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Gaiman and Whedon Discuss the Rise of the Geek 256

CABridges writes "In a lengthy Time Magazine interview, Neil Gaiman ("Sandman," "American Gods") and Joss Whedon ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Firefly") talk about their audience. Gaiman: "Mostly they're people. They're us. That's what they look like." Whedon: "They're a lot more attractive than I am, actually, which kind of disturbs and upsets me." Both men, known for their cult-favorite creations, have movies debuting this Friday. For Gaiman it's MirrorMask, for Whedon it's Serenity."
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Gaiman and Whedon Discuss the Rise of the Geek

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  • by fak3r ( 917687 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @10:50AM (#13666889) Homepage
    Here's what I had to say on my little bio site about myself: geek - while it used to be a four letter word, it is now a (somewhat?) coveted title. Either that or people just have short memories. Regardless, knowing about technology and having a desire to constantly improve it is now almost as accepted as jaywalking.
    • Yeah. Over the last few years, when getting to know girls, they've found out about things like my penchant for Linux or my occasional game of Magic, and I'll somewhat sheepishly say something like "Yeah, I'm a huge nerd". Somehow, it seems to work in my favour now, where years ago it brought only disdain... Shrug. Can't complain. :)
      • by Hrolf ( 564645 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @11:42AM (#13667326)
        Teenage nerd - no knowledge of new trends, can't show off fashionable boyfriend in high school lunchroom or at parties. Not interesting.

        Adult nerd - useful college degree, probably good job, disposable income, can definitely show off fashionable jewelry received as gift. Much more interesting.

      • Right, nowadays you meet people who like to talk about technology, but when I talk/think about my time in the "Computer Club" in High School back in the 80s, it was a different story. We *were* the folks learning about phreaking via a IBM PC in my friends parents bedroom, with the old Hayes modem, on some BBSs. I think it's just that it now touches peoples' lives so much deeper; from email to shopping on the web, it's just more mainstream and people can relate better.
  • by thc69 ( 98798 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @10:52AM (#13666901) Homepage Journal
    In the list of works for which Gaiman is known..."Don't Panic" is missing!
  • by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @10:55AM (#13666932) Journal
    Whedon: "They're a lot more attractive than I am, actually, which kind of disturbs and upsets me."

    The folks on this site are more attractive than Whedon?! Holy shit, he must be really disfigured!

  • by portforward ( 313061 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @10:55AM (#13666934)
    I got to see Serenity three weeks ago and it was GREAT!! Seriously, go tell everyone you know to see it because the movie business requires a great opening weekend or else they quickly disappear. And if it disappears, no sequels.

    One of my acquaintances also saw the special preview and he went out and bought the DVD's of the series.

    Quick question, I heard that there are eight different versions of the movie that they were previewing, and that they were going to gauge audience reaction before the final release. Is that true?

    • by Bruzer ( 191590 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @11:01AM (#13666981) Homepage

      Quick question, I heard that there are eight different versions of the movie that they were previewing, and that they were going to gauge audience reaction before the final release. Is that true?

      No this is not true. I saw the screening last June, and I saw a screening Tuesday night. They were the same movie.

      Serenity ROCKS and in 2 more days everyone else will know that.

      Go out and see the movie. Slashdot the theaters.

            - Bruzer
      • Just a question, does the movie ever get gross and gorey with the reavers, my wife really can't stand that kinds stuff, but she likes the series (except the one reaver episode of course).
        • they tie a pile of dead bodies to serenity and cover it splotches of red paint. so yes.
        • The movie has flashes and slow pans of dead and decaying corpses.

          The reaver scenes are very quick cut away shots that are more to surprise and shock than anything else.

          There are no scenes that in my memory that are physical gore. I don't want to spoil the movie, there are no flesh eating scenes or the like. But let me again point to the slow pans of dead corpses, I guess that could be considered gory.

          Serenity is one of the best movies I have ever seen. I have read some posts that some don't like going to
      • Slashdot the theaters.

        I'm going to use that line on my friends. (I've been pimping it to everyone I know; maybe one or two people who weren't going to go see it before will now.)
      • Just because you saw the same movie doesn't mean there weren't multiple cuts being screened. You might have just seen version n.

        Studios frequently screen films to gauge audience reaction; I've never heard of variable cuts being screened but I wouldn't put it past Whedon & co to do just that - especially when they're making something geared toward growing popularity out of a cult following. Joss has a lot riding on this; if you read his blogs and other interviews, you see that the desire to make sure t

        • I remember ST:VI was completely different in the theater then it is on the home release, they re-cut the entire movie. Valeris was part Romulan and guy in the Klingon mask at the end was actually Klingon. They added all the stuff about the Fed military brass wanting to preemptively attack the Klingons. Plus a bunch of little dialogue changes were made.

          They never really explained why or even noted that it had been re-cut (to my knowledge). In the theatre the whole thing was a Klingon-Romulan plot, whe
    • Don't go (Score:2, Interesting)

      by nuggz ( 69912 )
      Don't go, maybe they'll make the movie going experience not suck.

      I hate going to the movies, I'd much rather rent/buy them.
    • I haven't seen it, it may or may not be a great movie. However, for the love of god...make a decent trailer for the thing. I don't watch Firefly...I don't get around to much tv these days. But the trailer makes it look like one of the worst movies of the year. If I hadn't heard second hand how good it supposidly is, I'd throw it aside as typical sci-fi garbage. Blah space...blah chick...blah blah...kung fu grip.
  • there's no geeks around here.
  • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves ( 236787 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @10:57AM (#13666950)
    So what are the rest?
  • by rackhamh ( 217889 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @10:57AM (#13666952)
    ... but PETA complained about the chickens so I had to stop. Now I'm just a nerd.
    • lol, an intelligent joke! :-D
    • Chickens? I don't get it with nerd reference.
      • How about lightbulbs?

        Although GE would love if you bought more and more, so the analogy doesn't quite hold.
  • by RyanFenton ( 230700 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @10:59AM (#13666970)
    AVClub article []

    AVClub is from the same guys who do The Onion []

    This interview also features Dave McKean.

    Ryan Fenton
  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @11:00AM (#13666975)
    Geeks are attractive when they have big wallet bulges. Now that a few internet stocks have revived, especially the Google monster, geeks are in fashion again.
    • by __aanebg9627 ( 695892 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @12:44PM (#13667929)
      No, it's about a shift in power. Geek skills are a critical part of the modern information society. We geeks/nerds have created a new kind of social structure, in open source, something that competes with the business enterprise and the state. People with geek/nerd talents are essential for most modern businesses, just as a vibrant business community is essential for a healthy nation-state. This power shift trickles down into societal attitudes: kids don't tinker on cars, they mod their computers. Small talk at parties is about your computer gear, instead of cars. Our pursuits are adopted more and more by the world, our films and books sell - much to the bafflement and disdain of the guardians of old bourgouis culture. (Every read a NYT review of one of the Tolkien films?)

      It's not about the money, it's the power that can get the status. Just as money could buy a noble title -- and status -- for the banker Rothschild in 1816, more and more, geeks can turn their tech knowledge into money and traditional measures of status.

  • Gratz, editors, you mispelled someone's name in the most glaring place possible: the headline of the piece (and on the HTML title).
  • by mrkitty ( 584915 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @11:03AM (#13666996) Homepage
    Atlanta has a showing of mirrormask for 1 week only. The artist of mirrormask also does the sandman covers.

    Movie Times: p?date=0 []

    - z []
  • One Page Print View (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @11:03AM (#13667002)
    Always with the multiple pages, yes I know you get ansy and start doubleclicking words or some other psychological thing, but for those with attention spans:

    One Nice Single Page With No Ads []
  • The 'Rise of the Geek'??!? Well I guess that's nice for the next generation if up and coming nerds, but that doesn't make the pain and humiliation that was childhood any easier. So I like Star Trek, just leave me alone asshole! Hey, I'm trying to read my cosmology book, go away!
    • Well I guess that's nice for the next generation if up and coming nerds, but that doesn't make the pain and humiliation that was childhood any easier.

      Hey, come on now. Look at the bright side.

      Nowadays, the people that used to pick on you are bringing you your french fries.

  • by alnya ( 513364 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @11:13AM (#13667089)
    What's awesome about these two movies is that the talents behind them (and I include Dave McKean here) had complete control of the movies. The scripts, the direction, the marketing - everything. And guess what, it works. They follow through on their vision, no compromise for execs who don't get it, and produce something faithful to what they want.

    And they produce excellent movies. Thought-provoking, entertaining, well directed, beautifully shot movies (without any 6 figure salaries).

    I was luck to see both Mirrormask and Serenity at the Edinburgh Film Festival this year and both were amazing films for completely different reasons. I realise some random comment on /. isn't going to make anyone pay 5 bucks for a movie ticket, but if Mirrormask is on near you, go see it.
    If you haven't seen Firefly, and Serenity is playing near you, go see it.

    This is the new age of the auteur :)
    • I concur. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Grendel Drago ( 41496 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @11:49AM (#13667404) Homepage
      It is all about creative control. Someone with a real strong vision can make something uniquely cohesive and brilliant. Whether it's Straczynski's Babylon 5 or Frank Miller's Sin City, it's amazing what can be done when the grubby fingers of mediocrity are kept away from someone's bright ideas.

      Of course, creative control doesn't guarantee quality. (See Ilene Chaiken's utter failure to even have consistend characterization on The L Word.) But a lack of it will pretty much guarantee mediocrity.

      I want to come out of the theater saying "I have never, ever seen anything like that before." I did that after Sin City; I did that after the preview screening of Serenity that I saw.
    • You say "If you haven't seen Firefly" go see Serenity. Does it truly not depend much on the series? Because I'm curious about the move but not very interested in trying to go watch the series. I just don't have the time right now to commit to a whole season of TV shows, but I'd be interested in catching a good movie for a change.
  • Am I a geek? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by digitaldc ( 879047 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @11:16AM (#13667102)
    "JW: But I also think there's a bit of misconception with that. Everybody who labels themselves a nerd isn't some giant person locked in a cubbyhole who's never seen the opposite sex. Especially with the way the Internet is now, I think that definition is getting a little more diffuse."

    translation: Anyone geek can get laid with net pr0n.

    Am I a geek? Let's see...
    Pocket protector? NO
    Bad hair/teeth/smell? NO
    Own my own RAID? NO
    Write apps for fun? NO
    Collect Buffy and Transformer dolls? NO
    Post on /.? YES
  • Rise of the Geek (Score:5, Interesting)

    by shudde ( 915065 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @11:16AM (#13667103)

    That's the beauty of Whedon's work, he's the quintessential geek and he manages to showcase the self-deprecating humour so inherent in people with interests outside the mainstream.

    Reading an outline for Buffy 10 years ago, you would have instantly assumed it was destined for a short-lived run and eventual shunting to a 2am timeslot before dissapearing into obscurity. Instead it became a cult hit, ran for seven seasons and spawned a massive franchise, including one of the few successful spin-off television shows.

    Firefly, with it's mesh of sci-fi and old west, would have seemed likely to suffer the same fate. However after it's network axing, fan support (to which Whedon has paid tribute) has seen a movie release.

    Both of these shows have succeeded, in part, due to Whedon's offbeat writing and his affinity for geek references. They've been elevated to cult status and after all, you can't beat a geek for obsessing about a television show.

  • by frankie ( 91710 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @11:28AM (#13667173) Journal
    Take a look at the Mirrormask promo site. They list all of its theaters on a single page. Not exactly a major blockbuster release, but hey one of them is near me, so I won't complain.

    The trailer looks like a sharp left turn from Labyrinth, although I may have been swayed by the Henson logo.

    Inspiration & visuals by Dave McKean, written by Neil Gaiman, where have I seen that combination before? But it's the first feature-length movie for both of them. If they're even half as good at film as they were at comics, should be a surreal treat.
    • Yes, MirrorMask is in limited release right now. And at least some of those theaters are only running it for a week. According to Gaiman, if it does well on its opening weekend, Sony may try a wider release.

      So if you're close enough to one of those theaters, and you're interested in seeing it on the big screen, go see it this weekend! (a) You might not get another chance, and (b) you'll help convince the studio to give it another chance.
    • Take a look at the Mirrormask promo site. They list all of its theaters on a single page. Not exactly a major blockbuster release, but hey one of them is near me, so I won't complain.

      I will then - I wish I'd checked this earlier. Neil was in town this week for an Anansi Boys signing too, with a great crowd - they even had movie posters up. If I'd realized it wouldn't be showing locally (and hey, this is Austin, not podunk-ville) I'd have at least asked about it.

      Anyone know if this is going to be a staged
      • Anyone know if this is going to be a staged release, or if its going to go wide fairly soon?

        It depends entirely on how well it does in limited release this weekend. If it does really well, it'll probably go wide. If not... we'll all be waiting for the DVD. While the Henson company is thrilled with it, Sony is being really cautious.
  • I think one of the things that really propelled Joss Whedon to the front stage as a "great writer" is that the shows he did, a la Buffy, Angel, and Firefly, where competing against things like Suddenly Susan and Friends. His shows, and Buffy especially, had a wicked attitude, a beautiful fantasy/character driven show, and for most of us that started watching Buffy back in '97 it was a take on your every day high school, replete with jocks, cliques, bullies, and a-hole teachers. I think as it progressed, t
  • by Dark Paladin ( 116525 ) * <jhummel@joh[ ] ['nhu' in gap]> on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @11:31AM (#13667207) Homepage
    lately, I've been wondering why this is. It seems that "geek hood" is actually approaching a phenomenon. When people ask me what I do for a living, I'll usually give them a grin and say "Oh, I'm a professional geek". To which I usually get the response:

    "Oh? What kind?"

    Not a look of disdain that those growing up before, say, the 1990's might have received. Part of this I think it because of the dot-com boom (and bust): people saw that geeks could become millionaires, and if there's anything that influences people to do something it's money.

    But the other thing is how much technology affects our lives. Cell phones and the Internet are on everyone's minds - you can't go 10 minutes without one some days. Because of this, geeks are now something of mystical wizards, the people who bring these cool "toys" to the masses to play with, including their iPods, the current status symbol, which 5 years ago was purely a geek music toy.

    And because of this, I think that society is slowly starting to see the benefits of intelligence. Where before "egg headed intellectuals" would have been scoffed, intelligent activities are starting to aquire some respect. Look at TV shows: the most popular ones weren't just mindless driven, they were shows like "Lost" and "Battlestar Gallactica" and yes, "Desperate Housewives" (which I haven't watched), shows which contain very complex relationships and huge shades of gray in character.

    The most popular books: Harry Potter, a book about a geek (a kid who likes to go to school and is best friend with the school uber-geek - a geek girl no less). Manga is becoming popular - I went into a bookstore and saw two whole isles, with 14 - 20 year olds hanging around - and not just the ugly ones, but cheerleaders looking at what once was only "nerd" material talking about how cute so-and-so is.

    This isn't to say that those who are smart or different are entering Utopia - look at the current "Intelligent Design" debates and issues with extreme religious people trying to convert government to their way of thinking (as a religious person, this behavior really irks me. There's a reason why the "Render under Ceaser speak was made, and it's still applies, folks), or corporations muddling science (global warming? Where? Have another Hummer!) -

    But things are getting better. Saying "I'm a professional geek" makes me the guy at parties people want to talk to. They ask about security, or about games they're playing (amazing how many executives have a PS2 these days), or just computer talk about their iPods or whatever. Yeah, they don't think I can play basketball, but that's ok.

    I don't have to - I'm a geek.

    Of course, this is all just my opinion. I could be wrong.
    • People admire geeks' works - not geeks in themselves.

      Teenage girls still go with the cool guys - if you're not cool, i.e. involved in something *boring* and not *popular*, you're a loser, period. The only thing that has changed is that some geek-specific jobs or hobbies have become more popular, like manga. Just because the mainstream know about the beauty and art of Manga doesn't mean they've earned more respect towards geeks, or get more interested in them.

      I think geekness will never change. Geeks will al
  • Whedon's Work (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pieterh ( 196118 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @11:35AM (#13667258) Homepage
    Joss Whedon has done some remarkable things. Probably none of these are original, but he's combined them consistently, into packages which are only less precious (like some entire series of Buffy) because of the sheer volume.

    - He mixes long story lines with short ones so you can enjoy both individual episodes and entire series.
    - He has unconditionally excellent camera work, with many long shots, excellent lighting, and hand-held effects that seem cheesy but actually work well.
    - He makes great use of music.
    - He develops stable groups of characters, bringing interesting social dynamics to the plots, and letting us identify with different characters. I'd like to be Spike, but I know I'm really Xander.
    - He stays semi-real, semi-fantasy, allowing him to explore dark subjects (death and loss) in different ways.
    - He brings big-screen production quality to every episode, so the DVDs are really worth having.
    - His dialogues are usually so good that in the few cases where the characters become formulaic stand out.

    On the downside, his work tends to be very politically neutral, which makes it safe, but bland. Serenity was cancelled because it was slyly political, Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham style. The shocker is that it managed to get aired at all, on Fox TV, which is basically a mouthpiece for the Sheriff.

    The unfinished Serenity first series, by the way, was fantastic. A wonderful cast, and every single aspect of the production deliberate and perfect, as far as I could tell. I don't normally make an effort to see specific films but I'm eagerly waiting to see Serenity.
    • I'd like to be Spike, but I know I'm really Xander.

      You kids don't know you're born! I'd like to be Xander, but I know I'm really Andrew.

    • Best. Quote. Ever. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by freeweed ( 309734 )
      I'd like to be Spike, but I know I'm really Xander

      I'm stealing your line.

      I have to admit, I only got into Buffy et al recently, because continuing storylines in TV series, while I love them, are impossible without a regular schedule. I'm a full-blooded geek, I do the comics thing, I do the Star Wars thing, I write my own Atari 2600 utilities... but I never "got" Buffy, for the above reason mostly, but also because it really seemed to be a "chick" show. A show about a girl(s), for girls. With a few attractiv
  • by east coast ( 590680 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @11:39AM (#13667294)
    I find tons of people into what have been labeled as "geek" passtimes from the entire d&d thing to the sci-fi fanatics but it seems that the more these people are into these "geek" activities the less they seem "geek" to me.

    Am I expectiong too much out of the geek label? Or do I have the wrong definition? I always seemed to think of a geek as someone with a high technical/mathmatical/scientific proficency. It just seems the more "hardcore" fans of geek entertainment seem to be less into the logistical/technical aspects of life and more into simply the fantasy world that real geeks (by my standards only) often get lumped in with.
  • And my very first thought was-
    This looks like something akin to Dark Crystal, Labrynth, and Neverending Story (orginal, not the sequals).
    And sure enough, one of the selling points on the trailer was that Jim Henson Company was part of the production.
    It should be interesting, but sadly I don't think Dark Crystal or Labrynth enjoyed much success at the box office, and I fear that MirrorMask will share the same fate.

    • by Kelson ( 129150 ) * on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @12:14PM (#13667648) Homepage Journal
      From interviews with Neil Gaiman, the movie got started when the Henson company looked at Dark Crystal and Labyrinth and noticed that while they didn't do very well in theaters, they've turned out to be quite successful in the home video market. People keep buying the tapes, DVDs, etc. year after year.

      So they went to him and said, "Can you come up with an idea for a movie in this style, that we could produce on a low budget, and could you put in a word with Dave McKean? And we know we can't affort you as the writer, but would you at least come up with the story?" At that point he said something like "If Dave's direting it, I'm writing it," they got the deal, the two of them went off to spend a week or two in the Hensons' vacation home developing the story, and launched into it from there.

      So while it would be wonderful if it did well in theaters, the studio is really counting on it being part of their home video line for the next 20 years -- just like The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth.
  • How could any geek forget these two:

    These are classic geek genres, and Wallace & Gromit is something I can watch with the kids!
  • We used to be unclean, unloved by the opposiste sex, but in the modern, wired world, a geek is a bit like an all round handy-man about the house, who also (probably) pulls in a good salary, and lets face it, we're generally literally about the house when we're not at work (in front of the pc) rather than hanging around bars... We're pretty much IBM.

    Ideal Breeding Material ;)
  • As far as Whedon's writing skills are concerned. Best TV writer...possibly ever. There is no one else out there who has been able to successfully do the following 1. Write character arcs over SEVEN years that show true character growth. No one has ever done this-- with the possible exception of Joel Fleischman from Northen Exposure ALL TV character basically remain the same. Whedon changed that-- but if your're looking for characters that never mature...stick with the crap that's already out there. 2. Ta
  • and you're being moved from place to place by people who want to make sure who we meet.

    Is that a hollywood phenomena? Who are these people, where do they come from? ...The computer world needs better networkign skills.

    (Hrm, i thought I would've had more)
  • Just a Thought (Score:4, Interesting)

    by thebdj ( 768618 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @03:27PM (#13669325) Journal
    I am probably going to get modded down on this greatly as a troll or the like, but I have to say it so I will...

    Everyone keeps talking about Firefly and Serentity as being wonderful and great programs. While I'll accept these as wonderfully fine opinions, it is important that some of you remember that this isn't what the majority of people are going to think, and don't be too surprised if the numbers for the movies are poor.

    Just some thoughts on Whedon's 'great' shows: only one of them ever made it to a major network, Firefly, and we all know it didn't last long. Now it can easily be argued that this is because it was sci-fi or people can start the....the masses just don't understand...speeches, but in reality it might truly be a show that was never meant for network, or at least not the big four. We have all seen FOX makes some dumb decisions on shows (i.e. cancelling Family Guy) and making some dumb decisions on picking up shows. The truth of the matter is that FOX gambled on the show based on success of Buffy and/or Angel on their 2nd tier networks, and they lost.

    I am not going to openly say that the show sucks, because some of what I watched of it I did enjoy, while other parts I trulty loathed, though that can possibly be said for other shows as well. It should also be noted that the movies launch date is post-Labor Day. With the exception of LotR in recent years, the movie industry makes its money during the summer run. So it might be possible for this to eke out a first or second place simply on your typical low fall movie turnout.

    In the end I would like to see what more people say after seeing it, instead of just the people who went to the preview, most of whom have problem had the day circled on calendars for months. I also am tempted to see what the major movie critics say, because their opinions often influence the decisions of the masses. So there it is said, you can mod me up or down as you see fit...
    • Re:Just a Thought (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Ruprecht the Monkeyb ( 680597 ) * on Wednesday September 28, 2005 @04:51PM (#13670097)
      You certainly shouldn't be modded down, because you make some valid points. Allow me to address them:

      * The movie will have a built-in audience of a couple million, enough to start strong. Whether it has cross-over appeal is unknown, but then again, no one expected 'Star Wars' to do what it did. Once upon a time, early summer was where movies went to die because everyone was off on vacation.

      * Fox's dumb decisions are legendary, but it's really one bad decision repeated over and over again. Fox has been trying to re-create the success of the X-Files, another niche show that had cross-over appeal and became mainstream enough to enter popular culture. Firefly did about as well as Harsh Realm, VR5, and any of the other 6-week and out shows tried on Friday nights.

      * 'Serenity' currently stands at %63 on RottenTomatoes, which is not too shabby for a sci-fi flick. We'll see where it is once more of the mainstream press have reviewed it.

      * For all that 'Firefly' got the shaft, 'Serenity' at least seems to be getting some loving from the studio. They moved it from late spring (where it would have gotten lost in the Episode III hype) to its current slot, which may not be ideal, but it's got much more of a chance to hold on for a few weeks and build an audience. Plus, at least around here, they've been advertising the hell out of it -- I saw a ton of commercials for it during football games over the weekend, and that's pretty prime advertising.

      * Any more, the movie industry doesn't make its money during the summer run, it makes it on video sales. This is why 'Serenity' got the green light -- because the studio heads saw the hundreds of thousands of DVD sales of the series and said 'Hey, if that many people bought the DVDs of the show, they'll all go see it in the theatre at least once, *plus* they'll all buy the $25 DVD in six months.'

A committee takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom. -- Parkinson