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2-1: "Serenity: The Big Damn Movie" (recap)


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#1

Azurekite

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Posted Mar 10, 2006 @ 8:50 AM

The various nuances of the BDM were much clearer upon second viewing (and of course Jacob's recap helped in that department!), especially the motivations of the Operative/Alliance and the reasons why Mal decided to brave Reavers and purplebellies to get that signal out.

Of course, now I want to know what happens next!

#2

Untitled

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Posted Mar 10, 2006 @ 9:55 AM

An absolutely brilliant, flawless, fan-tub-ulous movie.

I firmly believe that The Operative's story is a close representation of Books, right down to the loss of faith

EDITED to remove spoiler code.

Edited by Untitled, Jul 1, 2006 @ 8:46 AM.


#3

theobviouschild

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Posted Mar 10, 2006 @ 1:06 PM

I really liked the movie, it was my introduction to the show. My only real wish for the movie would have been: more shirtless Mal and more shirtless Janye. I think in the commentary Joss even apoligizes for not shooting more shirtless Mal. Cause really, when you have ridiculously sexy men in a movie, it is your duty to have them shirtless as often as possible and to use any small contrivance to get them that way.

#4

skripka2

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Posted Mar 10, 2006 @ 1:24 PM

Untitled, except Book never lost faith; just transfered it to a worthier direction.

Edited by skripka2, Mar 10, 2006 @ 11:13 PM.


#5

kieyra

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Posted Mar 10, 2006 @ 2:16 PM

I wonder if Glark et al would object to this thread being coded as an episode title instead, with a link to Jacob's awesome recap?

#6

Loves Bitch

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Posted Mar 10, 2006 @ 3:34 PM

The BDM movie is the only movie that I sat through in the past year that I felt didn't lag at any part. Philosophical musings and wonderful, lovable, complex characters aside, I just think it's so beautifully paced and builds to a climax in such an effective and quick way. When it's over, you've gotten your fill, but you could totally go for more. I never once was sitting there saying, "I hope this movie ends soon."

#7

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Posted Mar 10, 2006 @ 5:51 PM

I firmly believe that The Operative's story is a close representation of Books, right down to the loss of faith.

You know when Book starts talking about how an Operative is "trouble you have not known" and how it's a guy who believes very strongly, it got me wondering if Book's history might have been that he was an Operative. It would explain why the Alliance fixed him up after they got a look at his Ident. card.

Edited to remove spoilers.

Edited by BitchySmurf, Mar 10, 2006 @ 8:32 PM.


#8

Jacob

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Posted Mar 10, 2006 @ 8:21 PM

This forum should follow the same rules as for any other show, which can be found in the site FAQ.

In this case: no spoilers at all, for episodes and flims that have aired in the US.

Sorry I wasn't clear.

#9

shamoogity

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Posted Mar 12, 2006 @ 12:02 AM

I kind of hope Book's history isn't exactly the same as The Operative's. I don't have much in interest in two identical characters. But I do get the impression that there are parallels. I'm still bewildered by the fact that Joss says that any sequel will have Book and Wash because I can't think of a situation where that could work without cheesiness. Would there really be enough meat for a prequel?

Because I'm finally at the point where I have a little bit of emotional distance from the film, I have to mention something that my parents and I talked about after they saw it. My mom totally shocked me by asking if Joss was a Scientologist because I had no idea where she'd get that from the movie. But her point was that the idea of the Pax seemed very anti-psychiatric drugs.

So then we started talking about where to draw the line in 'making people better' and whether the real issue re: the pax, was informed consent. But then I started thinking how weird it was that the government would test on a whole planet like this, rather than doing smaller, controlled experiments first? Why would the Alliance purposely submit an entire town to this against their will when they could probably first animal-test it and then test it on volunteers? Unless the citizens of Miranda volunteered, in which case was a crime really committed?

Anyway, what do you guys think? My thoughts on this are still pretty muddled. Joss has an ability to make me totally unable to criticize without my mind twisting in circles.

#10

petpluto22

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Posted Mar 12, 2006 @ 12:29 AM

But then I started thinking how weird it was that the government would test on a whole planet like this, rather than doing smaller, controlled experiments first? Why would the Alliance purposely submit an entire town to this against their will when they could probably first animal-test it and then test it on volunteers? Unless the citizens of Miranda volunteered, in which case was a crime really committed?

For the Alliance, a group which has been depicted time and time again throughout the series to first consult the rulebook, and then disregard the lives of their citizens, I don't doubt that they would test an experimental drug on the inhabitants of a planet. For one, testing Pax only on Miranda means that Miranda was the controlled experiment. In a universe of God knows how many planets, the population of Miranda would have been miniscule.

Also, I don't think the Alliance ever believed Pax would fail. What harm would it bring to test such a substance out on a planet, when in their heart of hearts they knew it would make their citizens better? I don't know if the population of Miranda really had any clue that they were being exposed to Pax, but from my own personal perspective, I don't believe they were informed. Something may come about later to contradict me, though.

I don't think that Joss is a scientologist, because the notion of Pax was more against government control and a government's idea that they are not only above reproach but also entitled to do what is best for its citizens, without regard for what the citizens may believe. Also, Joss is an avowed atheist; I don't know if a person can be both a scientologist and an atheist at the same time. Then again, what I know about scientology, I gather from Tom Cruise.

I do agree that Book's history should be different from the Operative's. I want to know what his history is so badly, and I hope it is as cool as the reason given for the Reavers.

#11

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Posted Mar 12, 2006 @ 1:12 AM

Pax was supposed to eliminate violence, to make it so there was no more crime and war. While testing it on small subject groups might show individuals to be more gentle with less violent tendencies, testing it on an entire community was the only way to see if it really was going to achieve it's end goals. Of course, if they'd have tested it on one town instead of an entire planet, a lot less people would have stopped breathing and gone to sleep.

The whole thing always made me wonder even more about the reavers. They said it was 1/10th of a percent of the population of 30million. Math is not my strong suit, how many is that? Cause there seemed to be a hell of a lot of reavers and I have no idea how they would multiply. They don't seem ones much for raising families...

#12

JerseyGirl291

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Posted Mar 12, 2006 @ 1:29 AM

1/10 of a percent of 30 million is 30 thousand. Reavers strike fear in everyone, which seems to me they are almost invincible. Before River comes along and kills them all, it might have been possible that none of them had been killed. If so, there could be that many Reavers.

What confuses me about the Reavers is their ships. After Haven, when Mal decides to make Serenity look like a Reaver ship, what do they do to it? I know they paint it red, but what did he want with the dead bodies?

#13

Fig in Mouth

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Posted Mar 12, 2006 @ 1:37 AM

Reavers put corpses on their ships for decorations.

#14

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Posted Mar 12, 2006 @ 2:12 AM

so 30 thousand people strike fear into the heart of an entire universe? Seems to me, entire planets full of people should be able to defend against 30 thousand, even if they are insane like the Reavers. Especially since the only time they travel en masse is when Mal drags them in his wake to the Operative (Am I the only one who can't help thinking "What you fail to realize is I'm dragging mines!" when that happens?)

#15

Hegel88

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Posted Mar 12, 2006 @ 2:22 AM

Not the entire universe since it seemed many people didn't think they really existed. I think the terror was mainly in the sparsely populated outer planets.

#16

petpluto22

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Posted Mar 12, 2006 @ 2:24 AM

Especially since the only time they travel en masse is when Mal drags them in his wake to the Operative (Am I the only one who can't help thinking "What you fail to realize is I'm dragging mines!" when that happens?)

No, actually. My dad got irrationally excited in the theatre and then rushed home to pop in "Galaxy Quest" for that one scene. He seems to think that it was a visual shout out to the sci-fi parady.

ETA: And I agree with Hegel88. From what Simon said, Reavers were little more than campfire tales or ghost stories to the people of the inner planets. The Alliance doesn't seem to believe in them, and those who do know the story of Miranda probably try to squash any mention of Reavers. It is only when the people get out into the far reaches of space, away from civilization, do Reavers become a problem. It works, because 30 thousand Reavers probably wouldn't travel en masse anywhere too far from home, and because no one other than the people on the rim would have to worry about turning into Reavers. For people on the inner planets, or any civilized planet, looking at the edge of space and losing all of your humanity wouldn't be high on the list of worries. Since that was the folklore of what Reavers actually were, it would make sense that it wouldn't spread past the outer edges of space until the truth about Reavers became known.

Edited by petpluto22, Mar 12, 2006 @ 2:29 AM.


#17

Kris_AB

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Posted Mar 12, 2006 @ 4:12 AM

During the series, Mal makes a comment (either in "Serenity" the pilot or "Bushwacked") that basically goes something like, "Getting awfully crowded in my skies". I think Zoe also chimes in that they're pushing out further every year. So it was definitely implied that the Reavers were getting bolder and travelling farther from their home planet. I suppose they always end up returning to their ship graveyard line-up around Miranda though? Maybe not, maybe the hunting parties keep floating around the Outer Rim.

It didn't sound like they'd begun pushing into Central Planet territory at all, just hitting more and more Outer Rim globes and moons. Maybe they'll be a bit of an issue for Centrals eventually. They may even actually succeed in an attack on one. 'Cause you gotta figure, not all of these planets, even those in the Core, are gonna have planetary defence systems (and I doubt any Rim worlds have powerful guns aimed toward space or orbiting as planet-defending weapons). Very expensive. Since the Alliance seems spread out, maybe even spread thin in some areas, the cost and man labor to set up effective protection for every one of those 70-something habited planets (isn't that a figure Mal spouts off at one point?) would be astronomical.

#18

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Posted Mar 12, 2006 @ 9:32 AM

so 30 thousand people strike fear into the heart of an entire universe? Seems to me, entire planets full of people should be able to defend against 30 thousand, even if they are insane like the Reavers.

Except what the Alliance tried to do is simply sweep the everything under the rug, lie to everybody, and hope the whole mess would go away since only the outer worlds were under any kind of threat. As Mal snarked to the Operative, a lot more innocent people were dying out there than even the latter was aware of.

#19

Hegel88

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Posted Mar 12, 2006 @ 11:45 AM

The Reavers may be crazy but I don’t think they would intentionally take on the Alliance. The core planets may not have planetary defence systems (although there might be some left over from the war) but I would expect that there would be warning systems with battleships near by.

Probably the Alliance could easily wipeout the Reaver fleet when not taken by surprise. They would never get close enough to use their main weapon of crashing things into other ships. The Reavers have been tolerated for keeping people away from Miranda but that would change if they stepped on Alliance toes.

#20

Taiichi

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Posted Mar 12, 2006 @ 3:22 PM

They said it was 1/10th of a percent of the population of 30million. Math is not my strong suit, how many is that? Cause there seemed to be a hell of a lot of reavers and I have no idea how they would multiply.

Apparently, according to "Bushwhacked", it's intimated that they can propagate by infecting others with their madness. So their numbers may have grown. And killing that one guy that fell into their clutches early on in the film becomes more telling.

This seems to be based on some sort of cliché for villianous races: the "inducting-innocents-into-your-evil-ranks" one. It resembles the Borg, obviously; who in turn are modelled pretty closely after the Cybermen. I'm not sure how well this plays out here, however.

#21

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Posted Mar 12, 2006 @ 4:09 PM

Apparently, according to "Bushwhacked", it's intimated that they can propagate by infecting others with their madness. So their numbers may have grown.

I dont' think they multiplied that way. True, they did it to that guy in Bushwacked and likely at least a few others, but it wasn't a way of multiplying. They didn't take him with them, they left him alone on a flying graveyard of his family. I have a strong feeling in the end he would have killed himself. Or starved/froze to death as I doubt he was in any sort of way capable of cooking for himself or maintaining the ship's systems at that point. Even if he did come out of madness enough to fly the ship, where would he go? He didn't know where Reaver home territory was, and they'd have probably just killed him when he got there. I also doubt there are happy little Reaver families on their ships, so they must be a dying breed.

#22

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Posted Mar 12, 2006 @ 4:25 PM

so 30 thousand people strike fear into the heart of an entire universe? Seems to me, entire planets full of people should be able to defend against 30 thousand, even if they are insane like the Reavers.

To the folks on the Central Planets, they are an urban legend - so there's no public call for the military to go do something about them. The people that are actually being attacked by Reavers are small, poor frontier planets and moons. If some of them are completely wiped out, then there's probably no record of what happened at all. In other cases, it's probably chalked up to hysterical fear or overexaggeration - assuming anyone gets the report at all. If a lot of the populations of small frontier moons have the kind of life shown in the episodes, there's a good chance that no one is reporting the attacks back to the Central Planets. So you have small scared groups, and a larger oblivious group.

During the series, Mal makes a comment (either in "Serenity" the pilot or "Bushwacked") that basically goes something like, "Getting awfully crowded in my skies". I think Zoe also chimes in that they're pushing out further every year. So it was definitely implied that the Reavers were getting bolder and travelling farther from their home planet.

I'd assumed that it was the Alliance/Central Planets that were pushing out further every year. If you've got that overly civilized/highly regulated/very wealthy core group of planets surrounded by outlying frontier planets, it seems likely that (over time) the Central Core will expand outwards. The planet that a few years ago was on the border between the Central Planets and the frontier becomes more settled, safer - as the frontier moves outward, it becomes safer and safer. (Look at states like Ohio, Kansas, etc., as America spread westward.)

However, as the population spreads outward, folks who prefer the fringes keep finding that the places they know are becoming more civilized. You can change with the place, or keep moving further out.

#23

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Posted Mar 12, 2006 @ 8:39 PM

dont' think they multiplied that way. True, they did it to that guy in Bushwacked and likely at least a few others, but it wasn't a way of multiplying.


I have to agree with this. It doesn't make sense to me that every person who survived a close encounter with Reavers would react exactly the same way (i.e. by turning himself into one). It seems more plausible that they will indeed die out in fifty years or so.

#24

Vox Sola

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Posted Mar 13, 2006 @ 12:31 AM

(Am I the only one who can't help thinking "What you fail to realize is I'm dragging mines!" when that happens?)


I thought that too!

Well, I saw the movie a few days ago, and I loved it. Too bad I haven't seen any of the T.V. show. Oh well...

#25

JerseyGirl291

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Posted Mar 17, 2006 @ 11:43 PM

How do I find the easter egg on the DVD? I like the fruity oaty bar!

#26

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Posted Mar 18, 2006 @ 12:25 AM

At the main menu, press your left button when you're at "Play" and keep pressing it until the column of bars on the right side of the screen either lights up or makes a tone sound. It's been a couple weeks since the last time I've seen the Big Damn Movie (I know, I know, bad Browncoat!), but I remember it one of those two. Either way, press play when one of those things happens.

#27

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Posted Mar 23, 2006 @ 5:15 PM

I just saw this movie last night and OH MY GODS. I loved it. Adored it. Fell in love with it. Wanted to pet the movie heavily.

*swoons over my beautiful River*

I'm sorry that this post doesn't have much context, give me some time and I'll say something noteworthy.

#28

LT

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Posted Mar 24, 2006 @ 9:27 AM

I realize this all would have been discussed in the old thread, but I was avoiding it until I had been able to watch the DVD. So now I have a question, and a comment:

Question: Was there supposed to be a booklet with the DVD? I opened up my case, and there was only the disk.

Comment: So glad that Nathan Fillion dances just like David Boreanz: does Joss teach them or something?

#29

Harrison Fjord

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Posted Mar 24, 2006 @ 12:06 PM

No, LT, Universal is one of the studios that has decided to do away with booklets/chapter lists. I imagine this saves them millions (only slightly kidding). They could probably save even more if they left out the coupons I will never, ever use.

#30

LT

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Posted Mar 24, 2006 @ 4:04 PM

Thanks for the answer. . . I guess I should be happy I didn't get the coupons.