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9.9 13 10
Extended Edition October 01, 2014 8249
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This works as both a great Extended Edition of the movie Serenity, as well as a great finale to part 3 of MusicEd921's "Serenity Chronicles". It is overwhelmingly a good edit, though I haven't decided yet if it replaces the original film for me, for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, a few others have noted the difference in quality of the added scenes, and the editor himself does put a warning of this at the start of the film. Personally, it did bother me the most in Part 3 though. The first 2 parts were sourced from TV, and the resolution of the normal footage was average anyway. However, the footage here from the theatrical film looks great!....and consequently the contrast with the added scenes is that much more noticeable. Also, unlike with the previous 2 parts, several scenes here are "extended", and it actually seemed to me that specific shots of a few seconds each were spliced in with the extant footage. So you're watching high quality video, than suddenly the scene switches to be much rougher looking, then back to high quality, then maybe back again to rougher footage ten seconds later. I found this much more distracting than in parts 1 and 2 when there were simply some rough quality scenes added in whole.

I will say that while all of the "deleted" and "extended" footage is great on its own, there were a few bits that I could see why they were deleted. Sometimes they were just better left out for tonal reasons. While I was very grateful for scenes of Inara's world or other longer ones that were probably cut for time, the bits that were cut for tone should probably have stayed out. The most notable one for me was a big fight between Mal and The Operative which suddenly stops for 10 seconds to trade quips. I mean, they're funny, but it just ruins the momentum of the scene. The result of all this is that this Extended Edition is basically just the maximum length the film can be, without much editing for quality.

Fifteen years has given time to see this film for what it is, a fantastic Star Wars substitute that had a lot of potential. It's given time to let all the superlatives die down and realize that it does have continuity issues (Simon starts off as a super-confident secret agent mastermind?!) and it does fail to pay off many points from the series. It would've been a great start for a film trilogy, but here it's the finale of a TV trilogy. It's a bittersweet experience watching this, because it's so good but also leaves so much undone. It actually doesn't stand on its own very well or wrap things up either. I'd still recommend any sci-fi nerd go out and watch the series, though. If you like it, The Serenity Chronicles are a great way to rewatch and get even more added bits.

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