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Completely completed SERENITY screens at Comic-Con! And...

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with one of the first (I think) reviews of the final and completed cut of Joss Whedon's SERENITY that was screened at Comic-Con this year. I've made no secret of not being able to get into Whedon's work. I've tried and it just doesn't appeal to me. I'm happy that he has a rabid fanbase that hangs on his every word, but it's just not my thing. I'll give Firefly a try at some point, considering I know people who felt the same way about the Buffy/Angel series that I do who really like it, but it won't be soon. I'll probably end up seeing SERENITY first, for good or ill.

Anyway, the below review is a positive one, but one that reads about as fair as we've gotten, not overblown "I want to carry Joss Whedon's baby" enthusiastic from some of the really, really creepy Whedonites out there. We also have the new International SERENITY trailer which just hit the net, so click below and then come back for a read. There are light spoilers in the review, but you are warned before they begin. Enjoy!

CLICK IT HERE FOR THE INTERNATIONAL TRAILER!

Hi Harry,

I've just arrived back home from the SDCC, still a bit drunk on the extreme level of energy expended over the past week and the grogginess of extended air travel. Quint has mentioned that he's no fan of Joss Whedon, so it was no surprise that he hasn't yet posted anything on the "Serenity" panel or movie at the convention, but since I've seen no other mention of the event on your site, I'm pleased to tell you that at 10pm PDT on Saturday the 16th of July, Universal Pictures held the world premiere of the just-completed "Serenity" at the United Arists Theatres in Horton Plaza, which is just a few blocks from the convention center.

Unlike Quint, I do like most of Joss Whedon's work. I enjoyed the greater part of "Buffy" and "Angel", and I thought that "Firefly" was one of the best series to ever appear on television. I am a Browncoat and have personally met and spoke with Joss and many of the actors who have worked with him. However, I am not a Jossapologist. When his writing sucks, I have no problem saying it. In my mind, quality work trumps fawning sycophancy, and while most of Whedon's work has been of the highest quality, he still needs someone to occasionally remind him of the slime trails created by "Alien Resurrection" and "Titan A.E." to help him stay sharp.

Joss came out and spoke to the crowd for a few minutes before the show and was basically himself, playing goofy and self-deprecating with a lilt of the snark. At the end of his pre-show set, he asked if anyone had seen any of the test showings, and three-quarters of the crowd's hands flew up. He said it was wonderful to see so many people there who had watched the advances, but with the exception of himself and one other person there at the screening, quote "nobody has seen this movie before", unquote. The crowd, of course, went wild. He then sat down and the movie rolled.

I had the opportunity to see one of the advance screenings, but I declined. I didn't want to experience the inevitable temp score, unfinished SFX, and bits of blaring white screen with "insert shot here" ripping me out of the mood. I wanted to see the full, completed movie so I could savor the initial rush and then tear it to shreds later like all fanboys do. I have kept my ears and eyes wide open to the hype, so I had a goodly sense of what was about to roll onscreen, but I was still in a highly anticipatory state when the lights went down.

I won't mention any specific aspects of the movie at this point, but will list a few minor things afterwards, appropriately preceded by a *spoiler* tag, of course.

Firstly, it was magical to see the characters onscreen again after believing, when the series was cancelled, that I'd never hear any new dialogue from their mouths or see an expression on their faces that I hadn't seen a hundred times before while watching the series over and over again on DVD. Secondly, there are so many good things to mention that it would be impossible to list them all in a concise manner. It was a great film, and anyone who enjoys plausible science fiction, exciting old west flavor, excellent dialogue, perfect characterization, intense action, genuine drama, humor, pathos, and space cannibals, either singularly or in a multiplicity of those elements, will have a bonafide good time at the theatre.

*There are some very mild pseudo-spoilers that follow*

Even though everyone involved with the movie is doing the good soldier thing and is saying that it was made in a balance for fans of the show while still shooting for the greatest amount of mass appeal, no one whom I knew was buying that. However, there is a great deal of that philosophy present in the movie. The first few minutes open with a brief introduction of the past and what happened with Earth-That-Was, but it really doesn't go into much detail. We then go into familiar territory - if you've seen the show. If you haven't seen the show, what follows after the brief explanation of why all these people from Earth are in space is thrown at you to try and suss out by your lonesome. There aren't really any formal introductions for the crew members, and the lay of the land feels very casual instead of fact-filled. The first 10-15 minutes of the movie don't do a good enough job of nailing Who These People Are and Why We're All Here, which is a fairly important facet of movie-making by my way of thinking.

Conversely, as the movie progresses, a great deal of the characterization established by the crew in the series doesn't. In fact, there is a definite regression. This is done, of course, to allow newcomers to connect with these characters in a basic way so that the people up on screen are more accessible. Simplifying the main character's personalities may cause a bit of feather-ruffling for the "Firefly" fanatic, but it's necessary for the newbies, and the facets of the personalties that are magnified are indeed the strongest ones for each crew member: Kaylee is wide-eyed and innocent, Mal is angry, Jayne is dumb, Zoe is a bad-ass, etc.. The character portrayals are in no way two-dimensional, but neither are they the fully-formed, depthful souls that fans of the series have grown to love. The actors are absolutely comfortable in their roles, however, and that's a huge plus. Almost every "Firefly" regular in the movie gets in some good face time and at least two or three snappy lines.

As filming with a bigger budget will often lead, there are some very stylish and excellent special effects. The large space/upper atmosphere battle is an incredible sight to behold, and the lovingly crafted look of the entire film is impeccable. However, there was one notable, very badly done all-CGI shot that looked like it belonged in a Final Fantasy videogame. It's the flyover to Mr. Universe's stronghold, and it's just plain wretched. That particular shot was first seen in the trailer, and I'm amazed that it's been unrefined and kept as-is. It's an establishing shot, yes, but ultimately unnecessary. It should have been excised.

The plot isn't incredibly complicated - again, if you're a Fireflyer. If you're one of the uninitiated, or just a tad slow, there might be a couple of things that you'll be a mite cloudy on. The reasons why Shepherd Book and Inara Serra are doing what they're doing isn't really an issue to a Browncoat, but I'm sure that someone who's never watched "Firefly" will be asking those questions after the movie. Also, there are series-established plot points a-plenty that play out in the movie with little to no exposition. These are definitely in the realm of a hastily-whispered "I'll explain it later" from an enraptured fan to their non-fan spouse who is poking them in the ribs with a quizzical expression on their face.

There are a total of three moments in the movie that, as a fan of the series, I didn't like. Two of them were because of the "mass appeal" aspect added into the mix, and I felt both were either gratuitous and/or unnecessary, and the other one was a dramatic, emotionally-charged monologue from Mal that included a threat that I believed was extremely out of character.

There was a brief Q&A with Joss after the screening that consisted mostly of fans bowing to the altar of Whedon and asking about future plans for the Firefly series, more Serenity movies, and Wonder Woman. Unfortunately, Whedon's microphone wasn't working so I couldn't hear all of his answers even though he raised his voice in an attempt for everyone to hear. What I did hear was:

1) He definitely wants to do another Serenity movie, and hopes that the first one is enough of a success to allow more.

2) The Firefly series broadcast rights are owned by Fox and he will not work with them again, however, if another network bought the rights from Fox, he would definitely consider resurrecting the series.

3) Wonder Woman is taking up all of his time these days. Casting is ongoing, and he will only choose someone with the gravitas (his wording) to pull it off.

On the whole, I graded "Serenity" an 8/10 as a "Firefly" fan, and a 7/10 if you've been dragged to the theatre by a drooling, rabid Whedonite to watch this movie. Hope to see you all when the movie opens on September 30. Until then, this is BrashHulk, signing off.


Readers Talkback
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  • July 20, 2005, 11:26 p.m. CST

    Shiny!

    by Nekki Basara

    ...Well, it is!

  • July 20, 2005, 11:27 p.m. CST

    Lies

    by arrangedletters

    First....bad movie

  • July 20, 2005, 11:27 p.m. CST

    "Firefly" is the rosetta stone that allowed me to "get" Buffy an

    by gurglesnap

    I only gave Buffy and Angel another shot after seeing Firefly. I don't know why, but neither show did a thing for me until I completely flipped out for Firefly.

  • July 21, 2005, 12:09 a.m. CST

    Point.

    by CatVutt

    The statement "a dramatic, emotionally-charged monologue from Mal that included a threat that I believed was extremely out of character."...Is ABSOLUTELY on-point. I stated the same thing on another borad. That particular threat/reference, should've been omitted, because it was over-the-top, and not at all in character with either the Mal from the series or Mal as presented in the fllm.

  • July 21, 2005, 12:10 a.m. CST

    Hmm

    by napalm68

    Not much in the way of answering did they actually fix some of the issues other fans were complaining about at the previous screenings. Trailer looks like fun though.

  • July 21, 2005, 12:13 a.m. CST

    I was there =Serenity is great scifi

    by byrodude

    I was at the SD Comic Con showing and I'll say it was impressive. Some minor nagging issues but all in all i think that this is the best Sci-Fi movie to come out in quite sometime. I will say that I am NOW a browncoat, after seeing the movie, as I was just a very big fan of the series prior.

  • July 21, 2005, 12:27 a.m. CST

    Firefly was a great show, Quint. At least see the episode '

    by Serious Black

    I only tried to watch a few episodes of Buffy and Angel after falling in love with Firefly. The Buffy episodes I saw were the later ones, I think, and really did nothing for me. Angel was okay, but not compelling enough for me to have to watch every week. Firefly, on the other hand, is great. There's only like 13 or 14 episodes, and you only have to watch the episode 'Out of Gas' to figure out why it has so many fans.

  • July 21, 2005, 12:31 a.m. CST

    'Ariel' and 'Objects in Space' are really good,

    by Serious Black

    Although 'Objects in Space' seems kind of similar to the plot of Serenity. Finally 'War Stories' is great, but you need to watch 'The Train Job' first to fully appreciate it. Aw, they're all pretty good, check 'em out.

  • July 21, 2005, 12:31 a.m. CST

    overblown enthusiasm on AICN? the deuce you say!

    by capt jack aubrey

    <<overblown "I want to carry Joss Whedon&#39;s baby" enthusiastic from some of the really, really creepy Whedonites out there>> -- riiiiiight, unlike all the OTHER really reasoned, calm, balanced, objective pieces on AICN -- come on, guys -- we come here because we LOVE to hear Harry or Moriarty or Herc or Vern get all worked up and hyperbolic, for good or ill, about something... sure, we&#39;ve all learned to take a lot of it with huge lumps of salt, but that wacky, totally disproportional passion for admittedly niche, often geeky genre films is the RAY-SON DET TRAH of this place... so ease up on the Whedonites&#39; enthusiasm and blind faith a bit Quint -- you yourself tend to lay it on gloriously thick when talking about anything Jaws-related or various other personal faves... but hey, I desperately love Whedon AND Jaws, so it&#39;s all good...

  • July 21, 2005, 12:44 a.m. CST

    Is This A Sequel To The Firefly Movie?

    by Winky Man

    Cause it seems like the first one wrapped up all the loose ends. Oh well, if Kostner&#39;s back, count me in.

  • July 21, 2005, 12:55 a.m. CST

    Go easy on Quint

    by Ribbons

    I do think that the whole bemused stance on Whedon fans is in poor taste considering almost everybody on this site is fanatical of some property or actor, but he&#39;s also probably gotten only a couple hundred e-manifestos from crazies who hate him for not liking Whedon, so I&#39;ll assume he&#39;s just a wee bit defensive.

  • July 21, 2005, 1:07 a.m. CST

    that trailer was better than the first.

    by mocky_puppet

    Firefly is teh c00l.

  • July 21, 2005, 1:08 a.m. CST

    I&#39;m a fan of Joss&#39; TV work

    by moviemaniac-7

    Think he did some fantastic work. I am not too sure about his script doctoring for Hollywood movies (Waterworld, Twister, etc.) but I think Serenity will kick some major ass for Firefly fans like me.

  • July 21, 2005, 1:18 a.m. CST

    out of gas and objects in space

    by the_pissboy1

    I didn&#39;t know a thing about firefly 3 weeks ago. but i saw the trailer and hated it. still i read an article about why that seemingly awful looking movie was made. a series. cowboy-asian-sci-fi? WTF?! I rented it. Then bought it. Out of Gas and Objects in Space pretty much sum up so much of why this show caught my attention. It&#39;s hysterical, smart and the characters grew and developed even over the short life of the series. Wow. I wasn&#39;t as sad about the end as when I finished Freaks and Geeks but close. Real close. Seeing the cast at comic-con (they&#39;re all extremely funny and morena is way too sexy) made me quite sad the show is over. I&#39;ll see the movie but to be honest, I&#39;d rather if it were on TV again. I want it once a week like Arrested Development.

  • July 21, 2005, 1:45 a.m. CST

    We need a review from somebody who DID see one of the earlier cu

    by FrankDrebin

    so we can hear about which scenes got cut down or cut out.

  • July 21, 2005, 1:46 a.m. CST

    We need a review from somebody who DID see one of the earlier cu

    by FrankDrebin

    so we can hear about which scenes got cut down or cut out.

  • July 21, 2005, 2:32 a.m. CST

    Thank you, Quint.

    by AnnoyYou

    I&#39;m glad at least one person on AICN isn&#39;t a total slave to Whedon and his "genius." Bleh. I don&#39;t understand the sway he has over these people, and I was a Buffy fan (well, until Noxon screwed it up) and liked Angel. But rabid followers do not a successful movie make, and I&#39;m interested in seeing how this "fabulous, stupendous, best science fiction movie EVAR" plays to the uninitiated nabobs in Peoria.

  • July 21, 2005, 3:38 a.m. CST

    i&#39;ll wait for the actual test screening.

    by dr.bulber

    season seven was god awful.

  • July 21, 2005, 5:04 a.m. CST

    That trailer looks really really fucking good.

    by TonyWilson

    I&#39;ve bt&#39;ed the series and I&#39;m 3 episodes in, it&#39;s pretty good so far but not great, I&#39;m hunkerirng for more. The movies looks like a lot of fun.

  • July 21, 2005, 5:06 a.m. CST

    ohhhhhhhhh yeah!

    by Krangelus

    thats the stuff. That serenity trailer was freaking cool. cant wait.

  • July 21, 2005, 6:33 a.m. CST

    Quint, you friggin&#39; elitist snob

    by MemBirdman

    You&#39;ve gotten positive reviews, and have thus far listed them as "Whedonites." The two tepid reviews you&#39;ve gotten, you say that they are the most "honest" reviews you&#39;ve gotten. As though a person who loves Whedon&#39;s television trifecta can&#39;t be honest? You tool...

  • July 21, 2005, 7:40 a.m. CST

    Not sure that the complete failure of Alien:R or Titan A.E. coul

    by RenoNevada2000

    ...Any more than the complete success of Toy Story could be. All those scripts were worked on by numerous people, diluting the contributions any single wriiter made.

  • July 21, 2005, 7:53 a.m. CST

    gurglesnap

    by Mosquito March

    I&#39;m the same way - I only gave BUFFY and ANGEL another day in court after becoming a huge FIREFLY fan.

  • July 21, 2005, 7:57 a.m. CST

    Quint reminds me of Harry...

    by Sean38

    ...and his refusal to read any of the Harry Potter books. After a while, it becomes a kind of twisted geek badge of honor not to like something that&#39;s fairly universally praised as being good. It&#39;s how Quint stands out from the other geeks - he dislikes Joss Whedon&#39;s work. If that makes you feel special Quint, more power to you, but you&#39;re SERIOUSLY missing out by not watching Firefly.

  • July 21, 2005, 8:24 a.m. CST

    Just want to say...

    by godric

    That trailer was TONS better than the first. The funny is back...

  • July 21, 2005, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Just one question...

    by cagirl

    It&#39;s semi-off topic, for a COMIC-con this one sure seemed to have a shit load of movie panels. Clips of movies, whole films being shown, panels for WotW DVD scenes. Is it a "hollywood con" now or what?

  • July 21, 2005, 8:44 a.m. CST

    New Trailer Vastly Improved

    by Mark Twain

    The old one was all over the place, this one comes a lot closer to nailing it.

  • How did everyone find out about the screening? How did you get tickets? I was at the Serenity panel and they did not say anything (at least nothing I heard). Was it a "Browncoats Only" screening?

  • July 21, 2005, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Everybody knows Quint wrote a movie about a contemporary vampire

    by Hercules

    The salty seaman proudly screened it at the BNAT before last I think. Maybe he&#39;ll post it on ifilm or something so everybody can see his take on the concept.

  • July 21, 2005, 9:26 a.m. CST

    And I second Big Jim&#39;s question ...

    by Hercules

    I too was at the Saturday Serenity panel at Comic Con. When and where was this screening held?

  • July 21, 2005, 9:29 a.m. CST

    Hey Wheedon, where&#39;s Toy Story 3?

    by Christopher3

    So this is basically like the Cowboy Bebop movie. Dumbed down a bit for newbies, and with better effects.

  • July 21, 2005, 9:41 a.m. CST

    I was in San Diego last weekend...

    by Heckles

    And I went downtown, to drink and party. Then I went to the beach. I had a press badge waiting that I gave to a friend. This site gives more info than anyone could get on their own. It sucks and so does anyone that takes that nerdy sausage fest serious.

  • July 21, 2005, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Spousal abuse

    by Kovax

    I&#39;m looking forward to seeing this... on DVD. But the wife&#39;ll have to be out of the house first. Frankly, I&#39;m skeptical that "non-fan spouses" are going to settle for "I&#39;ll explain this later...." And I&#39;ll explain why. As something of a lapsed scifi nerd who never saw a single Buffy, it took me a while to get round to rip n&#39; burning the Serenity DVDs. When I did, I was sucked in on an escapism level, but after watching five or six of them I had to agree to inflict no more on the "non-fan spouse". Why? Because Whedon may indeed write likable, character based drama, that doesn&#39;t mean his characters come close to being believable. They&#39;re three dimensional in the same way good CGI looks "dimensional." "Whooo... the touch on the outside, soft underneath captain has the hots for the space whore, and she has the hots for him, but neither of them can see it?" laughed the wife. "It&#39;s cute that the dorky pilot guy is married to the amazonian black chick - but they&#39;ve got zero chemistry. You don&#39;t actually buy it, do you?" and so on. It&#39;s enjoyable hocum about the mystery machine.. erm, serenity. And the characters are enjoyably space opera stereotypical (tonight, the part of guy who may or may not betray the crew is played by a Baldwin... Donald Plesance was unavailable). But inflict this stuff on your spouse? Be ready for some "just how much of a 16 year old girl are you?"

  • July 21, 2005, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Quint, don&#39;t wait &#39;till after Serentiy to give Firefly a

    by raw_bean

    Rather, give the pilot and maybe an episode or two of the series a try first. If you don&#39;t fall instantly in love with it, a) you&#39;re weird, in my view :^) and b) there&#39;d be no point seeing the film at all. Seriously though, just give it a shot. While a lot of great sci-fi series took a while to hit their stride and maybe take a little perserverance to get into (Farscape, Babylon 5, Star Trek: DS9, etc.), Firefly I found was the most instantly captivating TV series I&#39;ve ever watched. Kind of ironic that it was so short lived. I wonder just what heights it could have reached with more time to develop (maybe even outstripping Farscape as my favourite series ever). Hopefully Serenity will give a glimpse of that. Anyway, I&#39;ll shut up now.

  • July 21, 2005, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Kovax, clearly you are not watching same show that I saw.

    by The Outlander

    Every person I know that loves Firefly is well over the age of 16. In fact the only person that sounds like a 16 year old girl around here is your spouse. "Whooo... the touch on the outside, soft underneath captain has the hots for the space whore, and she has the hots for him, but neither of them can see it?" laughed the wife. "It&#39;s cute that the dorky pilot guy is married to the amazonian black chick - but they&#39;ve got zero chemistry. You don&#39;t actually buy it, do you?" Is it leagle to Marry a 16 year old where you are?

  • July 21, 2005, 12:08 p.m. CST

    sorry to say it Kovax

    by cagirl

    But your wife sounds like a stuck up bitch who gets off on insulting her husband&#39;s hobbies. I&#39;m not a Whedon fanatic or a "browncoat" but I did enjoy Firefly It reminded me of my groups "Traveller" RPG games when I was a geek-teen-girl. Your wife doesn&#39;t have to like it, but to throw out her so superior critiques like that...what does she like to watch? Is reality TV riveting for her? Does she "buy" the relationships in "Desperate Housewives?" Shhesh. Tell her to get her own hobbies and leave other peoples (esp. her husband&#39;s) alone.

  • July 21, 2005, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Yup, still looks low budget.

    by modlight

    I don&#39;t get how talkbackers hate lame one liners and mediocre cinematography in Rob Cohen movie trailers, but this thing looks like gold to you. I am gonna make a serious effort to get into this show on SciFi, but then I&#39;m done.

  • July 21, 2005, 1:12 p.m. CST

    It was either firefly or kingdom hospital

    by Bubastis

    I wanted to buy a series on DVD for a quick fix every evening, as I work late and dont always have time to watch a feature film. So, i had either ff or kh to chose from, and of course i went with the Serenity bunch. Good call! Nearly 100% hit rate with the episodes (I felt heart of gold amongst others fell a bit flat), and i was definatly eager for more at the end of objects in space. But alas, it was not to be. What a boot in the cock. And to think Friends lasted for ten fucking years.

  • July 21, 2005, 1:18 p.m. CST

    modlight, it all has to do with experience

    by Serious Black

    I have seen Firefly and love it, and so when I see the trailer I assume that the final production will be of the same high quality as the TV series. With Mr. Cohen, on the other hand, I have seen Daylight, The Skulls, Fast and Furious, and XXX. While some of these were mildly watchable, others were not, and none of them left me wanting a sequel. If I never see another Rob Cohen movie for the rest of my life, I don&#39;t think I will be missing anything. Yes, the trailer for Stealth is fine, but I cannot forget my previous experiences with both filmmakers. Hence, my excitement for Serenity has less to do with the excellent new trailer and more to do with the fact that I have been a fan of Firefly for some time now.

  • July 21, 2005, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Joss Whedon must be a real asshole

    by FelatioHornblowr

    Why else do so many dickheads always try to talk shit about a frickin&#39; sweet show like Firefly? You guys just hate Joss Whedon, don&#39;t you. You don&#39;t even know what Firefly is, do you. Isn&#39;t that right, dickheads? Dickheads? Hey, where are all the dickheads?

  • July 21, 2005, 3:02 p.m. CST

    Whedon?

    by calami-shami

    Who is this glorious being that stands ten feet tall?

  • July 21, 2005, 3:08 p.m. CST

    I&#39;m actually shocked

    by cagirl

    It took quite a while for this TB to polorize between Whedon haters and Whedon brown nosers (or is that supposed to be brown coats?). Oh well, it was going to happen eventually. I like Firefly a lot. Buffy was fun for several seasons, and then I lost interest, Angel...meh. Gosh is it possible?! Can a person actually like some of his work with out having to swallow every thing he does as Mana from heaven. Can I not like/not be interested some of his stuff with out spewing hate for every project he touches? Yes, people, yes, it can happen.

  • July 21, 2005, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Dialog and Character

    by No-Op

    I too scorned Buffy and Angel as beneath my attentions... but Firefly showed me dialog and character work that was so involving and natural and laugh-out-loud funny (but not like sitcom packaged "here&#39;s a joke" funnymation) that I had to work backwards into how this could come from the camp-vamp guy. And I found good stuff, particularly the mid-years of Buffy and especially the final (5th) year of Angel. Wonderful stuff. How rare it is to actually be looking forward to the next thing a character will SAY...

  • July 21, 2005, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Whedon has been to TV what Tarantino was to movies...

    by Childe Roland

    ...in that he writes snappy, tangible dialogue for unbelievable characters, lending them credibility in very familiar yet equally unbelievable situations. Both are also hugely overrated by their fans, who not only credit both of them with having innovative and original ideas (which neither of them really has, both being so obviously and heavily influenced by pop culture icons of the last thirty or so years) and generally refuse to acknowledge when either of their beloved artists takes a creative shit. I enjoyed many episodes of Firefly (as I did a couple of QT&#39;s films), but the western in space felt very done before I ever saw my first episode (most recently, as someone pointed out, because of the very well-done Cowboy Bebop anime). The first few seasons of Buffy were good TV, the rest were milking an already tired premise and formula (with a few single-episode exceptions). All but one season of Angel were fairly enjoyable, especially the first, third and last. The second-to-last season blew goats, though. The lines Whedon inserted into the X-Men movie felt forced and out of place. His work on Alien Ressurection stunk on ice. The guy has made his share of fuckups, but pointing them out doesn&#39;t make one a hater. You can like some of a guy&#39;s body of work without unconditionally loving all of it. It&#39;s called being discerning. All of that said, I&#39;ll give Serenity a chance because Firefly was cancelled just when I thought it was getting interesting (Objects in Space).

  • July 21, 2005, 3:54 p.m. CST

    Childe I&#39;m with you on all but one thing.

    by TonyWilson

    Angel Season 4 was fucking brilliant!

  • July 21, 2005, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Indeedy doody

    by Ribbons

    I think part of the problem that comes with the territory of this strange trench warfare that happens every time there&#39;s a Joss Whedon TalkBack is that certain people who love him have to prove that everything he did or was involved with that sucked didn&#39;t actually suck, which proves he&#39;s the uber-writer that they say he is, whereas people who hate him (or hate the people who love him) try to prove how much he sucks and his entire body of work sucks because of some of the crap he&#39;s been associated with. The fact that people will agree to disagree on whether or not material is good in the first place aside, it is capable for a guy to have been involved with both good and bad pieces of entertainment. I could never really get into "Buffy" myself and I like "Firefly" quite a bit. As for the dialogue thing: It&#39;s true that Whedon&#39;s dialogue is a little idiosyncratic, bordering on precious, but it doesn&#39;t hinder character development any more than anybody else&#39;s dialogue does. Simply put, nobody writes how people talk. Just because it&#39;s easier to spot one person not writing how people talk doesn&#39;t mean that the criticism entails anything.

  • July 21, 2005, 4:36 p.m. CST

    Not a whedon guy and I HATE buffy and angel

    by the_pissboy1

    For the record, I&#39;m a Firefly fan and I can&#39;t stomach more than 5 seconds of Angel or Buffy. Way too teeny bopper cute for me. I want death and i want borderline amoral. Firefly has that.

  • July 21, 2005, 4:49 p.m. CST

    But Is The Theme Song In The Final Cut?

    by Mark Twain

    Anybody? Hello? Beuller?

  • July 21, 2005, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Angel is not teenybopper cute.

    by TonyWilson

    Wesley is one hardcore "do what needs to be done fuck innocent people involved" motherfucker. Maybe the 1st season was but it has grown in to a much more grown up albeit playful quirky series.

  • July 21, 2005, 5:25 p.m. CST

    theme song:

    by cagirl

    I don&#39;t know, and I hope not. I REALLY like the show! But that twangy honky tonk song is weak. I&#39;d even rather listen to Enterprise&#39;s "Faith of the Heart" than that Brown coat anthem. Sorry, I just can&#39;t take it.

  • July 21, 2005, 5:41 p.m. CST

    I&#39;ll back you on that last assertion...

    by Childe Roland

    ...Tony. Angel really never struck me as teenybopper cute (Buffy, yes, but not Angel). It was essentially a detective show for ADD twentysomethings with a supernatural twist and, especially in those first two seasons, handled that premise in a pretty sophisticated and artful way. It was like a much less boring and better written Forever Knight. And, perhaps most importantly, it maintained a sense of humor about itself. I just couldn&#39;t stand that whole Connor+Cordelia=Jasmine story arc in season four. It felt like such a crappy payoff to the Beast conflict and really was some of the most contrived, soap-operaish melodrama on TV at the time. Almost made me stop watching the show... but I&#39;m glad I didn&#39;t. The very end of that season was handled pretty well and Season Five kicked all five flavors of ass. And even though the series didn&#39;t get to resolve a lot of story arcs before it was cancelled, I think that - given the short notice - it pulled off one of the better series finales of all time. Stands in stark contrast to that shit note Buffy went out on ("Hey Xander, where&#39;s your ex fiancee?") and the shrugfest that was the end of Firefly as a series (great episode, but clearly intended to set up more story).

  • July 21, 2005, 6:04 p.m. CST

    Dear diary: Today i was pompous and my sister was crazy. Then we

    by Bubastis

  • July 21, 2005, 6:09 p.m. CST

    I couldnt pick Joss Whedon from a line-up

    by Bubastis

    I mean, i literally don&#39;t know wheter he&#39;s white or black. My point? i&#39;m not interested in the guy as a person, as some of the posters here are, i&#39;m not in the love whedon/ hate whedon camp, i just like his work. Ok, i never got into Buffy, but i couldnt deny that it was, at large, a well written show. I loved firefly, and do feel sorry that it was cut down just when it was finding its feet. So it says a lot for whedon that he had the sack to push for serenity, and to fight to get his story told one way or another. I dont see a farscape or enterprise movie in theatres any time soon.

  • July 21, 2005, 6:56 p.m. CST

    Childe.

    by TonyWilson

    Season 4 is a really divisive season. You either buy Connor+Cordelia=Jasmine and you end up looking at the TV shaking your head saying "what the hell what the hell" Or you don&#39;t buy it and end up looking at the TV shaking your head saying "what the hell what the hell". After the Beast, and all that came with him - Faith returning Angelus coming back, the wonderful "Spin the Bottle" "Apocalypse Nowish" and "Orpheus" - I think Jasmine being a Goddess who spread love and peace through the world but at a price was a pretty nifty idea and totally wrongfooted everyone. It also led to some exceedingly creepy "pod people" episodes and a very interesting dilemma about ending world peace. It&#39;s not a perfect season, Connor is a pretty poor actor and Cordelia got shafted (but then she wanted to leave the show). It also gave us more of the best character arc ever in sci-fi TV, namely Wesley Wyndham Price. Hell I&#39;m not a rabid fanboy for Whedon I just really love season 4.

  • July 21, 2005, 7:08 p.m. CST

    Can&#39;t stand Angel of Buffy..

    by Slappy san

    ...but Firefly is great stuff. I will definitely be seeing Serenity.

  • July 21, 2005, 7:36 p.m. CST

    Bubastis: LOL

    by Killah_Mate

    Jayne&#39;s the man!

  • July 21, 2005, 8:18 p.m. CST

    Our Mrs Reynolds.

    by TonyWilson

    Thats just about the funniest bit of American TV I&#39;ve seen in a long damn time. "I call her Vera" Jayne is indeed the man.

  • July 21, 2005, 8:50 p.m. CST

    "Out of Gas" - amazing episode

    by FXMoon

    Out of Gas was one of the best tv episodes I&#39;ve ever seen - really amazing. "Heart of Gold" wasn&#39;t far behind. Sept 30 can&#39;t come soon enough.

  • July 21, 2005, 8:54 p.m. CST

    Han Solo and the Space Whore

    by Kovax

    Insulting my hobbies? Stuck up bitch? Nah... even I find the whole &#39;Han Solo and the Space Whore&#39; shtick to be pretty cheesy. After a few episodes I got past the fact that Han, erm, Mal is a pretty cliche&#39;d part as written (this is my ship and i&#39;m loyal to my crew, and they&#39;re loyal to mem and if that means treading on a few toes... *yawn*) and started to appreciate that Fillion has some amusing comic acting chops. But the prickly doctor, the mysterious priest, the unconcincing marired couple... it&#39;s amazing he manages to squeeze something reasonably watchable out of some fairly stock characters. Still, having read some much about how it&#39;s really "all about the characters" in his work, I was surprised at just how clunky some of it came across as. At least Princess Leia, as written, is a Space Whore and thus, at least in theory, potentially porkable by Max Solo. Amusing space opera hokum. Not a lot more. Just be careful how much you talk up his so called mastery of character based drama. Adam Baldwin. Need I say more?

  • July 21, 2005, 8:55 p.m. CST

    Uh, give it up, you pathetic fanboys

    by jackburton2003

    This movie&#39;s box office is going to tank harder than the guys at AICN shamelessly shilling for anything with the words "Whedon" or "Buffy" connected to it, no matter how remotely. The trailer sucks, the story sounds like crap, and the special effects are standard TV junk. Hell, the filmmakers even sold out and ditched their "there is no sound in space" law to insert more groovy sounds of ships flying about. The only people who will ever see this movie are fanboys who still lives with their parents -- sorta like Harry. No offense.

  • July 21, 2005, 9:18 p.m. CST

    Jack Burton, You All Right

    by The Slammer

    He ain&#39;t got the balls to say what he really means, but he&#39;s too polite. Buffy was cool because it had lesbians, it got the ladies in the mood when I popped in the D-V-D before I popped in the M-E-E if you know what I&#39;m saying. They make this with an R rating and show the whore really throwing down some bone, well then I&#39;ll be there. I think this series only had one episode with girl on girl action. The only character with any sense was Jayne, show woulda been better if he was the main man. Kinda unrealistic that he wasn&#39;t, since he had all the brains and most of the balls (that Zoe chick had nads too, but I wouldn&#39;t mind cracking her rack). You the man Jack.

  • July 21, 2005, 9:28 p.m. CST

    Hey, Kotex. Does that wife of yours shave her own back or does

    by FelatioHornblowr

    Grow a pair, dude. If you want to watch your show say "Shut the fuck up, bitch. If I want any crap out of you I&#39;ll squeeze your melon." If she still doesn&#39;t shut up, then gag her, know what I mean. That&#39;s right, I&#39;m talkin choke on this! Sounds to me like your wife is lookin for a real man to show her how it&#39;s gotta be.

  • July 21, 2005, 10:28 p.m. CST

    Seriously...

    by Ribbons

    ...how many people are expecting this movie to do well? The people who say "you&#39;re crazy for thinking this is gonna do well, you pathetic fanboys" just like having someone to look upon and scoff at in order to inflate their petty egos. Wow, you think the show sucked. Good for you. I didn&#39;t. Didn&#39;t realize that people enjoying a niche property that apparently has no impact on pop culture to begin with bugged the crap out of you so much.

  • July 21, 2005, 10:41 p.m. CST

    Yup Ribbons, Yup.

    by Mark Twain

    I&#39;m just happy the thing got MADE. I don&#39;t think I&#39;ve run across a single post that&#39;s proclaimed Serenity is gonna be box office champ 2005. I just hope it makes enough to justify a sequel or more stories in some media or other. I will go on record again and say that I think this film has a chance to be a MODEST hit as a possible sleeper. I think what is most galling to Firefly trolls is that the normal buttons pushed don&#39;t seem to work on us. That, and more chicks like this flavor of sci-fi more than others. THAT steams em to no end, methinks.

  • July 21, 2005, 11:02 p.m. CST

    Oh And Another Thing

    by Mark Twain

    Slammer, I&#39;m never sure who&#39;s side you&#39;re on, or for that matter who&#39;s side I WANT you to be on, all I can say is I can&#39;t get that visual of ThaSithLord and "the nine inch Grinch" out of my head. I wasn&#39;t sure whether to applaud you or take a 3 day shower. Just thought you should know.

  • July 21, 2005, 11:23 p.m. CST

    And your point, Hornsucker?

    by Kovax

    No, please, emerge from your lifetime long masturbatory wankfest, mop your fanboy spooge from the keyboard and critique something. have an opinion. Themn return to popping your zits. Again.

  • July 22, 2005, 12:50 a.m. CST

    Stock Characters? Of course they are stock characters....IT&#39;

    by Jimmy Jazz

    It&#39;s Stagecoach in space, f&#39;r cryin&#39; out loud! When you are dealing with something as iconic as this, you can&#39;t stray too far off the reservation (so to speak). This genre is America&#39;s answer to the Arthurian romance or Homer. You have to take up with certain conventions. But conventions don&#39;t necessarily have to be cliches. It all depends on the writing. Firefly transcends the genre. You can accept or you can&#39;t, but that doesn&#39;t mean it&#39;s bad or cheesy. And what is so grat about "originality" anyway? I&#39;d rather see a well-made genre potboiler by a journeyman writer-director like Whedon than an "original genius" like Lars Von Trier or Todd Solendz squeeze out another three hour long bowel movement and splatter it all over the audience. I would be curious to know what kind of stuff Kovaks&#39; wife actually likes. My wife is an original Browncoat but usually treats geek stuff with a patient bemusement. Perhaps she should leave her prejudices at the door and actually WATCH a few episodes. Anyway, I said my piece. YOU CAN&#39;T TAKE THE SKY FROM ME, YA SONS A BITCHES!

  • July 22, 2005, 1 a.m. CST

    dammit..... I meant "Journeyman writer"

    by Jimmy Jazz

    Whedon has been writing for a while, not directing. His skill as a feature director remains to be seen. Though his stuff on Buffy Angel (and especially) Firefly look very promissing. Also, I can see why people compare this to Cowboy Bebop, but I NEVER got that show. Talk about an awkward, confusing blend of genres...Then again, I was never a big anime fan.

  • July 22, 2005, 1:12 a.m. CST

    Don&#39;t forget, Friday at 7

    by coop

    For people that don&#39;t want to spend the money renting it and are curious about what all the hubub is about, Friday night at 7 p.m. on Sci-Fi they are gonna start showing Firefly. Also, the reason there are so many fanboys is because it&#39;s one of those kinds of obsessive shows. I don&#39;t know anyone that has seen the show (in the right order) and watched the whole series that didn&#39;t become fanatical about it. The people that are "meh" about it saw the Trainjob (the weakest episode IMHO) as a pilot on Fox and figured it wasn&#39;t worthwhile. Hell I had a hard time caring when it first aired because it was odd and played all out of order but I figured I&#39;d stick it out and I got hooked bad. If you start from the real pilot this Friday, it should hook you right away.

  • July 22, 2005, 1:38 a.m. CST

    I expect this will do just good enough that we may or may not ev

    by Serious Black

    Kinda like Hulk or Hellboy. The budget for Serenity was about 40 million I think (and cost of advertising so far has been close to zero), it&#39;ll make at least 50, probably 60. Maybe. It&#39;s hard to say since it getting the "September flush" along with about 10 other turds. Oh well, at least I&#39;ll get a little closure on the whole thing.

  • July 22, 2005, 1:44 a.m. CST

    And I should add...

    by Serious Black

    ...it will only make that much if Universal decides to actually market the movie, with real TV spots and such.

  • July 22, 2005, 1:46 a.m. CST

    Wonder Woman

    by Eshu

    I keep saying it, "Lynda Carter as Hippolyta!" Maybe in a flashback of her sculpting Wonder Woman or training her or something. That would be great.

  • July 22, 2005, 1:51 a.m. CST

    Curious To See What Ratings Firefly Gets

    by Prophet Jeremiah

    That&#39;ll be an indicator of how well Serenity is likely to do, because marketing has been non-existant on this thing. Even the official site has no updates as we get closer and closer.

  • July 22, 2005, 3:34 a.m. CST

    I fear there will be almost no advertising for this movie except

    by andrew coleman

    You can&#39;t make 50-60 million on that crowd alone unless all of them go which isn&#39;t possible. Sadly I think it&#39;s best hope is like 15-20 million it might make more but it matters what it comes out against. All you can hope for is that its good enough that people will go for repeat viewings.

  • July 22, 2005, 9:19 a.m. CST

    Coop, now you know at least one...

    by Childe Roland

    ...guy who watched all of Firefly, in order, over the span of a week with the DVD set, who just wasn&#39;t all caught up in it like many others seem to be. And I&#39;m a dyed in the wool sci-fi fanatic who also would classify himself as a pretty solid fan of Joss&#39; work on Angel. Cowboys in space has been done and done again. The comparisons to Cowboy Bebop come from the fact that it could easily have taken place in the same universe, but that show goes at things from the bounty hunter point of view as opposed to the sort-of-pirate point of view. Don&#39;t get me wrong, I enjoyed a lot of things in Firefly (Jayne, the pilot and the engineer being my favorite characters pretty easily), but a lot of it just didn&#39;t wow me. The only episode that really knocked my socks off was the last one. And that&#39;s the only reason I&#39;m going to see the movie in the theater... because I&#39;ve heard it&#39;s much in the same tone and vein. So to say "The people that are &#39;meh&#39; about it saw the Trainjob as a pilot on Fox and figured it wasn&#39;t worthwhile" really just isn&#39;t accurate. The show wasn&#39;t new or different enough from everything that had come before it to really get its hooks in me. But I will gladly admit that, from time to time, it was pretty good.

  • July 22, 2005, 9:34 a.m. CST

    Kovax

    by cagirl

    I haven&#39;t agreed with some of what you said, but that come back to Horn was great! How can you (and the wifey) say Mal is like Han Solo!? C&#39;mon! Solo had an older, nearly broken down ship and Mal...uh...Well, Solo had a price on his head from an evil crime lord and Mal...er...Solo was dragged into an adventure by a young kid and his sister that would pit him against a galactic government while Mal...GAH!!! Damn you Kovax! Princess Leah wasn&#39;t whore. There, that settles that! Totally different characters!

  • July 22, 2005, 10:02 a.m. CST

    Angel Season 4

    by DanielKurland

    Yes, the whole Jasmine storyline was aggravating, but the fact that it had Faith, Angelus, and one of the best character evolutions of all time (Wesley), makes it a fantastic season in my opinion. "Spin the Bottle" is hilarious. "Awakening" is just a fantastic episode, if not for Angelus&#39;s laugh alone, and "Apocalypse Nowish" has an incredible fight scene. Any season that has Wesley stabbing innocent junkies, shooting point blank with a shotgun, and fucking the enemy while having her dress up as Fred is awesome. "Keep the glasses on" What a guy, indeed.

  • July 22, 2005, 10:30 a.m. CST

    If wishes were horses, we&#39;d all be eatin&#39; steak.

    by muthafudpucker

    Jayne: Don&#39;t see much point getting involved in other people&#39;s troubles without an up-front price negotiation. Zoe: As I said, no-one&#39;s forcing you to go. This job is purely speculative. Jayne: Good. Don&#39;t know these people, don&#39;t much care to. Mal: They&#39;re whores. Jayne: I&#39;m in.

  • July 22, 2005, 11:24 a.m. CST

    Well...maybe i&#39;m not typical but...

    by the_pissboy1

    Two genres I&#39;m not real fond of: Westerns and Sci-fi. Both tend to be way too serious. The dialogue is clunky and flat, the people have no personalities and in general I can almost never relate to those genres. Give me an old spaghetti western and I wonder what&#39;s on the freaking Oh channel. i hate westerns that much. No emotion or humor in most of them...just dickwads like John Wayne sauntering around acting tough and saying dumbass things. Sci-fi, I pretty much feel is a genre innundated with smart guys who have no sense of how humans speak. So we get banal stuff like Babylon 5, Stargate, Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars (episodes 1,2,3,4,6). What I found fun about firefly - the characters (save for the western word twisting) have the same kind of sarcasm as I encounter daily in life. Maybe it&#39;s the people I know but most everybody tends to fill their sentences with dripping, acidic sarcasm. And even though Jayne is played a bit broad, he&#39;s not a total twit...he knows the score on what&#39;s important and actually reminds me of a friend who is an electrician. Sure he can&#39;t tell me the plot of any classics but the guy knows when a deal sucks or knows he really only wants three things in life: cash, booze and broads. Shrug...I don&#39;t have a problem with the character of Mal being like Solo. Why? Because Mal WAS a good guy who felt betrayed and still feels it. Solo = no real backstory and thus he&#39;s a weasel from the getgo who is turned around. Mal was a good guy, who is trying to be a bad guy. I prefer that. The ship/vehicle broken down but still good = common trope. It&#39;s in many, many, many stories. The ship as in any tall tale becomes a character. That&#39;s the point. The Falcon breaking down created drama and fun. same with the serenity. As for the leia/innara thing...whatever. Carrie Fisher had maybe 5 smart lines in all the movies. She had some gumption but I never got the sense she was well educated or really very worldly. All summed up, Firefly worked for me expressly because it took two genres I dislike for being so empty and infused them with elements I can relate to: sarcasm, banter, action, slow character development.

  • July 22, 2005, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Since we&#39;re doing the quote thing...

    by Ribbons

    "What&#39;s the matter with you two, arguing at a time like this? You&#39;ll waste all the air."

  • July 22, 2005, 12:23 p.m. CST

    Hercules- answer to the screening question.....

    by Hairy Nutsack

    Believe it or not, the Browncoats costuming table was raffling off the tickets to the Serenity screening. Our Stargate costuming table (SG-Command.net) was a mere 30 feet from the Browncoats&#39; table and I missed it. I kind of skipped past their table because the Aliens Legacy table was so much cooler. LOL One of our Stargaters got to go to the screening and he absolutely loved it.

  • July 22, 2005, 12:27 p.m. CST

    In regards to repeat viewings...

    by Serious Black

    ...the best episodes of Firefly I actually enjoyed more the second and third time around. Lots of little details and dialog are worked in that it takes a few viewings to fully appreciate it all. Kinda like the first season of West Wing (only without all the cocaine.) Hopefully the general audience will feel the same about the movie. Then again, I am a little slow. "We&#39;re in the middle of deep space, corner of &#39;no&#39; and &#39;where&#39;."

  • July 22, 2005, 2:26 p.m. CST

    "She has&#39;nt hurt anyone yet" "Uh, butchers knife?" "Anyone w

    by Bubastis

  • July 22, 2005, 7:06 p.m. CST

    get yer whedon...GET IT!!!!! NO?

    by calami-shami

    i hated whedon and everything he stood for, which turned out to be quality entertainment. I Hated everything he did, but the problem was I had never seen or read anything he had done. But I hated him all the same. My bad. I got bored one evening after coming home from work early and watched a couple of episodes of BUFFY on FX. I liked it...God help me I was enjoying it and not being a prick about it. I kept watching and began peicing the storyline together who the characters were and why they were doing what ever it was that they were doing and I Began to like it even more. Then I went and did a crazy thing. I took all the issues of ASTONISHING X-MEN i had bought and squirrled away in plastic and actually read them! WOW great stuff. Each character DEAD ON ACCURATE, thouroghly enjoyable and looking forward to more. I haven&#39;t seen any episodes of ANGEL or FIREFLY but the trailer for SERENITY looked cool and Ill be checking that out. So...I like BUFFY, I like WHEDON. I&#39;ve learned not to be a total prick about things. YES whedon sucks for writing that awful line for STORM in the first X-MEN and for making WOLVERINE spin after gettin slugged by SABERTOOTH...that was totally gay. But the interaction between WOLVERINE and CYCLOPS in the statue of liberty was he larry us and totally makes up for that other crap. The guy&#39;s cool with me.

  • July 22, 2005, 7:49 p.m. CST

    Just finished watching war stories.

    by TonyWilson

    Holy shit Firefly is/was a good show. Yeah the characters are archetypes but it&#39;s what the writers do with them that makes it amazing. It&#39;s fucking damn funny too. "out of gas" for instance, one minute zoe is dying and they are all about to freeze to death the next second I&#39;m pissing myself at wash&#39; moustache. I&#39;m there opening day. I don&#39;t care if it tanks, box office is not a sign of quality in any way. And to everyone who bitches about the effects; grow the hell up. It&#39;s a low budget film this does not mean it will be low quality. As long as the story is good and the characters just as compelling as the show then I&#39;ll suspend my disbelief just a touch more than I do for any films featuring imaginary outer space battles. I really hope they keep the no sound in space rule though.

  • July 22, 2005, 8:13 p.m. CST

    That line for Storm in the first &#39;X-Men&#39;

    by Ribbons

    I&#39;m gonna hit you with a little anecdote. If anybody has the &#39;X-Men 1.5&#39; DVD, I recommend listening to the commentary; I thought it was pretty engrossing. Then again, I&#39;m sort of a commentary junkie. But anyway, inside said commentary, Bryan Singer laments the use of that line because it&#39;s a pointless set-up to an awful punchline. Or something. Then he rhetorically asks "What DOES happen to a toad when it gets struck by lightning?" To which his partner-in-crime on the commentary, some producer guy whose name escapes me at the time, says, "it croaks." I thought it was funny because even if the joke would have been lame in either scenario, it would have worked much better if they&#39;d used that as the punchline instead. And I don&#39;t know how long he&#39;d been thinking on it, but he just blurted out a better resolution to the gag off the top of his head. So, yeah. But that was indeed an awful joke. That&#39;s Whedon-esque dialogue and its worst.

  • July 24, 2005, 2:20 a.m. CST

    "It Croaks!"

    by Hairy Nutsack

    I thought Halle Berry was the one that fucked that line all up? Didn&#39;t she do a princess hissy fit on set over that whole scene or something?