Firstly, a welcome message from Joss Whedon and OMG i almost died that he'd done that and it was so Joss! But then he uses a Doyle quote "fight the good fight" and i think i really did die or squee or something - it all adds up to the same thing. He also said stuff about (and this is all completely paraphrased cos no way is my memory that solid): 'So we showed the unfinsihed version to some fans and we had people pelting us with rocks, no wait that was something else, they liked it!' and stuff about how cool the browncoats are "well actually coats of other colours too, and people without coats, you could just have a tie so thanks to all my multicoloured coat fans" *g* and the difference between the cult and a movement (in a totally american teenage voice): 'this thing that i do is only cool if i'm the only one doing it and if you start doing it then i'm so not interested but my fans always realised that firefly and this movie was about sharing, all ages, nationalities and coats' and then something like: 'so here's the absolutely finished version of the movie with the sound track and visuals exactly the way they're supposed to be, well except for a couple of gapping plots holes that i couldn't be bothered to fix...and thinking about it maybe i shouldn't have mentioned that.....enjoy.' Yeah totally fangirling Joss Whedon her "Joss, the man they called Joss.........."
So it started with a shot of "Earth that Was" and for a horrific moment i thought they were just gonna explain the whole of the backstory in a voiceover (with a pretty annoying voice), but silly me to think so little of Whedon and crew. No it was a memory/dream River was having of a class and the teacher was giving a very revisionists history lesson which then fades with a hologram which the Operative is watching. Basically the layer upon layer of sub-reality is just way cool.
Then credits - which why waste time, let's have them set on a really fun Wash and Mal conversation along the lines of we're gonna crash land (again with the paraphrasing).
Wash: Things could get really interesting.
Mal: Define interesting.
Wash: Oh god, oh god we're all gonna die (AND OH MY GOD! THAT IS SO SAD NOW!!!)
Mal (on radio): People we may experience some slight turbulence and then explode.
Jayne: We're gonna explode. I don't wanna explode!
And the ship looks much better (well duh with the bigger budget) both inside and out. Well except for the flowers in the kitchen, i liked them better in the series. But Mal does that 'walking through the whole ship so you get an idea of dimensions and how this is a fully articulated living place rather than a ship or worse a set' that Joss likes so much and then Simon takes over where he finishes. Which really just brings me onto Simon - WOW! Yes my love for him has not lessened with the passing of time or the transfer to the big screen in fact it may have grown just like his character. No longer is he the sweet little medic who gets beaten up a lot and everyone walks all over. Instead he's giving Mal orders and ultimatums and finally stops being such a good polite little boy RE Kaylee. Also we see how he, yes HE, rescued River and not just paid someone to do it. I like simon.
Jayne was good as always and him and Mal have some great comedic moments, as always. I love the dynamics between those two (and i can actually mean that in a non-slash, as well as slash way, whatever, i'm easy). But arguing about weapons (YAY a classic) and arguing about running of the ship (still classic) and arguing about mercy killings (okay that was new but funny and touching).
Zoe, i think for the first time, you get to see more as a woman as well as a soldier. She actually takes Mal up on the "you shot someone to save him rather than give up our job money" thing (the answer for which was another of of these subtle cues for the non fans about these people's lives but i liked cos it fit in with the story and totally didn't feel forced). She also cries and loses all perspective (well d'uh, not balming her, just saying: well done.) Carrying on from the series though she does do the 'being proud of Wash and his piloting skills' thing.
Ohh occurs to me i haven't said anything about River. That girl kicks ass. In every sense of the phrase. Also we see cute little girl river! YAY! and psycho killer River. Also YAY! And Not psycho killer River - possibly the biggest YAY of them all. Carrying on from the series - Joss's obsession with Summer's feet and having her bend over things. God that girl is graceful.
Book has a smaller role but he's still great. And then he dies. But it's such a powerful death telling Mal to 'keep on believing' and Mal with the denial and the 'you'll be fine, doc's gonna be here any min' and OMG this!
Book: It's ok, i'm not a part of your crew.
Mal: Yes you are.
And the broken up Mal. Ok, this was the first point i cried.
The second point was the death of Wash! (yeah okay so i hinted at that before but WTF! Talk about your unexpected. I had heard someone dies. I thought that was as in one someone. So after Book i relaxed a bit thinking (absolutely selfishly, at least it wasn't Simon) but OMG! They killed Wash!!! And it was so different to Book's death. Very sudden. And coming on a backdrop of 'i'm calm like a leaf, i'm soaring on the wind.' arrrrrgghhhh! The only positive i can think of is that both Alan and Ron have signed on for the next two movies (if they happen - which hopefully, yes!) so he's gotta find some way of fitting them in. Probably flashbacks. Maybe a prequel? We still need to know about Book's past. In fact they hint at the fact that we don't know anything in a conversation with Mal so we need to know!
Like Firefly, and in fact just about any script written my Joss, the dialogue was very sharp and witty leading to some great funny moments. Too many to mention (plus it's getting kinda late, when did that happen?) but the one that keeps springing to mind is that Kaylee being all worried that they're not getting outta there alive and Simon be's all sweet and says 'the part i regret, is never being with you'
kaylee: With me? You mean to say - sex?
Simon: I mean to say...
Kaylee: Okay forget this, i'm getting outta this alive :D :D :D
Oh also after the conversation between Mal and Inara that everyone watched "did you see us argue? no. trap." LOL. So a joke that i missed! But funny now! *g*
Other characters: The Operative, yeah your typical bad guy, but cool in a Firefly 'verse bad guy way.
Mr Universe: yeah cool in a geeky, Trio, Lonegunmen kinda way. OMG how much did i love him and HE DIED TOO! But he still helped out (from beyond the grave.) Plus he had a Lovebot! A LOVEBOT! How Buffy is that? Oh Joss, incase i haven't mentioned in the last couple of paragraphs, you totally rock.
Ohhh also afterwards someone came up to me in and gushed "i really like your hat." YAY!!! Jayne love!