Two Movie Night

Despite approximately 235,932 things I ought to be doing when Gena is out of town, somehow I accomplished pretty close to zero of them.  Perhaps three kids contribute to that order of things.  Procrastination needs to take up and accept it’s share of blame as well, though.

The first movie was part of a neighboring church’s movie night.  Space Chimps was the scheduled fare.  In an concerted effort not to waste pixels and valuable bytes of storage space (yes, bytes – it’s intentional), I’m not going to bother reviewing this movie other than to assure you that it is every bit as bad – and possibly much, much worse – than you might have thought it was.  Avoid this pointless movie at all costs.

The second movie came during potentially prime productivity time, however, so I have really no excuse, other than a feeble effort to continue to justify our Netflix membership.  Towards that end, I watched Serenity, the Josh Whedon movie based on the adventures of his short-run sci-fi television series, Firefly.  I knew my wife wouldn’t be interested in watching it, and I wasn’t sure what I’d think of it without ever having seen the television series. 

I liked the movie.  Whedon does a good job at developing realistic characters in unrealistic situations.  He imbued both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel with strong, paranormal characters struggling with very normal issues.  This skill netted him a huge fan base that made this film possible in many regards, despite the overall failure of the television series.  I didn’t feel in the least bit lost for not having seen the television series.

The movie takes place in the undetermined future on the fringes of colonized planets in another solar system.  Whedon utilizes an interesting combination of Old West motifs, Asian influences, 20th century cultural referents and sci-fi staples to bring his story to life.  And thus you have the protagonist wearing a Colt-style revolver on his hip while docking in an Asian-infused port of call reminiscent of something out of Blade Runner.   It all looks hip and noire, which is what I expect from Whedon, with a slightly retro vision of the future that makes the future seem realer than if he had opted for a Star Wars-esque cantina sequence.  Special effects are passable, but are not the main emphasis of the film – a delightful change in a sci-fi film.  I appreciated getting to care about real people rather than yawning through nonstop spectacular CG effects. 

Not surprisingly, there is a lot of the typical post-modern humanist blend of philosophy throughout.  “I don’t care what you believe, just believe!” is a pretty good summary of the film’s underlying themes.  Each character is in search of or exercising an existing belief.  It may be a belief in another person or a belief in a higher cause and even a higher power.  Mostly the beliefs are in transient things such as fulfilling a purpose.  It would be an amazing movie if the characters believed in something more worthy of their caring natures and heroic actions.

Strong performances and character-development drive this film, and if you enjoy those sorts of efforts, I’d recommend this one.

7 Responses to “Two Movie Night”

  1. Melani Says:

    well, I got the call Friday morning at 8:00 on the dot….a recorded message for the movie, Space Chimps, reminding us to go….after reading this, I guess I don’t feel bad for not taking the kids to see it….LOL I have not seen Serenity, not sure I would like it…. :)

  2. Paul Nelson Says:

    Make sure you yell at Jake for not giving you more advance notice on the evening!  The kids would have had a great time though, even if the movie was terrible.  Maybe next time!

  3. USSRkino Says:

    author, good work

  4. Francefilms Says:

    Winter is over! Hooray!

  5. salekvart Says:

    author, good work

  6. xnedvig Says:

    Winter is over! Hooray!

  7. IntFashion Says:

    ok! theme revealed… thanks

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