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Discussion in 'Movies' started by Patrick Sun, Sep 27, 2005.
Hey, even a hater found something to like about this film.
However, the movie itself was pretty good. And by that I mean that the first 45 minutes were extremely dull, with numerous references to a TV series I'd never seen, so that just made it even less interesting. The tone of in the first half was way too self-congratulatory, and it really felt like Whedon just loved how clever and witty he thinks he was in his dialogue. The movie also felt way too TV-like, and generally pretty purposeless. I was ready to walk out of the theater at that point.
The first half doesn't really reference the series directly. This appears to more or less be your mind's awareness that this was based on previous events causing you to believe everything is a reference to a past event.
Think of how you view a television series beginning the 3rd year. "Oh, two years have gone by and I haven't seen a single episode yet... there's no way I'll understand what's going on."
Once you watch the season 3 premiere you're likely to think everything that's happening or being revealed is a huge reference to a past episode, regardless if that's true. It's just the psychology of it.
A lot of movies reference something that happened previously... you can never really begin at the start of something in any film. The movie really was stand-alone. Other than one or two scenes of Kaylee staring at Simon and the fact that Simon and Kaylee were on board... there weren't direct references to the film at all.
Hell, even the stuff with Inara could be summed up as "She was a woman Mal had a connection with, but he drove her away because of his personality..." The notion that she'd previously spent a good deal of time aboard the ship is not important in the context of the film... and it is not referenced except with maybe a line or two of dialogue.
Thank you Joss Whedon, cast, crew and Universal Studios! In a word, "EXCELLENT". This was the most entertaining movie I've seen all year!
Far better than recent offerings from George Lucas. It had more emotional impact than any of the recent Star Wars films and was better than War of the Worlds.
Effects were not as perfect as something Lucas or Spielberg would come out with, but the movie wasn't about effects, so much as it is about characters.
I was in a state of complete and total empathy for the characters, something that I don't recall feeling since the original SW episodes 4-6).
As sure as I know anything, I know this. It is some kind of BIG DAMN FUN for sure! I hope to sneak out and catch it again next weekend!
The way it was written, it was obvious that the dialogue was shorthand for something the audience was supposed to know, and that if they didn't know, those lines were thrown out as a sort of "cliff's notes" version of what had happened. If it had been a stand-alone movie, I think the dialogue and the scenes regarding this would have been much different.
The school flashbacks/dreams were brand new to the movie, none of that was in the series. I liked them.
River's rescue from the Alliance was actually changed for this movie. In the series Simon didn't have an active role in getting her out. But I can see why the change was made - Whedon needed a quick way to introduce the characters and River's backstory for those not familiar with the series. I thought it was pretty effective.
I don't understand this thinking.
The target for this film is clearly young audiences who want to enjoy entertaining sci-fi/fantasy/action. The western stuff (and zombie stuff) is just gravy. It's the epitome of a popcorn movie. Pure genre fun. It should be the easiest target in the world, and with a "name" playing Mal, and a real marketing team, it would have been a summer film with a $40+ mil opening weekend.
Even you describe how much you liked a great deal of it!
No way does any episode of Stargate (and, I find that show to be a lot of fun) come close to this film. I'll grant you that BSG 'raised the bar', but that is philosophical/political/'true' sci-fi, not space opera, popcorn entertainment.
I would bet this film does not dive bomb. Of course, it can't drop far...the opening weekend was pretty poor. It will be lucky to break $35 mil, but I think it could on word of mouth. DVD sales on both the series and the film should do well. Just look at the reviews and the fan and non-fan reactions. The movie works.
Excellent, excellent movie. And not just a continuation of a dead show, but a fun 'ol movie. One thing I really haven't seen anyone talk about is that great retro-style Joss had going on.
Well first of all, the 4 minute 55 second oner through the ship was amazing. Amazing. And the energy with which it was filmed was unlike anything I'd seen. You usually get your perfect steadicam, Thomas Schlamme Martin Scorcese thing where everything's perfectly still. But this one had this kind of fly-on-the-wall trying to capture everything feel that was a little bit of magic to me. I liked all the zooms and quick camera pans. I especially enjoyed the coming-into-focus shot of Zoe saying "You want to leave this room".
I don't understand one thing, if River was on Miranda in the beginning (the flashback with the kiddie class) how could the other tyke talk about Reavers if they hadn't really been created yet? Is there something I'm missing with the timeline.
I don't think River was on Miranda at all. She just "absorbed" the knowledge of Miranda and its debacle via her psychic abilities when presented to the "key Alliance figures" that examined her periodically.
I think the incident at Miranda happened a number of years previously (20-30 years?). Reavers had been created, but were a sort of "urban legend" to a lot of the younger generation because the Alliance covered up their existence.
Hmmm. I thought the events on Miranda occured 12 years previously. That would make River 5 years old at the time, but I don't think she was on Miranda - I thought so at first, but it couldn't be possible.
She may have gotten the name off of one of the "key Alliance members" or from a Reaver when they invaded the planet at the beginning. Probably both.
BTW, I liked how understated the scene was when Mal shot the poor guy who was taken by the reavers - you can see the determination on Mal's face with a hint of conflict - great acting, and the movie didn't devolve into slow-mo-rousing-symphony-conducted-by-Hans-Zimmer melodrama that you see in so many movies these days.
I think the dream sequences were her fractured mind's way of dealing with the information. She couldn't process it, so it manifested itself in that fashion.
I guess when she was 'activated', some comprehension of the information happened.
It isn't entirely clear what exactly was going on there, since really that information didn't have much to do with her being activated (so that she could be found). It is just a coincidence in the story that she finds that information when the people who are searching her out are trying to find her.
Of course, she could have more dirty little secrets hiding in her brain. Course, why let her go then?
I'll go ahead and throw my two cents in...
I watched the series, bought the DVD set, and had my ass in the theater on opening day. I thoroughly enjoyed the film, and it lived up to my rather high expectations (apart from the volume level of the dialogue being just a bit too low in my theater).
I really liked the way they toyed with the standard action hero / sci-fi blockbuster cliches, such as Mal saying "If I'm not back in an hour, I want you to take the ship... and come and rescue me."
Summer Glau had a few great moments where the theater broke out in laughter just because of her facial expressions. Her backstory was the one that I expected to be the most difficult to introduce to a new audience, and I think the film did a good job of bringing everyone up to speed.
While I agree that Wash's death did change the tone of the later scenes (because I was actually worried they'd kill Zoe and Kaylee, too) - it still bummed me out. He's always been such a fun character, and there will be a gaping hole in any future incarnations of the "show". I won't really miss Book much, but I am annoyed that all of the time spent setting up his mysterious history in the series isn't going to go anywhere now.
Having seen the series, I had all the doom and gloom I needed to fear the Reavers, but I was concerned that they were pretty two-dimensional villains when only viewed within the film. If I hadn't been familiar with the material this would probably have been one of my major criticisms of the film, but I've never been a big fan of the zombie movie genre to begin with.