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Serenity
April 26, 2005 2:02 PM   Subscribe

Serenity The trailer online. This makes me soooo happy. I've been watching and re-watching the DVD set far too many times to be healthy.
posted by rexruff (130 comments total)

 
Eh, care to explain why this makes you happy ? It's a trailer to a sci-fi flick...
posted by swordfishtrombones at 2:10 PM on April 26, 2005


yeah, how about some background?
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 2:12 PM on April 26, 2005


OMG, is this for real?! Is this "Firefly: the movie"??

Whoever doesn't know about "Firefly" it was one of the (IMHO) best sci-fi TV shows ever! (google it folks) But, it was cancelled after the first season for some reason....

I can see why you would be soooo happy. Same here if it's true.
posted by countzen at 2:12 PM on April 26, 2005


And an extremely generic one at that.
posted by gsteff at 2:13 PM on April 26, 2005


Wait, the Universal logo makes a swoosh sound zooming through outer space? (Yeah, yeah, I couldn't find a more authoritative link that would get right to the soundless point. This was through google.)
posted by nobody at 2:13 PM on April 26, 2005


because this was a TV series (named Firefly) that was cancelled by Fox barely half way through the first season. Critics and fans loved it, yet Fox didn't care -- cost too much to make.

My husband dreamt about the trailers last night in 3 separate dreams. Needless to say, we're a little excited, too, about the movie.
posted by evening at 2:14 PM on April 26, 2005


oh, and there is *so* much more to Firefly than what they're showing. I think they're trying to make the trailer generic for people who haven't seen the show.
posted by evening at 2:16 PM on April 26, 2005


I liked firefly. I am genuinely sorry that the movie will totally suck.
posted by lazy-ville at 2:19 PM on April 26, 2005


Just watched the trailer, without sound because I'm on a damn conference call, and it looks fantastic. I think this will blow the doors off of Star Wars III.
posted by jzb at 2:20 PM on April 26, 2005


" I think they're trying to make the trailer generic for people who haven't seen the show."

It's not working here. Interest not piqued.
posted by ae4rv at 2:21 PM on April 26, 2005


yeah, how about some background?

I'm sure there's some here

Firefly was a strange beast. It had Whedon's sensibilities, but still sometimes came off like a cheesy old episode of Battlestar Galatica or, worse, Andromeda. Not the best sci-fi series in the last 10 years, but it had its moments.
posted by eyeballkid at 2:21 PM on April 26, 2005


I suspect that I would also be somewhat unimpressed with this trailer if I didn't know anything about it.

But, as it happens, I'm just about halfway through watching the first season (er, THE season) of Firefly, and it is a pretty great show, mostly on the basis of excellent characters and terrific dialogue. Sooooo, yeah, color me happy too.
posted by jeffj at 2:23 PM on April 26, 2005


Hey, maybe they'll make a TV show about it! Oh wait...

(Fox is retarded.)
posted by blendor at 2:30 PM on April 26, 2005


Firefly is a great show - I'm also about halfway through the DVD, after completely missing the series when it aired (thanks, Fox). Very very clever, very character-driven, and an interesting premise -- drawing on Westerns and the Civil War for inspiration.

Wikipedia has pretty good article about Firefly here.
posted by killdevil at 2:32 PM on April 26, 2005


yeah, I completely missed Firefly on TV and a friend owns the DVD set, we couldn't stop watching them...IMHO it's the most interesting thing Joss Whedon's done.
posted by nile_red at 2:35 PM on April 26, 2005


Serenity now!
posted by Robot Johnny at 2:36 PM on April 26, 2005


Not just the best sci-fi show in years, but one of the best TV shows EV-ARRRrrrrr... OK, granted, I've missed a number of shows that I think were really quite good, and can't claim to be an expert. But:

1) I've never got someone to watch it who didn't become hooked, no matter how different their other tastes were from mine.
2) There are better genre sci-fi shows (IE, with better uniquely sci-fi gimmicks and plots) but the dialogue and characters are unfadeable.
3) The world-building is unmatched.

I take its cancellation as one of the first places the media industry's audience models clearly showed signs of obsolescence.

I must admit, I'm scared the movie will make me cry if it's not *perfect*, but what can you do.
posted by freebird at 2:42 PM on April 26, 2005


I love Whedon and Buffy, but I've never seen Firefly. Will have to check it out before this movie comes out.

The trailer is pretty crappy to me - maybe it's because I don't know anything about the story. And let me just say that I am pretty sick of the quick flashes and fade-outs that are so popular in movie trailers these days... if I were prone to seizures I'd have to stay away from them.
posted by shoppingforsanity at 2:44 PM on April 26, 2005


"Critics and fans loved it, yet Fox didn't care -- cost too much to make."

If the ratings were there consistently, Fox would have beat the thing to death. Getting canned half-way through the season is an indication most people weren't as excited as some of the folks here.

I never saw the series so I tried to have an open mind watching the trailer but it doesn't look any more exciting than most sci-fi stuff. I'm sure I'll still watch it though. And freebird, prepare to cry.
posted by j.p. Hung at 2:44 PM on April 26, 2005


Not knowing anything about this (or Firefly), I was struck most by how 'not serene' everyone is. Where's the serenity?
posted by LeLiLo at 2:50 PM on April 26, 2005


*watches preview*

I dunno man...River getting all Ninja-fied I can take, and you knew it was there. But the hip-hop and metal soundtrack? I dunno man, I dunno.

*wanders off singing "You can't take the sky from me..."*

OP - J.P.: wrong. When the DVD came out it was instantly the best selling such ever. You think you get a major motion picture in a year or so if they don't know for certain there's a huge audience? Nope, they severely miscalculated the audience size - there is an increasing problem with how these things are measured not tracking with new ways of watching and sharing media.
posted by freebird at 2:51 PM on April 26, 2005


If the ratings were there consistently, Fox would have beat the thing to death. Getting canned half-way through the season is an indication most people weren't as excited as some of the folks here.

Also noteworthy is that FOX doesn't care if everyone who watched it loves it, if there aren't enough watching it.

Anyway, my hope? this is gonna be GOOD.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 2:54 PM on April 26, 2005


lelilo: Serenity is the name of the (Firefly-class) ship in which Our Motley Gang of Rogues have their adventures.

Oh, and

[this is fuckin' awesome]
posted by ruddhist at 2:54 PM on April 26, 2005


Not knowing anything about this (or Firefly), I was struck most by how 'not serene' everyone is. Where's the serenity?

The name of the ship is Serenity, a Firefly-class transport. It's named in memoriam to a particular event in the captain's life.
posted by linux at 2:54 PM on April 26, 2005


By the way, I just got started watching this and am enjoying it immensely, especially the indication that the West and the East did mix in culture to produce folks who speak English but curse and exclaim in Mandarin Chinese.

Nothing makes you go all warm and fuzzy when you realize that a network show had characters saying stuff like "a dogshit of a ship" simply because it the offensive word was in Mandarin.
posted by linux at 2:57 PM on April 26, 2005


Does anyone have a direct URLs to the media files? My corporate firewall is not media friendly.
posted by Captain Ligntning at 2:58 PM on April 26, 2005


yes, please.
posted by erisfree at 2:58 PM on April 26, 2005


Fox did the show no favors because the did not air the pilot until the last show. I was one of the few who actually got hooked while the show was airing.

Fox showed the episodes out of order and, thus, skipped important character- and context-building scenes.

Naturually, I'm delighted Firefly is coming out soon. I've been hovering over IMDB for a year now waiting for a release date.

I even sent some friends to Wondercon San Francisco so they could see Whedon and cast and take crappy pictures from the back of the hall. (couldn't go myself, sadly.)

If you watch the pilot on the DVD, you'll get cued into the irony of the show. "Serenity" is the name of a valley. Things took place there that did not lead to peace of mind for many of the main characters.

I think of Serenity the show as more of a Western and less of a sci-fi story.
posted by rw at 3:06 PM on April 26, 2005


Ungh, to get the highest quality version you apparantly need itunes.

Direct link to the "large" version
posted by fvw at 3:08 PM on April 26, 2005


Firefly is the best show EVAR!!!
posted by designbot at 3:09 PM on April 26, 2005


Firefly, like many shows in the history of Fox (Prophet, anyone?) was poorly managed and almost doomed to fail from the start. Constant preemptions, airing the episodes wildly out of order, and putting it in the *worst* time slot ever for the target demographic (Friday night?!?) pretty much meant Firefly was cooked before it went in the oven.

Luckily, this will not suck. Since Mutant Enemy all but closed its doors, there's very little hope this will bring back a revival of the show, but I'd be happy with a couple more flicks.

(Agree about River. We've seen her do crazy/lethal things before)

PS: Is it just me or is Shephard Book absent from the trailer?
posted by absalom at 3:14 PM on April 26, 2005


If the writing is anything like his tv shows this'll suck the bag but look real pretty.

Joss Whedon == Lowest Common Denominator Drama. All Exposition! All the time!
posted by dobbs at 3:17 PM on April 26, 2005


I missed the first few episodes, and couldn't pick up the series part way through as it didn't make sense.

I found the DVD set, however, at a special price - and got it... now up to ep.10 I think, and loving every minute :-)

It does initially seem a bit cheesy (cowboys in space?!) but when you think of how these colony worlds would probably develop, it seems quite plausible.

The characters are great, too - it's nice to actually have a series which develops them, and draws you in more and more... I'm still waiting to figure out what the Shepherd is all about, but some of the snippets so far have been tantalising! :-)

Oh, and the dialogue? Great - especially some of the one-liners. Perhaps not "lol"-able, but certainly worthy of a small chuckle or smirk...

Anyway, critique over - I'm now looking forward to the film; I'm sure that they can't FUBAR... but historic precedent would suggest otherwise, and I ain't a gamblin' man...
posted by Chunder at 3:17 PM on April 26, 2005


Why does everyone in space know Kung Fu? Why does every goddamn movie have to have ninja bullshit? Is it just a sign of mediocrity? "Well, we don't have anything else for them to do here, so let's add a Kung Fu fight scene."
posted by fungible at 3:17 PM on April 26, 2005


I dub thee Total Buffy the Empire Strikes Back Slayer Recall.
posted by VulcanMike at 3:22 PM on April 26, 2005


Background: Firefly was strike one for the shitwits at Fox, where their motto appears to be "You like? We cancel." Strike two came the following season when they aired a handful of episodes of a show called Wonderfalls and, when they didn't get "Idol" numbers for it, cancelled it as well. Friday nights are traditionally a TV graveyard. So, both shows, each breeding its own brand of massive-petition-campaigning, vituperative-website-building, tearful-novena-praying demi-otaku fanbase, in fact, died.

Firefly rocked. Three seasons, minimum, of subplots in the first six episodes. It played the horse/space-opera genres down the middle. It hit the Whedonesque humor marks. It had great f/x and lots of character conflict. I rather despised the slopebrows at Fox for developing, then cancelling this great show.

Then I got to do it all over again with Wonderfalls.

And unlike Family Guy, live action is never brought back in series form.

September 30. September 30. September 30.
posted by the sobsister at 3:24 PM on April 26, 2005


This thread is a litmus test.
posted by ruddhist at 3:25 PM on April 26, 2005


Looks pretty cool to me, except for the fight scenes - did he keep the same fight choreographers he used in Buffy and Angel? It looks similar and I'm not sure that's a good thing.

Other question. I didn't really manage to get into Firefly when it was on - I just have a dick of a time adjusting to new shows when they come on, though I did catch a few - but how does that new Battlestar Galactica series stack up to it? I keep hearing really good things about Battlestar Galactica.
posted by furiousthought at 3:26 PM on April 26, 2005


Mark me down, as well, in the can't wait! can't wait! category.
posted by monkey!knife!fight! at 3:28 PM on April 26, 2005


Serenity?
I'm wetting myself in excitement.
posted by jonmc at 3:30 PM on April 26, 2005


I'll take it over any incarnation of Trek... or any other sci-fi that has hit the airwaves, actually. It wasn't all pristine "we're the good guys" Trek, far more authentic than Babylon-hey-let's-have-round-bandaids-to-be-futuristic-5, and far better than any of the Andromeda or other schlock out there.

nobody -- the swish may have made sound in space, but nothing actually in Firefly does, unless the totally sold their souls to make this movie.

I've bought several of the boxed sets as gifts for friends and I still grumble when I see "own the entire series!" on the box. grrrrrrrr.

rw -- the pilot was delayed for the same reason that Trek's pilot was discarded -- it was "plot heavy" and didn't have enough action. add that to the fact that Firefly is a frontier-style-western, and it feels like Trek all over again. But much, much much much better.

Someone indulge me. What are the odds that a new fanbase will stimulate a revival of the show... now that they've torn the set (full-size ship) apart... ok, I think I just answered my own question. :(
posted by dreamsign at 3:30 PM on April 26, 2005


I'll underscore what Freebird said: Our family has shown our DVDs of Firefly to many others, and have turned into intense fans many people who hitherto wouldn't have watched science fiction on salary.

This trailer suqs, tho. Keyword: generic. Obviously they were trying to sell the movie to the unconverted, and the pooch, she was screwed.
posted by mojohand at 3:33 PM on April 26, 2005


Ouch -- I'll second/third-fourth the generic label on the trailer, though. That alone is not going to attract new fans.

Regarding the martial arts element -- first, Firefly is a frontier border-world future. It isn't all push-button Star Wars battles with no concern for power sources or economy. That means lots of low-grade weapons, like guns, and some hand-held weapons, too. Second, the series envisioned a future where China -- being the dominant population on the planet -- becomes an integral part of future culture. (look for Chinese words and phrases thrown into the dialogue) In that context, a little Kung Fu isn't that out of place.

Though River...
posted by dreamsign at 3:36 PM on April 26, 2005


Getting canned half-way through the season is an indication most people weren't as excited as some of the folks here.

Fox doesn't seem anymore to know how to support the gradual growth phase that's the start of cult phenomena. They did, once, with X-Files and the Simpsons. But here? They took raw goodness and shoved it on Friday nights, aired the episodes out of order when they did air, and failed to advertise the show in any sensible way. And then canceled it.

I'm glad the trailer was generic: story is important and spoiler-sensitive in any Joss work.
posted by catachresoid at 3:42 PM on April 26, 2005


I'm missing good sci-fi movies. The dialog and acting in that trailer were rather terrible. I'm still missing good sci-fi movies.
posted by moonbird at 3:44 PM on April 26, 2005


yeah, how about some background? -mrk
I'm sure there's some here -eyeballkid
Hey thanks for nothing, dick.

Firefly is the best show EVAR!!! by designbot
This is all I was asking for smartass. Let the experts dig up the links, kinda the point of comments section. Thanks Designbot for helping the ignorant out.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 3:45 PM on April 26, 2005


soooooo siked for this!

This was one of the best sci-fi tv shows I've ever seen, and it was all in the details. I was only one member of the huge built-in fanbase for this show; when it first aired, it could have been a remake of the yule log show, and as long as Whedon's name was on it, its fans would have been legion. (Honestly, I would have watched that log burn, waiting for the insane plot twist.) As geekily fanatic as I was prepared to be, I couldn't get into the show when it was on - Fox's screwups were so monumental that this show was basically doomed from the start.

Fox:
A) promoted the show as a comedy (which it really really wasn't)
B) gave it a Friday night timeslot
C) chose not to air the initial episode that established the story and world of the show, which was pretty complex and had a serialized storyline
D) showed the remaining episodes out of sequence (did I mention the serialized storyline?)
E) preempted the show constantly (so if you tried to stay home on Friday night to catch this show that was confusing the hell out of you, half the time you'd find "Marry my Dad the Midget Millionaire" on instead.)

{wiping foam from mouth}

I was thrilled watching the whole thing, sans commecials, on the DVD box set. (And the one episode where Joss himself did the commentary was kind of brilliant. I usually loathe directors' & writers' commentaries, but they don't usually discuss Sartre's influence on thier characters and narrative structure.)

And I'm really thrilled about the movie. I'm hoping its a huge success, and becomes a film franchise.
posted by Cranialtorque at 3:53 PM on April 26, 2005


Oh, has anyone seen the Firefly-class ship in the new Battlestar Galatica? That is a classy shout-out. I don't think it's a coincidence that these are my two favorite Sci-fi shows of the last ten or fifteen years. Both are very smart and very character-driven.

There's just something awesome about the steampunky contrast of spaceships and revolvers. And I love a three piece suit and a watch fob, I must say. I can't even tell you how excited I am to see the resolution to the whole River plot.

Furious, Firefly is a much different show than Battlestar. Firefly is a space-opera like Cowboy Bebop, and Battlestar Galatica is an outstanding drama that happens to have robots and a space setting. The acting on Firefly was decent considering that the char, but Edward James Olmos (Adama) and Katie Sackoff (the new female Starbuck) are outstanding. And the eye candy's not bad, either. I think there's an 47 page thread dedicated almost completely to Apollo's arms over at TWoP.

I highly recommend Battlestar. I keep trying to get people to watch it; not because it's in any danger of being cancelled(it looks like Scifi actually knows what they've got for once), but because I think it's so good that people will fall in love with it almost immediately. You can watch "33", the first episode, on Scifi.com. It is some of the best television I've ever seen. But without the miniseries, some things might not make sense; like Six disappearing all the time, and the flashbacks to Gaius's house.
posted by Elsbet at 3:57 PM on April 26, 2005


Ugh. That should read: "...considering that the characters were never really fleshed out for the actors."
posted by Elsbet at 4:01 PM on April 26, 2005


according to imdb, Ron Glass is reprising the role of Shepherd Book in the movie.

No word on the sound in space. Those silent vacumn scenes were one of the coolest things about the show; I really hope some marketing wonk didn't insist the spaceships make neat whooshing noises for the film. I also didn't hear any harmonica or Chinese cursing in the trailer, but I'll assume they left those things in as well.

(I understand that Hollywood trailers are directed by trailer directors, not by the film's director, so I generally don't judge too much based on them.)
posted by Cranialtorque at 4:08 PM on April 26, 2005


Offtopic, I know, but to the Kung-Fu naysayers... I know as a movie gimmick it's overutilized. But seriously, fighting is the oldest art known to man, and the Asians have developed it almost to perfection. Roundhouse kicks to the head will have a part in any future, sci-fi or not.

That being said, that kung-fu scene was pretty plain. Should have cast Tony Jaa as a stunt double...
posted by anthill at 4:09 PM on April 26, 2005


Please let this be as good as the series.
Please don't have sound effects in space.

That's all I ask.
posted by seanyboy at 4:09 PM on April 26, 2005


From the San Francisco Chronicle - Firefly: It ranks in the Nielsen 90s and, worse, often trails the show that follows it, "John Doe," by a couple million viewers. That means Fox viewers are skipping the 8 p. m. hour and then watching at 9 p.m. -- the biggest vote of no confidence there is.

Say what you like about the ratings system but if the guy who is responsible for a hit like Buffy can't get a ratings bounce from that alone, maybe there isn't so much to crow about here. Apparently Joss said he was going to shop it around to other networks yet I don't see it being picked up on any channel. That speaks volumes right there. Still, I like a good sci-fi movie as much as the next person so I'm sure I'll still watch it.
posted by j.p. Hung at 4:13 PM on April 26, 2005


Since nobody seems to have mentioned it yet, there have been universally positive reviews of an early screening of Serenity up at AICN for some time. (Beware of spoilers!)

Hercules and Others Rave About Joss Whedon's SERENITY Now
Another SERENITY Review -- From A FIREFLY Virgin!!

I just skimmed the intro paragraphs to keep myself pure, but it sounds pretty shiny to me.
posted by designbot at 4:16 PM on April 26, 2005


Oh, one additional mention. I was in Holland when this was airing on Fox (and thanks to Fox's brilliant job of promoting this series, I hadn't heard of it anyway) so never would have seen it if it were not for FILE SHARING.

And at this point in time I've bought, count em, six, DVD box sets of the series.

Lousy thieves that file-sharers are.
posted by dreamsign at 4:17 PM on April 26, 2005


My sister didn't get hooked on Firefly (although I did), primarily because of the onboard prostitute and all her scenes. I could so totally live without that part of the show... they could leave her in, and just show a lot less, and I'd be perfectly happy. She's a good character and would be a source for an absolute wealth of subplots, but I consider love scenes of that nature to be completely wasted airtime. She's pretty, sure, but I feel no need to see her fondling random actors (and actresses!) that have no part in the overall plot. Just leave that vague... save the airtime for stuff that matters.

My sister was, I think, actually OFFENDED by this part, and she's pretty liberal. I wasn't offended, just bored.

Despite this, Firefly had enormous potential, and I am both sad and angry that it wasn't given a couple of seasons to develop. It didn't even get ONE season, and they butchered the show order to boot. But, hey, this IS Fox, after all... the home of evil. I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

I didn't see Kaylee or the Shepherd in the trailer, I wonder if they're still there? They say 'six rebels', so I think those characters may have been dropped.
posted by Malor at 4:40 PM on April 26, 2005


"Hey thanks for nothing, dick."

Ha! What a cock-bucket.
posted by I EAT TAPES at 4:40 PM on April 26, 2005


Ha! What a cock-bucket.

Regular or extra-crispy?
posted by jonmc at 4:42 PM on April 26, 2005


I went and looked, and both Jewel Staite (Kaylee) and Ron Glass (the Shepherd) have credits, so apparently they're still there. Maybe they're in the trailer but I missed them.
posted by Malor at 4:44 PM on April 26, 2005


Elsbet, that a Firefly showed up in Galactica probably has to do with the fact that the same effects shop did/does both shows... and they had the Firefly models sitting on their hard drives.

I don't think it's an accident that the same small effects company is doing Galactica. Their documentary-ish work in Firefly was pretty pioneering, and Ron Moore of Galactica surely was impressed by their efforts on the earlier show.
posted by killdevil at 4:44 PM on April 26, 2005


I've been looking forward to this for a long time.
posted by bshock at 4:54 PM on April 26, 2005


Malor - We stopped the trailor and saw Kaylee on the bridge, but we didn't see Book.

j.p. Hung - yes, I said fans loved it, not people in general. They did screw around with the airing/timing a lot, which makes it difficult for people to get into a show, esp. one where the plot is a bit complicated. I think if the show were cheaper to make, then they may have stuck with it (hell, they keep much crappier stuff on, probably because it is cheap and easy; Firefly was not cheap and probably not easy due to the effects).

And my husband read (sorry, not sure where) that the plan is if the movie does well they'll do more movies, but not revive the show.
posted by evening at 4:56 PM on April 26, 2005


I hate being late to the party, but:

a) If you like Firefly try Cowboy Bebop, another sort of outer-space polyglot culture into which are injected an ensemble cast of outcasts, doin' what it takes to make a living in an unfriendly 'verse solar system. It's animated, the music ranges from J-pop to opera, and the first thing I thought upon watching the Firefly DVD set was "This is a live action Cowboy Bebop!".

b) There's going to be a Firefly movie. There will not be a Babylon 5 movie. That's saying something.

c) Kaylee (who's listed in the IMDB credits), and even Wash, better still be a bit plump. Most of the characters look like they might have been working out for their big screen debut.
posted by WolfDaddy at 4:58 PM on April 26, 2005


WolfDaddy, by gum I have to respond to your points individually, I'm so worked up!

1) yup. (I hope the movie is as good a version as it was with CB.)
2) yep. (never got too into B5, so we may not be saying the same thing, but I agree it says something :)
3) yurp. (Oh man, they better not change her. She was so sexy and not in the usual TV star way.)
posted by freebird at 5:26 PM on April 26, 2005


Since nobody seems to have mentioned it yet, there have been universally positive reviews of an early screening of Serenity up at AICN for some time.

I trust AICN about as far as I could throw Harry.

...the first thing I thought upon watching the Firefly DVD set was "This is a live action Cowboy Bebop!".


Watanabe has more talent in the dead skin cells on the tip of his pinky than Wheedon and his gang have in their entire bodies. Firefly could have been really good, but they stuck to the same bag of tricks from Buffy and Angel instead of stretching out and really doing something new.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 5:40 PM on April 26, 2005


fvw, thanks.
posted by Captain Ligntning at 5:47 PM on April 26, 2005


Offtopic, I know, but to the Kung-Fu naysayers... I know as a movie gimmick it's overutilized. But seriously, fighting is the oldest art known to man, and the Asians have developed it almost to perfection. Roundhouse kicks to the head will have a part in any future, sci-fi or not.

Lol. OMG. So much there. So little time.

OFF-OFF Topic: There is plenty of evidence to suggest that much of what was once thought of as Asian Art was actually imported from Greece (Pankration) via Alexander to India (Kalaripayit). That is one thing.

Another. Round house kicks play almost zero role anywhere where GUNS are present. I forget. Did the Chinese beat back the imperial Japanese in 1936 with Kung Fu? No. That's right they didn't. Neither did the Japanese use killer Karate Chops against the US Pacific fleet.

H2H Martial arts are an anachronism my friend. And as far as movies go an overused one.

What stretches believability is the overuse of outlandish flashy choreography.

I like Kung-fu movies as much as anyone but it get pretty tiresome seeing 110lb girls throwing jump-spin kicks in a room full of gun-toting 250lb men. And then people believe that shit is true.

And I say this as a life long student of Martial Arts, Boxer, BJJ'er, Thai Boxer, Womesn Self-Defense instructor and a former Karate instructor.

See. People come to me and want to learn that flashy Kung-Fu crap for fighting. It doesn't work.

For a dose of reality I suggest you watch UFC and NHB fights instead. Yeah. You will see some great round-house kicks but you will more often see a head kick snag, a resulting single-leg take down to mount, and pound pound pound or choke choke choke into unconsciousness.

But you will NOT see any movie Kung-Fu.
posted by tkchrist at 5:54 PM on April 26, 2005


Yeah, I think PinkStainlessTail is right. Obviously, all the raving reviews of the series comes from studio plants. The plot, characters, and dialogue of Wheedin shows always suck. That's why he has no fans. If it's not 2-frame-per second incomprehensible Japanimation, why would anyone bother? Firefly is just a lame rip-off of all the other sci-fi westerns set against the backdrop of a civil war in a post-apocalyptic Chinese/Western hybrid spacefaring society with no aliens. I bet PinkStainlessTail is so smart, he figured out it was a crappy show without even having to rent the DVD's and watch any episodes in order.
posted by designbot at 5:57 PM on April 26, 2005


Ahem.

YAAAAAY.

okay, i'm done now.
posted by blacklite at 6:00 PM on April 26, 2005


I'll be in my bunk.
posted by solid-one-love at 6:02 PM on April 26, 2005


I was very happy that I bought the DVD series. I'm a major SF fan and I think it's the best SF series since the better seasons of TNG. Good stories, believable and wonderfully flawed characters, numerous tensions and bickering, well-thought-out universe. Very character-driven, as any good show should be. Mind you, I'm judging it by late-first- thru second-season original Trek and my Asimov/Heinlein addictions...

Oh and Morena Baccarin is just about the most beautiful woman I've ever seen in my life. That doesn't hurt at all. (YMMV, of course, but I have a thing for brunettes.)

I'm just happy that the cancellation of the series didn't mean I never got to watch it, thanks to the age of DVD. And I'm looking forward to the movie; a girl I know works for Zoic and modeled a bunch of the Reaver starships, woo! :)
posted by zoogleplex at 6:05 PM on April 26, 2005


I bet PinkStainlessTail is so smart, he figured out it was a crappy show without even having to rent the DVD's and watch any episodes in order.

Watched the whole thing. Not that good. Farscape was much better, for instance. Wheedon and the other writers' dialogue went from a neat sort of organic cleverness to an annoying and stale affectation somewhere around season five of Buffy.

I'm not saying that the AICN reviewers are necessarily plants, but I do think they have a history of being not particularly discerning critics.

The plot, characters, and dialogue of Wheedin shows always suck. That's why he has no fans.

I got bored of his work, but only after watching five and a half seasons of Buffy and four of Angel. I understand why he has fans: I am one, to an extent. I just don't think he's got any more to offer (that interests me, anyway).
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:12 PM on April 26, 2005


happy as a pig in shit!
posted by shmegegge at 6:14 PM on April 26, 2005


PinkStainlessTail,

Well-rebutted, sir. Our opinions may differ, but as gentlemen, we must simply agree to disagree. I stand corrected and bid you adieu.

[bows slightly, tips hat, and exits room]
posted by designbot at 6:19 PM on April 26, 2005


P.S. FIREFLY RULEZ!!!
posted by designbot at 6:20 PM on April 26, 2005


*Tapes giant poster of Patrick McGoohan over unsightly grafitti*
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:23 PM on April 26, 2005


tkchrist:
I like Kung-fu movies as much as anyone but it get pretty tiresome seeing 110lb girls throwing jump-spin kicks in a room full of gun-toting 250lb men. And then people believe that shit is true.


That's less of a stretch than the rest of these movies' premises, though, don't you think? I've always been a little bemused at the selective demanding of realism that goes on amongst fans of sci-fi and fantasy TV and movies.

As to the subject: Kick-ass. I was a fan of Firefly, and the old (but unrelated) Galaxy Rangers animated series before that, because the feeling of the "new frontier" is somehow extra-appealing. Maybe it's a manifestation of my thorough indoctrination as a USian, but I like it.
posted by trigonometry at 6:37 PM on April 26, 2005


I'm sorry but I know nothing about this show. However, there is one thing that is very obvious. The people involved with this film CAN'T ACT TO SAVE THEIR LIVES!

Which is a bit of a problem...
posted by i_cola at 6:41 PM on April 26, 2005


Direct link to fullscreen version, no iTunes required.
posted by theonetruebix at 6:50 PM on April 26, 2005


I merely want to add that I, too, am a fan.

I am also looking forward to this movie.

Hooray.
posted by gambit at 6:56 PM on April 26, 2005


I am a fan, converted via DVD. I completely would have watched this when it was on TV . . . had I known it was ON. If this show had crappy Nielsen ratings, it was because little of the potential fanbase had any clue it was on. I was pissed when I'd finished the DVDs and there was no more to see.

RESOLUTION. God, let there be Resolution. And let there be no sound in space.
posted by Medieval Maven at 7:26 PM on April 26, 2005


I'm about half way through the DVD set, and while it's fun, it's not great, I'm not enjoying it as much as Buffy. The shows are pretty standard fare at the moment.

Perhaps it gets better? Or perhaps it's just not for me. I hope it's the former.

On another note I'm watching the DVD set of Carnivale, and am loving it. So I guess I didn't do too badly with my latest DVD purchases.
posted by lucien at 7:30 PM on April 26, 2005


Well, PST, while I'm in awe of the ... comparative ... respect you hold for Watanabe, I'd like to opine that you are overlooking the incredible contribution the music makes to that series, and point out that music is woven into the very fabric of it. For that you have to look to Yoko Kanno, without whom Cowboy Bebop wouldn't be as alluring to me as it is.

As to your opinion of Whedon's work, well, all I can say is the only thing I've ever seen of him is Firefly, thus I've get much less experience with him than you do. However, do either Buffy or Angel have the incredibly gorgeous Gina Torres (who's Mrs. Laurence Fisburne, I just discovered), the remarkably subtle Ron Glass (from Barney Miller, who knew?), and really really cute Jewel Staite (my GOD can she eat a strawberry!) as a regulars? Or have cute naked Nathan Fillion jumping up and down in the middle of a desert screaming "Dirty dirty whore?" I think not.

I stand by my convictions. :-P
posted by WolfDaddy at 7:32 PM on April 26, 2005


I too was a bit upset by the musical choice for the trailer.
I don't think they are aware of how much everyone loved the pseudo-country themesong.
Aside from that though, it looks awesome.
posted by nightchrome at 7:37 PM on April 26, 2005


What a bunch of dorks...
posted by Dreamghost at 7:44 PM on April 26, 2005


Remember, WolfDaddy, he was naked there too. :)
posted by Snyder at 7:49 PM on April 26, 2005


A roommate got me watching Buffy, and I thought the show was pretty hit-and-miss. Some parts and some whole episodes were pretty genius (I remember one that started with Buffy finding her dead mother in the living room and had a silent 10 minute freakout). But too often I felt like I was watching a 90210 episode...too much melodrama. And the visual style left a lot to be desired. And too many silly and unexciting martial arts sequences--stuntmen/women, anyone?

However, I am currently downloading Firefly to check out the hubbub. Only 17 hours to go! Does the movie have the same cast as the TV show? I was also unimpressed by the trailer, but who knows?
posted by zardoz at 7:49 PM on April 26, 2005


Da-shiong bao-jah-shr duh la doo-tze. It's perfect that I see the naked part as my post...posts.
posted by Snyder at 7:52 PM on April 26, 2005


There are a lot of people who won't like Whedon's stuff.
I think he definitely speaks to a niche audience.
(it just so happens I think that audience is better than everyone else)
posted by nightchrome at 8:00 PM on April 26, 2005


Then I got to do it all over again with Wonderfalls.

And Keen Eddie, and John Doe, and The Tick, and Dark Angel, and Brimstone, and .. . . I know I'm missing a lot here, but Fox seems determined to start risking, interesting series only to kill them before they have a chance to go anywhere.

There are certain shows that fox airs, and you just KNOW its going to get canceled because its too unusual, too smart, or just too silly. But you hope they won't. They do it anyway. I just wonder if its so apparent to me that they're going to cancel those shows, why do they even bother making them in the first place?


Farscape was much better

I have to disagree, and I LOVED farscape. I never thought a show could beat out Farscape, but given the choice, I'd much rather have Firefly back on the air. I had a friend who refused to watch Farscape because he felt every sci-fi show after it would be a disappointment. We finally made him watch it, and even he has to admit firefly was better.

Obviously opinions are subjective, but I've also had the same experience where anyone I've shown it to has fallen in love with the series, sci-fi fan or not. Oh, and I never watched "Buffy" or "Angel" so I'm not just a Joss fan that moved to his newest show.

I would have to say I've seen every episode at least 3 times, probably many more than that. Its just that good.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 8:05 PM on April 26, 2005


Loved the show. Looking forward to the film. Thought the trailer was pretty good.

Warning! Girlzone sexism ahead:

Also I will watch anything with Adam Baldwin in it. Anything. Seriously, if C-Span had a little graphic of a shirtless Adam Baldwin in the corner I would watch it 24 hours a day.

/sexist girlzone drooling
posted by LeeJay at 8:18 PM on April 26, 2005


Like most, I am a post-broadcast Firefly fan as well.

I confess that the trailer was not as much as I hoped. I did notice some necessary retread from the series probably to have the movie make more sense. While I am not a fanboy, the series was compelling enough to make me believe the movie will be at least very good.

On the series is excellent EVEN if you don't like science fiction. There is a reason why there are 1277 reviews on Amazon and it has a full five star rating. It was the most popular TV series DVD set since Family Guy (which notably made a comeback - here is hoping Firefly comes back too).

Battlestar Galactica and Firefly have made a new watermark for others to live up to. It seems that Sci-Fi is cool again. With Lucas joining the fray one wonders if he will be up to the challenge?
posted by gnash at 8:27 PM on April 26, 2005


However, do either Buffy or Angel have the incredibly gorgeous Gina Torres (who's Mrs. Laurence Fisburne, I just discovered)

Gina Torres was a villain on Angel one season, I remember.
posted by furiousthought at 8:28 PM on April 26, 2005


I'd like to opine that you are overlooking the incredible contribution the music makes to that series, and point out that music is woven into the very fabric of it. For that you have to look to Yoko Kanno, without whom Cowboy Bebop wouldn't be as alluring to me as it is.

The Music is absolutely an integral part of the series (I keep the first soundtrack in my car at all times), but I still hold that Watanabe is brilliant on his own: have you checked out Samurai Champloo yet? Lovely and kinetic, with an interesting mix of characters and the sort of effortless plotting that made Bebop such a kick to watch. Kanno's music, on the other hand, can't save Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex from not quite grabbing me, though the show has its moments.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:35 PM on April 26, 2005


nightchrome, the real themesong would have killed the movie's chances then and there. I like it too, but I think it's an acquired taste.

maybe this is like Starship Troopers and Song 2 and never the twain shall meet.
posted by dreamsign at 8:37 PM on April 26, 2005


There ain't a power in the 'verse what can stop Serenity from comin'.
Either grab yerself some sky, or eat stardust.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:43 PM on April 26, 2005


I always made sure I watched the show when it was on Fox. Jewel Staite is another Canadian cutie. Its a shame she is married (yes, I follow her blog now and again).

Shows Fox has killed in too early:

Futurama (maybe, it might have been too smart for the average viewer)
Family Guy (although now its coming back, and the first episode got leaked onto the net already)
Firefly

What a pattern. Rupert Murdoch must know of some prophecy that will cause Fox to go bankrupt on some F-show. Kinda like Kim Jong Il.
posted by SirOmega at 9:01 PM on April 26, 2005 [1 favorite]


This is good (both the trailer and the thread).
posted by Staggering Jack at 9:16 PM on April 26, 2005


That Kasabian song is getting too much play as action-scene background filler music.
posted by casarkos at 9:26 PM on April 26, 2005


I adored Firefly, but the trailer left me kind of cold, because I could see what they were trying to do, and failing at it.

(In fact, more than anything, it reminded me of the trailer for Lost In Space...and we all know how good that was...)

However, with my weekend fully booked to stare at gorgeous people, I'm sure I'll see the trailer repeatedly, and grow to love it.
posted by Katemonkey at 1:55 AM on April 27, 2005


Just chipping in with a requisite "I didn't watch Buffy or Angel but loved Firefly." Firefly - and Serenity - certainly shouldn't be seen as simply some niche show just for Whedon fans. I managed to convert a bunch of friends over to watching using the DVDs, and none of them were Whedon fans either.
posted by adrianhon at 2:29 AM on April 27, 2005


Quoth Linux:
Nothing makes you go all warm and fuzzy when you realize that a network show had characters saying stuff like "a dogshit of a ship" simply because it the offensive word was in Mandarin.
Except their Mandarin is really pretty bad. The pronunciation is off, the meanings are just weird (no one would say that kind of thing in Mandarin) and the translations given are wrong. Supposedly they called the ship "dogshit", but ?? fei4wu4 just means "junk", not "dogshit".

For more on correct ways to swear in Mandarin, see my page of phrases for Firefly fans.

All that aside, though, Serenity and HHGTTG are my only two truly must-see movies for this year. I will definitely be seeing Serenity when it comes out, and I love Firefly.
posted by jiawen at 3:34 AM on April 27, 2005


Nice page, jiawen.
posted by Snyder at 4:07 AM on April 27, 2005


Waiting for Transhuman Space to be made into a tv series with a decent budget.

That or a Culture novel.
posted by longbaugh at 4:52 AM on April 27, 2005


there is one thing that is very obvious. The people involved with this film CAN'T ACT TO SAVE THEIR LIVES!

The cast is strong in the series, and all I can say is the trailer must have hidden their talents to your eyes. Excellent portrayals across the board.

Kaylee: 3) yurp. (Oh man, they better not change her. She was so sexy and not in the usual TV star way.)

Exactly. She's hot in overalls, but that episode that showed where she came on-board had her in a short dress and . . . WOW!
posted by iwearredsocks at 7:24 AM on April 27, 2005


jaiwen: "their Mandarin is really pretty bad. The pronunciation is off, the meanings are just weird ...and the translations given are wrong."

It does make sense that between now and a half millenium from now, after the concepts of western and eastern culture become obsolete in the exodus towards the stars, that the "anglo" members of the anglo-sino alliance of planets would horrendously butcher the sino language. History has proven this to be feasible. After all, if Shakespeare lived today to hear how we've butchered the Queen's english, he'd probably have a cow, man.

There are many things about Whedon's vision of the future which I see as troublesome. For example, we are led to assume that the western and eastern cultures of "Earth That Was" blended with the exodus to other planets. However, we rarely if ever actually see asian descended individuals in the tv series. This could be simply that the asian population gravitated more towards the core planets, where the series rarely goes, but even those few times when our non-Asian crew sets foot on an "Alliance planet" there's not an asian to be found, even as an extra. This could also be due to the networks' theory that caucasians bring in more viewership or something insipidly stupid like that. I think it's plain that Simon and River Tam are supposed to be asian in ancestry. "Tam" is about as asian a name as one can get. However it's rather obvious that Sean Maher is decidedly vanilla in genetics and I have no idea what Summer Glau is other than pretty.

We could surmise that over five hundred years of star trekking, racism and bigotry dissipated when different races were faced with the greater evils of sheer survival in the harshness of space, and bedded one another, leading to an historically unparalleled mix of genetics where the asian and caucasian breeding blended into a slight caucasian dominance in appearance. However, that would hardly explain Book and Zoe's presence in the mix.

As for the acting prowess, it's evident in the DVD collection of the series that the best PEOPLE were cast in each role, regardless of other qualifications, even to the detriment of the racial feasibility of the series. In each and every role, the best PERSON was selected for the job, and anyone who looks at these talented actors and questions their abilities are merely blind and incapable of objectively accessing their value. BEE-jway!

Anyway, any of you who didn't like Firefly or think Serenity is gonna suck, you're all a bunch of hutze duh pee goos. Dong ma? Ai ya, hwai leh!
posted by ZachsMind at 7:59 AM on April 27, 2005


"From the mind of Joss Whedon"

puke

And that's coming from someone who has seen every episode of Buffy and Angel (loved the first three seasons of Buffy, and only watched Angel because a friend wrote the TWoP recaps, but it certainly had it's moments).

As time went on, the episodes that were written and directed by Joss got worse and worse (except for the musical episode of Buffy). I've heard bits of one of his dvd commentaries and he was making what he obviously thought were jokes about the declining quality of Buffy that were actually all-to-accurate observations.

And from interviews that I've read or seen quotes from, he's completely full of himself and makes petty comments about the stars of his shows that I find incredibly unprofessional.
posted by amarynth at 8:14 AM on April 27, 2005


But I will concede that Joss probably knows when to use "its" and when to use "it's".

Crap.
posted by amarynth at 8:19 AM on April 27, 2005


God help me, I don't get what the big friggin' deal is with this show.

As a stand-alone movie trailer, that was standard, unoriginal, boring sci-fi action fomula. Smarmy ship pilot- check. Small, frail child-figure who wow, what a suprise, she actually kicks butt!- check. Climactic line finished with jump cut to big explosion- check.

As for the series itself, it's not that I thought it was bad, but I just didn't really see how it was as breathtaking as everyone made it out to be. I had the same "so this is a live-action Cowboy Bebop, right?" moment that WolfDaddy and PinkStainlessTail alluded to when I first watched the series on Fox.

As for designbot's smarmy condescention about the originality of the series, asking sarcastically about "all the other sci-fi westerns set against the backdrop of a civil war in a post-apocalyptic Chinese/Western hybrid spacefaring society with no aliens" - umm, yeah, it was called Trigun. And half the episodes of Outlaw Star. And most of Cowboy BeBop. Sorry if all those "2-frame-per second incomprehensible Japanimation" shows are beneath you. How dare they challenge "Joss Whedon's vision of the future" [handjob motion] by the isolent act of being created years before his work.

My point is that yeah, Whedon's a great writer and Firefly was a decent series- certainly better than a lot of the schlock on there- but I really just don't get why people are calling it original, or breathtaking, or the best show ever made. It felt very generic when I first saw it, and the trailer even more so.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:28 AM on April 27, 2005


As ZchsMind said:
the "anglo" members of the anglo-sino alliance of planets would horrendously butcher the sino language
Yep, the same reasons that the cast members and crew themselves butcher the language. Doesn't mean I can't be pissed off about it.

Or did you mean that Mandarin would evolve in the future, just like English has in the past? Obvious problem: They're speaking 20th-century English. You can't use that excuse in one place and not in another.

It boils down to this: they thought Mandarin would be cool, but didn't spend the time to get it right, because they didn't know or didn't care that anal retentive Sinologues like me would notice.

I still love Firefly.

Snyder, thank you.
posted by jiawen at 11:03 AM on April 27, 2005


Zachs, that is. But you knew that.
posted by jiawen at 11:09 AM on April 27, 2005


Wolfdaddy: Gina Torres showed up for the last five or six episodes of Angel season four. She was part of the Firefly diaspora that saw Nathan Fillion pop up on Buffy that same year. And saw Adam Baldwin show up for Angel season five. You know, that's not a huge diaspora, but you have to take the opportunity to use that word whenever you can.

As for the movie - I'm looking forward to it, being a fan of Whedon and Mutant Enemy, but I'm a little worried at the prospect of an unchecked Whedon with a camera and 50 million dollars to spend. He can come up with some genius stuff, but sometimes I think his preoccupations get the better of him. (Angel spoiler ahead) The protacted agonizing death of Fred in the last season of Angel seemed both sentimental and sadistic, too much pain and glee mixed in at once (spoiler all done).

Having said that, I'm looking forward to Serenity very much. As long as Adam Baldwin gets more lines like "If wishes were horses, we'd all be eating steak," I'll be happy.
posted by palinode at 11:10 AM on April 27, 2005


Then I got to do it all over again with Wonderfalls.

And Keen Eddie, and John Doe, and The Tick, and Dark Angel, and Brimstone, and ...


Brisco County Jr! I also liked Strange Luck.

Serenity looks good. I hope the public will embrace it.
posted by quirked at 11:16 AM on April 27, 2005


Just one thing to say about the Serenity trailer:

Juh jen sh guh kwai luh duh jean jan!

[This really is a happy day!]

I am so happy -- can hardly wait for September. Yeah!

Shiny! Very shiny! If you have not seen Firefly, now is your chance. Go to Blockbuster or via Netflix and get the series. It is an amazing, wrenching, hilarious, touching piece of fiction. It is science fiction, but it is without a doubt one of the best productions I have ever seen.

On a par with Blade Runner, 2001, Alien -- Firefly (the tv series that precedes Serenity) is well-written, well cast, and masterfully plotted. The studio (Fax?) closed it down, not knowing what they had. The fan base for Serenity is amazing -- rabid and eager and diverse.

I am so pleased.

Sie-sie, Joss Whedon, sie-sie. Tzoo-foo-nee.
posted by mooncrow at 11:27 AM on April 27, 2005


i realize that i'm late to the party, but i feel obligated to chime in and add to the voices in favor of this wonderful show. The movie will be fine and i'm certain that there will be no sound in space. It was too significant a part of the feel of the show for them to change.

As to the kung-fu in space, i'm guessing there are two reasons that we are seeing River beat people up.

1.) Summer Glau was/is a ballerina and they may have wanted to show off her chops in a non-dance way, and

2.) River has a history of bipolar behavior with regard to violence, and has demonstrated a capacity for skill at it in later episodes. The fact that the character happens to be played (wonderfully i may add) by a childlike girl only accentuates the surrealness of her outbursts.

[/firefly geek]

Finally: naked Mal screaming 'Dirty dirty whore!' is one of the funniest things ever.
posted by quin at 12:06 PM on April 27, 2005


"jean jan"? Is that supposed to be jin1tian1? Argh, horrible romanization on top of bizarre misuses of language. You people are trying to drive me crazy, I just know it. :)

????????
Zhe4 zhen1shi4 kuai4le4 de yi1tian1

??, Joss Whedon, ???!
Xie4xie4, Joss Whedon, gong1xi3 ni3!


posted by jiawen at 1:42 PM on April 27, 2005


I just put the Firefly DVDs on queue on Netflix, as I have yet to see them.

I can take or leave Buffy (for the most part), and I don't like Angel. Joss's writing style sometimes annoys me in that it tries to be too clever for its own good at times. I saw the trailer, and also found it 'eh', but I also don't know the series behind it. My opinion will probably change after I watch the Firefly DVDs.

Or maybe not. After all, I adore Lexx, so what the hell do I know about 'critically acclaimed' 'good' 'quality' SF TV.
posted by spinifex23 at 2:29 PM on April 27, 2005


*fangirl squeal*
I can't wait for this to come out.

absalom - I adored Profit and still mourn it's loss.
posted by deborah at 4:31 PM on April 27, 2005


Heck, we've butchered every other language in the history of mankind. You should see how spanish gets butchered here in Texas. I flunked spanish twice in my scholastic career, cuz the teachers kept trying to teach me SPAIN spanish, and I'd come home from school and hear my neighbors speaking a spanish that was nothing like what they were trying to teach me. More of a scary conglomeration of mexican spanish and american english. American english by the way is a real disturbing conglomeration of a number of languages including both romantic and germanic languages. The concept of compound words is more german than english.

American actors butchering mandarin chinese? If that's the best of your problems with Whedon's little universe, you're gonna love the film. Personally I got a lot of questions about Firefly's believability, but I still love the stuffin's out of it. I saw one dvd's worth of Cowboy Bebop. I don't see how people compare Firefly to that. I didn't like Bebop.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:09 PM on April 27, 2005


Ok, I just finished downloading the DVD (shhhh) and watched the first episode. Good show! Nice setup for the rest of the series and good characterization. The effects were quite good and the Western-in-space theme is nifty. Love the twangy guitar in place of a loud "afterburner" sound when the spaceships blast away. Lots of clever details (like how the Alliance uniforms look like old-timey train conductors).

That said, the casting is the only thing a bit off. Nathan Fillion is a decent enough actor, but too young for the role. He keeps calling the doctor "kid" but they look like they could be fraternal twins. A grizzled Kris Kristoferson-type would have been better--or how 'bout Kris Kristoferson! Ah, too late.

I'm hoping the rest of the series doesn't get bogged down by melodrama the way Buffy did.
posted by zardoz at 6:27 PM on April 27, 2005


*sobs uncontrollaby*

Why oh WHY did I have to go watch Alias with my mum tonight, when I could have been at home waiting for that special "message from Joss" telling me to go to this website?
posted by WolfDaddy at 7:32 PM on April 27, 2005


Okay, so I'm a little late here. I'm so glad this is coming out and I agree with most of what I've read here (ie: "they had better damn well keep noise out of space" and "Ninja River, wtf?").

I seem to be one of the few people who love Firefly, then find out that it's by the same guy who was responsible for Buffy and decide not to hold it against the show. I tried watching Buffy and I just couldn't take the bad makeup (The big eyebrow ridges make him a vampire!) the heavy handed drama (I'm an angsty teen stealing! I'm a lesbian witch who's addicted to magic, don't do drugs kids!) and... I don' t know. I just didn't like it... at all.

I will see this film in theatres... twice. And then I'll probably buy the DVD.

That said, it was probably for the best that the show was cancelled in its first season. I have trouble watching many great shows past the first one or two (Sopranos, Six Feet Under). It seems they reach a point where they catch up with the creators' vision and then it's "Okay, who and with what can we fuck up this season?!" All of a sudden your characters' lives lose all sense of subtlety and you do things just to keep people watching... At least that's the sense I get from it.

I have a feeling River would have started to really annoy me after even another half-season. Okay, we get it, you're fucking disturbed and they played with your brain. If you're just going to sit there and whine about it can we concentrate on someone a little more interesting?
posted by ODiV at 7:55 PM on April 27, 2005


I rented these after a hernia operation for mild entertainment - didn't expect it to be so good at all. I'm glad to see there's a movie coming out, and I'll be getting the box set real soon now.

(/obligatory exposition)

Comments -

Thing about River is that she was getting... um... 'better'. (Minor spoilers here)

There were significant indications in 'Objects in Space' (last episode, didn't air) that she's developing a type of telepathy. Her character was really changing, and it would have been interesting to see what would have been done with it. In the first episode, the doc essentially says that EVERYTHING comes naturally to her - from calculus to ballet. It'll be interesting to see what's done with her in the movie.

Plus - re "Objects in Space" - wasn't that Early the Bounty Hunter in the trailer? Didn't we last see him at the corner of No and Where, spinning off into the sunset?

Shepherd Book... Again, there's stuff that wasn't evident at first but was becoming clearer.

I'm damn tired of shows where the characters never learn, grow or change over the course of the series - where they're as dumb and transparent in Episode 1 as they are three or four years later in Episode 50. That's what hooked me so on Firefly - the characters learn and grow and change.

And when you start an episode with the lead character sitting naked on a rock in the middle of a desert saying "Well, that went well"... it'll hook you in.

I'd rather see this return as a series, but I'll take the occasional movie.

JB
posted by JB71 at 6:34 AM on April 28, 2005


"I'll be in my bunk"!! ROFL that made me laugh..

Very much looking forward to this. Hopefully it will be as good as the series. ..
posted by gemmy at 10:36 PM on April 28, 2005


Anyone with Tiger and a G5 should hie thee to Apple's new HD Gallery, which is showcasing the Serenity trailer. Screw the versions released on Tuesday; now you can watch the trailer in glorious 1080p!

I have a feeling River would have started to really annoy me after even another half-season. Okay, we get it, you're fucking disturbed and they played with your brain. If you're just going to sit there and whine about it can we concentrate on someone a little more interesting?

In a word, ODiV: no. River's situation was set-up. It was exposition. She sat around whining and useless at the beginning to set up her character arc. With the whole Alliance searching for her, it's pretty obvious Joss had Plans for River. Haven't you ever asked yourself "Why is the Alliance creating supersoldiers when they already control all of colonized space?" Or "Who were those rebels who helped Simon rescue her from the academy?" Or "What does Blue Sun want?" or more precisely "What does Blue Sun need psychic powers for?" I mean, they already have a monopoly over everything. It's not like they need psychics to predict what their competition is going to do. Haven't you wondered how the Reavers fit into all of this? Did you even watch "Objects in Space" or "War Stories"? How could ninja-River possibly be a surprise if you had?

Plus - re "Objects in Space" - wasn't that Early the Bounty Hunter in the trailer? Didn't we last see him at the corner of No and Where, spinning off into the sunset?

That wasn't Jubal Early in the trailer. Early's dead. This new guy's an assassin with skill as opposed to an inept gabby bounty hunter.

Oh yeah, and JB71: hints of River's telepathy go back waaaay further than "Objects in Space". Look at the moment she wakes from sleep in "Bushwhacked" or the way she knows the second Simon's captured in "Safe" (and the knowledge that leads to the burning, too). Or how just touching Badger with a finger in "Shindig" lets her learn his life story in an instant. The telepathy was there right from the beginning, just done subtly enough that on first viewing it appears River's simply crazy. Like her mutterings during "Ariel" that show she knows exactly what's going to happen with Jayne ("I don't want to go back!" "Going up the down slide").
posted by jbrjake at 3:03 PM on April 30, 2005


I don't think Early was inept. He was a pretty canny guy, and managed to deal with the bulk of the crew pretty easily, and had near Companion level skill in manipulation. I mean, he was able to suss out Simon's thoughts pretty easily. It's just that River outclassed him in the mind-fuck department.
posted by Snyder at 4:14 PM on April 30, 2005


I seem to be one of the few people who love Firefly, then find out that it's by the same guy who was responsible for Buffy and decide not to hold it against the show.

I'm there with you, ODiV.
HEY, let's make a show about vampires, but they're all teens so we need to spend 45 minutes of every hour having them mope and feel sorry for themselves. That will be kick-ass.

I have trouble watching many great shows past the first one or two (Sopranos, Six Feet Under).

Likewise. Hell, I've only finished season one of Carnivale and I can't believe they killed Lodz.

And Objects in Space is my very, very favorite episode. Does that seem right to you?
posted by dreamsign at 11:19 PM on May 3, 2005


Buffy was an amazing series. Those of you who diss Buffy probably didn't see more than a couple few episodes and then wrote it off. I made that mistake too, and I regret it now. I dissed it in its first five years because I didn't understand it. I didn't look at it closely. The only character I liked was Oz and when they wrote him out, I stopped watching it altogether. I came back to it in season six and then a friend let me borrow her videotape collection (back then the DVDs hadn't started coming out yet) and I have been hooked ever since. When you can watch a string of Buffy episodes in a row, the series reveals itself as a much more formidable story, with great writing and some talented performances. I'm still not a big fan of SMG, but everyone around her just makes the show for me, and they make her look good by proxy.

Back to Firefly talk: Early's not dead. This is Whedon. Even without vampires and magic, he can figure out a way to bring back any bad guy worth bringing back, and Early was pretty cool. He may have had a backup system in his spaceship that would allow him to be saved after Serenity left. He may have been picked up by Reavers. Lotsa possibilities there. For the record, the policeman dude in the two hour pilot isn't dead either. Even if a character has a funeral in a Whedon show, like Johnathon Woodward's character in The Message, he ain't dead. He's only mostly dead until Whedon has a reason to bring him back.

River was always going to turn into an assassin-type. Had the series not been cancelled, it would feel less sudden then when they do it in the film, but because FOX is run by lowland gorillas, Whedon's making do with what he's got. Personally I'm happy we got a movie, when it looked like we'd get nothing, but I'd rather we had twenty-two episodes a year for seven years. The story of River would have been a more gradual plot arc over one or two seasons and things would have made more sense.

My theory with Book was that he'd been a high ranking officer in the Alliance during the war, but after the war he 'retired' and turned to non-violence and religion out of guilt. We may never know Book's past. I doubt they'll spend time explaining it in the movie, as it looks from the trailer that the story focuses mostly on Mal and River. I could be wrong of course. Again, if we'd had a tv series instead of a trilogy of films, we woulda learned about Book's past by now and had all new kinds of questions to be mulling over.

Another question that will probably never get answered is from the two hour pilot: When Serenity is approached by Reavers, there's a moment there where everybody thinks they're going to die, and in that moment Inara reaches for what looks like a hypo and some kinda tube of liquid. People assumed that was some sort of suicide kit, that Inara would prefer to kill herself rather than let Reavers rape her. Whedon admitted in the DVD commentary that he had something else in mind for that, and that it's a story point which "may show up in some other form," but it's such a seemingly insignificant moment, I doubt they'll spend time in the motion picture setting that up for people who didn't see the DVD and then explaining what the hell Inara was doing.

Anyway, the series Firefly has a lot of great stuff in it, and then there's the promise of a lot of great stuff that coulda been later. We'd be in what? The third season right about now, if the show hadn't been cancelled by a room full of lowland gorillas wearing ties?
posted by ZachsMind at 1:08 AM on May 4, 2005


I saw the Serenity preview in Vegas last Thursday. I'm gonna give it a thumbs up. Although I did cry. If anyone wants more info or spoilers, let me know.
posted by Snyder at 1:08 AM on May 11, 2005


Just popping in to see where the thread went.

In a word, ODiV: no. River's situation was set-up. It was exposition. She sat around whining and useless at the beginning to set up her character arc. With the whole Alliance searching for her, it's pretty obvious Joss had Plans for River. Haven't you ever asked yourself "Why is the Alliance creating supersoldiers when they already control all of colonized space?" Or "Who were those rebels who helped Simon rescue her from the academy?" Or "What does Blue Sun want?" or more precisely "What does Blue Sun need psychic powers for?" I mean, they already have a monopoly over everything. It's not like they need psychics to predict what their competition is going to do. Haven't you wondered how the Reavers fit into all of this? Did you even watch "Objects in Space" or "War Stories"? How could ninja-River possibly be a surprise if you had?

Sure Joss had plans for River, like he had plans for everyone. I'm not denying that. I'm just saying that the character was starting to grate on my nerves. I can see the intention of something, but not find it agreeable, surely?

And ninja River comes off as a bit of a surprise because it's set to techno and looks a bit like every other kung-fu action movie out there. It contrasts a bit with the world of Firefly that we've come to know. I'm sure that it'll mesh well, and of course there's backstory for it (everything comes easy to River) it just feels like it has the potential to be a little off.

Back to River being annoying: I think it may be that I've watched the series about four times through now and because of this, it never seems like River makes any real progress.

As for Buffy: Maybe you're right ZachsMind, and I have only seen an episode here and there (maybe 4?). It just seemed really... dumb. It's possible that I only caught it late in the show's run, so I was watching the life stage of a television series that I cannot stand: where the show becomes self-aware.

The Buffy episodes that I remember were:

- The musical one: which was fairly cool and I actually liked, except for the make-up and teen (I'm stealing stuff to get attention) angst

- one where Buffy is pulled out of some fast food job to hunt some demon (in bad costume) with some other hunters (one of which she has had a relationship with) and then they go to some vampire's lair (who she has also had a relationship with) to kill the demons eggs.

- One where Willow is high on black magic and goes to some magic (crack) house to further her high.

um... I can't really remember any others.

The show just seems way too self involved and melodramatic. Maybe I'm just not watching the right episodes? Maybe if I had watched the first 5 seasons the backstory would be interesting?
posted by ODiV at 2:41 PM on May 25, 2005


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