Variety Reviews Serenity! Jewel Is Joss's Wife?!

UPDATED: Thursday, September 8, 2005 10:50
VIEWED: 6696
PAGE 1 of 1

Monday, August 22, 2005 2:59 PM


Check it out at

Wow. Someone's a bit cranky. I know, I know...we're all biased. At least this guy gives it some faint praise but then torpedoes it with lines like:

"Following its world preem at the Edinburgh fest, pic goes out wide Stateside Sept. 30, a potentially risky gambit for a cult-fueled venture that would benefit from more time to build beyond its card-carrying audience."

Huh? So how long should we wait? Another year? Two? It's been three since the show aired.

But the ultimate faux pas is the guy calls Jewel Joss's wife! What?! Someone needs to do their research!

What are your thoughts of the review?

"The first thing I do in the morning is brush
my teeth and sharpen my tongue." -- Dorothy Parker


Monday, August 22, 2005 3:36 PM


Wow... what can I say?

Congratulations Joss and Jewel!!!

Can't say I think that Kai or Matty would approve, but hey...

The world falls into two categories: those who 'get' Joss Whedon and those who don't.

Guess where the reviewer falls?

"Your toes are in the sand."
"And your head's up your..."


Monday, August 22, 2005 3:39 PM


I'll link and transcribe but be warned there are some clever major spoilers in this piece so be careful if you read;



Gina Torres, Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin and Summer Glau star in 'Serenity,' writer-helmer Joss Whedon's feature film debut.

"I am a leaf on the wind: Watch how I soar," says one character in "Serenity" before being promptly made earthbound. The same could be said of this feature bow by writer-director Joss WhedonJoss Whedon, creator of "Buffy" and "Angel""Angel" as well as cult TV sci-fi oateroater "Firefly," of which current item is a bigscreen continuation. Quirky blend of Western elements, high-end pulp philosophy, decorative Orientalia, old-style frontier dialogue and straight space shenanigans bounces around to sometimes memorable effect but rarely soars. Whedon's sizable fan base will turn out in droves but this will need a hefty marketing push to post galactic returns.
Following its world preempreem at the Edinburgh fest, pic goes out wide Stateside Sept. 30, a potentially risky gambit for a cult-fueled venture that would benefit from more time to build beyond its card-carrying audience. Though the widescreen movie contains a reasonable amount of action sequences, it was clearly made with considerably less coincoin than tentpole studio fare, and still shows a TV-style aptitude for soundstage sequences separated by occasional exteriors.

The Fox network axed "Firefly" in December 2002 after only 11 of the 14 completed episodes had aired. Series went on to immediate cult status on ancillary, and most of the key actors reprise their roles here. Major addition to the cast is Brit thesp Chiwetel EjioforChiwetel Ejiofor ("Amistad," "Dirty Pretty Things""Dirty Pretty Things" and upcoming "Kinky Boots"), who darn near steals the movie as the good guys' ruthless nemesis.

Familiarity with the original episodes isn't necessary, as a tight opening effectively recaps the backstory. We're 500 years in the future, following a war in a newly colonized solar system that was won by a coalition called the Alliance; the losers, the Independents, roam the outer planets like frontier cowboys, along with the Reavers, thugs who eat their enemies live.

In an interesting idea that largely lies undeveloped -- and has some contempo relevance in a globalized world -- the Independents hate the Alliance because the latter are "in their homes, in their heads, (and) tell them what to think." The Alliance is also inside one particular head -- that of River Tam (Summer Glau), a 17-year-old telepath whose brother, Simon (Sean Maher), rescues her from Alliance boffins and security high-up the Operative (Ejiofor) in a pre-credits sequence that's one of the best in the picture. Tone lightens as the main story and cast show up. Simon was helped in his mission by Capt. Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds (Nathan Fillion, channeling a combo of Harrison FordHarrison Ford and the late Eric FlemingEric Fleming from "Rawhide"), who heads the crew of Firefly-class spaceship Serenity, a rusty-bucket transport vessel. Also on board are his deputy, Zoe (Gina Torres), similarly dressed and holstered like a cowboy; Zoe's husband, Wash (Alan Tudyk), the craft's ace pilot; gruff gunslinger Jayne (Adam BaldwinAdam Baldwin, in a good impression of Warren Oates); and corn-fed farm girl Kaylee (Jewel Staite, Whedon's real-life wife), the ship's mechanic.

Main action sequence, realized like a space-age stagecoach-and-Injuns chase, comes early on, as Mal & Co. pull off a payroll robbery on an outer planet and are disturbed by Reavers. Thereafter, most of the action is confined to futuristic interiors -- handled OK but, excepting a late-on mano a mano by River, with no special atmosphere.

Pic's appeal lies in other areas, from its mimicking of period, stately Americana in the dialogue (Mal: "No more runnin'; I aim to misbehave"; Jayne: "She is starting to damage my calm") to the plot itself. Latter leads Mal & Co., via River's half-buried memories, to an uncharted planet called Miranda, wherein lies a terrible secret that the Alliance would like to remain buried.

Hot on their tails at all times is the Operative, plus assorted hungry Reavers. Oh, and there's also Inara (Morena Baccarin), a professional "companion" for whom Mal still carries a torch.

Nobody seems to have told Whedon that many U.S. sci-fiers were already Westerns in futuristic dress, and that cross-cultural Eastern-Westerns were invented 40 years ago. What may have seemed fresh on network TV doesn't look quite so fresh on the bigscreen.

Still, what makes "Serenity" refreshing is its avoidance of CGI, which gives the pic a much more human dimension; the evident chemistry between the cast; and a humor that doesn't rely simply on flip one-liners. None of these smarts, however, may be enough to satisfy mass auds.

Fillion makes a commanding enough lead and is neatly backed up by a buff Torres as his femme sidekick, especially in a hold-the-fort sequence that recalls Jenette Goldstein's character in "Aliens." Staite brings welcome fragility to the hard-assed crew as the tomboy mechanic, and former ballerina Glau brings neat moves to her action moments.

Sets look considerably airier than in the TV series, though Whedon directs his interior sequences in a visually constricted way that shows his small-screen origins. Colors have a mostly dark, unappetizing look that becomes a tad wearisome over two hours, and David NewmanDavid Newman's score does the business but never elevates the material.

Oh, and play Cantr II at


Monday, August 22, 2005 5:23 PM


I think we better call Jewel and Joss IMMEDIATELY and tell them they're married. We know that if you put these things off, it just leads to hi-larity.

Does Jewel know how to make fresh bao?

And we should warn Joss about kissing girls on the mouth.

To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks. --Robt. Heinlein


Monday, August 22, 2005 5:26 PM


There's no place I can be since I found Serenity.

You would think Jewel would have mentioned that in one of her letters to Roj, but if she did I missed it.

wo men ren ran zai fei xing.


Monday, August 22, 2005 7:16 PM


We always hoped you two crazy kids would get together...

But remember Joss, if you touch her the wrong way, you're going to go to the special hell.

(Said my wife, the minister. So cool it.)

"Know what the definition of a hero is? Someone who gets other people killed." -- Zoë Warren


Tuesday, August 23, 2005 1:28 AM


Joss is so gonna get teased about this today.

By me, if at all possible.


Thursday, September 8, 2005 5:55 AM


WOW! If Jewel and Joss are married, someone had better tell Matt about it.

"The skillful tactician may be likened to the shuai-jan." - Sun Tzu


Thursday, September 8, 2005 6:53 AM


This was the first version of the review. Subsequent updated versions deleted the part about Jewel. However, there are still early versions floating around cyberspace.

There was a post with the first version at Fandango, which I requested be changed, but I haven't been back to check.


Thursday, September 8, 2005 10:50 AM


I just read it on Fandango today, so I don't think that they have revised it yet.

"Where you been hidin'? You gone and got yourself lookin' mighty hideous... " - Jayne






Serenity, Inara and Mal seen at Warp Core Cafe.
Fri, June 2, 2023 03:13 - 4 posts
Tina Turner dead at 83
Sat, May 27, 2023 14:51 - 5 posts
Tarantino, and Joss Whedon. What if they made a movie together?
Fri, May 26, 2023 11:21 - 10 posts
Bad writers go on strike, late night talk is doomed
Fri, May 26, 2023 11:04 - 11 posts
Cruelest April Fool's Joke Ever -- by Netflix
Mon, May 15, 2023 23:32 - 10 posts
It’s a trap!
Sat, May 13, 2023 12:29 - 2 posts
How do you writers get past Writers' Block?
Sat, May 13, 2023 12:26 - 18 posts
Galaxy 3' Teaser: Nathan Fillion
Mon, May 1, 2023 21:15 - 2 posts
Enneagram Personality Types
Sat, April 15, 2023 19:55 - 9 posts
Wed, March 29, 2023 09:10 - 60 posts
“Firefly to return with Nathan Fillion”
Tue, March 28, 2023 12:37 - 4 posts
Western Space
Tue, March 21, 2023 11:49 - 12 posts