Jan 03 2006

As Sure As I Know Anything, I Know This…

Published by at 10:20 pm under Recommendations

I won’t be making too many movie , TV show or book recommendations on this site, but I reserve the right to do so every once in a while. The first one is Joss Whedon’s Serenity. I’m sad to say, I missed this one in the theaters. Not because I wasn’t a fan of the cancelled series, Firefly, which is true, but because my life has been a little hectic lately. But the DVD is out and I’ve finally taken a peek.
I’m not going to write a review of the film here. There are plenty of good reviews to be found. Suffice to say, I really dug it. I give it four out of five stars, which is actually a lot for me. I’m fairly hard to please.
But the reason I’m recommending it is because a) it’s that rare, smartly crafted, highly entertaining science fiction movie, and b) it pretty much bombed, and I don’t think that’s fair. Not only do I not think that’s fair, but I fear what it means to the film industry.
It’s a sprawling, effects-heavy space adventure that could’ve easily cost $150 million, but Whedon bent over backwards to bring it in at well under a third of that amount (and he shot it in LA instead of Canada). I care a lot less when a behemoth like King Kong underperforms. But when somebody makes an effecient and entertaining movie, and it tanks, well… that just breaks my heart.
Of course, there are no big stars in the film (just a bunch of really talented people). And the title sucks — makes it sound like a chick flick. But the studio gave it a respectable push and it didn’t take. And now, I fear, we’ll go for another long stretch without any seriously interesting science ficition movies.
So, if you haven’t already, check it out. Vote with your DVD buying or renting dollars. See if we can’t retroactively convince Universal that this one was worth making.

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