While the DVD doesn’t release until December 20, 2005, I already know that I strongly recommend this title.
Born from the mind of Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel), Serenity is a continuation of the adventures begun on the too-soon-cancelled show, Firefly. This space-faring outlaw crew travels on the fringe and in the shadows of a "big brother" alliance of worlds. One of their crew, River Tam, rescued by her brother, is someone who was being "schooled" by this Alliance, and is someone who they desperately want back. Firefly presented the audience with tantalizing glimpses of who River was, and what she had become. Serenity answers a lot of these questions, as well as why does the Alliance want River Tam back so badly?
As of this writing, I haven’t seen the DVD. I have, however, read the script, and have seen the movie in theaters on several occasions. It doesn’t disappoint. While there are small details that "Browncoats" (long-time, devoted fans of the original series) such as myself take great enjoyment in; I’m assured by many people who had no Firefly background that the story doesn’t require that you see the series first in order to understand it.
That said, and as much as I love this film, it isn’t a perfect movie. Because Joss was trying to compress what would have been the second (and maybe third) seasons of Firefly-that-would-have-been into a little more than two hours, there is some compression of story in spots that would have been better to play out over time. Even so, the movie has fun dialog (if you don’t mind the western patois), good characters, and special effects that, for the most part, are less intrusive to the story than that other highly-anticipated 2005 space film that cost three times as much to make.
The verdict on Serenity? Shiny. *Highly* recommended