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Watch the First 9 Minutes of Serenity 426

An anonymous reader writes "As reported on, Universal is attempting further promotion of the sci-fi action film Serenity by making the first 9 minutes of the movie available online. The clip contains the opening backstory that sets an Alliance assassin on the trail of the ship's crew; it's an effective hook. On Yahoo movies, Serenity is ranked as the number 1 film currently in theaters and is hanging in a top-ten spot in the highest rated movies of all time. Slashdot has previously covered Orson Scott Card's review, the film's opening, an interview with Joss Whedon, and much more. It's all out of love..."
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Watch the First 9 Minutes of Serenity

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  • Awesome (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Okay now I'm gonna go see this.
    • by temojen ( 678985 )
      It gave enough backstory for my girlfriend (who never saw the series) to know what was going on, and even covered some stuff I missed in the series (like the setting being one big solar system, not interstellar).
      • Just because they went to "another solar system" after leaving Earth doesn't mean that they stayed there. In the show, they're pretty explicit that it is interstellar.
      • I missed in the series (like the setting being one big solar system, not interstellar).

        You didn't miss it, they just didn't mention it.
        It was the subject of much debate amongst fans before the movie, in fact. I thought they had more than one solar system, since it was implied in the way they talked about systems and whatnot, but, seems not.
  • Aftermath? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sorthum ( 123064 ) on Friday October 07, 2005 @07:26PM (#13743571) Homepage
    I have to wonder, if this works to boost revenue for Serenity, what will the MPAA's response be? It only took them, what, ten years to realize the internet can help them?
    • Re:Aftermath? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DrEldarion ( 114072 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [0791uhcsm]> on Friday October 07, 2005 @07:52PM (#13743727)
      Why would they react any differently than they have been? They've known that the internet is a great advertising medium, and this is just another way of advertising. They're still going to be against the distribution of the whole movie, though.

      I don't see their position changing at all.
    • "I have to wonder, if this works to boost revenue for Serenity, what will the MPAA's response be? It only took them, what, ten years to realize the internet can help them?"

      What an interesting thing to say. I remember that Strange Days [] had a rather kick-ass web site for its time... and that was in 1995. Since then, I've lost count of the number of well-executed Internet ad campaigns I've seen for films. I know that many Slashdotters may have only been on the Internet for a few years so this sort of th

  • by Nonesuch ( 90847 ) on Friday October 07, 2005 @07:30PM (#13743594) Homepage Journal
    I saw Serenity the week it had come out, and if SciFi hadn't just a few weeks back shown the first two episodes of the series again, I don't think I would have understood what happened in the movie.

    The movie depends quite a bit on the overall backstory from the one season of the television show. If you haven't seen the show, it doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense.

    Luckily "Firefly - The Complete Series" is available on DVD.

  • What the Heck (Score:5, Informative)

    by dduardo ( 592868 ) on Friday October 07, 2005 @07:31PM (#13743597)
    "Unfortunately, the Operating System you are currently using is unsupported."
  • by SaidinUnleashed ( 797936 ) on Friday October 07, 2005 @07:33PM (#13743605)
    Evidently it only works for people with the "right operating systems".

    Is it so hard to use a standard media type?

    Why do companies feel like it's right to mave stuff like this that's actually MORE trouble to make incompatible with non-MS/Mac systems?

    Seriously. I just do not get this mindset.
    • Chances are.. as a Linux user.. you've already own the series on DVD, and have seen the movie. Twice.

      Relax. You'll probably see it again this weekend anyway. Send the link to your Windows using friends.
    • Doesn't even work on my OS X box. Video plays, but there's no sound.
  • by joelparker ( 586428 ) <> on Friday October 07, 2005 @07:35PM (#13743619) Homepage about improving downloads by using a better format, such as XVID or Quicktime?
    • As far as I'm concerned, they haven't made it available. I have a high speed dsl connection (1.5Mbps), and I have never seen streaming video work with anything like watchable quality (though part of that is because I have a high resolution screen, and the embedded viewers won't let you resize it up to more than a postage stamp). If I can't download something of reasonable quality and then watch it for real, then there's no point in wasting the bandwidth trying.
    • Do "better" formats like XVID or Quicktime play out of the box on around 90% of the target audience's computers? If not, that's your answer.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 07, 2005 @07:36PM (#13743620)
    Come on now, it's obvious to me that Serenity's fans are boosting the review averages all over the place. Nothing wrong about that, but keep that in mind. Best film of all time?? Let's get serious here, it's a good 2 hours of entertainment, nothing earth shattering here.
  • by ObiWonKanblomi ( 320618 ) on Friday October 07, 2005 @07:37PM (#13743630) Journal
    On Yahoo movies, Serenity is ranked as the number 1 film currently in theaters and is hanging in a top-ten spot in the highest rated movies of all time.

    As with the majority of slashdot posters on here, I am a total sci-fi junkie, but does Serenity really qualify to be within the top 10 movies of all time? Granted, this is a yahoo poll and probably was saturated by people so desperate for anything with a futuristic theme they're willing to hump a movie which was written by a guy who make a witch turn lesbian in another show with declining ratings.

    I seriously cannot understand what is so great and original about this movie. Sci-fi meets cowboy theme has already been stretched in 26 episodes (plus a movie) of Cowboy Bebop.

    I don't even see Bladerunner on this Yahoo top 10 of all time list. Dune? Seriously, are you going to tell me Serenity is better than Bladerunner?
    • by CrystalArchangel ( 627622 ) on Friday October 07, 2005 @07:45PM (#13743695)
      Seriously, are you going to tell me Serenity is better than Bladerunner?

      • I second the Yep and raise you a Hell Yeah.

      • I like the voiceover version of Blade Runner better!

        There - I've said it - let the pillory | hanging | pressing begin.
      • "Seriously, are you going to tell me Serenity is better than Bladerunner?


        Serenity is not ambitious enough to be in that sort of company. I'm a big fan of the Firefly TV series but this movie is a serious step down from the TV series. The writing and acting were much better in several episodes. I get the feeling they might have felt it necessary to dumb it down for a movie audience. It is loud and fast with lots of fighting action but that was only one aspect of the TV episodes. I hope they are successf
        • by theantipop ( 803016 ) on Saturday October 08, 2005 @12:29AM (#13744956)
          While I agree with the majority of your comments (which are much more reasonable than both sides of argument I've seen about the movie), I do take issue with your strict definition of entertainment. This is a common theme among Slashdot posters, that you think it takes a seriously spiritual and intellectual script to make a good movie. I don't think this is necessarily true. While it can help a movie to be as ambitious as Bladerunner, it does not mean that another movie which does not preach the same level of values is to be written off so easily. You, and others like you, may seek intellectual persuits in every facet of your life; but some, like myself, enjoy forms of entertainment that don't require deep textual analysis.

          Serenity and Bladerunner are both great movies, but I don't think they reach the same goals as to be ranked on just one scale.

    • I seriously cannot understand what is so great and original about this movie. Sci-fi meets cowboy theme has already been stretched in 26 episodes (plus a movie) of Cowboy Bebop.

      Orgiinaility is a horrible way to compare the greatness of works. I think it was Orson Scott Card that wrote if you worry about duplicating a specific story you will never get anything done. Ironically, after searching throuwh wikipedia for Flash Gordon I noticed that George Lucas used that as his inspiration for Star Wars. Remember

    • So, you have a problem with lesbians? When Willow turned lesbian it was a risky move, not the instant ratings builder it is now. And I never felt like they exploited the relationship for ratings. Hell, Willow only actually kissed Tera on screen in the episode where Tera gets killed. They spent most of the time with Willow and Tera exploring the problems people go through in relationships.

      As for Cowboy Bebop, I can't say. I don't like Cowboy Bebop.

      Best 10 movies of all time? Hardly. There are tons of

    • Just because you put the word "Cowboy" in the title, doesn't make it a Western.

    • Sci-fi meets cowboy theme has already been stretched in 26 episodes (plus a movie) of Cowboy Bebop.

      Firefly and Cowboy Bebop have a similar setting but have very different moods and themes.
    • It's interesting that Serenity could make so much headway into the Yahoo movie ranking after earning a paltry $10M in the box office in its opening weekend. To put that in perspective, Duece Bigalow 2 & Herbie Fully Loaded were on par with $10M the first weekend it opened. I may be pointing out the obvious here but it seems like Serenity has a higher percentage of computer literate [] viewers than most movies and they inflated Serenity's ratings.

      (this is /. so )
    • Better then bladrunner? probably for a lot of people it will be. Not for me.
      Better then Dune? listent to two comic book geeks argue over which who is better, superman or batman would be better then Dune.

      The frontier theme has been done in a lot of sc-fi, so what? the characters are no where near the same, either is the 'world' in which they are base, the stories are different, and the character interaction is different as well.
      other then that, yeah there practically the same.

      it's like saysing, I've seen one
    • Most of kids I work with are barely aware of Aliens. Bladerunner will remain great in the minds of those who remember it (especially before the POS "Director's Cut"). Anyway, space + cowboys... Anyone remember Outland? It's "High Noon" in space.
  • meh (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I don't see the hype personally, sure it's an ok tv show but it's nothing special. Some nice looking girls, a few gags, some spaceships and that's about it. Better than most but not great.

    Mod me as a troll if you like but I know there are a few people that think like this so *shrugs*
  • I saw a few (600MB+) copies of this on gnutella [] recently. Probably the whole movie. Good luck.
  • but i have my theory: with no new star trek and star wars fare in the pipe, desperate sci fi serial pulp fans are jumping ship and clinging to this piece of driftwood

    yeah, serenty is ok, but it's no alien or blade runner

    you may now mod me into oblivion for not blindly stating my allegiance to the high school clique and mindlessly jumping on the hype machine

    so sorry, pfffffft
    • I don't understand how the biggest blockbusters are fantasy (LOTR) and nonhorror sci-fi (star wars, star trek), but studios refuse to invest in new ideas in these genres. How stupid is that?

      -Sean ( [] - The Outdoor Wiki)
    • And I've never understood why rudimentary grammar is so hard for some people.
    • with no new star trek and star wars fare in the pipe, desperate sci fi serial pulp fans are jumping ship and clinging to this piece of driftwood

      As if the "Star Wars fare" that's been coming down the pipe lately was the greatest sci-fi ever. Yeah, of course I loved A New Hope, and Empire Strikes back, but then it all started going downhill from there... and I think Serenity's better than any one of them. WAY better than Attack of the (yawn) Clones. Jeez, I'll never get those two hours back.

  • by 88NoSoup4U88 ( 721233 ) on Friday October 07, 2005 @07:48PM (#13743709)
    Universal Exec : Ok guys, let's do something completely new : We will make the first nine minutes of Serenity available online !
    Henchman : Ok, but how much do we charge them for it ?
    Universal Exec : Nothing, we just let them see the first...
    Henchman : Ok, popups ? Right, popups ?!
    Universal Exec : No, we will just let them see...
    Henchman : I got you : Ads, right ? Banners !
    Universal Exec : No, we will JUST let them see the first nine...
    Henchman : Ok, but we HAVE to annoy them somehow... How about some proprietary plugin instead of going for the normal formats ? Let's screw a littlebit with their minds before they get their free content.
    Universal Exec : Fuckit, it's lunchtime.
  • Fun first nine minutes. Very exciting. These people are idiots, though. The beginning was so awesome I definitely would have paid four or five bucks to watch it after watching the beginning. I'll go to the theater to see it, but I doubt they'll see four or five dollars of my money once the theater cut is out of the way.

    Cluetrain coming? Someday soon.
  • by colonslashslash ( 762464 ) on Friday October 07, 2005 @07:52PM (#13743728) Homepage
    Serenity at the local cinema with several friends, one, like me, was a fan of the short-lived Firefly series, and the other 3 had never seen it before. Everyone enjoyed the movie, and although obviously it's something that is going to appeal more to fans of the series (mostly because these people are more attached to the characters), it does work as a stand alone movie very well. The brilliantly delivered dry humour, drama and all out action sequences are more than enough to satisfy almost everyone in the audience.

    The only shame I feel about this movie is that it is a gem released during such a mundane (IMHO) year for theatrical releases, so although it stands out from the 2005 crowd, that in itself unfortunately isn't saying much at all. Still, I'd recommend it very highly to those who havn't seen it yet. And if you are even a more moderate fan of the series, then what the hell are you waiting for? Gogogo.

    One thing that did dissapoint me was the lack of the theme tune, unless I missed it, but I didn't hear even a snippet during the whole movie :-(

    • Actually they do play it at the very end of the credits... no lyrics, just the guitar. I guess that shows how big a geek I am... staying till the end of the credits...
    • And if you are even a more moderate fan of the series, then what the hell are you waiting for? Gogogo.
      So how does it compare to the series? Is it a proper movie, or just a really long episode? Is the movie different in other ways?

      Honestly, I wasn't that impressed with the series, though it was decent TV fare.
  • Trailer Review (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SteevR ( 612047 )
    Not really representative of the series or much of the rest of the movie. Although...

    since its the first 9 minutes exactly as seen in the theatre, it doesn't give away any of the rest. Rest assured, there are many good bits to be given away!

    I hope this becomes a more common practice in the future; I believe this is a far better hook than a trailer.
  • Impressive (Score:2, Insightful)

    by franksp ( 570748 )
    I think that one of the most impressive things is that the video link survived the slashdot effect. Or am I too late?
    • I'm unaffiliated with their site! That being said...

      This same story was posted on about 30 hours before /. had it up.
      That, and I'd bet that a lot of the /. readers who might care about Serenity have already seen it in the theater.
      Plus, its not a linux-compatible stream.

  • by qengho ( 54305 )

    What if I'm using Safari with a popup blocker? What if reloading without blocking returns the exact same page? Why can't you can't provide a plugin-free experience like Google Video? Wankers.

    Good thing I've already seen the movie and don't need enticing.

    • Why can't you can't provide a plugin-free experience

      Dammit, I actually previewed the damn comment. Honest!

    • Re:WTF? (Score:3, Informative)

      by ceejayoz ( 567949 )
      Had you actually tried it, you'd have noticed that it's not a browser popup, it's a Java permissions popup, which is (correctly) not blocked by Safari.

      Worked fine on my Safari with popup blocking. Hell, I actually had to use Safari because it wasn't working right on Firefox for Mac.
  • by AutumnLeaf ( 50333 ) on Friday October 07, 2005 @08:05PM (#13743823)
    Am I the only one distrubed by JW's obsession with them?

    I haven't really seen this discussed anywhere. On the other hand, I haven't looked very hard.

    Just curious.
    • His 16 year old girls can kick your ass.

      Maybe that is what you find disturbing...
    • by bytor4232 ( 304582 ) on Friday October 07, 2005 @11:08PM (#13744693) Homepage Journal
      His "obsession" as you call it comes from his origional inspiration for Firefly and the Buffyverse: the Uncanny X-Men. His favorite comic book character is a character named Shadowcat, who is young, troubled, etc. Buffy is pretty much a duplicate of Shadowcat, as is River and Kaylee in a much lesser degree. If you enjoy Wheldon's work, check out Astonishing X-Men which has been running for about 2 years now.

      Wheldon is a master story teller, and I am really enjoying his work. I saw Firefly last weekend and immediatly went on a hard target search for Firefly this weekend. Watched the entire series, and am blown away. I never know TV could be this good. Too good to continue I guess :(

    • by lawpoop ( 604919 ) on Saturday October 08, 2005 @12:33AM (#13744972) Homepage Journal
      Not really. I think about 16 years old is normally an acceptable age of a woman for a man to be attracted to. Remeber, about 100 years ago, most kids were getting married around age 15. Dying at 30 moves things along little faster.

      Anyway, as long as the woman is physically mature, I don't think the guy is a pedophile, and the obsession doesn't seem harmful to society -- as long as he can wait two years.
      • A person should always wait for a girl to reach 18, not because one would hurt her by having icky sex with her, but because our society is apeshit insane and would tear her and her older partner to shreds. So waiting until she's of age is just sanity in an insane world.

        Of course, if everyone who'd had sex with an underaged partner were actually found out and prosecuted, the US would just become a giant prison complex full of lifers. I'd not be in there with the majority of y'all, but that's because I had a
  • The neat thing about this is their content delivery method. It's a Java app.

    It worked perfectly on my WindowsXP machine AND my friend's OS X machine. How about Linux? Has anyone tried running it on their Java-enabled phone?
    • How about Linux?

      On my box it dies with this:
      Vendor: Blackdown Java-Linux Team
      OS: linux, MSJVM: false
      I'm quite sure I don't have a 'MSJVM'... thankfully.

  • by LoadStar ( 532607 ) on Friday October 07, 2005 @08:20PM (#13743898)

    Correction to the submission: this is being released by United International Pictures [], the company responsible for international release of Serenity. Since UIP is partially owned by Universal, it might be seen as semantics, but UIP has a distinct marketing plan for the movie from that of Universal.

    It's also important to note, because it might seem like odd timing for Universal to release new marketing materials for a movie already released - it might even seem a move of desperation to get "butts in seats" before it leaves theaters... but it makes more sense as new marketing released by UIP for a movie they are opening today or within the next few weeks.

  • Nice hook (Score:2, Funny)

    by mattwarden ( 699984 )
    Unfortunately, the Operating System you are currently using is unsupported.

    Best. movie. ever.

  • The player that is - at least under Tiger on an original Dual USB G3. A/V syncing is perfect at "small" - all "sizes" play full screen anyway. The film is the bomb.

    "Pyxis Supply Station" - hunh. Glad to see Sony's two pound, First Generation GPS receiver design is finally being put to use. Glad I held onto mine.
  • by radarsat1 ( 786772 ) on Friday October 07, 2005 @08:53PM (#13744058) Homepage
    I'm one of those people who reads slashdot regularly, runs linux on his computer, and has NOT watched the show Firefly and did NOT go see the movie the week it opened.
    However, I do love sci-fi, I just never took the opportunity to get hooked on this show. (I have enough vices already!)

    In any case, look: Advertising, after a movie has been released, is to encourage those who have not seen the movie or may not have been following it so closely but who _might_ be interested, to fork out the $10 and go check it out. I admit, the trailer was sort of interesting but nothing that really grabbed my attention. Mostly it's the hype I've read on this website that has kept me interested, and is what is making me want to go see it. I have no idea about the Firefly story, but since everyone seems to think it's so amazing I might be pursuaded to go see it, especially with a little enticement like showing me the first few minutes of the movie.

    Now. I run linux. So I can't watch this "teaser". Let me repeat: I AM PRECISELY THE TARGET AUDIENCE for this advertisement, and yet the message I get when I actually make the effort of clicking on the link and going to the website to check it out is: You can't watch this, your operating system is not supported. This is not something that happens by accident. They are ACTIVELY dissuading linux users from watching the teaser. I had to click "view source" just to find the file, and I'm downloading it, but I realize it's very unlikely I'll be able to watch it. They are publishing in some stupid non-standard format. And for what reason? I can't think of a single one. They are giving it away for FREE, why would they be worried about copyright? At the VERY least, if you don't want to get into weird IP battles by using "frowned upon" formats like DivX (though I don't see the problem with OSS formats like Xvid), publish it in straight MPEG, even if it's low resolution, but my goodness, don't DENY your target audience the ability to watch it.

    Whoever is in charge of marketing has no clue.
    As it is, I still don't know if I'll bother going to see it, especially considering how expensive the theaters are these days and how little time I have.
    If only I could watch the teaser...

    It finished downloading by the time I typed this out. And look, mplayer and VLC are both out of luck.
  • by fsck! ( 98098 ) <> on Friday October 07, 2005 @09:35PM (#13744288) Homepage
    I've already seen the film twice, so what really shocked me is how well that worked. The video started almost instantly, and I'm on a modest DSL line shared with a neighbor. Good quality. Some noticable compression artifacts and the sound was just slightly out of sync, but still, very good for what it is.

    And to those complaining about free advertising: Let's complain instead about the granularity of SlashCode's RSS. There should be a seperate feed for each section, and some way of getting your customized index as a feed. Then you can easily exclude Sci-Fi stuff you think is so off topic.

    But I digress. Everything the studio can do to help Sereinty/Firefly/Whedon Enterprises is good. I hope we see more quality naturalistic science fiction [] like this and Battlestar Gallactica in the future.

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"