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239 of 244 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Huge Surprise
I was advised by a relative to go and see this film last October. I'd seen the trailer for it on TV and I didn't think a great deal of it. A sort of comedy scifi flick. I'd hadn't heard of Firefly, just that Serenity was a film version of that show.
Only once before have I gone into a cinema expecting so little, only to come out wanting to go see...
Published on 1 Feb 2006

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It is what it is. A poor substitute for a second series of Firefly
Firefly and Serenity. The difference between a TV series and a film. Firefly is fresh, vital, bursting with energy and fun. The brilliant script allowing empathetic character development. Serenity is an action-packed movie with a weak script and no character development. I wish it wasn't so. Perhaps this film should never have been made.
Published 7 months ago by Alan Jones


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239 of 244 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Huge Surprise, 1 Feb 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Serenity [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
I was advised by a relative to go and see this film last October. I'd seen the trailer for it on TV and I didn't think a great deal of it. A sort of comedy scifi flick. I'd hadn't heard of Firefly, just that Serenity was a film version of that show.
Only once before have I gone into a cinema expecting so little, only to come out wanting to go see it again. Infact I did, 2 more times that month.
I feel this film was wrongly promoted right from the off. Comedy SciFi flick it most certainly is not. Don't get me wrong, it does have some very funny moments plus some very poignant ones too. It certainly moves along at a fair pace, has a great deal of breath taking action scenes and very nice special effects for a film I understand was made on a modest budget. But most of all it's a very deep and thoughtful piece of film making.
Not long afterwards I purchased the Firefly DVD box set and what a great series this is. How this could have been cancelled is completely beyond me, it's nothing short of criminal. Needless to say, it completed quite a few of the links in Serenity which weren't covered.
I've read most of the reviews here and I heartily agree with almost all of them. There are some very shallow and overly negative reviews of Serenity here too, but the contradictions, vocabulary and difficulty in following the story speak volumes. This is not a film for children. This is grown up, intelligent and thought provoking science fiction that's right up there with the best of them.
If you're wanting vacuous, simplistic blasting action this is not your film.
If you want to see an engrossing, exciting, nail biting piece of cinema, which will shock you, make you laugh, bring a tear to your eye and even make you think you can't go far wrong with Serenity.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You cant take the sky from me!, 13 Dec 2005
This review is from: Serenity [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Serenity is a continuation of the TV series Firefly, a Joss 'Buffy' Whedon show which was cancelled prematurely after only 1 season, but after massing a huge fan base and by public demand, it was decided to continue the series with movies.
Firefly was an excellent show and to be cancelled so early was ridiculous, (it was cancelled half way through the first season before filming was complete)so the pressure on Whedon to produce the goods must have been immense. Fortunately he has produced an excellent film that lived up to my expectations and beyond.
The film has a gritty reality to it, there are no crazy aliens and the characters are all believable. Its simple stuff but it works so well. The action is very well staged and takes a step up from the TV show, despite being an unarmed space ship the space scenes will leave you breathless.
The special effects are awesome, the big screen budget has moved the technology along leaps and bounds. The acting is good and all the Characters from Tv are here.
It isnt totally necessary to watch Firefly before this as this is good enough to be a stand alone film, but the story is a continuation of stories and ideas that were developing throughout the TV show, that were obviously never finished.
This is for anyone who enjoys quality science fiction, I really cant recommend it enough. Brilliant.
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61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blows almost every other scifi movie out of the water, 4 Jan 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Serenity [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
"I'm not going to say it's the best science fiction movie, ever. Oh wait, yes I am". The words of Orson Scott Card himself, author of the award winning scifi novel "Ender's game", and many others.
Not only is this a very fine movie, made on a fraction of the budget of any other scifi film I can think of, it also captivates those who have previously had no interest in science fiction before. Which is far more than I can say about almost any SciFi movie I can think of, the only other being Ridley Scotts 80's classic Bladerunner.
Why is this you might wonder? Well, a director can throw about all the money they want to create dazzling special effects, huge space battles and the like, but if the characters don't feel real, if you don't feel any empathy for them, if the script is clunky, and the story somewhat tired and predictable, then what is the point in creating it?
Even if you've never seen Joss Whedon's critically acclaimed series "Firefly", less than a quater of the way through this movie you'll suddenly realise, I care about these people, I care about what happens to them, so rich are their characters. They have flaws & insecurities just like we all do.
You can do alot more in a 14 Episode TV series regarding character developement than you can in a 2 hr movie, so the focus here is mostly on 2 main characters. The captain of the cargo ship Serenity, 'Malcolm Reynolds', and 'River', the extremely intelligent but mentally traumatised teenage sister of Dr Simon Tam who Reynolds agreed to give sanctuary aboard his ship some eight months or so earlier. Having said that though, all the characters are here, and they all do a fine job. The script is very whitty, clever and often very powerful.
The soundtrack in Serenity quite wonderous in it's self, with beautiful melancholic strings, echoing piano, and western and oriental influences. They work perfectly with Whedon's stunning camera work and lighting.
There are special effects in this movie a' plenty, and they look fantastic, infact they completely belie the fact that this film cost less than $40m to make. They really are quite beautiful but they are there to further a strong story, not to overcome it.
So emotionally powerful is this film that it has been described as 'art', and I really do think that it is, but will everybody like it? In the words of O.S.Card, "Not a chance...... it really is too strong for some people. Plus the storyline is 'smart enough' and 'mature' enough that some people just won't get it. Can't be helped".
Serenity was indeed voted film of the year 2005, did it deserve the top spot? Possibly not, but it did deserve to be very close to it. It was certainly the "only" Scifi based movie that deserved to be anywhere near the top ten movies of 2005.
Serenity is a very unusual film, a tiny film that went by almost unnoticed and was a difficult film to market. There are no big names in the cast, and it is based on a short lived TV series that sadly too few know about. So when you see it for the 1st time, nay, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th time and so on, you'll feel privileged that you did..
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224 of 234 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood has goofed! They've made an great Sci-Fi movie!, 15 Feb 2006
By 
Max Berman (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Serenity [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
If, like me, you aren't a great fan of TV sci-fi such as Buffy, StarTrek, Stargate and the like, you are in for a great surprise. Although this is a spin off from a TV show, this film absolutely kicks ass. It is the freshest, most exciting and memorable sci-fi flick in recent memory. I'd say that apart from the cracking effects, design, score, acting and costume, the most remarkable element is absolutely the script. Dialogue that really breathes life into the lovable characters and malice into the baddies. Punchy but never corny one-liners and a mixture of sarcastic and slip-on-banana style humour. I'm massively tired of Hollywood movies and although this film was made there, it has none of the formulaic schmaltz or predictability of a Hollywood movie. It has a truly dynamic and surprising plot that is always credible, always surprising and nothing is ever resolved by recalibrating the disconbobulator.
If you like this movie, go buy the TV series Firefly. It's 630 minutes of the same stuff. In your face Fox Television! This film ROCKS!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much better than anyone will ever know, 19 Jan 2007
By 
Geo Blorge "Actual Journalist" (East Morton, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Serenity [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
I knew it was coming, but it was a huge blow to see Serenity flounder at the Box Office when I knew how good it was. A really well-balanced, exciting and charming Sci-Fi film, this should be the 2000 generation's Star Wars. Its a shocking, rewarding and dark film, that pretty much justifies why Joss Whedon has an absolutely fanatical fanbase.

I'm one of them, I should say. I picked up the series "Firefly" in 2004 with no knowledge of what it was, what had happened to it or anything. It was a great Sci-Fi series, thus I lent it to a friend who thought the same. He lent it to someone else, etc, etc.

Long story short, this sort of viral stuff paid off when Serenity was released in late 2005. This was a chance for the non-fan to be brought into the whole thing, and see how vibrant the whole cast and stories were.

The film is excellent. Although there's nine characters to outline, the film gave all of them the right amount of screen time to work them out. Although many of them would roll off of the average viewer, I still think they'd see even the peripheral characters as excellent, rather than those you'd see in an average film.

The plot revolves around a struggling space crew and their continuing survival. They carry River Tam, a "special" prisoner that The Alliance is trying to retrieve through any means possible. Captain Malcolm Reynolds(Nathan Fillion) is determined to keep River safe, even if that means sacrificing every freedom to do so.

You can read this stuff on Wikipedia, though. The quality of everything in the film is top-notch, and can appeal to any passing fan of suspension-disbelieving drama. The dialogue is witty, an influential style that is definitely becoming more apparent in TV and Film these days.

Its terrific, in fact. I've heard "Whedonesque" dialogue in the films Hostel, Shaun of the Dead and the TV shows Lost, Alias, Veronica Mars and The OC. Joss Whedon is a ground breaker in style, and his use of the english language really adds to the enjoyment of the film.

Its all good, in fact. My Dad, a guy who had never seen the series, even gave it a 7/10. Given that his film collection is a botched collection of poor war films, I was shocked that he liked it.

You all will too.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful mix of sci-fi, western, comedy and human emotion, 24 Oct 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Serenity [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Saw this twice at the cinema. The first time was a shock due to some of the plot twists, but following a second viewing (a week later) i can now judge it without emotional bias.
This is a great film, not perfect, but very few are nowadays and this gets pretty close, especially if youre already an existing firefly fan, (the TV show on which the film is a continuation - do a search here at amazon).
If you want the full experience, then rent or get firefly first then see this, however , i have had excellent feedback from those without prior knowledge of the TV show and they loved it.
The film has a good story, nice special effects, wonderful acting by all involved, and at its heart , a fantastic script full of emotion, comedy moments and subtle depth.
If you enjoy quality films, that are hard to pigeon hole, and bring something new and original to the table, i urge you to see this film. Also, if you like to support the underdog, this film fills that capacity. (Just google for 'firefly' and you'll see why this movie is a triumph.)
Can't wait to see this again when it hits DVD, i will be buying a copy and will rent it too - the film needs the support :)
One last thing: Some have said the dialogue in this film is awful ,(and this in turn reflects badly on the acting).Although i value their opinion, this is completely untrue and is due to a lack of imagination on their part.
The use of old-west dialect coupled with sporadic bursts of chinese, (which are often used in moments of swearing or exclamation), are one of the most original parts of the film and allow for some truly poetic moments that reminded this viewer of shakespeare's masterful use of old language.
Just incase it's not clear - the film is in ENGLISH - just a different spin on it :) Take a chance on this movie, most of you will not be dissapointed - and if you aren't - tell all you friends about it! Thanks for listening....
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shiny! on blu ray, 9 Jan 2009
By 
R. Fisher "entertainment lover" (west midlands uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Serenity [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
The story follows the crew of firefly class vessel Serenity, as they scrape by a living taking dangerous and illegal jobs on the harsh border worlds of the solar system. Quite happy to blur the lines between right and wrong, if it keeps the ship in the air and food on the table. The ship captained by Malcolm Reynolds is home to an assortment of characters, including doctor Simon Tam and his sister River, experimented and left mentally traumatised by the Alliance, the dominant power in the system. The operative sent by the alliance has been dispatched to recover River Tam by any means necessary, with violent and brutal results for the crew of serenity as they are pursued by the alliance as well as desperately trying to avoid the flesh eating reavers...

For the uninitiated Serenity spawned from short lived cult classic Firefly - The Complete Series [2003]. Mixing westerns with science fiction, not traditional sci-fi, no googly headed aliens or phasers, but a strong character driven series effectively translated over to serenity. Sadly it was cut drastically and unfairly short. And a testament to those who worked on the show as well as it's many fans who kept its spirit alive, as it eventually transformed into serenity.

Very much a labour of love and it shows, Whedon's script and direction are of outstanding quality, clearly showing the effort and time spent on it and how much it means to him. Expertly mixing drama, humour and action.

The 'verse in which it is set is also richly detailed everything from the sets to the language is meticulous and you can't help but be drawn into it.

The actors are also fantastic, knowing their roles back to front from firefly's limited run, but to maintain the pace some are inevitably short-changed sadly. A wide assortment, all with their flaws but together strike an undeniable chemistry. From Mal's hot headed, shoot first attitude to Kaylie's caring but meekness, they all play off each other perfectly creating one of the most enjoyable to watch group of richly drawn misfits hurled together and are easily the best thing about the movie.

Onto the disc itself, which takes full advantage of the Blu ray format. The picture is mesmerising one of the best I've seen on a Blu ray disc from the CGI to facial detail, everything it perfectly clear and proves to be visually stunning. Likewise the sound is again excellent, be it David Newman's powerful score, ship engines or extended silences in space the sound or lack of is crystal clear.

Extras wise commentary, intro, out-takes, making of's and deleted scenes from the original release have been transferred over but there a fair bit of new content. Session 416, recordings of interviews with the character River shot with an art house horror feel to them and featuring a rather familiar voice. The green clan focusing on cinematographer Jack green and his family who worked on the film, a selection of new deleted and extended scenes not featured on the previous release, take walk on serenity featuring Nathan Fillon, Adam Baldwin, Alan Tudyk and Joss Whedon detailing the differences between the original set and the movie set in their usual humours manner.

During the movie itself is the ability to access to Mr. universe compendium, detailing facts on people places etc, a digital tour of serenity displaying facts on the ship at various points. There's also picture in picture feature, little pop ups of interviews and rehearsal footage displayed throughout the film, giving some genuinely interesting and insightful clips on effects and characters that fans will lap up.

Lastly a second audio commentary for this release featuring joss and cast members Fillon, Baldwin,Glass and Glau, who were sadly missing from the previous commentary, and anyone who listened to firefly commentaries know what a hoot they are together, and here proves to be no exception. It can be displayed visually so you can see them talking while the film is playing or listen to it like a standard commentary.

All in all near perfect picture and sound with a host of new extras make this essential purchase for true fans, and for newbies its the best way to experience Whedon's epic. great Blu ray for a great film.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Non Pete Jackson Movie you will see this Year!, 29 Nov 2005
By 
J. Potter "johniebg" (Berkshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Serenity [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Having endured a summer of really slim cinematic pickings and feeling generally disheartened with the lack of anything specifically good since the end of Rings, perhaps excluding anything with Denzel Washington in it, this looked real good when I saw the quicktime trailer.
Two weeks later I was in the Cinema.
Serenity starts with a teaser, much in the frame as the Bond and more recently Rings movies in that there is an initial sequence before the opening credits appear on screen. By the time the opening sequence closed and those credits began to appear, while Serenity (spaceship) itself rolled in front of our screens to the beautiful David Newman soundtrack Joss Whedon was already plucking at the strings of my emotions like a virtuoso seated astride their favourite harp. I was ready to stand up and start applauding at this point. Through the movie he kept plucking, conjuring larger than life characters that you associate with immediately, making you laugh, sometimes out load, always doing the unexpected and all the while entertaining around the continued premise of strong characterisation.
By the time the credits rolled I knew I had seen a movie that would stay with me forever much as Blade Runner and Fellowship have.
It is set in space but the story and characters are so strong it could have been set anywhere, its better though than any space adventure you have seen in the last five years by some considerable margin.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, 28 Feb 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Serenity [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
I don't think this movie is for everyone (Just look at the trolling reviews on the other pages!)Not to sound like some of the more "rabid" fanboys of this show, but I'd just like to say that I really enjoyed this. I'd only heard about the TV series, and I foolishly met it with scepticism until I actually saw a few episodes on TV one day. (I think the Sci Fi channel did a few marathons before the movie came out)
What makes this movie stand out from the more recent offerings of Sci-Fi is that the dialogue and characters are really fleshed out. (It's fair to say that one or two of the characters from the series don't get enough screen time, however) The characters are likeable, there aren't any dorky aliens in it, and the special effects are used sparingly, not just for filler. George Lucas should truly be ashamed of himself with his latest offerings, because this just blows it out of the water.
If you're into Sci-Fi, Or you just want to see a good movie with some great moments, I think you should give it a shot.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shiny, 17 Jan 2006
By 
Mr. S. P. Day "Stevie-Day" (LLandudno) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Serenity [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
This is one of the best , if not the best film of 2005 , and I'm not just saying that because I'm a fan (ok I am) , But my god it Just goes to Show Lucas et al what you can do with a fraction of the budget , plotting , characterisation , humour it's all there in buckets . Buy this film now if you liked the series (Firefly) , or rent it if you can't afford to buy , but please , just see it .
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Serenity [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Serenity [Blu-ray] [Region Free] by Nathan Fillion (Blu-ray - 2009)
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