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Do NOT watch this if you like Firefly
I was aware of Firefly for the last year or two but hadn't gotten around to watching the series and I wanted to before I saw the movie. I finally borrowed the box set off of a co-worker and watched all of the original episodes. I loved it almost immediately as it seems like most of you did. The worst part of watching the series was knowing that that box set was it and there wouldn't be anything more.
If you haven't seen the movie don't bother reading the rest of this review. I wish I'd never seen Serenity as it may have ruined Firefly for me. I really recommend that people who loved Firefly just stay away from Serenity. It's different from the show and I personally feel that it's maliciously insulting to the show and the people that liked it. It will affect the way you view the Firefly episodes and may damage their re-watchability.
SPOILERS START BELOW
A day after finishing the last episode I ran out and rented Serenity to get my final fix of the Firefly universe. I was utterly and completely disappointed and wish I'd left it in the video store.
The hokey camaraderie from the series was gone. The well-developed characters betrayed their nature repeatedly like they'd never been developed in the first place. The deaths of 2 crew members were inexcusably pointless. The warm photography and sets were gone.
I felt something was wrong for most of the movie, I just couldn't get into it and wasn't nearly as involved as I was in every single Firefly episode. The turning point was the absurd killing of Wash. That was when I realized how much I'd been disliking the movie.
The Firefly series went to considerable lengths to make sure the characters acted in accordance with their nature. Sure they 'grew' occasionally or surprised themselves but in general they stayed true to their personality. Joss Whedon threw all of that out the window in Serenity. The doctor is extremely protective of River but he lets her walk around in a bar as soon as they leave Serenity? They strap the bodies of Shepherd's dead friends to the outside of the spaceship? Jayne would have done that, probably Mal, maybe Zoe after some coaxing, but everyone else? Kaylee talking about sex with the doctor when they're all about to die? She freaks out anytime there's trouble but she has time for that? Mal taking River on the bank heist job? Come on!
Wash dying was when I realized that Joss Whedon just didn't care. He'd been done with Firefly for a while in my opinion. But he'd be screwing himself over if he abandoned his Firefly fans at that point and refused to make a movie when it was offered to him. So he made one and his contempt for his fans and their adulation was as clear as day. Serenity was a slap in the face to everyone that loved Firefly. I'm just glad I didn't get caught up in the movement to save Firefly or I'd have been stomping mad after Serenity. I can look at the whole thing objectively because it's over and done with. I only waited a day between Firefly and Serenity instead of years like most fans.
Sin City (2005)
I'm only a marginal comics fan - I read a bunch of stuff over the course of a year or two in college and haven't read much at all since. Frank Miller was my favorite writer then and the I always loved the Sin City series. I didn't realize the movie was even being made until I saw the notice for the preview screening (if that's an indication of how much I follow comics these days).
This movie was as perfect an adaptation of those books as I could imagine. The look, cast, atmosphere, everything was just spot on. The stories were all gripping and intertwined with each other nicely and I thought the brief Josh Hartnett spots were great bookends to the movie. I was amazed the entire length of the screening.
If you're into comics at all you'll love this movie. You won't be disappointed. I'm not sure how to recommend it to others but you certainly don't need to be a comics fan to enjoy it. I loved it without reservation.
High Fidelity (2000)
Better than the book
I saw a sneak preview of High Fidelity tonight.
I realize that most of you reading this probably loved the book. I didn't. It seems every modern book that's raved about by people I know ends up disappointing me, and this was a prime example. I didn't feel much sympathy for Rob's character or for any of his problems. It read like a magazine article.
That being said, I enjoyed the movie version. It was much friendlier than the book, mainly because the actors portraying the characters are very likable. Jack Black and Todd Louiso were both hilarious as were most of the characters related to the record store. Definitely an odd appearance by Tim Robbins too. The music was great and the record store was spot on for a u.s. indie store. I won't declare it a wonderful success because it seemed like something was missing, maybe like a 2.5 or 3 out of 4 stars.
these reviews split the line of why people like movies
I think all of the negative (it was boring) reviews of this movie must have been written by people that expect something very narrowly defined from the movies they watch. It's pretty rare that I expect anything in particular from movies because I've been pleasantly and not-so-pleasantly surprised way too many times. Take it with an open mind and decide for yourself what kind of movie it is (or that it doesn't have a category). Someone mentioned the silence of Clockwatchers, which I definitely felt and attribute to the lack of a soundtrack (but for the office music). This, along with demonstrations of wasting time at work, were meant to give the audience a taste of what office life is like. Was it supposed to be funny? No. Was it supposed to be exciting? No. It was a movie ABOUT how much temping sucks, something I relate to from past jobs. I think it succeeded rather well, that is EXACTLY what many office environments are like.
I'm sort of mixed on Parker Posey, I like her but I'm still waiting for her to develop a new character. She did turn in a great performance though, I loved the little robotic movements at the marriage shindig thing. I was also impressed with the resolution of the thief storyline. Everyone both outside and inside the movie's first instinct was that it was one person, then another, and when it was finally revealed I was surprised at how well the director had let us back to the beginning of the circle. So I definitely recommend this movie if you're willing to watch good movies, regardless of intention. If you're just out for a good time go back and rent ID4 for the 8th time.
How rare, a science fiction film
While there were other great movies of 1997, I'm placing Gattaca at the top of my list. It's unusual to see an actual science fiction movie, a movie that explores science in an intelligent manner, and this year there were two: Gattaca and Contact. I also liked Contact, but Gattaca swept me away like few movies do these days. And with the deluge of big-budget special effect showcases that are hitting the screen, it's very refreshing to see such a well-thought out movie. The same attention to detail is evident in The Truman Show, causing me to anxiously await more from Andrew Niccols.