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April 19 2012

Best Shot in Serenity? Serenity was chosen for this week's edition of Hit Me With Your Best Shot, the series wherein different writers choose the single best shot from a movie and write about it.

Link takes you to the main page and first post. The other posts are listed at the bottom; some of the writers are fans, others have never seen the movie before. All of them are interesting reads, and almost everybody picks a River scene.

Both great choices -- but the second is the one that packed a greater wallop for me, reexamining these scenes. I've thought about Serenity a lot the past few days, as a result of Cabin in the Woods, and this makes me itching to rewatch.
Gosh, there're several. Noticed "Firefly" was also included in that topic. At this moment, one stands out in mind's eye.

"Wargames" when River takes out the soldiers attacking her and Kaylee. "There's no force in the 'verse that can stop me." Then, she gives Kaylee that innocent smile and Kaylee recoils in horror.

"What monster have I befriended."
I also really like the shot where the camera rotates around the group when they're on Miranda - it seems like Whedon did nearly the same thing in the Avengers, in the shot in the trailer. I like how those shots focus on the group, and strengthen them as a group in the mind of the viewer.

Having said that, obviously, the one-take is my favorite bit in the movie too.

Curiously, I've never really felt much for the epic River hero-shot at the end, when she's killed all the reapers. It always felt just a tad overdone to me - and possibly just a tad too Buffy in S3's Anne.
In Serenity, my favorite scene is probably the one where River is crying over Simon's prone body after he's been shot, and she stands up just as the emergency lights come on and starts running towards the Reavers...

Really, it gives me chills just to remember it. I think in the commentary, Joss said that it was so hard filming it because Summer's crying was so sad it made Sean Maher leak tears -- and I agree. How can you not cry when Summer cries??!
You know, perhaps we should control these emotions Joss generates, yes?

Just kidding, just wanted to throw a shock in there to make you think, "What if?".

And really, that is more terrifying than any chainsaw wielding fiend could threaten?

Forgive me, always thinking the worse. Should take up a collection hobby!
I have a soft spot for the quick shot of Mal pointing his gun right at the camera during the reaver chase. Don't know if I'd say it's the best shot in the film, but it makes me happy every time I see it.
I think my favorite shot changes often depending on my state of mind. Lately, I've been really drawn to that shot of them all there at the end at the memorial/funeral for some reason. The desert, the setting sun, Zoe in her slinky dress, the panning from character to character (even the dead ones)... It's short and sad and captured so much of what I loved about the characters and the series. (Guess my state of mind isn't in the best place lately.)

Boy, if you read through those other blogs (lets hear it for procrastination!) it just reminds you though of how much the marketing for the movie really sucked. Two of the bloggers had never even heard of the movie before this "assignment."
There is a shot when they are on Miranda when the camera is above and River walks into shot, and a gust of wind catches her dress and it billows out.

I think Joss said on the commentary that it was an accident, but they kept it in the film because it looked pretty.

Dunno why, but it always sticks in my mind.
There is a shot when they are on Miranda when the camera is above and River walks into shot, and a gust of wind catches her dress and it billows out.


That's the shot I picked for best shot!
The "reaction" shot from the love-bot when Mr Universe is killed, as she shows no reaction at all to the death of her husband. Chilling in its simplicity, and not something that most film-makers would think to include.
It's the colour shots that I love the most. The blue of Simon and River at the start, the white of Miranda, the red of Wash's death,
I've never caught that before. Interesting catch, Simon!
Guess it's that e-mole with color capturation.

Yeah, just invented another slang word to fit the situation. Please correct as you see fit.
I really like the opening credits scene as well. It reminded me of the opening shot of "Once Upon A Time In The West". It starts with a long title sequence around a small, desert train station and, if I am remembering correctly, the director's name, Sergio Leone, falls into place at the end of the scene as Joss' did in Serenity. I always wondered whether Joss had taken inspiration for that shot from Leone.

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