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failure, success, serenity

My clever attempts at forgery fell a bit short (I picked the wrong color), but it wasn't inauthenticity that kept Carolyn and I out of the Shopgirl screening. Instead, it was Seattle's culture of showing up very very early for movies. Particularly free movies. I arrived at Pacific Place about forty minutes ahead of schedule and the line wrapped around the entire fourth floor.

In a small way, it was a relief to be freed of the need to concoct a story to get past the ticket takers. Instead, we surveyed the other neighborhood options for paying customers and decided to check out Serenity. Since it didn't start for an hour, and we were hungry, we ended up at Cyber Dogs for fake meat products and Ms. Pac-Man. While Carolyn's Russian-style hot dog with mashed potatoes and mushrooms wasn't worthy of a recommendation (which one might have guessed from its ingredients), my fake tuna melt (with avocado and cheese on an English muffin) was magically delicious.

Speaking of pleasant discoveries, Serenity was fantastic. It was fun and surprising and action packed. Joss Whedon sure does well with young women who know a thing or two about hand-to-hand combat, doesn't he? I'll admit that bits were on the edge of campy, but this was all part of the movie's charm (along with the rustic soundtrack and the assumption that in the future most buildings will be designed by Frank Gehry.). I hadn't seen the television series (such a bad Whedon fan), but I still really enjoyed it without knowing all of the backstory or why the characters spoke in a old westerny drawl intermixed with occasional lapses into some sort of Asian-sounding language.

After the movie, Carolyn had a slip and fall accident; so we went to Barnes and Noble to give her time to recuperate. We also used the opportunity to look for the Firefly DVD (to try to get some answers to backstory questions), but it was sold out. I'll definitely put it on my list of things to rent for rainy days.


Everybody everywhere has been advocating Serenity, including Ebert, but, man, I'm having a hard time believing that this movie is good. It just looked soooo cheesy in a borderline Battlefield Earth kind of way from the preview. The action looked par for the course and the movie seemed light on special effects.

Assuming I'm not at all a Whedon fan (which isn't to say I DISLIKE the guy - I've just never seen anything of his, including Buffy), would I like this?
I'm happy not to have direct experience with Battlefield Earth; so I don't know how cheesy it was. But Serenity definitely isn't a CGI wonderland (which is a plus, as far as I'm concerned).

It's a (humanistic) space western; so some degree of sci-fi plot elements are to be expected. But Joss Whedon is a genre-transcending writer who creates completely believable realized characters in surrogate families. As for the action, I thought it was good -- like Buffy, the fights are fun, but more on the side of reality than video game violence.

I don't know. If Ebert can't convince you, I don't know how I can.
I saw Serenity on Thursday and I totally loved it. I had seen a few episodes of the show when it first came out and remembered liking it, but not much else. Since the movie I've watched two of the discs from Netflix and I have to say that Firefly is even better so you need to rent it like right now.