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Firefly - ’Serenity’ Movie - Preview Screening Reviews - Spoilers

Friday 6 May 2005, by Webmaster

(SPOILER) Reviews of the Serenity test screenings. Want to know a bit more about what happens in the movie? Then this is the spoiler-lite thread for you.

So an opportunity for Whedonesque posters to review the movie. But don’t post major spoilers about what happens in the film i.e. something major happens to a character or blow by blow summary/plot details. Use the spoilerish test screening reports at AICN as your guide.

Simon | Firefly&Serenity | 01:41 CET | 30 comments total (6 new)

Don’t hurt me Simon please, but I’d be in favor of there being ’major spoilers’ in here. There’s already a spoiler warning at the top of this thread, and an accompanying thread which is nonspoilerish. I think it should be ’safe’ to get the scoop in here. Personally I’ve already received some spoilage via email and am sworn to secrecy, but I’m getting conflicting reports and would like more info to verify some stuff. I can’t be more detailed than that. Like I said, sworn to secrecy. Besides, anything from my mouth is secondary information since I can’t see the film.

If Simon refuses my request, I wish to ask fellow spoiler-fans who actually saw the movie to please email me the dish that can’t be posted here. I’m not afraid of this film being ’ruined’ for me. It can’t.

[ edited by ZachsMind on 2005-05-06 01:59 ]

ZachsMind | May 06, 01:53 CET

Three more hours. I’m feeling the need to be at the theatre [in Chicago] ridiculously early just to make sure. lol!

Mack | May 06, 01:57 CET

I’m in the same position as ZachsMind. I would like to be able to receive major spoilers in this thread because I am friends with two people who are close to the film and they have given me contradictory information regarding a significant event involving one of the characters. I want to clear up the confusion.

com4tador | May 06, 02:32 CET

If you want spoilers, there is a life journal page for them also. Nothing much spoilery there at all at present but I have seen plenty of people saying they will head there after seeing the BDM for detailed discussion.

This is my first post here so hopefully I’ve managed the link correctly. If not HELP MODERATOR PLEASE!

Serenity spoilers

eyeofhorus | May 06, 04:01 CET

Damn, was sure I’d deciphered those instructions properly. Here is the address, sorry about the lack of linkage.


eyeofhorus | May 06, 04:04 CET

Well, I know what I saw! We theorized that perhaps Joss was playing tricks. I’d like to know what other people saw in the States also. One things for sure, I so totally love that movie!

nixygirl | May 06, 04:41 CET

eyeofhorus, the poster at that link will only give you spoilers if you’ve SEEN THE MOVIE!

Why the hell would anyone need spoilers if they’ve seen it? Being a huge spoiler girl, that pissed me off.

Willowy | May 06, 04:42 CET

As I said Willowy "Nothing much spoilery there at all at present but I have seen plenty of people saying they will head there after seeing the BDM for detailed discussion."

The people I am referring to will be seeing the BDM in the next couple of hours. There should be more posts there later. I was trying to give you desperate spoilerphobes a heads up about another place to try.

eyeofhorus | May 06, 04:59 CET

Willowy, I would happily post spoilers but only if I knew I wouldn’t be rippling up the board in doing so. I seriously wanna discuss this movie! Let’s just say, it IS a Joss movie, so there will be tears!

nixygirl | May 06, 05:03 CET

Hi nixygirl, I think we were at the same Sydney screening.

eyeofhorus | May 06, 05:07 CET

Nixy, if you want to talk about it guilt free - email me! My addy’s in my profile.

I really want the skinny!

Willowy | May 06, 05:20 CET

At the risk of getting you more pissed off Willowy, I just saw that there is now a spoiler message board over at the Browncoats site. (I’m not even going to try to link).

I looked through - not much there yet but you can work out one of the major BDM events by reading between the lines just a little. And more stuff will come later.

Or you could just get nixygirl to spill everything.

eyeofhorus | May 06, 05:35 CET

Simon, et al... nobody’s posting here because they aren’t sure if they can put spoilers up. Please confirm this is a spoiler thread?! I’m dyin’ here!

Willowy | May 06, 07:26 CET

I just got back from the Chicago screening (went thanks to Zeitgeist, who had an extra ticket and was a total rockstar, especially since I got there after he’d already been let in and he had to come out to get it to me). Whew! Great great movie. I’m exhausted and ready for bed, so I won’t post much now - more in the morning. Willowy, I’m happy to email you the major spoilers if you really want to know, though I’m reallly glad I didn’t. There are a couple major things, in particular, that I totally didn’t see coming, and they had a MUCH greater impact than if I’d been anticipating them.

A few initial impressions: The initial welcome (via video, not in person, alas) from Joss was great. The film sets up the background pretty well - it starts several months after the series ended, and both Book and Inara are off the ship. We get lots more about Summer. There’s lots of humor - a number of places where the whole theater burst out laughing (though, of course, it helped that they were all fans :-) ). And, lots - perhaps more than I’d expected - of heartbreak. I’m not much of a sci-fi/special effects person, but there were a few very thrilling chase/flight scenes. More violence and gore than I’d expected, and lots about the reavers.

There are places where I think it could be confusing to follow for someone who hasn’t seen the series - it’s a lot of characters and plot to juggle. But I think it walks a pretty good line between laying the groundwork for someone new to the world, while still being great for fans. Oh, and here’s one spoiler (given that this IS a spoiler thread, right?) near the end that had lots of the audience cheering: Kaylee and Simon finally kiss... and more...

Ok. more tomorrow. But overall - great film, excellently done. And thank you Zeitgeist!

acp | May 06, 07:44 CET

Yeah, I just got back from the Chicago screening myself, and I’m emotionally exhausted. It’s very suspenseful and full of laughs. I was totally engrossed by the whole Miranda deal.

Mack | May 06, 07:56 CET

ZachsMind (and basically everyone not afraid to have it completely spoiled). The group at Yahoo doesn’t seem to be tame about spoilers. Seems they changed their settings, so only members can read messages (which is a good thing, or you might get the whole plot spoiled on the front page just from going there). Requires membership, but doesn’t appear to require a moderator to approve, so you shouldn’t have a problem getting all the spoilers you may or may not want to get.

Final warning: the spoilers I read there in the first 5 messages (1-2 weeks ago) are most likely more than most on here would like. Pretty much the big surprises and the basic plot.

Spoiler Group

Trienco | May 06, 08:10 CET

acp...yes please!

I was always spoiled for B and A and it never took a whit of fun away from my enjoyment. I’m just wired that way. Please email me (I tried to email you but your profile has no address), if you have the time. I do NOT want to join some Yahoo group.

Thanks a million bazillion! Wheee!

Willowy | May 06, 08:25 CET

Already emailed you Willowy, about 15 minutes ago. Let me know if for some reason it didn’t go through...

acp | May 06, 08:27 CET

I knew I should have stayed up later last night but I could only take so much of the UK election coverage and was zonked by 12.45 am. Anyhow, no objection to people posting links to sites where the major spoilers are but I don’t want this to be a completely spoiled thread if you know what I mean.

So to sort of kick start off the thread. What’s the deal with the Reavers? Is Mr Universe the worst name ever for a Joss character? What episodes/scenes from Firefly foreshadow the movie? Is there sound in space? How dark is Mal in this movie?

Simon | May 06, 08:28 CET

OK, one more post and then I’m *really* going to bed. Mr. Universe is, indeed, the absolute worst name for a Joss character. Luckily, the character himself is great (though not a major one). And his girlfriend is great too - sort of a small nod to buffy, in a way... :-) We find out in this movie how the reavers became who they are (and they’re terrifying! I wondered if showing them would take some of the mystique out of them, but it doesn’t. They couldn’t be more gruesome). The story of their creation is something the River holds the key to. A bit, but not a ton, on her backstory - no men with blue hands anywhere in the movie. And Mal is Mal, but he is pretty dark. He has a number of characteristically harsh lines, though he always has that layer of humanity that underlies everything, and, of course, the total loyalty to his crew. Still, he has a few dark moments. Hard to say which episodes foreshadow the movie. As I think most people know, the plot mostly focuses on River, and her efforts to escape the Alliance. "Ariel," perhaps?

I’m sure you’ll get many more answers to these and other questions as other viewers trickle home. I’m off to bed.

acp | May 06, 08:35 CET

LOL! I took ’Mr. Universe’ to be a very silly joke for the ultimate geek and I loved it...and him... I loved everything in the film. I don’t want to spoil anyone about anything but I just have to say that I am blown away (and personally I am thrilled that I saw it before spoilers become common knowledge).

embers | May 06, 08:46 CET

A friend gave me her password to post with, since memership is capped off at the moment. Mal is indeed very dark in the film, something that is set up in the very opening moments, where a smaller job is used in a great ’show vs tell’ way to establish most of the characters, and their relationships with one another. However that darkness is key to the plot, and doesn’t feel unnatural in any way. I also enjoyed Mr. Universe ( and also felt his girlfriend was a nod).

WiccaBuffy | May 06, 09:13 CET

Friend of WiccaBuffy, you can still sign up for membership at the moment.

Simon | May 06, 09:25 CET

Thanks and DONE!!!!

wishingwillow | May 06, 09:33 CET


Howdy from Austin.

So I just posted a report in the previous thread about the event, but wanted to comment on spoilers.



As I alluded to in the other thread, there are some amazingly gutsy choices that Joss makes in Serenity that are shocking in a "holy mother of shit, all bets are off!" kinda way that I would’ve have absolutely hated knowing in advance.

Also, Serenity in many ways is (um, semi-spoiler!) structured like a classic noir mystery — in fact, one could subtitle it "The Mystery of River Tam", though it also reveals the (very clever) origin of the Reavers. But what happens along the way towards unraveling this mystery — and at what (frankly astonishing) cost — is really great storytelling.

I would humbly ask and suggest that if you’re a fan, and if you love Firefly, then respect the cruller (er, I mean Joss) and a.) don’t give away spoilers, and b.) don’t seek spoilers.

I’m very, very serious. Because as a fan, I think there are spoilers of bigger impact than, say, the endings of The Sixth Sense or The Crying Game. Spoilers that fundamentally change the very fabric of what Firefly/Serenity is and will be from now on.

Wait. It’s worth it.

Robogeek | May 06, 10:05 CET

Just got back from the Chicago screening. A couple of thoughts. If you’re on the fence regarding whether or not to spoil yourself, don’t. Just. Don’t. If you’re certain you want to know, that’s fine. I’m just adding my voice, FW little IW, that you shouldn’t dive into the deep end, if you haven’t yet, and haven’t decided one way or the other.

Second thought. Damn. I wasn’t quite prepared for how intense it is. Don’t know why, I just didn’t see it coming. It’s a slow build, until without quite noticing, you’ll be gripping the armrest tighter and tighter. Your breath slows. Eyes widen. Your feet stop shuffling, back stiffens. I was wrung out emotionally and physically by the end.

I think, inevitably, audiences that haven’t seen Firefly will miss some of deepest emotional beats, but they’ll sense them. And the story and plot developments are structured really effectively, such that even new viewers will be engulfed by the vicersal ... intensity of the final hour.

[ edited by nemo on 2005-05-06 10:11 ]

nemo | May 06, 10:11 CET

I’ve posted a new thread for spoiler whores to discuss what happened. This threads remains spoiler lite, the new thread is there for people to avidly discuss the big plot items.

Simon | May 06, 10:14 CET

Well, what Robogeek said. A bit more gently, perhaps, but I’m in complete agreement.

nemo | May 06, 10:15 CET

Wow. Just...wow. Okay, I’m going to start by following Simon’s lead here. I did not think that actually seeing the Reavers diminished the creep factor. It helps that the camera doesn’t settle to long on any one of them. So you see them, but it’s a bit blurry, or choppy.

Mr. Universe is a rather sucky name, imo, and as acp mentioned, a bit of Buffy nod associated with his character had me laughing.

I took a friend totally unfamiliar with Firefly, though I have recently introduced her to the crack that is Buffy, and she is appropriately addicted. She absolutely loved it, though she had several questions when the movie was over. It was some way into the film before she realized that Wash and Zoe are married. She had virtually no understanding at all of Inara. In fact, she asked me what exactly Inara does for a living. (That was fun.) She was a little thrown in the beginning because the movie jumps pretty much straight into plot, without explaining much about the characters. But she was sucked in right away, and felt that she learned the necessary background at a steady pace. (Well, except for Inara.) As WiccaBuffy said, a smaller job in the earlier part of the film effectively introduced most characters, and their dynamic, but until that point, she was a little lost. She laughed out loud almost as much as I, and those obviously alreadly fans, did. But not always as heartily.

And I’ll venture into a more straight up spoil here, at least by my definition (though it does not give away plot at all, or context) by saying that when Serenity goes into a spin at one point I was blown away. That was genius, phenomenal film making, and the only time I’ve ever seen such a shot where my body literally felt caught up in the tumble.

Seeing the BDM today was supposed to make the upcoming months more tolerable. Well, that idea just got shot all to hell. Before I had a chance to say it (we were just standing up from our seats) my friend burst out with, "I want to see it again! Right now!." Yup. Me too. I’m going to take a sleeping bag and pillow to the theater when it’s released. Maybe a mini-fridge or something too. A cooler at least. I might as well make myself comfortable while I live there.

As I said in the non-spoiler thread, this film made me laugh, cry, gasp, shout, etc. I have never shouted at the screen in a movie theater before. I did tonight. Those of you who have seen it too likely know when. It was everything I expected and more.

Angela | May 06, 10:16 CET

I was one of the very lucky few to see Star Wars EP 3 and Serenity on the same day today. I must say I liked Serenity a lot more, better fight scenes, plot and humor. The space battles are about comparable though, I think I liked the EP 3 one a bit more. However, I think River has better looking sword moves than any of the Jedi fights in EP 3.

Best of all Joss and Summer showed up at the theater in Las Vegas to give a speech and sign autographs.

AlephNull | May 06, 10:28 CET