Monday, July 18, 2011

Movie of the Week – Serenity

This week’s movie is Serenity (2005).

The sci-fi adventure serves as (for now) the conclusion to the Firefly series, about a crew taking odd jobs both legal and illegal to keep their ship running in the outskirts of the universe. The film finds the crew faced with a new challenge and a new enemy. Having just broken River Tam out of a secret facility, the Alliance has sent an Operative (their best assassin) to get her back, as she carries a potentially damaging secret. Now, the crew must protect River while trying to discover her secret. The film is written and directed by Joss Whedon (who created the series), and marks his feature film directorial debut (he is also directing The Avengers due in 2012). Whedon’s script and love of his characters and the performances from the wonderful cast are what makes this movie so much fun and endearing to its fans. Whedon also has a fine aesthetic talent, opening the film (after the prologue sequence) with a fantastic long-take that introduces the whole crew, while bringing the viewer up to speed. The work of cinematographer Jack Green is very good, as his style fits with Whedon’s very well. Production designer Barry Chusid and composer David Newman also both do great work that is very fitting to the series as a whole. The principal cast from the show is just as good in the film, with Nathan Fillion leading the way. However, the new characters brought to the film are also well played by David Krumholtz, Michael Hitchcock, Sarah Paulson, and especially Chiwetel Ejiofor, who is brilliant and gives one of the best villain performances in the genre. What makes the film great is that it has everything: it is funny, has action, is emotionally engaging, and most importantly it has some of the best characters of all-time. The Firefly series and with it this film are must-sees for all genre fans (as I would argue that the series is in the top five sci-fi shows of all-time, and the movie is among the ten best of 2005). Check out the trailer.

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, Streaming, and to Rent

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