SERENITY (2005)

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Christopher

I watched this with my dad when if first came out in theaters and I had no idea what it was, but that I loved it. Immediately after, my dad bought the DVDs (or Netflixed them?) and we watched through it all. I have a distinct memory of watching the trailer on the Apple website and thinking who would go to a movie with absolutely no well-known actors, I’m glad my dad decided it was something we should go see.

I think Firefly is great and is a show that makes you feel good. Serenity is a little sadder but all the characters are still people you like to root for. It still kind of blows my mind that absolutely no one picked it up for a second season. So much of the first season is obviously set up for future story lines and revelations.

The other week was my birthday so Elizabeth and I went to the Drafthouse because it was showing this movie the night before so it seemed obvious that we had to go. She hadn’t seen anything Firefly-related before but she knew I liked it. So once she caught up, both by watching and reading detailed wiki synopses, we both really enjoyed it.

I think this was my third time seeing this movie but I think it’s been my favorite viewing so far. So much of the storyline seemed more interesting to me and I didn’t have that bad taste in my mouth that this was going to be the last time I saw anything new from the Firefly universe.

Watch the show and this now! It’s all on Netflix.

Elizabeth (spoilers!)

Okay, full disclosure: I have not seen every episode of Firefly. I’ve seen the first and last episode, and four in between. In preparation of seeing Serenity in honor of Chris’ birthday, I read the Wikipedia articles on all of the episodes, which I’m sure would make some people mad, but WHATEVER.

Anyway, the biggest complaint I had with Firefly is how everything got resolved so easily in the span of an episode. If someone died, they came back before the episode ended. If they were gravely injured, they were all mended before the episode ended. Etc etc. I try not to be too hard on Firefly for this because there was clearly a lot of set up that never got played out when the show got cancelled. And so I would imagine there to be more conflict in later seasons that have more of an impact.

That being said, Serenity pretty much tossed that “no consequences” idea out the window. Which you would think I would like, given how I felt about Firefly. But the flipside is that I learned to trust that bad things didn’t really happen in Firefly, so when bad things happened in Serenity, it was really jarring and upsetting. The biggest, most obvious of these would be Wash (Alan Tudyk) getting killed in a second, right in front of his wife Zoe (Gina Torres) and Mal (Nathan Fillion), the captain. I was shocked when that happened, but it really wasn’t until the very end of the movie where they show Wash’s grave that I realized that he really was for real dead. And that’s awful! Wash was so great, and he and Zoe’s relationship was so great. Wash dying nearly ruined the movie for me, honestly.

But that aside, Serenity definitely has the most interesting and well-played out plot than any of the episodes and was pretty interesting. I think it would still be pretty interesting without having seen Firefly, which is a good sign.

I’m sure if you’re into Firefly you’ve already seen Serenity, especially since they’re both on Netflix. Buuuuut be forewarned that the movie is not nearly as forgiving as the series.

BROADCAST NEWS (1987)

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Elizabeth

Broadcast News was another movie that I saw at summer camp and loved. Even though it was about adults doing broadcast journalism (something I never had an interest in), I thought it was really relatable. And seeing it again, I still think that’s true but I also realized how sad it kind of is.

But what I think makes it great is that the characters are pretty multi-dimensional; no one is ever just awful or amazing, especially Holly Hunter. And Holly Hunter is just great anyway. I really related to her character the first time I saw it, which would have been the summer after 9th grade. I still feel like I’m similar to her now, but without the massive sadness and anxiety her character carries, although that was definitely present for me in high school.

I also really love the scene where Aaron (Albert Brooks) reads the news for the first time live on air. It’s sort of painful to watch, because you want him to succeed, but it’s still pretty funny while being very tragic.

Christopher

I had never heard of this movie before and when I mentioned that when I came across it at the library Elizabeth made me sound insane. SO based off of her reaction I really had to watch it! I definitely liked it more than I thought I was going to. But I’m a big William Hurt/Holly Hunter fan and it was a nice surprise to have a somewhat cameo by Jack Nicholson.

This movie is very interesting and clever and Holly Hunter is super cute and funny in it. [Editor’s note: Chris kept saying “Helen Hunt” instead of “Holly Hunter” throughout his post, further evidence of his Helen Hunt crush] What I liked the most was how realistic the ending was. Not everything is going to work out the way you want it to and not everyone stays in one city/state for their whole life (something I can’t imagine not doing).

SEX AND THE CITY (2008)

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Christopher

I’ve been trying to watch this movie for months now but Elizabeth was never in the mood. Finally I found the right moment, 6 o’clock on a Saturday, where there were absolutely no reasons to not watch this over two hour movie that moment! Unfortunately the wait was not worth it though. This movie was pretty funny in its awfulness but I really didn’t like most of the characters, especially Sarah Jessica Parker who really is distractingly unattractive to me.

Everything really is against me not liking anything about this though. I’ve never seen the show, whenever I think of this show I think of Jim Gaffigan but according to Elizabeth he was only in one episode, and it’s very insane how rich everyone is. The one thing I was not expecting was that a few of the characters got naked. I know this is a movie with sex in the title but I really had no clue that the main characters were among the people taking off their clothes, I’m not sure why I thought that. Except for SJP of course but I think that’s really a blessing if nothing else.

I’m not really sure what I thought of this movie other than the fact that it was kind of boring, there were so many characters you kept jumping from storyline to storyline, SJP voiceover seemed very unnecessary, and didn’t everyone have a happy ending in the show, what was the point of having this movie where pretty much everyone has something awful happen to them? Even with all of that I’m ready to watch the next one soon!

Elizabeth

Well, the fact of the matter is that the TV show of Sex and the City only really works if you just accept from the beginning that it’s a fantasy show. If you do that, you don’t get hung up on how the characters have so much money, so much sex, so much everything, without many bad things happening. And that was okay when watching 30 minute installments of the TV show. But with the movie version of Sex and the City, you have to sustain that belief for nearly two and a half hours . . . and that’s difficult.

I’ve seen every episode of Sex and the City so I was disappointed in the way that so many of the characters’ stories played out after the show ended. But that aside, as a movie, it’s just really hard to give a shit about characters who apparently don’t have to go to work (or can at least take an extravagant trip to Mexico at the drop of a hat) and have endless money and whose personalities have morphed into caricatures of themselves. Yeah, Samantha likes sex, Charlotte is proper, Miranda is a hardass, and Carrie is just kind of stupid, but there was always more to their characters than that in the show, at least for most of the seasons. But that’s all they’re pretty much reduced down to here, and it gets boring fast.

I don’t know if seeing this movie would be better or worse if you’re a fan of the show. But if Chris is any indication, it’s just not good either way.