Friday, September 30, 2005

Screw that, I'm gonna LIVE

Just got back from Serenity...


Okay how to do a review on this movie without spoilers...

First, from the opening tracking shot (actually a multi composited shot, but still gorgeous) to the final space battle, this movie looks expensive. Since the budget, including P&M (promotion and marketing), was under $40m that's one hell of an achievement.

As to the story, well let's just say the Kobyashi Maru scenarios referenced by other bloggers are apt. The characters are presented with a series of unwinnable scenarios, and they don't win; but they survive... which is I think the central theme of the entire series. Courage is doing what is right when it is guaranteed to get you killed. Heroism is surviving that; or at least making sure everyone else does.

And that's what they do.

When presented with a situation where they MUST succeed, to make sure that right is done; when they are being set upon at all sides by death and destruction; when they cannot possibly succeed, they do; but they pay the price for it.

Damn there are so many better ways of saying that. I've even got them written in my head. There is a Saint Crispins day speech in this one but I can't say it without spoilers.

Let me just put it this way. If you've ever taken a service oath, this movie is going to make your emotions stand up and shout.

Now, the cast.. Well I'm a BIG firefly fan so I'm biased, but I have to say the performances were letter perfect. There just wasnt enough time to show them off more. This movie could have been twice as long, and still they'd have had enough story, and enough character involvement to keep me in my seat.

Oh and the feminity in this movie is utterly yummy. Especially in the fight scenes. Think buffy, the matrix, kill bill, and Zaitochi "a master of swords"...

Summer Glau... Who would have known a balet dancer could kick so much ass (well actually I did; I've known a few who were also martial artists. DAMN).

Gina Torres protrayal of Zoe is jsut a tiny bit too stiff. She's trying to play stoic duty, but it ends up coming off a bit unnatural to me. Of course it's rather unlikely she's ever taken orders, so I can understand that.

Morena Baccarin... we need to see more of her... MUCH MUCH MORE.

And Jewel Staite as Kaylee... Remember Willow and Gabrielle? Yeah she blows them BOTH out of the water. Even in their vamp versions.

Nathan Fillion played it perfect. Henry the fifth meets Yojimbo... or maybe last man standing. Perfect for a space western.

The best performance in the movie though? I have to give it to the tongue twisting Chiwetel Ejiofor as "The Operative". Every time he was on screen all I could think was "Damn this guy kicks ass".

Actually I'm guessing that Joss Whedon is a bigger Toshiro Mifune fan than I thought.

It's definitely the best movie of the year so far, although admitedly, that's not saying much.

Okay I need to stop talking or I'm going to start raving with spoilers. Lets just say I'm going to see it again.

And now, the theme:

Take my love, take my land
Take me where I cannot stand
I don't care, I'm still free
You can't take the sky from me
Take me out to the black
Tell them I ain't comin' back
Burn the land and boil the sea
You can't take the sky from me
There's no place I can be
Since I found Serenity
But you can't take the sky from me...