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FireflyFirefly - "Serenity" Movie - Lsj.com Review
Sunday 22 January 2006, by Webmaster
Experience the ’Serenity’ of space and independence A teen’s take
By Alyssa Sanders For the Eaton Rapids Community News
Who in this day and age bothers with space shows and westerns?
Joss Whedon, creator of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and its popular spin-off "Angel," combined the two genres and came up with the show "Firefly."
Sadly, some station heads destroyed its chance for success through scheduling changes and other problems. Despite that, the show has an almost cult-like following. Die-hard followers of "Firefly," aka "Brown Coats," and the creators got their own back last summer with the premiere of the movie "Serenity." Advertisement
That’s nothing special, right? Nothing to make anyone go out and rent the movie or buy DVDs of the show (although that’s on my list of things to do). The really amazing thing about the show is ... the show itself!
The cast is so multi-dimensional and eclectic. The crew of the Firefly class spaceship "Serenity" is diverse and includes a doctor, a crazed but genius psychic, a pastor with a foggy past, a mechanic who is so cheerful and sweet it makes your teeth hurt, a pilot with an offbeat sense of humor, two ex-soldiers, a "companion" (a high-class, well-respected ... umm ... escort), and a man who serves no defined purpose but makes the show wonderful.
The details are what make the show interesting. This is a story of the true "final frontier." After Earth became too overpopulated, people sought refuge on other planets. The Alliance - the main government system - had tight control, but a group of rebel independents - the Brown Coats - fought a battle they eventually lost.
Firefly focuses on Captain Malcolm Reynolds, who was one of the Brown Coats, and his war buddy, Zoe. After the war was over they found work as thieves and smugglers - anything that was outside of Alliance control.
Wash and Kaylee then joined the crew, as pilot and mechanic, respectively, and added a sense of humor and a bright spot in the middle of the nothingness of space.
Then came Jayne. There are really no words to describe Jayne. He is a selfish, money-hungry man who is willing to do anything to get money and doesn’t care whom he runs over. Also, he is dumb as a post.
Then we add Inara, the companion. I won’t get into her job description other than to say it isn’t appropriate to talk about in such a public forum. She adds sophistication to the cast and Shepherd Book adds a religious presence.
The most interesting character is River Tam. It isn’t everyday, even on TV, that you see a genius who was turned crazy by government experiments on her brain, which then turned her into the ultimate weapon. River’s brother, the prominent and respectable Dr. Simon Tam, tries endlessly to help her and bring her back to a state of normalcy - but alas, it isn’t to be.
It isn’t always the story itself that makes a show amazing. The best storyline in the world can end up as a horrible show if it doesn’t have the right cast. Firefly’s cast makes the show infinitely better than the storyline makes it - and the story is something to applaud!
The writers did an amazing job. I have never been one for space shows or westerns, but the situations and dialogue is enough to draw an eclectic array of viewers in. My mother is a Brown Coat, as is her friend who got us hooked.
The dialogue is funny and filled with lines that make you laugh at the most interesting times. The words draw you in and keep you hooked. The settings are good too. They actually built the ship, so the whole thing isn’t green-screened, which can make things look fake. They don’t show many shots of the ship that ruin its realistic appearance.
All right ... if I haven’t drawn you over to the Brown Coats’ side by now, there isn’t much I can do. I just implore everyone to at least rent "Serenity" and go from there. It’s an amazing movie even without the background knowledge the show brings to it. Watch it and you’ll experience a great story, an amazing cast and funny dialogue.
An example of the dialogue is this deadpan line delivered by River: "Also, I can kill you with my brain."
Come on ... I know you’re curious as to how that line came about. You’ll have to watch the show to see.