Unsigned Podcast Network
Thursday, September 29, 2005
  The Serenity Review

So I got invited to see an advanced screening of Universal Pictures Joss Whedon production "Serenity". Serenity is based on the cancelled "Firefly" series from the Fox network. I don't have to tell you the track record Fox has when it comes to cancelling quality television. I personally think the show didn't get the proper chance to develop an audience. But I digress. There are plenty of sites that will tell you the full Firefly story. This is about the movie.

Let me first tell you where I'm coming from. I am not a diehard Firefly fan. I am not a "Browncoat", as those who live and breathe the series are most often called. I have seen a total of 5 episodes from repeats on the SciFi channel. I can't exactly tell you why I didn't get into the show when it first aired on Fox. I don't remember. I can tell you that I am much impressed with the quality of writing that comes forth from the mind of Joss Whedon. The emotion that comes through his characters makes you feel for them. You really understand what they are going through, good or bad, and it makes for a better viewing experience.

The movie introduces most of the main characters immediately. For those familiar to the cast, that same humorous and understanding tone is still present. In fact, if this movie wasn't action, scifi fair, it would make a good lighthearted comedy. But the PG13 rating suggests otherwise. If you are new to this universe, it may take a few minutes to get into the swing of things. But not long. Like I said, I'm no Browncoat.

The film progresses at a steady pace, and never gets boring. There are the obvious lulls where dialogue takes place, but they are soon replaced by explosions, fights, or exciting spaceflight. The storyline is quite believable. Which is why I was praising Whedons writing talents. Although there is obviously not as much time to develop characters as there is in a tv show, Whedon does a good job quickly showing most of the characters strengths and weaknesses so that even a new viewer could appreciate them.

The interesting thing about Serenity, and Firefly itself, is that it combines the vision of science fiction, and the gritty, dusty world that only a western could lend itself to. If you like either genres, then you will definately enjoy Serenity. I definately did. I do plan on seeing it again, and I will be purchasing the TV series dvd set.

I know that this review is a bit minimalist, but I am trying to prevent myself from having to issue a spoiler alert. What you really need to know is that Universal did us all a favor by allowing Joss Whedon to continue his vision of this band of rag tag bandits for hire and their barely held together spaceship that they call home. Just expect great writing, a easily followable plot, explosions, gunfights, love, family, an evil villian, a healthy dose of humour, anger, despair, loss, and redemption. Both fan and non fan alike will get this. If you are a fan of the show, then be prepared to laugh, scream, hate, love, and cry. Even after watching only a few episodes of the series, I fell for the characters. So I do suggest watching the original series at some point. Pre or post movie. You'll thank me later.



http://www.serenitymovie.com

Joss Whedon, the Oscar® - and Emmy - nominated writer/director responsible for the worldwide television phenomena of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE, ANGEL and FIREFLY, now applies his trademark compassion and wit to a small band of galactic outcasts 500 years in the future in his feature film directorial debut, Serenity. The film centers around Captain Malcolm Reynolds, a hardened veteran (on the losing side) of a galactic civil war, who now ekes out a living pulling off small crimes and transport-for-hire aboard his ship, Serenity. He leads a small, eclectic crew who are the closest thing he has left to family –squabbling, insubordinate and undyingly loyal.

 
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
  Going to review Serenity

Just a heads up. I am going tonight to see a prescreening of Universal Pictures "Serenity"

Joss Whedon, the Oscar® - and Emmy - nominated writer/director responsible for the worldwide television phenomena of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE, ANGEL and FIREFLY, now applies his trademark compassion and wit to a small band of galactic outcasts 500 years in the future in his feature film directorial debut, Serenity. The film centers around Captain Malcolm Reynolds, a hardened veteran (on the losing side) of a galactic civil war, who now ekes out a living pulling off small crimes and transport-for-hire aboard his ship, Serenity. He leads a small, eclectic crew who are the closest thing he has left to family –squabbling, insubordinate and undyingly loyal.

http://www.serenitymovie.com/

I will right the review after I return from the film.

Thanks,

Paul
 
Saturday, September 10, 2005
  Music is the Most Addictive Drug
That is the slogan for our friends at Coolfire, the site I was proud to announce a link up with. They have the same idea about music, and the role it plays in the world today. But I won't bore you with anything I have to say today. Here is the word straight from the source.

- unsigned thoughts -
blog entry by geeQ

geeQ is the founder of coolfire a web site dedicated to helping unsigned bands & artist get their message across to a wider community of music listeners.

Some time ago I went through a particularly bad period in my life... You know how it is, one minute everything seems to be going so well and then all of a sudden life deals you 3 bad hand's all at the same time. Well to cut a long story short it was during this period that I realised just how powerful and important music is. I gradually began hearing and understanding what the artists were really trying to say. I also began to realise how different types of rhythm and therefore sound can change your emotions and affect how you feel. I'd always been 'into' music ever since I was a young pup but it now sounded deeper and somehow more profound. I guess this is why coolfire has the slogan "Music is the Most Addictive Drug" because allot of people may indeed turn to cocaine/heroine or even some kind of anti-depressent to help them in times of trouble, but I see music as being more powerful than any physical stimulant or drug. It can and will take a hold of you and absolutely will not let go...ever. Anyway back to my brief life story... And there was one other thing I began to notice- the more money there was floating around an artist the more artificial & un-inspiring the sound seemed to be. This was indeed my foundation for coolfire.

The idea is was not new, even back in 2000 when I first began thinking about setting up a web site dedicated to helping unsigned bands & artists. But I didn't care, because I knew I wanted to do things differently. To make sure ultimately that at no stage was there any money involved, and that it was a site that people who understood music just as I do could appreciate the difference an idea can have if it's run purely on passion and respect.
I think I have largely achieved this aim although there is still much work to do. However I am under no illusions that what really makes coolfire is the bands & artists who contribute to it. Without them coolfire would be nothing more than a url full of pretty pictures and meaningless words... I may have created the spark but what they bring is the life and soul, and not just to coolfire but to ourselves as well.

5 years on I often find myself thinking about sound in a much deeper and some might say weird way. I've started thinking about how different sounds affect us. In particular I've been looking at 'natural' sounds compared 'un-natural' sounds. You know the sort of sounds you would expect to hear in the country side compared to the sounds you would hear in the middle of a city for example. One type of sound can make you feel relaxed and at peace, and another can have the opposite effect by making you feel on edge, fearful and sometimes with prolonged exposure even aggressive. I personally think that this is an area where we should all be giving some thought to. Because as I said before music/sound IS a verypowerful thing which can be good but can also be bad depending on what your listening to. And so as a society I think we need to be more aware of the type of sounds we are constantly being exposed to and their affect on us.

Anyway before things get too deep I thought it might now be a good time to speak a little about my thoughts on podcasting and why I chose to link up with Paul and unsignedpodcast.comI personally think podcasting has the potential to kill commercial radio, or at least make people rethink what radio 'should' be. And I am really excited by this. I like ideas which stir up trouble for the big corporate types, and on the flip side gives people more freedom and choice. What Paul and many other podcasters are effectively doing is creating their own distribution network which knows no physical borders or boundaries. It doesn't matter where you live in the world you will get to hear exactly the same content as the next person. And the freedom and control a podcaster has over that content is without limit... So without a doubt there is a storm on the horizon, the only question now is how big will the storm be? And that can only be answered by people like Paul and the global network of podcasters.

I would just like to take this opportunity to thank Paul for letting me use his blog to record my own thoughts.

See you all on the flip side!

geeQ
coolfire.co.uk
 
Celebrating independant musicians, podcasts, and what they stand for. Also featuring news, reviews, and information about all things independant and what's happening in the world of media. www.unsignedpodcastnetwork.com

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