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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one."
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May 27 2005

(SPOILER) Fourteen Reviews From Thursday Night's 20 SERENITY Screenings. Ain't it Cool News has quite a few (mostly positive) reviews from last night's screenings. Contains major spoilers.

The AICN talkbacks are akin to Mos Eisley. In the words of Kenobi, a "wretched hive of scum and villainy." It's a bastion for venom filled hyperbole about ANYTHING.

Except when someone famous dies, then they do a lot of backslapping about how upright and classy they are for not making unimaginitive and crass jokes at the expense of the fresh stiff.

It's nice that the site itself is giving Serenity a lot of press, but there are some truly bitter people over there, actively having their attention directed at Joss's uniquely earnest fanship.

I hate to say it, but I think Serenity be might getting a little too much unabashed hype from Herc and the gang. There's no way to quantify word of mouth advertising in the realm of Geekdom, however I'd say AICN might be in danger of creating some negative buzz for the flick, just from all the attention it's getting.

Just an unsubstantiated hunch, from yours truly.
I'd rather we didn't comment on the posters at the AICN talkbacks, thanks. But I agree with what you say about too much hype potentially damaging Serenity.
The problem is that so far, reviewers have been either admitted fans with the predictable raving (myself included) or a few people who were negative towards the whole project and/or Joss beforehand and seem to take a certain level of pride in being a 'naysayer'.

Pretty much all these reviews are the former, from gushing fans, except for the one guy who takes a little too much glee in being negative for my tastes. He also already states as fact that *no one* outside of the fan base will enjoy this. Note the absence of "I think", or "it's likely in my opinion" or anything like that. It's simply a fact already, as if he knows the minds of every person on the planet. And attitude that always bugs me, and prevents me from taking his review all that seriously.

A major surprise to me is the line 'the effects are the same/worse as on TV' that I've seen pop up from several people. This is really not true. It's obviously not Star Wars level effects, but the grandeur and complexity of those shots in space with all the other ships (as seen in glimpses in the trailer) is really unlike anything I've ever seen that was made for TV. Not sure what movie these people were watching.

As for too much positive hype having a negative effect, I agree that's definitely possible. But let's not forget that the mainstream audience the movie hopes to get doesn't go to boards like AICN that much anyway. If they see the trailers on TV and their attention is caught in some way, or when they see entertainment shows say some positive things, or hear from Ebert and the like, then they'll go "Hm might be worth checking out". And maybe the successful pre-screenings and the rarity of this project will be a reason for some people on TV to indeed mention it in a good way. Here's hoping.

I really think most people who are so much into movies/SF/Fantasy that they're up on the buzz on internet boards are largely people who already have an opinion on Joss and his work. Not all obviously, but I think a lot of them. So I'm not sure it matters as much as we fear.
There are also some other things to consider. There are a lot of Joss fans who never venture to the message boards or chat rooms. I was turned on to "Buffy" by people like that.
If they see Serenity, they are likely to like it.

Then there are people who will be exposed to Joss's work for the first time who will become converts because of this movie. My father never saw "Buffy" or "Angel," but he is always drawn to space sagas, and he loved Firefly. There are lots of people like him out there - sci-fi fans who never saw Joss's work - who are likely to have an epiphany of sorts when they see the movie.

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