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May 05 2005

Yay or Nay for tonight's Serenity test screenings? Ten Screenings, ten US cities. Were you one of the fans who managed to get a ticket? Post your thoughts of what you thought of the movie in this non-spoiler thread.

So no spoilers at all in this thread but stuff like how how finished the film is, how long it is, sound quality, how good the acting is etc are fine. And was the atmosphere like in the theatre?

And in the unlikely event that you're not sure if something is a spoiler, post it in the above spoiler thread.

And above all tell us if you liked it, did the rest of the audience like it and whether you think it will work at the box office.

Oh, right, it's that night! Come on, people, spill -- you know you wanna torture us slavering, Joss-bereft unfortunates. ;)
This would be the first time I'd be participating in something like this. I'm a newbie in terms of posting @ Whedonesque, so this should prove interesting.
Yeah, I am going to the Chicago show, as are six of my friends. We are hoping and praying that there will be a "guest" present. Adam maybe, but I am really hoping for Summer.

I'm in the DC area...bereft of all joy and Serenity goodness and walking the street of sorrows...*must pour another bourbon*...
Woooo, first comment ever (they wouldnt let me in for so long). I so wish I had tickets to one of these screenings. September seems so far away. Trying to get as many of my friends into Firefly before the premiere as a I can, but they still call it a "flying space cowboy show". Any suggestions on what episode might get their attention right away? They don't have very large attention spans, so I feel as though Serentiy Part I and II would be too much for their first ep. Any suggestions would be great!!!
A group of fans showed me Out of Gas first and I thought it was a great introduction. However, my mom found it confusing when she saw it in order with the other ones, so I guess you need ot judge for yourself. I'm sure others will have good suggestions.
I'm on my way out the door to see it now. Just a happy accident, my getting a ticket.
I saw it in Sydney last week. I was blown away. Mostly in a good way. Partly in that patented Joss Whedon ripping my heart out way.

Was an audience of 70 major fans so no clues on general public reactions. Except I did sit next to an UIP exec who really SCREAMED several times. So I guess I can confrim it is scary in parts. She spent half the screening sitting with her arms wrapped around herself, hunched forward in her seat. Don't know what that says!

There were some beautiful CGI shots and quite a few finished effects. Some effects still need to be added (screen says something like FX SHOT OF ---). The music? Think much of it is still temporary but hard to be sure.

I'm new too - you guys were very exclusive for a while. I've lurked for months.
ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod. i can't believe so many of our friends from the boards are parked in front of our Big Damn Movie at this very moment...i'm trying to focus on being happy for them, but i'm just so damn jealous.

oh, zeitgeist, where are you with news of my Big Damn Heroes....?
Eyeofhorus, I was there last week also! I still can't get over what a fantastic night it was! The UIP ppl were really excited about the movie. I heard the Universal exec say to the UIP exec at one stage after, that they thought they had a winner. Well, they're certainly correct in that!
Hi nixygirl. I couldn't go to the marketing session the following day, I would have liked to see what the UIP people thought of it (I know they wanted our feedback but I'd like to know how behind the BDM they are).

I was so blown away I went home to process but I wish I'd hung around and met people to talk about the BDM with now.
OK, news soon I hope. I just had 3 glasses of wine to drown my DYING to know how tonight was. Anyone famous in Chicago?? Huh? Huh? I'm so damn jealous too, barest. Oh, if only they moved it to a bigger screen. grrrr...argh...
I'm right there with ya Harmalicious. As soon as I tried entering my CC info to reserve tickets, they sold out. Damn you Chicago!!! I actually walked past the AMC today podering whether or not I should try to sneak in.
I am in a city where a screening was held as well. I didn't get a ticket because I waited to ask my husband if he wanted to go. Of course he wanted to go--he's a Joss fan and a huge Firefly fan. Should've just gotten them when I saw them. Sigh. Still eagerly awaiting feedback...!
Hi there! Long time visitor, first time poster. Anyways, thought ya'll would want to know, I just got back from the Serenity screening in Atlanta and it was amazing. This might be the best thing Joss has ever written. Seriously. Combine that with great perfomances, etc., and Serenity is one hell of a movie. As for how complete it is, it's very nearly done. The score and the special effects still need a little touching up, but overall it's nearly complete.

As for the atmosphere in the theater, it was electric. Mostly made up of Whedon fans though. However, I made it a point to bring along some people who hadn't seen Firefly before. They LOVED the movie, and said they would see it again in September, possibly several times.

If the word gets out about how awesome this flick is, it'll do GREAT at the box office.
Word has it that Sean and Morena were at the Boston screening.
That is indeed true, Sean and Morena were both at the screening tonight. It was awesome, they setup a table after the movie and signed autographs. Got me one!

...and every glowing thing you've heard about the movie is absolutely, completely, unequivocally true. I will not spoil it, although I will spoil a bit about the screening. Prior to the movie, there was a segment from Joss which is just awesome. (I'm using that word rather frequently. I was giddy coming out of the theater.) He talks a bit about how we got to this point, how it is our movie (and if it sucks, it's our fault!) and we need to get out their and spread the word on it. He closes with, "This is Serenity." Wow. (I hope I got that right!)
OK, I misspelled "there." It's time for bed, me thinks.
Quick non-spoilery post here before I got to bed. I was in Chicago, thanks to Zeitgeist and his extra ticket. No celebrities, but it was a *great* movie. And – though my opinion is obviously biased – I really think it might work for non-fans. It's always hard to tell, of course, what will grab people. And i think the hardest thing about this will be selling it – so many people will assume based on the ads that it's just a low-budget, star wars ripoff. And, of course, it's not. at all.
Great mix of humor, thrills, heartbreak, drama, all of which translates well to the big screen. If there's any downside to it being a 2-hour vs. hours of TV, it's that there isn't quite as much character development. There's enough, I think, for those of us who know Firefly well, but for newcomers, I wonder if it'll be a bit harder to grow close to and understand all of the characters and what happens to them quite as much. I think it can work, but it's hard to put myself in the shoes of someone who's never seen it. And it definitely offers *more* to people who are already familiar with the show.
But, for anyone - fans or non-fans - I think it's a great, great movie. Also, for those of you who didn't see it tonight – I imagine it's going to be REALLY difficult to stay spoiler-free until September, now that so many people have seen it. I'm not really a huge spoiler-phobe, and I think learning some of the basic plot, etc., is fine. But there are a few big events that I think have so much more impact if you don't see them coming. I was really glad I hadn't heard any of the major plot points. So, if at all possible, I'd try and keep yourselves at least a little bit uniformed.

OK, off to bed for me. Now I'm all ready for the sequel!
Oh, and... "Can't stop the signal" actually makes sense now. Though it's still not my favorite tagline for the movie.
My first post!

I just got back from the Boston screening, which I was lucky enough to snag a ticket to at the last minute. I feel like I won the lottery. I loved it. Loved it. Loved it. And Morena and Sean were there! Anyway, I'm sleepy now. I'll write more tomorrow.
I was at the Boston screening and all I can say is it was awesome. And I mean that in the truest sense of the word. Not the abused common usage but the original "awe inspiring" way. Sean Maher and Morena Baccarin were there to introduce the movie which a wonderful surprise that I will never forget. And they were even kind enough to stay afterward and sign posters for all. Then film was preceded by a video clip of Joss talking about the genesis of the film; how it shouldn't exist. Canceled TV shows don't get made into movies. They tried to kill us and they failed. He then quoted himself, "we've done the impossible and that makes us mighty." Then the movie began and it was everything your imagination tells you it is and more. That really all I can say. Nothing will truly satisfy you until you see it. Oh, I just want to say one more thing. People are going to offer you spoilers. And as much as you want to know what happens, there's nothing like walking in with no idea. Don't you want Joss to be the first one to tell you what happens to Serenity and her crew? Be strong. I know you can be.

TVsBrent, I also absolutely adored the introduction by Joss. It was moving and touching - the perfect set up for the film. When he got a little teary-eyed with that last sentence, I swear everyone in the theater had a little sniff for him as well. I hope that someone, somewhere has a transcript of that speach, and can post it so that it can be shared. Every Browncoat that wasn't there tonight should STILL get to read it. It was that lovely.
High fives all around for those lucky souls who got their Serenity fix tonight, and a radiant, Buddha-like joy that what ya'll saw bodes well for September. The fact that there's character-expanding goodies for us FF old-timers (heh) as well as overall thrill-appeal for newer fans sounds to me like the perfect balance for an action/adventure space cowboy picture.

Just one question, though: Does Vera make an appearance?
I just got back from the Chicago screening and I can assure you that sneaking in was NOT an option...they had about 15 people herding the line up to the theater (they handed out key chains), and never fewer than five people watching the door after we'd gone in.

The movie was wonderful amazing exciting humorous romantic scary and did I say exciting? I am not afraid of raising expectations here, I really think it is great.

The film does look a little rough, some of it will probably remain rough (different filming and lighting techniques for different scenes)...but I didn't feel that there was anything missing that got in the way of the film.

And did I mention I loved it?
I'm so bummed I couldn't get an SF or Sacramento ticket. I don't want any more spoilers, though, so I may even be more careful poking around Whedonesque, especially with some of the scary warnings.

Maybe Joss hisself will pop in and post a transcript of his intro. That I don't want to wait 'til September for.

Nice to come here and read about the BDM Experience after watching this week's cringe-worthy Smallville. ;-)
Totally RBB, on the Joss posting his transcript. I am having visions of myself passing out flyers with it. LOL. The whole crowd loved that speech.

So I'm back from the Austin screening, which was packed to capacity with the most wonderful crowd of Browncoats, many of whom had come in from out of town. It was absolutely glorious. I expect to write a full review by Monday [edit: er, sometime next week] for (and maybe Ain't It Cool News, since Harry wasn't there), but in the meantime I wanted to give all of you an early word...

First off, the crowd went absolutely insane with glee when Nathan and Ron made a surprise appearance to introduce the movie. It was a shock wrapped up in pure, unbridled bliss (and a standing ovation that lasted several minutes). They told us they hadn't seen this cut yet, and watched it with us -- after which they did a generously long Q&A. And lemme tell ya, Nathan and Ron are two very, very funny guys. They were on fire. Also, as you've heard, all the screenings had a really sweet filmed introduction by Joss, which was very touching. (I sincerely hope they post a transcript on the official board.)

As far as the movie goes, let me first say that earlier in the day I suffered through a screening of Revenge of the Sith, which was, um..., another prequel. (As in: if you drank the midichlorian Kool-Aid and liked the first two prequels, you'll like it; if not, well...). Anyway, SERENITY is everything I'd hoped for and then some. It's masterful storytelling, cleverly structured with wonderful performances... and some amazingly gutsy choices. (No, I'm not going to spoil anything!) I mean, holy crap, Joss really pulled it off -- he gave us a Big Damn Movie! But one with real heart, passion, vitality, grace, intelligence, wit, and style -- and just about anything else any Browncoat could ask for. I was enthralled.

Again, I'll post a full review on in a couple days after I collect my thoughts and all, but this is what I really want to tell you all:

You know how over the course of those 13 episodes these characters became our friends? And how much you grew to love them -- and how much you've missed them since they've been gone?

Tonight I got to see my friends again. And I saw them be heroes.

Thanks, Joss. And congratulations.

[ edited by Robogeek on 2005-05-11 00:18 ]
Tonight I got to see my friends again. And I saw them be heroes.

*Raises toast*
Fucking fantastic. I've been reminding myself to breathe since it ended. I laughed, more than I even expected, I cried, and on more than on occasion, I was laughing and crying simultaneously, or very near to it. At one point, I shouted at the screen. I didn't even once think about wanting a cigarette. Which is a very big deal. I can't remember the last time I watched a movie and never wished for a smoke at some point.

I also took a friend who was totally unfamiliar with Firefly. She is my most recent Buffy convert, and I had talked about Firefly/Serenity with her quite a bit. She absolutely loved it. She said she's not really a huge fan of sci-fi but this blew her away. She said she didn't think she would love it when we got to the theater, but did. She said she was telling everyone she knows to go see this movie, and would resort to force to do so.

I was concerned for a little bit that there were things that the unitiated would not understand. Fairly significant things, imo. I will leave out specifics as this is a non-spoiler thread, but I can say that she had some questions, basic questions, after the movie, but having learned a bit more from me, didn't feel that her viewing experience suffered for it.

And when the movie was over, and I had laughed, cried, held my breath, shrieked, shouted, gasped, and jumped, I thought about that feeling many of us have mentioned before. That ultimate, true wish for a Season 2, 3, etc., because a two hour movie doesn't come close to a season of television. This Big Damn Movie does.

Oh, and I got a Serenity keychain! Can't forget to mention that. ;)
I just got back from the Sacramento showing.

Serenity is my favorite movie. Ever.

I don’t know how, but it exceeded my expectations (they were pretty damn high). I feel like I’ve just gotten off a roller coaster and I want to get back in line to go again. Sure, I can nit pick. There were a few things that were still rough around the edges and a couple of things that I didn’t like, but there’s not another movie I can think of that comes close to this one.

P.S. No one famous in Sacramento, but there were lots of nice Browncoats.
San Francisco checking in. Alan and Gina were there, and may I just say that Gina is an unbelievably beautiful woman, even more so in person.

Honestly, I'm a little speechless right now, and just a little bit more in awe of Joss Whedon. He is a smart, smart man, folks. Serenity is hilarious, heartbreaking, and important here and now. Oh hell, anywhere, anytime, really.

Most obviously missing for me was some of the music, and a few of the edits felt off, but I think that had something to do with how close I was sitting (2nd row). It was a little disorienting, especially during action sequences. All in all though, it's an incredible, inspiring film. As someone else mentioned, our friends really did become heroes. Thanks, Joss.
Also, I’d like to “me too” all the people saying you should avoid spoilers if you haven’t seen the movie. I always break down and read the spoilers for movies I’m into. Do not do this for Serenity. Resist the temptation. A movie like this doesn’t come along very often, and you’re going to cheat yourself out of one hell of a show if you read spoilers.
Yeah. There were things that I would not want to know about before seeing this movie.
Oh. My.

Well, let’s get the superfluous stuff away with first, shall we? This is a report from the Seattle screening I am a die-hard Joss Whedon devotee. I frequent this site regularly because it is the best aggregator of Whedon-news, bar-none. I have this site to thank for alerting me to the screening I was fortunate enough to attend tonight. So what follows, in a very small way, represents my attempt at repayment.

The crowd: Seemingly made up of die-hard Firefly fanatics. If Universal was hoping for an ‘average-joe’ dynamic, they’re going to be pretty disappointed. I saw 1 Mal, 1 Kaylee, and 1 blue-handed Alliance agent. T-shirts and buttons emblazoned with Firefly and Serenity logos and references were worn by many. As I sprinted up the escalator to the screening, a few people still hoping to get tickets kept shouting increasing amounts of American currency in an attempt to separate me from mine. Fools.

Inside the theater: I arrived thirty minutes before screening time to a nearly packed house. Managed to squeeze into one of the remaining few seats; third-row, center – which is funnily enough my preferred seating choice. I noticed with interest the microphone stand placed in front of the screen.

The guest: Five minutes before screening time a cheer went up through the crowd behind me. Turned to observe none other than ADAM-FREAKING-BALDWIN bounding up the aisle. I arose to my feet and began applauding, not caring if anyone else was joining me. Running through my head: ‘Ooh, the Chicago screening audience is going to be PISSED.’ Adam, shadowed by a camera crew, took the mic and thanked us for attending. He bounded back up the aisle and took a seat. A personal aside here; I work for a film festival, I have for a long time. We bring guests from all over the world to present films that they have poured their blood, sweat and tears into to appreciative audiences in the hopes of spreading the word and helping the movie. No matter how proud they are of their accomplishments, it still the very rare individual that will stay and view the film with the audience. That’s classy.

Before the movie: In a piece that was probably filmed a while ago (my reasoning for that deduction in a moment), a seated Joss addressed the audience. I can’t transcribe what he said word for word, but here’s the gist: Serenity shouldn’t exist. The reason it does is because a small bunch of people fell in love with it and wouldn’t let it go. In Joss’s mind that makes Serenity as much ours as it does anyone else. He also uses this line of reasoning to suggest that it will be our fault if the movie sucks. Good thing it doesn’t.

The movie: Although Joss apologized in his filmed address for temp music tracks and placeholder effects, none were evident. This is pretty much the finished product, and it is shiny. That said, this is not Firefly. This is SERENITY. Yes, all of our crew is here, but the stakes have been raised…considerably. And in such a way that I truly believe that even the Whedon-oblivious will find this to be one of the finest films they see all year, if not in their lifetime. This is a motion picture that is carrying one of the bravest (and most dangerous) messages: BELIEVE.

Afterwards: Stunned silence. Then thunderous applause. As we filed out of the theater, a queue formed for Adam to sign autographs. He signed one for every one who cared to wait. By my estimation, that was at least 200 people. I was near the end of the line and when I reached the table, he was still fresh, kind and appreciative. I’ll say it again…classy.

My assessment: People will laugh. People will cry. People will be entertained by a film the likes of which they have never quite seen before. And fans of the series will have may things to rejoice and mourn and question. But ultimately, this is an IMMENSLEY important movie. Joss and everyone involved are actually trying to change the ‘verse with what they’ve made. If enough people see it, I can’t see how they can fail
Joss and Summer Glau showed up at the Las Vegas screening to give a speech and sign autographs. It was a real trip. The audience sang the serenity theme song and one guy wore the Jayne hat from the last TV episode.

Having watched Revenge of the Sith and Serenity on the same day, I must say I enjoyed Serenity a whole lot more.
By an amazing stroke of luck, I was in the audience in San Francisco. Alan and Gina were there, and hysterically funny. I loved the movie, of course. Pure Whedon genius. Dramatic, funny, surprising, rich with passionate performances. This thing is gonna fly.

I don't know what else to say. I feel like I have an incredibly huge secret to keep for the next few months. I really wanna talk about it, but I can't.

Avoid the spoilers, people. Trust me.

And Joss? If you're reading, I woulda loved the movie just the same without that thing, that spoiler that I can't mention. You know the one. You didn't need to go there. I know why you did, but you didn't need to.
This just in from the San Francisco screening. Alan and Gina were there. Fabulous movie. Do not, under any circumstances, let yourself be spoiled.
Hey all, I'm sticking to this non-spoilery thread for once.

Welcome to our new members. Thank you for lurking for so long, and thank you for joining. If you've lurked here for a while you'll know we run a tight ship. If you're uncertain of how to approach posts, links, etc, we have a 'How to' page (you can reach it through the link on the sidebar on the frontpage) for technical stuff, and 'About' page for the basic rules and you can always drop us a line - Simon, SoddingNancyTribe, Herb and I can be reached through our profiles (click on our username).

... and thanks for the great Serenity reports!

- Clocked in at 2:10, although the theater wiffed on the reels and we had to watch a section twice after an intermission.
- Good stuff, though! Great humor. Kind of a grainy (transfer?) (print?), and obviously some of the score is absent.
- I thought some of the characterization was a little thin in spots. (It's a movie... whaddyagonnado.) And, actually, some of the acting of a fairly pivotal character seemed kind of "off."
- Very exciting, though. Either the A/C was off in the theater or I was sweating out of sheer tension/panic, because I was roasting at the end. BEAUTIFUL choreography on the fights.
- No special guests in the house, as far as I saw, but I didn't stick around as it was 1am. Packed audience. There was, uh, some singing. Universal suit (in civilian dress) handing out goodies. Lots of whedonesque talk and whedonesque people.

All hail the Joss! If this movie fails, it's because the global viewing public = idiots. I hope his heart doesn't get broken, because his message to the fans was so sincere.

Signal status: on.
And Joss? If you're reading, I woulda loved the movie just the same without that thing, that spoiler that I can't mention. You know the one. You didn't need to go there. I know why you did, but you didn't need to.

Actually, fraying, he did. And not only do I know WHY he did, I am SO impressed that he had the balls to do it.
Thanks for all the great reports everybody. Of course the more people who say stay unspoiled, the more I want to see the film and the deeper into madness I sink. How can I possibly wait until September?

At this rate I'm going to end up a Reaver.
I think Joss reads blogs. He mentioned something about blogging at the Las Vegas screening. Anyone knows where? It's funny, I didn't even know who Joss Whedon was until last week (*ducks from the browncoats*)
I just got back from the Portland Serenity screening. Well, I mean "just" as in, I just got home and then read this entire thread, and the entire spoiler thread, and parts of the AICN report. I just can't get enough of Serenity! I can't stop thinking about it. It was so good. It was so much better than I expected. I wish I could articulate my reaction, but I'm coming from a very emotional and sleep-deprived place. Maybe I'll post more when I've recovered.

I will say this: Joss did it. He really pulled it off! This is probably the best thing he's ever made, and it just makes you want more. I want to see it again! Before tonight, I thought it was going to be hard to wait until September. Now it's going to be even harder.

Serenity is a thing of beauty. Congratulations, Joss, and THANK YOU!

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2005-05-06 11:24 ]
Just in from San Francisco. I echo all the gushy love that everyone is giving to this movie. It's good, and deep, and smart, and funny, and heartbreaking. And, though it's a lot darker than the TV series, it's somehow even more inspiring. THANK YOU, JOSS.

*chillbumps, still*

Anyway, I'll also chime in and Very Strongly urge you all to not seek out spoilers. It'll be worth the wait.
Says you, misterblue.

[ edited by fraying on 2005-05-06 11:04 ]
AlephNull, Joss visits Whedonesque and posts here every once in a while.
Did any of the other theaters have a camera crew? The one in Las Vegas had a boom mike, camera and all that, filming everyone in the theater.
SF had a camera crew, taping Alan and Gina, and interviewing people afterward.
Apparently Universal Pictures were filming/interviewing fans at the London Serenity convention last weekend. I suspect this is all going to end up as a pretty darn good feature on the DVD release.
Wow, all these glowing reports...this is killing me. But I'm loving it. Anticipation couldn't be higher. More than happy to stay out of the spoiler thread.

It was cool how they paired up some of the actors who attended the screenings. Ron and Nathan (the man of faith with the man who gave up on/lost his), Alan and Gina (obvious--Wash & Zoe), Adam was on his own (but who really goes well with Jayne? Well, Simon and/or Mal if you're slashing, but seriously--for the most selfish character, it's fitting that the actor was there by himself. 'Sides, per poundage it's like they got two actors anyway). Simon and Inara. Maybe the connection isn't as obvious there, but they're both the Core worlders, most "sophisticated". And of course Joss and Summer, the director and his foot fetish. Wow that was all of them, wasn't it? Jewel wrote about not being able to do it 'cause she was filming Stargate: Atlantis, but otherwise the whole main Firefly cast made it to the screenings. Awesome.
Just got back from the Portland show. I won't go into details since everything's already been covered by those posting before me, but let me just say it was brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Everyone involved should be very, very proud of what they've put together here.

You guys who haven't seen it yet--please, I beg of you, avoid spoilers if you can. I'm normally not somebody who cares about such things, but for really need to go in fresh.
I have no idea how I'm going to remain spoiler-free until October! I've already inferred bits and bobs from comments made in spoiler-free threads. Although, what I'm hoping is that I've got it all completely wrong and I'll be able to sit and revel in my stupidity come October.

It's almost as though, as the months count down, site by site becomes closed to me. Until September when it will be no T.V., no Radio, no Newspapers and no Internet! At least it will only be for a week! Enforced hermititus (I really hope that isn't really a word)!

But, I'm glad those who went have seen our heroes in all their glory! I'm glad that the buzz is building. October just can not come quickly enough for me!
As a fan of "Firefly"...
I envy you all
but I can wait for September to roll around. Still, I kind of hope Joss will give us another sneak preview sometime in mid-July, in San Diego
I was at the Portland screening. Everything you've already read if you've gotten this far is true and then some. All the way home (2+ hour drive) I kept repeating, "I want to see it again, NOW!" Sometimes my partner and I would spontaneously swap lines (as best we could remember) and laugh. Thank you, Joss.

I can only echo the others re spoilers - RESIST the temptation!
Another check in from Portland. (Anybody wanting a more detailed [and spoiler-free] write-up is invited to an entry I had to make in my blog under threat of torture.) Short version, though? Big yellow polystyrene thumbs up. Oh, and I'll add in my five cents and say, "If you can avoid being spoiled, do just that."
I agree with someone's comment that I have never been in a theatre where a collective gasp was uttered at a certain scene. Afterwards, I kept repeating the mantra of "I cannot believe they ... " I don't want to go any further for those trying to remain spoiler-free.

Will it make loads of money at the box office? I don't think so (ducks from things being thrown)

Will it do better on DVD? Prolly so - Firefly the series did remarkably well.

Does it give the faithful fans a more than adequate conclusion? Yes, I think so ... with the omission of some back-story that I KNOW people are still clamouring for.

I must sleep. It is a long drive tomorrow but I am damn glad we came to Vegas 'cos there was the Whedon and Summer there. What fortune!
I've gotten a bit of sleep and thought a bit more on the movie, trying to figure out what makes it so special. First a comment about spoilers: I know it will be rough, I can't imagine what I would do if I hadn't seen the screening, but you really ought to see this movie as it was intended. There is just some amazing stuff here.

And while I'm not very good at explaining and breaking down things, I think what makes the movie so stinking special is that I felt throughout the whole thing that I was watching people. I wasn't watching characters. So many SF movies just present characters who are archetypes. (Hmm, is that the word?) They don't have any depth, they are just walking embodiments of concepts.

This movie is definitely on my favorites list. At the end of the show last night I wanted to scream, in my best Drucilla impression, "Do it again! Do it again!"
Joss, Congratulations on such a great reaction from everybody.

Now, we all know you hate people being spoiled, so how about some more screenings? The Mid-Atlantic States would be nice. I mean you don't want your BDM getting great word of mouth all over the country but not in NY, Philly, Balt, DC & Richmond do you? I mean there are a LOT of people here...but you probably know that.
Okay, I just read through the whole thread, and god, oh... I so want to see this movie... I just wish there would be some kind of preview here in Paris, with wome people of the crew... Hell I could even do the marketing part of that, and put up anyone from the cast who'd require some kind of lodgings (I have a small appartment, but still, I am a very welcomy person...).
No seriously, here in France, we're gonna get the movie 2 weeks after you guys... And my guess is that it's gonna be the two longest weeks inmy life (certainly more than what I had to wait for Spider-man, X-Men...).
Well, if there's a preview in London, I'll go there anyways... :-)

I haven't digested it all yet; will be mulling for days. I'm so happy...because it was so good. I had a fear that my love for the show, would make me have to love it, and defend it's flaws - even if they were justifiable. And in the end it was so much more than I ever thought it could be. Wrought with emotion, and humor - and every good thing.

Two minutes into the film, I felt like I was right back in the 'verse again. The vision from the shows I loved, translated well onto that huge screen and made everything little thing I loved about it, bigger too.

Wow Zoic, beautiful work as always. Thanks Loni.

And, thank you Joss. It was Shiny.
Several thousand miles away and crying, yes crying into my keyboard (when your laptop makes a sloshing sound, do you think that might be bad for the electrics?).

Anyhow, big thanks for the reports from you lucky and lovely people. I think what I envy most is not that you got to see the film (gritted teeth, hell, waited so long can wait a bit longer) but that you got to see it with lots of equally lucky and lovely browncoats which must make it an extra special experience. I am truly envious about that. But by sharing you include us all a little bit and that I am very grateful for.

Sorry, very un-British and embarrassing moment of emotion there. Been up most of the night watching the UK election results. Not the same!
Arrghhh, I've never wanted to see a film more than I do right at this moment. MUST AVOID SPOILERS! Can't believe how long I've got to wait. Need some UK showings.

Thanks everyone for your reports.
recapping the whereabouts of our BDHs last night:
Austin - Nathan & Ron
Boston - Sean & Morena
Las Vegas - Joss & Summer
San Francisco - Gina & Alan
Seattle - Adam (Jewel would have been there but had a job)

I saw the film in Chicago with no celebrities and no regrets, the local Browncoats are a warm friendly great bunch of people and the theater was comfortable and the movie was incredibly good. And I am still very sleepy from a late late night.
A hearty welcome to our new members!

Excellent reviews of the show, really looking forward in seeing it myself this October. And we appreciate all the reports of the audience reactions at the screenings, sounds like everyone had a good time. Thanks for keeping this thread spoiler free, I already find myself avoiding certain sites because they can't control their spoiler hounds. I know, unless I'm willing to give up surfing the 'net the next five months, I'm going to stumble over a few. But Whedonesque will always be safe. Great job, people!
Thanks so much for all of the great reports and for taking the time to give as much spoiler-free detail as possible.

Miranda- I echo your sentiments about seeing the movie with other Browncoats. I don't know any devoted Whedon fans and can only imagine how incredible it would be to experience Serenity with others who care as much as I do!

impalergeneral- Do you know something about San Diego???? I've been checking the comic-con site daily for updates but nothing yet...
You know, I think the only thing worse than not getting to see the movie for five monthes is having to wait five monthes to see it again. Flee spoilers. Movie rocks.
Enjoyed the movie, but not as much as I would have thought. I'm sure part of it has to do with the 'not yet complete' status, music and picture quality were lacking. My biggest problem with the film is the compromise that had to be made to make it enjoyable for existing fans and new viewers at the same time. I think it straddled the line a little too much. If you're a Browncoat, some of the explaination was annoying. If you're a newbie, then some of the relationships must not have made sense. Maybe that's what you have to do, but I was very aware of it and it took some of the magic away. I'm still trying to digest it.

I was in the Chicago screening and the closest thing we had to a star was some guy who looked like Kenny Blankenship from MXC. YOU ROCK KENNY!
What is the length of the movie?

recapping the whereabouts of our BDHs last night:

This is a newbie question: what does BDH mean? It refers to the actors/creators of the show, OK, but what does it stand for?
(I promise, I stop the flood after this post ;) )

I just wish there would be some kind of preview here in Paris, with wome people of the crew... Hell I could even do the
No seriously, here in France, we're gonna get the movie 2 weeks after you guys...

I also would like some previews in France, but this won't happen.

Also: I am surprised by the release date you indicate, pir2. This would by mid-october in france? Last news I read, the release was still scheduled at the end of November... were have you had the info?
Big Damn Heroes
It's a quote from Firefly, Zoe says it to Mal in Safe.
Big Damn Heroes
I suspect 'Big Damn Heroes'. I stand corrected if I'm off, embers.
This is a newbie question: what does BDH mean? It refers to the actors/creators of the show, OK, but what does it stand for?

In the firefly episode "Safe":

Mal: Seems we got here just in the nick f time. What does that make us?

Zoe: Big damn heroes, sir.

Mal: Ain't we just.

...and BDM = Big Damn Movie.
Went to the San Francisco screening last night, and I have to say, It Was Awesome. Greatest movie of all time? Maybe not. A exhilarating moviegoing experience that I like more and more as I think about it? Hell yes. Universal has a heck of a job ahead of them getting people to see this thing, and it was a little more downbeat than I expected (which is, you know, good, but also a harder sell, and that did seem to turn off some people in the theater). On the bright side, two non-fan friends of mine (who'd seen maybe two episodes of the show) and I both really dug the film, so it *can* appeal to fans and non-fans alike. I think it's a very *different* experience for fans and non-fans, but both experiences can be satisfying. Focusing on specific characters was the right decision, and made for a a *real movie*, not a compressed season of the show.

[ edited by bobothebrave on 2005-05-06 19:41 ]
Big Damn Heroes. Hell yes. Having woke up for work after *very* little sleep, I am just as wound up as I was last night. Is it September 30th yet? Cuz I wanna see it again. Right now.

[ edited by Angela on 2005-05-06 18:04 ]
So someone above wrote "This might be the best thing Joss has ever written."

That makes me so excited! and terrified... :)
The rough cut was a smidge over 2 hours long.

(My Austin screening comments over here...)
As the other less fortunate people like myself have said, thank you all so much for your reports. S'funny how exhilarating it can be to look at a computer screen, seeing folks "checking in" from cities across the country, kinda like the signal fire scene in Return of the King. Well, you know what I'm trying to say.

And, special thanks for not spilling more than a couple of tiny hinting beans. I am resolved to stay unspoiled until the movie opens. And I'm thinking I'm going to like this film. :)
YAY! Adam Baldwin was at mine! Huzzah!
What is the length of the movie?

According to Don the Universal Guy in Portland, the version we saw was 2 hours and 10 minutes.
To echo what SNT said, it's great to see all the reports and the exhilaration. As for the tiny hinting beans, please no more in these spoiler-free threads! I'm sure we all have imaginations on overdrive, and I think I've already had one suspicion a little bit reinforced... I know it's hard!

Ugh, maybe... won' next time (if there is one) in both SF and Sacramento. x-/
Two questions: Was there noise in space? Any hint of the Firefly theme song anywhere in the movie (besides fans singing in the audience, of course!)???
SNT, cute reference! I too love how this board brings people from all over the world together.
What a perfect example, SoddingNancyTribe. That explains the 'fellowship' of Whedonesque very well.
Is it permitted to tell SaltyGoodness that it appeared to me that there was a lot of noise when in atmo (lower and close to the planet) but when out in the black it was silent (or so it seemed to me) I think Joss was consistant there. I think he was consistant to 'Firefly' throughout 'Serenity' (although I recognize that if anyone disagrees with me we have to take the discussion to a spoiler location).

Oh and SoddingNancyTribe: I really think that that (w/the fire signals in LotR) was a perfect comparison. I think that that is really a lot about what is meant by 'can't stop the signal'. It applies to us, the fans, keeping this 'verse alive and spreading the word to each other. And it applies to many different aspects of the film.

[ edited by embers on 2005-05-06 19:22 ]
IF YOU WISH TO REMAIN SPOILER FREE, STAY AWAY FROM THE BROWNCOATS FORUM. Evidently people are posting major spoilers there right in the titles. I haven't seen it but others have.
Attended the Seattle showing -- misterblue did a wonderful recap, nothing to add to it. (Other than I agree that "can't stop the signal" isn't the best tagline/marketing hook for the movie.)

All I can tell you is, I loved the movie. I really, really did. I'm concerned that a chunk of the other viewers weren't as impressed as myself -- only a few people (my group included) gave it a standing ovation.

On the other hand, maybe a lot of people were still in shock -- this movie moves.
Quick comment on spoilers: I echo everyone who says you'll be doing yourself a favor (unless you're one of those people who absolutely has to know, and no judgement whatsoever on that) to remain relatively spoiler-free. But, if you want hints, and a little more to tide you over without stumbling on something huge, the "mild spoiler" thread Simon set up is pretty safe. Just stay away from the major spoiler one!

[ edited by acp on 2005-05-06 19:38 ]
(la-la-la not looking at the thread, hands over ears, oh wait eyes!)

just a warning: stay off the official browncoats forum if you want to be spoiler free

Some jerks are posting spoilers right in the titles of the main forums on the browncoats board (on purpose) @

I was worried this would happen with the thousands of people that have now seen it.

Sigh. I *really* wanted to be spoiler free
but with 150 days to go I guess it was a pipe-dream...
How could only a few people give it a standing ovation at Seattle if one were started, bookrats? I share your feelings. Heck, even if the movie weren't that great you'd think hardcore Whedon fans - which were the the primary audience for these screenings by all accounts - would have stood up and clapped just because Joss & Co. got a movie made! What an amazing feat. From "failed," maltreated, grotesquely shat upon TV series to big-screen flick! What's not to stand and cheer about? I also hope it was because people were in shock.

[ edited by phlebotinin on 2005-05-06 19:45 ]
There were two standing ovations in San Francisco, although the presence of stars probably had a lot to do with it.
TaraLivesOn, understand how you feel. I popped into a site to check-out the chatter and found a major spoiler in my face. Needless to say, I was upset. It's going to be impossible to go the next 5 months without being spoiled I can see now.
Well, we're exhausted, but thrilled. EdDantes is writing up his review as we speak. It was so cool to watch this movie 'with' Joss and Summer. Amazing. I don't really have the words. But thankfully hubby will!
It's entirely possible that Serenity will make me abandon all my previously held movie-going etiquette policies, but I will never give applause to a movie, standing or otherwise. Don't get me wrong, if someone involved with the movie were actually there I would applaud that person and their accomplishments, but giving applause to an inanimate object seems like missing the point.
I've never applauded at any movie either, ringworm. But these seem like very special fan-attended events, almost as much jubilant "collective events" as film screenings. In this case I can very much see the point of applauding, especially if others start doing so. The celluloid itself is an inanimate object but the event transcends this in my opinion. I'm not saying that others who feel uncomfortable clapping are not properly appreciative (despite what I said in an earlier post.) But I don't think anyone who did clap is missing the point. Spontaneous outbursts of appreciation are never missing the point, especially if they're done to celebrate not only Joss et. al.'s achievement but also the collective achievement of fans who've bought the Firefly DVDs in gajillions, set up and frequented Firefly websites, campaigned vigorously to keep Firefly on the air and just in general not let this thing die. Missing the point? I don't agree.
Okay I don't know how late I am or if anyone's still interested but we were at the Las Vegas showing where Joss attended and here's a link to my review. No spoilers.

Click here
So many newbies who had so many tickets! Lucky us that you signed up when you did because we get to read all these great reviews - and greatly appreciated that they are spoiler free too!

I absolutely cannot wait to see this movie and I'm so jealous I didn't get a ticket. But I am going to try avoiding Serenity threads from now on just in case someone leaks something I don't want to see. I'm worried at the comments from some of you that it will now be hard to be spoiler free with so many having seen the movie and am alarmed that the "Offical Browncoats forum" didn't take special precautions to make sure people had an option not to see the spoiler threads. I feel bad for those of you who have been spoiled.

OUTSTANDING review. Thank you mightily for that. You made my day. My fervent thanks also go out to everyone else who was kind enough to share their experience here. You guys rock, you really do. You represented the rest of us - the poor, the benighted, the never-seen-a-screening - brilliantly well. Now go off and get some rest!

Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Thank you EdDantes and Rogue Slayer. When I learned last night that Joss was in Vegas, I began anxiously awaiting your review upon your return, both to hear about Joss in great detail, and to enjoy comparing my opinion to yours. Very good read Ed.
I too would love to stay spoiler free, and so far I am doing a wonderful job! A couple questions though for those who saw it (without revealing anything): Are some of the issues from Firefly resolved in the movie (ie: Inara leaving, what Shepard really is?). How much time has passed since "Objects in Space" and Serentiy? Also how would you say the balance with all nine characters is? Just like Firefly?
Thanks for the spoiler free line.

And let me warn everyone, I still think it's cool to link to other non-spoiler reports at other sites, but except for a blog with no open comments, DON'T READ THE COMMENTS IN THE THREADS!!!!! I stupidly read comments in the "non-spoiler" thread in ONE AICN or whatever that site's name is, and I totally know one significant plotline that will not ruin my experience, but... I'm so spoiled and I don't want to be!!! Oh well, live and learn. I know there are many developments I don't know, SO AVOID THEM AT ALL COST!!!!

*plaintive wail* "Joss!!!! My Big Damn Hero, You!!! Demand an earlier release date, pleeeeeeeeeeze!!! With strawberries on top???"

*plaintive sigh* How will I ever survive 'til September? So, so riddled with non-vengeful jealousy right now. :) Lucky dogs, all you previewers.

ETA: I just saw the new comment above about the Browncoats site riddled with spoilers. Ouch. Nevermind about that site.

ETA: Applause in a movie theater is great!!! It's so fun, because it rarely happens and when it does, it happens for a reason. Although my boyfriend did give me an odd look when I shrieked in excitement once...

[ edited by April on 2005-05-06 20:32 ]

[ edited by April on 2005-05-06 20:38 ]
Excellent post in answering questions within the heart of 'Serenity'. Thanks, EdDantes and Rogue Slayer.
That was great, Ed Dantes, thanks for a fab spoiler-less review.
Also want to add my compliments to Ed for such a great review! You have an knack for making me feel like I was sitting there too! I am so absolutely pumped for this movie and these types of comments and reviews make me even more anxious to see it!

And can I just say how jealous I am that you and Rogue once again lucked out and got to see Joss up close and personal! First the High Stakes party and now this!! Summer sounds like such a lovely person. I hope for her and for all of them that this is a huge success! I wish the movie would hurry up and get here so I can buy the DVD next! I'm even more excited about getting the DVD with all these possible extras already planned for it! It would be cool if one of the extras was the screening version of the film too so we could see it just how you guys all got to see it!
Great comments EdDantes - you captured it all without giving anything away. Here in Denver we did not give a standing ovation - everyone was frantically filling out the little forms. I didn't get a pencil til later so I looked around and everyone was filling in the best movie ever box which made me very happy. I WOULD have stood up if the BDH's had been here. Then I probably would have fainted from happiness. Also - there was a guy sitting in front of me who absolutely nothing about Joss or anything by Joss and he LOVED the movie. YEAH!
Denver Finds Serenity
Rock! I've joined the Mile High Serenity Club! I've written about the film and the Denver viewing of it at the following link:
I do discuss a few elements of the story in a very general way, but I don't provide any plot details.
Just one itty complaint: some cities got TWO BDHs, and we didn't get ANY?! What's up with that? Damn it, Mal!I mean, ten cities, nine BDGs plus Joss? We know how to party in Denver, too! But I'm sure the cast members had a lot more fun going in pairs. And Joss's introductory comments were excellent.
Here's one paragraph from my discussion:
I thought the May 5 "special preview" would tide me over, but now I want to see the movie on opening day more than before. The brisk pace, the subtle and layered writing, the characters -- the cool, heartbreaking, upsetting, ass-kicking, breathtaking characters -- the fanatical "browncoats" laughing uproariously such that I missed some of the dialogue -- all this adds up to me having to see the movie again. On September 30. That's, let me see, 21 weeks away. And Mal thinks Inara's a tease.
for the first time in my life i am going to go spoiler free, based on all your advice. i'm really happy that so many of you got to see the movie in advance and with an audience of fellow fans, that's so cool.

i guess i'm just going to have to avoid any and all sites that may have info about serenity, but that's cool, i can do it no probs.

what's going to be difficult is inventing a time machine that will get me to september asap ! :D
That was great, Ed Dantes, thanks for a fab spoiler-less review.

You are (all) quite welcome. I was pretty happy myself with some spoiler free reviews I read earlier so I hoped I could do the same for others. Hope I didn't drone on too incoherently;-) I obviously can't speak for others, and you will all have your own reaction, but this movie was really everything I hoped for. It makes you CARE. Way too many movies these days leave me cold on character-level. Even apart from my TV show baggage, you feel things matter here. You feel their fears and their concerns, the impossible odds...

I've seen that some factions of the Browncoat fans (the deeply involved ones) are angry and or dissappointed with certain things, and on the Browncoat boards (heavy with spoilers, even on the thread name lists! Beware) some are getting down right ugly. Calling Joss names and stuff. I don't get that. It's the other side of more fanatical fandom I guess, but I truly don't get that. Best damn movie I've seen in a good while. Best SF movie in....almost forever.

i guess i'm just going to have to avoid any and all sites that may have info about serenity, but that's cool, i can do it no probs.

Be careful tracy because spoilers are everywhere! Heated discusssions and not everyone is careful or considerate with what they write where! I'm pleased as punch I managed to stay spoiler free! Best way to see it!
I got to go to the Las Vegas screening and now I'm upset that I didn't know EdDantes and Rogue Slayer were there.

*waves at you two after the fact*

As for the movie, I laughed, I cried, and I cheered. Best damn movie experience I've had in a long time.
EdDantes, thank you for such an amazing review. You answered all the non-spoiler questions I had! As for the spoilery type questions, I'm just going to wait. I want to be blown away!
"I've seen that some factions of the Browncoat fans (the deeply involved ones) are angry and or dissappointed with certain things, and on the Browncoat boards (heavy with spoilers, even on the thread name lists! Beware) some are getting down right ugly. Calling Joss names and stuff."

Calling Joss names because they didn't like certain things in Serenity? WHAT? That makes me insane. Why must such ugliness seep in at all?
EdDantes, thanks for the great spoiler-free review. I'm glad you and Rogue Slayer had such a great time. Usually anticipation heightens an experience I'm looking forward to; in this case, I feel that I have anticipated enough and just want to see the damn movie! Experiencing it vicariously only takes you so far.
Thank you everyone for the wonderful spoiler-free commentary!

A question I have that I don't believe will unveil spoilers, is how well did they pull off the feeling of incredible *size* in space? I've been noticing lately that some shows make your mouth feel a little dry at how big spaceships are (Farscape stands out in my mind), while others simply don't impress at all (most Star Trek). Obviously Serenity will have incredible CGI, but does some part of your brain go "om*g that alliance cruiser is huge..." when you see them?
In terms of size of capital ships to serenity, they were big.
However, I think Revenge of the Sith had a better feel of immenseness in the beginning. i.e Grevious's capital ship <-> Anakin's fighter made me go 'wow thats a big ship' more than Alliance cruiser next to Serenity.
Well, foxeye, Serenity is as big as she was on TV (okay probably a little bigger) but there's some moments where other ships come into play (you saw some of that in the trailer) that look very impressive and huge and threatening to me. Not a huge part of the visuals, but there's a main scene in there that really rocks...Although the Reaver ships moreso than Alliance ships.

And you saw RotS AlephNull? Cool. Well Lucas still has a way bigger budget than Joss did here, and I think our guys did okay with what they had.
Late to the party . . . Some quick points:

--I'm more convinced than ever that I will not even go to a pre-opening screener if I get the chance in Toronto. You folks who urged the rest of us not to read the spoiler reports convinced me.

--To all whose names I can't remember because there were so many, but let me single out EdDante: a huge
T H A N K S for your incisive and despoilered reports.

--I am impressed that so many of you say this film is better than even you had hoped. Wow! That's something!

--Name calling? Against Joss? I'm shocked how people can get so out of hand. Then again, I think of all the road rage incidents . . . People are so self-focused they fail to see their view is only one of many in the world, never mind this fact: IT'S ONLY A MOVIE. In another case, on the forum, I couldn't believe what I read in one thread. Some trolls (might have just been one under different names) taunted Nathan when he signed on and used filthy language. It was disgusting.

--I am so thankful for this forum (salutes Caroline, Simon, SoddingNancyTribe, Herb and one other . . .) because all the members here act intelligently, respectfully and like mature adults, despite having strong opinions. Plus no one on this (spoilerless) thread revealed any secrets (that I could discern).

I look forward to the film in September. And life is always sweeter when you've got something delightful to look forward to.
Be careful tracy because spoilers are everywhere!

i will Ed, i will ! i'm going to be living a sort of monastic net-surfing existence 'til September. no forums (or news/entertainment sites) whatsoever unless they're responsible like Whedonesque. so, uhm, yah i'll only be coming by here once in a while and that's it :-D

i'm extra excited now because my darling s/o finally watched the Firefly dvd over the last few days and he's gone completely mad for it ! he won't stop singing the theme song, and changes the lyrics to suit every situation. last night when i was clearing our dessert plates he sang "you can't take the pie from me!" 8-) and of course now everything is a "big damn __". big damn dinner, big damn cat, big damn van, big damn cup of coffee, gimme a big damn kiss, you name it. hehe.

[ edited by t r a c y on 2005-05-07 08:36 ]
Here's the postscript from my review of the Seattle screening, a sort-of 'deleted scene':

A rather heartwarming and hilarious moment shaed between Adam and the crowd last night. The fact that it was mostly non-verbal just made it all the sweeter. As he removed his yes-in-actual-truth-he-was-wearing-a-brown coat, he revealed a nice long-sleeved black T-Shirt with the Serenity logo printed in full color. The crowd ate this up, but if there were some that didn't exactly leap to their feet the way I felt compelled to (dude; not just Firefly, but Angel, Full Metal Jacket. My Bodyguard, people!), they were ripped from their seats as Adam raised the roof by rotating 180 degrees to reveal the back of his shirt. The three words printed there sent a palpable sense of exhilartion shooting through the crowd: "Serenity Stunt Team"...

I've never been part of something that feels THIS exciting...I'm actually...giddy!
We went to the Austin screening.

The movie was exactly what I hoped it would be. Funny, dark, suspenseful, and everything I love about Joss in that it managed to be all of those things at the exact same time. I think non-fans will enjoy it, although they might not have the same emotional reaction and some in-jokes might slip by them.

The crowd was well-pleased. Lots of laughs at the funny bits, holding-your-breath-silence during the tense bits, exploding cheers at the "yeah, baby" bits. The Suits were grinning from ear to ear and writing down comments from everyone.

The only downside is that I want to see it again. Like, NOW.
EdDante, I totally agree, with their budget they did very very well. I have a friend working at Zoic and I worked on movies too, so I'm a bit more jaded when it comes to CG ;-). Given that not all the effects are polished, I think it still has a better look than SW3, a more lived in look, just that the epic scale of the ships is less pronounced.

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