Director: Joss Whedon
DVD released: Dec. 20, 2005
There's a hint of Han Solo in Nathan Fillion's smug and cheeky Captain "Mal" Reynolds, leader of a small-time band of smugglers who, like Solo, are good guys who prefer to avoid entanglements with a not-so-virtuous government (referred to here as "the alliance") as they tool about the galaxy in a firefly class craft. When they find themselves with a hot piece of cargo — a young, telepathic subject of government experimentation, River (Summer Glau), who vacillates from calculating but docile mind-reading young adult to cold killing machine — they are thrust perilously square in the sights of the government and a brutal assassin (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who creates some of the movie's greatest drama. A tense space battle sequence and a no-they-didn't government secret make this effectively buttery popcorn sci-fi, whether or not you have seen a single episode of the source material, Fox's 2002 "sci-fi western" series Firefly. // DVD notes // Lots of gratuitous noise in this movie: Apartment dwellers like me will find this one a nightmare for volume control, as the dialogue is often quite muted. I had to turn the subwoofer down. There are deleted scenes and bloopers plus an assortment of featurettes for the Firefly cultists.