28 December 2010

Tuesday Cap - Vol. 13

Title: Serenity

Notes: Earlier this evening some friends and I popped in the SERENITY Blu-Ray since most of them hadn't seen the flick, let alone have a clue as to what FIREFLY was. And after rewatching it, I'm once again floored by Joss Whedon's brilliance and am currently enjoying a Browncoat high. It may be my bias for all things Whedon (DOLLHOUSE included), but watching the film again, I firmly believe that this movie is pretty much perfect. Now, to be frank, I've never been one to really spot plot holes unless they're so supremely obvious, so if the script suffers from logistical errors or discrepancies, hell if I know. As I watched the movie for the nineteenth time, I once again became just as mesmerized and in love as I was the first. The cinematography and direction is flawless, as is the visual effects, displaying a mastery over spacecrafts and digital movements that rival if not exceed bigger budgeted enterprises. Case in point, the descent towards Mr. Universe's control hub as Serenity emerges through the clouds with a whole battalion of Reaver crafts behind them, as well as the bumpy landing when they make it to the floor a bit damaged; the digital effects are so well rendered, so expertly crafted it nearly puts Abrams' STAR TREK to shame (and I say that lightly, being a major fan of the 2009 installment of the franchise). And the script - I can give accolades after accolades about how perfect and witty and snappy the dialogue is, but any fan or casual viewer of Whedon will already know this. As for the performances - there's hardly reason to comment on them at all. By this point, there's not a inch of acting. When the cast don their outfits, they completely, 100% inhabit their characters to the final live action frame. For Joss Whedon's big screen directorial debut, he couldn't have picked nor created a better movie. In salute to Whedon's brilliance and the pretty much perfection of this piece, I call all bloggers and film lovers to revisit SERENITY in the not too distant future. Although I know the probability of it happening is pretty slim, when the final credits rolled, my eagerness and giddyness for another SERENITY film hit a new all-time high. Joss Whedon, I love this franchise and I love these characters; I can't wait to see them again.

Discuss: Joss Whedon's strength as director with a cinematic lens instead of TV-scope. In the wake of a hefty body count, what worked and what didn't. Did the Operative of the Alliance interest you as it did I? Were you as visually impressed by the CGI as I was? General feelings about SERENITY, and, to a extent, FIREFLY. Would you be giddy for another helping?


David Bishop said...

I think Joss Whedon has always shown promise as a director. His directorial stints on Buffy, Angel, and Firefly were all practice runs (though mighty good practice runs) for Serenity. I think a major asset that the film has is its cinematographer, Jack Green, whose other film Unforgiven also has some very impressive cinematography. His specialty seems to be underlighting,using darkness to emphasize elements in the scene. Very cool, and very different.

The Operative was a very cool villain. Mr. Whedon has revealed that the plot of Serenity the film would have been the Season 2 finale of the show (also that no characters would have died in that finale). Can you imagine getting The Operative for a full season? He's an interesting character because he actually believes that he's doing good. He's not a villain to be a villain. He doesn't revel in the evil that he does, but sees it as a necessity for the greater good. Much more compelling that way.

I actually liked that less CGI was used in Serenity than other sci-fi films. When the CGI budget gets too high, we end up with a film that emphasizes the visuals over the characters (i.e. Star Wars prequels). Firefly was always about the crew first, so a low budget feature film helps keep them from going too big on visuals, keeping the stories heart quite intact.

I will always be ready for more of this story.

Anonymous said...

I'm kind of embarassed to say that I still haven't seen this even though I loved Firefly.

I'm sad to see Whedon's most famous franchise Buffy to translate onto the silver screen without his input : - / He is a truly innovative guy, and deserves more props than is given to him.

Andy the Time Lord said...

@David: I love Noxon, Furry, Espenson, Minear, Greenwalt, and the rest of the BUFFY writers, but I always got super giddy whenever I saw 'Written and Directed by Joss Whedon' on the screen of a episode.

Jack Green was the cinematographer of UNFORGIVEN? Hmm. With that knowledge and Nick's recent review, I just might give that a go.

That would be effing cool to see The Operative all season long, to listen to his cool headed, pleasantly mannered evil self taunting Mal and the crew...ooh, the possibilities. Doubt we would have got such a fine actor to play him, however...

SERENITY, with its emphasis on set (and a rusty set on that) and colors, sorta reminds me of Ridley Scott's ALIEN and Cameron's ALIENS...just, y'know, brighter...

@5plitreel: Watch SERENITY, mahn! You won't regret it! As for the BUFFY reboot, there's still plenty of pre-production work that needs to go ahead and in that time, who knows, the entire thing just may go kaput. But if it DOES get made, I get Whedon's decision to pass on the project: he did that show for seven years, wrote the script for the film and had it frakked up. He said what he wanted to say through the series, and he doesn't need to repeat himself. Besides, he's got the Season 8 comic to worry about, hehe...