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May 13 2005

(SPOILER) AICN posts a negative Serenity review from a fan of the TV series. Beware of very major spoilers, even in some sections of the review identified as "spoiler free". (Very major spoilers in the Whedonesque comments section as well).

That review has me worried. I hope his concerns can be addressed in some manner before the release date. :(
It seemed like the review was a summary of the concerns people have raised about Serenity in some of the threads on this site and on the official boards.

I don't agree with the conclusions he draws (heck, I dont agree with a lot of the specific issues he raises) but I think he is trying to offer constructive criticism.
It seemed like the review was a summary of the concerns people have raised about Serenity in some of the threads on this site and on the official boards.


Yes and I wonder if this review is somehow tied into what is going on the official boards right now. But that's me just being a cynic and being fond of conspiracy theories.

It's an honest review but Joss was not going to please all the Firefly fans with this movie. And the vast majority of fans seem to be very happy with what Joss has done.
and I wonder if this review is somehow tied into what is going on the official boards right now.


What are you referring to, Simon?
I wish that everyone that suggest changes and improvements to films just went away and created their own films or or wrote fan-fiction, the film I want to see is as close to Joss's original vision as possible, if people dont like it fine just say so but dont 'suggest' improvements, it is Joss's ideas I'm willing to pay for not BC's or anyone elses.

fr0g, It could be argued that anyone saying that the film could be improved by tweaking this or that are not offering constructive criticism, just doing an advanced version of fan-fiction, since any director with a vision of his/her own should and will ignore the comments.
There's a campaign by a tiny minority of fans to redress a certain issue that they have with the movie. Postcard campaigns etc. They've been very vocal about it and it's causing a lot of friction in the "I've seen Serenity" forum.

They're perfectly entitled to their opinions. But they're expressing them in such a cack handed way that could detract from what Joss set out to do and could seriously damage the bonhomie that the Firefly fans currently enjoy.

fr0g, It could be argued that anyone saying that the film could be improved by tweaking this or that are not offering constructive criticism, just doing an advanced version of fan-fiction, since any director with a vision of his/her own should and will ignore the comments.

Fair enough. But I guess the way I see it, if fans (who helped keep Firefly alive) have issues with the movie, they should raise them now, while Joss still has time to react. That way he has the chance to make changes if it looks like something isn't working. As long as they aren't trolling, I think its ok, because Ive seen the movie and I know its solid.

Of course if this is just an underhanded attempt by a hater to get a negative review posted on AICN by pretending to be a fan... "just...you know... shoot 'em. "
Fr0g, must admit that I would be sorely disappointed if Joss changed the film based on fans reactions, that to me would indicate that he didnt have a strong enough confidence in his own vision. As we have seen there is no way to keep all fans satisfied all the time, some fans are always going to be unhappy cause their favorite storylines, 'ships and characters get treated badly (according to them at least).

Fans might have helped to keep Firefly alive but that doesnt mean that Joss owes the fans anything and specially not a 'fanfriendly' storyline, I would be surprised if it was possible to make any major changes to the film at this late stage, minor editing maybe but nothing else.
I come to this as someone who has recently watched 'Firefly' for the first time. I am interested to see 'Serenity', but I would certainly not describe myself as a huge fan. Were advance screenings to take place in my part of the world I would not go along to one of these, simply because I know there are plenty of other people out there who would be far more appreciative of the opportunity. I mention this as way of explaining where I am coming from with my opinions on the matter.

I tend not to pay too much attention to the various discussions about 'Serenity'. In truth, I am already getting a little fatigued by it all. I want to go to see the film because I want to see it, not simply because I think I should as a gesture of loyalty. Therefore, I am trying not to allow the hype to get in the way and put me off.

It seems to me that by the time the film is actually released into the cinemas a great many fans will already have seen it. I already sense the first whiffs of the inevitable backlash that these things tend to attract. We could have a situation in which the film reaches its potential wider general audience with a pre-existing reputation of not really being as good as it should have been, or was initially made out to be. I am not saying this is going to happen, but the danger does exist.

I am not referring specifically to this review, which seems to be a perfectly valid personal opinion. It's just a general feeling I am starting to get, as someone with no strong allegiance either way, and who is largely looking in from the sidelines. Maybe I am just a grumpy old sod who is being too cynical.

The old adage that all publicity is good publicity doesn't always hold true. Sometimes too much publicity can be bad publicity.
Y'see, I can respect someone for maybe not liking something and expressing it in a polite manner... but frankly, this fellow lost me when he started saying he wanted things re-shot, re-edited, and tweaked. To me, it means that he didn't judge the movie for what it is, but more for how much it didn't live up to his expectation of what he wanted it to be.

The worst thing anyone can do anyone can do when going in to a film is cart in your preconceptions with you, and sit there comparing where the film deviates from them. I learned this lesson the first time I read "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency." At first, I didn't like it... it wasn't Hitchiker's Guide. It wasn't what I expected. Then, a few months later, I reread it, and loved it. To this day, I still consider it Douglas Adam's single best fiction novel.

So, I'm gonna see those BDH's, and I'm gonna see what IS happening in the film, and not seeing little shadows of what I want to see overlapping it.

-IMF
Ihave to say that I was watching a different movie than this reviewer. I saw an amazingly exciting fast-paced film that was filled with surprises and humor.
I was enthrawled from the first moment until the last. I am happy to admit that some of the more dramatic moments were over-whelming to me, but they carried a power that made if difficult for me to forget the film, and I'm am left with a strong desire to see the movie again.
I personally feel that the reviewer is trying to make the movie sound flat and dull, out of keeping with 'Firefly' as part of a campaign to force Joss/Universal to alter certain plot points to their liking. I would urge Joss' fans to see it for themselves and see if they don't end up seeing what I did: a powerful memorable kick-ass film!
I saw Serenity in Austin and I have to disagree with most of that review. Was I happy about the fate of certain characters? No. Do the fates they meet propel the story forward, show us that NO ONE is safe, and increase the level of tension? Yes. And for that reason, they work.
It could be argued that anyone saying that the film could be improved by tweaking this or that are not offering constructive criticism

But he (and others) are not just talking about tweaking but seriously altering Joss' vision for the movie. He describes the movie as "dark, gritty and bizarrish" and he means that as a criticism. "Dark, gritty and bizarrish" -- so change the tone of the movie? Plus he calls for major plot changes? And different character interactions? That would literally gut the film wholesale. I understand him being disappointed in not getting the film he wanted, but -- I'll say this unequivocably: I'm a huge Firefly fan who watched from Day One, mourned and sent postcards in when the show was cancelled, and the movie exceeded my expectations. I was so nervous sitting in the theater because if the movie sucked I was really too invested to take it well, but as I said in my non-spoilery review, the movie is not perfect, but thrilling and powerful. I will scream if Joss or the studio or anyone touches one hair on its head.
Let's face it. Despite what they may say otherwise, the problem the poster had with the movie focuses on one key element. It is this same element that a very small minority of very childish and vocal fans seem to be lamenting over.

The movie is fine and is meant to be the way it is. Some people just have trouble accepting that it didn't turn out as happy and light-hearted as their current piece of fan-fic.

-Oxy
IMForeman and Oxyopia , we don't sign our posts here. Our user name at the bottom of the post takes care of that for us.
Could XKot remove most of his post? I find it very spoilery.
What I saw last week wasn't Firefly, it was Serenity. It had many of the same elements as Firefly, had the same characters (although they had changed somewhat, some for the better, others not so much), somewhat of a similar premise. But it was not Firefly. It was different. Different isn't always worse. It isn't always better. It is just different.

I likened it to this. For the past few years, we found and fell in love with the best apple pie in the world. We loved that apple pie. It was all that we could hope for in an apple pie. Then we get word that the master chef is coming out with a new apple pie, that this was more like the apple pie he had originally intended to bake. Maybe not as much sugar, maybe a little more cinnamon. Maybe a flakier crust. Some of us got early samples and loved it. Some of us were a bit put off because it wasn't what we expected. For some of us it may have even ruined the taste of the original apple pie. Some of us that didn't like the new recipe are being told that we should shut up and enjoy because the chef knows best.

The pie is the creation of the chef and it he can make it anyway he wants to. But for some of us, it just left a little bit of a bad taste in our mouths. Some of us might get used to the new recipe in time. I hope I fall into that category.
Could XKot remove most of his post? I find it very spoilery.


Lioness: seeing as major spoilers are in the review, alluding to them in the comments is to be expected. But I've added a caveat to the subject line letting people know what to expect here in the comments section.
I wish that everyone that suggest changes and improvements to films just went away and created their own films or or wrote fan-fiction, the film I want to see is as close to Joss's original vision as possible, if people dont like it fine just say so but dont 'suggest' improvements, it is Joss's ideas I'm willing to pay for not BC's or anyone elses.


Well, it's not quite feasible for everyone to create their own movie, and fanfic doesn't really do a project like this justice. I think it's fair for people to make suggestions or critiques. I find it just like when Buffy actors would have suggestions for their characters: they're free to express them, but Joss is free to ignore them(and probably should since he's the creator). Now that statement is really based on suggestions of plot and characterization. My suggestions for the film would have to do more with lighting and post-production stuff, and I think Joss should listen to people who were a bit jarred by some of that stuff. In particular, there was one scene where Jayne is holding an object, and if he hadn't referred to it earlier, I wouldn't have known what it was because the scene was so darkly lit. Stuff like that can usually be fixed and probably should be fixed. We want our movie to have as high technical quality as possible. Plot stuff I leave up to Joss, cuz he's the master. I think the only time I really ever disagreed with him was the Sparmony in Destiny, but with time and counseling, I've come to accept it.
It'll be interesting to see how the screenings impact the final product, but I'd bet good money that a "director's cut" DVD eventually makes an appearance.

Did anybody that went to the screenings get a reaction card? I'm not sure if that's what it's called: when I've been to test screenings they gave me a card to fill out listing what I liked and disliked about the movie.

Test screenings often wreck movies. I dunno if it's true, but I remember reading that in the original end of Return of the Jedi Lando gets killed when the Falcon doesn't make it out of the Death Star, but it didn't test well so they changed it. The recent Avengers movie had 20 minutes cut out of it making much of the film make no sense... I read the original screenplay for The Avengers and if they'd left it alone it would have been a much, much better movie.

Why are they doing the preview screenings at all? Creating word of mouth buzz this far in advance of the release seems like mis-spent energy to me.
Disagreed pretty strongly with his review, and, not to be jerk, but he seems to have had apretty simplistic view of the show. I mean, this guy thinks that Jubal Early and the Operative are the same. The only things they have in common are that they're bounty hunters, they can beat the crap out of Mal, and, well, they're articulate black men. As someone who was initially very sketpical of the potential overlap, I feel safe in saying that they are very, very different characters with different motivations.

"Why can't everyone get along?" Well, they do, when it matters, but that doesn't mean they always have to be cuddly. "Where are the cowboys?" Oh, they're there, you just have to look a little bit harder. Okay, where Firefly was a space western, Serenity is more a science fiction show with a strong western influence. But the frontier grittiness is there, as is the Western patois, and the entire opening sequence feels just like a Western, except for the spaceships.

After the screening in SF, someone asked Gina Torres whether the show or the film was closer to Joss' vision, and she said that it was the film, no question.

And heliograph -- maybe it is a little early to build word of mouth. On the other hand, I know that I will not be shutting up about how great this film is for the next four and a half months, and I intend to drag everyone I know to the theater on opening weekend. The non-fan friends I brought to the screeening have been jabbering about how great the movie is too. So, you know, I guess it depends on whether you think this buzz will die down before the movie comes out. I don't think it will.

[ edited by bobothebrave on 2005-05-13 17:13 ]
Well everyone will have their own reaction to the movie and everyone is of course, entitled to it. However I do agree with some others that I get this nagging feeling this guy just may be a part of a certain 'faction' of 'vocal fans' that just can't handle certain elements of the movie.

I was in Vegas myself, and the majority of the audience loved the movie and cheered and laughed throughout it's 2 hour length. I used to think fans were a shoo-in to love this, but after reading some people's online remarks along the lines of this article, I wonder if non-fans don't actually have as big (if not bigger) a chance of liking this movie. Their unfamiliarity with the characters will most likely prevent this type of reaction.

Okay, where Firefly was a space western, Serenity is more a science fiction show with a strong western influence. But the frontier grittiness is there, as is the Western patois, and the entire opening sequence feels just like a Western, except for the spaceships.

Very well put. As for myself, purey on a personal level, I truly wonder what movie he was watching. And I loved Firefly before I saw it too, but 'where are the banjos' is a ridiculous complaint to me. The core feeling of the show's culture/verse is completely intact.

I mean, this guy thinks that Jubal Early and the Operative are the same. The only things they have in common are that they're bounty hunters, they can beat the crap out of Mal, and, well, they're articulate black men.

Exactly. That bothered me a lot too. And frankly, the opponent of this movie is not a 'bounty hunter' at all. He's a secret operative of the government. Not some freelancer only in it for himself and the reward. And that fact is tied to elements of his personality that are very, very different from Mr Early and are taken in competely different directions. I wonder if this actor hadn't been black as well, if anyone would even make the comparison. It's extremely shallow to see it as 'they're both black guys chasing River' and maybe that's unfair of me, but that's genuinely the impression I've been getting from some people as well.

"Why can't everyone get along?" Well, they do, when it matters, but that doesn't mean they always have to be cuddly.

Precisely. And they weren't always cuddly in the show either if we'll all recall. The sense of camaraderie from the show is different in the movie, yes, but everyone doesn't 'hate each other'. Main difference is Mal, who is a little grimmer in the beginning which is to give him more of an arc. This is a new story after all and main characters are not supposed to be the same in the beginning, as in the end of it. Any script writer knows that.

And what happens in this movie, the things they're confronted with, are things worse than anything we've seen in the show, I think. And there will be stronger reactions from the characters. And of course Joss did a better job fleshing out the relationships in the pilot: that's all that really had to HAPPEN in the pilot! Introduce the characters and who they are to each other! A movie needs a lot more going on and wrapped up before the credits.

I think it's very obvious that a lot of plot in this movie is where Joss was heading with the show from the start. (I could be wrong) Which means it predates '28 Days' quite a bit. Which, frankly was hardly the first movie with a concept in it like that to begin with. Most plots like that can be found in some old story in one way or the other.

The writer says he 'knows a movie isn't a tv show' but the rest of his article doesn't seem to support that fact. The entire point of its complaints is: 'It's not the show. I want it to be more like the show'. It's not going to be the show. And if you weren't capable of mentally realizing that before you went in, then that is not Joss' fault.

Is the movie perfect? No. There are some points I wouldn't mind seeing handled slightly differently. But it's all small touches. A few lines here and there. Overall I enjoyed it immensely and found it far, far better written than the majority of movies I've seen in the last years.

[ edited by EdDantes on 2005-05-13 17:24 ]
I personally give the original reviewer a lot of credit for posting his honest review of the movie. I agree with a lot of what he says. He is obviously a fan of the show and just didn't care for the movie. I personally prefer the show to the movie as well.

It's funny how if someone has a different opinion, the fandom tries to tear them apart. The reactions, even in this thread have been very defensive.

Is Serenity a good movie? Yes, but Firefly was a great tv show. I base my feelings of the movie on how it compared to the tv show and how it continued the story of the characters I had seen from the show. I don't take into account the desire for the movie to be successful or the duty that the fans have to make this movie a hit. I think some people want this movie to be successful so badly that it may cloud their judgement a bit. Maaybe in a year from now we can have a clear concise discussion of the film where if someone doesn't gush over it, they won't be branded as a traitor or a fool.
I base my feelings of the movie on how it compared to the tv show and how it continued the story of the characters I had seen from the show. I don't take into account the desire for the movie to be successful ..

I think some people want this movie to be successful so badly that it may cloud their judgement a bit.


Well, by your own comments, clearly some people loved the show so much it clouds their judgement in watching and judging this movie.

Maaybe in a year from now we can have a clear concise discussion of the film where if someone doesn't gush over it, they won't be branded as a traitor or a fool.

I don't see anyone on this site calling him a 'traitor' or a 'fool' (you're the only one doing the name calling) and just as he was entitled to his opinion, others are just as entitled to disagree with him I think.

But hey, maybe in a year from now we can have a clear concise discussion of the film where someone who liked the movie won't be branded as a 'gusher' or someone disagreeing with a negative view won't be branded as a 'basher'.

We all have dreams...
At the Austin screening, when the audience expressed disappointment at the Firefly theme song not being in the movie, Nathan said (paraphrasing) "There was a TV show called Firefly. It was great, we loved it, but it's over. Time to move on."

I don't think it's fair to say that the fans are automatically bashing anyone who didn't love the movie. I think the fans are rolling their eyes at people who aren't looking at the movie on its own terms.

There are things I loved about Firefly that aren't in Serenity, or are very different in Serenity. That doesn't make those missing/different things flaws in the movie.

The movie isn't perfect, but no movie is. It is a very good movie; one that is better than most of the movies released in the last few years, and one that deserves to succeed on its own terms.
Basically what has happened in this thread is that people try to explain away anything that the reviewer took issue with. Instead of just accepting that some people didn't like aspects of the movie, you attempt to somehow prove that these aren't valid issues that someone could have.

The original reviewer was more impressed with the tv show than the movie. So am I. So are we wrong to have a different opinion than you. Since the majority of the theater clapped and laughed, should I change my feelings of the movie to fall in line with the majority? I liked the film but it wasn't all that I hoped for. Does Joss need to change it because of me? Of course not. I am just more impressed with the Verse from the show than from this movie.

Let's just agree to disagree.
So we should just see the link, read the review, and then say nothing? That would make for a very boring site. :)

I have spent quite a bit of time on the Browncoats board since seeing Serenity. It's exhausting. After reading some posts there, and posting some of my own comments, let me just say it's exhausting. Being on any other Whedon-related site just makes me want to come home. Here.

Simon - I too wonder if this review isn't directly related to organized efforts from some on the Browncoats board. But maybe it's not.

While I feel very differently than the reviewer on many of the points made, the fact that we disagree is not what bothers me. What bothers me are comments such as"

"Fans are going to wonder why we're seeing such a skewed vision of the characters, universe, and relationships we dug about the show."

On the Browncoats board, many have said that they cannot recommend the movie to friends. Something similar is said in the beginning of the review. Many who were disappointed say they won't recommend it to friends or fans, assuming those friends or fans won't like it either.

There's my problem. The quote from the thread is a generalization. Because *I* am disappointed, fans will be disappointed. We're missing the word "some". There are plenty of films I haven't been thrilled with. I'll let a friend know that it wasn't everything *I* thought it would be, but suggest they find out for themselves. (Barring a few films that left me yearning for those 2+ hours of my life back.) I have not heard one person say that this film "sucked". There are things they are disappointed with, things they would like to see done differently, but not total and complete suckage. But it seems to me one can feel that way without making the assumption that because he/she didn't like it, other fans won't, and friends shouldn't bother.

(Edited to fix a sentence that made no sense.)

[ edited by Angela on 2005-05-13 19:31 ]

[ edited by Angela on 2005-05-13 19:33 ]
heliograph asked:
Did anybody that went to the screenings get a reaction card? I'm not sure if that's what it's called: when I've been to test screenings they gave me a card to fill out listing what I liked and disliked about the movie.

yes, at least in Chicago every single person who went in got a sheet of paper to complete, and everyone I talked to loved the film.
mumm75 said:
Basically what has happened in this thread is that people try to explain away anything that the reviewer took issue with. Instead of just accepting that some people didn't like aspects of the movie, you attempt to somehow prove that these aren't valid issues that someone could have.

So, what? We are not allowed to disagree and offer our opinions? I think all the people who attended the Advanced preview have just as much right to express their opinion as this reviewer who was so 'bravely' saying they want the movie turned back into the TV show they miss.

As far as I can tell most of the posts here are simply agreeing to disagree.
Thanks for making my point
Hmmm. Is it just me, or does this thread feel a little defensive on both sides? Not everyone's comments, just an overall tone...
Anyhow, interesting to read what this guy's thoughts were. And interesting to me how all of us who've seen the movie have different parts we either love or wish were a little different. I liked the movie a lot more than this reviewer did, but I certainly didn't think it was perfect. My complaints, though, would be much different than his. I find nothing wrong whatsoever with him or anyone else offering an honest critique of the movie (though I do find the suggestions that "we're saying these things so Joss can make changes" just a teeny bit presumptuous.... I think bad things happen when any director allows too much audience reaction or mass consensus to alter his/her vision).
I was a little irked by how presumptively defensive this guy was attacking the legions of fans who were going to jump down his throat before any did. I guess it's understandable - Joss fans can be a pretty rabid lot but I'd hope i'd hope they're also a mature enough group, on the whole, to listen to dissent.

Anyhow, it's been interesting to read everyone's reactions to the film - both what they loved, what they hated, what they were maybe a little bothered by. I don't read the Firefly boards, so I don't know about the split in fandom some are referring to. I would think a split reaction is somewhat inevitable there was no way Joss could write a movie that would appeal to so many fans, all of whom have such huge and defined expectations. And I think if he'd tried to, we'd get a pretty tepid, bland film. But I'd be sad if some fans' disappointment with the movie led to any kind of real rift, either with them feeling totally disenchanted with the Firefly universe, or with the movie-lovers jumping all over them and calling them traiters.

Can't we all just get along.... :-)
Like I said on a different thread, I never got a reaction card in Las Vegas, and I didn't see anyone else who had one either. I do wish we had gotten them though, I feel I have some constructive criticism that isn't just second guessing Joss' goals.

I just had to accept on the front end that this wouldn't be an exact continuation of the show I loved. It had to be made palatable and understandable to a non-fan audience, and I feel Joss does that well. Of course I'd have loved to have delved into the interpersonal connections of everyone on the 'boat', but that's just not possible. Sure, I'd have loved to have seen more emotion after very powerful events, but you can't dwell on that stuff and keep a fast-paced movie. I've read that some people felt they couldn't enjoy the rest of the movie after certain 'things'. Despite my 'wishes', I didn't have that. I know Joss' style and his way a bit, so I was able to be dragged back into the action. Kind of like the crew was forced to be. Joss forces the audience to put aside whatever they're feeling for the immediacy of what's going on. In that sense, I felt very much 'in' the movie.
munn75: You're right, in that i was a lot more derisive in my response than i should have been. The reviewer clearly has really different tastes than I do, and he started trash-talking a movie that I love, so I got a little defensive. But no one here is calling him a "traitor." I think that most of the posts have been very respectful; there's nothing wrong with passionately defending a film that people feel passionately about.
Thanks for making my point

Was that your point? That you shouldn't be rude to people just because they have a different opinion? Then why are you rude to us just because *we* have a different opinion? Seems a bit ironic.

And as I said, no one here called this writer a fool or a traitor. You however did start to call people who disagreed with the writer of this article (and yourself) 'bashers' and 'gushers'. Was that making that point? Interesting method. Sorry if my tone is defensive but I'm not a big fan of unwarrented name calling. Especially not if you falsely accuse others of it at the same time.
So we should just see the link, read the review, and then say nothing? That would make for a very boring site. :)


Exactly. No one here was suggesting anyone 'should' have a different opinion. I never said the writer of this review 'should' agree with me or should not have written his review. He stated his opinion and why he felt that way. I stated my opinion of his arguments with my own arguments. I don't see the problem.

The reviewer clearly has really different tastes than I do, and he started trash-talking a movie that I love, so I got a little defensive. But no one here is calling him a "traitor." I think that most of the posts have been very respectful; there's nothing wrong with passionately defending a film that people feel passionately about.

Yeah, you're right, bobo. Sorry to everyone if I sound irritated. We all feel strongly about this topic but I think calling people names or telling them to stop discussing things is just a strange reaction on a discussion board.

I completely understand the reviewer's reasoning that if he didn't like it, there's no reason to support it for him. Or to buy the DVD. Absolutely. I'm not a 'loyalist' like that. If Joss does something I don't like I don't like it. I'm not whitewashing it. But almost every point this guy makes traces back to 'on the show I liked it better'. It's not the show. It can't be the show. And in spite of what he says he doesn't seem to get that. Rationally maybe he does, but emotionally he can't cut it loose.

(And no, just showing the pilot would not get good responses from non-fans because it would feel like a pilot of a tv show. Because it is. Which doesn't fly for a theatrical release.)

Everybody's different and has different reactions. But I'm still surprised at the reactions to some decisions of Joss, considering they've all watched Angel and Buffy already. And every time a decision like that is made, the words 'slap in the face of the fans' ring out. And that's not true. You may not like it, that's fine. But it's not done to 'slap us'. It's done because Joss believes this will be the story with the most impact. And they're his stories to tell.

And as for character's reactions to those decisions, yes I would've liked to see some changes too. But for the most part, they were kind of in the middle of something...no real time for reflection.

And Hardcore fans may not see the mainstream audience or the success of the film as factors, but Joss and the rest of the people involved obviously do. And obviously have to.
Come now, let's all hug.

By the way. I loved this Serenity prescreen thing but who all is this Josh Weeding dude y'all keep going on about?
Well said, Ed.
Ed, people have already went on record in this thread saying that they reacted harshly to the review. You yourself pick it apart and try to disprove it. You make mention that "where are the banjos" is a ridiculous complaint. Of course it goes deeper than "where are the banjos". The whole western theme has been minimized in such a way that you have to look closely to even to see a little of it in the movie. If someone enjoyed that part of the tv series, who are you to say that it's a "ridiculous complaint".

You really like the movie. I enjoyed it but not nearly as much. I won't go any further into why I didn't like parts of the movie. That way I can save you the time of proving that my opinions of the movie are wrong.

[ edited by munn75 on 2005-05-13 21:29 ]
I got tickets again to the upcoming screening. This time I am bringing people who haven't seen Firefly at all. I'm really curious as to whether they will like it or not. They are both Buffy and Angel fans already but this will be the little test. We'll have a Firefly marathon after seeing the movie.
I liked the film alot and some of the things that bothered the reviewer don't necessarily bother me. It IS Joss writing here - he loves to kill beloved, light hearted (and dark!Wes hearted) characters and I know he's going to do it in everything he does. I guess I wasn't prepared for this but I don't necessarily want to know what's happening beforehand.
EdDantes, I think I love you.
This is the thing about people who review movies, they can very easily fall into a trap of reviewing what they think should be there or what they like to be there instead of actually what is there. That's why really all fan reviews are bias in some way. You are bound to have a previous attachment to something. If you like how that something is handled you'll like the movie probably more than someone else whereas if you have an attachment to something and don't like how it was handled you'll dislike the film more than someone else.

It's really someone who comes in clean that has the most fair unbiased view. Those will be the ones I look out for.
Come on...is this the first time that Joss has done something unpleasant for the sake of story? I think not. I'm frankly mystified by the response. You've all been watching Whedon shows since 1997. Did anyone seriously think it would be all "hugs and puppies"?

Joss said it best "give the audience what they need, not what they want". Remember that?
Well said IMMORTAL.
EdDantes, I think I love you.

Sorry, bobo, he's taken! ;~)

[ edited by Rogue Slayer on 2005-05-14 01:32 ]
He is obviously a fan of the show and just didn't care for the movie. I personally prefer the show to the movie as well.


I don't think its JUST that he preferred the show to the movie. Its the things mentioned above: assumption that loving the show will preclude loving the movie, not recommending it to nonfans because of the disappointment of some fans over certain points, etc. I know people who did not watch the show who saw the movie and I kid you not, they loved it, each of them. Its not that he's not entitled to his opinions, its just it seems like a laundry list of the things that are being expressed by the folks with the pitchforks who are waving the petitions around over the the browncoats board.

BCs tone is that of a fan who was so upset that what made it to the screen wasn't exactly what they imagined that they were going to lash out and hurt Joss back. I have a friend who was very very angry post screening and we sat down and talked about it. He went away to process it all and we spoke again days later and he is now dying to see it again. Its not puppies and hugs, its what was coming in the series packed into two hours and thats not easy to absorb in the two hours and in one sitting when you've been watching the series every few weeks since it first aired.

It's funny how if someone has a different opinion, the fandom tries to tear them apart. The reactions, even in this thread have been very defensive.


In re-reading the thread I found respectful disagreement and discussion as per usual. Your post, munn75, was the first that I saw mention any sort of name calling. That's not a rip on you, I'm not surprised you anticipated it, Whedonites are a bit rabid.

It seems to me that people were maybe expecting some defensiveness and managed to create it where it hadn't existed. That's just my opinion, so take it as you wish. My personal view of it is that I love both and I don't view Serenity as this wild departure from Firefly. I think that the folks who are having bad reactions are hurt that what they expected- the show on the big screen with all of the characters behaving as they did and everything being as it was- was not what came to be. I understand, believe me I do, but in the long run I would be far more disappointed if I got a movie that failed to challenge its fans or itself. We all got on this boat for different reasons and now its asking more of us than it ever has before, to paraphrase someone :) In the end, the status quo was not big enough for a Big Damned Movie and I'm glad we didn't get the status quo. We got what we needed, which is not always exactly what we want.

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2005-05-14 00:23 ]
To be honest, I'm waiting to see what traditional (for want of a better word) movie critics think of the movie. I do like reading fan reports of the movie but I feel like I'm overdosing on them at the minute.

Saying that expect several threads on the 26th so people can post their experiences of the Serenity screenings.

Anyway, don't be arguing too much here and the last thing I want is Whedonesque posters falling out. Remember, there's a hilarious pic of DB now linked to on the front page.
I'm really curious to see what mainstream critics think as well. I think that (as immortal mentioned earlier) fans get so caught up in their world that it's impossible to ever be completely objective - whether the verdict is positive or negative doesn't really matter. I'm a journalist, and have (on rare occasion) written movie reviews, and know a couple critics I was trying to imagine what they would think of Serenity. It's much harder than I thought it would be. My own view of it is so tied up with my love of the series, and the characters, and an appreciation for Joss none of which matters at all (and shouldn't matter) for mainstream critics who will just be evaluating if it's a good movie. Few will have any familiarity with Firefly, I'm guessing. I doubt it will get rave reviews, but I'm hoping for some on-the-whole positive reviews from respected critics.

But I, too, am OD'ing a bit on the fan reports and the kind of reviews posted on AICN (which also tend not to be particularly well-written).
I'm always curious what other Whedonesque posters think, so I'll check some of the reactions after May 26, but mostly I'm very curious to see what the reception is come September.
That picture is just too much. :)
Ed, I may have been reading too much into things and I appologize for that. I think that I probably wasn't ready for the changes that the movie made to the Verse. Maybe had it happened over the course of a season or two, it would have been easier to handle. It just all seemed so fast.

Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy the movie. This is Joss afterall. The humor in the movie was fantastic. Mal was as good as in the tv series. His timimg seemed perfect. It was just different and maybe as time goes by and acceptance starts to sink in, I will better come to grips with that.

I don't mean to bicker with the good folks at Whedonesque. Trust me, if I didn't care about Firefly and Serenity, I wouldn't be taking the time to post.

At first I thought that I might heed Joss's words and keep quiet about the movie. I've decided though that I will still push people to watch the tv show and the movie. Then they can make their own observations. I still have a bunch of people to take to this movie whether it be at another screening or come this September.
That's the way it was for myself and those who I attended the screening with munn75. A whole season off Joss-ness in two hours is a little bit too much roller coaster to process :) Nice post.
Munn75, I've got a temper myself, it's all good. Sorry if I came on too strong. Again, I never want anyone to think they have no right to an opinion or that I'm trying to 'convert' anyone. I just think everything should be discussable.

And of course you should speak your mind if the movie was dissappointing to you, just like this article. People who haven't seen it should get as many different opinions as possible. If the movie is only praised to high heaven all the time, the hype might get so big that nothing can live up to it, which will only lead to more people being dissappointed.

And I agree the tone and feel of things were different sometimes, but I expected it, and it really was nothing that bothered me. I actually enjoyed the ways Joss could go places that TV wouldn't have let him. It IS a little darker, grimmer and harder. I just happen to like that. Different strokes and all that.

Really I wish I could erase my memory of the show and watch the movie first, as a complete newbie. I'm pretty sure I would still like it, but how things would feel....it's almost impossible to say.

I'm curious about official critics as well. The other 'odd-movie-out' this year, Sin City, also had a strong cult following, creator-devoted fans and styles and topics that were definitely new, and not only did it do very nice business (30 mil opening weekend, it's budget back in 2-3 weeks), about 80% of the critics loved the crap out of it, which really surprised me. I sincerely hope Serenity has a similar reception, and the times do seem ripe for new concepts, so...

(PS To those who haven't seen it, an element that's really not a matter of opinion in this review article is that 'bounty hunter' remark. The character is out to catch River for the Alliance, but is *really* not a bounty hunter, and it's a vital thing about his character that makes him very different from Mr Early.)
Ed no worries at all. I agree that if I came in to that movie without having seen the show, it would have been very different.

I like both the operative and the bounty hunter. Jubile Early was a great charcter but had totally different motives for what he was doing. Although I believe that Mr. Early believed that he was noble, it's hard to agree that he was.

The Operative was great because he was a true believer in his cause. That's what made the dialogue between him and Mal so great. They both believed so strongly about their views and were both willing to go to the death to fight for them. The operative turned out to be quite the noble person once the truth was revealed to him. That aspect of the movie I really enjoyed.

Joss is a master in creating villains that are not typical hollywood. They are three dimensional and you can often understand if not condone their actions.
To be honest, I think that the major issue that everyone has is something that wasn't handle with enough delicasie. I am yet to see Firefly, but I could understand everyones complaint and I do hope that Joss maybe spends a little more time on dealing with that one major issue in his re-edits if there are any.
I would assume that the reason for these early screenings is so that any major flaws in the eyes of the majority of the fanbase can be dealt with. Having said that i don't believe that Joss will alter anything that he deems to be warranted, regardless of what the fans say! The point being that all these opinions, both positive and negative, will be taken on board and Joss will do what he believes is best for the film overall. I certainly don't believe we will see anything in the final product that Joss isn't 100% certain about!

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