In this reel of COL Movies, Ray and Jeff lament again for the missing Steven. When, WHEN will he come back. In the meantime they discuss the ever Shiny Firefly movie, Serenity. After a bit of reminiscing on show that never should have ended, they bring themselves to the present for The Bourne Legacy. In the future, they take a peak at Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. This and . . . and . . . well nothing else. It’s the 118th reel of COL Movies “I Aim To Misbehave”
The Past: Serenity
Rotten Tomatoes 82% Fresh 89% Audience
Director: Joss Whedon
Staring: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Adam Baldwin, Morena Baccarin, Sean Maher, Ron Glass, Summer Glau, Jewel Staite
- When the Operative reviews Mal’s file, it shows his birth date as 9/20/2468. Firefly premiered 9/20/2002. Writer/producer Ben Edlund’ was born 9/20/1968.
- According to Adam Baldwin, Jayne’s mini-gun is nicknamed “Lux”, after LuxLucre, devoted fan Kerry Pearson’s message board handle. Pearson, who died of complications of diabetes, was best known for creating fan art featuring characters from Firefly in a South Park cartoon style.
- In the cargo bay, just after a Reaver is shot, some of the crates behind River have the message “Reusable Container: Do Not Destroy” printed on them. It’s an inside joke. The ship set had to be rebuilt from scratch for the movie because the original, from the show, was destroyed.
- Universal Studios took the unusual step of allowing early previews of the unfinished film. The first preview was in November 2004 in California’s San Fernando Valley, when the release date was still early 2005. Further previews happened on May 5, 2005 (10 cities), May 26, 2005 (20 cities), and June 23, 2005 (35 cities). On July 22, 2005, a preview was held on Queensland, Australia’s Gold Coast.
- The first Universal film released on HD-DVD (High Definition DVD).
- The coffee maker in Serenity’s dining room/kitchen is an F.A. Porsche Design, made by Siemens.
- EASTER EGG: From the main menu screen, keep clicking “left” until you light up a triangle with a dot in the center on the right side of the screen. The icon will take you to the full Fruity Oaty Bar commercial. In the DVD commentary, Joss Whedon admitted that he wanted the commercial to be as odd as possible. He said it was heavily inspired by the “Mr. Sparkle” advertisement from The Simpsons: In Marge We Trust The uncredited actor in the commercial and the Easter Egg segment is Robert Michael Lee.
- Malcolm’s Social Control number is 099,836,5,4112.
- The keyboard Mal uses to transmit the signal from Mr. Universe’s basement is a Micro Innovations Web Office Pro Keyboard.
- This is the first film for which a digital cinema distribution master was made using the new DCI standards using JPEG2000 compression and a 12 bit 4:4:4 XYZ color space.
- The cannon the crew mounts to Serenity is a WW2 German 20mm Flak 38.
- Among the buildings shown in the opening sequence (where voice-over narration describes the “terraforming” process) are the Emirates Towers, key features of the skyline of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. A skyscraper in the foreground of the same shot is based on designs by Sir Norman Foster (Lord Foster), including the Commerzbank headquarters in Frankfurt and the HSBC building in Hong Kong.
- Morena Baccarin provides the voice for the security terminal in the records room.
- To put River to sleep, Dr. Simon Tam says, “Eta Kooram Nah Smech!,” Russian for “This is very ridiculous” (literally “This is for hens to laugh!”).
- Concept art for the film reveals that many of the weapons are based on paintball markers, with a propellant-tank mount point at the bottom of the rear grip, and an “expansion chamber”-style fore grip.
- The DVD of Serenity was flown up to the International Space Station by astronaut Steven Swanson on board the shuttle Atlantis during its June 2007 STS-117 mission.
- Mal’s drink of choice, Ng Ka Py, is a Chinese brandy. it appears in his quarters, and he ordered it in the first scene of Firefly: The Train Job.
- The cast had a running gag where they would yell Summer Glau’s name whenever any of them flubbed a line or forgot to do something. It originated on Firefly when she forgot her line at the end of a very long and difficult scene. (Nathan Fillion, Morena Baccarin and Sean Maher can be seen doing this on the DVD blooper reel.)
- Joss Whedon’s feature film directorial debut.
- In his DVD commentary, Joss Whedon said Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nathan Fillion, Summer Glau and Sean Maher performed many of their own stunts. Glau, a trained dancer, used her dancing skills in River’s two fights. For the second fight, the cameraman, who was also a dancer, moved through a gap around the combatants to achieve the movie’s dynamic camera angles.
- According to the director commentary, Mal’s line “Faster would be better” was ad-libbed by Nathan Fillion when Joss Whedon told him to “say something Mal would say.”
- Though the Trade Agent (the elderly man in the Trade Station who unlocks the safe) is played by Weston Nathanson, his voice was dubbed by Joss Whedon. According to Whedon, several of the stand-in voices from the early post-production stage remain in the final film, among them this and Morena Baccarin’s voice as the computer at the beginning of the film.
- The events of the film take place six months after Firefly: Objects in Space, the final episode of the TV series. “Those Left Behind,” a three-issue comic book series written by Joss Whedon and Brett Matthews, published by Dark Horse comics, and released during summer 2005, bridges that six-month gap.
- The first nine minutes of Serenity were made available online as a promotion in advance of its theatrical release. Between the online release and the theatrical release, the brief cut to Alliance security personnel was changed from blue to red.
- Ranked #5 in Rotten Tomatoes “50 Best TV Adaptations of All Time”
- Though she did say all the lines, the actress that plays young River was dubbed over by Summer Glau to make the connection easier.
- In addition to Book’s Christianity, which was established during the series, characters also practice Buddhism (Inara lights “incense” in front of a Buddha shrine in her room) and Judaism (Mr. Universe steps on a glass at the end of his wedding). In Firefly: The Message, the Postal Agent was wearing a yarmulke (kippah), which is worn by Orthodox Jews.
- According to visual effects supervisor Loni Peristere, the Reaver ships are conceived along the lines of “muscle cars that look like Leatherface,” each representing a mask the Reavers wear. [Paste Magazine interview, October 4, 2005]
- According to commentary, the crew made a mistake when building the mule hovercraft seen during the first chase sequence with the Reavers at the opening of the film. Zoe, Mal, Jayne, and River were all riding in the mule during the chase. In dialogue, when Zoe asks Mal why he didn’t save the man who begged them to take him with them during their escape, Mal responded that “The mule won’t run with five”. The production crew had accidentally built the mule with five seats, an initial oversight.
- Summer Glau trained intensely with the fight choreographers for three months before principal photography began.
- Originally, Joss Whedon wanted Greg Edmonson, who had scored the TV series, to score the movie. Edmonson couldn’t, so Whedon brought in composer Carter Burwell. After discussing the movie and submitting some demos, Burwell left the project due to differing opinions. Music executives at Universal insisted that Whedon hire a more familiar composer. Eventually David Newman was brought on to score the movie.
- During Mal’s conversation with Inara over the wave, four of Mal’s scars are visible. All are from wounds he received during Firefly. The one on his chest was inflicted by Crow in Firefly: The Train Job. The one near his diaphragm is from a gunshot wound inflicted during Firefly: Out of Gas. The one on his side is from his duel with Atherton Wing in Firefly: Shindig. The one on his left shoulder is from the bullet graze in the pilot.
- The opening credits appear 10 minutes into the film. They are shown in a 4 minute, unbroken take through different decks of Serenity.
- According to the Official Serenity Companion, Whedon said that there was a “strong possibility” that Wash and Book would return if there was a Serenity sequel, although he acknowledged that it would have to be done in a way the audience would buy.
- Mal mentions a poem that he has read about an Albatross. This is a reference to “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
- According to a Q&A with Joss Whedon and the cast after the premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, there were at least 20 separate takes of Simon and Kaylee’s final make-out scene in the engine room. Take #20 was used in the final cut.
- The futuristic-looking handcuffs used on River are Clejuso Number 13s, the second heaviest handcuffs in use at the time.
- During the funeral scene, Kaylee wears a medallion with the doubled Chinese character for joy/happiness/cheer, a symbol often used in weddings.
- Summer Glau has said that she pitched the idea of River becoming a pilot during the Firefly television series. In this film, River finally becomes a co-pilot of Serenity.
- Body count: 74
- After they find the first body in the white city, a strange kind of stairway with a ramp appears. It’s an exact copy of the stairs in Robson Square in Vancouver, BC, Canada, designed by Arthur Erickson.
- Several of the Reaver ships in the final battle are Alliance ships with different paint schemes.
- On Miranda, the crew discovers dead citizens in a sealed room. The body of an old man in a lab coat wearing golden shoes appears just before River starts talking in Chinese. The shoes are Nike Flightposite III basketball shoes designed for Kevin Garnett, introduced around 2001.
- According to Joss Whedon’s DVD commentary, the most difficult scene for sound was Simon and River’s final scene, after Simon is shot. Sean Maher and Summer Glau developed a strong bond during production of Firefly. Sean’s acting was so good that Summer kept bursting into tears whenever they attempted to shoot the scene.
- According to his DVD commentary, Joss Whedon said the planet Miranda would’ve been discovered at the end of the second season if the show had been a success.
- The funeral scene includes several real funeral customs. Zoë wears a white dress, the traditional Chinese color of mourning. Small rocks are placed on the grave markers of Mr. Universe, Book, and Wash, from the Jewish tradition of mourners placing a small stone on the grave at every visit.
- Shepherd Book’s tombstone reveals his first name, Derrial. Wash’s tombstone shows that his full name is Hoban Washburne.
- After Mr. Universe betrays the crew to the Alliance, he turns to the Operative and demands his “thirty coin,” a reference to Judas betraying Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.
- Joss Whedon revealed that the reason Wash and Book were killed off in the movie was because Alan Tudyk and Ron Glass could not commit to sequels. Universal Pictures wanted all the main actors who would appear in the sequels to be contractually available, meaning Whedon had to find a way of getting Tudyk and Glass out of the story. (In his original script, before he knew they couldn’t commit, all members of the crew survived, with Zoe and Wash promising to have children together.) Despite this Whedon has also revealed that there was a “strong possibility” that Wash and Book would return if a sequel ever was made — indicating that he had plans to find a way to bring them back.
- Did you watch the show?
- Does this movie appeal to non fans?
- Favorite Character?
What We Learned:
- People don’t like to be Meddled with.
- A hero is someone who gets other people killed
- Half of writing history, is hiding the truth.
- If you can’t do something smart, do something right.
- Can’t stop the signal
Jeff: This was an excellent end to the Series that should not have ended so soon. A little upset about the deaths in the story but otherwise Whedon just can’t do wrong with this universe. Watch the Series, then watch the movie.
Ray: It’s a fun movie, and a nice send off to a very entertaining TV show. If you’ve never seen it then do yourself a favor and take the time to watch the series first.
The Present: The Bourne Legacy
Rotten Tomatoes 54% Rotten, 60% Audience
Director: Tony Gilroy
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton
- Before this movie was seriously considered, director Paul Greengrass jokingly suggested to make a fourth Bourne movie called “The Bourne Redundancy”.
- Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Alex Pettyfer, Joel Edgerton, Taylor Kitsch, Kellan Lutz, Josh Hartnett, Paul Dano, Luke Evans, Michael Pitt, Oscar Isaac, Benjamin Walker and Erryn Arkin were considered to play the lead role.
- When asked about his most difficult scene, Jeremy Renner revealed that it was the motorcycle ride with Rachel Weisz behind him in Manila, because he was responsible for the two of them. At the press conference of the film, Weisz was asked about this particular stunt, “How was it to ride on a motorcycle through Manila with Jeremy Renner?” and she said that “It was really terrifying! Jeremy never told me when we were in Manila, but that was the scariest stunt for him because he was responsible for my life. He didn’t tell me that in Manila, thank god, because I would have been like, ‘Oh, my god!’ I just had to surrender and hold on. I didn’t have to act. It just was terrifying”.
Jeff: I think this was a very . . . nice movie. I got bored at points and felt like the movie was dragging a little but it also didn’t feel like a 2 hour movie. Liked the action, story was okay, it was fun. It was alright.
Ray: Very much like good Chinese food, tastes great while your eating it, but your hungry again an hour later. I think Renner did a great Job and can totally hold an action movie on his own, it’s unfortunate that it was this movie.
The Future: Django Unchained
Release: December 25, 2012
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio
Django is a slave living in the Deep South after having been separated from his wife Broomhilda. When Django is held for a slave auction, Dr. King Schultz, a bounty hunter, frees Django from his vicious masters, the Speck brothers and gives him the option of hunting down and killing the Brittle Brothers, a ruthless gang of killers whom only Django has seen. In return, Schultz will free Django from slavery completely and help rescue Broomhilda from the plantation of the charming but ruthless Francophile owner, Calvin Candie.
Jeff: Quentin Tarantino, revenge movie, alot of killing, sold.
Ray: It’s going to be a very interesting Christmas!