*** Official SERENITY Discussion Thread

Lou Sytsma

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How could one not? The opening crash dialogue was great and when Mal ordered the crew to come and rescue him instead of the cliched leave without me lines that was gold.
Oh and sorry about that Tim.
 

Sam Davatchi

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I bought the Serenity a year ago and never watched it. Said I should watch the TV series first. Anyway just recently they showed the series here on TV and I immediately got hooked! Loved it.
After the series, I sat down and watched my DVD. It was nice to see them on the "big" screen and it had a strong story BUT, honestly I can’t say that it was better than the series. Aside from the FX and the budget, it felt different. Too much unnecessary Buffy elements (and less firefly) for my liking! The story was strong enough that there was no need for any vampires, especially at the end! It was just a turn off. It seemed that Whedon wanted to please a different crowd. I enjoyed the series more.
 

Sam Davatchi

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Yes. Of course!
I just can't say exactly what bothered me, the Buffy stuff or some of the looks that we have seen so many times in so many cheap movies before (The space bar – Mr Universe). The kind of stuff that reminds me of Pluto Nash! They should have stuck to the western element more.
 

Robert Ringwald

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For people in the NY area. The Landmark Sunshine Cinema down on the lower east side will be showing SERENITY as one of their "Sunshine at midnight" movies. The film will play Fri/Sat -midnight on November 10/11, I believe. I'm excited. They tend to pick movies that they know have cult followings but will also bring in big numbers for the night (and also please the lower east side crowd...)
Example, last halloween, instead of showing something scary, they showed Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, no doubt cause they knew more people would probably tune out for that as opposed to Halloween or something similar.
 

Mary_P

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If you're anywhere near Chicago next weeekend, the Music Box Theatre is doing midnight showings November 3 and 4. A friend of mine has been wanting to see this on the big screen for a long time -- now's his chance!
 

Mary_P

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Oops, also:
Sat, Oct 28, 11:00 p.m., Studio Movie Grill, Plano, TX
Tues, Nov 7, 7:30 p.m., Cherrydale Cinemas, Greenville, SC
 

Mary_P

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The two in my second message are from CantStopTheSerenity.com -- the site that was originally set up to track the charity screenings last summer and will be tracking the charity screenings next summer. I'm not sure if one or both of these screenings are for Equality Now or if they're just commercial screenings.
The Music Box screening is a commercial one, no connection to the SN/EN effort. http://www.musicboxtheatre.com/midnightmovies.html
I thought the CSTS webmaster was going to restore the part of the site that tracked commercial screenings, but I don't see a link to it on the current page. I'll ask him about it.
Mary
 

Robert Ringwald

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I just happened to notice it in the flyer for "sunshine at midnight" when I was seeing Running With Scissors the other night.
 

Seth Paxton

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Jeff Jacobson said:
This discussion reminds me of the end of the Special Edition of Return of the Jedi. "Weesa Free!"
Or Matt Stone's (HTF version) "favorite" line - "YUB YUB"

I also hadn't seen the series when I saw Serenity and I really enjoyed it. And then after watching the series and really liking that as well, I enjoyed Serenity even more.
But I agree with Tino about the full surprise that as a cult fav sold on DVD it still couldn't get it's $40m back. Films that are truly awful by nearly all accounts have fared better than that.
 

Adam_S

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so universal has decided to retroactively levy licensing fees at the websites and groups that virally promoted the movie for them (since their own effort was pathetic and released in dumping season) and in response said websites have decided to bill universal for their labor on behalf of promoting the movie.
I guess the movie really is hard up to make a profit if they're going after 9000$ chunks from a relatively small webring of sites.
 

Lou Sytsma

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But I agree with Tino about the full surprise that as a cult fav sold on DVD it still couldn't get it's $40m back. Films that are truly awful by nearly all accounts have fared better than that.
I really think its all in the name. Firefly and Serenity just don't do it for this type of story.
 

Chuck Mayer

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Adam_S said:
so universal has decided to retroactively levy licensing fees at the websites and groups that virally promoted the movie for them (since their own effort was pathetic and released in dumping season) and in response said websites have decided to bill universal for their labor on behalf of promoting the movie.
I guess the movie really is hard up to make a profit if they're going after 9000$ chunks from a relatively small webring of sites.
I'm willing to bet Universal has better lawyers and a stronger case.
 

Will_B

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Universal's licensing sent a demand for nearly $10,000 -- more than the recipient's life savings, I believe -- to a site that was selling incredibly beautiful painted cards, the paintings being of Serenity characters done in a style reminiscent of 1960s San Francisco gig posters, and some t-shirts, most which were just of Chinese language characters but some of which had a ship that looked pretty much like the Serenity ship, except with ribbons of color...
Anyway, the fan community is shocked that they were sent a Demand rather than a simple Cease & Desist notice, and because of that feelings are running really high.
No one is saying Universal was not within its rights. But there are mitigating circumstances (beyond Universal's odd decision to send a Demand rather than a Cease & Desist).
The situation is much more ironic that the first paragraph may suggest, because that same site is the site that produced the street team posters for the viral promotion of the film -- the posters that people put up in cities across the country to hype the film.
 

Holadem

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Whoa, I thought Adam's post was a joke.
I guess the question is, how much profit did they make from this property? I don't think anyone's life savings is the issue here. He could have made a boatload of loot and lost it in Vegas...
--
H
 

Will_B

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I believe part of Universals demand was that she turn over all her sales records, so that info will become known soon enough.
I'm just shocked by how agressive Universal Licensing was, in light of Universal's good relationship with her. I'd have expected that they'd have tempered their approach in light of the good work she'd done for them. That's where the disconnect is.
Fans are hoping that someone at Universal will look into why Universal Licensing "went nuclear", and maybe change the demand to simply a surrender of whatever profits she made. I would hate for fans to begin boycotting the official licensees of Serenity merchandise in retaliation, because I like a lot of the official merchandise -- Dark Horse comics for instance made a great model ship and they're planning more for 2007. They and other officially licensed craftsmen shouldn't be hurt by a fan backlash caused by this other situation, but they may well be.
Overview over at:
http://whedonesque.com/comments/11730
 

Yee-Ming

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Unbelievable. We at HTF have had plenty to grouse about Universal's record regarding DVDs, but this is just plain ridiculous.

They seem to be going after 11th Hour for design that was created entirely by 11th Hour, using the word "Serenity" and the Chinese characters for serenity. As already noted by irate fans, is Universal now going to sue anyone in China that happens to use those Chinese characters?

Ridiculous. And a major PR disaster for Universal.
 

Mary_P

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This really does bite. Few have done more to promote the movie and the franchise than 11th, and this is how she's repaid. It should be noted that she also has a professional relationship with Universal -- she's the designer for the Serenity RPG book.
No one's arguing that Universal shouldn't protect their copyrights, but the manner in which they've done it is reprehensible, and the particular target they've chosen is ridiculous. It's also a good way to guarantee that they'll never be able to launch another viral marketing campaign. Who would want to take the risk of working for free to help promote something if you know you might be sued later for your efforts?
The overview link posted above has links to lots of info about this (thanks, Will!), but I'd like to highlight a couple in specific:
http://www.serenitystuff.com/2006/10...-to-universal/
A thoughtful plea to Universal to rethink their actions.
http://www.browncoatinvoice.com/
This is not intended to be a serious invoice; it's just to make a point that Universal benefitted hugely from fan activities. If you spent any time promoting the movie or series (promotion of which benefitted Universal as well as Fox), send your "timesheet" for hours worked to [email protected]
And a humorous but pointed response (not directly linked from the overview, I think, but linked offa one of the links that linked offa ... well, you know...):
http://www.cafepress.com/blkmktbeagles.83226360
Wonder if I can get one of those delivered in time for this weekend's screenings in Chicago....
I hope this can be resolved to everyone's satisfaction, but this has sure left a sour taste in my mouth towards the studio. I don't know if I'll be able to watch the movie again without thinking about how they screwed over one of their most dedicated supporters.
Mary
 

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