Saturday, September 24, 2005

Serenity Synopsis

Part of the blood oath I agreed to with Universal is that I include a this movie synopsis on my blog, so here you go.

Universal Synopsis
"Joss Whedon, the Oscar® - and Emmy - nominated writer/director responsible for the worldwide television phenomena of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE, ANGEL and FIREFLY, now applies his trademark compassion and wit to a small band of galactic outcasts 500 years in the future in his feature film directorial debut, Serenity. The film centers around Captain Malcolm Reynolds, a hardened veteran (on the losing side) of a galactic civil war, who now ekes out a living pulling off small crimes and transport-for-hire aboard his ship, Serenity. He leads a small, eclectic crew who are the closest thing he has left to family –squabbling, insubordinate and undyingly loyal."

Josh's Commentary on the Universal Synopsis
Joss Whedon is frickin' brilliant. The fact that he has not yet won an Oscar, an Emmy, a Nobel Prize and a MacArthur genius grant is one of the great injustices of the 21st century. I don't know why Universal always pitches Joss as the creator of "BUFFY" and "ANGEL". Something along the lines of "Serenity, from the Mind of Joss Whedon, Future Saviour of the Human Race" would be more appropo.

I also don't know if it's fair to say that the story centers around Captain Malcolm Reynolds. I can see why they would want to pitch it that way, because he's got that whole Han Solo thing going on, but Firefly worked because of the strength of the ensembled cast, not because of any one character. I think studios tend to be afraid of the ensemble cast, but if you look at the success that ABC has had with two shows that are undeniably ensemble drama/comedies- Desperate Housewives and Lost- it's time for the studios to embrace the ensemble and stop shying away from it. When you get the right people together, the stuff just works. It's magic. We've all felt it in our lives, though we often can't explain why it's there, and we know it when we see it in a production. Serenity just has that Thing that brings the story to life. Oh, and Inara is really, really hot.


So, a couple of updates. First, my wife and I have moved back to Austin, and we're very happy to be back here. Second, we've taken advantage of Austin's ludicrously underpriced (at least when compared to Raleigh-Durham) housing market to purchase a house, which we're moving into in 10 days. And third, I'm one of the lucky bloggers who gets to go see Serenity a few days early for free, all in exchange for blogging about it.

First, a little bit of my history with the Firefly franchise. The one upside of moving to Durham was getting to hang out with my good friends Jim and Jimmy Jo (hereafter referred to as J&JJ) from college. And I'm not entirely sure, but I think it was the first time that we hung out at Jimmy Jo's place, we watched a couple of episodes of Firefly on DVD. J&JJ were completely obsessed with the show, extolling the genius of Joss Whedon and the foolishness of the Fox executives who bungled the show before cancelling it. So I decided to find out what all the fuss was about, and I rented the entire season on Netflix, as JJ had a waiting list of people he was loaning the show to.

Before I get to into this, I wanted to say that I am not much of a sci-fi geek. I'm a geek for many things, but the whole Star Wars/Star Trek/BG/etc. thing has never really been my scene. By and large (and I'm sure I'm inviting all sorts of flames by saying it), I feel like sci-fi writers use the technology as a crutch to avoid any sort of challenging or interesting character development. Give me Wonderfalls, Arrested Development, the West Wing (seasons 1, 2, and 3), Lost, The Office- give me humor, complexity, and a touch of weird shit, and I'm good to go. And I have to say that Firefly is one of the best artistic creations I have ever experienced, right up there with OK Computer.

Anyway, I have to shower and get going with my day. I'm really excited to see this movie and write it up. If you are too, check out all the info you could possibly want right here- Serenity the Movie.