Sunday, December 25, 2005

Serenity DVD

I finally got a chance to watch the Serenity DVD. This is not a review of the movie. Anyone fit to read my blog has already seen it. I am going to talk about the special features.

First of all, the deleted scenes. Nothing earth shattering, just things that were cut for time. Inara having a conversation with another companion at the training school about how the girls that they were teaching weren't measuring up. A different take on the Serenity's arrival on Haven (shepherd Book's community). There were some additional details about how Mal and Inara made their escape from the academy and how they got past the guards that the Operative placed around their shuttle (a dummy hand grenade). There is also a scene between Simon and River after the bar fight that I think should have been left in.

Next were the outtakes. Mostly people blowing lines and swearing. There was one amusing bit on Haven after the crew finds everyone murdered by the Alliance. Nathan Fillion ad libs an alternative version of his lines.

Two mini documentaries, What's in a Firefly and Alternative History: The Story of Earth That Was, which are not what they are represented as being. What's in a Firefly is not a tour through a Firefly class transport ship. Instead it is a feature on how some of the special effects were done. The Story of Earth That Was is just the backstory on the War of Unification and Mal's place in it and how he came to be the person we see in the series and movie. Interesting enough, just not what they are labeled as being.

There was another short documentary called Re-Lighting The Firefly about how a canceled TV series became a major motion picture. This part is a tribute to Joss' persistence and the efforts of the fans. As Joss says, "We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty".

Finally, there was an introduction by Joss Whedon which was filmed for the unfinished version which was pre screened at theaters all around the country. Joss says that in Hollywood there are names for people who refuse to let go of a canceled series, who keep trying to bring it back. Obsessive, quixotic, unrealistic but in Joss' world they are called Browncoats.

Altogether the special features look as if they were put together in a hurry. This should not be surprising in that the movie made the transition from theater to DVD faster than any that I've ever seen. Clearly Universal figured that the future of the franchise is to be determined by DVD sales.