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235 of 240 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

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe I should have seen Firefly first
I watched this film because of all the great reviews but although it's not bad, I didn't think it was all that great. Kind of a bit like Star Wars crossed with a Western, but nothing really gripping about the characters or plot. One or two quite funny bits made me think of the machinima, Clear Skies.

I realise there's a mass of Firefly fans who think...
Published on 9 Oct 2012 by John W

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63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best movie, best TV-show since a long time!, 16 Jan 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Serenity [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Nowadays it's a shame, that "originality" doesn't get the time and money to be able to evolve and be brought closer to the audience. The Firefly TV show as well as the Serenity movie are an exclusive exception to the "fast food" served on TV-channels and cinemas. As it is one of the most original series I know, it's no wonder for me, that it has to fight to stay alive.
The solid fan base helps. This fan base knows the quality and appreciates the humor, tension and character of the show.
I hope, the DVD sells good, so that there might be a sequel to either the TV show or the movie (or both ;-)
ps: english ain't my mother tongue so please be patient about my spelling. Thanks.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning science fiction film, 27 Mar 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Serenity [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
It is not often that any film has me sitting bolt upright in amazement, but this one did.

It starts with an introduction to the Universe (or "'Verse") in which the story is set, in the form of a history lesson being given to a group of children in idyllic and apparently tranquil surroundings. Then suddenly the film explodes into action in a shocking and unexpected way. The action follows at hurricane pace for most of the next two hours, and when it does slow down for a moment it usually means that Director Joss Weldon, is setting you (and the characters) up for another shock.

This film follows on from the TV series "Firefly" and all nine of the principal characters, and the actors who played them, appear in the film, along with one major new character. I had never heard of most of the cast before seeing this film, but if they are capable of repeating the talent they showed here and in the TV series I'd take a large bet that we'll hear more of them in the future.

Serenity is the name of a Firefly class starship, eking out a marginal living by taking on various dirty and often illegal roles in a universe recovering from a horrible civil war.

Serenity's captain (Malcolm Reynolds or "Mal") played by Nathan Fillon, and first mate are veterans from the losing side in the war, in which an oppressive central government (the "Alliance") prevented planets on the edge of human-occupied space (the "Independents") from breaking away. There are obvious and apparently deliberate parallels with the US after their civil war. The TV series was often described as a cross betweeen Star Trek and a Western and some of the Wild West feel comes over into the film.

Serenity takes on two mysterious passengers who turn out to be fugitives from the Alliance. In the TV series the fugitives were pursued from everything from bounty hunters like Boba Fett (from "Star Wars") to sinister robot-like men reminiscent of the agents from "The Matrix". In "Serenity" the Alliance sends a kind of high-tech samurai after the fugitives, played brilliantly by Chiwetel Ejiofor. His character has no name or description and apparently in the script he is simply "the operative".

River Tam, played by Summer Glau, has a much larger role in the film than in the TV series, and carries it off very well.

The acting, dialogue, and special effects are all excellent and there is some good humour mixed in with the action.

The tone is fairly dark in places and the age rating is more justified than most - I wouldn't let a small child watch this.

It is certainly not necessary to see the TV series to enjoy the film. However, if you are thinking of watching both, it is probably better to watch the "Firefly complete series" DVD before you watch "Serenity", because almost all the developing plot lines from the series are resolved in the film.

After watching the film I went out and bought the TV series and enjoyed it immensely, but I would have liked the experience of watching the first time without knowing why the Alliance was so desperate to recover the fugitives, what will be the outcome of two developing love-story sub-plots, which characters will survive to the end of the film, and who won't.

Bottom line - if you are at all into Space Opera, or if you like an exciting thriller, you will enjoy this.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serenely superb, 6 April 2006
T. Noever "Author of the TETHYS series" (Brisbane, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Serenity [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
If there's anything I'd like to add to all the good things said about this flick, it's that I wish more people would feel as strongly about the basic evil of any attempts to 'improve' human beings as Joss Whedon does. I happen to share this belief 100%, and it made, for me at least, what might just have been a big-screen 2-hour TV episode into a movie that is worthy being called 'great'.

Whedon, knowingly or not, may have ingested a hefty dose of R A Heinlein, or someone like him. I say this because the Firefly characters, and especially the ladies, could have jumped straight out of the pages of a Heinlein story. The actresses cast to represent them are gems, each an every one of them, each in their own way. Kick-ass ladies, each naturally possessed of a sharply-drawn and distinct character, who combine intelligence and strength with an edgy sweetness that's never vacuous. I hope the actresses never have the misfortune to become 'stars', for I get the impression that may be the worst thing that could happen to any actress. But I also hope that they will never have to struggle to find work, preferably in roles where they can enchant their audience as much as they have done in Firefly and Serenity.

If Whedon has anything else important to say to us-and I have a notion that he isn't done talking by a long way yet-I hope he does it with another visit to the 'verse and in the company of a bunch of folks I really have come to like.

Till Noever,
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I don't care what you believe, just believe it.", 25 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Serenity is not only a gripping sci-fi flick, but a fantastic sequel to the TV series Firefly, and a masterpiece of cinema in its own
right. There are already hundreds of reviews of the regular releases which can persuade you to watch the movie. From Joss Whedon,
director of The Avengers and Cabin in the Woods, Serenity is subtle and action-packed, moving and witty, beautiful and terrible.
If you haven't already seen it, Firefly is classic cult TV with an ever-growing following, and this movie is the perfect bittersweet finale.

This new steelbook release is essentially the same Blu-Ray disc as before but packaged in a lovely, sturdy steelbook. The designs on the
front and back covers are simple but elegant, and the dimensions are identical to a regular Blu-Ray case. The product is well worth your
money. If you already own the movie, you may not feel the need to buy a second copy, but I did, and I'm satisfied that this new edition
is very, very shiny.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "shiny" film to be sure...., 7 April 2006
Ed (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Serenity [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
I hadn't heard of the Firefly series nor the film...that is until at the end of 2005 when it appeared to be voted the number one film of the year on the Jonathan Ross show. I don't buy DVDs so when the free rental deal came along, I thought I would give it a go...and I am certainly glad I did! Not only have I now ordered the series and film on DVD, it also prompted me to actually write the first review I've done on anything!
You WILL like this film; with such brilliant people behind this film you are sure to love the endearing characters, the script, the action, the laughs, the irony, the soundtrack - there's only one downside...I wish I saw the series first though not because the film was confusing or anything, just because I wish I had heard of the series years ago to watch it and make sure it wasn't cancelled! Hence I urge you to buy both the series and the film! You can take whatever you want from this film, it can be a casual no-brainer or a thought-provoking look on the future, funny or serious with interspersals of sadness; there's something for everyone. Get the DVDs now to show support for such a great series and film and hopefully we'll get more of the same!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Sci-Fi Movie, 3 Mar 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Serenity [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
I have had a funny relationship with this movie and its predecessing series. I was interested in seeing the movie when it hit cinema's as i had read all the great reviews and liked the look of the movie. Due to commitments to work and university, i missed the movie on the cinema, which i was dissapointed about. I was shopping one day after the movie had gone off and saw the Firefly DVD for only twenty pounds. After much deliberating i decided to buy it, fancying something new. Needles to say i was skeptical when i put that first disc in and watched the pilot. But within 10 minutes of watching, i was enthralled, i couldnt stop watching it, and began to curse myself more and more for not seeing Serenity at the cinema. So i had to wait four months for the Serenity DVD to come out.
By the time i bought Serenity, i had watched each of the 14 Firefly episodes 3 times. So my expectations were fairly high for the movie, but, Serenity took my expectations and blew them into the black. The movie really is great, and you wouldnt have to have seen Firefly before it to enjoy it, though it would help with some character interactions.
Everything strong from the series is here, the characterisation (which is brilliant, you WILL love every character), humour, action (though it is bigger and better in the movie) acting, and the excellent music. The movie also has the unique ability to make you laugh out and cry at the same time.
It really is a great ride of a movie. The story focuses mostly on Mal and River and the secret River carries that is a threat the ruling government The Alliance. The cannibalistic Reavers(men who have grown wild on the edge of space and like to eat people alive) also play a big part in the story. There are some great action set pieces, from the hovercraft chase at the start, to the spectacular space battle between the Reavers and the Alliance, with Serenity in the middle, to the climactic stand off within a planetary facility.
This is a movie that should be seen by every Sci-fi fan around the world, and it at least warrants and rental from casual movie viewers. Highly recommended and one of the best movies from 2005.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great action-packed adventure, 28 Jun 2006
This review is from: Serenity [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
I really enjoyed this film, though I'd not heard of 'Firefly' before having this recommended to me by Amazon.

The beginning of the film is really gripping. The thrilling rescue of Rivers by her brother gives a hint at her abilities. The story keeps up momentum throughout I found, giving sufficient explanation of the key points before moving the story along.

There's also excellent cinematography despite the small budget, which really contributes to the action. Its exciting and satisfying in a way the recent Star Wars films weren't. At the same time, it really feeds the imagination with the future shape of the Universe, space battles and menacing enemies on all sides.

Though there were no big names in this, I think the casting was fantastic. The characterisation did utilise some stereotypes, such as in Captain Mal, but all of the characters were realistic. Also, there seemed to be really good chemistry between the cast.

I would say if you're a Sci-Fi fan this is great stuff! I'm keen to read the book 'Serenity' and see 'Firefly' to increase my knowledge. I really would like to see this become a series of films, cos all the core elements are strong.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hugely enjoyable...., 1 Mar 2006
This review is from: Serenity [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
As a big Joss fan, no-one could understand why I did not get hooked by the 'Firefly' series when it was on tv, I just missed it in the schedules somehow. However I was keen to see the big screen version. I went with no preconceptions or background knowledge and came away from the cinema with a smile on my face. The film has some flaws: for me namely in the slightly thinly-stretched characters. I got the sense that Whedon was trying to condense the essence of his crew into 2 hours and it shows. I found it comforting that he was able to use his unknown cast of actors and that I recognised a few of them, including Gina Torres (who played evil goddess Jasmine in 'Angel'), Summer Glau (who made an appearance as a ghostly ballerina in an episode of 'Angel') and Nathan Fillion (who played evil Caleb in 'Buffy' with great aplomb). Fillion as Captain Mal is for me definitely the star of the show, possessing great screen presence, impeccable comic timing and the 'sex factor' you associate with great leading men. Chiwetel Ejiofor is also a strong presence in the film playing his character with an understated evilness that is effective. However, I found it difficult to 'root' for the other characters like I expected to. For example the relationships between Wash and Zoe and the Doctor and the ship's horny engineer left me a bit cold - I didn't really feel them or relate to them - I guess there was simply not enough screen time to be able to develop them fully and Whedon has to resort to conveying it all with a few glib one-liners, which is a shame.
The special effects are excellent - especially considering this was a moderately budgeted affair - and Whedon's signature action sequences for his kick-ass female protagonist are handled well.
Despite the flaws I still came away feeling hugely entertained and certain that I had witnessed one of the most original, inventive and biggest-hearted productions of the year. The fact that it won polls for best film from such luminaries as Film 2005 speaks volumes. As Joss said 'this film was a labour of love - meaning it did not do well at the Box Office'. However the film was only made at all because DVD sales of 'flop' tv series Firefly surpassed all expectations. I suspect 'Serenity' will become one of those films like Shawshank Redemption, whose reputation grows over time. I am sure in years to come we will wonder why on earth this film did not do better at the Box Office.
The DVD extras are good and this is a well put-together package worth adding to your collection. Recommended.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SFX Magazine's "Greatest Sci-Fi Movie of All Time", 24 May 2012
The Truth "How it is" (UK) - See all my reviews
I didn't get it. The first time I saw this I just didn't get it. I couldn't understand why it had such a following and why a poll in SFX Magazine declared it the 'Greatest Sci-Fi movie ever made', beating even Star Wars.

Then I saw the series, Fire Fly. And on second viewing it clicked.

However, much as I enjoyed Serenity, I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say it's the best Sci-Fi film ever made, but it is still pretty good. If I had one criticisms though, it would be this: it still feels like a TV show not a film.

But, given the films history and origins that's completely understandable and totally acceptable because although, in places, it feels like a Made-For-TV-Movie it is in fact a Made FROM TV movie.

It was part funded by fans of the cancelled TV show, Fire Fly, who wanted to see more of the space western penned by Joss Whedon and it's basically all the ideas he had kicking around for season two put together for the Fire Fly fans.

And here's what they got: Serenity. A film that wraps things up nicely and gives some sort of resolution; tying up (most of) the threads that were left dangling when Fox chose to axe what could have been the best Sci-Fi show ever (Yes, Trekkies... even better than Star Trek, which incidentally, I can't stand!)

Serenity expands the show's universe, reveals River's background and what it is she is. It exposes the origins of the dreaded Reavers and the fate of the rest of the Fire Fly crew. There are some brilliant new characters introduced as well as great performances from the familiar cast and characters we all got to know and love in the original series.

It's a good film but I would say this. Save it. If you're thinking of buying this and haven't watched the original Fire Fly series yet, don't. Don't watch it. Go a buy yourself the Fire Fly box set, digest that and then come back for Serenity.

Although you can watch the film as as stand alone piece, it takes on a whole new dimension once you're a 'brown coat' (read Fire Fly geek). I should really give this film 4 stars because, as a film that's all it deserves. But, as a way to right wrongs and give Fire Fly fans some sort of resolve, it gets 5.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare with a space-ship and a revolver, 17 Mar 2006
This review is from: Serenity [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Let's start with what made Shakespeare the revered figure he is: knowledge of the human condition. Add a little "this is how it should be", and some great attention to detail and wit, and the end result is a good movie. It doesn't need sex and bad language. So what do we have? At least one flawed hero. Dialogue which comes from a 19th century Nantucket whaler (and if you sail at all this reinforces the quality). Action in spades. Strong female characters (but only in parts, and by implication). Weapons which are out of sync with the high-tech society. The realities of harsh economics and military decisions. Cool lines all over the place, but when Jewel Staite says "Going on a year now, I ain't had nothing twixt my nethers weren't run on batteries" if you don't fall instantly in love (and I do mean love, not lust) with her and want to spend the rest of your life with her, you sir are dead from the toenails up! Forget hype and superstars, this is great movie-making.
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