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From Timesunion.com


Firefly - "Serenity" Movie - Fresh fall films

By David Germain

Sunday 4 September 2005, by Webmaster

Hollywood’s movie lineup finally offers audiences some quality choices

Hollywood’s long, dreary summer finally is over. Now it’s on to the good stuff.

And it better be good, if film studios hope to salvage what’s shaping up as the worst year for movie attendance since the late 1990s.

After a summer season that left audiences generally uninterested, the fall and Thanksgiving lineup offers the promise of fresh films with an exotic cast of characters that includes country music legends, spies, video-game mayhem and enough romance to keep several florists in business.

Some of the most eagerly awaited include "Jarhead," a Gulf War tale with Jake Gyllenhaal and Jamie Foxx; "Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride," an animated yarn featuring the voices of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter; and "Elizabethtown," Cameron Crowe’s romance starring Kirsten Dunst and Orlando Bloom.

Also, "The Weather Man," with Nicolas Cage as a TV forecaster who has a stormy personal life; "Get Rich or Die Tryin’," starring 50 Cent as a street hood aiming for a rap-music career; "Oliver Twist," Roman Polanski’s fresh take on the Charles Dickens orphan-boy classic, featuring Ben Kingsley; the animated "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit," the big-screen debut of TV’s cheese-loving Brit and his faithful dog; and "In Her Shoes," a sister-act tale from director Curtis Hanson ("Wonder Boys").

"In Her Shoes" follows two sisters, one a knockout (Cameron Diaz) who has leeched all her life off her workaholic sibling (Toni Collette), and the grandma (Shirley MacLaine) who helps them reconnect after a bitter estrangement.

"My character, she’s kind of gotten away with her looks, gotten away with her ability to charm people and find her way without having to work," Diaz said. "And she’s kind of coming to the end of that rope, as well as having nothing to fall back on, having bitten the hand that’s always fed her."

Fall fantasy

Fall’s fantasyscape includes the video-game adaptation "Doom," starring The Rock as part of a commando force taking on creatures from another realm on Mars; and "Serenity," a sci-fi adventure whose behind-the-scenes story is a drama unto itself.

After scoring with the TV version of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," Joss Whedon created a smart, funny show called "Firefly," about misfits living on the edge of the law aboard the rickety space ship Serenity 500 years in the future.

"Firefly" lasted only 14 episodes but its cult audience kept interest alive. Now Whedon has directed the big-screen continuation "Serenity," reuniting the "Firefly" cast.

"I took the overreaching arc I was headed toward in the TV show and made that the plot of the movie," Whedon said. "I had to jettison or streamline plenty of things. It’s two totally different mediums, and you’ve got to respect that. A TV show can kind of meander its way along and find a little piece of something for everybody. A movie is more about the momentum of the main story."