ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Serenity (2005)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Joss Whedon

Starring:
Nathan Fillion/Mal
Gina Torres/Zoe
Alan Tudyk/Wash
Adam Baldwin/Jayne
PLOT-CRUNCH
A group of Space Outlaws find themselves in big trouble in bigger space when the package they're carrying (a damaged, deadly girl named River) gets the Alliance (Space Government) on their tail. In between dealing with the unpredictable aggressive River, the insane Reavers (Think Zombie Klingons) and the Alliance’s lethal employee “The Operative”, they attempt to unravel the “why” behind what’s going down. Hop on this ship and blast off baby!
THE LOWDOWN
New Page 2

Jayne, how many weapons you plan on bringing? You only got the two arms. - Mal

When I saw the trailers for SERENITY, I wasn’t sold on it; it just didn’t work for me and I was gonna skip it. After getting mucho e-mails asking me to go see the damn thing, I finally broke down like Michael Jackson at a Daycare for toddlers and said why the heck not. Thank you to the people who convinced me to see this film; where I totally fell in love with it.

Sprung off the cancelled Joss Whedon (Of Buffy and Angel fame) show FIREFLY (a show I had never watched or heard of for that matter); SERENITY went on to crowd please my silly self like nobody’s cheating girlfriend. The story at hand was Sci-Fi at its best, it smartly commented on the past, addressed our present (Big Brother baby, Big Brother) while wrapping it all up in a thick futuristic blanket. Endearingly enough; the flick played its tune with a Western Cowboy like motif to it which gave the whole a unique genre bending flavor that I just couldn’t get enough of. The colorful, outlaw anti-heroes that we were tagged to also made it all happen. I so grooved hanging out with this lot and loved how they all displayed shades of gray as opposed to being back and white. Mal (Fillion), Jayne (Baldwin) and the film’s equally nuance villain The Operative (Ejiofor) were my favs no doubt; loved them! It surely helped the players that they were given some freaking clever, sharp and hard hitting dialogue that had me laugh out loud on many occasions. It made the gang all that more appealing and the flick so much more entertaining.

Then we had the excellent production values and designs whopping serious Wookie ass! The Blade Runner on Pop Culture acid world the story was set in so enthused me and so did the various space ship motifs. Speaking of ships, Serenity put out some of the most exhilarating and well-staged ship dogfight scenarios since Luke Skywalker aimed to take that blasted Death Star down. The myriad of chase sequences, martial art jamborees, suspenseful shootouts and down and dirty fist to cuffs, contributed to the audio/visual fiesta that was this movie. Talk about giving the audience an eye and earful! Finally, look out for those side baddies called the Reavers. What is a Reaver? Think anarchist; blood thirsty Zombie like entities who aim to destroy, kill and chew you down on every damn level. They provided much of the anxiety that was in the film and I for one would have loved to have seen more of them.

Any complaints Uncle Arrow? Well my main and sole peeve is that the flick went on for a bit too long. A good 20 minutes could’ve been snipped out of there to make it a tighter and more hard hitting experience. But in all honesty, that didn’t bother me too much where on the flip side, the more time I spent in Serenity’s world; the happier I was. To conclude; Serenity was a striking Sci-Fi badass that launched humor, horror, smarts, Grade A effects, imagination and action my way like a Mike Tyson left hook. And to think I almost didn’t see it on the big screen. Thank the Siths that I came to my senses! SERENITY IS ALREADY UNDERRATED!
GORE
We get stabbings, bullets hits, a handful of brutal moments, corpses and ugly Reavers. .
ACTING
Nathan Fillion (Mal) rocked as the Han Solo like Captain of the ship; tough, to the point, a fighter and a lover. Classic hero type with a couple of twists to him that Fillion interpreted to a T. Gina Torres (Zoe) nailed her emotional and action inclined role. Chiwetel Ejiofor (The Operative) was incredible as the well-spoken, charismatic yet deadly nemesis. LOVED HIM!

Baldwin (Jayne) was right at home as the more shameless and hardened one of the group. Morena Baccarin (Inara) did what she had to do while being great eye candy. Jewel Staite (Kaylee) and Sean Maher (Simon) sported a great chemistry together whilst putting out razor deliveries. Summer Glau (River) nailed her ass kicking and emotionally twisted role. Quite the pretty girl at that!
T & A
The ladies get all the yum with men shirtless all over the air lock. What about us! Don’t dames take off their tops in the future? COME ON! WORK WITH MY PANTS OVER HERE!
DIRECTING
Joss Whedon directed his new baby with a firm hand, stylish, suspenseful and at times semi trippy; the flick looked amazing. I have officially forgiven him for his Alien Resurrection script (If that was his fault in the first place).
SOUNDTRACK
The techno/Cowboy twang inclined score worked wonders for the film; sucking me deeper into its action.
BOTTOM LINE
Others have said it and yup, I’ll say it too. Serenity is the new Star Wars! It displayed the same Sci-Fi, matinee adventure vibe while taking it all a hyper speed notch further by touching upon the Western and horror genre. If that wasn’t enough; it machine gunned, zany action, space fights, loveable characters, a potent mystery AND acted as a clever social commentary to boot. Granted it all went on for a tad too long but that didn’t come close to tarnishing what was this side splitting, mucho exciting, eye popping and highly original experience. Serenity was the real thing, an ambitious film that pretty much did it all right. Joss Whedon has earned my respect! Sign me up for a sequel and yup… time to go buy myself a brown coat.
BULL'S EYE
Word on the street is that the film cost 35 to 40 million to make. Well the money as onscreen!

Word on the same street is that FOX sabotaged the series, airing episodes out of sequence, busting balls left and right, which led to it being cancelled after its first season. Universal handled the film version.

VISIT THE OFFICIAL SERENITY SITE HERE

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12:55PM on 01/22/2006

I Must've Missed It When Fifth Element Swept the Comedy Awards

I never saw the Firefly series, but I'd heard so many good things about the movie that I had to see it (plus, I'm a Buffy and Angel fan from way back). LOVED IT! The dialogue was excellent, the acting great, and the special effects were quite good for such a small budget. The plot was much smaller in scope than your typical scifi offering, which completely humanized it, and gave it that much more emotional impact.

Speaking of emotional impact, while Joss Whedon can write the most
I never saw the Firefly series, but I'd heard so many good things about the movie that I had to see it (plus, I'm a Buffy and Angel fan from way back). LOVED IT! The dialogue was excellent, the acting great, and the special effects were quite good for such a small budget. The plot was much smaller in scope than your typical scifi offering, which completely humanized it, and gave it that much more emotional impact.

Speaking of emotional impact, while Joss Whedon can write the most wiseassed scripts in Hollywood, he does know when to tone it down and get serious. The climax of the movie is incredibly intense and moving. Having never seen the series, I didn't have the same emotional investment in the characters going into the movie, but I was still able to easily get caught up in them and get all choked up at the appropriate points.

And seriously, were there TWO "Fifth Elements"? There must have been, because you obviously saw a different one than I did, dude.
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2:26PM on 01/08/2006

New Star Wars

I haven't fallen in love with characters as fast as I did in this movie in a long time. I didn't want anyone to die. Awesome movie all around and I am praying for sequels (good ones).
I haven't fallen in love with characters as fast as I did in this movie in a long time. I didn't want anyone to die. Awesome movie all around and I am praying for sequels (good ones).
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+0
3:05PM on 12/24/2005

Wow.

Easily one of the better Sci-Fi flicks to hit the screen in a long time. Fun characters, awesome visuals, and some great dialogue ("If anything happens to your sister--I will probably choke up. Honestly, there could even be tears.")all make for one hell of a fun ride. This will end up in my top 10 of 2005.
Easily one of the better Sci-Fi flicks to hit the screen in a long time. Fun characters, awesome visuals, and some great dialogue ("If anything happens to your sister--I will probably choke up. Honestly, there could even be tears.")all make for one hell of a fun ride. This will end up in my top 10 of 2005.
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11:20PM on 12/22/2005

Love the man, love his work

I may be bias in my oppinion, as I have been a loyal fan of Mr Whedon's work since the days of Toy Story.

Serenity was Great, although as a fan of Firefly, I can see how it may have had more of an impact on myself than, perhaps, to newcomers.

Having said that, who the hell do these people think they are and why haven't they given their pointless lives some meaning by adding a little whedon to their day.

Serenity smacks of old fashion adventure and makes you feel the way you did the
I may be bias in my oppinion, as I have been a loyal fan of Mr Whedon's work since the days of Toy Story.

Serenity was Great, although as a fan of Firefly, I can see how it may have had more of an impact on myself than, perhaps, to newcomers.

Having said that, who the hell do these people think they are and why haven't they given their pointless lives some meaning by adding a little whedon to their day.

Serenity smacks of old fashion adventure and makes you feel the way you did the first time you saw Raiders of the Lost Ark, but with better banter .
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10:57PM on 12/22/2005

Love the man, love his work

I may be bias in my oppinion, as I have been a loyal fan of Mr Whedon's work since the days of Toy Story.

Serenity was Great, although as a fan of Firefly, I can see how it may have had more of an impact on myself than, perhaps, to newcomers.

Having said that, who the hell do these people think they are and why haven't they given their pointless lives some meaning by adding a little whedon to their day.

Serenity smacks of old fashion adventure and makes you feel the way you did the
I may be bias in my oppinion, as I have been a loyal fan of Mr Whedon's work since the days of Toy Story.

Serenity was Great, although as a fan of Firefly, I can see how it may have had more of an impact on myself than, perhaps, to newcomers.

Having said that, who the hell do these people think they are and why haven't they given their pointless lives some meaning by adding a little whedon to their day.

Serenity smacks of old fashion adventure and makes you feel the way you did the first time you saw Raiders of the Lost Ark, but with better banter .
Your Reply:



12:38PM on 10/26/2005

Most enjoyable film this year

I watched the series, and I dragged my wife along who hadn't. We both were very entertained with witty punchlines, cool action scenes, scary reavers, and not so "everyone lives happily ever after" ending. I really love Jayne. His character has about it everything that we loved about Han Solo. He is in it for himself, can I say that enough. In fact, the way Mel met him, and hired him out from under the man who had him at gun point shows this very well. The story line was orignial. It had good
I watched the series, and I dragged my wife along who hadn't. We both were very entertained with witty punchlines, cool action scenes, scary reavers, and not so "everyone lives happily ever after" ending. I really love Jayne. His character has about it everything that we loved about Han Solo. He is in it for himself, can I say that enough. In fact, the way Mel met him, and hired him out from under the man who had him at gun point shows this very well. The story line was orignial. It had good guys, and bad guys, and really bad guys, and then there were the reavers. To me it didn't drag at all, the whole story was told and every bit contributed to moving the story of the crew of serenity along. If they make five more films, I will watch them all, then buy the DVDs. Did I mention that "I swallowed a bug"?
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+0
1:37AM on 10/23/2005

Thank you!

Nice to see someone take the plunge and see what this great story is all about. I hope you've bought and devoured the DVDs by now too! Give you tons of credit for seeing the movie when you were so ho-hum about it before you got all those emails.
Nice to see someone take the plunge and see what this great story is all about. I hope you've bought and devoured the DVDs by now too! Give you tons of credit for seeing the movie when you were so ho-hum about it before you got all those emails.
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7:16PM on 10/20/2005

Thank You For Your Review

I so agree with your review expect it was the trailer that sucked me in and now I'm a huge fan of the show too
I so agree with your review expect it was the trailer that sucked me in and now I'm a huge fan of the show too
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1:46AM on 10/20/2005

I agree with your review!

I agree with your review, with the exception of the "too long part," because to me I just couldn't get enough! It's a shame it's not doing well in theaters, though I would have liked it to spark a sequal or maybe convince Universal or fox to try and begin the series again.
I agree with your review, with the exception of the "too long part," because to me I just couldn't get enough! It's a shame it's not doing well in theaters, though I would have liked it to spark a sequal or maybe convince Universal or fox to try and begin the series again.
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11:16PM on 10/19/2005

Rockin, Arrow!

It's always a delight to see that non-viewers of the series FIREFLY can also dig this movie, because if I hadn't seen the series, I also would have skipped this fantastic movie.
It's always a delight to see that non-viewers of the series FIREFLY can also dig this movie, because if I hadn't seen the series, I also would have skipped this fantastic movie.
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10:32PM on 10/19/2005
The dialogue lacks in most Sci-fi films, relying on special effects and action sequences to save their films, so it was good to see a sci-fi film worth listening to. Still not as good as Sky Captain but still worth the 9 bucks I paid. By the way Arrow, did you mean SHITless or shirtless under the T & A part?
The dialogue lacks in most Sci-fi films, relying on special effects and action sequences to save their films, so it was good to see a sci-fi film worth listening to. Still not as good as Sky Captain but still worth the 9 bucks I paid. By the way Arrow, did you mean SHITless or shirtless under the T & A part?
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5:10PM on 10/19/2005

Joss kicks ass

Joss Whedon is great at coming up with new spins on old ideas. Like he said in an interview about Buffy where he wanted a show where instead of the stereotypical big bad monster stalks the girl and kills her the big bad monster stalks the girl but she is able to handle it without a problem. Buffy,Angel and Firefly were all unfairly snubbed by the emmys. Firefly was unjustly cancelled and if Fox did sabotage it then shame on them.
Joss Whedon is great at coming up with new spins on old ideas. Like he said in an interview about Buffy where he wanted a show where instead of the stereotypical big bad monster stalks the girl and kills her the big bad monster stalks the girl but she is able to handle it without a problem. Buffy,Angel and Firefly were all unfairly snubbed by the emmys. Firefly was unjustly cancelled and if Fox did sabotage it then shame on them.
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+0
3:30PM on 10/19/2005

Best movie of the year

Aside from being the absolute best movie i've seen this year, this little gem has made it to my top 10 all time favorites! Joss Whedon does a wonderful job in grabbing your face, and just forcing you to watch all the action unfold in the beautufully woven story. Great plot, great humor. All the cast work so well together. I was introduced to Firefly after it went off the air, but since i have bought the DVDs, and its a good thing they are digital, because i might wear them out. I now
Aside from being the absolute best movie i've seen this year, this little gem has made it to my top 10 all time favorites! Joss Whedon does a wonderful job in grabbing your face, and just forcing you to watch all the action unfold in the beautufully woven story. Great plot, great humor. All the cast work so well together. I was introduced to Firefly after it went off the air, but since i have bought the DVDs, and its a good thing they are digital, because i might wear them out. I now have the 3 comic books which bridge the gap between the series, and the movie. I supported Serenity at the theatres, and i urge you to do the same. I have become a browncoat! What a great movie! @ Foz - I missed the theme too. They could have at least played it during the credits. :-)
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+0
3:03PM on 10/19/2005

Best Sci-fi in a long time

I loved Firefly.. and the movie knocked my socks off. Slow? Bad humour? come on.
I think the statistics are in Whedon's favour when it comes to whether people like his humour or not. Buffy? Angel?
Same humour. And great followings.

I highly recommend this movie. The only thing I missed was the Firefly theme song.
I loved Firefly.. and the movie knocked my socks off. Slow? Bad humour? come on.
I think the statistics are in Whedon's favour when it comes to whether people like his humour or not. Buffy? Angel?
Same humour. And great followings.

I highly recommend this movie. The only thing I missed was the Firefly theme song.
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2:25PM on 10/19/2005

NOT DEPRESSING

This movie had some fantastic dialogue in it, and Joss Whedon's sense of humor is old school quick wit. The Arrow was spot on in his review and I'd recommend that everyone with a love for action and smart talkin' to go see Serenity.
This movie had some fantastic dialogue in it, and Joss Whedon's sense of humor is old school quick wit. The Arrow was spot on in his review and I'd recommend that everyone with a love for action and smart talkin' to go see Serenity.
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11:00AM on 10/19/2005

Depressing

I find it depressing that you considered it a great movie. Aside from the last 20 minutes and the fact that everyone gets "f'd" up, I thought the plot was thin, Joss Whedon's sense of humor is horrible (I maybe chuckled once), and as you said it is too LONG! I kept looking at my watch throughout the whole thing. Granted I loved the actors...pretty much all of them...I just felt like it was just a nother Hollywood mishap. A mishap better than most, but a mishap none the less. Good sci-fi for me
I find it depressing that you considered it a great movie. Aside from the last 20 minutes and the fact that everyone gets "f'd" up, I thought the plot was thin, Joss Whedon's sense of humor is horrible (I maybe chuckled once), and as you said it is too LONG! I kept looking at my watch throughout the whole thing. Granted I loved the actors...pretty much all of them...I just felt like it was just a nother Hollywood mishap. A mishap better than most, but a mishap none the less. Good sci-fi for me with actual GOOD humor would be The Fifth Element.
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