It’s all hot air, I’d just like to say that as a preface. The critiquing of art only has statistical relevance, as in the method used at www.rottentomatoes.com, and then only if the positive/negative is weighed properly. Which is why I don’t make top 10 lists, for example. It’s pretty pointless. My favorite top 10 anything will shift from day to day, and should be meaningless to just about anybody else.
I know what I like and why I like it. Conversely, I know what I don’t like and why that is as well. For example, Sin City is not a good film no matter how many tickets it sold. There is no discernible theme. There is no apparent rhyme or reason for the use of color in the film (which is done in nouveau black and white for those who haven’t seen it. Can anybody explain the Ferengi in the final segments of the film? I just don’t get that bit at all) it is an excellent representation of a graphic novel whose pictures move, but it is a very poor film. Are we clear? Good.
Having made that point clear, I’d like to respond to two points brought up here:
(non-SciFi fans will be forgiven if they run screaming…)
So are you saying Joss will lose his thunder like David Lynche did?
I’m still a browncoat, still love the characters, but they should stop whoring the story for new fans next time around. You know, not have Simon save River thus destroying what he did in the series. Not have Jayne take River for a nice Shuttle ride… It makes the story clearer, but you and I didn’t need it.
What I was saying is that Fire Walk with Me was a failure in every way that Serenity was not; and yet it was acclaimed as a great film. I’ve never cared one way or the other for David Lynch’s work. I consider his version of Dune to be one of the worst adaptations of a movie from a novel that I have ever seen. They didn’t get one thing right except casting and makeup for the Harkonnens. I’ll have to beg off judgment on anything else he’s done since I haven’t seen it.
I personally think that Joss took the wise course in attempting to create a film that would not alienate the new viewer by catering to the fans of the TV show. I’ve said this before and it bears repeating, I’m not in charge of making the movies and I daresay that you don’t make films either. Since they don’t pay me to make decisions about what I want to see in a film but rather pay someone else to do it, I don’t expect people in a position of authority on any particular film will care much if I have a complaint about a particular scene or even complete movies. Watch or don’t watch. Those are your only choices.
The scenes in question make sense from a plot standpoint even if they don’t make sense in series continuity, and so can be forgiven. I especially love the beaning that Jayne gets. Nice pun Joss. They do not conflict with established facts from the series. So, no aspersions on Joss whatsoever, kudos to Joss for getting Serenity in the air at all.
To me, in years to come, we will consider Serenity like trekkies consider the first Star Trek movie. It’s the right characters, but the costumes were all wrong. The other six are much better.
The worst of the ST films was the last one. That they (Paramount) have apparently given Berman and Braga (the Nemesis of Trek) the reins of the next film as well pretty much spells the complete end of the franchise for me. If Berman is given control of this film, it will be the first Star Trek film that I won’t bother to see in theatres. Nemesis was so far removed from Gene Roddenberry’s vision of Trek that I just couldn’t sit through it more than once. That and the fact that they rehash the death of Spock with the death and rebirth of Data. They inexplicably find yet another brother for Data, while traveling on a dune buggy the only vehicle with wheels ever seen in Trek. Need I go on?
In contrast the first film, despite its meandering pacing and far too simplistic plot, clearly has a lot of Gene in it. The machine trying to become human a la Data from Next Generation, for example. The first Star Trek film is something I cherish. It got the ball rolling again.
If that is what Serenity ends up being, the film that gets the ball rolling again, then I will look back on it just as fondly.
Editor’s note. Jesus Christ I loved semicolons when I first started writing. There were at least 10 of them in this article. There has been no more Firefly in the fifteen years following the release of Serenity. There probably never will be.