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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Action > Western > Fantasy > Serenity (2005/Universal Blu-ray)

Serenity (Universal Blu-ray)


Picture: B+     Sound: A-     Extras: A-     Film: B



After one canceled television series and several releases on both DVD and now-defunct HD DVD (one of the first releases in the format, not reviewed on this site), Serenity finally arrives on Blu-ray.  All of the epic story and action are there looking better than ever in its new Blu-ray format.  Most likely if you are reading this because you have watched the series and have finally decided to pick up this follow-up film or you already own multiple copies of the film in a variety of formats and are wondering, is it worth the upgrade?  The answer to the later is an overwhelming, YES!


For more on the story behind the film follow the links below to our Firefly: The Complete Series reviews of both the DVD and Blu-ray releases:









A Serenity film synopsis along with some further insight on the DVD release can also be found at the link below:





Serenity is not the best science fiction film ever created, but it is masterfully executed.  There is enough back story, depth, and character development to make any film buff swoon and plenty of explosions, aliens, and space travel to make a Star Wars junkie rip the arms off his Wicket the Ewok doll with overwhelming joy.  Serenity is just a well made film all around.  It has an enjoyable cast and plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat; all while establishing a new world with classic archetypes to make you go back and see what you missed.  The more I watch Serenity the more I am impressed.  Excellent, excellent, and more excellent!


The technical features on this new Blu-ray release of Serenity are quite nice across the board.  The picture is presented as a 1080p/VC-1, 2.35 X 1 Widescreen that is pristine in everyway.  Serenity is well known for being a highly stylized movie that has layers of style that go far beyond the film itself.  With purposely exaggerated colors, washed out whites, a degree of intended grit and grime, insanely deep/inky blacks, and images that just shine off the screen Serenity contains an art direction that not many “simple action films” can handle.  Who would have ever expected a film based on canceled television series could be a breakout hit that fans across the board clamor to see?  Overall, the image is crystal clear with no compression issues, but it does tend to lack the smaller details and certain levels of texture.  On the whole the film’s picture presentation is not perfect, but close to it as it very nicely displays its unique sense of style throughout.


The sound is presented in a 24-Bit DTS HD Master Audio Track that is very impressive as it ‘booms’ from the surrounds.  The sound is crisp, clear, and intense as it passes through the speakers to fully immerse you in the film’s larger-than-life experience of action and well written dialogue.  Overall, a very impressive picture and sound presentation that anyone should be proud to host on their Blu-ray player.


The extras are impressively plentiful as they contain all the special features that were presented on the 2007 Special Edition DVD as well as adding some new exclusive Blu-ray interactive features.  Though there are a ton of extras, the bulk of those presented are in a simple standard definition that certainly does not thrill; though the exclusive Blu-ray features are pretty nice.  Extras include:


  • Josh Whedon Introduction
  • Audio Commentaries
  • Outtakes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Extended Scenes
  • A Film Maker’s Journey
  • Take a Walk on Serenity
  • Future History: The Story of Earth that was
  • What’s In a Firefly?
  • Re-Lighting the Firefly
  • Session 416
  • The Green Clan
  • U-Control Features:
    • Visual Commentary, Picture in Picture, Mr. Universe’s Compendium, Digital
  • Tour of Serenity
  • Alliance Database
  • BD Live (Online)



I would like to simplify Serenity and call it an extended episode or a really good episode, but it is not; this film has much more depth and substance than any individual episode ever contained.  The film goes beyond the series with its attention to detail, art direction, and overall intensity.  The series was underappreciated for sure, but the film solidifies its place science fiction history and the mythology continues to grow with the fans.  Serenity is just downright awesome and it knows it.



-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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