I finally saw Serenity tonight. It was one of the most emotional experiences of my entire life, and as stupid as that sounds, I have a couple points of background to go over, and maybe then you'll understand.
1. Sort of like River, there's something wrong with my brain. Unlike River, I am not a creature of extraordinary grace, and I am not a trained fighting machine. What's wrong with me is that I have a really hard time discerning between what is real and what is not. Unless something is horribly acted and written and entirely unbelievable (i.e., new Star Wars movies), it is completely real to me, one of the reasons I love Firefly so.
2. I missed taking my meds two days in a row. I took them at 8 PM on the 29th, and at 10 AM the 30th. I'm supposed to take them every day in the morning. I hit my peak of mood-instability today around 10. Bitched my boyfriend out, basically screamed at him to go fuck himself and made him very upset.\
3. I LOVED Firefly. Loved it. Was obsessed. Counted down the days, hours, minutes until I could see Serenity. I think I've watched the series all the way through at least three times (and I don't even own the DVDs -- no money). I've converted people. I love each and every one of the characters, including Serenity.
Now that the stage is set, here's my movie experience.
I'd avoided spoilers completely. In my opinion, just the fact that they showed River punching people in a bar was too much -- I would have rather been taken completely by surprise, as Mal was. However, some moments in the movie took me by surprise a little too much. I realize that Firefly was a network television show and there was only so much that they could get away with, but seriously, the Reavers scared the living shit out of me. I'm not easily scared, and I actually covered my eyes at several points because it was too damn frightening. I didn't like that the movie resorted to jump-out-and-scare-you moments, like when the teacher stabs River in the head with the paintbrush or whatever it is, and when the fake Reaver grabs River. It seemed cheap.
There were moments in the movie that were frightening and intense, but not cheap like that. Like when the Reavers are chasing the little hovery thing Zoe's driving, and where Wash is a leaf on the wind, watch how he soars. During those parts, my body was so tense that I was literally shaking. When the jumpy moments came, I felt terrified for a moment, and then oddly disappointed, like, "Is this the best you can do?!"
Mal didn't seem like himself. I guess Inara's comment about seeing so many different sides of him made sense, but with the exception of "Safe", Mal always kept a good heart and protected River and Simon no matter what, because they were a part of his crew. I found his character in the movie to be inconsistent with his character in the series, and that was disappointing, because it was his moral courage that kept me watching the series. Yes, he gains it back later. But where did it go in the first place? And why?
Why all the gruesome images of the corpses, over and over and over? This especially bothered me on Miranda. Sure, as a movie, you can get away with more than you can with a network television program. Does that mean you have to? When I watched "Bushwhacked", it was tense and the premise itself was frightening enough with only the one glimpse of the victims' corpses -- and not even a clear glimpse, at that. It was well-played, instead of cheap and gory, and was enough to leave me with a lasting impression. The scenes on Miranda did nothing but disgust me and I'm hoping that I won't have nightmares over them. Good lord.
The operative? Please. They should have just recycled Jubal Early.
Shepherd Book died, but I saw that coming. Someone else on here said he was expendable, and he pretty well was. I am a little disappointed that he won't be the one to tell Mal about the mysteries of his past, but hopefully in a future movie, or whatever, we'll get to learn about it.
However, what followed was possibly the most disturbing part of the whole movie for me. Remember how Serenity is a character? They defile her and turn her into a reaver-ship lookalike. That was when I started to crack -- I just felt pained and uncomfortable and vaguely like I should walk out of the theatre. I should have followed my gut instinct.
I went to the theatre to see this with a group of Browncoats, and the person who sat behind me is possibly the most emotionally disconnected person I have ever met. Serenity nearly crashes. As she's bumping painfully along the runway thing, my entire body was rigid. Then I heard the unemotional guy behind me sniffling and trying to hold back tears.
Wash gets stabbed through the chest with a giant fucking pencil. That's when I actually began crying. I didn't stop crying until we packed up and left the theatre. Even then, when we got in the car and Zack (unemotional boy) confessed that he'd pretty much lost it when Serenity nearly crashed, I started sobbing again and he just kind of stared straight ahead and tried to drive.
Those are my main gripes with it. One thing I loved about Firefly was that no matter how bad things got, even in Out Of Gas, there were moments of sunshine. This whole movie was just too dark. Even the lighting, except on Miranda, was horribly dark.
Also -- Since when did Inara start channeling Xena? The bow was overkill. I want that studded bra.