>>> Click here for the RMC FAQ'N RULES <<<


Serenity Logo

Your March 2007 Unrandom Movie Club Results Are In!

Tagline: They're armed. She's dangerous.

Second Universe Same As The First

This month's Preshow Entertainment was a compilation of performances from England's early to mid-60s rock show READY! STEADY! GO!

RSG! was responsible for bringing many A-list and exciting acts onto your telly (some lip-syncing, others live) each Friday night. And although The Beatles and The Stones were on board, we didn't make it that far. We did, however see some truly amazing performances: Jerry Lee Lewis, Billy Fury (who made such a funny entrance, it was almost like watching Steve Martin), the Moody Blues when they were moody and bluesy, and my favourite - Lulu (sadly, we never made it to her electrifying performance of SHOUT). We'll have to toss this tape on again down the line.

This month's UMC was the feature directorial debut from Joss Whedon - SERENITY. A spin-off from his post-Buffy space western TV show FIREFLY, SERENITY answers some questions from the series, which was yanked before its original order of 14 got to air.

The movie focuses on the mysterious River Tam (Summer Glau), and why the Alliance (evil government) is after her. It opens with a flashback of a young River in a class, then smashcuts to present day (well, 500 years from now) where she is being scrutinized and probed by the Alliance (one of which is played by an RMCer!). Rescued by her brother Simon (Sean Maher), the Tams eventually find themselves aboard the ship Serenity, a vessel filled with colorful characters with a space pirate ethic (they even call the spaceship a boat). They're the good guys, though sometimes they find themselves doing bad things. This is not your typical movie space crew. They're flawed, vulnerable. Their bodies and egos both bruise. And they babble when in the presence of their crushes. They are human.

Firefly Crew
Among them, Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), the Han Solo of Serenity, protective of the ship, its cargo, and its passengers to a loyal fault. Yet with all his machismo, his unspoken love for "companion" Inara (Morena Baccarin) goes unnoticed (or does it?). Married couple Wash (Alan Tudyk) and Zoe (Gina Torres) - he's the ship's pilot, and jealous of Zoe's close (not sexually) relationship with Mal (they fought the Alliance together years ago in the civil war). Then there's the bullish and dorky Jayne (Adam Baldwin), always watching and covering his ass. And sweet Kaylee (Jewel Staite), the tomboy mechanic who's sweet on Simon Tam, but he doesn't know it (or does he?). The Alliance will stop at nothing to get River back. But why? What exactly is so important about River Tam? I mean, besides being telepathic. What does she know?
River Tam

We don't know either. That's the mystery. But we do know that a subliminal message sets her off, causing her to kick some major ass in an exciting scene akin to a kung fu 25 against 1 brawl. It's safe to say Summer Glau took ballet.

As the crew of Serenity try to find answers, they run across Reavers, humans who have become cannibals. You don't want to mess with Reavers. Nor do you want to come up against The Operative (Chiwetel Ejiofor), an Alliance mercenary who will kill everything he needs to in order to capture and return River. And that includes having a fellow Alliance operative fall on his sword, literally. No one is safe in his path, that is clear. And Serenity is in his path.

Whedon, for the most part, does a pretty great job directing, with big moments (let's just say more than one of the main characters won't be back for any sequels, unless they're in flashbacks) and small details (like Malcolm's eye after a fight - red, not white). And personally, I am a huge fan of monkeying with studio logos as part of the first shot. I think CAT BALLOU started that for me. Then RAIDERS. And SERENITY does it too.

In the interest of full disclosure, space movies and westerns are two of my least favorite genres, and SERENITY has the misfortune (for me) to be a space western. That said, SERENITY is not a bad movie. I'm just holding the genius that is Joss Whedon up to a standard I wouldn't of, say, John Cougar Mellencamp's directorial feature FALL FROM GRACE. It's Joss' fault. He had to go and make that damn Buffy show. Now everything he does will be compared to that.

Fans of SERENITY and FIREFLY are called Browncoats. So if I am killed after this review, they're the ones to check the DNA of when CSI: THE VALLEY knocks. For despite its imagination, cleverness, tone, and Summer Glau, there are moments when SERENITY goes down like a led spaceship of the class firefly. I don't usually like to give "notes" on a film (well, in this venue, anyway), but a major tightening of this 2 hour movie would have helped a whole lot. Because like the war against the Alliance that the crew of Serenity is fighting...it just goes on too long.

The problem with heroes is you always expect them to be great, and you are crushed when they falter. There's no doubt in my mind Joss Whedon is a hero to a lot of people. And with the exception of Buffy fanatics, Browncoats, and other assorted trainspotters...Joss has faltered. But don't call him Joss "We Done" yet. For every hero has the ability to bounce back and save the world. And he will. Because if I didn't write that, I'd be looking over my shoulder for Browncoats for the rest of my life.

Tags: , , , ,


Feed Burner Subscribe in a reader

Powered byFeedBlitz

About ...

RMC email address
Old RMC Men

RMC is not affiliated with Rochester Midland Corporation, makers of fine restroom disinfecting fluids and urinal mats since 1888.


Powered by Pizza, Red Vines,
& 6 Different Kinds of Soda



This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from Random Movie Club. Make your own badge here.

((( Contribute to our Popcorn Fund! )))

Best Viewed With Firefox 2

Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to Technorati Favorites!

eXTReMe Tracker