Wednesday, April 27, 2005

FIREFLY - the movie

I give up.

I surrender my geek soul to the Whedon. I have no pride, no shame.

I give unto my friends the boxed set, and they say, "Verily, this kicks ass, why is there not more of it?"

And I tell unto them "Because American television can barely find it's own ass with the help of Ass-detecting Assometers run by Assy Asserton, Asstronomer and Winner of the Ass-Centric Assembly's Golden Ass-Finding Trophy Three Years Running."

And even DJ McCarthy, whose soul is black as Warren Ellis' left lung, who I once saw threaten to put a cigarette out in the eye of a five year old*, even he gnashes his teeth and weeps at the injustice.

But now, salvation has come.

The trailer to Serenity.



*to be fair, the five-year-old had it coming.

32 comments:

Drew said...

I can't wait for this movie to come out. And I don't have to. I scored two tickets to next Thursday's advanced special screening. One week away from all the Whedonverse goodness. Shiny!

Jer said...

'And I tell unto them "Because American television can barely find it's own ass with the help of Ass-detecting Assometers run by Assy Asserton, Asstronomer and Winner of the Ass-Centric Assembly's Golden Ass-Finding Trophy Three Years Running."'

Classic quote. Its unfortunate that Whedon got Firefly off the ground right when the "reality series" virus was sweeping through the country. It might have had a better shot otherwise.

Its also unfortunate that when Fox has a good show they can't keep their grubby mitts off of it and just let it be good, rather than coming in and mucking it up with their "improvements". Like running episodes out of order and the like.

RKBentley said...

I got Tix to the Boston Preview next week. Should be sweet!

Bill Cunningham said...

I think it would be appropriate to talk about FAMILY GUY here as well - a series also "saved" by its arrival on DVD.

Also on Fox...hmmmm.

And as I told Warren Ellis, put GLOBAL FREQUENCY on DVD and let's see what happens. Just the pilot, some extras and commentaries with you and Warren - you are talking D2DVD gold!

BenDavid said...

That's just a really bad trailer. There are some great moments, and hints at greatness, but from a marketing perspective it's completely counterproductive. By hammering home the connection to Buffy and Angel you ostracize those that have written the shows off as "geek shit" or elements of fringe culture. Firefly is the greatest sci-fi show of all time, but they dig a hole by shoehorning it into this cult entity istead of pitching it as a rollickin' mainstream thrill ride (with laughs, too!).

Rogers said...

Ordinarily Ben, I'd agree with more of your points, but a.) nobody was going to go to the sci-fi movie who writes anything off as geek shit and b.) the whole reason the movie's being made is because Whedon's branded himself. The DVD sales, and that means Whedon's hardcore fanbase, of FIREFLY are what got him here. SO you need them, every ONE of them, AND the people who are coming to see spaceships blow shit up anyway.

That, of course, is one of the deep, dark secrets of film -- it's the least popular entertainment medium in America.

Stay with me.

Videogaming, by far, dwarfs film-making on an economic model. I love going to movie/gaming studio seminars and watching the film execs turn green at the gills when they finally learn the gaming numbers.

But look also at film. If I get 10 million people to go see a film domestically, I have a huge goddamn multi-sequel hit on my hands. You can barely keep a TV show on the air at 10 million viewers. (more so now, but that's just because TV is dying). Granted, there's the what'll I pay for, what'll I watch for free factor, but FIREFLY and Whedon fans have shown they'll pony up the dough.

If this campaign/movie fails, then it'll make a profit in DVD anyway. It if succeeds, Whedon's a brand and a player, and his life and opportunities to fundraise for projects in Hollywood is made epically easier.

BenDavid said...

You make a lot of good points, but I'm operating on the theory that this seemingly post-modern, smartass, Warren-Ellis-when-the-characters-aren't -spewing-exposition approach is a really commercial and highly accessible tone. I still think Buffy and Angel would be doing ER/CSI numbers if they were able to overcome the stigma of the "guys in makeup" nature of it all.

I felt strongly, even if they had brought the director of Glitter back, that Serenity was something that could reach a really wide audience, an audience that never watched an episode of any of these shows. It feels like they're trying to convince you that the property is cool by using quotes from DVD websites, which is odd enough, considering many respected rags and newspapers gave glowing reviews to the show and/or DVD.

I guess we'll see how this pans out, but to me the difference between Firefly and say... Star Trek, is that the appeal is broad and character based and not due to the genre itself. Because of that, you can overcome the supposed stigma. The branding may be necessary, but I think Whedon fans are going to be there no matter what.

Still, whenever I get embarassed by a guy in a costume at a convention, or a douchebag knee deep in a futile argument about comics on Wednesday, I remember that great feeling I had when I found out they were making a Firefly movie, and why at times this whole geek thing can be really cool.

BenDavid said...

Re: the commerciality of that "smartass tone"

It's the same reason I was convinced Global Frequency was going to be the WB's breakout show, but then again I never saw the final product. Still, it would take a director of catestrophically inept proportions, going 90 on a short bus, to fuck it up.

Rogers said...

Ahh, but young Ben, you were but a wee evil child when Star Trek was brough t back. It didn't transcend SHIT. It was only because the movie came out during the new renaissance of sci fi (and Shatner's toupe in the first was the rockingest) that it broke on through to the other side. And then Next Gen took advantage of the then booming now deader than dead syndicated show system. Sci fi/genre wil always, always be on a case by case basis.

BenDavid said...

I'm a young'n and I'm hungover. Plus, I've never liked the Star Trek TV show, so my point makes even less sense now.

Damon said...

I saw the first trade screening back in the day, and as someone who never saw the show, I was left unimpressed. But Whedon's film writing (outside of Toy Story) has rubbed me the wrong way. It felt like an expensive TV movie, so I'm sure fans will be mostly happy.

Bill Cunningham said...

Anyone have a clue as to the budget on Firefly? That dictates a lot in terms of "success". I can't imagine it was a huge budget.

Obviously they are marketing it to the fans who made the DVD numbers a hit -- the people who will follow Joss Whedon in whatever he does AND the people who like sci-fi in general and liked the show when it was on. With that marketing track in mind, that says to me that Universal didn't put a lot into it budget wise and are looking at this as a release that will make its money back theatrically -- BUT will do huge numbers on DVD (where Universal is very strong)

Even looking at the trailer, this appears (for the most part) to be a set bound show that has been enhanced with CGI. Yes, there are some outdoor scenes, but for the most part it looks to be a bottle show. There are also affordable TV actors in the movie - not superstars. Everything looks like it did in the TV show - no major redesign to up the cost.

I think Serenity is going to be able to ride a lot of the hype and "scifi/action awareness" that other, larger budgeted releases will generate - Star Wars, Batman, etc... Same thing Roger Corman did with his Carnosaur - releasing it during the hype build for the bigger budgeted Jurassic Park. Made the money back theatrically and spawned 3 sequels for video/dvd.

I need more java...

Rogers said...

I hear it's around $50 million. Even with publicity, it should make many, many suited humans happy.

BenDavid said...

Random note: the fight scene could benefit from Breathless style jump cuts.

Bill Cunningham said...

$50M ? Yes, the suited humanoid ones are already putting their feet up on the desk...

I smell sequel...

Frito said...

I liked Firefly a great deal, but I also assumed that I missed the pilot episode when I caught the first episode that FOX aired (because I had, by way of them not showing it first). I have been relativly cold to the rest of his work. I think it is mainly because I just never got into the plotlines on Buffy or Angel and didn't start watching them.

The wierd thing is that Joss's fanbase can be pretty damned scary. There are a lot of them out there that are about one good cry away from cutting themselves because... they... love... *choke* him... so... much *sob*. Perhaps because his works naturally are attractive to emo type folks who post about how their friends just don't understand them on their livejournals from their parents' basements.

I actually think that those fans would have turned on him if Firefly had continued. Firefly, to me, presented a different tone then his previous shows. It moved away from the quasi-spiritualism of the vampire shows and focused instead people held together by hatred and disillusion against more human enemies, with the exception of the Reavers.

But then again that is just one cynical bastard's opinion.

Rogers said...

not at all. I think Firefly would've been a quantum leap for him, and many of my non-Buffy fan friends liked it. Although I will say, Angel was not at all what you'd expect it to be.

BenDavid said...

I loved Firefly. I hold it up with the likes of Sopranos and Twin Peaks, but I can't get through season 3 of Buffy, even though I own the first 4, and I stopped watching Angel halfway through season 1. I've rewatched Firefly dozens of times and converted a lot of people by buying them the set.

silentdante said...

i think farscape and firefly are tied for best sci-fi shows, hell best hour long shows i have ever watched. though i liked john doe a lot too and fox cancled that as well.

i think firefly and farscape both worked because in theme they were sci-fi shows but in reality they had nothing ot do with sci-fi on a show by show level. they were baout hte characters the relationships, where star trek for me had some of that, it was more tech based. star trek actuly used a ton of sci-fi equipment where firfly and farscape had them as tools to use for story instead.

maybe i have no clue what i'm tlakin about, but it looks to me like serenity will have horror elements with the reavers, huge space battles, and a lot of character progression. whedons will be done!

Oerwinde said...

To answer the budget question, I believe the budget was around 35 million, but Box Office Mojo lists it at 40 million.

Firefly is quite possibly my all time favorite show and I'm glad to see on all the message boards I post on that pretty much everyone who saw the trailer is going to see it now.

bendavid said...

This is really interesting.

http://www.leesmovieinfo.net/Article.php?a=693

Adam said...

Wow. I haven't seen that much written bile in a long time. You can tell that reviewer had no interest in giving Serenity a chance. He basically said so at the start of the review. I think, as far as reviews go, this was one of the worst I've ever read. Basically, it's someone who won't watch Joss Whedon's other stuff comparing this movie to that stuff, and trying to find the worst parts of both to talk about. I do realize that a large part of criticism is being critical, but that was just the printed equivalent of a snuff film.

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