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The Browncoats Rise Again 271

Posted by Zonk
from the since-i-found-serenity dept.
The Original, One and Only, Hippy of Death writes "There's an interesting read posted on The Weekly Standard website talking about Joss Whedon and the unusual marketing campaign he is waging for the upcoming Serenity/Firefly movie." From the article: "It was ignored and abandoned, and the story should end there--but it doesn't. Because the people who made the show and the people who saw the show--which is, roughly, the same number of people--fell in love with it a little bit. Too much to let it go. . . . In Hollywood, people like that are called unrealistic, quixotic, obsessive. In my world, they're called Browncoats."
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The Browncoats Rise Again

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  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Saturday June 25, 2005 @09:00AM (#12908506) Homepage Journal
    ... and yeah, pretty much everything the article says is right. (How often does that happen?) The crowd was much less over the top than, say, the stereotypical Star Wars / Star Trek / LOTR opening night crowd; very few costumes. We were there to see the movie, and we did, and we walked out grinning from ear to ear. It's great stuff.

    Oh, it's not perfect yet (lots of editing still to be done, I think) but it was still, in its unfinished form, the best movie I've seen in a long time. And the fact that Whedon et al. are actually paying attention to the fans -- treating us as part of the effort of making the movie instead of $TARGET_DEMOGRAPHIC -- is really damn cool.

    It occurs to me that what's happening with Firefly/Serenity is very similar to what happened with Star Trek way back when. The fans basically kept alive what was originally considered a failed series for over ten years between the cancellation of the series and the greenlight for the first movie. We should count ourselves lucky that things moved faster this time around.

    Anyway. This is some of the best storytelling you'll ever see on screen. Don't miss it.
  • by DeafDumbBlind (264205) on Saturday June 25, 2005 @09:03AM (#12908513)
    I really liked it until the last 3 or 4 minutes.
    I hope that they change the ending before the final release.
    Having the bad guy behave the way he did at the end cheapened the whole 'believe in something' theme that they were trying to push throughout the movie.
    It was totally weak for the guy to change his entire world view based on one unsubstantiated news clip.
    Other than that, I thought that movie kicked ass.
    • FWIW, the impression I got wasn't that he'd lost his belief in the Alliance, but that he'd lost his belief in himself -- i.e., his whole purpose in life was to be scary-deadly-secret-agent-guy, and having failed in that, he "fell on his sword."
    • by hyfe (641811) on Saturday June 25, 2005 @10:23AM (#12908833)
      American movie in being extremely good until the last 5 minutes shocker!

      Seriously, I'll never understand what's up with you and super-happy cliche endings.

    • Having the bad guy behave the way he did at the end cheapened the whole 'believe in something' theme that they were trying to push throughout the movie.

      I disagree with you. The Operative's turn at the end was completely justified. What makes him such an interesting villain is that he knows what he does is evil, but he sees it as a necessary evil.

      At the end, when he's lost the battle but still has the opportunity to kill River, he doesn't, because he knows it would no longer be for a "better world."

    • really liked it until the last 3 or 4 minutes.

      Thank you for the spoiler warning, but I fear that whatever it is you say (I'm making an effort not to look... though someone replied to you and provided more info I didn't want to see without the adequate spoiler warning... ATTENTION SLASHDOT OVERLORDS we need a *spoiler* mod that I would customize to put posts at -infinity) about the last 5 minuttes of the movie cannot possibly be a *minor* spoiler.

      P.S. Vador is Luke's father.
  • What A Gamble (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cybrpnk2 (579066) on Saturday June 25, 2005 @09:22AM (#12908573) Homepage
    I thought a long time about what I'd seen after a four hour drive home from a preview showing, and the main thought I came up with is this. We live in very uncertain times and the main attraction of Firefly that inspired its cult following was the comfort of a family that would weather all dangers. That comfort is gone in this movie. It is a GREAT movie, but it somewhat lacks the core quality that drew people to Firefly in the first place. SO, whether this is just a better than average movie release or the beginning of the pop cultural phenom the fans had hoped it would be remains to be seen.
    • We live in very uncertain times and the main attraction of Firefly that inspired its cult following was the comfort of a family that would weather all dangers. That comfort is gone in this movie.

      Curse their sudden but inevitable betrayal!
      • Snicker. An appropriate quote on several levels.
      • Exactly. Without giving anything else away, I think that the movie was excellent, right up until the last reel (the sudden but inevitable betrayal), where it became the kind of movie that... made this is "a time for quiet, silent contemplation."

        The only thing that I can imagine redeeming this is that we're the victims of a hoax. If you'll notice, the production values of that last reel (which at this point are approximately those of Saturday morning television, crossed with some of the more absurd port
  • Brownstains? (Score:2, Interesting)

    I promise not to troll. I've seen exactly one episode in its entirety, the one they play backwards with the captain being shot. I've seen bits and pieces of maybe another 2 episodes.

    From what I've seen, I wasn't impressed at all, not even a little. Maybe It was the worst of the entire series, short lived as it was. I'll even admit there is 1 B5 episode out there, that if it was the first I had seen, well, it would have been the last.

    That said, this marketing campaign doesn't seem all that great. I'm assum
    • by toopc (32927) on Saturday June 25, 2005 @09:30AM (#12908595)
      From what I've seen, I wasn't impressed at all, not even a little. Maybe It was the worst of the entire series, short lived as it was. I'll even admit there is 1 B5 episode out there, that if it was the first I had seen, well, it would have been the last.

      Would that "1 B5 episode" be the entire first season?

      • Would that "1 B5 episode" be the entire first season?

        Only if you're working in modulo 4 arithmetic. ;-)

        To answer the grandparent's question, maybe I can give a little perspective. I bought the DVD set a couple of months back, partly due to seeing it listed repeatedly as people's favourite sci-fi show here in Slashdot in preference to B5, and partly on the recommendation of a close friend whose taste in sci-fi is close to my own.

        I think the thing about Firefly is that its style is different to anyt

      • The entire first season built the story. Without it, the following seasons have no foundation, they wouldn't work.

        The episode I'm thinking of revolves around Garibaldi investigating a missing station worker, only to discover there is a hidden floor between decks 16 and 17, the elevator just doesn't stop on it normally. There is a weird death cult living on the floor, complete with monster that is man in a bad rubber suit. It is cheesy, completely out of character, and in no way is related to any of the oth
    • Re:Brownstains? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tx (96709)
      If you've only seen one episode, see a couple more. Rent the series DVD, or if you're really tight, download a couple of episodes ("The Train Job" or "Our Mrs Reynolds" perhaps). If you're so convinced that it's not worth watching that you won't invest the time to see a couple more episodes and decide for yourself, then nothing anyone says here is likely to convince you. On the other hand if you're going to be open minded about it, an hour or two of your time watching what I think is some of the best tv sci
    • Re:Brownstains? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Saturday June 25, 2005 @09:44AM (#12908637) Homepage Journal
      The episode you saw (also titled Serenity, IIRC) was neither the worst nor the best of the series, but it happened to be one that required having watched a good deal of the series to really get into that particular storyline. This is a problem with a lot of Whedon's work, actually -- not a problem for serious fans, of course, but it does sometimes put off the more casual viewer. OTOH, the long, intricate story arcs in all of his series are one of the reasons the guy has so many dedicated fans, so it cuts both ways. He's telling stories, not episodes; if a story takes one episode to tell, that's great, but he'll also tell it in ten episodes if needed.

      If you're willing to give Firefly another shot, I'd recommend finding someone who has the DVD boxed set, and watching the series premiere (the real premiere, the two-hour one, not the fairly mediocre episode that Fox actually showed first) and then, if you like it, watching the rest of the episodes in sequence.

      What's so great about it? Well, for me, it's pretty much the same stuff I think is so great about all of Whedon's work to date: terrific dialogue, immensely likable characters, intricate storytelling, and a willingness both to use cliches as needed and then discard them the instant they're no longer useful. Buffy, Angel, and Firefly all managed to surprise me, repeatedly, just when I thought I was being led down a familiar path. Hardly any TV shows ever do that, and few enough movies.

      It's the characters who make it work, ultimately. You may not always agree with them, or admire them, or even understand them, but you like them, and you care what happens to them. They're not archetypes; they are, even when they're fighting vampires or flying spaceships, people you feel like you could sit down and have a beer with. This is Whedon's great talent, and it's what keeps his fans coming back to his work.

      Not sure if this answer is un-cult-like enough for you, but it's what I've got. ;)
      • Serenity? Why would he have to watch a "good deal" of the series to enjoy the pilot episode??? I believe the episode he is referring to is "Out of Gas," my personal favorite. I think his reference to it being "backward" is a misunderstanding with the flashbacks, which I guess would be confusing it that is the *only* eptisode you saw.
        • Oops, you're right. Not sure why I thought the flashback episode was the one called "Serenity" -- maybe because the ship was really the central character of that one?

          Anyway. Yeah, the point is, that particular episode was hard to make sense of for anyone who hadn't seen at least a couple of preceding episodes, so it's too bad that that's the only one OP has seen in its entirety.
      • Good answer, but I'm not certain it's going to change his mind, and I'm not sure it should.

        Firefly is a character-driven series, which keeps the stories fairly small. It's a western set in space, a conceit I know some people didn't care for. Its writing is sharp and incisive in that Joss Whedon way, which not everybody goes for.

        This guy appears to be a fan of B5, and seemingly nearly episode of it. I'm a Firefly fan and found B5 offensively bad: terrible writing, flat characters, a host of truly dreadful
        • The PP is right. B5 and FF probably draw from different fan bases. I admit to being both a B5 and FF fan, a fan of SG1 from the time I first saw it in Showtime, the new BSG, Buffy, Angel, etc. (I've always had pretty eclectic tastes. Why eat just vanilla and chocolate ice cream? :) ) Anyhow, I think there's a lot of underrated sci-fi on the small screen. Every series has its strong points, and I tend to look for what any particular series or movie does right and downplay the things that they got wron
          • SG1 is a special case. Having seen the movie first, was impossible to think that it could be a decent show... how many other movies-turned-syndicated shows have been awful?

            And the first season is pretty bad, to be honest. Every third episode of later seasons is goofy (though not necessarily bad). They seem to do another third that are formula scifi (the time loop one is straight out of star trek and who knows where else... but seeing Teal'c and O'Neil whacking golf balls through the stargate made up for it
        • Re:B5 and FF (Score:3, Insightful)

          by 2short (466733)

          "It's a western set in space, a conceit I know some people didn't care for"

          Personally, it's not the conceit I don't care for. I just don't care for westerns. I like SciFi, and watched a bunch of Firefly, but concluded it's not, as billed by some, a Sci-Fi Western. It's a Western. The props are Sci-fi, but the premises, stories and charachters are all western.

          I've no problem with other people liking it. I just don't think you should expect others to if you are basing that expectation on whether they l
          • I would say the whole subplot revolving around the doctor's sister is patently sci-fi, wouldn't you?
          • I suspect that fans of horse-opera westerns would be weirded out by the space trappings, even without any actual aliens.

            Funny that you should bring up Star Trek, since Trek was originally conceived as a western set in space. Gene Roddenberry called it "Wagon Train to the Stars." For that matter, Star Wars was heavily influenced by Akira Kurosawa, who also influenced (and was influenced by) the great westerns (e.g. The Magnificient Seven and The Seven Samurai).

            I no longer know what sci-fi as a genre is, b
          • Personally, it's not the conceit I don't care for. I just don't care for westerns. I like SciFi, and watched a bunch of Firefly, but concluded it's not, as billed by some, a Sci-Fi Western. It's a Western.

            It's Space Cowboys.

            If you dislike either things in space, or cowboys, you WILL dislike Firefly. / If you have no irrational hatred of either, you will LOVE Firefly.

            That is the magic of the show: It appeals to anyone except those who hate these two things, instsead of appealing only to people who love e
      • I honestly think it comes down to intelligence.

        I just don't think stupid people are capable of gleaning the details that Joss puts in to bring people who haven't been watching up to speed in the middle.

        I'm no genius, but why is it that I figured out what was going on in Buffy within two episodes of starting to watch the show?
        • Because the framework of Buffy was easy to understand.

          Pretty girl kills ugly monsters.

          It was the interaction between characters that made it worth watching for more than a few episodes.
      • Re:Brownstains? (Score:5, Informative)

        by ctr2sprt (574731) on Saturday June 25, 2005 @12:12PM (#12909280)
        He's not talking about "Serenity," he's talking about "Out of Gas." Technically spoilers, but nothing you don't learn from the first five minutes of the episode:

        It starts with Mal clutching a piece of machinery, then falling to the deck where his blood drips through the grate. Followed by a flashback to when he buys Serenity (the ship) and enlists the crew (not the passengers, whose enlistment is depicted in "Serenity" the pilot).

        "Out of Gas" is the best episode in the series, but only if you've watched all the ones leading up to it and so have an attachment to all the characters already. It is the worst episode to watch first.

        100 posts and a +5 mod for the parent, yet I'm the first one to point this out. Does that seem right to you?

        • "Out of Gas" is the best episode in the series, but only if you've watched all the ones leading up to it and so have an attachment to all the characters already. It is the worst episode to watch first.
          100 posts and a +5 mod for the parent, yet I'm the first one to point this out. Does that seem right to you?


          No, but neither does the fact that you're quoting the best ep of the series in a post stating that it wasn't ;-)
          No wait, "Ariel" was the best.. NO! "War Stories"!

          Er... anyway, "Out of Gas" is only exc
    • Anyone care to try explaining to me what's so great about it, without sounding like you just converted to a cult 2 weeks ago?

      I always find questions of this sort fun; they challenge me to examine my own reactions so that I understand them well enough to explain them to others. But what are you asking about exactly?

      Are you asking about the series, the promotional campaign, or the film, (which I've not yet seen and so cannot comment on.)?


      -FL

    • Marketing exists for people like me.
      Um, no. Marketing does not exist for people who have decided what they like before they've seen the show in question. It exists for people who are likely to be convinced to try something new, and you are not in that group.
    • I promise not to troll.

      You already did in your subject.
      And you do it again in the last sentence. Ah, trolls who keep going "no no, I'm trolling, I sweaaaar"... sigh.

      Anyone care to try explaining to me what's so great about it, without sounding like you just converted to a cult 2 weeks ago?
    • Good point. There's no point marketing to the fanboys who'll go and see it a dozen times anyway, you need to market it to people who've never heard of it.

      I've NEVER heard of Firefly/Serenity outside of Slashdot. The marketing/publicity is non-existant.

      Whether it's any good or not it's hard to tell, I'll have to wait for a review from a non-fanboy. I'd get it off bittorrent but my 30,200bps modem won't take it, but I suppose that's what I deserve for living in the arsehole of the universe.
      • I've NEVER heard of Firefly/Serenity outside of Slashdot. The marketing/publicity is non-existant.

        It's not "non existant" [apple.com], it's just not launched into full blown marketing blitz yet. The movie only comes out in a few months, they don't start flooding the media with it's promotional material until a few weeks before release.

        In the meantime, the word-of-mouth dealy is working, since you have heard of it here, and you're asking yourself "what's up with those fanboys?". Find a local fanboy and get him to loa
        • Well, I don't think word of mouth marketing will work. Slashdot is hardly a huge market force. There is the potential for this film to crash and burn. Badly. This could end Firefly full-stop, which is unfortuanate if it's as good as the fanboys say.

          I'm afraid I don't know any fanboys or geeks, they don't seem to exist in the real world, just this web site.
    • i watched what they showed on TV, and enjoyed it. my housemate bought the DVD set and it made things a lot easier to follow if you saw the pilot. the episode you saw, as i recall, was kind of unusual how it was done. it might have been the worst to see as your first exposure. it was the only one shot like that. it seems like every tv series does that once.

      as the article says, Sci-Fi will run the whole series, in sequence, before the movie opens. that is probably the best promotion for the movie (or people
    • "Brownstains" != "I promise not to troll."
  • I was so confused, when the Firefly/Serenity stories started showing up on /., because the overwhelming response was along the lines of: "Oh, wow, they're finally listening to the will of the world and making this wonderful, wonderful show into a wonderful, wonderful movie. Oh my God. We all need to decide how to get together and celebrate. And of course it goes without saying that it will be a great movie." And then there would be twenty comments ALL vigorously agreeing.

    And I've been a bit confused, be
    • by unlinear (235476)
      First of all, serenity doesn't care about technobabble, which was increasingly my pet peeve with 'trek.

      "The engine is dead." "Well, go 'n fix it, damn it."

      Second of all, the universe is incredibly well thought out. It's a universe that actually feels like It Hasn't Been Done Before which this day and age is rare.

      Third... It's funny. damn funny. Characterization is awesome, and the use of humor is on the highest level of Whedonness. I remember having diet coke come up my nose when in episode "Jaynestown"
      • Actually, this was one of the few problems I had with Firefly: Joss's complete lack of knowledge about the practical realities of space travel.

        He has *claimed* in an interview that there is no FTL in this universe and the entire series takes place in one "really really big" star system.

        I'm sorry.

        No.

        That's just. Not. Possible.

        I don't care how much terraforming you do, the band of habitability is just *not* that big.

        I have a feeling he's going to have to go back on it when faced with the inconsistenci
    • Did I miss something huge?
      Yes

      Am I the only one who didn't know about this movie?
      Yes ...can anyone fill me in on why they like this show?
      Because it's bloody entertaining. Go borrow/rent the DVD and watch it, that'll be worth far more than testimonials.
    • by DavidTC (10147) <slas45dxsvadiv,vadiv&neverbox,com> on Saturday June 25, 2005 @10:11AM (#12908755) Homepage
      The reason you don't know about it is the reason it failed.

      Fox delibrately purchases sci-fi series so it can shoot them in the foot. Which it did to Firefly. It was delibrately destroyed, played in the wrong order, preempted by random shit, not promoted at all.

      It's not the least bit surprising you hadn't heard of it.

      It had the potential to be the next Buffy, minus the weird image problem Buffy has to this day. Get rid of the silly name, get rid of the silly premise, get rid of the much mocked manner of speakage, keep the important concepts. Instead of the 'best show you're not watching', maybe people would watch it. (And there were a lot of Buffy fans to pull in. Except, of course, Fox never purchased any ads during Buffy or Angel to actually locate them. Not that ads would do any good when you move the damn show around.)

      Or it could have been the next Star Trek, written by someone who actually understands characters and plot. (The next next Star Trek, I guess, as B5 would be the next one.)

      Or, hell, fans would have settled for a cult classic.

      Instead the show got cancelled before all the episodes ever aired. It is possibly unique in TV history for being canceled before the pilot aired, because they showed the episodes out of order.

      The only reason anyone heard of it is that fans pestered the studio for months. Not to renew the series, which is hopeless, but to release the DVDs....which they then proceeded to purchase like madmen. They didn't manage to break any records I'm aware of, but they did manage to convince the studio the movie would sell.

      And people like it for different reasons, so it's nearly impossible to explain.

      • blockquoth the poster:

        Fox delibrately purchases sci-fi series so it can shoot them in the foot. Which it did to Firefly. It was delibrately destroyed, played in the wrong order, preempted by random shit, not promoted at all.

        OK, I disdain Fox as much as the next sci fi fan, and they've honked me off too. But this makes no sense: Why would they spend the money just to ditch a show? Is Rupert Murdoch on some sort of anti-SF crusdae?

        Firefly got canceled because they expected it to do, proportionally,

        • Is Rupert Murdoch on some sort of anti-SF crusdae?

          Speaking as a Brit, I can assure you that Mr Murdoch most definitely has got ambitions to shape culture. He is harming ours with all his cr4p on TV and in print. It would not surprise me to learn that he wants to change yours too!.

        • I've heard that the executive that championed Firefly at FOX was ousted in a political battle right before the show started to air. Since it would look pretty bad to have fired the guy who helped create one of your smash new shows, Fox moved it around and basically killed it.

          Course, that's pretty much total hear-say and I haven't looked anything up to verify it. But it does sound a lot like fox, and makes sense in a sad and tragic way.
        • gilroy saith:

          Why would they spend the money just to ditch a show? Is Rupert Murdoch on some sort of anti-SF [crusade]?

          The short answer is that FOX crunched Firefly and other shows like it because they didn't like the political message of those shows.

          But FOX is a large corporation, not a single individual. At the risk of Goodwinning myself, the politics of FOX as demonstrated by FOXnews, or their current darling, 24, is extremely right-wing bordering on fascism: fear, pro-torture, and anti-human-rig

    • why is it so good? All I've been able to tell is that it's (a) a good story
      What more do you need? If it's a good story it's worth seeing, right? Especially compared with what we've seen for Holywood this year.
    • And I've been a bit confused, because until the slashdot comments, I had never heard of Firefly. I'm still awful lost, but everyone seems to take it for granted, as if it were Star Trek or something. Did I miss something huge? Am I the only one who didn't know about this movie?

      If only there was a series of online comics [pvponline.com] that explained the interest in a humourous way...
    • The characters. They were much more interesting than the usual characters in a show because they were balanced. Think about unit balancing in an RTS. Bowman beats pikeman beats horseman beats bowman. The characters were balanced in similar ways. Every character had at least one or two characters who were the exact opposite (and also the exact opposite from each other in some other way.)

      Mal, the captain of the ship was former military who fought the Alliance. River is a crazy girl who was basically to

    • I second the parent post's suggestion. SUBMITTER: If your article is about some obscure TV show and you think it's possible that you're one of a relatively few slashdot readers who has even heard of it, at least use one sentence in your summary to, uhh, I don't know... SUMMARIZE it!
    • the comparison to "if Star Wars was based around Han Solo" is a good analogy.... but take out the aliens and super advanced droids.

      if you have watched Buffy or Angel, you will be familiar with the dialog style. that being said i know some people that never watched Buffy or Angel and loved Firefly (they own the DVDs).

      basically the earth is dead or something and people are expanding to far planets. a lot of the story has to do with the low tech settlers that live like people on the frontier. think space mov
  • by Dinosaur Neil (86204) on Saturday June 25, 2005 @09:50AM (#12908661)

    Once upon a time, there was a TV show that was very popular with the geek crowd. It was cancelled two seasons in, then resurrected for one final season (in the worst time slot possible). The fans refused to keep quiet, so four years later the studio created a really bland animated version of the show. That didn't shut them up either; fans still demanded more. Ten years after the show went off the air, a theatrical movie was released. Even though it was a special effects showcase loosely held together with an unlikely plot and really wooden acting, it was financially successful enough that Paramount studios finally gave in and decided that they'd let the fans shower them with money for the next twenty-five years.

    I think it's great that Joss found a way to bring back Firefly, but I wonder if the press is taking this serisously is because they've burnt themselves out from thirty-five years of mocking the people who kept Star Trek alive (after a fashion).

    • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Saturday June 25, 2005 @10:03AM (#12908717) Homepage Journal
      So far, the reaction hasn't been mockery, but rather interest and a degree of respect for Whedon and the fans for pulling it off.

      A big part of it, I think, is that there isn't (yet, and hopefully won't be) the same cult-like display that the worst of the Star Trek crowd puts on (and which then turns into a stereotype of everyone who likes ST, regardless of whether or not they're fanatics.) You know, we're not seeing people having Firefly weddings and insisting that they have a Constitutional right to wear their brown coats at work and, for God's sake, getting cosmetic surgery to make them look more like characters on the show. As long as we don't display that degree of kookiness, I think it'll be all right.
    • Does this mean 30 years from now there will be a really crappy "Firefly: Serenity" prequel TV series with an opening song lip-sync'd by Jessica Simpson's less-talented sister?

      I'm all for it.

    • I suspect this may exactly be the case - much like Roddenberry Whedon doesn't really know why it was a hit. And by all accounts the movie is different from the series - for my tastes it sounds too different. Alas.
  • I believe (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Bruzer (191590)
    I had never seen the Firefly series and a friend told me about the Serenity screening ( http://www.cantstopthesignal.com/ [cantstopthesignal.com]). I went to it not expecting much and not knowing anything of the story. It turns out you don't need to know anything about the series to enjoy this movie. The screening was a great story it was already a well done movie. I enjoyed the movie so much I bought the series on DVD the next day.

    When Serenity comes out do yourself a favor and watch this movie. I share many similar interest
  • Rise again? (Score:3, Funny)

    by pedantic bore (740196) on Saturday June 25, 2005 @10:09AM (#12908743)
    Rise again?

    From the article, this sounds like the first time they've "risen". If this was the second Firefly movie, then that would be "again".

    However, I have to admit the "Brownshirts rise again" has a better ring to it than "Movie studios realize that nerds are a profitable target demographic."

    • BrownSHIRTS [wikipedia.org] rising again would indeed be a scary thing. We are BrownCOATS.
    • From the article, this sounds like the first time they've "risen".

      The fans rose when the show was first put "on hiatus", and were mowed down by Fox's hubris.

      The fans rose again when the DVDs came out: It topped off Amazon's preorders before the end of the fisrt day it was made available.
      I bought it in a real store, and it was a hassle: I had to go to tons of stores where it was sold out, and they all assured me that they had ordered more since I was by no means the first to ask for it.

      The DVDs did well,
  • by Mac Degger (576336) on Saturday June 25, 2005 @10:19AM (#12908804) Journal
    ...and that is the fact that, even if the movie bombs [as the article points out, but even moreso if the movie does well], it will send FOX the message that there's nothing [fiscally] wrong with totally buggering up the handling of a series.
    • Thats what I worry most about.

      Fox knew they had another Family Guy on their hands. So they made sure they kept ALL the rights to the show. Whedon cant take the show to another network without Fox's permission (which isnt likely now since most of the sets were destroyed and the actors are going, trying to do other TV projects - movies are easier coz they can shoot most of them during the spring/summer when TV shows aren't being filmed). They get a cut of the DVDs, they get a cut of everything. For doing wha
      • I'm with you on the concerns about Fox, whatever nutjob dis the scheduling for Serenity needs counseling, or a beating, but "Enterprise" is perhaps a poor example.

        I'm in the "target demographic", card carying Trek fan, B5 nut, even managed to see 2-3 (random) episodes of "Serenity" before they nuked it from orbit...

        I started recording and consistently watching Enterprise once I got Mythtv set up, gave it my best shot trying to get into the story...

        IMHO "Enterprise" sucked. Sorry.

        I guess B5s story long t
    • but even moreso if the movie does well], it will send FOX the message that there's nothing [fiscally] wrong with totally buggering up the handling of a series.

      I think FOX has already got that message.

      Recently, they seem to be even more quick-on-the-trigger to cancel shows - and then release them on DVD. Some examples over the last few years:

      Futurama (cancelled with more than 1 season still in the can)
      The Family Guy
      Dark Angel (renewed for a 3rd season and then 2 weeks later suddenly cancelled)
      Wonderfall
    • yeah Fox will make a bundle (relatively speaking) on the DVDs..... but they would have made a lot more if the series lasted a few seasons. they would have had a DVD set for each season. Buffy took more than a season to take off, at first it also had crappy time slots. look how big that got, and how well the DVD sets do, same with Angel.

      really, somebody at Fox never liked this show. Fox started Firefly out on Friday nights, which is not a prime slot for a hip new show. it's often saved for shows they are ph
  • The release of the original Star Wars happened back in 1977, about a month before the end of school. There were no such things as previews, and movie marketing was a matter of placing ads in the newspapers, putting up some posters, releasing the film and then letting it simmer in theaters for as long as word of mouth took to spread. And a liberal amount of praying and lip chewing.

    Lucas twisted within that rule-set so that a new and effective angle was achieved. He did this: Released Star Wars long enoug
    • But knowing that there's some money-person at the top of the chain rubbing his/her hands together in soulless glee makes me want to puke. It sullies the fun when money is the prime target. Good stories don't flow from love of money. They flow from love of Story.

      The director and the actors and the script writers may work from love of Story, but they wouldn't work on this full time if they had to make a living to feed themselves. The spiffy special effects would certainly not be there without the money.

      Bec
  • Ironically Enough... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by McD (209994) on Saturday June 25, 2005 @10:42AM (#12908901)
    I saw this third preview (w00t!), thanks to some quick clicking from my alert wife (who's also a fan).

    It was fun to watch everyone in our theater checking their cell phones prior to the movie starting. We're in one of the most densely populated areas on the east coast, but apparantly "Service not available" was all anyone got. Folks all around us kept commenting on it as they switched their phones off.

    Yes, that's right - at the fan preview, somehow they managed to stop the signal.

    Peace,
    -McD

  • The marketing plan rises to evil-genius levels when you realize all the ways the move from April to September pried open six months' worth of free-publicity for the entire Firefly/Serenity franchise.

    The apex of effective advertizing is, as we all know, word of mouth. Of course word of mouth doesn't scale as well across large geographic areas or even continents.

    Until now.

    What the producers realize is the blogosphere [wikipedia.org] is practically a synonym for word of mouth. If they think the product is good (which it

  • by EMIce (30092)
    ...your getting shit on all the time?
  • The strength in Joss Whedon's (JW) is his character writing. People love them, because they're typically witty, clever, and/or funny (the "or" covering Jane of course).

    The movie works, or least works best, because JW has had 14 hours of TV to build up histories for the characters. But the film seems to angle the Firefly franchise into cinematic waters and away from television. Frankly, while I loved the movie, it will be very difficult to do what JW does best within the framework of 2 hours instead of 14
    • Quote:

      So it's my conclusion that while JW wants the movie to succeed, I can't help but wonder if it isn't just one big loving Dear John letter to the fans.

      I've seen the movie twice now, and if it was only aimed at the current fan base, then I don't think Joss would have went to such incredible measures to make it accessible to newbies.

      I went to the June 23rd screening with a couple people who had never seen the series, and they both loved the movie enough to go out and buy the DVD set.

      The movie is c

  • by billdar (595311) * <yap> on Saturday June 25, 2005 @12:29PM (#12909354) Homepage
    Think of it as Star Wars, if Han Solo were the main character, and he still shot Greedo first.

    This should be on the movie poster... Almost feels like a quote from a Kevin Smith movie.

  • There has *never* been a movie (before Serenity) that I've wanted to see on opening-night.

    Firefly--the series--was witty, entertaining, unique, and charming.

    Movie studios need to wake up that while their target demographic may be worth more in numbers, my demographic (I make close to $45/ hr.) has a whole helluva lot more money to spend.
  • I've never seen the series. I've never seen Babylon 5, either, except maybe one episode while I was in the joint.

    I've seen a FEW episodes of X-Files and maybe one episode (or might have been part of one, I can't remember) of Buffy.

    Now I've seen the trailer for Serenity. It was completely incomprehensible to me, but looked interesting. I liked the scene where the apparent villain says, "I'm alone and unarmed", whereupon the hero says, "Good!" and draws his gun and shoots him. Reminds me of Indiana and the
  • I have to start out by saying that my sentiments of shows like Buffy and Angel pretty much consisted of rolling my eyes or running screaming from the room when it came on. However, my wife and son both enjoyed both shows.

    Enter Firefly - and Netflix....My wife had seen the series, but wanted to see it again, so put the DVDs in her queue so we could watch them. I watched them with her, and found them quite enjoyable.

    The story was pretty straightforward, and I honestly was unsure of the whole "space cowboy

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