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Orson Scott Card Reviews Everything 552

Posted by Zonk
from the but-mostly-serenity dept.
H_Fisher writes "Orson Scott Card, author of sci-fi classic Ender's Game and many other novels and stories, has posted his review of the much-discussed Joss Whedon film Serenity (which opened at #2 in the US box office this past weekend). Among other things, Card has this to say about Serenity: 'Those of you who know my work at all know about Ender's Game. I jealously protected the movie rights to Ender's Game so that it would not be filmed until it could be done right ... I'll tell you this right now: If Ender's Game can't be this kind of movie, and this good a movie, then I want it never to be made.'" With praise for Full House, Friends, Being John Malkovich, and Lost to boot.
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Orson Scott Card Reviews Everything

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  • by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:39PM (#13714264) Homepage Journal
    like I was. Here is the count of mentions from the body.
     
    Serenity: 7
    Ender's Game: 6
     
    So it really is more about Serenity.
    • by efuseekay (138418) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @02:35PM (#13714880)

      I don't know about you.

      But. Writing sentences like these.

      Makes reading the review. Like.

      Riding a really, really bumpy vehicle. You know, car.

      It's so sad.

      I have a caveat. I thought Ender's Game is boring.

      I mean, really boring. The ending was so blatantly obvious.

      I knew what was going to happen half way through the book.

      Chill dude. Go see the moview anyway.
  • Pity he's batshit insane.
    • Re:Glad he liked it. (Score:2, Informative)

      by bersl2 (689221)
      Pity he's batshit insane.

      Exactly what I thought, to the word.
      • by Alaska Jack (679307) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @08:26PM (#13718383) Journal
        Two thoughts:

        First, OSC may have quite different political ideas than you. You may think he's a crappy writer. You may think he has bad breath.

        But you (and the GP) didn't say any of those things. You said *he's insane*.

        Now, think for a moment. You know how sometimes you hear about how what's wrong with America is how we demonize people who don't agree with us? About how far political discourse has fallen, because instead of talking about ideas, all we do is call each other names? About how the few voices of reason get drowned out by all the voices shrieking hate?

        Well, now consider this: I bet, when you do, it never occurs to you that they're talking about *you*.

        OSC's views are, as far as I can tell, well within conservative mainstream. You may *disagree* with them, but that doesn't mean they're extreme, or that he's "batshit insane." Calling them "batshit insane" doesn't say anything about OSC -- if anything, it tells us about *you*, and how seriously we should take anything you say.

        Understand? I think gun control advocates, for example, are wrong and misguided. But I don't think they're "batshit insane."

        My second thought, to the moderators: I just wanted to point out that you took a post that said, essentially, "Me too," and modded it INFORMATIVE. Nice.

            - Alaska Jack
  • reevers (Score:2, Insightful)

    by solosaint (699000)
    i like the movie, with the exception of the reevers... how did these beings operate space ships, propagate, follow a chain of command... ???
    • Re:reevers (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wikdwarlock (570969)
      Amen! My wife and I both thought that this was the only serious flaw in the whole movie. They mentioned that the Reevers raped women, but do the Reever traits get passed down genetically? Do they let women who they've raped live long enough to give birth? Who raises the baby Reevers? Can infants who are "beyond insanity" survive infancy? Great movie, great story, but also a serious problem w/ the Reever social structure.
      • They mentioned that the Reevers raped people. I really don't think the gender mattered much.
        • Re:reevers (Score:2, Informative)

          by Tsunayoshi (789351)
          Zoe's answer when Simon asks abouts the Reavers in the series pilot:
          If they take the ship, they'll rape us to death, eat our flesh and sew our skins into their clothing and if we're very very lucky, they'll do it in that order
      • The Reavers haven't been around long enough for the first generation to die off. That said, there's an episode of the series that suggests they don't reproduce so much as they recruit. There's more than one way to keep a society's numbers up.

        Still not sure how they manage to cooperate well enough to run big ships, though.
      • Who raises the baby Reevers? Can infants who are "beyond insanity" survive infancy? Great movie, great story, but also a serious problem w/ the Reever social structure.

        In the movie, they stated the Reavers have only been in existence for 12 years. Not a significant need to propagate in that time span - thus there isn't an immediate need for 'baby reavers'
      • Re:reevers (Score:5, Informative)

        by Darth (29071) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @02:00PM (#13714497) Homepage
        A couple of points about this...

        If i remember correctly, the reavers have only been around for about 12 years at the time of the movie and there were about 3000 of them at the start. The lack of a propagation path isnt a real problem because they havent had time to die out yet.

        The answer to how they propagate is actually explained in the series, though. They sometimes choose victims on their raids and torture them and make them watch their acts and participate in their acts until their minds snap. Then they start teaching them to be reavers. They dont breed. They make more reavers out of selected captives.

        • correction. i think it's 30000 reavers, not 3000.
          • It was 10% of the population in question. IIRC that was 3 million or 30 million, (30M seems like a lot) which would leave 300,000 reavers to start with. (Or 3 million -- which seems like way too many, even if you assume most of them were wandering out on the fringe of the system.)
      • You and the parent poster didn't pay attention. The event that created the Reavers (and we're getting into spoiler territory here) was less than a generation in the past, so none of that is relevant.

        Presumably the Reavers are a self-solving problem in a few more decades -- they'll all have died out. Assuming, that is, that no more get created.
      • Re:reevers (Score:2, Informative)

        by L33tminion (908158)
        The Reaver traits aren't genetic, so far as anyone knows. Furthermore, the Reavers are probably sterile, what with flying around on starships with no core containment on the reactors. Those raped by the Reavers don't survive. Even people who just witness such an attack (themselves escaping detection) tend to go insane (the usual manifestation of this insanity is for them to start acting like Reavers themselves, so the Reavers may get a few new "recruits this way, but it can't be more than a handful). M
    • Re:reevers (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Morgalyn (605015)
      Well, they are still people. Very predatory people. They used to be human. They are basically science fiction versions of, say, semi-intelligent zombies. There are some holes (I think the only holes I noticed in the whole movie, which was refreshing) dealing with the Reavers and between the tv show and the movie, primarily in generation.

      I guess some people might view the following as a spoiler, and thus are forewarned.


      In Firefly, an individual who was the sole survivor of a Reaver attack starts b
    • Re:reevers (Score:2, Interesting)


      Well from how it was explained in the movie I think i cant take a shot at this.

      The gas that was released into the atmosphere was supposed to surpress aggressive urges but was too effective. As a result all urges to do anything were suppressed (most likely because our urges to preform basic functions are driven by our darker reptilian/id/whatever part of the mind). Then one tenth of one percent of the population had an opposite reaction... They became hyper aggressive and thus all of those 'dark' (primitive)
    • Well, I've thought about this entirely too much, and this is what I came up with.

      Reavers probably don't reproduce well or take care of their children. Remember it's only been about a decade since their planet was poisoned. I imagine they would die off in 50 years or so.

      How do they organize? They don't!

      Why don't they eat each other? They probably do... But killing regular humans has got to be easier than killing other reavers which is probably why they bothered to get ships working to go on raids (after
    • Re:reevers (Score:5, Funny)

      by Supurcell (834022) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @02:05PM (#13714546)
      You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til you understand who's in ruttin' command here.
  • OTFC = Olsen Twins Fan Club

    Card had me at hello but lost me when he threw in the plug for 'Full House'.

    Of course, I'm kidding. Great review written by someone who got the movie just like I did.
    • He lost me at his praise for "Friends" and his dig at "Seinfeld". "Full House" cemented it. That last bit may have been tongue in cheek, though. I've read most of Card's work, but I think he lost some of his early talent in his later work.
  • Can we take down the serenity poll now that the movie has been out for a few days?

    Let me ask again. Can we pleeeeeeeaaaaeeeaaaze take the serenity poll down and replace it with something else?

  • You know... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shads (4567) * <shadus&shadus,org> on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:42PM (#13714304) Homepage Journal
    As a person I don't have alot of respect for OSC.

    However as a writer I have alot of respect for his work and his ability to tell an interesting and complex story. Enders Game and The Tales of Alvin Maker are great stories and series in and of themselves and I think it's nice to see someone who sticks to their guns for a change and won't let their movie be utterly butchered... like ULG's Wizard of Earthsea, that was so sad. :(

    That is about the absolute best review I've ever seen for any movie and it's enough to make me go see the movie several days sooner than I had planned... I'm really looking forward to seeing this movie now.

    Hopefully OSC can get someone to make Ender's Game the right way, hell I'd even settle for the Tales of Alvin Maker... (speaking of which there is an MMORPG coming out based on that-- same people who did A Tale in the Desert.)
    • Hopefully OSC can get someone to make Ender's Game the right way

      Like maybe Joss Whedon?
    • by bani (467531) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @03:34PM (#13715541)
      It's actually incredibly shallow. It's something I might recommend to kids as "my first SF novel" but that's about it.

      ender's game might make an okay movie, but then modern movies - especially SF - are not particularly known for being cerebral masterpieces.

      There's much better SF out there than enders game. For instance, any of the known space stuff by Niven. Greg Bear. Asimov. Herbert. Clarke. Those are great SF writers. OSC is a novice hack by comparison. He can write decently enough, but his stories are shallow, he telegraphs events light-years off, and story development is as subtle as being clubbed over the head with a baseball bat.

      i'd really much rather see a larry niven or greg bear movie than an osc one.
      • by pilkul (667659) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @04:59PM (#13716495)
        I wouldn't even let my kids read Ender's Game. The book is a megalomaniacal wish-fulfillment fantasy. Ender is this perfect superman who murders several children and yet remains perfectly innocent and good as far as Card is concerned. Because they are evil bullies and he is only defending himself --- "thoroughly". I can see why kids love it, it's so satisfying for a kid being bullied around in real life to imagine that scenario.

        Not to mention, he and his siblings are such geniuses and so above the mass of humanity that his brother is able to easily conquer the world by the sheer power of his intellect. It's heady stuff for a scholastically over-average kid who fancies himself smarter than his peers. That's why Ender's Game is popular, not because it has any value as SF. I wouldn't trust kids to understand the difference between the twisted world of the book and reality.

        See this article from John Kessel [ncsu.edu] for more extended criticism among these lines.

      • by Kismet (13199) <pmccombs@[ ].org ['acm' in gap]> on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @06:18PM (#13717248) Homepage
        This sort of subjectivism regarding OSC became quite stylish about the time that a certain interview came out, revealing some of Card's religiously held sentiments. People who were once quite passive about Card, or even complimentary, suddenly became his worst critics. I know some who loved Ender's Game, and then found out that Card is Mormon. Now they hate it. It's similar to what has happened to L. Ron Hubbard, now that Scientology is a prime target of persecution.

        Several years ago, Slashdot's conversations about OSC were generally quite positive. Now you can guarantee that any OSC discussion will contain the following elements:

        1) Ender's Game is a Nazi-loving revenge saga. This is a recent argument based on a particular review from an OSC critic. Disciples of this "received" idea now push it as gospel truth.
        2) OSC is a homophobe because he disagrees with the gay lifestyle and with gay marriage, even after science has proven that these things are perfectly normal.
        3) I hate OSC, but I still think his books are pretty good.
        4) I used to love Ender's Game, but now that I'm older and smarter, I find that I hate it because it's actually quite shallow. People who still like it are nostalgics.
        5) OSC is a crazy mormon (followed by a list of crazy things about mormonism). Usually followed up by a post redirecting the interested and "uneducated" reader to any number of anti-mormon sites.
        6) General fear and loathing of OSC and his "political" ideals. This is followed by a good dose of anti-right-wing hate talk.
        7) Posts from OSC apologists (hi!) interspersed throughout the discussion.
        8) OSC is trying to brainwash us with his books and I resent it.

        Anyone can say that OSC is a novice hack. Well, I've read several of those other SF novelists mentioned in the parent post, whose books I also enjoy. I find that, lacking the anti-OSC bigotry, it is difficult for me to categorize OSC as a novice hack. Ender's Game is an award winning SF novel and was once quite well-regarded by those very deeply interested in the genre.

        I find that OSC is quite outspoken, but nowhere near the bigot that his critics are.
      • I'd put Card on the same level as Bear or Niven. All three authors have written some great stuff and some truly embarrassing stuff. Despite some of the obvious ploys, clumsy forshadowing, and emotional exploitation, I still think Ender's Game is an excellent work.
  • by Work Account (900793) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:44PM (#13714325) Journal
  • by HeroSandwich (920245) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:44PM (#13714330)
    How does a TV show go from being cancelled to being made into a top notch movie without somebody at the Network being fired?
    • Not gonna happen. That would require the network to admit it made a mistake.
      • that's happened before. See Family Guy as a good example.

        Depending on how contracts were written, another network may be able to pick it up. Sci-Fi acquired SG1 at some point from Showtime. Sci-Fi has been hyping the movie by replaying the cancelled series, as well as extensive Serenity commercials throughout. I wouldn't be surprised if they were interested in it to some degree. You stick a reunited Firefly next to Battlestar Galactica on Friday nights and Sci-Fi network has a seriously strong evening
    • nobody watched the show. networks don't care how good a show is. they care that they program something that people want to watch. it's why american idol is still on. People actually get fired for championing shows that are good but no one watches. This is actually the more likely scenario.

      Serenity is a movie with a $40 million budget (which means that its advertising budget was probably around $20-25 million) - this means that they spent $60-65 million on a film that earned $10 million its opening weekend.

      Y
      • People actually get fired for championing shows that are good but no one watches.

        You have a point, but it does seem that someone should be in trouble for obviously botching the promotion and scheduling of a show that has shown potential for a significant fanbase.

        this means that they spent $60-65 million on a film that earned $10 million its opening weekend.

        Opening at $10 million at the number two spot doesn't seem all that bad to me. Beat out Corpse Bride which I'm sure had a much bigger budget th
      • by timster (32400) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @02:07PM (#13714562)
        Most of the huge TV shows of the last 30 years have had opening seasons that were not, shall we say, overwhelming. Seinfeld, for instance was not a hit its first year... or its second year.

        Firefly had the misfortune of being released at a very odd time for TV, where shows were commonly cancelled after even a few episodes failed to attract mainstream attention. This was during the "reality TV" fad and was a common fate for shows at the time.

        Studio execs have now realized that it takes time for a series to develop an audience, and a good show will do well in DVD sales even if the viewing audience is relatively small. As a result we are seeing more interesting and nuanced shows, with much less "reality TV" game shows.
    • by pintofblood (883710) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @03:26PM (#13715460)
      I was lucky enough to see one of the screenings in early September. They had a Universal rep there that had tons of info. (Like where all the Easter Eggs were) She said that is was written into the contract that they could not make new episodes for 12 years after the date of cancellation. This was probably an attempt at not having the Sci-Fi Channel pick it up like they have done with so many other shows. She also said the movie had to hit 80 million in order for Universal to consider a sequel.
  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:45PM (#13714335) Homepage Journal
    Terry has spoken or written a number of times regarding the lack of Discworld movies. With good reason. He swung through town on his Thud! tour a couple weeks back and mentioned there had been some film in the works (prelimiary stuff) but that's once again on hold.

    I read Ender's Game about 10 years ago and thought it was brilliant and very dark. The political side of the story is the real meat and potatoes, but that's usually the first thing that gets cut when making a movie, as producers are more interested in what Ender Wiggin is doing, not why.

  • by foxtrot (14140) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:45PM (#13714340)
    But it wasn't the greatest movie ever, like some folks seem to think.

    The camera work, for instance, left a lot on the table. I think Joss Whedon does a pretty good job directing TV, giving it a somewhat cinematic feel, but those same techniques applied to the big screen seem to leave it with a TV feel.

    Plus, all the backstory required to cover 12 episodes of a TV show is very tough to do in a movie, and impossible if you want to leave any room at all to tell a story with the rest of the movie. The movie suffers some from this.

    It's still easily the best movie I've seen this year, but if the next two happen ($10 million at the box office doesn't make that look likely...) I hope they grab a different director, and fortunately the backstory won't be an issue.

    -F
    • I guess it's a matter of taste, to me it looked much better than some much more expensive movies. Some reviewers, like this one [zap2it.com], were actually upset that it looked too polished--that it had lost it's TV retro feel. The director gives a lot more background on Jack Green's work in this interview [mac.com] and this book [barnesandnoble.com].
    • by Edward Kmett (123105) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @02:40PM (#13714935) Homepage
      Personally, I preferred the camera work in this film to that of most big budget films of late.

      The main reason is that the camera wasn't afraid of holding a shot for a long time in a battle sequence. Since Gladiator, every big budget film has felt the need to feel 'gritty' by playing with framerates, shaking the hell out of the camera and flitting between viewpoints like mad. It has been making things all but unwatchable. I "watched" half of the Bourne Supremacy without looking at the screen simply because they wouldn't hold a shot long enough to let you get your bearings and would shake the hell out of it just to keep things edgy.

      Sure Joss is a huge fan of the two-camera over-the-shoulder dialog sequences, but the simple camera work in that case is effective and does not distract from the dialog, which is his real strong suit.

  • by MindStalker (22827) <mindstalker.gmail@com> on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:50PM (#13714387) Journal
    Then why doesn't he just get Weaton to direct it. I'm sure among the two of them they can scrape up enough money.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Whedon.

      Although Wil Wheaton would be an amusing surprise. How 'bout it, CleverNickname?

      Interesting story: in the mid-third-season climax of Babylon 5, arguably the high point of the entire series, Joe Straczynski needed to cast an XO to've taken command of the lead rebel cruiser after its captain was killed in action. It was really critical role, intensely pivotal to the way the whole series turned, and JMS wrote the part specifically for a certain actor fo whom he'd long been a fan. He told his casting
    • Because Joss would make Ender teh ghey, causing Card to implode.
  • I don't think I've heard more mixed reviews by my friends/acquaintances about this movie: the scifi crowd (who loved the TV show) thinks it's one of the best movies ever, the "other" crowd (gfs, etc.) says it's a total bomb; whom should I believe? My instinct is to go with the "other" crowd and think that this is a really lame movie that appeals only to folks who were totally into the TV show (not one of them, I saw half an episode and thought it was lame) but I'm kinda wondering...

    OTOH most people were pre
    • by nightsweat (604367) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @02:30PM (#13714813)
      Never saw the show. LOVED the movie. It was character driven, had a plot, character development, a couple of great villans, tension and humor among the heroes, and a good zing at the end.

      There were moments that I thought "Huh. I bet that's really a big deal if you're a fan of the series," but they didn't slow the movie down. You sympathized with characters in the movie because of their actions in the movie, not because of the series (which I haven't seen).

      I will admit I walked out and put Firefly on my Netflix Queue as soon as I got home.
  • by haplo21112 (184264) <haplo@epithna. c o m> on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:53PM (#13714417) Homepage
    I have long respected him as a writer and as a reviewer, my taste and his seem to line up alot, I guess thats why I like his books. Not my choice of religion, but then nobody's is...

    I loved Serenity, it was a great movie, its about the story, take it for what its the story and what the story is saying. Is it high cinema, NO it not goona win any awards for its camera work. Thats what card is saying too, its about the story and the characters in the story. I also agress if Ender's game can't be made at least this good, then its not worth making.

    I am sure that one of the many K5 cross overs will undoubtedly meantion the "Card is an Asshat" Story overthere...Personally I like the guy who wrote it for is fiction, but take is review of Card with a pound of Salt if you like over there and read it....
  • Intriguing. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Leigh13 (96452)
    Guess I'm going to have to see this now.

    I never saw Firefly, but Ender's Game is one of my all-time favorite books. The trailers for Serenity haven't done much to get me interested in seeing it, nor has the marketing blitz they've tried to shove down my Tivo. Either the marketroids who put together the trailers are totally incompetent (quite likely), or else I might just end up disagreeing with OSC on this one (also likely.)

    Either way, now I'm interested enough to find out more.

    • While I think the movie can stand on it's own there is very little in way of character development in the movie. The expectation really is that you already know the personalities of the characters.

      So, do yourself a favour and watch the DVD set first.
      2 episodes a day for a week, then see the movie.

      I thought the series rather ho-key, but I had my tivo record episodes anyway when 'Space' channel ran them (Canadian channel, sci-fi theme). Thankfully they like to run them in-order, and the complete set, includin
  • We hear ya screaming (Score:3, Interesting)

    by east coast (590680) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:57PM (#13714473)
    From the blurb/article: If Ender's Game can't be this kind of movie, and this good a movie, then I want it never to be made.

    That's a fairly good outlook. As a fan of a lot of various fiction that I see get butchered in film I cringe everytime something comes around that I truely love only to find that it's either watered down or that the director/writers seem to have lost the original vision of the writing.

    Take Lovecraft for example. Being very fond of the old gents work (obviously), I hate the crap that has his name associated with that is rarely more than a slasher film. I can appreciate the humor of Yanza's Re-Animator but the number of people who I encounter who think that somehow HPLs original work is anywhere on the same level of this film makes me fear for the future of Lovecraft's standing in the horror community. The Resurrected (based on the case of charles dexter ward), on the other hand, is a fine adaptation but still the original work is vastly superior. I still think (hope?) the film retains enough of Lovecraft's original vision to spur interested viewers into the works of HPL without being disappointed.

    With the adaptation of American McGee's Alice I am fearful of what will happen. I love the game, I love McGee's vision but I really do not see how this is going to translate into a film.

    I swear to God I will have a stroke on the day that Niven's Dream Park (or any other Niven work really) gets turned into a film. There is far too much going on there to make it a workable movie.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @01:57PM (#13714474)
    What? No reviews for Will and Grace or Queer as Folk...?
  • A reality check (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sielwolf (246764) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @02:00PM (#13714501) Homepage Journal
    (which opened at #2 in the US box office this past weekend)

    Just a warning but it only did $10.1 million of business against no real competition in a Hollywood dead period. So folks better fill the seats and get the word out or this franchise will pull a Hindenburg. The two major Hollywood seasons are Memorial Day to Labor Day (the Summer Blockbuster months) and Thanksgiving to the Oscars (where Academy Award winners and big holiday films are given a big push. Before Jaws this was the only money period in cinema). September just up to Thanksgiving is a dead period: Hollywood release B features, also rans and things that have been rotting on the shelves. Of course this lack of competition has lead to a surprise breakout every few years and if Serenity can get a good word of mouth campaign to keep up interest then it'll stay solvent.
  • I have to say this about Card, I don't get bad info from him. While I won't agree with everything he says (he of course is a mormon, and I'm a catholic, he likes Full house, I can't stand that show now ) he does at least apply thought and information to most things, political, entertainment or what ever, where others just ignore it.

    He's also one of the few people who's opinion I trust pretty much emphatically, if he says something is "quality" I'm willing to try it out (of course factoring in his critism),
  • or a calculated risk. That's what this movie was. Personally, I thought the movie was great and have since watched the Firefly DVD series (equally great, sometimes beter).

    But this movie didn't really have any marketing, it was depending mostly on word of mouth from fans for people to see it. The movie was a gift to the diehard fans from Joss, made possible by the movie studio on the hope that open a new type of moviemaking (AKA a new revenue stream). Having is do great in movie theaters would be an ackn
  • by Khopesh (112447) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @02:13PM (#13714623) Homepage Journal
    I'll tell you this right now: If Ender's Game can't be this kind of movie, and this good a movie, then I want it never to be made.

    Ender's Game [imdb.com] is slated for 2007, directed by Wolfgang Peterson [imdb.com] and with a screenplay by Michael Dougherty [imdb.com]. The IMDB report on the movie provides very little information, except that it was certainly in the works before the Serenity movie was publicized.

    Dougherty doesn't have any high-quality screenplays under his belt (just X2, which was a fun movie, but not the greatest screenplay, and I would think Card agrees) ... does Card retain enough control to carry through with the above claim?

  • Full House? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CloudsSpaz (824168)
    Why do so many people apparently think he's actually being serious in the last paragraph? This is Orscon Scott Card, people. That last statement is fully dipped in his usual dry sarcasm.
  • First of all. I haven't seen the movie yet. Have to wait until it comes to town. (Copenhagen/Denmark...)

    But I have seen all of firefly and read all the Ender books (including the second set of books). What I noted as important in the interview is that the focus is not on the sci-fi, but on the characters/community.

    When I first read Enders Game, many years ago, I really liked it because the sci-fi parts was just background to a really good plot encircling the character Ender. There are a lot of good sci-fi b
  • by digidave (259925) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @02:29PM (#13714801)
    OSC says he likes Sci-Fi, but what he really likes is drama with some edgy technology. As much as he puts down makers of bubble-gum-space-ship sci-fi for not being true to the genre, his own favourites such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind are no more true to the genre.

    The problem with sci-fi movies may be the lack of real drama and relationships, but that doesn't make movies which excel on those two points any more sci-fi.
  • by aeoo (568706) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @02:29PM (#13714807) Journal
    Personally I think Serenity has one fatal flaw -- the characters receive no development and there is no emotional connection to them. I haven't seen Firefly and have no background at all. I went to see it because of all the buzz, and I was disappointed. Who is River? I don't really understand. It's obvious she's psychic and she kicks ass, but why should I care for her? Should I care? Should I dislike her? I have no idea. I feel nothing whatsoever for River character. I can say the same for all the other characters. Who is the assassin? Why is he that way? Why is he going around killing things with a katana? Yes, I know all the obvious answers that are provided by the movie, but those answers were not enough to get me to feel anything whatsoever about that character.

    I feel that some ideas were interesting, like the idea of "what happens if people are made ultra-docile?" and so on. However, this interesting idea took all of about 10-20 mins in the movie. The fights with the reavers (or whatever they're called) took 90% of the time, but content having to do with reaver's background took about 10% of the movie time. As a result, reavers are like stupid zombies that mindlessly attack things and I feel nothing, neither for them nor for the people they slay, simply because the situation is so absurd and nonsensical to me.

    In short, Serenity may be a good movie-length feature for those who have seen Firefly, but it sucks badly as a stand-alone movie.
    • Serenity NOW! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nightsweat (604367)
      I think you saw a different cut than I did. I'd never seen a Firefly episode and the movie had plenty of character development.

      Why should you care for River? Well, I'm not sure you really should until later in the film. That uncertainty about whether she's a sympathetic person or an impersonal weapon carries the tension for the first part of the movie. The Reivers I thought were a great "force of nature" villain - impersonal, mysterious, and scary as hell.

      I think most sci-fi fans will enjoy this mov
  • by stuffduff (681819) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @02:55PM (#13715134) Journal
    Two things are happening here, one of them is IMHO a damn fine movie, go see it; the other is a quiet, elegant miracle that should speak volumes to the entertainment industry.

    Fox wanted not to just broadcast Firefly, they wanted to manipulate it to pander to their low perception of their audiences' values. Fox failed to appreciate what they really had and they canned it. So if something this good is unavailable on television, especially if it is not available on Fox; well, they have no one to blame but themselves.

    Fans of the show assembled an absolutely unprecedented response, one greater than all of their predecessors, to raise the funds, take the ads out in Variety and they rook it to the web. Why did they do it? It's just like OSC said; they cared about the characters.

    And who was the one person in all of Hollywood who didn't snooze through it? Chalk that one up to Mary Parent.

    Now failure for this kind of project is always an option, don't get me wrong, but after all, this was and is a risky business.

    So what actually did happen? Well they re-assembled cast & crew and conceived a fine, hand crafted and heart felt movie.

    The decision to share the movie with friends and fans was also a huge risk. But the word of mouth was good and there were no spoilers. Because the fans 'Believed.' Belief's a funny thing. Maybe Hollywood should take a lesson from that one single point, as it alone will be responsible for the success of Serenity.

  • by frank_adrian314159 (469671) on Tuesday October 04, 2005 @05:30PM (#13716777) Homepage
    1. Write movie review.
    2. Put on secret magic underpants.
    3. ????
    4. Profit!

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