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*** Official SERENITY Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Patrick Sun, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    Well monetary issues aside, I still think it was the best SF/space opera movie released last year. Not one cringe moment unlike a more high profile series.
    "Popularity, the very crumbs of greatness."
     
  2. Brian Sheffield

    Brian Sheffield Stunt Coordinator

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    I thought it was pretty well executed, but it ended very poorly.
    They build up the fact than no one knows about how the reavers came to be, and the truth MUST get out.
    In the big climactic scene they release the truth by getting past an encircling space armada, hordes of reavers, and the big bad guy in the tech pit of doom, and then......
    .
    .
    .
    ... decide not to show any public reaction to releasing this powerful information.
    Lame.
     
  3. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

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    Dangit Lou...just when I was starting to like you again. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    OK... this one is a first... Public reaction? With the exception the opening recap, not a single scene of this movie was from the POV of a character outside of the main cast. A public reaction scene at the end would have betrayed the narrative focus of the film. You may have preferred a more omniscient narration, and that is fine. But it also means you would have preferred a wholly different movie.
    --
    H
     
  5. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    And when it comes right down to it, we even experienced that recap through River's POV.
     
  6. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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  7. Brian Sheffield

    Brian Sheffield Stunt Coordinator

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    I believe a mirror scene to the opening recap, a coda if you will, would have made this a much better movie.
    By failing to show any repercussions to the alliance for its deception, the entire narrative is undercut and the sacrifices of the characters involved become trivialized.
     
  8. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

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    The public's reaction really wasn't the focus of the movie. The focus was on a group of people who risked their lives to get the truth out there. Actually, it's a similar argument to the one people made about the ending to the series finale of Whedon's "Angel." It's not the outcome that's important. It's just the choice to keep fighting and in this case, fighting for what you believe in.
     
  9. David Brown Eyes

    David Brown Eyes Second Unit

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    I do not feel that the addition of the multiworld celebration scenes in the Star Wars special editions added anything to the story. Yea they were cool but that is about it.

    I feel that adding the same to the end of Serenity would not have altered my feelings for the film. They were not necessary Serenity is a much more personal film and not a grand galactic freedom fight. I can see how adding them to SW was appropriate since the story line was a universe under the thumb of the empire. Mal's purpose is not saving the universe ala Luke.
     
  10. Brian Sheffield

    Brian Sheffield Stunt Coordinator

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    Maybe the difference here is that I saw the movie only. As a non-tv series follower, the film seemed to be about releasing the information.
    I had no personal, vested interest in any of the characters.
    Some old preacher dies along with the wisecracking pilot. Obviously it meant something to the characters, but neither were given great weight within the film itself.
    With the characterization and history from the TV show perhaps the end would be more satisfying, but as a standalone film, it seemed odd to end the film without any reaction from the society at large.
     
  11. Kevin Grey

    Kevin Grey Cinematographer

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    Can't agree with that. Mal was ready to give his life and, had that happened, he clearly wouldn't have seen the result of that sacrifice.
    I can see it both ways, but I think it's sometimes more powerful when such actions are taken even when it's not even clear if it was successful or not.
     
  12. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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  13. Robert Ringwald

    Robert Ringwald Cinematographer

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    Also, the film was made very much in the mentality that even if the public were to know of such atrocities... would it really make a huge difference?

    Like any other big dramatic revelation of the world, I'm sure there was a lot of "Oh... it's not true. It's made up to criple the alliance!" etc. The movie wasn't about changing the world, it was about a group of people who were always running from the law who fight back. Did they win or not? Probably not, but they tried.
     
  14. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    Unfortunately, this film, while it was made to appeal to both Firefly fans and non-viewers, it's virtually an impossible task to do so in the running time of the film, so Joss Whedon chose to use the opening bit to set the table, but for those Firefly fans, the rest of the film is more involving simply because they have seen 13 episodes of characterization that underscore the import of the demise of 2 of the characters. So, for you, as a non-Firefly viewer, the film is just never going to work as well for you as it did for Firefly fans. It's just how it is. It's not right or wrong, but had you invested some time to spend in the Firefly universe (about 10 hours of running time for the 13 episodes), Serenity would have been a more meaningful viewing experience.
    Serenity is not a standalone film. It's not fair to characterize it as such. Yes, sometimes life's not fair.
    It's like someone who just shows up for Star Wars Episode II without seeing Episode IV-VI, and Episode I, and tries to make heads or tails of the story so far. Some of it would make sense, some of it would not, but you simply get more out of Episode II had you seen the earlier Star Wars films. It's the same with Serenity.
    But for those who don't "do" TV, watching a film with a TV pedigree will never feel "right" because there is so much required viewing baggage to get all the in-jokes, history, and the understanding of character motivations that is simply not possible in a 2-hour film.
     
  15. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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  16. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    While I don't doubt it hit hard (the second death), without the context of those other 13 Firefly episodes, it's simply not the same. It's a shocking death, but that's it for first-time viewers (not Firefly viewers). Whedon set that scene up well, and the shock of it hit doubly-hard for Firefly fans. I saw it in person at the film's premiere (I had already seen preview screenings twice before the premiere), and the shockwave of that death hit the theater on opening night nothing like I've ever seen before. It's been a long time since I've heard audience members snivelling and sniffing back tears from a character's death on screen (not saying it doesn't happen, but it's not often). I heard audible bits like "Oh god, no!" "Why?" "Oh ... my ..." "Dammit!" "No...not him..." You don't get that reaction from someone walking in from the street and had never seen an episode of Firefly.

    Also, more often than not, the non-Firefly viewer didn't have enough time to fully warm to the characters because it's a big cast, and not everyone got enough screen time to do their characters justice. But given the running time, Whedon did the best he could to tell his Big Damn Story.

    Full disclosure: I was a fan of the show and when I saw the first preview screening, after the second death occured, I was flabberghasted, my breathing got a little weird, too. I had no idea (especially since the first death happened, my guard was down) and BAM! it happened, and I admit that I was reeling internally, I lost track of the film for about a minute of running time or so, I was just shocked and sad and incredulous at what I saw. It felt like I was the one who got staked. It had that much impact on me (and all the rest of the audience in attendance). The other 2 theatrical screenings still impacted me (not as big a jolt as the first time) and I still got a bit discombobulated from the event in subsequent viewings, mainly because I sensed the effect it had on the audience members, and shared in their collective sadness and shock. My reaction to the event was partly Whedon's deft set-up, and partly Firefly baggage. Without the baggage, it's just a quick, shocking death, but not one that would have resonated with me as long as it did because I enjoyed the character within the framework of that world 500 years in the future.
     
  17. Mikel_Cooperman

    Mikel_Cooperman Producer

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    I am a fan of the series but even when I saw the movie, the deaths lacked emotional weight.
     
  18. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

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    I LOVED Serenity without ever even knowing it was based on a TV show. Never heard of Firefly until AFTER seeing the movie. For me, at least, it worked by itself. Having now seen Firefly...I love Serenity even more. [​IMG]
     
  19. DavidPla

    DavidPla Cinematographer

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    I agree with this. They sort of just happened and then we moved right along with no real impact.
     
  20. Robert Ringwald

    Robert Ringwald Cinematographer

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    The film also scored really well with critics who likely never saw a single episode of the show. I saw it with a firefly virgin as well... she loved it.
     

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