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"Pain. Death. Apocalypse. None of it fun."
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January 05 2006

Serenity in the Top 20 movies of the year list at E! Online. People at E! Online voted Serenity as No. 20 with a glowing review.

In the readers vote the movies even makes No. 9.

Shiny reviews give me such a happy! It's exciting to see all the positive reviews it's getting.
"Grant yourself the wisdom to see it" Nice review!

You got that right, LmR. It's nice to see that Serenity got on a lot of reviewers "Best of 2005" list.
The best thing happened: a great little movie was made.
That more people didn't see it is the fault of a dumbed-down, celebrity-happy movie-going audience.
"Who's in it?" has replaced "What's it about?"
I still tell people about this movie and the first thing out of their mouths is "Who's in it?"
No need for a spoiler tag for Serenity, so I've removed it.
I still tell people about this movie and the first thing out of their mouths is "Who's in it?"

Ditto. This question annoys me to no end. I pay no attention to who is in a movie; I am bad about following directors, though. Personally, I had discounted Casanova because it looks like movie bubble gum but, once I saw that Lasse Hallstrom was directing, I'm actually kind of looking forward to it.
I can understand that AmazonGirl, but to put a funky spin on it, if your friends are not put off by artsy-fartsy movies (thats my term and I am sticking to it), you can respond by saying you know that rising star in that movie "Kinky Boots" & "Four Brothers"? He plays the villian in that movie. Dunno if it will work or not, but its something.
That more people didn't see it is the fault of a dumbed-down, celebrity-happy movie-going audience.
"Who's in it?" has replaced "What's it about?"
I still tell people about this movie and the first thing out of their mouths is "Who's in it?"

Oh, God. Ain't that the truth? It drove me NUTS in September, when I was trying to get my friends to see it.

Right before Serenity went out of theaters in my area, I went to see it one last time on the big screen. Watching it, finally being able to see all the details, all the directing, acting, and process the dialogue, I was convinced that there was never anything I'd loved more. It was just too beautifully done. But I came out of that theater mad. And disgusted. Disgusted that more people did not get in a theater to see this wonderful movie. Joss put his blood and guts into making this movie and that just didn't seem matter to the American public. People easily handed over their money for crap every Friday night, yet completely passed Serenity by. What a movie is about, how a movie is made, is no longer a concern to the American public and it's just so incredibly wrong. And sad.

[ edited by zimshan on 2006-01-05 18:55 ]
lyrabelacua - another reason to see Casanova is Lena Olin is in it. If you're an Alias fan like me Ms. Olin plays Sydney's mom, Irina Derevko. She's a fantastic actress!

Go Serenity!!!

ETA: OK, so don't get me wrong. I normally don't watch movies because of the big name actors. Honestly, I don't care. The whole "who's in it?" was so frustrating when I was pumping Serenity up to my friends. BUT, I do love Lena AND Chocolat. So there.

[ edited by Harmalicious on 2006-01-05 20:52 ]

[ edited by Harmalicious on 2006-01-05 20:53 ]
I've never even heard of some of the movies on that list. Now I'm somewhat intriqued as to if they really are that good. Though I did hate the Hitchiker's Guide movie, so their claims are questionable.

It is troubling to see people unwilling to see a movie unless some big star is in it. Personally I try to avoid movies with big star's because more often than not it's nearly impossible to see the character, it really ruins the movie for me.
Taking a charitable view, sometimes people are trying to remember if they have heard of it when they ask "Who is in it." By that I mean that it is a way to jog one's own memory of which movie is which when the name of the movie is not ringing any bells.

Of course, sometimes they are just being shallow. ;-)
I've posted about this endlessly here and elsewhere, but the reason film marketing is so star-driven these days is that, with a two week window, the only way to market a film is to either emphasized the stars or that rarest of commodities, a very simple, easily understandable and "relatable" premise like "The 40 Year Old Virgin."

It's better if you have both. "Flightplan", which beat "Serenity" it's opening week was a movie that, as far as I can tell, no one loved. But it was "Jodie Foster searches for mysteriously dissappeared child on plane" -- a star that everyone loves and a premise that almost everyone can relate to.

Movies like "Serenity" need time and a seventies style/indie-style release pattern (opening in a limited number of theaters and building slowly) almost certainly would have worked better. With all the advertising and publicity being so star-driven, it's no wonder that that's what people emphasize.

It's sad because directors and writers have a great deal more to do with whether a movie works or not than actors. "Casanova" is an interesting example. Of course, it can work both ways. I was sort of interested in seeing "Casanova" despite a trailer that looked pretty dumb...then I remembered Hallstrom's last movie was "Chocolat", which I believe may just be the worst, most precious multi-Oscar nominated film of all time. It's been a long, long time since "My Life as a Dog."

[ edited by bobster on 2006-01-05 20:07 ]
Who's in it?

The most gorgeous and talented actors you've never seen before.
The thing is that a lot of the actors have been seen before, but they just aren't household names. Ron Glass was a main player in Barney Miller from 1975 - 1982. It was a very popular, highly rated, critically acclaimed show, and he was in it all 7 years. He was the only one whose name I knew on the cast originally. If you tell a lot of people he was Det. Harris on Barney Miller, they would know who he is. (He's the guy who wasn't Fish...)

Adam Baldwin is no newcomer, either. Unfortunately he's still not a household name, but he was "My Bodyguard," and in tons of movies including the popular "Independence Day," and played an alien super-soldier on "The X-Files."

Gina Torres, while again not a household name, was one of the stable of recurring actors who played various characters on Hercules and Xena, and was in the last two Matrix movies, as well as a recurring character in "Alias" and "24."

Star Wars had Alec Guinness as a name, and maybe that's what Serenity needed was just one name to play some character - any character - to draw people in. (Guinness would not have done it for me, though, because he was only a name to me. I wasn't familiar with his work back then.) Other than AG, Star Wars had nobody famous (unless you count James Earl Jones's voice) and it was a huge success.

The difference now is that the uniqueness of Star Wars and space adventures has worn away, so that a truly novel, well-done movie like Serenity has a harder time getting noticed in the crowd - even if it is far superior to its predecessors.
Changed 'under' to 'in' in the headline.
Who's in it?

The most gorgeous and talented actors you've never seen before.

Great line, MissKittysMom! In fact it could win a tagline contest. (What ever did happen in that, BTW?)
King Kong at #2? No way did it deserve to be that high IMO.
Nebula1400, it also didn't hurt that Star Wars had Orson Welles doing the voice-over narration for the trailer. That's what we should've done. Someone needs to go back in the past, cryogenically freeze Welles upon his death, then come back in January 2005 to unfreeze him and hire him to do the Serenity voice-over.

The biggest problem for me to get people to see the BDM was the premise. One lady at Wal-Mart who was waiting around at midnight for The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Four Brothers while I was waiting for Serenity and wearing my wonderful ball cap I won at a pre-screening, asked me, "So, what is Serenity about?"

"Well, it's 500 years in the future, and the earth has been used up, so mankind has been forced to move out into the galaxy..."

And then she completely lost interest. Maybe I should've said, "It's about these people on a spaceship, but wait, they're in a courtroom run by the Alliance with Tom Wilkinson debating superficial aspects of religion while Marky Mark kicks the shit out of people who killed his mom. On the spaceship. With a scary British guy and a sword. And they have to, like, stop the evil Alliance courtroom people from convicting Tom Wilkinson because he's a freakin' weirdo who tried to save some girl's soul. And Marky Mark! You'll love it!"


ETA: Thank God someone else agrees with me on King Kong, vampiredan.

[ edited by UnpluggedCrazy on 2006-01-06 01:23 ]
"Who's in it?" has replaced "What's it about?"

It's sad that people are like this, but I've found a lot of people recognize Adam. They just don't know his name. At work I tell people it has Animal Mother from Full Metal Jacket and then they know exactly who I'm talking about. And I don't think it will be too long until the cast becomes "names" in Hollywood.
My description of Serenity was something like this: "It takes place in the future; it's about a government trying to catch a psychic girl who knows a secret that could bring down the government." This description sounds like the plot of so many other sci-fi and action movies. How can I describe Serenity in a way that captures its uniqueness?
BUT, I do love Lena AND Chocolat. So there.

Ditto. How can you not love Chocolat? Or Cider House Rules for that matter.

I do love Serenity more though ;)
"Who's in it?" has replaced "What's it about?"

I don't think this is so bad, really. Like, how many here are going to watch at least one episode of "Four Kings" because Seth Green is in it? (I sure am!) "Who's in it?" can be a positive question; we'll watch something because we like who's in it, whether it's because they're "famous" or because they're talented. MissKitty'sMom's response was the best one of all -- just say that the actors are not well-known, but they're great, and pretty, too! ;-)
There are also people who watch a film because of who directed it. After discovering Ang Lee via "The Wedding Banquet", I now look forward to all his films (except the Hulk). People do the same with Lucas, Spielberg, Scott (Ridley), etc.
billz I think the point some of us were making here is that there are some people that will refuse to see a movie unless there's someone famous in it. And while I'll go see anything Nathan Fillion is in because I think he's a good actor I'm not going to refuse to see a movie because there's no one I know in it.
True, war_machine, and I did get that's what part of the discussion was about. I had just wanted to point out that, although it's annoying when people narrow their choices by saying "no" based on something that is pretty weak (like "is anyone famous in it?"), it's just another form of taste. (Those fame-lovers probably judge us as "fanatics"because we go to see everything our favorite people are in.) I guess I just feel a little uncomfortable when people are judged, even though I totally admit I'm as guilty as the next guy of being judgmental, especially of people who I think are making bad, uninformed choices.

The folks who will only see something with a famous cast just will not get it ever, ever, not independent films, not foreign films, not our little "Serenity." Sux, but true, unless we do something really smart, like I think it was you, war_machine, who pointed out to a friend that "Firefly" was like the James Gang in post-Civil War U.S. because you knew that person would be interested in that. ;-)

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