Thursday, October 06, 2005

Two movies you should see -- soon!

Yes, I'm a little behind in getting out the word, but both Corpse Bride and Serenity are very much worth your time.

Corpse Bride is a brief (only about 70 minutes long) folk tale-inspired story about a young man on the verge of being wed who inadvertently marries a murdered bride while practicing his vows in a dark and spooky forest. The stop-motion animation is superb -- it's worth seeing for the animation alone, but the story, while slight, is still enjoyable, and the voice work from the cast is first rate.

Serenity is the film spinoff of the cancelled Fox television series Firefly. I admit I never saw Firefly when it was on television, and only came to it earlier this year on DVD. Thirteen epidsodes were filmed but only ten aired, and those were done out of order. It's a shame, because this show was first-rate, and I highly recommend you rent or buy it on DVD.

You do not need to have seen the series to understand and enjoy the movie, however. While having seen the series makes some of the character interactions more meaningful, I don't think anyone who missed the show will be confused or feel the movie is playing only to insider geeks.

This is a fun movie, though surprisingly dark in places. It was created by Joss Whedon, the guy who did Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel TV series (neither of which I have seen). Think of it as a movie about Han Solo's smuggling days before he met up with Luke Skywalker and that will give you a decent idea of setup.

The small smuggling ship commanded by Malcolm Reynolds is called Serenity, and it travels around a large solar system controlled mostly by an unfriendly Alliance that Mal dislikes immensely since he was once a rebel fighter against them. The rebels lost, and now Mal does what he can to poke a stick in their eye by smuggling various kinds of cargo and people, and pulling the occasional heist. Some of his jobs are legal, some not.

He takes on a doctor and the doctor's sister River as passengers. River is a telepath who was kidnapped by the Alliance and turned into a weapon (though she has been damaged by the events and cannot clearly articulate what happened to her). They are now desperate to get her back because of secrets she may have gleaned while held in captivity. The Alliance has sent a ruthless Operative to hunt them down and recover River, no matter the cost.

This is a smart, well-written, well-acted SF adventure movie. Far more enjoyable than the let down of Revenge of the Sith (and this from a life-long Star Wars fan who's been bitterly disappointed by the prequels).

See them both! You won't be disappointed.


Leslie Shannon said...

Oh my God, I LOVED "The Corpse Bride." The voices were incredible! I never watched "Firefly" but I guess I should definitely check out "Serenity."

Leslie Shannon said...

By the way, where in Pennsylvania are you? I live in the Harrisburg area. I'm guessing you're Philly.

David Forbes said...

I live in Mechanicsburg and used to work downtown at Waypoint Bank. Small world.

Leslie Shannon said...

You're kidding! Wow. Maybe we will meet someday. I'm really intrigued by you.

David Forbes said...

I'll be doing some area book signings when THE AMBER WIZARD is released. Keep an eye out here for the dates...

Leslie Shannon said...

I definitely will. I would love to meet you.