Saturday, June 19, 2010

Review: Serenity


directed / writen Joss Whedon

Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, Ron Glass, Chiwetel Ejiofor, David Krumholtz

For those of you that have lived in a cave for most of the last decade Serenity is the feature film of the short lived Fox series Fire Fly.

Fire Fly was very much a standard big interplanetary federation and the fringe worlds at the edge of federation space where a man with a bit of imagination and maybe somewhat fluid idea of what is right and wrong, can find a niche to make a living with a fast ship and a brave crew. Many are veterans of a war between the fringe worlds and the federation, others live in the fringe for their own reasons.

Into this melee comes a mysterious girl/woman and her brother. The girl is not all she seems and the core worlds /government is bent on getting her back.

That was the major arc of the first season which played out pretty much as we have seen in other variations....Star Wars, Farscape, Andromeda and others.

The theme was very Star Wars Hans Solo Millennium Falcon feel to it, but if anything a bit more western. Where Roddenbery may have tongue in cheek called Star Trek Wagon train to the stars, Fire Fly really felt more like that....a true star faring western, but done in a believable manner that was easy enough to buy into.

But just as quickly as it came it went. Fox abandoned it prematurely leaving fans to languish. Joss on the other hand had other ideas. His vision was a movie that picked up some time after the end of the first season's arc. Things are not going well for the Serenity crew, moral is low, far from being a tight nit crew, some have left others are obviously totally disenchanted.

Once again, River's brother manages to rescue her and bring her back into the fold of Serenity. So the first season's arc is pretty played out again on the big screen. This time however, we learn more about everyone, the war, Reavers and of course we discover just exactly what River really is and it is spectacular, though to be a bit of a spoiler, if you were a fan of the Sarah Connor's Chronicles you know what Summer is capable of and how she is utilized better in the movie.

I don't know why I avoided the film. Maybe I thought I knew all I wanted about Fire fly. I know I was nightly disappointed when the series ended and going back to the movie I knew would be a bit painful just knowing that this is the last we shall see of the Serenity's crew put me off for a number of years. But then I watched a couple of sections of the film available online and even went so far as to look for more material. Then I just had to see how Joss handled the blu-ray.

And it is loving and masterful use of the medium. Out-takes, extended scenes, cast commentary, director commentary, picture in picture, full use of the blu-ray remote, Added media just to make the disk more entertaining, videos and even online material.

The film looks great in Blu-ray. Had to have been remastered because the detail is seriously past DVD.

I think the film is a solid 9....a bit off just because there really isn't ANYTHING original here, but it is so damn well done! As for the extras on the disk? Anyone that is going to put out a Blu-ray needs to take notes because if this could have been better, I can't see it. Yeah, I give the disk a 10 so that is a 9.5. Yeah, I have seen blu-ray fall completely (why did they even BOTHER) flat most have been lack luster, Serenity if not the best I have seen for extras and features, its damn close.

So if you can lay your fat little fists on the blu-ray of Serenity, you will be a happy camper if you are a fan. If not a fan, then it won't be the disk letting you down. This is worth the effort.

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