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August 28 2006

"Serenity" the 10th best movie based on a TV show ever. According to a new list on

I love Wayne's World and South Park, but I wouldn't agree that they're better films than Serenity, unless it isn't merely the quality of the films, but how well the transfer from TV to film was achieved, as in that case it was probably a lot harder to stretch WW and SP to a whole movie that worked than it was Serenity.

"Wayne's World" and "South Park" are pretty goshdern classic. And as a comedy, aside from maybe the first "Austin Powers," is Mike Myers greatest comedy.
I'm on vacation for 9 days in a place with no TV. I brought "Serenity" along with other DVDs to watch on my MacBook when I get bored. This is my third day here, and I've watched Serenity twice so far. Each time I watch it, I love it even more. Serenity is such a beautiful movie, it almost belongs in a category or on a list of its own.

I agree that Star Trek II belongs on that list, but I can't help wondering if Serenity was allowed to have sequels, how much better a series of movies it would have been than the Star Trek movies turned out to be.
Nebula, there is an argument to be made that the fact Serenity wasn't "allowed" to have sequels only further highlights what an achievment it is that Roddenberry's franchise spawned 9 sequels, with the 10th in development. Star Trek II is one of the finest science fiction films ever made.

I do however, find it maddening that we will not get any more Mal Reynolds. I guess we just have to try and see Serenity as a miracle movie that should never have happened but thankfully did.
Serenity would have been 'allowed' sequels if it made enough money, ultimately, Andy.
Hey, never say never. We were all saying never before, then we got more. And everything is making a profit now, so, I'm not going to throw in the towel.
the South Park movie is fantastic. easily the funniest movie, not to mention cleverest satire, I've seen in many many years, and friggin Steven Sondheim said it was the best musical of the last ten! I love me some Serenity, but I've watched the South Park movie dozens and dozens of times and it never gets old.
How many years was it after the TV show went off the air, that Star Trek II was made? (I am old enough to remember the intermitable wait for the first Star Trek movie and the outrage at the discussions/rumors of recasting but I've never been good at keeping years straight. They all run together if there is not a hook to hang them on.) Serenity still has time to have a sequel. I think it will be interesting to see what Mal and the gang are like 10 years in the future...if it takes that long. “The last few years we've had to sit through crap like THE DUKES OF HAZZARD and STARSKY & HUTCH as they poop all over some of our most cherished childhood memories. I never thought seeing Rocky and Bullwinkle in a major motion picture would make me want to throw myself into the heart of a live volcano.”

Hee-hee. Amen to that, bro.

Of course, I'm happy that Serenity made the cut, as it's a wonderful movie. But also, ajay42, how gratifying to hear that Sondheim thought so highly of Southpark: Bigger, Longer and Uncut. I did not know that -- I absolutely think it's a brilliant musical.
Of course I rate Serenity extremely highly, and agree that Wayne's World is fanatastic. Every few years I can watch it, and remember almost every single good line (of which there are many).

I've never really liked South Park though. I have just never been amused by really explicit, suggestive or otherwise crude humour, so much of it doesn't do anything for me. Actually watching it makes me feel like I'm being scammed because it isn't funny at all. But I know there are people who do like it, so maybe it's just me.
South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut is hilarious (I recently bought it on DVD and may think even more of it once I rewatch it) and Wayne's World is a fun movie, but neither come close to Serenity.

I haven't seen the other two flicks listed there, unfortunately...
South Park is smarter than it first appears, Razor. Truly. A lot of it's humor comes from its commentary (however hidden it is in its crudeness). Eric Cartman is one of the best characters ever--and the only voice I've learned to copy.

In contrast, Family Guy, a show that has similiar qualities on the surface, is not smart at all. It can be hilarious, and have some great musical moments of its own, but smart comedy it is not, on any level. But then again, it isn't trying to be.

[ edited by pat32082 on 2006-08-28 22:37 ]
Andy Dufresne: I'm not saying that Star Trek wasn't an awesome movie franchise, and being one of those people who was a Trekkie 40 years ago, I was usually the first in line to see all the movies; but we all know that with the movies, it was either hit or miss. 2, 4, 6 and 8 were outstanding. 3 and 7 were decent, though not great. 1, 5, 9 and 10 were pretty bad, even if they had a few good moments.

I'd love to think that somewhere down the line, Serenity will be resurrected, as was Star Trek. Stranger things have happened.

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2006-08-28 23:19 ]
I really, really loved South Park for the first couple/few years. Then a couple years ago I caught an ep and there was an ongoing joke about abortion. I wouldn't have minded if it hadn't gone on forever and ever and ever... I never watched it again and I'm not sorry. It is and was brilliant but I seriously doubt I'll ever watch again. That particular episode in fact made me aware of certain boundaries I didn't know I had.

I agree with the poster on that thread who said to the effect of, if these are the bottom five, I'm anxious to see the top five!
ajay - I agree, the Southpark movie is indeed pretty fantastic. Obviously, not to everybodies tastes, though.

pat - I'm not saying there will never be a Serenity sequel, as ultimately nobody - not even Joss - will have access to the studio financials and decision making process. Well, except those who work there. And possibly Data, 'cause you know, he knows all.

Aprl - I think in part, the point of South Park is to try to offend everybody. They recently did an episode where they killed off one of the title characters by making them a child molster, and then killed them 9 times in horrific ways. Except the voice actor had left the show in protest about it's stance against Scientology, so they reused his voice previous episodes, and resampled it to make it sound like he child molested.

Which, of course, is deeply dodgy. But the episode was shaped as a voice about dodgy religions, and it, uhm, worked. Although it did raise the bar of tastelessness and then went polevoting over 600 miles.
Although a lot of the South Park movie is just crude, a lot of it is really clever, like all the spy/WWII movie spoofing it does and especially the rockin' Disney/Broadway musical spoofing it does. That said, it's so different from Serenity, it's hard to think of them on the same list. I really love both of these movies, but for totally different reasons.

I like what some people are pointing out, that maybe several years in the future, there might be reasons that the studios would want to try another Serenifly movie. I always think "no" about a Serenity sequel because the audience support/box office earnings weren't there now, but, it's true, things might change in a few years. And in the meantime, we have this wonderful "miracle movie" (good phrase, Andy Dufresne!) and will have comics that continue the story of the 'Verse soon! :-)

ETA: gossi, good point about the extremes on SP the series. As you say, that ep you're talking about made a good point, that the character had become a child molestor because the "club" he joined mind-controlled him into it, and that was a comment on "clubs" that practice mind-control on their members, and that had to do with the actor quitting the show. And I think that gave an "answer" to the actor for quitting because his "club" told him to. A lot of their meanest stuff is meant to make a point, like their Passion of the Jew ep, which just reran here, which was to make the point that Jesus had a lot of other parts of his life that were a lot more inspiring than the tortured-to-death part, and that Mel Gibson is nuts. Other times, the SP guys just try to go as far as they can just to offend everyone equally. BTW, I love their stuff with Jimmy and Timmy, like when they tried to join the Crips -- LMAO! -- but also because they keep making the point that Jimmy and Timmy are just in your face about their disabilities, without feeling sorry for themselves or wanting pity, and so they should be treated just the same (even just as crappily) as everyone else. :-)

[ edited by billz on 2006-08-29 01:28 ]
Yes, also a good point, billz. Hooray to South Park for having two handicapped characters that just *are*. Nobody talks down to them, or steps on eggshells, and there's no inspiring music and all that BS. They're the only place I've seen that kind of depiction (oh, and Mac Culkin's character in "Saved"--the movie).
Yes! Mr. Culkin, and that character, were great in Saved, pat32082! (And he got the hot girl!) :-)
I have to join in with the Star Trek 2 love and mostly because of Ricardo M. I remember thinking at the time that he looked great for a man of his age and indeed,at 62, he did! I'd have to see it again to decide which I thought was better, Star Trek 2 or Serenity. Maybe I couldn't honestly decide. ST2 was perfect to me then. Serenity is now.
Y'know, one thing that strikes me about all of the movies on this list so far is that all of them were made either during or fairly soon after (or during) the show's run, with the original cast intact (well, except for Twilight Zone, but since that didn't have a regular cast it's a slightly different situation) and therefore had the feel of an organic continuation of the series as opposed to a pointless retread with a new cast (Starsky & Hutch, Lost in Space, and the book-length list goes on). Of course, said retreads do bring in viewers thanks to nostalgia.

South Park and Serenity...oh man, it's like choosing between my kids. I like them equally as movies, but as an event and given the circumstances surrounding it (a cancelled show that few expected to see resurrected in any form vs. a hit show that was made into a movie at the height of its popularity and got to have seven more seasons after the movie) I have to go with Serenity. Somehow, if we don't get any Serenity sequels, as it seems to be looking right now (but I'm squarely in the never-say-die camp on that one), it'll just make the one movie all the more special.

And I too love the Jimmy & Timmy stuff, I think pat32082 hit it all in one. I'd much rather watch the way SP handles disability than, say, Seventh Heaven and its sickly-sweet ilk. Another great example of this is the earlier episode with the nurse with the conjoined fetus on her head getting a parade when she just wants to do her job.

[ edited by WryBread on 2006-08-29 05:12 ]
Another great example of this is the earlier episode with the nurse with the conjoined fetus on her head getting a parade when she just wants to do her job.

Good times (and a good point), WryBread, good times! :-)
This is the first Whedonesque topic to mention a conjoined fetus. Uhm, I think.
Heh. I forgot about the conjoined fetus.
"Y'know, one thing that strikes me about all of the movies on this list so far is that all of them were made either during or fairly soon after (or during) the show's run, with the original cast intact (well, except for Twilight Zone, but since that didn't have a regular cast it's a slightly different situation) "

...and except Start Trek, as previously stated. Original cast on that one, but show went off the air in 1969, Star Trek II was 1982. (Got around to looking it up. Star Trek I was 1979 according to some website out there.)
See, that's exactly why I don't like South Park. I don't really find jokes about child molestation funny. It just goes too far over the boundary of good taste. Some people like that, and good for them, but I don't.
I'm sort of with you, Razor. I could, in theory, find jokes about child molestation funny if they actually were. Funny, that is. But South Park has left me cold on the several occasions I've tried it, including the Passion of the Jew, which I felt certain I'd enjoy. I absolutely approve of the "offend everyone equally" stance - it's just not funny to me.

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