Synchronicity, Serenity, and Star Wars

Over the past two months, Judy and I have watched all six Star Wars movies, starting with Episode 1 and ending with Episode 6, in high-definition, thanks to DirecTiVo and HBO. The one thing we were struck by in every single episode was how truly stilted the dialog was.

Last night, we watched Joss Whedon’s Serenity (2005), which we missed when it was in the theaters. Great writing, great effects. Absolutely engrossing. If you’re a sci-fi fan and you haven’t seen it yet, you’re missing out.

Today, this little bit of news shows up in FeedDemon, via Slashdot:

The BBC is reporting that the film Serenity has been voted the number-one Sci Fi film of all time. Serenity is a followup to the series Firefly. The 2005 film beat out Star Wars better than two-to-one for the top honors. This result came in a poll of 3000 readers of SFX magazine.

Synchronicity? I know how I would have ranked those two. Although #3 on their list, Blade Runner, would have been #1 on my list.

16 thoughts on “Synchronicity, Serenity, and Star Wars

  1. If you haven’t also watched the series (Firefly) I would recommend that as well. As much as I enjoyed Serenity, I actually think the series was better. Really too bad it was canceled.

  2. I don’t exactly how that poll was stuffed, but it’s wildly misleading to refer to “Serenity” as the #1 sci-fi film of all time. It was very good, a nice companion to the series, but even Joss Whedon himself would never suggest it’s #1.

  3. I think that the best SciFi film I ever saw is Forbidden Planet because so much of all later SciFi is derivative of it.

  4. #1 2001
    #2 Silent Running
    #3 Solaris (1972)
    #4 Bladerunner

    Yes, I know, showing my age πŸ™‚

  5. Man, I love Joss Whedon, but I hated Serenity! Took me two times to get through it once. Here’s my favs, although this is my favorite genre; I’ll watch and enjoy a bad sci-fi movie over anything else.

    (1) BladeRunner (1982)
    (2) Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
    (3) The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) (hey, genetic engineering)
    (4) Matrix I (1999)
    (5) Soylent Green (1973)

    And don’t forget three great/campy ones from the 50s:
    β€” This Island Earth (1955)
    β€” 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957)
    β€” The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

  6. ‘Firefly’ will always be that one series on TV that hooked me hard enough to really get me angry when it got canned. A lot of my favorite shows have been canceled, it seems my disgust over reality tv isn’t shared by the masses, yet I usually fume for a day then get over it. After all it’s just TV.

    Yet when Firefly was canceled I was prompted to write my first blog post ever as a means of venting after stewing in an angry rage for weeks. In a way Firefly started me blogging.

    Anyway, agreed, great movie and series. Firefly probably climbed to #1 because it’s followers were passionate and just the sort to latch onto any passing internet poll. Hmm, actually I can’t think of any other sci-fi movies in the last 5 years that really captured people the way Firefly did. Perhaps The Matrix but I think a lot of people were soured on it after the third movie, though I enjoyed it.

  7. Sorry, Firefly was horrible. It was a bad “space cowboy” show. Serenity was 100 times better than the show but overall weak. I liked, the Island, King Kong and SW Ep III all better than Serenity in 2005. The effects were good but big deal plenty of bad Sci-Fi has good effects. I am not interested in any more stupid chick fighting flicks. Everytime I see some teenage girl in a series aka buffy start beating up hordes of big guys/monsters I roll my eyes. Also killing the pilot officially killed it for me. Don’t get me wrong the movie was OK but not something I would buy or even personally copy on DVD.

    I think the same fans of the horribly bad new Battlestar Gallactica like Firefly and Serenity. The Slashdot posts confirm it. There is plenty of good Sci-Fi:

    2001: A Space Odyssey
    The Matrix, Matrix Reloaded
    Terminator 2
    The Fifth Element
    Star Wars 2-6
    Star Trek II, IV and VI
    Strange Days

    To say Serenity is better than some of these movies is laughable.

  8. Brazil would probably be #2 on my list. I would also consider the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers one of the all-time great sci-fi films despite the almost complete lack of science.

    And The Day the Earth Stood Still deserves to be in the top 10.

  9. I’m always shocked by the love for such twaddle as FireFly/Serenity, Buffy/Angel, and (even) Bablyon 5.

    That’s like calling Hercules/Zena the greatest depiction of mythology ever created.

    They’re all crap.

    2001, Brazil, Alien(s), Blade Runner, original Solaris, and about 50 classic films Like TDtESS, Body Snatchers, Them, etc… belong at the top. Not to mention the marginal/horror movies from Carpenter (The Thing, They Live) which I value more highly than junk like Serenity (even if it finally got some half-decent production.) And, sure, the Star Wars dialogue sucks. But suggesting that it’s not in the Top Ten is quite silly.

  10. Oh, I also meant to add that, along with Carpenter, half of Cronenberg’s movies cannot be overlooked. A couple of his movies could potentially be in an all time Top 100 of mine (Dead Ringers, The Fly, Videodrome, and the much overlooked Spider.) If you like Brazil and have ever liked anything by Cronenberg, Spider is a must see that almost everyone missed.

  11. I hated all of the Star War movies that I have actually seen. I couldn’t make it through more than a few minutes of Serenity.

    2001 and Blade Runner are Nos. 1 and 2 (not necessarily in that order) for me. After these two movies, it gets real thin for me.

  12. I was not one of the Firefly faithful, but Blade Runner and 2001 both have a place in my heart. Actually, here’s my top 10, while I’m thinking about it, in no particular order:

    1) 2001
    2) Blade Runner
    3) Star Wars (yes, the original, before Lucas stomped all over his own golden child!)
    4) Most any of Cronenberg’s horror/fantasy productions, but my favorite is either Scanners or Videodrome — hundreds of other horror movies including “The Ring” would not have been possible without that flick.
    5) Alien
    6) The Terminator
    7) Metropolis — I’m a little surprised no one else has mentioned this; the restored DVD is nothing short of revelatory.
    8) Avalon — for me this is a better and far deeper movie than The Matrix, which I enjoyed, but this one I feel more strongly about.
    9) Battle Royale — I don’t know if this really classifies as SF, but I’m including it here for sheer brio. Followed by one of the most catastrophically bad sequels to any movie ever made.
    10) [Reserved for future use]

  13. If Blade Runner is your #1 pick, then I’d recommend Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner. An interesting book on how the film was made, and information about the different cuts of the film and when they appeared.

  14. Juliana: Motion seconded. A fantastically good book, and I understand the author may be revising it yet again once Ridley Scott’s final cut is delivered.

  15. i must say….i loved serenity! i saw the film before firefly but they are both great sci-fi, i’m not a hige fan of starwars (seems all a bit futuristic..i know sounds dumb for a sci fi fan) where as firefly, i know this will sound lamer but i can see us there in 500 years, and heres some of my fav sci fi shows/films
    1)firefly (also great themetune)
    2)5th element (i liked it)
    3)matrix (the third was my favourite)
    4)star trek (DS9 was by far the best)
    5)starwars (my fav has to be the phantom menace)
    6)back to the future (so funny, seconed was by far the best)

    so i hope you enjoyed my rant of my sci fi collection, sorry if i went on about firefly just love it.

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