I went a little early just to see what the place was like, and knowing there's a Popeye's there for dinner. It's pretty much like every other mall I've ever seen. The only store I went into was a Newbury's, where I was amused to see that every single CD and DVD in the place had a massive anti-theft device attached to it, something I've never seen at any other Newbury's. Is Providence Place really that bad a neighborhood, or does the Nordies crowd just shoplift more than the folks in Warwick or on Newbury Street?
I had dinner, and just hung out reading my book (Before Midnight, by Rex Stout) while trying to spot the browncoats. Like shooting fish in a barrel for a lot of them. At about quarter after nine I went upstairs to the theatre, and got there just as they were opening the doors for the longish line that was waiting. I made a pit stop, and by the time I got back, the line had disappeared inside. Oddly enough, it was only after the line was gone that the tchotchkes arrived, so I had first pick of the programs and keychains. Given the size of the line, I was a bit worried about finding a decent seat, but there were still plenty to choose from (I wound up with an aisle seat at the back), so I'd timed it all perfectly.
So, you're in a theatre packed with the Geekiest Geeks in Geekonia with forty-five minutes to kill. Whadda ya do? It was Joss's birthday, so they passed around a card for people to sign (by the time it got to me, the pen was running out of ink), and sang "Happy Birthday." Twice. The second time was so that someone could videotape it for conversion to a DVD that would be mailed with the card to Joss. @@. There was also a guy in a stupid looking hat who led the crowd in a rendition of "The Hero of Canton." I just sat and read.
There was a brief, funny introduction to the preview by Joss, and then the film started. I'll start out by saying that I enjoyed Serenity quite a bit.
• Sigh. Joss never took ANY science classes, did he? I said that a long time ago in the Firefly thread at b.org, and it's still true. Not two minutes in, and he's already talking about how all the dozens of planets and hundreds of moons in the Fireflyverse are in a single frelling solar system. There's even a system diagram a bit later showing that it's all one system. As TomW once so aptly put it,
"A single solar system with 100's of planets that are terraformable within a maximum of a few hundred years? Oh boy. That was a lucky find."
I'm sorry, it just can't be that way. Even if they found a solar system that big, and were able to terraform the planets, the terraforming won't change the amount of solar energy that reaches the planet. The habitable zone of a solar system just isn't big enough for that many inhabitable planets to exist in a single system. Inner planets will be hellishly bright and hot, and outer planets will be hellishly dark and cold. My first thought when they discovered that everyone on the idyllic outermost planet was dead was "Of course they're dead. It should only be a couple of degrees above absolute zero that far out." Then, it gets worse because Joss apparently still doesn't know that a solar system and a galaxy are not the same thing. Sigh.
• I really liked the walk through Serenity that Mal and Simon took before the bank job. It was fun to see the entire ship that way. OTOH, why did Mal need an injection?
• For all the use of Chinese to add color to the Fireflyverse, we sure don't run across many folks of Asian descent. Do the Reavers prefer Chinese cuisine or something? Serenity lands on a planet where every single sign is in Chinese, and the two guys they meet up with are Eurotrash sporting Mockney accents.
• After River coldcocked Simon, as she was helping him get back to his feet she calls him "Sean" (as in Sean Maher). I wonder if they'll fix that in the final print?
• For a planet that was supposed to be on the farthest edge of the system, it sure didn't take Serenity very long to get from Miranda to Mr. Universe's planet. Speaking of which, David Krumholtz was great.
• Don't get me started on the ridiculousness of the space battle. Fleets that pack themselves together that closely deserve to get clobbered.
• There seemed to be an awful lot of Reavers packed onto that single ship that followed the crew down to the surface.
• Book had to have been an operative in his previous life, didn't he? Inara called the operative a believer, and so it is with Book. He just went from believing in one thing to believing in another. Not that it matters anymore, since Joss killed him.
• Wash is dead, too. Much sadder about that than I was about Book's death, because Wash was my favorite character of the group. Thinking about it on the way home last night, it occurred that the reason Wash died was simply to add a little suspense to the final fight with the Reavers. Once a major character dies it means all bets are out the window. You didn't know if any of them would actually survive, except probably Mal and River. I was sure Zoe was going to get herself killed.
• Meanwhile, Inara is still alive, which also makes me sad. How did the operative manage to spend all that time with her, and yet still survive while she was sucking the life out of every scene she was in?
• River is the Slayer. The scene of her standing with a sword in one hand and a reasonable facsimile of Fray's axe in the other amidst the pile o'dead Reavers cinches it. Created by the
• Which means it's not science fiction at all, but just an even further in-the-future version of Fray. Really, the only way the Reavers make any sense at all is as space vampires. (I can't believe I just wrote that.) Otherwise, they all should have died out not that long after the event that created them.
As noted, I enjoyed Serenity quite a bit. It makes a good bookend with the episode "Serenity."
After the theatre let out, I was making my way down the parking garage when a pack of frat boys blocked my path, and asked if they could ride in the bed of my truck down to the lowest level of the garage (I was about three stories up at this point). I pointed out that I have a bed lid, and the guy doing the talking started back to walking, but one of the other assholes jumped on top of it... At which point I gunned the engine while watching him slide off the back. People are frelling stupid. And one more strike against Providence Place.