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A Western-like science fiction story, good guys vs. bad guys, plenty of fights and explosions, excellent special effects, a really well-done movie.

This is one of those rare movies (especially for a genre movie) that EVERY SINGLE PERSON we talked to said was absolutely wonderful. Even Mr. Otter, who sneers at SF explodo movies in general, found it so highly recommended that we went to see it.

And dang, everyone was right!

I have not seen the short-lived television series (Firefly)* that was the precursor to this (evidently when it was cancelled, the creator talked a studio into making the movie and doing it right, imagine that…) but I want to.

And not having seen the show didn’t detract from the movie one bit. And the movie was really, really good. The plot was interesting, the characters were not only distinguishable from each other, multiethnic, and not just cookie cutter stock figures…but they actually grew and changed and had personalities.

The look of the movie was good (and EXCELLENT f/x, too). The music and score were good, not something you noticed a lot, just a few times, but just right…I’ll bet the soundtrack really rocks. And my favorite part: everyone in the book talks kind of like you think people in the old west should have talked, with lots of cool phrases and metaphor and long words…and they SUSTAIN it. Perfectly. Throughout the movie. And it works. And it adds layers and depth and shading to the whole thing, because you really have to pay attention to the words, and what they said, and roll them around in your head a little, and enjoy them**. Imagine THAT in a shoot-them-up-martial-arts-butt-kicking-action flick. Wow.

Oogies: the dead people in the city… I was really expecting them to start moving, and watched some of that part with my hand half over the screen, ready to NOT LOOK any second…but it was okay.

I was a little surprised to see what I thought was yet another Baldwin brother in what looks to be the sleeper hit of the year…”Oh no!” I thought to myself. “Will the remarkably prescient folks at Fametracker have to reset the Baldwin Obscurity Clock now that a Baldwin Brother is in what looks like an actual hit movie? Could The Man From F.U.N.K.L.E. be WRONG?” But no. I should have trusted them in their wisdom. There are many Baldwin brothers…but Adam Baldwin, who is excellent in Serendipity, is NOT ONE OF THEM. Whew.

Go see this, it’s incredible.

And even better on Blu-ray! the reavers are REALLY SCARY…

*I wrote this review before we had seen Firefly, which is now one of our favorite dvds. If you haven’t caught this series, do it now. On Blu-ray, if possible.

**For those of you who love Suzette Haden Elgin’s Ozark Trilogy, the people in this movie talk exactly like the Ozarkers. It’s really, really amazing.

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