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"Believe me, I've had my hands around a few."
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March 03 2006

Serenity gets voted "Most Underrated Movie of the Year" in the Golden Schmoes awards run by The movie came runner up in a couple of other award categories as well.

Jack Green lights the two biggest surprises of the year. Wee.
OK, so I was glancing at the nominees in the "Best Line of the Year" category, and I read "Everything in this room is eatable..." (which is from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), but the nominee above it on the list was Brokeback Mountain -- well, what can I say? Not that there's anything wrong with that! ;-)
Okay, I have to ask: How was SERENITY underrated? The critics loved it, everyone who saw it loved it -- it's just that not enough people did see it.

That doesn't make it underrated. It makes it undeservedly unsuccessful at the box office, maybe (and please note how I avoided the word flop, here *s*), but not underrated, because its ratings, of all things, were stellar.
bschnell, I would interpret that as underrated by the general public. You know, the ones that did not bother to go see it. (I could go into something about it being underrated by the marketing people who obvoiusly thought it was only for mindless adolescent boys, but that would not be nice, and I am trying to be nice today. ;-) )
What? No Brokeback? Cuz that movie was severely underrated. I mean, it should SO be up for an Oscar or something...oh wait...
newcj, I guess you're right, and I'm sure that at the end of the day, it's a compliment.

But it still looks odd to me. Look folks, this film was too special for us to include it in a major category, so we gave it this harmless, honorary nod ...

(And you know how "special" is becoming a synonym for handicapped, right? *wry g*)
The nominations are voted upon by JoBlo users. Even I put it in the "Underrated" category (among others), because most people didn't give it a first -- let alone second -- glance. JoBlo himself only gave the film a 4/10. Though, on the flip side, the site's other prominent writer rated it a 3.5/4 without ever having seen Firefly.
Surely winning this category makes it less underrated?
Another factor is to consider is that "Serenity" was seen almost entirely by second string critics. Other than Ebert, Roeper, and Joss-fan-extraordinaire Ken Tucker, I can't think of one nationally known U.S. film critic who reviewed it.

L.A.'s KPCC has a weekly show where critics review just about everything...except "Serenity". Apparently, not one of their critics (mostly mid-level first stringers)has seen it, probably persuaded by marketing that it's merely a way to cash in on some not-very-selective fans.
Is Manohla Dargis a second-string critic?

I've heard that argument before, yet when you check the reviews at, the names that pop up are all the usual suspects.

And in Germany, it got some very high-quality _and_ high-brow exposure, not least thanks to Dietmar Dath. But it didn't help.
It made ten million dollars on two thousand screens opening weekend. People went to see it. It grossed 25 million overall, and has more than paid for itself in DVD sales and foreign distribution. The problem with Hollywood is that nowadays if a film doesn't pay for itself the nanosecond after it opens in the box office it's a failure. If it doesn't gross over a hundred million by the end of the first weekend people start looking at their shoes and that's insane.

I don't want to go every weekend to see the same thing everybody else is watching. Not every film should be expected to be made for the entire population to appreciate. Screw that. I don't want all my ice cream to be vanilla cuz some people just can't handle neopolitan.

People went to see it. Just not everybody. Considering how cheap it was to make it comparatively speaking (less than half the pricetag of your usual blockbuster film) I think Universal came out ahead and they'd be fools not to make a sequel. Admittedly the sequel would need to be even cheaper to produce, and Whedon would be a fool to accept those terms. Except for that whole "cant stop the signal gotta keep flying" thing.

They should budget the second film at twenty-five and give the cast a carrot from the back end box office gross and DVD sales to sweeten their pots rather than a large chunk of up front cash. They won't. Movie companies cling to DVD sales now to pull them out of the hole they don't like to share but that's how a sequel could get made. In fact the only time in recent memory I've heard any screen talent get backend like that is Tom Hanks with Castaway. It should be the industry standard but you have to have a damn good agent, and be a name like Tom Hanks.

[ edited by ZachsMind on 2006-03-04 17:26 ]

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