Don't be that guy (spoilers)
Wednesday, October 5, 2005

* ramblings and musings and evidence that I probably see sub-texts that don’t exist… *

So we went to see the BDM again during the week. Man, I love this movie. There are new things I’m picking up each time I see it. For instance, when they’re repairing the ship, Zoe is welding on the front of the bridge. Presumably she’s repairing the hole that a certain spear left as it passed through the front of Serenity on its way to terminating in the chest of her husband and ripping out all of our hearts in the process. My thought was, “Damn. Couldn’t someone else have repaired that particular section? Did it have to be Zoe?” But I digress.

In addition to the action on the screen there was a drama playing out in the seats in front of us. There were two young men, seated with the customary empty seat between them so they could see the movie together but not be too together. Kind of the same logic, I guess, that leads us men to always move towards a urinal with an empty on either side. One young man had clearly seen the movie before. The other young man had not. This was readily apparent because the veteran was laughing heartily at all the jokes right from the get go while the novice took a while to get into the flow of things.

It’s a dynamic I’ve noticed in the few showings I’ve been to where the majority of the people in the audience have not seen the movie before. It takes about a half hour before people start laughing at the funny lines. My speculation is that it takes about that long for someone to get acclimated to the dialogue, the patois. By the end of the movie they’re clearly engaged but it takes a certain amount of time for them to come up to speed. I have yet to see Serenity in a theater that is silent throughout the entire movie. The movie just seems to suck people in, no matter their prior experience with this ‘verse. The product sells itself. It’s that good. All you have to do is get a person in the theater. Nothing more.

Well, the veteran didn’t get that memo. His laughter was just a bit too loud and on a couple of occasions he reached over, tapped a shoulder and pointed at the screen to make sure his friend got the joke (damn my peripheral vision). There was almost an element of desperation as if to say, “It’s really, really, really funny. Don’t you see?” Fortunately, it didn’t take long before the phenomenon I mentioned earlier took hold and his friend was laughing and gasping along with everyone else.

It was something I noticed peripherally and didn’t really think about because of how much I was enjoying the movie. But as we were walking to the truck I remembered that little drama and I had a kind of epiphany. It seemed to me like the veteran did not have any faith in Serenity. That he felt the product didn’t sell itself well enough and needed his help. Put him in a loud sports coat and he could’ve been indistinguishable from a used car salesman.

We’re all a little bit nervous about the possibility of a sequel. And we know what the deal is, that Serenity has to do better at the box office. But what may be overlooked in our desire to get enough money to green light a sequel is that the movie itself is damn fine entertainment. It’s a thrilling ride. Where we can help is by getting people in the door. But once their butts are in that seat our job should be done. Let the product sell itself. Quality wins out. Don’t be that guy.


Thursday, October 6, 2005 9:01 AM


I'm so sad about Wash. It didn't hit me until the end when Mal is sitting in Wash's seat and you can still see his little dinosaurs on the ledge.

Thursday, October 6, 2005 12:52 AM


thank you. well said!


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