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I'm a leaf on the wind

Fortune did not favour us on Friday when db2305 and I were supposed to have seen Serenity with monanotlisa and friend...only severe and very freaky storms (rain, hail and snow) raging all day threw a spanner in the works. Most services on the railways were either severely delayed or got cancelled altogether, making it impossible for me to get to Utrecht; and even if they had managed to borrow a car from someone, chances are monanotlisa and witchsis would not have made it either, as according to reports, there was a total of 802 kms (ca. 500 miles) of tailbacks clogging up the Dutch motorways stretching all the way to the German border. And so, we had no option but to fall back on Plan B -- wait till the storms passed and then go and see it the next day, just the two of us.

I perhaps should explain that even though I was aware of Firefly airing in The Netherlands last season, I somehow always managed to miss it. I saw the very first episode, and bits of one or two more later on, which resulted in me coming to Serenity with very little backstory and no idea what to expect. And I was pleasantly surprised.


First off, the film looks good. The special effects, the CGI, the sets, the make-up, and the cinematography are fine. The script and the dialogues are watertight and liberally interspersed with Joss's trademark levity. The characters seem fairly well-developed, esp. the three main ones of Mal, River Tam and The Operative, although as a newbie I could have done with a bit more characterisation of several others (Kaylee, Inara, e.g.).

The story itself I didn't think was all that interesting (the film will not feature anywhere on my list of Favourites Films Ever), but the cast did a good job of acting and Joss a fine job of directing and the end result was that for 2 hours I was wonderfully entertained.

Chiwetel Ejiofor plays a most interesting villain -- an intelligent, rational, articulate killing machine not without human traits and foibles, and despite being dangerous and at first, single-minded in his pursuit of his quarry, he is not unreasonable or incapable of changing his mind or switching his allegiance.

Nathan Fillion's Capt. Mal Reynolds reminded me of Han Solo a bit -- well, actually, reminded me of Han Solo a lot: good but flawed and slightly dodgy, slightly anarchic, stepping up to the plate without hesitation, capable of making hard decisions and ruthlessness when need dictates.

The character of River Tam as the broken girl cum fighting machine was very well played by whoever it was that played her; I loved the scenes in which she kicked ass so gracefully, reminding me of some of my favourite fight scenes in those Chinese films I adore so much, and the same goes for Mal's second-in-command, Zoe. And I was sad to lose Wash, even though he didn't really have a huge part to play.

I liked the fact that Joss managed to make the Reavers scary enough through their legend without having to resort to showing us the gory details -- and a bit disappointed that the scene where they cruise through Reaver territory is so short and passes without incident. Also, I wondered why when the decision had been made to strap their friends' bodies to the craft, and time was presumably of the essence, they eventually opted for attaching their skeletons...

In short, I liked the film, and I'll certainly recommend it to any of my friends who like a bit of sci-fi now and again.


By the way, although our planned outing fell though on Friday, for me the day didn't end in a total wash-out: when I arrived home, late and soaking wet, I found that a TARDIS had landed right in front of my door. That's right: my special edition box set had arrived, and now all I need is an opportunity for uninterrupted viewing.

Comments

( 4 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
love_by_137
Nov. 27th, 2005 10:51 pm (UTC)
Summer Glau played River :) Glad you liked it !
gamiila
Nov. 28th, 2005 06:31 am (UTC)
Thanks! We didn't stay for the end credits, and so I missed that.
irishabastard
Nov. 28th, 2005 04:29 am (UTC)
Presumably, they strapped the bodies, but the heat from leaving the atmosphere made them into skeletons. Glad you liked the movie. You should definitely make an effort to see the series all the way through. It will make the loss of Wash that much more impactive.
gamiila
Nov. 28th, 2005 06:46 am (UTC)
Presumably, they strapped the bodies, but the heat from leaving the atmosphere made them into skeletons.

I suppose that could work...but hang on, wouldn't the heat generated be so great as to virtually cremate the bodies, leaving mothing but a few specks of dust on the hull? Never mind; it was probably meant as a dramatic device rather than a scientifically accurate one -- just as in another film set in space I saw once, they reverted to sonar to literally sound out an enemy (but since sound does not travel in space, the sonar technique would be completely useless), or all these lovely bright and fiery explosions that are so common in space battle scenes -- since there's no oxygen in space, there'd never be any spectacular fireworks.
( 4 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )

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