Serenity: from someone who hasn't seen Firefly(WARNING:open spoilers)

OK, the big thread is:

  1. Way too long
  2. Full of spoilers for the series
  3. Hi Opal!

So, here’s some thoughts about the film from someone who hasn’t seen the show.

It was brilliant, although the fact that all the characters were so poorly drawn lets you KNOW that they’re based on a series. There are only hints and clues, no real characterisation, so it’s hard to feel emotionally involved with them. That said, Wash and Book were pretty shocking, and set up the whole “well, he could kill anyone” vibe.

The dialogue was funny, Whedon funny, but funny.

The effects were great, and the fight scenes really show the experience of the director at shooting fight scenes…they rocked!
Couple of thoughts:

  1. Reavers: I thought of them as like Hyenas. Hyper aggressive, will work in a pack to hunt, but can turn on the weakest member of their own pack if it suits the agenda of the pack as a whole. Not mindless killing machines, just really GOOD killing machines with no fear and an overwhelming blood-lust.

  2. The Operative told the “Dr” at the start to just give up, stop fighting and take his death like a man. When he knew he had failed, and that the Alliance had failed him, there was no reason to fight. At that point, the most honourable thing would be to surrender and walk off somewhere quietly to kill yourself.

  3. The Reavers were created 12 years ago, in the flash-back of the school River was about 10, she is now 17, so the flashback was about 7 years ago, 5 years after the creation of the Reavers, and well after tales of their exploits could have filtered across the systems.

4.Inarra is a courtesan, right?

I think that’s an excellent characterization.

Yep. And, of course, repeated the speech for Mal near the end - or tried to. But Mal wasn’t ready to die quite yet.

Right. Also, as I pointed out in the other thread, what we were seeing was a dream of River’s, not a pure flashback. It would be well within rights for different elements of her subconscious to be flitting about and meeting in that dreamspace: I’m sure there were never dead bodies in her classroom, or everyone being ordered to take a random nap at their outdoor desks, either. Whether or not the Reaver discussion actually happened is moot, both from an exposition standpoint, but also a realistic dream standpoint. I had a dream last night involving James Marters, a limo and cheese. I’ve never been in a limo with James Marsters or cheese.

Right. Her actual title is Companion. We know they are highly respected, and treated as (and sometimes even called) ambassadors from one planet to another. They have some amount of political clout, as no one (and no government) wants “a black mark” on the Companion registry - recieve one of those, and no Companion will contract with you ever again. There is a great deal of schooling involved in becoming a Companion, and they are tightly regulated by the Alliance. They are required to report for a full physical and bloodwork every year. They choose their own clients, screening them before accepting a hire. Inarra once claimed that bathing her clients feet was “her specialty”, but she was most likely trying to get a rise out of Mal at the time. She is trained in conversation and apparently some level of armchair psychology as well as seduction. Also tea making. She’s a composite of the geisha and the European courtesan, from what I can tell. Inarra unexpectedly left her training facility at some point, and we don’t know why, or even what level of training she was at - or if she was a teacher. And, yes, she does have sex with clients.

Are you sure? I think the one time this came up, it was being used sarcastically, and Book fell for it.

In any case, the Companions are, indeed, courtesan/geisha hybrids. I never quite understood the near-universal reverance they seem to receive.

Someone from the 17th or 18th centuries might not understand the near-universal reverence received by movie stars in 21st century America; I believe (stage) acting was once seen as a rather disreputable and low-status profession.

I don’t understand it.

I’m thinking of “The Train Job,” when:

Inarra uses her political clout to get Mal and Zoe out of trouble with the law. I believe the sherrif called her “Ambassador”,

and “Shindig” when

I think Sir Warwick addresses her as Ambassador at the ball…

but I admit my line-for-line knowledge of Firefly is not on par with that of Buffy.

And perhaps (if they did use the word) they were using is sarcastically, or at least overly politely, the way a Concierge would refer to a hooker as “your neice”, but it didn’t seem that way.

A tad more backstory on Inara: She used to live on Serenity with the others. Or rather, she lived on one of the shuttles carried by the ship, which she rented from Mal. This gave her the opportunity to travel extensively and do business with clients all over the system, and was also occasionally convenient for Mal and his crew (no, not in that way) when he needs to have connections with someone “respectable”. But Mal and Inara found themselves falling in love with each other, rather a complication in her line of work, so at the end of the series she leaves the ship.

Also, her clients aren’t always men.

I’ll be in my bunk.

Yeah, I was trying to avoid that spoiler, as it’s a pretty significant one in the epidsode, and the thread was started by a Firefly virgin. Thanks.

My girlfriend and had never seen a Firefly episode when we went to see Serenity last week, after which we went out and bought the DVD box set.

I’ve watched all but Disk 4 so far, and I will certainly be hungry for more once I’m done with it.

What is the gossip about the possibility of the series returning? Or will they stick to feature films now that they’ve tasted those sweeter profits?

Linkypoo to an imdb message board thread pondering the same question…

You’re right, I ruined a funny.

That said, I don’t know about using the word “significant” and “spoiler” (in the traditional sense) in the same sentence, though.

After all, although it was a might big funny, it was pretty much completely incidental to the A plot of “War Stories.”

That said, I guess I’ll see if a mod would be so kind as to retroactively spoiler-tag that for irishgirl.

What profits? They way things are looking, Universal will be lucky if they even break even on this thing.

They’ll probably break even on the DVD, and maybe international.

But at a budget of $40M and the film hasn’t even made half that yet, it seems a sequel or two are very unlikely (unless word of mouth allows the film to percolate for a while–kinda doubtful, though).

A thought: Isn’t the SciFi network currently showing reruns of the series? There may be some folks watching the series now, and waiting on the movie until they’ve seen all the episodes. If this is the case, we should expect an upswing in the box office on the weekend or two after the series finishes. If it’s still in the theaters (fingers crossed).

It’s only just opened in Europe. buffy and X-men have a lot of fans, not all of them live in the USA, and I’d imagine they’ll get some money from us…

How many episodes are left? Three?

I don’t think it’ll last in theaters that long.

I’m really disappointed that this thing tanked so badly. As I understand it, in order for a film to be considered a big enough moneymaker to justify a sequel it has to at least break even on domestic release. Given the way box office receipts are split, that means Serenity needed to pull in about $70 million at a minimum in the US. It didn’t even come close.

It’s actually doing very good per-theater… it’s just at 1,000 theaters fewer than most of the top ten. Somehow or other, Corpse Bride got a wider release than it did.

I honestly expect it to do better overseas than it did in the states – no really I do, Europe still has a love affair going on with American cowboys and SF – Plus, I think more people over there “get” Whedon.

I’m not sure I “get” him, but I definitely like his work.

Heh, and having seen The Corpse Bride, I have to say that’s rather unfortunate :rolleyes: (Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad movie at all, it just wasn’t all that remarkably good)