didn't. I'll start with more similarities. HUMOR Both writers use it, sometimes in the most unexpected of places (Mercutio's "grave man"). Now it's hard to see how much pop culture Shakespeare threw in without having more time to read than is healthy for anyone, but it's safe to say that none of this stuff still holds up for modern audiences. So a bit of an unfair comparison here, but I'm a gonna make it anyway. Whedon has some stuff that is pissing in your pants funny, Shakespeare, not so much. Branaugh's version of Much Ado About Nothing comes as close as I can think of to mining this "comedy" for that kind of humor. Except for Taming of The Shrew, Shakespeare comedies can best be described as amusing. Now take the Buffy Musical (and I'm gonna win this argument, all I need is time to prove me right), most of that humor is character driven and will hold up because of that. If anyone thinks that a Buffy Musical won't eventually find its way on stage . . . check back with me in ten years. For all I know, somebody's working on it in a secret lab now. Whedon has an edge here because humor is culture based and loses a lot with the passage of time (try seeing a "comedy" from the 40s). For all we know Shakespeare was killing them in England, but I somehow doubt it. Edge: Whedon. DIALOGUE Both writers mix the vernacular and sophisticated dialogue. As a result, both offer something for different audiences without sacrificing plot. And here's the key, both are quotable. Buffyspeak has already entered everyday usage and most people are unaware where common phrases came from. This will only increase over time. But right now . . . Edge: Shakespeare CHARACTERS Both writers are excellent at making supporting characters multi-dimensional, nevermind the leads. Both create first-rate villains that are as memorable as the Heroes. Both have wonderfully flawed heros. I'm sure it was rare then and its certainly rare now to have heros that have weaknesses and still seem heroic. "Die Hard" is the modern exception, not the rule (on a side note, has nobody in Hollywood figured out that it was BECAUSE McClain was not superhuman that movie worked so well?). Edge: Tie. Now we get to the problem of the phrase "as good as" or "better than." You can never truly come down on a statement like this absolutely because art is subjective. So it depends on how you're quantifying "better" or as "good" as. You can't use the "will it hold up over time" determination because we'll all be dead by the time enough years have elapsed to find out. What we CAN use as a baseline are at least two things. How popular is the work after the hooplah has died down and does it stay with you after you leave the theater? HOW POPULAR IS THE WORK (after the hooplah) Now I know this sounds like heresy, and I am NOT suggesting that something that makes a lot of money is equivalent to art. Bear with me on this. You can get anyone into see something given enough hype and enough goodwill for the product (see Phantom Menace and Godzilla). The question is, after you've had a year to digest it, to you go back to it? Modern movies that hit the nail on the head are Casablanca, Jaws, Gone With The Wind, The Wizard of Oz and Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but I hope you know where I'm going with this. People continue to see Shakespeare again and again. Same show, multiple times. The true is the same for Buffy, The Simpsons, Angel, Star Trek, Firefly and Seinfeld. Are there crap episodes of each of these shows? Sure (see Spock's Brain and Doublemeat Palace). But as a whole, these series inspire repeat viewings. Notice Citizen Kane didn't make my list. I don't care how "good" critics think it is, I don't think Kane is selling loads of DVDs and getting watched repeatedly. I think Kane is a well done film, but try finding enough of your friends to have a "Citizen Kane" viewing party. What Firefly has done is phenomenal in just a few episodes. It already has a cult following Star Trek took years to develop. There is no other television show that can equal this achievement. Star Wars inspired that kind of devotion with just one film (although it was not Lucas' first film). Now you can debate whether or not Serenity qualifies as the film of a first director, but the test for that movie will be how many people beyond the core fan-base come back to that movie, buy the DVD, scream for a sequel, etc. I say if the film is Whedon at his best, the answer can't be anything but yes (keep in mind, I've yet to see it). Will people want the action figure afterwards, the comic books, the novels? Will they get excited to drag their friends in to share the experience? DOES THE WORK STAY WITH YOU AFTER YOU LEAVE THE THEATER Didn't I already define the criteria for this when I mentioned the comic books? Uh, no. What I mean by this, is do you think about what you just saw days, weeks, months, years later AND does it change or affirm the way you think about life? In other words, is it more than just entertainment? Does it cause you to look at the values you hold and question them? Does it CHANGE your behavior? On the simple level of Star Trek, Firefly is an unqulified yes. Simple in that it is indeed the fans who have helped through no small efforts and expenditure of cash to bring Serenity to the big screen. Firefly has at least inspired passion. Now I personally think about Whedon's work (and Shakespeare's) long after the viewing is over. Now this is just a short post to cover such a topic, but I think the fact people are even debating this issue on the internet (AICN aside) means it resonates with a lot of folks out there. Search any other talkback and I'm certain Shakespeare's name doesn't get thrown around by as many people as many times in for any other artist or film. And no, I haven't checked this, but I feel fairly safe.

  • May 31, 2005, 12:52 a.m. CST

    Slow down there

    by Trienco

    The only nutjob claiming Whedon is better than Shakespeare is a known troll that also equals Whedon to Jesus and basically does whatever it takes to annoy people and make fans look a big bunch of retards. Try not to fall for that, pretty much all other fans are sane and only compare elements of Serenity with elements of Tempest. Point of interest (and pure coincidence), the Firefly board (as all other Fox boards) is hosted on ,-) And well, I only read 2 or 3 Shakespeare plays, mostly at school and english isn't my first language, so maybe his wit and humour were too subtle and went over my head. Though there must be SOME reason for all the references to Shakespeare not being able to make a joke.

  • May 31, 2005, 1:45 a.m. CST

    story interpretations and making connections

    by orphea

    great posts, eshu, mark twain, ribbons, galatt, trienco, others. i'm a grad student in english lit. i recently gave a lecture to a myth and lit class on BUFFY. really! heee. it was fun. anyway, yes, there is certainly an academic fan base, and there are even academic conventions devoted to Whedon's work. not dress-up-like-vader conventions, but little-old-grandma-teacher conventions. it's so cool. that's not to say that some of the more conservative professors in universities don't turn up their noses at anything "pop culture." but the universities have always been like that. anyway, back to the point, though: you might see the tempest, the iliad, the matrix, or all of them in the movie. joss whedon loves to borrow from other stories (as eshu said, so did shakespeare, and honestly every good writer i've read does this to some degree), and the result is a mosaic of references. it's one of his trademarks, i'd say. in any case, part of the fun is making connections between movies and books and stories in general and i don't think there's ever a "right" or "wrong" way to read something. if someone sees a connection and can back it up reasonably, cool beans.

  • May 31, 2005, 3:01 a.m. CST


    by Harold The Great

    good posts, thanks.Too bad, here in hungary the horrible, horrible hungarian dub killed these shows. (the translator never really decided for seven years, wich word to use: demons or monsters) The words Buffy or Angel, are like a social suicide here, I can't imagine someone talking about Whedon in a class at my collage. (If it wasn't for my friend and his dvds I would have never touched the material either.) But it's cool the shows are getting this kind of respect over there.

  • May 31, 2005, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Galatt, Twain, and Orphea

    by Eshu

    Galatt - Yeah, like Mark Twain said humor is cultural so I can see a lot of it lost in translation especially if the dubbing isn

  • ahahaha. sorry, couldn't resist. ;)

  • I believe that Joss needs these few summer months to tweak Serenity, but when it does come out in the fall it

  • May 31, 2005, 10:28 p.m. CST


    by Eshu

    No, there are one-liners, but these are mostly desperate attempts at bravado when faced with impossible odds. There

  • May 31, 2005, 10:31 p.m. CST

    Oh and

    by Eshu

    You'll find very little cuteness in this movie. It's pretty bleak.

  • May 31, 2005, 10:35 p.m. CST


    by orphea

    i love whedon's dialogue, and it's very whedonesque in SERENITY. but no, not quite as self-aware; the characters are definitely immersed in their world. in fact, there is quite a bit of old-west-in-space slang (of the sort there was on FIREFLY, like "gorram" for goddamn and "shiny" for cool, etc). so if anything, the audience (and not the character) is definitely the outsider in the dialogue, instead of the other way around as in BUFFY and ANGEL (but hey, i loved that about those two shows)............................................. *cooks up on a rusty spoon* (and eshu, i'm so stealing that phrase to describe this movie from now on).

  • May 31, 2005, 10:46 p.m. CST

    And Don't Forget The Cantina

    by Mark Twain

    I loved the cantina. That scene did as much as any in Star Wars to transport me to a different place. One of the things I loved about Firefly was the non space theme song and music. It made the thing feel fresh. The only thing that makes me leery about the trailer is the music. Now I can understand scrapping the theme for the trailer, but the music seems . . . well, like trailer music. I haven't seen this anywhere yet, does the theme song show up anywhere in the film?

  • May 31, 2005, 11:31 p.m. CST

    Gee, for a crappy TV show

    by Purple Fury

    that no one saw and a movie no one wants to see, this is a pretty damn long talkback considering the movie won't even be released for another four months.

  • May 31, 2005, 11:44 p.m. CST

    Orphea, Twain, Fury

    by Eshu

    Orphea- It's yours. Mark Twain- Hell yes, the cantina! The version I saw didn't have a complete score and had place holder music throughout. I hope they work in some western music and war drums (for the Reavers) cause it'll make the movie more effective. It'll tie things like side arms and their lingo together and make the universe they live in more consistent. Purple Fury- Yeah, for a crap TV show and a movie nobody wants to see, you sure are nice scrolling all the way down this very long talkback to check in.

  • June 1, 2005, 1:04 a.m. CST

    Purple Fury

    by Ribbons

    Yeah, but I attribute that to the length and frequency us "Firefly" fans post with and then the mongrels who can't resist having a laugh at our expense. It's hard for me to articulate, but for the intellectual bullies (who are often quite crude), I think Whedon fans are easy prey. They don't get his appeal, they see a huge groundswell of support, badda-boom. We're all sheep and they can't believe they're wasting their valuable calories on us, should get back to appreciating their own lives just a little bit more, yet here they are just the same. I'm having a hard time figuring out whether any of them actually plunk down their hard-earned bones to see this "hackish" work come September, but if I'm still trolling these TalkBacks and I here people say "I paid to see this shitty movie by that hack Whedon, and I can officially say you guys are nuts," I'll be laughing to myself. I recommend y'all do the same.

  • June 1, 2005, 1:07 a.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    I always figured gorram and... there was another one... well another expletive, I always figured that was just Whedon and Minear's subtle way of tossing some "color" into the language without having the FCC come down on Fox like a ton of bricks. Didn't realize it was actually slang. Is it?

  • June 1, 2005, 1:37 a.m. CST

    Whedon's Appeal

    by Mark Twain

    Like Kevin Smith, he's honestly not most people's cup of tea. I think Whedon is more accessible to a mainstream audience than Smith, but the dialogue his fans love is actually off-putting to a lot of folks. Combine that with the genres Whedon works in, and you whittle down the appeal to the mainstream even more. I'm sure if Whedon wrote a "straight" non genre film more people would be into his dialogue (ala West Wing). Combined with his choice of horror or sci-fi, it throws a lot of people off. His strengths are actually detriments to a lot of people. I'll say this though, more chicks on a Firefly talkback than any other sci-fi show. I think THAT'S what really angers the trolls.

  • June 1, 2005, 11:09 p.m. CST

    Oh no!

    by Eshu

    This thread is slowly sinking into the bowels of AICN... What are we going to do when it

  • June 2, 2005, 1:17 a.m. CST

    I feel your pain

    by Mark Twain

    Hopefully more Serenity news will not be far behind, I'm working on an essay comparing Jayne to Beowolf.

  • June 2, 2005, 1:29 a.m. CST

    Me too.

    by Eshu

    I just wrote an essay on the music of Firefly/Serenity and submitted it to Orphea should really consider writing one about all this Serenity/The Tempest stuff. It'd be great.