Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Serenity

I saw Serenity a week or so back on opening night, and I am happy to report it met and exceeded my expectations! (Truly that is a tag line they will append to the DVD sales, Geoff Peart of Coast of Araska says 'met and exceeded my expectations!') Really, it was phenomenal; I just don't have the words to articulate it. The following link will take you to the home of everyone's favorite raging Mormon, Orson Scott Card, who has the literary agility to do justice to this movie. I strongly agree with him, and can only hope (as he does) that when Ender's Game becomes a movie that it is as good as Serenity.

For those of you who don't have a clue what I am talking about, Serenity is a movie based on a TV series that was cancelled halfway through the first season. "But if it was cancelled why did they make a movie?" you might ask. Well, it is difficult to predict exactly what went through the minds of the Fox executives, I imagine it went like this:

Ex 1: How's that new Firefly show doing?
Ex 2: Okay, for a nerd show, in a bad slot?
Ex 1: Nerd show? I thought it was a gun slinging western?
Ex 2: No no no, it's a space thingy, like Star Trek Wars or whatever that is called.
Ex 1: Ewww, nerds, watching my channel, kill it!
Ex 2: You sure? We are getting tons of fan mail.
Ex 1: From NERDS! Burn that mail to, before you get tainted and I have to fire you!
Ex 2: Yes Sir.
Ex 1: That sounded a little to Star Trek Wars nerdy of you, quickly to the gold course, and then the snooty brothel, we have to make a real man of you again, and quickly!

So another great show was cancelled, and this one never had a chance to get off its feet. Really it was a rough year for director/producer Joss Wedon, Buffy came to its natural conclusion, Angel got cancelled, and while I wasn't a huge fan, I know it had a rabid following. You can tell from the last episode or two that everyone was pretty bitter about the raw deal, and so they pretty much killed everyone just for good measure. So Joss went from 3 series to 0, and all of them were really well done. Firefly of all probably was the most open to any audience, and definitely had the most potential. Buffy had run her course, and Angel was a spin-off that had very much tried to capture the same audience as Buffy. Firefly really appealed to anyone, and had a feel to it that was truly unique. It really was space cowboys, but not in a bad way.

Anyways, no more crying over spilt milk, what is done is done. What followed was a rabid word of mouth campaign that made Firefly probably the most popular cancelled show ever! The DVDs of the first/only season flew off the shelves, and people flocked to the media, and the internet to talk about it. Letter campaign after letter campaign bombarded anyone and everyone begging for the resurrection of the series. What happened, I think, was beyond anyone's imagination. Fox adamantly refused to touch Firefly with a ten foot pool, but some how, from the ashes it rose up as Serenity, the first of possibly three movies starting where the series left off. There is a comic clip floating around the internet with two of the actors chatting between scenes, the one who plays Mal, and the one who plays Jayne. One says to the other "Well it's not everyday your TV series gets cancelled and you get a multimillion dollar movie deal."

So with pomp and circumstance production began on Serenity, stalwart fans were treated to inside tidbits, and even a prescreening months before release to try and boost hype. The tragedy of the prescreening is they may have been to far out front so that the hype cooled down before the movie release. Tragically the box office numbers might not be strong enough to justify the follow up movies. We can only hope. In spite of the poor showing in numbers, it is still a phenomenal movie, I want everyone to go see it, and even those who have never see the series. You won't regret it.

When you're done, come back and read this other guys review. I don't truck with the majority of the opinions on that site, but this article (while spoiler laden) really gave me a greater appreciation for a great movie!

So get off your butts and go watch Serenity, and then tell your friends about it!
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