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September 28 2005

(SPOILER) Entertainment Weekly grades Serenity a B. The reviewer gives the disclaimer of being a Firefly fan. (The grade is on the right side of their page, a little hard to find.)

Significantly, this makes the 4th review at metacritic.com, which now gives Serenity a metascore: 72.

In context, they hardly ever gives 'A' ratings. 'Corpse Bride' got a 'B' as well.
Yet another reviewer who's a Firefly fan who assumes that the movie will read like a foreign film for non-Firefly aficionados and who makes that the basis of his/her review. I am incredibly sick of this criticism. Simply review the movie and say what *you* think of it! Unless you're a River, how about letting up with the mind reading? Furthermore, it's not clear to me from the review why he's only giving the movie a "B." Is it because he thinks it only works for Firefly insiders? Is it because two hours isn't enough to do justice to all the characters a la the TV series?

I wish they had put a non-Firefly fan on the job. And I'm surprised by the relatively low grade coming from EW. This isn't a disastrous review, but it certainly could have been better.
I've added a spoiler tag for this one. Are there any other reviews expected from big publications like EW?
I agree he shouldn't make assumptions about how other people will like it, but I think his grade is perfectly fair. Just because he's a Firefly fan doesn't mean he should give it an A, and in the review he doesn't come across as having loved it, but liked it.

Simon, I would say Chicago Sun Times (Ebert), Rolling Stone, maybe also Time, Newsweek.

[ edited by jam2 on 2005-09-28 21:19 ]
I agree with everyone else -- it's really annoying when people who understood the movie say that others won't understand it, especially since the reviewers who weren't fans of the show don't seem to have any complaints on this front.

[second part of this comment is cut, as the metacritic stuff is actually made it into the post.]

[ edited by bobothebrave on 2005-09-28 21:23 ]
Simon, I'd bet there will be reviews in all the major dailies in the states--NY Times, Washington Post, and down the line.
Oh joy. More thread merging tomorrow *sighs*. Is it Saturday yet?
A 'B' coming from EW is actually very positive. They rarely dish out A grades, and I'm sure most of their readers know that. Though yes, I'm also worried that too many non-fans are going to skip this film because they feel they won't understand it without the background of the series. I think it flows just fine on its own, though obviously a prior history with the characters gives it a more emotional heft.
Well, by late saturday, we'll hearing about the estimate box office for the weekend.
It won't be a calm weekend.
I thought it was Sunday the estimates came out? That's when I see them on Zap2it or the Hollywood Reporter.
It's starting to bug me how many reviews there are by fans of Firefly that go on about how people who never watched the show, won't get or like the movie, almost as if they don't want non-Firefly fans to enjoy it, they want the movie to be an exclusive thing just for Firefly fans(Why? The more people that go to see the move, the more people that will buy the DVD, the soundtrack, the books, the more money Universal gets, the more likely this won't be the last we see of the crew of Serenity).

If magazines like Entertainment Weekly had been willing to give the movie a little more space in the magazine it would have been nice if they had sent two people to the movie, a Firefly fan, and someone who had never seen the show, that way we'd get honest reviews that aren't trying to view the movie through more than one pair of eyes.

I honestly believe there was plenty of information given so that non-Ff fans could enjoy the movie. They won't get as much out of it as the fans, and they won't get every single line in the movie, but unless there are fans in the audience they probably won't realize that there was something in the scene that they would understand a bit more if they'd watched the show. The story of the movie should make perfect sense.

A "B" does seem low, I mean, Dukes of Hazzard got a B+, granted, I haven't seen Dukes but from the trailers and things I've read make the idea of it being a better movie than Serenity laughable. A- would have been more fitting, if only because then there'd be two more grades higher for the sequels to get.
I'll put this here and let Simon decide if it should be tossed into some merged post. Today's Willamette Week here in Portland published its review -- form a critic who, depending on who you ask, is sometimes seen as somewhat... picky.

http://www.wweek.com/lists/screenlist.php

He confesses to never seeing the show, and having low expectations. He ends by saying: "Delivering the sort of fun entertainment the last three Star Wars movies failed at miserably, Serenity is quite simply a damn good movie."
Poor Simon. Well, you could also just create one thread for major daily newspaper reviews and avoid the thread-merging that'll be necessary later.
By Saturday we'll know how much it made on Friday. By sunday we'll have estimates and how much it made on Saturday(if the movie makes less on Saturday than it did on Friday then we're in trouble) and on Monday the actual numbers for the weekend are out.
Hmmmmmm that's not a bad idea bobthebrave, I may just do that tomorrow, shortly. Thanks.
I'm mostly disappointed it wasn't reviewed by either of EW's film reviewers – Lisa Schwartzbaum and Owen Gleiberman. After the Village Voice review yesterday, it makes me wonder how many newspapers will be relegating secondary or minor reviewers to the movie (the NYT often does that as well with what they consider unimportant films - guess we'll see what they decide on Friday).

That said, a B is quite respectable from EW.
I'd actually be afraid of EW giving Serenity an A. The way I've based good fun movies in the theater is usually the opposite of EW. The A movies usually bore the crap out of me. The B movies are full of heart and can grab you. The C and D movies are usually just a good time and the F movies are actuall crap that doesn't play in the theater long enough for me to see it. So if EW had given Serenity an A, I would be in utter shock.
This has got to be the day of a million posts on whedonesque. Seriously, how many news posts have we allready had today? Twenty!?

Edit: Yesterday was the day with the highest amount of posts with 26, as opposed to only 23 today. Can't wait to see how many gorram posts we're gonna get on Friday.

[ edited by SpikeBad on 2005-09-28 22:07 ]
SFX, meanwhile, gave it five stars. As did Hotdog. And its editor, Tom Hawker, raved about it as well, and he was new to the 'Verse.

I quote:

"Those of you acquainted with Joss Whedon's TV series Firefly will already know all about it; for others - like myself - it's the most refreshing slice of sci-fi since The Matrix."

I do think that it would perhaps be better for reviewers to judge the movie solely on its own, instead of any relation to Firefly. Basically, as a fan I can appreciate some small parts of the movie more, but it is still equally accessible to non-fans, and if they do like it they can always watch the series.

But as a fan, I'm not worried for people who haven't seen Firefly, because I know from first hand experience that one of my friends hadn't seen the show yet understood the film. I could actually see for myself Joss setting up the premise in the early part of the film, without it being at all laboured or obvious.

Mostly I'm just really excited because the more positive reviews the better, as far as I'm concerned.
The David Walker review is exactly what I hope to see a LOT more of...And we just might. I've said it before, but I sense a hunger out there for a big action movie with anything resembling a brain and a heart. (And we're beating the other possibility, "Zorro" out of the box.)
I agree bobster, until you got to "Zorro." I haven't heard anything about the movie, but I thought the preview looked terrible. "Here's me, here's quitting, we are this close." Oh, so he's yet another action hero who is "this close" to retiring. But there's more: the classic sequel mistake of bringing in a cute kid, this time to do anachronistic fist pumps and say "I can't wait for my papi to kick your ass." Not to mention Catherine Zeta-Jones is a spy now? What? And writing E-Z on an opponent's ass? Not to mention the utter implausibility of leaping a horse onto a moving train. Or yet another movie in which the bad guy has a horrible new weapon that creates a big hole and makes the hero say "my God." What have you heard that makes it look like it might have a brain, and/or heart, bobster?
I actually kind of thought they'd give it a better rating, considering their unabashed gushing of all things Joss. But, hey, a B is good. Spider-Man garnered a B from EW, and X-Men got a B-, and I loved both of those, so hey.

I am also fed up with the amount of Browncoat reviewers saying that non-fans won't get it. Didn't seem too terribly hard to get myself, judging the movie from a newbie's eyes.
I'm surprised too -- EW usually gives out softball reviews, but I'm not a major follower of the reviewing, so I can't say for sure. And can I just say to his criticism that the rest of the cast besides Mal and River got short shrift that it's extremely rare for a sci-fi movie to develop ONE character, much less expect them to develop NINE. I'd love to have more character-work, but that would've bogged down the movie with too much exposition & development. It's not a pilot, for gosh sakes!

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