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"He's got a husband's bulge."
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June 23 2005

The fans decide - Yay or Nay for Serenity? Well the tickets for tonight's screenings sold out so fast, it almost cracked the internet in half. Anyhow 35 screenings in North America, were you one of the lucky ones to get a ticket? Come tell us what you thought of Serenity in this non-spoiler thread.

Spot the pop-culture reference above and win a prize *probably or more likely probably not*.

So no spoilers at all in this thread, not even in invisible text.

Pop culture references above? "Cracked the internet in half" could be a reference to Bush's "Internets". "One of the lucky ones to get a ticket" might possibly be a reference to "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". Those right? What's the prize?
I found the pop culture reference: it's "Serenity", which is a movie that will be coming out in about 3 months.

Do I win?
Lol Okkay, I think you're deeeefinitely right.

But on the otherhand, I'm thinking it's the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory reference.

I can't wait to hear what people thought of the screening tonight. It's the only thing that can make up for unlucky people like me who haven't even seen Serenity once. I just start salivating at the mouth when I read your guys' (non-spoiler!!) reviews.
Cracked the internet in half.
Apparently Joss did indeed go out on his B-Day and visited Riverside?

By the way, the final tally on ebay was over 300 sales amounting to over $15,000 !

[ edited by TaraLivesOn on 2005-06-24 05:45 ]
I just came back from Serenity. Joss Whedon is brilliant. I so hope this movie succeeds. Cause I need MORE! of this story. Just..I feel so unfinished? Like I wish I could pop in a DVD and watch the movie all over again. Joss Whedon has never directed anything so well as he did this movie. There is one shot in this movie, so fuckin kickass. Everyone started clapping and yelling during it. It was like "the money shot" ya know? There were jokes one after another, even during big dramatic scenes. It was hard to keep track of dialogue cause I was laughing. Lots of twists that I didn't expect in the movie even though I was spoiled about a few things. The effects and music seemed like they were just about finished so that was a surprise. Probably only a little bit more of editing needed.

Oh and Chris B. (the exec producer) was there. That was cool.
It was just as amazing the second time around--if not more amazing. No BDH's at the D.C. screening, but we had Morena last time, so I'm not complaining. :)

So, um, when can I see it again?
This was the second time I saw it. It was even better the second time around, and much more polished. It's not grainy now. The pictures are all clearer and the colors are more balanced.

I really looks like a Big Damn Movie now!

I brought two Joss "virgins" with me this time. One, my son, liked it a lot, and now wants to watch my "firefly" DVDs.

His girlfriend was a little less enthused. She didn't dislike it, but she said that it was a little difficult to get into all the characters and felt she needed to see "Firefly" beforehand to understand them better. She said she thought it would be a hit with sci-fi fans, but wasn't sure if a more general audience would like it.

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2005-06-24 07:34 ]
Just got back from the NJ/NYC showing. WOW!! Thank you Joss! My first time seeing it. It is one hell of a roller coaster ride...with jokes. The best word I think to describe it is "dense." It is packed. It is actually draining, which does not sound like a good thing, but it was.

It have a confession. I liked Firefly, but I did not love it. I thought it had a lot going for it and would have liked to see where it went in future episodes and seasons, but I was not in love with it. I wanted to see Serenity because I love Joss's work, was excited about what he would do when let loose, and was tired of trying to avoid spoilers. Well, I loved this movie. I had a great time. I still want to see where these characters are going in the future and how they are going to get there, but I also feel satisfied...for now. I was also ready to see it again right away because I felt like I missed so much.

I did not meet anyone there who had never seen Firefly so I do not know their reaction. The audience in general seemed to like it a lot.

I know you have heard this before, but for those who have not seen it, resist spoilers!! Even if you think you have been accidently spoiled, don't assume you have. I thought I had, but it was a lie. I had told myself it probably was a lie, but was afraid it was not. I was lucky. You might be too, so keep away from the spoiler threads even if you think it is too late for you.

Oh, and Morena was there tonight, lovely and gracious.
Reporting from Toronto. The theatre had no idea that so many would show up so soon, so they had some trouble with the line up - not enough space allotted. That meant they started letting us in at 9:10 or so. And Sean came!!! He thanked us, said he was looking forward to see the movie for a second time and then it started - with Joss' hilarious intro. The guy ought to be an actor!
For those who haven't seen it, I echo the plea above - stay unspoiled. I had been accidently spoiled a bit but the movie just delivers surprise after surprise. It is a lot more of an "action-adventure" movie than I expected but the Joss wit is still very much there.
I could see a few rough effects and someone else swore she heard the theme from Jaws, probably as a place holder but other than that, it looked pretty finished.
DC screening...brought 2 friends who are Firefly fans but didn't attend the May screening (which I did)...they absolutely loved it, as did I, again.
Gah, i'm so jealous that you guys got Sean!

As for what i thought of the movie: *thud*
I am just so jealous that some of you have not only gotten to see it once, but twice!! Newcj, I love that you confessed that you only liked the series but loved the movie. I think that is an indication that people who haven't seen the series at all will be interested in seeing this movie was the promos start airing!
speaking of, when do you think those promos will hit my tv screen? I've been checking out E!'s "Coming Attractions' in hopes of seeing any sign of a Serenity preview, but no such luck.

By the by. Damn you all. I'm sooooooo jealous, especially you NY/Jersey people.
I'm wondering if it will be soon considering the trailer is showing up at movies now. My daughter saw the Batman movie today and she said they showed the Serenity trailer!
Got back from the Houston screening. Not... a whole lot to report. Except we got Summer Glau, so... go us? :D (Plus her dad and her grandfather!) Movie was awesome, and according to others who saw it before, a whole lot more finished this time than it was before. They TRIED to sing the theme song and the Hero of Canton song, as well as Happy Birthday, but... um... the first four tries of all three just kinda fell short. They EVENTUALLY figured it out, and it was good! It sucked that the first time someone... started the theme song... with the wrong words... :p Aaaanyway, movie = fantastic, Summer Glau = gorgeous and nice. :D
My friend in Austin reported they let them sing happy b-day and video tape it in the theater! Nice...
I hate living in France right now!
I'm so desperate to see that...
Ugh stay off - accidental spoilers, argh.

Anyone have a complete city/celeb list yet?
Shiny. It was shiny. This was our 2nd viewing and wow. Just wow. Shiny. And no celebs in Denver, but we had Jewel last time. . . this time we got. . . keychains.
Heh. I was sitting directly in front of the people who bungled up the first attempt at 'Hero of Canton' in Houston. And it was the Universal rep that tried to get everybody singing after the first failed attempts. I'm thinking the Houston screening audience was probably not as rabid fangeeky as everywhere else.

Anyways, great movie. My mom liked it, and she's so totally far away from fandom so if she 'gets' it, than just about anyone could get it.
This was my first viewing, and I'm still sorta decompressing, here in Denver. The birthday banner went off smashingly, here, and according to reports, in Tampa and Boston. The singing, well, hit or miss. It was a great night, and I loved the movie. Like others, I want to see it again. Right. Now.

And, stay unspoiled. You'll thank yourself. I thought this was, 100 times the movie Sith was.
Oh yeah, in Houston everybody signed a birthday card and a thank you card. My mom even put her John Hancock on one (I mean John Hancock as in really freaking big signature) and she barely has a grasp on who we were signing it for. ;)
OH! Also important to mention, there are reports this is a *new* film print compared to last month's print and much more finished.
Yeah it definitely looked finished. They should put it in theathers already. Oh yeah..Chris B said that he read the rumor online about the movie being pushed up but as of now it isn't.
Birthday banner signed in Sacramento, and everyone singing Happy Birthday was recorded. Hero of Canton lyrics were passed out, and a lovely young woman got up to play it on guitar. There were problems syncing the audience singing speed to the guitar speed, but it was still fun. Strawberries, cookies, and a large cake were brought in from some fans to share with the audience.

This movie gets better every. single. time. The new reel was fantastic - the grain and light problems all fixed and shiny. And while there was a group, including myself, seeing it a third time, there were far more people seeing it for the first time. The repeat viewers clearly brought in friends, family, and a new group of Browncoats. That much was obvious from audience reactions.
Before the movie Chris asked who had seen the movie already and I only saw like 15 people raise hands. Made me glad that there was ALOT of fresh eyes in there.

We had banana bread and brownies :)
As reported, Joss was with us in Riverside. He seemed tired, but was perky, and seemed moved by the wonderfully decorated birthday banner and general attention to him. He signed bunches and bunches of Serenity mini-posters, and browncoats (most honorable mention to Rosalie) were incredible, giving out party hats, cookies, buttons, and other stuff. And Universal staffers giving out keychains and probably more besides.

The movie was good too. I'm really tired.
Just got back from Riverside (found a ride home). I couldn't find anyone there who needed a ticket, so I just gave it to the lady who was taking tickets at the door to give to anyone who might show up that didn't have a ticket. I hope it didn't go to waste.

Joss was awesome and signed mini-posters and anything else everyone wanted while we were entering the theater. He even personalized them if you asked, but of course I was too in awe to ask. I did manage to tell him that he rocked, to which he replied, "I rock a little. Then I rest 'cause I'm tired from rocking so much. And then I rock some more." I don't know how that man is so witty all the time. He talked a little before the movie. He said he spent the day with a full orchestra (who played "Happy Birthday" for him) recording the score for the film. Then we all sang "Happy Birthday" to him. Then the movie with the same intro from the other screenings. I didn't notice any changes from when I saw it on May 5th, except that it looked a lot better. He answered five questions after the movie 'cause he was sleepy. =)

This was the second time I've flown 500 miles to see a screening of Serenity and it was totally worth it. I brought my friend who I converted into a semi-Browncoat last year and his girlfriend who's not into sci-fi at all. My friend really liked the movie and his girlfriend thought "it was very exciting."

Did any other cities get these really cool 3-page fold-out handouts that explain how the movie came to be, bios on our 9 BDH, a bio on Joss, and a shiny full-page photo of the crew on Serenity (minus Book and Inara)?
Einral that was a great story! Sure hope someone scans that booklet. My friend in Austin did not report getting one.
I got a booklet. actually, two. Mom hunted down a 'versal rep with extras since she really didn't care to get into the line for Summer's autograph. She thought I might like an extra. Ain't she sweet?

It's super shiny. Nice little blurbs about Joss, his history, and a little section for each actor.
I'm really really tired. The drive was almost five hours. I'd drive further, tho. Went to tampa with palehorse! Had a wonderful time. There were sort of six of us, one a Whedonesque lurker. It was everyone's first time seeing it and we all pretty much loved it. All of it. One guy was a self-proclaimed scifi lover who had only seen three Firefly eps. He said it was brilliant, essentially.

I thought I was spoiled but it turned out to be a lie. Kind of half true. So maybe if you read the same accidental stuff I did, you're not spoiled after all. Definite wild ride and somehow funnier than I anticipated. Ups n downs all throughout, and we were glad we came in unspoiled. I don't think anyone even got up to go to the bathroom. You couldn't. Anything could happen whenever. Scariness. Action. The best Whedon scene ever. All the good stuff.

Pretty much the best movie I've seen since I have no idea when. Thanks to the Browncoats who had the banner! We got programs and keychains :) !!

It's true what they say. It's our BDHs, and they are just so BIG! Nathan Fillion shall be a household name. Oh, there were editing issues... and I thought about it for maybe three seconds.

Joss' message just seemed so sincere and heartfelt. God, I love that man!
So lets see:
Riverside: Joss
Houston: Summer Glau
Phoenix: Nathan Fillion (nice photos)
Charlotte: Chris Buchanan
NYC/NJ: Morena Baccarin
Miami: Gina Torres
Boston: Loni Peristere (Zoic)
Toronto: Sean Maher
Indianapolis: Ron Glass
Vancouver: Jewel Staite

we are missing Alan Tudyk and Adam Baldwin?

[ edited by TaraLivesOn on 2005-06-24 18:50 ]
Just wanted to add a line to support any of y'all who have chosen to avoid spoilers. I stumbled on The Big Spoiler a couple of weeks ago in a review, and God I wish I hadn't. When The Big Surprise happened, everyone in the theater jumped in their seats, and I just sort of sat there and got sad that I wasn't surprised. No matter how hard it is, just stay strong. You'll be glad you did.
Any reports from Ohio?

I'm in Cleveland but I was on vacation when the big announcement came, so I couldn't even try for tickets. How was the crowd?
Philadelphia: Nobody. Again.
Slightly offtopic, sorry but interesting feedback from one of the theater managers during the day of ticket sales...
What a ride! Both the ride to and from Tampa, and the BDM itself! I was so happy to have the chance to meet fellow Whedonesquer April this week, and to have someone to talk Buffy, Angel, and Firefly with the whole way. (Thanks, again, April, for the Serenity ticket!) This was my first fan activity (beyond postings online) since I waited in line all night before Star Wars back in the 1970s. What a blast. I wish one of the cast had come to Tampa, but I really did not expect it. In any case, that would have just been icing on the cake.

I was spoiler-free (except for the trailer), and I was SOOOOOOO glad I was. The movie was a thrill ride. Since I had not seen the print from earlier screenings that others have mentioned, I cannot compare, but I did think there were some sound issues and a couple of places that I thought the CGI wasn't quite working. But, even if these problems weren't fixed, this would be one heck of a movie. The cast looked great, and the acting was top-notch. And the writing -- well, Joss is at the top of his form. The audience was right there with him, with laughter and shrieks in all the right places. Because everything was so fast-paced and tightly packed, there sometimes wasn't enough time for the audience to laugh and still hear the next line -- but that's what DVDs are for, aren't they?

I left the theater thinking maybe one might need to have seen some of Firefly to really get into the movie, but, as April said, one of our group had seen only three eps (and he said he had been multitasking throughout, so he had not concentrated on them), and he was raving about the film afterwards. So I felt a little better on that score after talking with him -- and I see from other postings that others new to the 'verse enjoyed the film, so I hope my initial impressions were wrong.

I do want to see the film again and again and again. And I want sequels. I had a fantastic time -- was so happy to be among other fans and a highly partisan audience -- got to sign the birthday banner and participate in the videotaped Happy Birthday singing -- got my keychain and beautiful fold-out brochure -- purchased some fan-made souvenirs (Universal, get the goodies out there for fans to purchase -- you're losing revenue!). This was one of the most enjoyable days I've had in a long time. Thank you, Joss!
I'm so glad you all had such a great time! Now spread the word!!!!!
I couldn't find anyone there who needed a ticket,

Of course, that's just our luck. We didn't go because we figured your ticket would have been given away by the time we got there!! :(

Ah well, I'd have been exhausted today at work anyway. That's the justification I'm using now to make it okay...
I was at the Toronto screening last night and it was just phenomenal! My sister and I were in matching home-made shirts (I pasted Joss' head on Mal's gun aiming body on the front and I had "Joss is Boss" on the back) and we were one of the first people in the line-up. They were only letting ten people in at a time and it was just like you could feel the excitement in the air. Sitting in the theatre was almost exactly as I had anticipated: people were singing "Hero of Canton" and the Firefly theme and Happy Birthday Joss and the cheers when Sean Maher came out were almost deafening. We had been thinking that it might be Nathan that would attend our screening (since he is Canadian and all) so Sean was a VERY pleasant surprise. I think that reading the non-spoiler reviews here on Whedonesque really prepared us for the overwhelming excitement surrounding this movie. Joss has a LOT of fans and we are just rabid in our support of him. I think that a lot of us in the theatre were expecting this movie to be good, but not the absolute masterpiece that it was. I could barely get to sleep last night, my mind was reeling way too much. I want to thank Joss and Sean for being there, but honestly, I want to thank Whedonesque for just being the most top-notch website around. If it weren't for this community here, I just don't think that I would be able to be as "in the know" as I have been lately, and it is knowing about how hard this "little" movie has had to work to get to where it is now that makes me appreciate it as much as I do. It is THIS community that is mighty, and I just think that we have slayed the figurative dragon. Die, Fox, DIE!!!
I'm sorry Rogue Slayer!!! I wish I had had more time yesterday to stay online, but the person cancelled on me *right before* I left for the airport. Gorram it!

[ edited by einral on 2005-06-24 19:31 ]
I'm *still* thinking about the movie. I couldn't sleep last night thinking about it. Amazing.
definitely a new print. without getting spoilery -- new dialogue, new fx shots, completed effects replacing standins, music changed and added, color and luminance correction. FANTASTIC.
Awesome. Stay unspoiled! I can't tell you how happy I am that I did.
I'm sorry Rogue Slayer!!! I wish I had had more time yesterday to stay online, but the person cancelled on me *right before* I left for the airport. Gorram it!

No problem. I've seen it once in Joss' presence, so I'm not completely deprived! :)
Someone mentioned that Alan Tudyk wasn't at any of the screenings. It may be because he's in Spamalot right now, filling in for Hank Azaria. Not sure about Adam Baldwin.
Anyway, I am hoping to see most of the crew in three weeks in San Diego.
Does anybody have a transcript of joss's opening message that airs before the movie? (and joss, if you're reading this and that aint on the dvd, i'm kicking your ass, not really but i will do it in my head)
I absolutely adored it. Full on gushing love. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since I left the theatre, and I would have gladly stayed and watched it again, right then and there. As soon as I got home, I popped in the first "Firefly" DVD for the bajillionth time.
400lb_Gorilla: Transcript of the opnening message:

Hi, my name is Joss Whedon. Before we begin the special screening, I have a little story I want to tell you. It's about a TV show called Firefly.

Firefly went on the air a few years ago and was instantly hailed by critics as one of the most canceled shows of the year. It was ignored and abandoned and the story should end there, but it doesn't, because the people who made the show and the people who saw the show (which is...roughly...the same number of people) fell in love with it a little bit...too much to let it go, too much to lay down arms when the battle looked pretty much lost. In Hollywood, people like that are called 'unrealistic' ... 'quixotic' ... 'obsessive'.

In my world, they're called 'Browncoats'.

Whether you've watched the show, or saw the DVD's, or whether you've never set foot in the Firefly universe before tonight, the fact that you're here means that you are part of something...something that is a little bit remarkable. This movie should not exist. Failed TV shows don't get made into major motion pictures unless the creator, the cast, and the fans believe beyond reason.

It's what I've felt. It's what I've the DVD sales, the booths at the cons run by fans, the websites, the fundraisers... all the work the fans have done to help make this movie. It is, in an unprecedented sense, your movie...which means, if it sucks, it's your fault. You let us down, but let's not dwell on your failures because the work is not done. I have to finish making it. Obviously not quite the final cut and you will notice some placeholders in music and effects, but we're very close. Once we are finished, we have to get people to see it. Now, obviously the studio is going to do their thing. There will be ads and trailers and all that joy, but this movie doesn't have stars and it doesn't have a giant mega-budget or even a simple salable premise. What it has is us, the people who believed unreasonably.

If this movie matters to you, let somebody know. Let everybody know. Make yourselves heard. If you don't like the movie, this is a time for quite, silent contemplation. But, when the unfinished credits roll, if you still call yourself a Browncoat, remember the millions of people who don't...who might. I want us to do this together. The cast is going to be appearing wherever they can. I'm going to be blogging and stumping and whatever I can think of. We've got Can' up and running...I'm fairly certain. We're all doing everything we can to make this the event that it should be.

Just remember, they tried to kill us...they did kill us...and here we are. We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty. Thank you for helping to get this movie as far as it has gotten.

Welcome to Serenity.
Thank you Kessie. it brings back chills just reading it.
I caught it in SLC last night, and it was great. I agree with what others have said- avoid the spoilers, it's better for you that way. I got one I wish I hadn't, but the other surprises made up for it. Great dialogue that I so wish to share (but won't, promise) and all around enjoyment. There was only a brief point where I thought the fx were a bit lacking, so this was quality work here.

The crowd was great, very friendly and we had a few girls who sang the theme, and made a go at "Hero of Canton"- a guy dressed as Jayne also stood up with a cry of "To the mudders! To ME!" A lot of fun, even though we lacked any of the cast, but we gave a round of applause to the Universal rep when he apologized for it. =)
Someone had asked about other guest comments besides the ones from Joss. Here's an excerpt from my LJ post about Ron Glass:

"After the film ended Ron Glass came to the front to take any questions we had and to ask for reactions. As someone eventually said "We're quiet because we're still taking it in." Speaking for myself I was also pretty tired by that point. Several people asked him about his role, Book's backstory, what he thought about acting in the ensemble, about acting with them again, what his reaction to the script had been, what reactions the other actors had, etc. One person apparently had parents who had known Ron in high school, having acted with him in "John Brown's Body" and had told their son stories. He sssshhh'ed the guy and when he told Ron he was happy to finally meet him, Ron replied "Obviously they've been telling the right stories!" He was asked what he was doing now and he talked about working with the Miss USA pageant, being on a lecture circuit and having to write an essay about how education has affected his life. He said he got the assignment in October, had holiday plans and so postponed working on it, and is now realizing he still has nothing written! He had spent several hours that day with a former 5th grade teacher who is still working at a high school.

He then said goodbye and as we left we were all given keychains, a flyer and a fold-out brochure on the film. In the lobby there was a poster for Joss's birthday which we both signed."
Joss gets the LA banner delivered personally

Photos of Joss at Riverside screening
Near the bottom. He looks really young for 41.

[ edited by TaraLivesOn on 2005-06-25 08:48 ]
Some nice photos of Joss there, TLO. Thanks for sharing.
Very nice photos! Thanks for putting these up (although I freely admit to major envy now). Is it my imagination or does Joss look like he lost weight? Hope he is not getting too stressed out.
Not sure but the reason for Adam Baldwins abscence may either be because he is still filming "The Inside" or he is on his way to a convention in London going on this weekend.
What great photos. Thanks so much for sharing them. We were very happy to get Sean Maher but to have Joss..... sigh
While I totally agree with you, Lioness, Sean was H-O-T in person! Yowza! Now watching the DVDs just makes me drool.
I attended the Indianapolis screening with a digital camera and a 512k chip. I kept it properly stowed during the screening as instructed by universal. When the Q&A began I fired it up and documented almost everything that Ron Glass communicated to us.

Indeed as yourlibrarian wrote above, one audience member's parents had worked with Ron in high school and the movie I took of that is simply awsome as you see Ron's open mouth look of awe. Too cool. I was astonished and humbled at Ron's willingness to spent upwards of a half-hour with us answering questions...and it was after midnight!

Direct questions about Book's backstory were properly deflected as I believe Ron either didn't know specifics or had been instructed not to share details. Similar questions about movie events were deflected as well. I shall not post spoilery specifics. A fan asked if there was more than one verson of the Advance Screening of Serenity and Ron's answer was this: "There might be a couple of (he pauses) a couple of know..(another pause) Just little slight differences" A fan asks a spoiler question regarding Book in the film that generates much laughter. Ron's response after the laughter dies down "I did have a conversation...well a couple conversations with Joss about that and he assures me that many things are possible" That may not make much sense out of context but if I force it to make sense it'll be a terrible spoiler.

As far as a personal review of this movie goes...without spoiling's certainly not like the TV show. I felt like some things didn't fit as well as they did in the TV format. I believe this to be a TV-to-film translation issue. And also there is the issue of being forced to write a film that non-fans are going to need to become engaged in. Although I still think there are some issues that need to be ironed out. Some non-fans that attended were confused on points regarding who some characters were and why they were important. Also, I didn't like this movies attempt to explain Reavers. That story arc was, I felt, a step backward. Again, no spoliers.

Overall however...the film moves good and engages the viewer well. I give it a thumbs up with some hope that plot points get cleaned up.

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