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Firefly - "Serenity" Movie - Eye.net Review

Adam Nayman

Wednesday 28 December 2005, by Webmaster

SERENITY (Universal) Anyone with a functioning set of synapses knows that Joss Whedon’s Serenity is a leaner, meaner and more emotionally involving space opera than George Lucas’ wheezy Revenge of the Sith. Now it’s time for some heresy — it’s also better than any of the Star Wars movies. Period. Whedon’s taken the clever future-western conceit and sharply sketched outlaw heroes of his short-lived TV series Firefly and plugged them into a narrative that not only offers genuine genre thrills, but also functions rather niftily as a critique of the evil, unseen forces that would subject the viewing public to a steady diet of bland, homogenized crap. EXTRAS: commentary and introduction by Whedon, deleted scenes, "Future History: The Story of Earth that Was," "What’s in a Firefly?" and "Re-lighting the Firefly" featurettes. SANTA’S SLAY (Maple Pictures) In the interest of full disclosure, I haven’t actually seen this Holiday-Classic-in-waiting, which features former wrestling star Bill Goldberg as Santa Claus. But after perusing the plot synopsis, I think it’ll be the must-have DVD of the holiday season (and a more insightful foray into Christian theology than that drab thing about the lion, the witch and the wardrobe). It turns out that St. Nick is actually a demon who lost a wager with an angel and was forced into the Santa suit as penance. When his heavenly community service ends, he goes on the killing spree he’s been planning for a millennium. A stocking stuffer for the li’l heretic on your list. EXTRAS: none. Also new this week

9 SONGS (Alliance) Director Michael Winterbottom hits two out of three in the sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll trifecta with this coolly received experimental porno, in which two fetching unknowns engage in sweaty but sober coitus in between concert-hopping. EXTRAS: none.

FOUR BROTHERS (Paramount) John Singleton’s revenge drama is a C-minus B-movie about four foster brothers searching for the murderer of their beloved mom. But give bad guy Chiwetel Ejiofor an A for effort: his erudite and impeccably coiffed pimp-antagonist joins the erudite and impeccably coiffed bounty-hunter villain he plays in Serenity on the list of the year’s most indelible supporting performances. EXTRAS: director commentary, deleted scenes, making-of and behind-the-scenes featurettes, trailer.

MUST LOVE DOGS (Warner) Must avoid crappy rom-com. EXTRAS: additional scenes with commentary, gag reel, trailer. Out Dec 27

2046, Dark Water, Grizzly Man, Into the Blue, Toy Story 2 (2-Disc Special Edition) and, just in time for the coming Rapture (check your local listings), Ricky Nelson Sings.