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View Full Version : serenity awesome - fx unexpectedly spectacular!



jin choung
10-02-2005, 02:11 AM
wow... i thought they would bobble the conversion from tv to film and i thought i'd see a lot of tv production design and serviceable but unspectacular fx.

boy, was i wrong.

some of the fx were better than ilm! seriously! and this stuff is coming out of lw (with some mental ray - ableit).

the single phrase that comes to mind about all of serenity is that it 'doesn't pull punches'.

it is as dark and violent as you can hope. the action is exciting. the fx are great!!! REALLY! not like some of the cheesy stuff that lw's been involved with in the past (oh, and there have been a few clunkers, without a doubt). IT IS NOT CHEESY! it is superpro level stuff on par with anything from a maya/renderman house.

it does NOT look cheap! there were a couple of hollywood types sitting behind me saying, during the credits, how unbelievably expensive this movie must have been! but the budget was not large!

and an expensive look is evident in EVERYTHING from sets, costumes, EVERYTHING.

also, a few things have been rectified from the tv series. where the tv series sometimes looked MUCH TOO WESTERN for space, the movie makes things more plausible with no horses running around on alien planets. it's much more in line with other space westerns like star wars and cowboy bebop.

and the concept of the reavers is one of the best villain ideas i've seen in a long time. genuinely scary.

fantastic. i can't recommend it highly enough. if you ain't doing anything on sunday, go see it. you won't regret it.

jin

p.s. and the fx were not just good as fx but good because the shots looked REAL! sure, there are a lot of fx movies with cool stuff that looks unbelievably phony too.... but in serenity, the stuff that was supposed to look real really looked like they were there!

like some of the carrier shots in stealth, it looked really real!

joss, emile, zoic and everyone on the production deserves tremendous praise.

IgnusFast
10-02-2005, 12:00 PM
also, a few things have been rectified from the tv series. where the tv series sometimes looked MUCH TOO WESTERN for space, the movie makes things more plausible with no horses running around on alien planets. it's much more in line with other space westerns like star wars and cowboy bebop.


One thing that's ironic about that; the movie actually did a great job of explaining that the planets in that solar system were colonized by humans when the earth was overpopulated, and as such they brought everything (including the horses) with them. The fringe planets/moons have resisted integration with the Alliance, so they're far behind the "core" system in technology. It might not be entirely realistic, but it's an interesting enough concept that I bought it.... :)

DragonFist
10-02-2005, 11:56 PM
I agree with Iggy.

But I loved the movie. I have never seen Firefly but Serenity was a powerful film with high levels of drama, action, true suspense (rarely found nowadays) and comedy. Very well done.

jin choung
10-03-2005, 12:23 AM
right, but i'm talking about the logic/plausibility of that idea - that taking HORSES (of all things) makes sense in terms of weight, life support (food water air) etc.

in this future where space travel is relatively non-exotic and you had to have a space ship even to get to the most backwater of planets, and where technology like the 'mule' is available, would it really make sense to take horses into space?!

i mean even in the 20th/21st century, just from an economic stand point, fossil fuels and tractors and cars & trucks make much more sense than beasts of burden on most farms. animals are widely just used as indulgent entertainment instead of actual 'work horses'.

i guess ultimately, the argument CAN be made that horses make sense but it just didn't ring true for me in the series - seemed like a conceit to make a really westerny space opera.

i have the same problem with twang/drawl and the accent/idioms... how is it that while adopting chinese, american language went BACKWARDS IN TIME to the actual old west?

jin

DragonFist
10-03-2005, 12:48 AM
It is only necessary to look at man's own history to answer those questions. For example, after the Romans had sewers and running water, man couldn't hook a cart up to a horse for nearly 500 years (read dark ages.) Point is, that even though it may not be the best way to do things, man does what has been familiar. And the means of providing fossil fuel easily in outer rim planets may not be to point where one would dismiss the use of animals. And just like with Man's travel to the new world, he brought his horses even on ships when the beasts available in the new world would have done just as well for farming needs (Buffalo). But he liked his horses and they quickly became part of New World becoming wild in that land too.

Anyhow, it doesn't really matter. The author wrote it that way and it isn't such a jarring thing, to me anyhow, that I couldn't suspend disbelief to enjoy the story that I very much enjoyed.

BeeVee
10-03-2005, 03:55 AM
Besides, if you want to take jeeps, you need the space required to fit every single jeep into your ship, if you want to take horses, you can take a breeding pair at the very most, but it is also like you'd be able to take horse foetuses etc...

B

Earl
10-03-2005, 10:29 AM
I was very impressed with this movie! There's been a serious lack of decent Sci-Fi movies lately (all the first three Episode Star Wars movies really made me cringe), but this has renewed my faith in the genre. And no wonder, it turns out the writer of this also wrote Titan A.E. (which is also good). All the trailers for Serenity gave me a really poor attitude for the film, and the effects I saw in the trailers didn't really look that good. However, they apparently left all the good stuff for the actual movie. The effects were a real treat! One of the few shots I thought looked poor or fakey was actually the one done with Maya's fluid smoke effects. Go figure! :foreheads

And if anyone is curious, I never saw the original Firefly mini-series. So if you're wondering if a non-Firefly fan can get into this movie: I'd say a big YES!

mattclary
10-03-2005, 01:31 PM
This was a truly frickin awesome movie! Best I've seen in a LONG time! George Lucas should have hired this guy to write for him. It's a darn shame this thing will make less money than Episode III, it's a much better movie.

As to horses in space: If you are terra-forming, you need an ecosystem. You bring copies of EVERYTHING with you, just as frozen zygotes. Once on the planet, the horses can eat grass, no food required. Horses were living off the land long before we started feeding them. ;)

marble_sheep
10-03-2005, 02:49 PM
It's a darn shame this thing will make less money than Episode III, it's a much better movie.

I was thinking the exact same thing as I watched the credits roll. IMO, the space battle at the end of this movie completely blew away the battle at the beginning of Ep3. I went into the movie expecting TV show-level effects, but man was I wrong. And to top it off, the dialog and story is actually watchable!

If you haven't seen this movie yet, go go go! Support a studio that uses LW... and uses it very very well I might add ;)

DragonFist
10-03-2005, 02:56 PM
Yes! *hums rythmically* You want to watch Serenity. Must see now. You want to see Serenity. Must see more than once.

Okay, hypnosis session over. I have to go and watch this one again right now. See ya later.

marble_sheep
10-03-2005, 03:02 PM
Yes! *hums rythmically* You want to watch Serenity. Must see now. You want to see Serenity. Must see more than once.

Okay, hypnosis session over. I have to go and watch this one again right now. See ya later.

hmmm... they need a subliminal message smilie.

:yoda: <-- "Go see Serenity, you will."

Gui Lo
10-03-2005, 07:45 PM
The horses makes perfect sense when I watched the series. No need for spare parts or factories. Fuel is from a waste product that can be grown. I think in the future a horse will be far cheaper although slower than a machine.

Sadly Serenity ain't in Hong Kong yet.

stib
10-04-2005, 12:10 AM
what is it they say in Saudia Arabia: my grandfather rode a camel, my father drove a jeep, I drive a mercedes benz, my son drives a range rover, and his son will ride a camel.

In the near(?) future after Peak Oil, I bet the idea of burning fossil fuel for transport is going to look pretty schtupid.

Sorry to get all political on you there..

AbnRanger
10-05-2005, 08:07 AM
Just saw it late last night.....you're right...Serenity ROCKS :rock:

I'm usually critical of either the cheesy plots, scenes, or actors coming out of many Hollywood productions today. However, I wasn't able to spot any in this film.
Hollywood has become so predictable in their story lines...again, this movie ran counter to that trend. You never really knew where the movie was taking you. It kept you guessing the whole way through. It was well done from start to finish.
My favorite scene was the one where the crew of Serenity provokes the Reavers JUST BEFORE they are about to get blasted...and the look on the faces of the guys form the Alliance. Excellent job you guys at ZOIC :lwicon: !

Defiance
10-05-2005, 08:09 AM
I thought it was one of the better scifi movies in the past 6 years. Not anywhere close to Star Wars III for me though.

AbnRanger
10-05-2005, 08:25 AM
I thought it was one of the better scifi movies in the past 6 years. Not anywhere close to Star Wars III for me though
Star Wars III had a much larger purse....yet STILL had a number of VERY cheesy scenes (the guy playing Anakin did a poor job of acting). On top of that, it seemed like Lucas, during a number of scenes, took the opportunity to use this movie as a platform for Liberal propoganda. And, man, that really ticks me off. I didn't pay $8 to come watch Michael Moore's adaptation of Star Wars.
Hollywood needs to quit trying to use the entertainment media to covertly advance their secular humanistic idealogy. They try to disguise it by mixing their message into the plot, but you can still smell the stinch a mile away. That's why I'm very discretionary in the movies I choose to watch.
Star Wars III was nothing more than eye candy made on a bloated budget.
Serenity showed how it ought to be done.

Cobalt
10-05-2005, 09:12 AM
I saw Serentiy last night with my 12 year old son and really enjoyed the movie.

Parts of the movie I liked alot:
1. Space FX scenes (Great job Zoic & Lightwave!)
2. Story
3. Character Dialogue
4. Acting

Parts of the movie that were not so great (maybe becuase of budget):
1. On-location shots in good old Southern CA
2. The "wild west" look & feel
3. Score
4. Sound Effects

Parts of the movie a did not like at all!
1. Ravengers (too much like a cheap zombie movie for me)
2. More Ravnegers ( I cant handle zombie movies)
3. That planet of dead people ( they looked too much like zombies )
4. Ravengers in space ( How do Ravengers (Zombies) maintain a space fleet?)

colkai
10-05-2005, 11:15 AM
Err, you mean Reavers ;)
Actually, they weren't zombies, but yeah, I guess if you don't know Firefly, it may come across that way. They are just insane, on a deadly level, think self-mutilation gone mad. As to them maintaining the fleet, I figure i's just another piece of their weaponry and even Beserkers like to have the edge on their prey. In the quick of the chase, any predator is still aware on some level of what is needed to catch and kill.
The Wild West look and feel is actuall pretty integral to the whole (cruelly short-lived) series. Interesting to see someones take on it who doesn't know the structure behind the "Verse" and the series though.
Taking my Dad to see the UK preview tomorrow, be interesting to see how he interprets it and if his percpetions match yours. :)

If you know someone who has the DVD's, may be interesting to borrow them and see if your view of things in the film change. For sure though, characterisation is a big deal and if you liked the dialog and characters, really, sneak a look at the DVD's if you don't fancy buying them.
Again, great to hear a "non-browncoat" (Firefly fans) POV on it. :)

DragonFist
10-05-2005, 02:59 PM
Ah! I know what a browncoat is now. Haha. I saw it in a review and had never figured it out.

I am not a Firefly "fan" cause I don't have TV and don't watch TV. But I loved Serenity. Trying to find the DVDs where I am.

Snosrap
10-05-2005, 08:04 PM
Two Thumb's Up http://tvplex.go.com/buenavista/ebertandroeper/today.html

colkai
10-06-2005, 02:56 AM
Form what I've read - their opinion counts a great deal over in the USA. Opens on preview in the UK tonight, oh yes... I will be there! :D

fyrissian
10-06-2005, 07:41 PM
Saw it twice last weekend. Going to see it at least once more this weekend. Ready for the Big D*** Sequel already!

colkai
10-07-2005, 03:49 AM
Okey Dokey,
Saw it last night, the cinema was deserted, (not just for Serenity, the whole place was on a lull, but then, doesn't surprise me around where I live).
My Dad said he knew nothing of the TV series, (doesn't have Sky), had seen a couple of the adverts for hte film and was interested.
He chuckled in all the right places, I could see he enjoyed the dialog by his reactions.
Afterwards I asked him his thoughts, he saw it as in a similar vein to the original Star Wars trilogy. Without prompting he likened Mal to Han Solo, interestingly, he liked River to Leia, saying she seemed quiet but was actually powerful. Was stunned that they were brave enough to ..you know what.... felt that was very refreshing in a film and completly threw him, like all bets were off. I could see the operative had him hooked too, or "the bad guy" as he put it. :)

His final thought, not a film you just watch once, somthing you'd want to see a few times. Oh, interestingly, he totally got that Inara was a Companion and what that actually meant. He understood the dynamics between the crew and also realised Book had been on the ship or at least part of their team and that so had Inara by her line at the end. Thought the FX were great and the battle / fights really good, as was the humor.

This coming from a guy in his mid 70's with no pre-conceptions and knowledge of the series. He also felt the lack of people in the Cinema was not a bad thing given it was a preview and a work day (shows at 7:00 and 9:40 pm) and he felt it would probably do well once it opened properly today and over the weekend. Ya know, that was a far better reaction from him than I expected, he was pumped and thanked me for taking him as he totally enjoyed it.
Guess my Dad is getting the DVD's for XMas now :)

Well, I'll be back in the Cinema next week, can't make it over the weekend alas, but be interesting to see if he's right and there are more than a handful of folks still there by mid-week. Also, find out what sort of size screen they put it on, the preview was on one of the smallest.
The advert for films in the local paper has it listed as the first film of the new batch next week, which is a little encouraging.

digital verve
10-07-2005, 04:23 AM
Saw it myself yesterday evening with the wife. She is no sci-fi fan and hates Star Trek and such stuff, but she did enjoy watching Firefly on DVD. Probably because of good interesting characters, story and no bumpy headed aliens.

The film was very enjoyable. Would love to see it again. I think it will appeal to most people because of good characterisation and story. The effects were great too and thought they were better than the over glossy prequel Star Wars movies.

I noticed that they reset the character of Mal to like how he was in the 1st episodes of Firefly. I guess so those who were not familiar of the series could watch his development in the film. At the end of the film he was more like the Mal in the later eps of Firefly and probably further along too.

I would recommend this movie to anyone. Even those who don't like sci-fi. A good movie is a good movie whatever its genre.

:)

Bog
10-07-2005, 05:32 AM
I saw this a few weeks ago at a press screening.

I'm itching at the studio walls here so I can to and see it again.

It's amazing how beautiful this film is - it is most certainly NOT "TV Effects on the Big Screen", they are Big **** Effects in a Big **** Movie :D

Huge respect and thanks to Joss Whedon for a cracking film, and to the worthies at Zoic and everyone else who's showing the way ahead for space effects.

I'm biased, 'cause this film is so precicely my cup of tea, it could have been written just to make me happy. :D

safetyman
10-07-2005, 05:39 AM
I loved the TV series and was sorely disappointed when it got cancelled. I haven't seen the film yet, but I'm hoping that it does exceptionally well so that maybe, just maybe, they'll bring the series back. :thumbsup:

mkiii
10-07-2005, 06:17 AM
I wanted to take my son (age 10) to see it, but they slapped a 15 rating on it.

Now he is not timid, but *if* I were to sneak him in (on the shoulders of a midget for instance), would the experience leave him mentally scarred or not?

Bog
10-07-2005, 07:15 AM
I'd hesitate to bring a 10-year-old to see it. It's very dark.

mattclary
10-07-2005, 07:21 AM
I wanted to take my son (age 10) to see it, but they slapped a 15 rating on it.

Now he is not timid, but *if* I were to sneak him in (on the shoulders of a midget for instance), would the experience leave him mentally scarred or not?

I think it depends a lot on the kid, but for the most part, I think it's too mature for a 10 year old. I would probably say 13 or older.

IgnusFast
10-07-2005, 03:42 PM
I'd hesitate to bring a 10-year-old to see it. It's very dark.


My just-turned 9-year-old loved it, but then, he loved the TV show too. I think my wife was more upset than him by some of the (spoiler omitted) in the movie... :)

CB_3D
10-07-2005, 06:52 PM
My just-turned 9-year-old loved it, but then, he loved the TV show too. I think my wife was more upset than him by some of the (spoiler omitted) in the movie... :)

Sex? Violence? Killertomatoes?

Canīt wait to it. I am not really a fan of the series, itīs interesting, but a bit too western themed.

But hey, anything goes when thereīs a good spacebattle on the big screen.

mkiii
10-07-2005, 07:47 PM
The nipper is actually nearly 11 come to think of it, and was weaned on Buffy & Angel, so he gets the dark humour of Joss W.

I may force him to go, (he's the one that pointed out that he isn't *allowed*), with an AB-Fab inspired parental decision.

Bog
10-08-2005, 04:09 PM
Just watched it again, and sat through the credits whilst jonesing terribly for a cigarette.

It made me all emotional. I knew Emile would be up there, but to see Dave "LightWaveDave" Adams and Adam "Mojo" Leibowitz (sorry if I mis-spelled your surname, dude) in the list of Zoic Family ... goram.

*sighs happily* Puttin' the band back together, Elwood....

Cman
10-08-2005, 10:04 PM
right, but i'm talking about the logic/plausibility of that idea - that taking HORSES (of all things) makes sense in terms of weight, life support (food water air) etc.

in this future where space travel is relatively non-exotic and you had to have a space ship even to get to the most backwater of planets, and where technology like the 'mule' is available, would it really make sense to take horses into space?!

i mean even in the 20th/21st century, just from an economic stand point, fossil fuels and tractors and cars & trucks make much more sense than beasts of burden on most farms. animals are widely just used as indulgent entertainment instead of actual 'work horses'.

i guess ultimately, the argument CAN be made that horses make sense but it just didn't ring true for me in the series - seemed like a conceit to make a really westerny space opera.

i have the same problem with twang/drawl and the accent/idioms... how is it that while adopting chinese, american language went BACKWARDS IN TIME to the actual old west?

jin


I totally agree with you.
I could never connect with the show, but the movie was lots of fun.
I just wish it was more dramatically lit, but I guess that's where they saved some money.

The dialogue also rubbed me wrong on the series, but it was toned down enough in the movie that it didn't bother me too much. Though my gf complained that the language was too corny.

I also agree that the Revers was a GREAT monster - very well explained.
Also, the main bad guy, the assassin was super cool.
Same with River - she was super badass!

Now that I think about it - it coulda been cool to see them two in a fight - but I guess he would've lost.

Half-way through I was a bit disappointed, but by the time it was over I was loving it! :thumbsup:

Congrats to Zoic for such an outstanding job!