Knocked Up (fun, if not exactly what I was in the mood for) wound up starting late before our penultimate Firefly at the Mission soiree, thus making Firefly’s “Objects in Space” (one of the action-heavy episodes, and simultaneously the most thoughtful and philosophical hour of Firefly that Joss And Co. produced) start late. At least the weather was smiling at us. Or at least smirking a half-smile. And our mood dampened not; we seemed feisty this time. I was assisted by A) the iced chai I’d had before reaching the theatre and B) the Firefly Kolsch I was sipping. Finally even I (to borrow Eric Idle’s phrase “merely an amateur drinker”) enjoyed a show with an adult beverage! If the laughs from near the right side of the screen were especially loud, that may have been why…
Somewhere near capacity – with a turnout that made some of the early-arrivers worry that people thought this was the free Serenity-the-movie screening, which it wasn’t, that’s next week – is what the theatre was. Yes, the grammar works there, if somewhat Yodashly. (“Yeah, that’s a word…now…”) And we were celebrating our geekiness; actually overheard in the lobby: “It’s not a real Sonic Screwdriver.” Meanwhile, the tireless (Viso-fueled? asks this member of the Emerson Army) street team from the radio stations put up the AM 970 and KUFO banners, starting to install a KUFO banner upside down (making KUFO look kind of like, oh, you can figure that out) before catching the mistake. The fan-made music played again, including that more up-tempo female-vocal version of the Firefly theme song, which I now think of as “Firefly theme, Season Three (’cause Fox would’ve wanted a jauntier opening…had it, of course, kept the gorram show on the air).”
The music also made me, someone with little exposure to filk so far, wonder: does anyone do punk-filk?
Our feisty side showed when the trivia contest, being for the winning of much swag from Dark Horse, Things From Another World and even Joss Whedon himself, began. I think Mike Russell’s question “What’s depicted in the shadow play in ‘Heart of Gold’?” got the answer “The Kama Sutra!”
Then Cort and Fatboy chided each other on video over how to introduce this last episode, and then-then “Objects in Space” played to its appreciative audience.
One of the many things I love about the episode is how River’s solution to the Jubal Early problem is a solution only she, among the ship’s whole crew, would’ve thought up. I also love how Early uses philosophy and psychology to his twisted advantage, messing with the minds and feelings of our heroes until he’s out-thought by those same heroes. And oh, that was earned applause when River gently announced throughout the ship “You’re talking to Serenity – and Serenity is very unhappy.” It showed the steely, protective side of our favorite psychic in the ’Verse, a side only glimpsed before. Good stuff.
And then we got to watch River go nuts, at least in quotes (“go nuts” – there, like that) as the Surprise Content of last night’s show immediately followed the episode. The River Tam Sessions, originally placed online in 2005 and finally collected for American DVD owners in the new Serenity DVD (waiting for me at a downtown store! I get it Thursday! Woo hoo!), kicked off the second half of the screening. Russell had edited together a smorgasbord of Firefly and Serenity bonus material, including what he described as “an absolutely horrible Fox commercial for Firefly (seriously – it’s horrible),” showing a show nigh-unrecognizable even to Browncoats. (So Fox didn’t figure out how to sell Firefly, like how Warner Bros. couldn’t figure out how to sell The Iron Giant. Seriously; remember what the studio-affiliated trailers were in front of the dark and PG-rated Iron Giant? The ultra-G-rated two-fer A Dog of Flanders and Pokemon: The Movie! Yes, unfortunately, I remember this…) Seriously, the Fruity Oaty Bars commercial made more sense. Which we also saw. Along with gag reels, behind-the-scenes stuff, excerpts of Firefly fan-films, and even Adam Baldwin singing “The Hero of Canton” with at least a touch of Frank Sinatra in his voice.
And then, with a shot of Captain Mal’s bare ass (you know which shot I’m talking about), the screening ended. And this rather limp-but-happy Firefly appreciater joined those chuckling masses that were leaving the Mission, and walked and, eventually, taxied back home because he’d missed almost all of the last busses to his neighborhood.
Next week: a movie for free…the same movie many of us watched in June while raising TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS for charity, so it’s a movie that’s done good in a way that, oh, Transformers likely never will. We can be proud of that.