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October 15 2005

(SPOILER) People's Weekly World gives 'Serenity" a rave review! Newspaper of the Communist Party USA also gives a glowing compliment to "Firefly."

I had to highlight this one. It's a great movie that appeals to both the right and the left! Contains spoilers.

Great that they like it but they're missing the peoint. The Alliance isn't an evil empire. It isn't an oppressive dictatorship hell bent on wiping out all opposition. They're a government who believe they're the good guys and on the whole what we've seen them do is good.

There's no evidence that they are "less tolerant" of any Browncoats either. Mal's war record is known to all yet we've seen them inspect his ship without doing anything inappropriate to whatever law he's actually breaking this week.
"Serenity", throwing off the bonds of bourgeois box office projections and imperialist trolls! The tide of history will ensure sequels, a new TV series, and the inevitable (but naturally temporary) dictatorship of the Prolatarian Browncoats. All hail Chairman Joss.
Well if that doesn't get people flocking to the box office, nothing will.
At least they're not Maoists. As was written by that great Box Office prognosticator John Lennon: "If you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow."

So, folks, please, leave the Mao placards and Little Red Books at home.

[ edited by bobster on 2005-10-16 02:47 ]
LOL, Simon. In my opinion, it's the aliens. Those space faring misfits have been messing with us for years ;)
I haven't seen a whole lot of interesting, in-depth analysis of the political undercurrent of the movie - and there are definite socio-political issues in there. It can be interpretted in any number of ways, depending on the poltics of the reviewer. The POV of this review actually is closer to my own interpretation of the movie than those I have read.

So, go ahead with your attack-fest, but I figured if the National Review merited citation on here, it would be interesting to see another political viewpoint which was also positive. I'm not going to attack the reviewer. It's against the rules of this site, but also this is someone who obviously loved the movie, and had nothing even remotely bad to say about it. Where is the bad in that?
Where are you seeing this 'attack-fest' you mention?
I don't know that there have been attacks, per se. It's difficult to interpret the intentions of people joking around on a message board. In the stereotypes inherent in some of the comments above, I kind of see how a couple of the posts might be interpretted as an implicit attack on the reviewer - though it may not be the intention.

Let's just say my comment is a means of ducking for cover just in case someone decides to kill the messenger. ;-)
It can be interpretted in any number of ways, depending on the poltics of the reviewer.


You make a good point, but it is noteworthy that the interpretation depends on the politics of the reviewer. It seems likely that most people (if not all people) see the world through their own prism of beliefs. If someone is a Communist then they may well look for art that reinforces - rather than challenges - their beliefs. I quite like the idea that a piece of art can exist anew every time a new person experiences it because the chemistry of the interaction between each individual viewer and the art itself will necessarily vary.

I am fairly libertarian and thus my view of Serenity tends to be coloured by the idea that the Alliance may well be trying to make people's lives better, but that it should not be the role of a government to meddle with people's lives. Indeed this is, to my mind, one of the great flaws of Communism - it tends to have difficulty dealing with those who do not wish to be Communist.

Nevertheless, there is certainly room for Serenity to be read as a metaphor for the benefits of a non-interventionalist foreign policy or as a hymn to the desirability of a group dynamic in which everyone works towards the greater good of the whole. (Communism on a micro level?)

The key is that Serenity is a great film and the fact that it can be appreciated across the entire political spectrum and for such a wide variety of reasons only adds to its significance.
Where are you seeing this 'attack-fest' you mention?

Yeah always gotta love it when people start defending themselves while no one is doing any attacking.....

But it's a decent article. Same things still stands though: if the writer is a right winger, he/she'll say that the Alliance is 'clearly' based on communistic dictatorships, and if he/she's left wing, it's 'cearly' showing the dangers of fascist regimes. The point of course is more that even a basically good and civilized society that start believing too much it can't do wrong, can start doing some very bad things in the name of what it thinkgs is good.

Things are relative and becoming what you hate is always right around the corner if you're not careful.
This comment is sort of directed to all those who normally shy away from things that are endorsed by Christians...ditto for me and communists/socialists. Or leftist organizations of any stripe, for that matter. Just another example of the big tent, I suppose.
The key is that Serenity is a great film and the fact that it can be appreciated across the entire political spectrum and for such a wide variety of reasons only adds to its significance.


Which is exactly my point (though I honestly think that since Joss is not a libertarian, that a libertarian take on it was probably not his).

Yeah always gotta love it when people start defending themselves while no one is doing any attacking.....


OK. That's just mean.
This ends here. Let's continue to discuss the review and save the political discussion for another board. We do have two others, for just this kind of thing. Minus the arguing and oversensitivity, of course.
Edited so as to not be uncool!

[ edited by bobster on 2005-10-16 02:47 ]
I like the review. It's short (which is refreshing) and to the point. And I love the fact that this movie can be seen from so many angles.

I never tire of reading Serenity reviews. I've also noticed that I've started compulsively buying every magazine that features a review of the BDM, even if I've already read it online. Heh.
An important thing about this review is more people than you would think will read it and see the movie because of it - not millions, of course, but feasibly thousands of people who might otherwise pass the movie over. Unfortunately, this was published just as most theatres cut down on the showtimes.

I'm also impressed that the reviewer chose not to refer to "Firefly" as a failed series, which far too many reviews did. There were no "little exceptions" to "generally liking the movie." The review was completely positive, which was really nice to see.
Hey, it's a lot better in that sense than the family recommendation column I read yesterday in the Orange County Register, which is supposed to be a more or less objective look at how appropriate particular movies are for younger viewers.

In it, the writer refers to "Firefly" not as a "failed" series in the usual term but as a "flop." Technically true in its initial TV incarnation, I suppose, but still the writer really should wonder why there's a movie at all if it was such a total and complete failure.

Then, about its appropriate for kids it says something like "okay for twelve, thirteen and up, but they'll be bored if they weren't fans of the original series." Grr.
The writer doesn't seem to get it. The reasons why the Alliance wants the Serenity crew are made explicitly clear by the movie. It makes me distrust anything else he or she has to say.
The writer doesn't seem to get it. The reasons why the Alliance wants the Serenity crew are made explicitly clear by the movie. It makes me distrust anything else he or she has to say.


It's a minor point in the review, no worse than any other reviewer who might not have picked up on other points, and certainly better than saying Jewel Staite is Joss Whedon's wife! It seems, for the most part the reviewer DOES get it. Also, perhaps he omitted information deliberately, as it would give away too much of the plot.

Think about it this way . He could have chosen to review any number of other movies, but this is the only movie review that has appeared in the paper in two or three weeks. The readership of this publication is likely to go out and see it because of this review - and in higher percentages than for most other publications.
One thing that occurred to me after reading this review, is there a Middle Class in the Firefly 'verse? Sometimes it seems to me that its really split between the haves (the Alliance) and the have-nots (ummm everyone else).
The writer doesn't seem to get it. The reasons why the Alliance wants the Serenity crew are made explicitly clear by the movie. It makes me distrust anything else he or she has to say.


The reviewer said (better make this invisitext, just to be sure):



ETA: typo.

[ edited by GVH on 2005-10-16 21:55 ]
OK. I emailed the reviewer, and he said:

"I just didn't want to give the plot away."

He completely got why the Alliance was after Mal et al.

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