IBJ movie night: 'Serenity'

August 3, 2009
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There's a good chance you missed "Serenity" when it first played in theaters.

The adventure from Joss Whedon (of "Buffy" fame) is one of the best reviewed science fiction films of the decade so far (88% from the top critics at Rottentomatoes.com) yet it got lost at the box office on its initial release in 2005.

Well, here's another chance to catch it on the big screen. United Artists Circle Centre 9 will feature a special screening of "Serenity" on Thursday, August 13, to coincide with GenCon. Care to join me?

You can win a pair of free tickets just by posting your favorite underappreciated movie here.

I'll pick winners at random until the passes are gone.

  • Oh I love Serenity (and Firefly).

    Some underappreciated movies from last year would be a charming Israeli film called The Band's Visit, a powerful Ben Kingsley and Penelope Cruz movie called Elegy, and a cool French New Wave-ish movie called Reprise.
  • The Neverending Story II is definitely a movie that many people have not seen, or even heard of. I'm a huge fan!
  • It's a great movie. I didn't watch Firefly when it first came through, but I caught episodes on Sci-Fi. The movie did a great job of making the story accessible to someone who didn't live and breathe the canon of the show, and it was just a fun time. Since I own it on DVD, I don't know if I'll venture down, but it sounds like it would be fun.
  • Two great Terry Gilliam movies: The Fisher King (Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges) and 12 Monkeys (Bruce Willis)
  • Will there be browncoats and Alliance soldiers there?! Mal and Kaylee fans?! Huge geek for Firefly and Serenity -- I could make this.
  • One of my all time favorite movies - hope we get to see it on the big screen again!

    I have two under appreciated films to mention: Glory and Vanilla Sky.

    Glory might have received recognition when it first hit the big screen - but it does not seem to receive the attention in big film lists that I think it deserves.

    Vanilla Sky was an interesting story and thought a great acting job by Tom Cruise. Whatever folks say about his excentricities - I do believe the gentleman can act.
  • Features Hoosier Ron Glass from Evansville.
  • LOVE Serenity and Firefly! I was lucky enough to get a ticket to the advance screening of the movie in Phoenix while I was there for an unrelated conference. Nathan Fillion (Capt. Mal) turned up to watch the movie with the audience. He was very funny and took the time to answer questions after the movie and to sign autographs. I think Firefly as a whole was very under appreciated. I still miss this show.
  • Most under appreciated movie in my lifetime: Sneakers.

    Check out this all-star cast:

    Robert Redford
    Dan Akroyd
    David Strathaim
    Sidney Poitier! (yes THAT Sidney Poitier)
    River Phoenix
    Mary McDonnell (Battlestar, Dances w/ wolves)
    Ben Kingsley

    Hackers, black ops, mafia. Just a great movie no one's ever heard of.
  • Serenity is a great movie... I loved Firefly too. Expiration Date is my favorite underappreciated movie.
  • Here is my pick for most under appreciated movie. Before Sunset was a sequel to Before Sunrise. Set 9 years after an American college boy Jesse meets this sweet French girl Celine in Before Sunrise in what can be described as every college guy's fantasy movie.

    We now see them as mature adults who are not as naive but still have a warm place in the heart for each other and how life's challenges have brought to this point. The what ifs are explored but you get a sense of these two would have met again eventually as there is a true and honest connection.
  • I'm embarrassed to admit it...but, I loved Idle Hands about a boy whose hand is possessed by Satan and goes on a killing spree. Believe it or not, it's hilarious!!
  • James,
    I'd argue against Dan Akroyd as an all-star, but, yes, a fun, underrated movie

    Glory, it seems, has become a go-to high school history class film.

    Not sure which comedian said it, but one noted that if the story is never ending, how could there be a sequel?

    Here are some of my underrateds:

    * Chilly Scenes of Winter (aka Head Over Heels) -- If you liked (500 Days of Summer, try to find this, kind of the 70s version).

    * ffolkes -- I was never a fan of the Roger Moore Bond films, but this is a fun Moore action flick. Of course, I haven't seen it in 20 years, so it might not hold up.

    * Nighthawks -- My favorite Stallone film besides the original Rocky.

    * Starship Troopers -- Takes more risks than just about any science fiction film I can recall. Disturbingly satiric.

    * The Mist -- Another disturbing one that doesn't back away from its subject. The controversial ending probably cost it a following, but it's just right and unforgettable.

    * Toy Soldiers -- Terrorists take over a private school for boys. It's been described as Die Hard meets Dead Poets Society. I'll take that.

    * Miss Congeniality -- Not overly ambitious, but really fun. And Shatner sings.

    * Go -- Easy to write off as another post-Pulp Fiction multi-plotline drug dealing film, but it moves.

    * Stardust and Willow -- You can have the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I'll take either of this one-shot epic fantasies.

    * Meet John Doe -- When you've seen It's a Wonderful Life or Mr. Smith Goes to Washington one too many times, try this underrated Capra (Conversely, I think It Happened One Night is overrated Capra.

    * Holiday -- And when you've seen The Philadelphia Story or Bringing Up Baby a time too many, try this comedy should-be classic.

    * Some Kind of Wonderful - For some reason, it doesn't have the status of The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink, but this is a much more anchored, believable, better acted film from the John Hughes universe.

  • Ah there's too many to list, but I agree with Jules on Fisher King. Jeff Bridges and Robin Williams are great in this movie as is the supporting cast.

    I know people rip it all the time and I've never understood why. It's a great performance by the two lead roles and a great job by the director/writer (Ben Stiller), but THE CABLE GUY would be my vote for underappreciated movie! I really don't think people get it (social commentary on people's media gluttony) or they were so hungover from Jim Carrey being the funny guy that this darker role for him wasn't appreciated. Watch it again and see what you think today vs. 10+ years ago!
  • To me one of the most underappreciated movies of the last few decades has to be Ronin. Talk about an all-star cast in a movie that does not receive a lot of recognition, and I feel that it was Frankenheimer's last great movie.

    There are two fantastic car chases in this movie, and while I have never seen it verified, I believe that Micheal Schumacher was one of the drivers for the final car chase.
  • I'm so glad to know that there's someone else out there who appreciates Starship Troopers as a satire, in the way only Paul Verhoeven can do satire.

    For my underappreciated gem, I'll throw out another Verhoeven film: FLESH+BLOOD. It's a mostly forgotten but weirdly compelling film, not for the faint of stomach or the easily offended. It's a very strange mixture of epic, historical, satiric, and fantasy elements -- starring Rutger Hauer and Jennifer Jason Leigh. It's morally ambiguous and unflinchingly graphic in ways that probably wouldn't even get green-lit by a studio today.
  • Yes!! Sneakers! I had forgotten about that one. I LOVE that movie! So many of my favorite actors in one film. I could sit and watch Ben Kingsly as he sits and watches paint dry and be happy.

    I love the Firefly series, and I own both the series and the film. When [SPOILER EDIT--sorry, Lou] I felt like Joss had betrayed me. Lol Still... a great story.
  • Wow - there are SO many underappreciated movies. Well, this veers out of sci-fi range, but two of my favorites are Undertaking Betty with Brenda Blethyn, Alfred Molina, Christopher Walken and Naomi Watts; and Enigma with Dougray Scott and Kate Winslet.
  • Best underappreciated movie??? hmmm. That's a tough one. Big Trouble in Little China?? If I had time, I'd thinkofa bunch of underapppreciated flicks.
  • I haven't seen it in a long time, but I enjoyed the movie Simon Birch. Especially the perfomances of Ashley Judd and Oliver Platt. Funny, a bit dark at times. Sad, too. Remember the cameo by Jim Carrey?

    BTW...can't make the screening of Serenity, but was fun to see the responses.
  • I love Firefly and Serenity! This will be a lot of fun!

    Two recent underappreciated movies: Coraline and Synecdoche New York.
  • The two movies in my DVD collection that guests have rarely seen but always love are Out Of Sight (George Clooney and, umm, Jennifer Lopez) and Kissing a Fool (David Schwimmer and Jason Lee).
  • your favorite underappreciated movie: Black Orpheus. Loved it way back then and again and again...
  • Ah, one of my favorite movies, saddled with an unfortunate title that probably was its undoing and yet perfectly describes what the film is about, is The Hudsucker Proxy. It's a New Year's tradition for me.

    I have Serenity on DVD, of course, but I'm all about congregating with other Browncoats. (BTW, Lou, it's actually Joss, not Josh, Whedon.)
  • The Five Heartbeats was a great movie about a group trying to make it in the 60's. Robert Townsend's movie didn't receive much advertisement but it was one of my favorites up there with The Color Purple where Spielberg made the book come to life and Whoopie was ROBBED of an Oscar!!
  • I was a big fan of the Whedon series as well as the movie. I went to the cinema twice in a vain effort to show my support for the film.

    Three movies that seemed to make little box office splash (if I recall) that I enjoyed were Near Dark, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension and Fear of a Black Hat.
  • Go on, laugh if you will, but Joe Vs. the Volcano. Got to get me some of that luggage.
  • I love the movie funny bones with Jerry lewis. It was quirky and had beautiful photography and one of my favorite song-- by james darrin.

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