Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Of course, if you’re into Space Westerns, you can’t ignore Joss Whedon’s cult television favorite FIREFLY, and its theatrical sequel SERENITY (2006), which has just been double-dipped by Universal in the shape of a new collector’s edition.

In this feature film follow-up to the short-lived series, the rag-tag crew of the tramp spaceship Serenity find themselves the target of a deadly government operative (Chiwetel Ejiofor, CHILDREN OF MEN) who’s after their slightly-daffy and decidedly dangerous passenger, River Tam (Summer Glau). In order to save his crew, Captain Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion, SLITHER) goes on the offensive, determined to expose a conspiracy that could potentially tear down the galactic government.

A smart, action-packed space adventure that may be just a bit inaccessible to anyone who isn’t already familiar with the TV series (although my in-laws had no trouble following it when we saw it at the theater), SERENITY is a lot of fun.

Previously released by Universal in a more-than-satisfactory single-disc edition, this new 2-disc "Collector’s" set includes a gorgeous 2:35.1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, and Dolby 5.1 Surround sound.

But while the previous DVD release was fine, true fans (or "Browncoats") will want to upgrade to this new version for the added extra features, which include extended Scenes, a feature commentary with Whedon and several cast members, four featurettes, and "Session 416," a series of internet webisodes that expand upon the River character’s backstory. The two discs are packed into an attractive box that’s as big as the one containing the entire TV series.

Like I said, fans will want to trade up to this new edition, and while I’m still annoyed at the studio’s crass exploitation of fans with these double-dips, I know they’re not going to stop. In any case, it’s a good movie and a fine package. Recommended.

BUY: Serenity (Collector's Edition)