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A passenger with a deadly secret. Six rebels on the run. An assassin in pursuit. When the renegade crew of Serenity agrees to hide a fugitive on their ship, they find themselves in an action-packed battle between the relentless military might of a totalitarian regime who will destroy anything - or anyone - to get the girl back and the bloodthirsty creatures who roam the uncharted areas of space. But, the greatest danger of all may be on their ship. From the mind of Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel) comes a new edge-of-your-seat adventure loaded with explosive battles, gripping special effects and fantastic new worlds!
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I have purchased the DVD then Blu-ray and finally the 4k version.
This release is by far the best this film has ever looked. I thought the Blu-ray had a good picture and the audio was decent. The 4k is so much better than I thought possible.
The 4k remaster is fantastic. The HDR is very evident in the way colors pop. With the 4k you get the usual upgrades and clarity of facial pores and facial hair sharpness. Clothing has texture and color that are vast improvements over the standard Blu-ray. In the opening sequence there is a vast improvement that gives the film a new depth of field that gives it almost a 3D quality. In the darker scenes there is a good improvement in fine detail. For example at 1:19:52 and again at 1:20:38 when the crew is watching the video on Miranda, River has a very small braid in her hair on the right side of her face that I could not see in the Blu-ray version. You can pick up objects in shadows that were lost in past versions.
Because the movie has has lots of scenes in both sunlight and the darkness of space it is a great movie to show off your equipment.
We get a new DTS-X soundtrack that makes great use of the overhead and surround speakers. Dialog is very clear even in scenes with lots of action. For me at the 1:26 mark when the reavers are chasing Mel you get the best DTS-X has to offer. If I want to show off my system this is the scene I use to show people how great your home theater can be. While all speakers get a great workout it doesn't feel forced and of the sound effects feel like they belong
While 4k is still relatively new, I own about 15 4k movies this movie is the best upgrade from standard Blu-ray that I've seen so far. It's the 1st movie I would give a 5 star rating based solely on audio and video.
While I love this movie I can't imagine it looking any better than this release. Until we can watch movies in a format similar to what the operative was reviewing at the escape sequence at the beginning of the movie I can't imagine needing to buy any other version.
Watched on a Samsung 75mu9000 tv with Samsung UBD M9500 4k player and Denon 1295w 7.2 avr.
The 4K release, on the other hand, is below average. I was disappointed that it didn't get the loving care it deserved.
Yes there's more detail, but there are more problems as well.
The sound bounces around from well balanced to speaker-blowing loud, depending on the action.
Until they release a corrected 4K, I'd recommend the regular Blu-ray. The slight drop in video resolution isn't too noticeable (with the overall elimination of flaws), and I love the immersive sound, where I don't need to keep the remote at the ready.
I had heard that serenity "resolves" the plot of Firefly. While I'd say that is essentially true: yes, this film generally does that, but also raises the ante by introducing a new concept. In fact, Serenity goes further than just about any other sci-fi series conclusion I am aware of. It seeks to challenge and penetrate the vapid conception forwarded by almost all science fiction: "Hey kids, there is a utopia out there, and all we need now is just the correct formulation of fascistic progressive statism to finally realize it."
Firefly had its plot issues, and I could tear it apart as well as the pickiest reviewer. Regardless, I'd give that series a 4.6 of 5 stars. Why? Because this series challenged any number classical limits imposed by the genre. How fast does the ship travel? Never addressed. Where is Earth? Blissfully ignored. But beyond the standard fare, perhaps the strongest virtue Firefly had was the fact that the viewer's intelligence was never insulted. It was bold and direct and a little dry in disregard of the conventional sci-fi viewer contract. Serenity takes that concept of trust in the consumer and multiplies an already sharp point.
Core Plot Concerns:
Who are the Reavers? Solved.
What chance do rebellious privateers possibly have against an ever encroaching federal state? Solved.
More info about the formation of the Alliance? Partially Solved.
Will the young doctor (Simon) and his hot little engineer crush (Kaylee) figure it out? Solved.
Can Mal and Inara ever increase the level of passive aggressive flirtation to something even halfway worthy of either character? Solved.
What would it take to finally quiet River's fragmented and severed mind? Solved in a "TV" form of believable.
Will Jayne ever become a "real boy" and someone we find tolerable? Solved.
What happens with Wash and Zoe? Solved in a haunting way.
Shepherd Book, what's his story? Solved enough. (Whatever his former life entailed, in the end, the writers trusted the viewer to realize that it changed him into a far more powerful kind of person.)
And one new concept:
What happens when the most perfectly written, delightfully sinister "federal" enforcer (arguably, of all time) bumps into this ugly thing called personal freedom and independence? Solved.
Twists worthy of a micro version of BSG and the TNG movies.
Hand to Hand combat:
Riveting in the typical way required these days to close out any screenplay.
In summary, the movie Serenity does the task justice of wrapping up almost every conceivable loose end left by the short-lived Firefly series. It is a must-see for any fan or even semi-fan. The only drawback is that it doesn't quite do justice to the colorful universe created by Joss Whedon and Co. in the series... but how could any two-hour movie ever hope to do so? This show was cancelled far too soon - so say we all. It will be missed sorely and us browncoats will be eternally dreaming of a reboot.
By the way this isn't actually a five star movie. It's definitely a 10. Come on Amazon.