"Serenity": I’m not allowed to speak.

I’m not allowed to–


I’m not allowed to say anything along the lines of, oh, say, “Serenity is the best Star Wars film since The Empire Strikes Back.”

So I’ll have to reserve my rave review until September 30th.

But I can offer you some advice:

If you want to enjoy an incredibly exciting action movie, you’d better get out and rent or purchase the Firefly DVD series and watch each episode. You won’t regret it. The more you know the show, the more you’ll appreciate the movie. There are MAJOR developments in the relationships of these characters, and if you don’t know what’s come before, you’ll wonder why the people in the theater around you are laughing and crying.

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  • Neb

    I love Unbreakable, too! It’s so refreshing that, unlike just about every other “superhero” story, the events of the third act are what most folks would have used as the first plot point. I am really looking forward to this next film, and I really love that poster! Wow!

  • ))><(( FOREVER

    YES!!! I love Unbreakable.

    Though I think Sixth Sense is more accessible to most folks. I think this one will be one that is seen fifty years from now because there will always be new people who don’t know what the twist ending is.

    I liked Signs quite a bit too. Another great performance from Phoenix, and the kids are alot of fun too. Yeah for Cherry Jones!

  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    I agree that Shyamalan’s been over-promoted. But I don’t think he’s a one-hit wonder. I actually prefer “Unbreakable” to “The Sixth Sense.” The ending isn’t very successful, whereas “Sixth Sense” has a knockout ending… but “Unbreakable” improves with repeated viewings, and the deeper story about one man learning to acknowledge and accept his gifts is a powerful and moving story.

    I think Shyamalan allows himself to be pressured by precedent, and feels responsible to come up with a twist ending for every film. That distracts from the fact that he’s a natural storyteller, and he shouldn’t worry about pulling the rug out from under us at the end. “Unbreakable” had all of the narrative depth and momentum it needed. It didn’t need a “GOTCHA!!” at the end.

    He’s also quite good with actors. “The Village” has all kinds of problems, but I love the work Shyamalan got out of Joaquin Phoenix and Bryce Dallas Howard.

  • Barbara

    I love the look of the poster.

    I hate the shameless over-promotion of Shyamalan at the head of it. Here’s a guy who said after Sixth Sense that he would be the next Hitchcock. It was egomaniacally premature of him. The poster is trying to create a brand out of Shymalan that he hasn’t really earned in his films. Shymalan as a classic horror/thriller director is a one hit wonder. (By that I mean, how many of his films will be watched in fifty years? Just one so far. Hitchcock, on the other hand has at least a dozen that are still in play.)

  • Trent

    Oh. That’s what it is. The link is broken now, so I couldn’t tell…

    But yeah. As a designer, I started drooling when I saw this for the first time.

  • Jared Wilson

    I’m a fan of this “walk the line” poster myself. The best in YEARS!


  • Stephanie Says…

    BethR- I will give those essays a read when I have time.

    But I must say right now that the decision to have Buffy fall in love with Spike after the events of Season Six is so distasteful (bordering on offensive) to me that I have trouble looking at the rest of the season objectively.

    Either way though, you’re right about Firefly being a different show and deserving the benefit of the doubt.

  • BethR

    We’re veering off-topic now, but if “Stephanie Says” will grit her teeth and try reviewing “Buffy” season 7 on DVD–that is, without commercials and the huge gaps enforced by TV broadcast–she might find that it’s not as bad as she remembers. There are at least two or three really knockout episodes.

    Check out James South’s “The Philosophical Consistency of Season Seven” and Elizabeth Rambo’s “‘Lessons’ for Season Seven” at http://www.slayage.tv

    But in any case, Firefly is a different show, and Serenity is a different movie. Go. Enjoy!

  • Stephanie Says…

    I honestly don’t know what to do. Various people whose opinions I respect and trust (not least of all yours, Jeffrey) rave about Firefly. And now there’s this movie that you’re also raving about.

    But darnit, it’s from Joss Whedon, and I’ve kind of, sort of loathed the man ever since the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (Awful writing, non-existent plotting, and Buffy spends a year making wistful doe eyes at her would-be rapist. WTF?) I still get ticked off thinking about it.

    And yet, here I am, strongly tempted by all this talk to give Firefly a chance. Arrgh.

  • Adam Walter

    I watched the final episode of Firefly last night. I started on the series almost entirely because of all the anticipation of Serenity on this blog. I didn’t expect to go through the entire series in a month, though. Great stuff! I don’t think I’ve been this sad to see a tv show die a premature death since Earth 2, and I’m eager to see the characters again. Bring on Serenity.

  • Neb

    The DVDs are certainly worth owning. It’s like having a really long, really good sci-fi/drama feature at your beck & call.

    Yes, the folks who lovingly made the series/movie are good folks who have a sense of humour. Nathan Fillion is an example of art imitating life in many ways (one of the major exceptions being that he is NOT bitter/jaded). He is truly the “captain” of the cast and kept them together through the dark days of uncertainty when Fox was jerking them around. This utterly confounded the suits (“They got together and talked about this? They actually get together?”)

    I hope this thing is a huge success and that somebody jumps on it. I’d love to see another series, but I’d be happy with more features, too.

  • BethR

    Thanks for this! I never expected anything less, but am delighted to have my expectations confirmed by a trusted source.

  • The Cubicle Reverend

    Sold. Alright, you convinced me. I’ll get it. There’s always room for one more in my life.

  • Timothy Grant

    Serenity is not as droll as Dr. Who. It takes itself far more seriously. However, that’s not a bad thing. The DVDs are inexpensive, and worth every penny. It’s also fascinating to listen to all the comentaries that come with the series. Some of the commentaries were NOT what I expected as the cast/crew/writers/directors/producers definitely have a sense of humour.

    My wife and I watched the final episode of the DVD and sat and looked sadly at eachother completely unable to believe tat something so completely interesting and compellingly different had been treated so shoddily by the network.

    I was worried that the movie might not live up to the TV series, but it appears Jeffrey believes it does, so now I’m looking forward to it even more.

  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    Yes. It’s less like Doctor Who and more like Star Trek with characters as witty and engaging as The Empire Strikes Back set at the pace of Indiana Jones, with dialogue by the guy who made the characters of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 so memorable. All of the strengths of his writing for Buffy the Vampire Slayer were increased tenfold in Firefly. We can only hope it becomes a franchise.

  • The Cubicle Reverend

    I never got the chance to see the show. I am tempted to buy the DVD of the series. I am a Doctor Who fan, if that gives you any idea of my tastes, so would it be worth it for me?