Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Serenity (DVD) review

If, like me, you think Joss Whedon (Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Astonishing X-Men, the forthcoming Wonder Woman movie) is brilliant, you probably don't need to be told about this DVD of the 2005 film. If you're not acquainted with the Whedonverse (shame on you!), stick with me. You may have guessed that this is not going to be the most objective review you'll ever read.

Serenity is a space Western, following a group of gun-totin', wise-crackin' space desperadoes trying to carve out a semi-honest living in a less-than-Utopian future. It's a sequel to Whedon's TV series, Firefly, which I hadn't actually seen before watching this movie. The movie is well-constructed enough for the uninitiated to follow it, which I managed quite happily.

The plot follows the crew of a Firefly-class space ship, the Serenity, on a journey of self-discovery and general universe-saving. It's a particularly gritty future, with some very unpleasant baddies to face up to. It's fast-moving, acted well, and it looks absolutely stunning. In refreshing bid for realism, there's no sound in space. The effects are realistically rendered and believable, but it's a character-driven piece at its heart. One for SF fans and you "normal" people as well.

Check it out at Bolton, Trafford or Wigan.

And, for the record, I'm now working my way through the Firefly box set, and it's brilliant.


lonewytch said...

i'm a huge fan of Whedon too (specifically Buffy and Angel), having said that i haven't seen either Firefly or Serenity, but i'nm sure i could happily sit through many many episodes of the series. Wasn't it pulled from the TV network like Angel was...some people just don't know when they've got a good thing going!

michael said...

The Wikipedia article on Firefly tells you pretty much everything you need to know. But yes, it was cancelled before its time. Although only the first 11 episodes were originally broadcast, the box set includes all 14.

Not that I think we should form a Greater Manchester Whedon Fan Club or anything, but he is pretty darned good at what he does.

Ramsbottom Reader said...

As a "normal" person rather than a SF fan (though a closet Buffy fan - we have to have some librarian role models after all) can I agree that this is a good old fashioned adventure - it actually kept me awake past 9pm on a saturday night, the ultimate recommendation.