Monday, September 26, 2005
What a great flick: I just got back from seeing "Serenity." Part of Universal's effort to generate buzz for the flick was reaching out to bloggers by offering an advance screening -- apparently they believe that we have some sway with people who read our sites. I came into the theater as a late-to-the-party fan of the TV series. I started watching it when it was re-aired on the SciFi channel and just fell in love with the show.
I wasn't too concerned that Hollywood would butcher the story -- the guy who created the TV series, Joss Whedon, is the writer and director of the film. Having said that, I can't help but wonder what could've been.
The movie is fantastic, don't get me wrong. I just wonder how things would've been different had the plot revealed itself over a half-dozen TV seasons instead of a single two hour movie. The suits at Fox should be taken into the street and beaten.
With that little bit of regret, I can honestly say I haven't seen a better picture this year. This isn't something that is going to win an Academy Award or has something deeper to say about our society today -- it's just fun.
The special effects are great, and they borrow a lot from the trails blazed by the TV series -- never before had you seen documentary film techniques (camera shake, fast zooms, etc.) used in CGI. It gives you a sense of really being there.
The plot is solid and compelling. If you haven't seen the TV series, the film brings you up to speed fast. If you have seen the TV series, you get a little more background, but you're not bored by any redundancy.
The dialogue is where the movie really shines. It's not like some films where if you've seen the trailer, you've seen all the best lines. Whedon really has a sense of what is clichèd in the genre and he often walks right up the clichè and then turns it a completely different way. Many of the one-liners are laugh-out-loud funny and you'll want to watch it more than once to catch some of what you missed.
"Serenity's" ending leaves open the possibility of another feature film. Something that's not on Whedon's radar screen right now -- he is committed to a number of other projects. However, it would be great if somebody considered turning it into a TV series.
When it is released this Friday, I can say with confidence that it will be the best movie in theaters -- don't miss it.