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Serenity

Spoilers major enough that I won't even be specific behind the cut.

I just got back from the movie, and it hasn't really sunk in yet, but I have gut reactions:

Character death #1, I'm OK with. I was almost expecting it just from trailers, and certainly it was foreshadowed in the movie. Reasonable for the plot, makes sense.

Character death #2, I am very much not OK with. No foreshadowing. No preparation. Not even any purpose in the grand scheme of things. Just a completely needless loss of a wonderful person.

I recognize that it shows exactly what was intended: that it was random and needless, and that bad things happen to good people, and sometimes there's no time to say goodbye, and that the crew had to sacrifice to get what they believed in. I also recognize that the timing created the necessary doubt for the rest of the action, since clearly no holds were barred and it could happen to anyone.

I'm still not OK with it.

I think that, even more than the plot points, are what makes it seem very clear to me right now that This Is It. No sequels. No picking up the show for another season later on. Serenity is still flying, but we aren't going to be invited along.

Even aside from that, this was still darker than I had expected. jaedeth had asked me to let her borrow my DVDs of the show, and I was reluctant to lend them out, although I'm going to. Now, I think I'm glad. I think it's going to be a while before I can watch them again anyway.

In a few days, I may do a real review, when I've had time to absorb it and reflect upon it.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
tristam
Oct. 1st, 2005 03:40 am (UTC)
Agreed on all points except for perhaps the lack of sequels. I think the show is dead, but I fully expect a sequel movie somehow.
collacentaur
Oct. 1st, 2005 03:46 am (UTC)
I won't be surprised if there is one. I think there shouldn't be.

That wouldn't stop me from going to see it, though.
(Deleted comment)
calloocallay
Oct. 1st, 2005 03:24 pm (UTC)
I had issues with the movie. I did not feel it was cinematic genius, largely because there were a couple payoff scenes I was really expecting that I never actually got. Eg, when the goal is to send out a video over broadband, eyes-only style, we expect shots of people watching and reacting throughout the known universe. Also, I thought River's "cure" was a bit facile.

Those things said, OMG THE ACTION SEQUENCES. I gasped, I flinched, I squealed, my eyes watered because I didn't want to blink, and at one point I drooled. And of course the dialogue, though not his absolute best, still had the nuggets of whedon we've all come to expect and adore.
amy_pearlman
Oct. 1st, 2005 08:57 pm (UTC)
1) Deaths mean little in a Joss world for if they will be seen again or not. The ghost or the dreams or the unearthly advice...it happens. He believes in a thin life-death barrier.

2) Deaths always have a purpose, but sometimes it isn't seen. I think it has a lot to do with a couple of other particular characters' developments. Besides, life is nothing without balance and it wouldn't be Joss if all things ended happily for all characters.

3) Sequels are very possible, but will be different -- don't expect the pattern to hold, it never does.

Those who watched Buffy and Angel recognize the patterns and the themes. The first season of Angel killed a cool a brilliant main character who seemed core to everything, yet things shifted and moved on. Buffy was a bright-and-shiny series at the beginning and was definitely showing the darker side in later seasons. And none of that ended up being without reason, though sometimes it looks like it at the time. There is always death, the development and growth and change and re-assessment that comes from misery and loss and isolation at times, and there is always redemption, but nothing comes without cost. He's a student of human interaction, and the characters are always forced to adjust to less-than-ideal situations.

I'm trying to speak inspecifically, but there's a dozen challenges and developments I can see as possibilities.

I am also not surprised by the dark or the violent or the starkness of some bits. That's the way it was headed.

I think they did a good job making a movie, not just a long episode of a series. It lost some of the grit by having a movie-sized budjet, but ok, not too much. I don't think there was selling out. I spoke to a former co-worker who I happened to see in the theatre and he didn't feel that enough emotion was shown after death #2, but it actually reminded me of how I reacted to my brother's death when it first happened...

While I am mildly displeased with the lack of depth of certain characters in the snapshot-view of the movie, and I am not sure what they are going to do with the supposed end of the main plot arc the movie dealt with (which will still come back at some point), I am not disappointed. And there is more to come. If I didn't believe it had been planned, this would worry me. But I believe this is in the plan, so I'm willing to ride along.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )