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Archive for July 10th, 2010

 

 

Space, the final frontier, I’m sure I have heard that somewhere before. The vast and seeming endlessness of space, like storytelling and moviemaking is full of endless possibilities. It is often the case that filmmakers are at their best when overcoming limitations so what happens when the only limitations are their imaginations? The five movies we have picked are different in as many ways as they are similar; whether they are blending haunted house horror with action shoot-em-ups, taking us to strange new worlds or bringing the science back to science fiction they all have relevance in the present day.  Here is my contribution. Check out Movie Mobsters for the full article:

 

Serenity (2005)

 

“Half of writing history is hiding the truth” – Malcolm Reynolds

Written and directed by Joss Whedon Serenity picks up six months after the end of the TV show Firefly. Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) is the captain of the Serenity a cargo spaceship and home to a mismatched crew living on the edges of the law. When they help Dr. Simon Tam (Sean Maher) rescue River (Summer Glau), his disturbed but gifted and telepathic sister from a medical facility it puts them in the direct firing line of an “operative” Chiwetel Ejiofor, basically a government assassin. Looking for a way out they stumble across a secret The Alliance doesn’t want anyone to know.

After the disappointment of the Star Wars prequels it was left to this spin-off from a cancelled TV show to show the way, possibly the best Sci-Fi movie of the last decade, certainly the most entertaining and fun. The skill with which the story is constructed makes it equally watchable for newcomers (which I was when I first saw it) and fans of the Firefly TV show (that I am now). The other great thing about the script is the way it is filled with comedy without detracting from the action or drama. The whole thing is held together by a charismatic performance by Nathan Fillion as Malcom Reynolds complimented by the rich variety of the other characters. Working on many levels Serenity is a great action adventure set in space with a large nod the western genre but looking deeper it is also a social commentary. The Alliance wants to make things better (unlike the evil power hungry Empire of Star Wars), unfortunately their meddling has deadly side-effects for some and is just unwelcome by others (American foreign policy and British colonial rule anyone?). That is the key to the movie, forget the cowboys in space, the ideas of good and evil, this is a story of humanity complete with our imperfections and our fallibility. The lasting effect of Serenity is yet to be seen but hopefully it will remind filmmakers of the simple ideals that made Star Wars so great.

“I aim to misbehave” – Malcolm Reynolds.

Also including: Groovers Guide to Star Trek

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