Thursday, April 20

Relationships, Moral Decisions, Romance

The Sci-Fi movie Serenity was released on September 30 2005, a movie based on the TV series Firefly (USA 2002-2004). They held special screenings of Serenity starting much earlier in the year, letting diehard fans of Firefly see the feature film and then talk about it. And talk they did. I have and i'm sure a lot of you heard all the hoopla about how good the movie is, some didn't even know there was a hoopla (lol)... But just like all the other high hoopla flicks (...War of the Worlds anyone?) it fell by my wayside. Not so much a quick glance at the synopsis.

But like the ways of baseball, pitcher throws a sterling 7 innings giving up only a single run, only to turn it over to the bullpen that subsequently walked the leadoff hitter in the 8th followed by a couple of errors and a bloop single to cash in the walk and the errors... DVD releases is much the same. They go on for weeks releasing must see movies but invariably gives way to the incipient DVD rut. And so with the lack of attractive new releases you backtrack to the movies you've passed up. In this case Serenity. In fact i rented the movie once (... in February) without watching it (lol you ever do that?). So without plans on the eve of my day off i decided to give it another go around. Serenity i thought would relent as unremarkable, a background-movie i like to call it. But to my great surprise, after two scenes, the movie had my undivided attention. Orson Scott Card an author of Sci-Fi novels put it best "Because I know that science fiction doesn't have to be all mindless action. Or even mindful action. I can praise a movie like I, Robot and mean it, without for a second thinking that what I'm seeing is great sci-fi. I can enjoy the first Matrix and see it as a kind of magic sci-fi, but recognize that in the end, it's all about the mystical quasi-religious ideas and the special effects, and not about human beings at all. Because for me, a great film -- sci-fi or otherwise -- comes down to relationships and moral decisions. How people are with each other, how they build communities, what they sacrifice for the sake of others, what they mean when they think of a decision as right vs. wrong. Yeah, even comedies. Even romantic comedies -- it's those moral decisions. "....

Damn i couldn't have said it better myselfff... Relationships, moral decisions & for added drama lets insert Romance... That summed up Serenity. Not as dramatic as Blade Runner or grandiose like Star Wars but remarkable all the same... Because if you're anything like me, someone who likes to figure-out the ending, halfway through the movie you've already prophesied who dies who lives or even precisely how the movie ends. Let's face it movies are predictable with the exception of a few (... Sixth Sense, The Inside Man, Memento, Pulp Fiction, Event Horizon etc...). Serenity was your typical Sci-Fi flick complete with the non-aerodynamic space ships that seem to be prevalent in the genre, they referred to it as boats. Firearms that never seem to fit in and grenades that detonated with the same intensity as the old WWII grenades. 800 years in the future and apparently the hand grenade was yet to evolve. This is not the only fault of the movie... However what the movie lacked in technological innovation they surely made up in plot excellence, relationships, moral decisions and romance...

Romance makes movies. And no i'm not talking about Serendipity or Gone with the Wind. Most if not all movies of any genre have some kind of a love interest. Because whether we admit to it or not, deep inside, we're all romantics. Because movies just as in life, it is better when there is a girl in the story... faint heart never won fair lady (dohh!). Can you imagine Pulp Fiction without the Vincent Vega-Mia Wallace love interest or the Andie (Molly Ringwald) Duckie-Blane love triangle in Pretty in Pink? How about we remove Sloane, Ferris's girlfriend in Ferris Buellers Day Off, hmm only Ferris and Cameron, doesn't sound as cool. Ok ok so most of those are supposed to have a love interest so maybe you think i'm reaching... How about Rocky? Would Rocky be as dramatic and good if not for Adrian? And who's name do you suppose Rocky Balboa would have called for in that famously soppy scene after that dreadful fight against Apollo Creed instead of Adrian... Mickey? That's not so soppy... i rest my case!

In my opinion Relationships, Moral Decisions and Romance should be a formula applied to all movies. It is to movies what Emc² is to physics (... right Albert?)... The Godfather, is there a better movie? The romances, the turmoiled Marriage of Michael and Kay, even Michael's first Marriage in Sicily that ended tragically, the condemned romance between Vinnie and Mary Michael and Kay's daugther (played by Sofia Coppola, yes Francis Ford Coppola's daughter, who also played the actual infant being christened in Part II's opening scene. You don't see that often when the infant and the adult role is played by the same actor). The relationships between the vast unforgettable characters... Vito, Michael, Sonny, Tom Hagen, Fredo, Moe Greene, heck lets throw in Luca Brasi for redundancy. And the moral decisions, should i even bother? The Godfather encompasses everything that is good about a movie... no one holds a candle peeriod!


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