Saturday, October 01, 2005

Spoilerific Serenity Sat. - I am a leaf on the wind

Three things.

Thing Number 1: Don't read below the ***SPOILERS*** warning unless you have already seen the movie, or don't care about having the major plot points spoiled for you.

Thing Number 2: This movie gets pretty intense in the scenes with the Reavers, so if you or your kids are sensitive to violence, be forewarned. Mama Lightbulb said she had to cover her eyes during several of the Reaver scenes.

Thing Number 3: I know I'm not the most impartial of viewers here, so please, take the following with as large a grain of salt as you'd like, but also keep in mind that I had extremely high expectations going in:

This movie rocked.

It rocked hard.

I shall be seeing this movie again.

You need to go see this movie immediately, if not sooner.

Because it rocked.


Now, on to the spoilers. Don't say you weren't warned


I should have known.

This was a Joss Whedon production, where he was wrapping up a major storyline, so of course there had to be death. My years of watching Buffy and Angel should have prepared me. Joyce, Tara, Anya, Jonathon, Doyle, Cordelia, Wesley. No on in the Whedonverse is safe, I know that. Especially my favorite characters, I know that too.

But I was blindsided. Totally blindsided. Had not heard even a hint of there being major character deaths beforehand. Heck, I just read an interview with Joss yesterday where he hinted that a possible sequel might delve into Shepard's past, which seems a bit doubtful now, yes? But while I was dismayed to see Shepard pass on (especially after his limited role in the film), it was nothing compared to the total shock of Wash's demise. Again, should have seen it coming, and I'm sure there are people out there who will say they did, and if so, bully for them. But for me, well, don't know if I've ever been so caught off guard in a film in my life. One moment I'm laughing at Wash's "I'm a leaf on the wind" line and the next, I've turned and am staring at Papa Lightbulb in utter disbelief, as the phrase "I should have known" started cycling through my mind.

From that moment on, all bets were off. I half expected it to end with only Mal surviving, being forced to relive the horror of the Battle of Serenity Valley, only worse. At some moment during that final confrontation, I thought every single crew member was a goner at least once. I don't know if people who've never seen the TV series could get that caught up in the predicament of these characters in such a short span of time, but I was all in, baby. Total emotional commitment. Honestly don't know the last time a film sucked me in so completely.

So, everything else that I loved about the film (the truth about the Reavers, the funny lines, the great fight scenes, the even funnier lines, the resolution of River's secrets, the borderline sappy moments being subverted with funny lines) is secondary to that. I cared about these characters, I didn't want a single one of them to go away, and the fear that they might kept me glued to the screen.

Joss Whedon is a sadist.

A talented, talented sadist, and I love him for it.

And I want more.

Not sure where the crew is going to go from here, don't know how Zoƫ is going to deal with losing the love of her life, or just how well-adjusted River really is now, or if some dark secret from Shepard's past really will come back to haunt the people inadvertently responsible for his death: I honestly have no clue what happens next.

But I'm dying to find out.


Anonymous said...

Because Captain Anonymous cares... :)

04:32 PM CDT on Thursday, September 29, 2005

Serenity is a knockout film, filled with characters you'll care about.

It's based on a cancelled 2002 Fox television series called Firefly, and takes place 500 years in the future. The transport ship Serenity, captained by Nathan Fillion - who slightly resembles Han Solo - is off on another zen-induced Wild West adventure.

The crew of Serenity is filled with military castoffs, all of them interesting and carrying their own emotional baggage. They eventually take on board a mysterious woman named River, played by Texas actress Summer Glau, who is part clairvoyant and part martial-arts expert.

Serenity is written and directed with substance and wit by Joss Whedon, the creator of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. His new sci-fi film is a well-written breath of fresh air, slightly goofy and always human.

It doesn't matter if you are familiar with the cancelled series and characters or not, because Serenity is the best new sci-fi concept in years. It's charming, exciting, always interesting, and above all entertaining.

If George Lucas would have had a script this good, Star Wars would have been even better.

Cap'n Neurotic said...

Many thanks, Captain. I've been very pleased at how well the critics have responded to the film, and have loved how many of them have used the "Boy, Lucas could learn a lot from this" type of argument. I hope that all of the Serenity skeptics listen to them and give it a chance. And if they don't like it, hey, who cares, the Browncoats have claimed their money anway! Bwah-ha-ha-ha!

PapaLightbulb said...

Is it over the top to say that Serenity and Firefly are one of my top two or three favorites of all time. I am careful about making statements like that, but well maybe. I have to admit I can't see a world without Firefly moving forward in either another movie or TV series, but can I really see life without Wash?