Customer Reviews


2,701 Reviews
5 star:
 (2,183)
4 star:
 (328)
3 star:
 (72)
2 star:
 (48)
1 star:
 (70)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


1,314 of 1,395 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than the series
This is one incredible movie. No, you don't have to be familiar with the series to enjoy it, but the familiarity will make several moments in the movie that much more tragic. The action here is incredible, and unlike several of the Star Trek movies, the characters don't deviate from their series personnas. The emotional impact of several scenes is so intense it was hard...
Published on September 30, 2005 by Brian Reaves

versus
72 of 83 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If You Already Own Serenity Don't Buy Collector's Edition
I already had Serenity on DVD before this Collector's Edition came out. I thought it was going to have added scenes to the original movie but sad to say I was wrong. If you already own the first Serenity DVD then don't bother with the Collector's Edtion. It does not have added scenes in the movie and the special features and interviews aren't enough to make up for the...
Published on September 10, 2007 by Zoot Zoot


‹ Previous | 1 2271 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

1,314 of 1,395 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than the series, September 30, 2005
This is one incredible movie. No, you don't have to be familiar with the series to enjoy it, but the familiarity will make several moments in the movie that much more tragic. The action here is incredible, and unlike several of the Star Trek movies, the characters don't deviate from their series personnas. The emotional impact of several scenes is so intense it was hard to stay seated (a crash landing sequence can almost give you motion sickness). This brings a satisfying end to the storyline the original series had started. It's a shame the show never got to tell this story in its entirety. You can see where some parts of the movie are rushed in a way. Something that could have been stretched over weeks in a series had to be handled in minutes, and that robs it a little. But you have to applaud Whedon for being able to tie up all the loose ends he started with just two hours. Shame on the network for cancelling this, but congratulations to Whedon for giving the fans--both old and new--the ending the show deserved. Heroes will shine, and some will fall, but Serenity will live on.

Now bring the show back!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


758 of 818 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Space Opera, September 30, 2005
A wonderous vision of the future started in the all too short run of the TV series Firefly continues in the big screen version of it, Serenity. The TV show and movie is about the crew of a star ship that is as much unlike the USS Enterprise as it can get. It's a ranshackle freighter skippered by Mal Reynolds, a man part Han Solo, part Jesse James. He was on the losing side of an intersteller civil war against the Alliance, a buraucratic, oppressive government that seems to consists of people who believe quite fervently they know better than other people how they should live their lives. Captain Reynolds and his motley crew, including his former second in command from the war, her husband the pilot, an engineer who is as cute as she is sharp with the hyper drive, a muscle bound mercenary in a constant state of mutiny, a preacher, a courtesan, and a doctor and his troubled (to say the least!) sister eck out a thin living doing odd jobs out on the frontier, some of them not exactly legal. They bicker and at times almost come to blows. Especialy due to the fact that the doctor's sister is wanted by the Alliance government for having been "enhanced" and damaged by a top secret government labortory.

Oddly enough, this crew might well save the human race among the stars. The story is a paean about how the unlikeliest people can become heroes and how the right of individuals to live free if an absolute. I hope there will be many more films in this "verse."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


312 of 335 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Can't Stop the Signal, November 2, 2005
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It wasn't suppose to happen like this...

Back in the summer of 2001, Fox announced that "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" mastermind Joss Whedon would be creating a new television show that was a cross between Science Fiction and the Western Genres... For months Fox spent millions of dollars promoting the one "sure fire series of the season" but then the problems started... the pilot was too slow, Executive Heads Clashed, and Baseball season all got mixed into the mixing pot... and in the end fans where left with an out of order, mixed up, tale of identitify (which is ironic if you think about it).

But the fans of Joss Whedon and of the character he creates would not let this be the end of the "firefly" universe, and after much fanfare, petitions, and literal Bitching; Universal Pictures did something rather uprecidented: they green lite a "big-screen' movie which Joss Whedon describes as "a thank you to the fans."

And that is exactly what the film version of "Serenity" is. On the exterior it is a fast-past, character driven, science fiction blast for everyone to enjoy, and the people that did see it did enjoy it alot. It has survived over a month on IMDB's Top 250 Movies of All Tilme List, and has recieved glowing reviews from THE NEW YORK TIMES, EBERT & ROBERT, THE SAN FRANSISCO CHRONICLE, and more... I distinctly remember a quote from the New york Times saying "George Lucas eat your heart out."

But on the interior the movie was about the salvation of people, and it was a political commentary on big brotherism, and how if things in our society today keep going down the same road are future generations won't be much different from mal and zoe.

If your a fan of science-fiction or just good storytelling this is a movie for you.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


346 of 380 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A criminally underrated conclusion to a criminally underrated series, June 6, 2007
By 
trashcanman (Hanford, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
If you're already aquainted with the greatness of Joss Whedon's cult television series "Firefly" then this is a no-brainer. "Serenity" is the best science fiction film since "The Matrix" and for true fans of the series, it is a literal dream come true. Essentially, this film is not so much a stand-alone popcorn affair so much as it is the greatest series finale in history. It's emotional, funny, action-packed, full of quirky characters both familiar and new, and just plain cool to boot. There is also a deep philosophical argument explored as the costs of personal freedom and government control are contrasted in a brilliant manner. Would you choose to live the life of a criminal if it was the only way you could be free? Does a government have the right to take any step necesssary to keep it's citizens under control and happy?

"Half of writing history is covering up the truth" is just one of the memorable observations made by our heroes over the course of this journey. The plot centers around insane genius River and her older brother, Simon, who rescued her from a mysterious government facility where she was being experimented on. Part of the genius of the series (and this film) are the insane rantings of River, which begin to make sense if you pay attention. "Old men, covered in blood. It never touched them but they're drowning in it" may seem nonsensical to some, but it is a rather poetic yet eerily accurate representation of both the government officials in her universe, and in ours. The events taking place in this future are vaguely familair as plot devices, but what makes them brilliant is the way they relate to what's happening in our society. Anyhow, back to the plot: River and Simon joined the crew of Serenity, the ship captained by Malcolm Reynolds, a true hero who isn't afraid to break the rules if it means doing the right thing. Serenity's crew includes an endearing assortment of contrasting characters that all get their moments to shine in the film: Jayne the hardcore mercenary, Kailee the loveable mechanic, Mal's old war buddy Zoe, and her pilot/comedian husband Wash are all well represented. Having left Serenity since the original series, Book the minister and Inara -Malcolm's love interest who happens to be a well-respected prostitute (not to mention unbelievably gorgeous)- turn up along the way as well.

The style of the universe that our heroes inhabit is still a mix of all of the cultures of "Earth-that-was", primarily american and asian, with cursing in chinese being an amusing device for letting characters express their disapproval realistically and emphatically without getting an "R" rating in the process. If you've never seen "Firefly", do not hesitate; go buy it this very moment and see what you've been missing out on, then I can guarantee that this film will blow you away.

If you are just looking for a spectacle like "Star Wars", legendary action sequences like "The Matrix", or just some light sci-fi fare, you will be disappointed. This movie is both epic and personal, hilarious and heart-breaking, deeply thoughtful yet fun. It represents the fulfillment of a promise from it's creator and is a miracle unto itself that came about simply because the fans refused to let his brilliant creation die just because of a bad decision by a biased television executive. The story behind the film is almost as uplifting as the film itself and serves to justify those of us who support the things we love, even years after they've "died".

Not fitting into any particular established pop culture mold -not unlike the characters themselves-, "Firefly" and "Serenity" may have flown in under the public's radar, but for those of us who know what great entertainment is capable of, this is the stuff we live for seeing and we're happy to keep it our little secret.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's about the people..., November 2, 2005
By 
I'll admit it right up front: I'm a Firefly/Serenity geek. I've seen the movie nine times in the theater (by far the most for me, any film, any genre). I've never developed such a deep connection with any other entertainment franchise with the possible exceptions of "The Lord Of the Rings" -- the books, mainly, though the movies were great too -- the "Narnia" series, and "Watership Down".

So what is it about this fictional world that draws me in so? Has senility kicked in and I'm experiencing my second childhood? Maybe, but I think I still have a bit of critical judgement left.

I think the real reason is that this is science fiction done right. It's not about bumpy-headed alien monsters or supernatural forces. It's about people, ordinary people like you and me who find themselves caught up in events outside their control. It's about holding things together when every force in the 'verse is trying to rip them apart.

Technically, this film is beautiful, with just enough SFX to tell the story without having the effects become the story. The one really heavy CGI sequence is a head-spinning thrill ride, but it's not what the movie is about.

"Serenity" is far more fast-paced than the Firefly series was, and that's a mixed blessing. The serial television format allows for more deliberate pacing and character development, which is compressed in the movie. One side effect is that "Serenity" holds up well to multiple viewings, as you catch the nuances that might have flown past too quickly on the first pass. On the upside, the fast pacing means this film is action packed. There are more twists and turns in its first nine minutes than most movies give you in their entire running length.

Even so, "Serenity" takes enough time to show you the lighter side of these characters. There are a lot of laughs here, including a few really big ones. Some of them come just when the tension seems to be nearly unbearable. That's a sign of gifted writing.

Though it's never rubbed in your face, the movie also carries a timely political message, demonstrating how evil may result from the best of intentions.

It's no surprise that Firefly has more female fans than many other SF tales. If I may be permitted a gross generalization, women tend to be more empathetic and relationship oriented than men. "Serenity" has what women, and men who are in touch with that attribute, are looking for: people you care about, trying to hang on to their humanity at the raggedy edge.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


224 of 249 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A highly welcome new edition of a unique and marvelous film, June 23, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Despite a lack of box office success at the time of its initial release, SERENITY has gone on to be a consistently strong seller on the DVD market. Much like the DVD of FIREFLY, it never topped the Best Seller lists (except at Amazon.com and other on line sellers), but like the series box set it has continued to sell to both old and new fans, gradually building an audience. I'm aware that some people feel that the film is not intelligible without having seen the series first. I saw the series several times before seeing the film in the theater, so I am unable to address this. I will say that my sister and one of her sons saw the film on DVD and loved it. They then got the FIREFLY set and became big fans of the series as well. My point is that not everyone finds the film hard to follow if they haven't seen the series, but I do believe that the film is best viewed as a wrap up of FIREFLY.

In a way, Joss Whedon has broken a promise. This is a good thing. At the time of the initial DVD release he stated that there would not be a later DVD release. This was in response to complaints that Universal (a studio I have warm feelings for because their logo comes up every time I pop my BATTLESTAR GALACTICA DVDs into my player) is fairly notorious for double-dipping, i.e., releasing a DVD and then a few months later releasing an expanded version of the DVD, perhaps to release an even more expanded or "director's cut" version a few months after that. Many studios engage in this practice, but Universal seems to be the worst of the bunch. But this release comes largely as the result of fan requests. There actually was a two-disc version of SERENITY released in Australia (which I took the effort to track down on eBay, though I can only watch it on my computer using AnyDVD to get past the regional coding) with a different set of extra features available on this new release. I'm delighted that SERENITY is finally getting the 2-disc treatment in the US as well. Fans of the TV show never got all the FIREFLY that we wanted so each additional exposure to Mal and his crew is like water to someone dying of thirst.

FIREFLY/SERENITY will, I believe, be viewed as critical, along with BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, in redefining film and TV Sci-fi. The two shows (and I do think of SERENITY as the final act of FIREFLY) established a new aesthetic for Sci-fi by bringing a new sense of realism along with a rejection of what could be called Magic Science for plot resolution. By Magic Science I am thinking of all those situations in a host of movies and TV episodes (STARGATE SG-1 specialized in this) where a very imaginative physics is utilized to get the heroes out of a dangerous situation. Our heroes might be caught in a time warp that can only be overcome by reversing the polarity of the warp drive engines, or, uh, something. Neither FIREFLY nor BSG engage in such shenanigans. Their solutions to problems always seem very much like the kind of solutions that we would utilize. In other words, both shows eschew scientific gimmicks. The two also refuse to employ that old stock in trade, the alien. There simply are no aliens on either FIREFLY or BSG. The Reavers are very much a human creation, as are the Cylons. Furthermore, both strive for more realistic visuals. Although SERENITY employs more traditional film techniques (thanks to highly regarded cinematographer Jack Green), both these series largely used hand held cameras (especially BSG, which uses exclusively high def video). FIREFLY pioneered the technique, later employed magnificently by BSG, of employing "zoom" in CGI shots. In both shows one will see a spaceship and then the "camera" (which doesn't exist) zooms in, going briefly out of focus while the visual field is adjusted, for a closer look. Not surprisingly, the special effects outfit that originated this for FIREFLY, Zoic, later provided special effects for BSG. (In fact, they couldn't resist putting Serenity into the BSG Miniseries. If you watch the first scene in Caprica City, where the camera first looks up through a skylight and then lowers down into what turns out to be the office of Laura Roslin's doctor, Serenity can be seen as the only ship going from right to left.) And both shows introduced retro elements to provide a unique look. FIREFLY is influenced by a 19th century Old West look in clothing and weaponry, along with a number of Oriental elements, while BSG often uses design from the forties and fifties (e.g., the phones on the show were taken from a WW II submarine). In the past, new Sci-fi TV series set in space basically had to define themselves against the aesthetic of the Star Trek shows. In the future, they are going to define themselves against the recreation of Sci-fi brought about by FIREFLY and BSG.

FIREFLY and SERENITY, as well as BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and ANGEL, can in many ways be viewed as a product of Third Wave feminism. (Anyone doubting the centrality of feminism in everything that Whedon does--and if you doubt it you simply haven't been paying attention--should go to Youtube.com and search "joss whedon equality now speech" and listen to the speech he gave following an award they gave him.) While TV Sci-fi has long been a means for representing nontraditional roles for women, Whedon has been instrumental in taking this to the next level. Buffy Summers was created specifically to be a feminist cultural icon and there is no question that Whedon succeeded. She might not fit the ideal criteria set forward by Second Wave feminism (or, rather, the caricature of the Second Wave feminism--contrary to the stereotype, most of the major Second Wave feminists wore make up and bras, liked men while hating patriarchy, and were heterosexual), but by Third Wave practice (which is generally viewed as more pro-sex, less PC, more experimental, brasher, and less concerned with victimization than with self-assertion) she is perfect. Whedon loves empowered women. While comics have long had female super heroes, until the nineties there were shockingly few genuine female heroes on TV or in movies. We never thought twice about Batman or Superman or Rambo, but we had to wait a long time to see a strong female hero like Ellen Ripley in film and even longer for Dana Scully, Xena, and Buffy on TV. Why were only men allowed to be fantasy heroes? Some seem to find Buffy objectionable without noting that there never has been a super soldier like Rambo. Following Buffy (who seems to have been the influence on future heroic women, rather than Xena) came a host of empowered women. So it is no surprise that in SERENITY we find that Mal Reynolds's second in command is the tough-as-nails and stoic Zoe, who is just as hardened and combat ready as any of the men. Despite decades of films showing women collapsing at the death of men close to them, we aren't surprised when Zoe postpones mourning the death of her husband. There will be time to cry later, right now there is fighting to be done. And River Tam is one of Whedon's most compelling heroines. River's fight is not just against external monsters, but also against the attempt that has been made to turn her into a monster. A genius and child prodigy, River had been programmed and engineered to becoming an assassin, but was freed by her brother Simon. At the heart of SERENITY is the question whether River will become the killing machine they intended her to be or will she become a person. As Mal asks her, "Are you just a weapon?"

One of the things I love about Joss Whedon is how he continually defies our expectations. He does this marvelously with The Operator, played magnificently by Chiwetel Ejiofor. Working for the powers that be, he sees himself as a good man doing difficult but good things. SERENITY is about the monsters that society creates by the elevation of corporate interests above human interests (yeah, it is a Marxist theme, but any close watcher of BUFFY will recall the famous shot from the end of "Ann," the Season Three premiere, where after Buffy liberates workers from a demon factory, where the workers are literally worked to death, she stands with a hammer and a sickle in her hands). The Operator learns that he has unwittingly helps support powers that have created monsters, whether River or the Reavers. His redemption at the end is classic Whedon.

I don't know what the long-term future of SERENITY will be. It does not completely stand on its own like BLADE RUNNER or THE MATRIX. It will forever be tied to FIREFLY. But I believe that this should be seen as a strength rather than a weakness. Knowing the series lends this film a depth lacking in other series. For instance, knowing that Jayne isn't the trustworthiest soul helps understand some of his actions in the film (not to mention knowing he has a remarkably large collection of T-shirts). Or Kaylee's ongoing attraction to Simon and his odd reluctance to open up to her. Or the long, complicated relationship between Mal and Inara (the greatest tragedy of the film is that their relationship, which was incredibly important for the series, received short shrift--Whedon has promised that if there is a sequel to the film, which at present looks unlikely, that this will be rectified). Or what Shepherd Book's background is. All of which is to say that FIREFLY/SERENITY is unique and wonderful. Along with BSG, this series and film completely renewed my interest in TV Sci-fi.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


74 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still An Outstanding Space Opera, November 2, 2005
A wonderous vision of the future started in the all too short run of the TV series Firefly continues in the big screen version of it, Serenity. The TV show and movie is about the crew of a star ship that is as much unlike the USS Enterprise as it can get. It's a ranshackle freighter skippered by Mal Reynolds, a man part Han Solo, part Jesse James. He was on the losing side of an intersteller civil war against the Alliance, a buraucratic, oppressive government that seems to consists of people who believe quite fervently they know better than other people how they should live their lives. Captain Reynolds and his motley crew, including his former second in command from the war, her husband the pilot, an engineer who is as cute as she is sharp with the hyper drive, a muscle bound mercenary in a constant state of mutiny, a preacher, a courtesan, and a doctor and his troubled (to say the least!) sister eck out a thin living doing odd jobs out on the frontier, some of them not exactly legal. They bicker and at times almost come to blows. Especialy due to the fact that the doctor's sister is wanted by the Alliance government for having been "enhanced" and damaged by a top secret government labortory.

Oddly enough, this crew might well save the human race among the stars. The story is a paean about how the unlikeliest people can become heroes and how the right of individuals to live free if an absolute. I hope there will be many more films in this "verse."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


102 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One that you just love, June 27, 2007
I saw Serenity on cable and for no apparent reason. It was going to be on, I read a review and so I watched. I'd never seen, nor heard of Firefly at this point in time.

I just loved this movie and I didn't know why. Something about it was just so great. Movies like this come along for people sometimes. It's all about personal taste, and this one suited mine (and many others as well). It became the movie that I would fall asleep to on several nights. Soothing, I guess you could say.

Once I realized that there was a whole season of Serentity out there in a boxed set called Firefly, I bought it right away. Loved that too. Probably even more than the movie.

Anyways. Buy the movie. Buy the Series. Buy everything, and then buy it again for your best friend. If enough people do that, maybe if we're lucky, we'll get another movie or a 2nd chance on the show. If not, well, at least we'll have what we got!

Keep flying
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is _not_ a generic sci-fi action movie., November 3, 2005
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
After I heard so many geeks out there rave about Firefly I figured I'd check out Serenity. I enjoyed every minute of the movie. The character development is top notch. None of the usual drivel you get from most sci-fi movies. You fall in love with the characters, they are humanized, brought alive. You care about them. You embrace them and root for them.

After I saw the movie I jumped online and ordered the Firefly boxed set. I just finished watching the set this evening. Naturally it didn't have the budget of Serenity but I found the same emotions and enjoyment.

Joss Whedon's world of Firefly/Serenity is wonderfully constructed. Don't miss out on seeing this movie.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars mind-blowing and gripping movie: PURE JOSS WHEDON, March 25, 2005
I have seen the movie (advance screening), but I'm not giving any spoilers. It's not something you tell, it's something you live. It's the best work I've seen of Joss Whedon... yet: it's funny, it's smart, and it's heart-breaking. It's 2 hours long, but 6 hours would still have gone by quickly. For those who haven't seen the series Firefly, don't worry, meeting the crew of Serenity and caring about them is easy. Stop caring, that's just *NOT* possible. Thank you Joss :)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2271 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Serenity
Serenity by Joss Whedon
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.