"Serenity"--a gun slinging libertarian western in space (SPOILERS)


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Cosmoline
January 2, 2006, 07:21 PM
I wonder if I'm part of the "fanboy croud"?

If you go into the film or the series expecting a straight western or a straight sci fi show, you will not be happy. It mixes genres freely. The clothes aren't really western, and neither are the firearms. They're a hodge-podge thrown together to reflect life at the rim of the solar system. And I think they work in that capacity. I've been wearing filson and military surplus for many years before "Firefly" ever aired, not to mention sticking tactical lights and laser pointers onto leverguns. So it makes some sense that people on the rim of this fictional solar system would be putting together what they can find and using what works, much as people here do.

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IndianaDean
January 2, 2006, 07:28 PM
Cosmoline, it's little things like that which make me feel this series may come the closest to describing what our future in space will be like. More than any of the other scifi series.

Justin
January 2, 2006, 07:42 PM
I wonder if I'm part of the "fanboy croud"?

You really have to wonder? :neener:

(pot/kettle/etc.)

Ransom
January 2, 2006, 08:14 PM
Its listed as sold out right now but Walmart.com has had Firefly listed at 20 bucks. Apparently its been going in and out of stock.

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=2350565

Rob1035
January 2, 2006, 08:41 PM
I tried to buy it at a Best Buy in D.C. but they only had 2 copies, and both were standard (ie not Wide) screen.

MechAg94
January 2, 2006, 09:11 PM
I guess I am glad I pre-ordered it from Amazon. :)

GigaBuist
January 2, 2006, 10:21 PM
I like it. I got hooked on Firefly (watching it in the RIGHT order) before Serenity came out and then I got to see it in the theatre before the actual release.

I watched it AGAIN in the theatre with some buddies. They were glad they came.

I bought it on DVD when Best Buy had it in stock and I was in there. I'm happy with it. Sure, once you've seen it 7-8 times there's some awkward moments in there ("Let's find the beacon" -- Wash) but it flows pretty smooth.

I actually watched it the whole way through with the directory's commentary on once. The thing that kept bugging me is all he talked about is the LIGHTING. Okay, so we all know that Joss Whedon doesn't really like the message behind the movie, so I guess lighting is all he's got to talk about it, but did anybody else find it annoying as all get out sometimes?

I mean, MASSIVE flodding of the scene to the point where characters are getting blocked out by glaring lights. I thought it was a mistake, but he was GIDDY about this little trick. Thanks, I like having the primary actor in a scene invisible during a pivotal point of the plot. (Mal on Serenity while on Miranda giving his speech) Pure genius, buddy!

Go ahead and make a point.. but don't BLIND me with it in the process.

Cosmoline
January 2, 2006, 11:17 PM
I actually watched it the whole way through with the directory's commentary on once. The thing that kept bugging me is all he talked about is the LIGHTING.

It was more of a technical commentary, mostly concerning lense types, lighting, and some aspects of the acting. I prefer "conversation" style commentaries like the excellent one between Carpenter and Russel on "The Thing."

I think Whedon suffers as a director from trying to do too much. It was his first feature film, but it was pretty clear from the commentary that he was trying to put fifteen years worth of film ideas into the technical aspects of the movie--from putting oddball lenses on to experimenting with the lighting. But most of time it works well. I just prefer directors who take a more traditional approach and use the cameras to capture the scene.

DesertEagle613
January 3, 2006, 12:31 AM
I think what Whedon was going for in the Miranda scene was the "halo" effect around Mal. You know, how this was supposed to be his moment of redemption, of risking his life for something bigger than him, etc. etc.

I think it worked, myself.

torpid
January 3, 2006, 01:03 AM
I mean, MASSIVE flodding of the scene to the point where characters are getting blocked out by glaring lights. I thought it was a mistake, but he was GIDDY about this little trick. Thanks, I like having the primary actor in a scene invisible during a pivotal point of the plot. (Mal on Serenity while on Miranda giving his speech) Pure genius, buddy!

Go ahead and make a point.. but don't BLIND me with it in the process.

If you notice, the shot directly before it is looking down a dark corridor at Mal from behind, and visually he is blocking out the other characters who are in the distance and much smaller than he is in the frame. Then the next shot is reversed, flooded with light and the other characters in the foreground, and Mal is far away and invisible in all the glare.

It's funny, because when I watched it I was actually really impressed with that transition and what it contributed to the feel of the scene.

(I haven't listened to the commentary yet, but from your remarks I guess I had the intended reaction.)

Oops- sorry!
:p

ScorpioVI
January 3, 2006, 07:30 PM
For the collectors out there.

Australian Serenity (EXCLUSIVE Collector's Tin) (2 Discs)

http://www.ezydvd.com.au/item.zml/784707

http://www.ezydvd.com.au/g/i/p/784707.jpg

IndianaDean
January 3, 2006, 09:59 PM
Apparently the Universal sight is now closed. Wheadon says if the dvd does phenomenally, there might be another movie. He says however, there will not be a new tv series.

Razor
January 3, 2006, 10:41 PM
I wonder if I'm part of the "fanboy crowd"?


Do you really have to ask? :neener:

ScorpioVI
January 4, 2006, 04:49 PM
Apparently the Universal sight is now closed. Wheadon says if the dvd does phenomenally, there might be another movie. He says however, there will not be a new tv series.



This was Joss' last post at the Browncoats forum.



Subject: Good Night and Good GOD there's something on my leg!

Ahh! Spider! Spider!

No wait. Lint.

Ahh! Lint! Malevolent lint!

Oookay, where was I? Um, time of sadness... transition... live forever in our hearts....

Sorry, I want this post to be really special, I'm just going through my notes. Be with you guys in a sec.

Ahhh... done the improbable... joke about dolphins... majestic DVD art... OH! Hey! Here we go:

Thanks a bunch.

Cool. I thought that went well. Some sentiment, but not maudlin... quality post. The one to go out on, if nobody notices my irrational fear of lint. I think the Browncoats will gain strength from my timely message, or from working out regularly. Anyway, my heart will go on. My liver's a house of cards, though, I kid you not.

Callous? Who said that? Maybe you're callous, mister TROLL! I'm not callous. I got the same feeling when I heard the board was closing down as every one else. But I'm old. Really, really old. Like, Keanu Reeves Old. (God, he's well preserved.) So I've seen this before. The Bronze. The Angelix. The Portly Norwegian Bondage House. All come and gone. What remains? Only two things. The first is Homestar Runner. Go Homestar! Teen Girl Squad! Let's get ready to look SOO GOOD!

The second, guess what, is love.

No flying lessons, don't worry, but what we get from the shows, the films, and the time on these boards -- from each other -- just can't get shut down. You guys gave me so much hope and support... and I gave you a movie so, you know, advantage me. But still. What this place was is sweet, what it will always be is treasured.

I got props for the Uni's for putting this up -- oh, and for making my damn (excuse me, BIG damn) movie. All things must pass. We'll find each other again, especially if any of you are portly, Norwegian and 'open-minded'.

I'll do my best to tell stories that cause as much trouble as this one did. And if I ever get the chance to return to this one... in case it was ever unclear due to shoddy journalism, sign me right the hell up.

You guys are the best crew flying.

Thanks a bunch.


-j.

Cosmoline
January 4, 2006, 05:40 PM
Do you really have to ask? :neener:

Hey, I'd like to point out that I dressed like this BEFORE I saw Firefly :D

Personally I'm not too upset at the prospect of no more Firefly. The movie spun out most of the major themes that the show would have, and if they revisited it now it could easily degenerate into something fannish. One thing I love about Whedon is he's not afraid to kill characters off and move on. Firefly will never be "Star Trek," which saves it from turning into a complete waste of time. It remained fresh and interesting for its whole run and through the movie, which is all you can really ask. I suppose it's possible a new series could get put together for SciFi or syndication, but there's no guarantee it wouldn't jump the shark.

What I'd like to see is more fresh and new SF and genre concepts on TV and in the films. "Firefly" was an important step in breaking out of the same-old dogma of "Star Trek" and "Star Wars." Judging from the mediocre performance with the public at large, most people aren't ready to see new and interesting SF. They want shows and movies that are comfortably familiar and don't challenge their preconceptions by replacing funky aliens with horses and laser blasters with old beat up rifles. But over time as the teenage theater audience loses its influence and DVD increases in importance, the film moguls may start to realize movies about people doing lewd things with pies only go so far.

The subtext from Whedon's recent messages has been that he's pretty much done with it though he wouldn't say no to a new paycheck on the project. I think "Firefly" will now take its place as a little innovative kernel of influence, like "Blade Runner" was 20 years ago. It also flopped at the box office and never had a sequel, but its radically different view of the future influenced hundreds of films and TV shows. "Firefly" is also innovative by looking, as Whedon put it, at people the Enterprise would zoom right past. It will be interesting to see how these concepts play out over the decades.

henryiv
January 4, 2006, 05:55 PM
I can better explain my problems with this movie after watching the directors commentary. To paraphrase Joss Whedon "I don't know what an ion cloud is, I don't know anything about science. I don't want to know anything about science. I used the ion cloud because it was a good plot device." This explains a lot about this movie. It is NOT a work of science-fiction, it is SCIENCE-FANTASY. Now science-fantasy is fine, I just needed to view it as fantasy. I am much more OK with it now that I see it this way. I have a doctoral degree in a scientific field, so I tend to take my science-fiction seriously. Science-fantasy has a whole different set of rules.

Borachon
January 4, 2006, 06:02 PM
Mal: "Did you see us fight?"

The crew: "No."


Mal: TRAP!

Cosmoline
January 4, 2006, 06:42 PM
I have a doctoral degree in a scientific field, so I tend to take my science-fiction seriously. Science-fantasy has a whole different set of rules.

By your standards, though, virtually no SF on TV or film would pass muster. "Star Trek" is as outrageous as "Star Wars" from a real science standpoint. I suppose parts of 2001 would be acceptable, though in hindsight of course it suffered from monumental arrogance with its assumptions about the manned exploration of space. It's a good example of how even "realistic" SF can be enormously unrealistic.

In real life, humans were never designed to cope with life beyond the Earth's radiation protection or even without gravity for extended periods. And there's nothing out there we need to send men out to get.

I'm actually more comfortable with SF (or science fantasy if you prefer) that just leaps out there and tries to tell a good story. Realistic SF would have us stuck on the planet until it eventually gets destroyed--but where's the fun in that?

Strings
January 4, 2006, 06:58 PM
>Realistic SF would have us stuck on the planet until it eventually gets destroyed--but where's the fun in that?<

Ummm... one HECK of an impresive light-show? :neener:

Phyphor
January 4, 2006, 07:04 PM
What caliber for planetary depopulation?
(200km, at least?)

:evil:

torpid
January 4, 2006, 07:07 PM
Realistic SF would have us stuck on the planet until it eventually gets destroyed--but where's the fun in that?

I dunno mate. I reckon a tale involving the last of the V-8 Interceptors could be entertaining...

:)

R.H. Lee
January 4, 2006, 07:10 PM
I'm apparently not the Serenity target audience. I rented the movie last week, and was so bored after 30 minutes I watched the rest of it at 16x. Yawn.

Herself
January 4, 2006, 09:03 PM
In real life, humans were never designed to cope with life beyond the Earth's radiation protection or even without gravity for extended periods. And there's nothing out there we need to send men out to get.


Gosh. If the iron, kerogen (crude oil slushy) and other hydrocarbons aren't anything "out there we need to send men out to get," how about one simple thing: Away!

Humans need a frontier. Space is it.

Then there's that whole extermination-level event thing. The evidence is pretty good that the Earth has seen a few and while there is dispute as to the cause, it seems silly to argue that the human species would be better off if we limited ourselves to just one planet.

Anyway, it is happening, no matter my opinion or yours.

Try www.bigelowaerospace.com or www.spacex.com or www.virgingalactic.com. Do a search on "t/space" or "Blue Origin" or "Canadian Arrow." That's the future, and it as close as this year.

--Herself

PS: Can I trade in my tinfoil hat on a spacesuit, do you think? Surely there would be a discount!

IndianaDean
January 4, 2006, 09:18 PM
Firefly will never be "Star Trek," which saves it from turning into a complete waste of time. "Firefly" was an important step in breaking out of the same-old dogma of "Star Trek" and "Star Wars."


Amen to both of these. Although Weadon may not know science, Firefly was far more of a science fiction series than science fantasy. For me, everything after the first Star Trek in that series s*cked, and every Star Wars movie since the 3rd was has also.

Humans will eventually have to leave earth. The planet will eventually be overcrowed, or become uninhabitable. And space is our next frontier.

I'm going to miss the series and I see no way anything down the pike can equal it.

Cosmoline
January 4, 2006, 09:50 PM
Humans need a frontier. Space is it.

No, Alaska is a frontier. Space is just space. You'll waste more hydrocarbons messing around up there than you'll ever be able to bring back.

Anyway, it is happening, no matter my opinion or yours.

This is a belief shared by many scientists and otherwise rational people. But it is just a matter of faith. The limitations of human biology and the mandates of human economy are every bit as real as the constraints of astrophysics.

My point is simply that "science based" SF such as 2001 is just as outrageous as the notion of jumping around at hyperspeed. It's ALL basically fantasy, so why not just have fun with it? Whedon's universe makes sense on its own terms and involves some very interesting characters. It's not completely outrageous to suppose that people on far planets would still use firearms. After all, 100 years ago they'd laugh at you if you told them we'd still be buying leverguns and single action revolvers in the year 2005 :D

torpid
January 4, 2006, 10:24 PM
After all, 100 years ago they'd laugh at you if you told them we'd still be buying leverguns and single action revolvers in the year 2005 :D .

They wouldn't laugh if I told them.

I'm from the future.


(Then I'd tell them about 2006 cowboy action shooting to really confuse them.)

.

Cosmoline
January 5, 2006, 01:46 AM
What's life like in the year 2006? Are there flying cars for everyone?

torpid
January 5, 2006, 02:17 AM
What's life like in the year 2006? Are there flying cars for everyone?

And are pistol frames made with high-tech materials like Bakelite?

.

Herself
January 5, 2006, 02:30 AM
No, Alaska is a frontier. Space is just space. You'll waste more hydrocarbons messing around up there than you'll ever be able to bring back.

With all due respect, Alaska is a State of the Union. It's claimed territory, a lot of it owned by the Feds. I'll grant you it's vast, mostly empty and largely unexploited, but it's small compared to the Moon.

Treaties not withstanding, who owns the Moon? Or Mars? Or individual asteroids? (One of which might be headed your way right now -- and we have no way to steer it away at present).
Those who can hold 'em, is who.

The natural resources available in our Solar System are vast beyond conception. In terms of energy expenditure, Earth orbit is halfway to pretty much all the system, so your fuel concerns are noted but politely declined. Why, the dear old Moon is rich with frozen water and sunlight, which puts it in the rocket-gas business early on.

This is a belief shared by many scientists and otherwise rational people. But it is just a matter of faith. The limitations of human biology and the mandates of human economy are every bit as real as the constraints of astrophysics.
A lot of exploration had no economic payback for the explorers. As for our "biological limitations," there are darned few places on this very planet where you could survive a year unclothed and unhoused. We're already way out of our "natural niche" and many of us are ready to take the next step. You're happier in Alaska. That's very fine, but it does not invalidate my choices.

My point is simply that "science based" SF such as 2001 is just as outrageous as the notion of jumping around at hyperspeed. It's ALL basically fantasy, so why not just have fun with it? Whedon's universe makes sense on its own terms and involves some very interesting characters. It's not completely outrageous to suppose that people on far planets would still use firearms. After all, 100 years ago they'd laugh at you if you told them we'd still be buying leverguns and single action revolvers in the year 2005 :D
What Whedon got right was the Firefly universe was a lot more internally consistent that most film and TV SF; and unlike Star Trek, he got the sociology completely right, with characters no more nor less noble than people are now. Human nature is what it is; we're a stubbon lot and slow to change.

--Herself

Cosmoline
January 5, 2006, 02:47 AM
With all due respect, Alaska is a State of the Union. It's claimed territory, a lot of it owned by the Feds. I'll grant you it's vast, mostly empty and largely unexploited, but it's small compared to the Moon.

It's also warm compared to the moon, and a heck of a lot nicer to live in :D The moon is an airless rock devoid of life. While it's theoretically possible to put a station there, it would be incredibly costly and pointless.

Treaties not withstanding, who owns the Moon? Or Mars? Or individual asteroids? (One of which might be headed your way right now -- and we have no way to steer it away at present). Those who can hold 'em, is who.

Not quite. Space is regulated by treaty and national law. NASA and the UN do not want private citizens going there, and even selling moon rock is illegal. It's a socialist paradise out in space--which is another reason we'll never go there.


The natural resources available in our Solar System are vast beyond conception. In terms of energy expenditure, Earth orbit is halfway to pretty much all the system, so your fuel concerns are noted but politely declined. Why, the dear old Moon is rich with frozen water and sunlight, which puts it in the rocket-gas business early on.

You can decline my fuel concerns all you want, but ignoring gravity won't help you any more than ordering the tide not to come in. The plain fact is it takes a vast amount of stored chemical energy just to get a few guys into space with almost no equipment. ANd once they get there there's nothing they can do to make money.

A lot of exploration had no economic payback for the explorers. As for our "biological limitations," there are darned few places on this very planet where you could survive a year unclothed and unhoused.

But humans have been able to build shelter and survive all over the planet for tens of thousands of years. This is our planet, and we were made for it. I don't see any migrations to the moon.

The notion that colonization of space is inevitable is pure faith. If you want to believe, it that's fine. But it has very little basis in reality. There's no money in it, and risks that amount to certain death.

You're happier in Alaska. That's very fine, but it does not invalidate my choices.

REALITY invalidates your choices, I"m afraid. Not me. Can you hop to the moon? If so, I wish you luck up there. :D

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