Apr 272019

Serenity is certainly an oddball of a movie and although certainly the terrible critical reception didn’t help, it’s no wonder why the studio probably had a hell of time on how to market this.




Genre(s): Drama, Thriller
Universal | R – 107 min. – $34.98 |April 30, 2019

Date Published: 04/27/2019 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Steven Knight
Writer(s): Steven Knight (written by)
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jason Clarke, Diane Lane, Djimon Hounsou
Features: None
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 31.64 GB
Total Bitrate: 37.71 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 4.0/5

** Note: This portion does contain some MAJOR PLOT SPOILERS, so please beware. **

If you never heard of Serenity before, you’re not alone because neither had I. The movie was in and out of theaters making a mere $11.4 million off of a reasonable $25 million budget. But one of the best perks of reviewing is getting to see films I might’ve otherwise skipped and boy was Serenity one hell of a ride. Well, more of a ride that’s on a collision course toward a semi, but still…

Here is the basic plot synopsis: Baker Dill (MATTHEW MCCONAUHEY) is a fishing boat captain who leads tours off of the tranquil enclave of Plymouth Island. His peaceful life is soon shattered when his ex-wife Karen (ANNE HATHAWAY) tracks him down. Desperate for help, Karen begs Baker to save her — and their young son — from her abusive husband (JASON CLARKE). She wants him to take the brute out for a fishing excursion — then throw him overboard to the sharks. Thrust back into a life that he wanted to forget, Baker now finds himself struggling to choose between right and wrong.

Sounds simple enough, no? While indeed that does happen in the movie, where I thought I was getting some sort of modern-day film noir, what eventually we get is more along the lines of The Truman Show. Despite the insanity that I was watching and how some of it makes no sense whatsoever, I have to admit, I kind of was entertained by it all.

First, the performances are, well, uneven. The supporting players of the respectable actors which  included Djimon Hounsou as Dill’s skipper and Diane Lane playing the sugar momma. However, McConaughey switched back and forth from mild mannered to over-the-top, where I wonder if he got to the point where he realized just what a messy movie he had signed on to. Hathaway was decent enough, although she did feel like a character out of an old-time film noir while Jason Clarke went full-on portraying a loutish, all-around despicable human being, necessary if you want your main character to even consider murdering the guy.

Outside of my reference to The Truman Show, I won’t go much further as not to spoil the twist, though it is one maybe M. Night Shyamalan would probably appreciate… And I suppose I did as well, even if it didn’t make a lick of sense, even days later thinking upon what the hell exactly happened. That being said, it certainly was one of the more unique, and bewildering, viewing experiences  of the last few years.

Serenity was the brainchild of Steven Knight, Academy Award nominee for writing Dirty Pretty Things and who has also written the screenplays for Eastern Promises, Allied and The Girl in the Spider’s Web amongst others. This also marks his third film in the director’s chair following the Jason Statham thriller Redemption and Locke starring Tom Hardy, both movies released back in 2013.



Nice title-embossed slip cover and there is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy but no features were included. Odd some of the promotional interviews couldn’t be included, especially since McConaughey tends to make those fun to watch.


VIDEO – 4.5/5

Universal sets sail on Serenity with the film presented with a 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. This is a beautiful looking picture showcasing the island of Mauritius, which is off the coast of Africa. Detail is sharp and well defined throughout while colors were fairly vibrant with some dark scenes sprinkled here and there which were stark. The picture appeared clean with no apparent signs of aliasing, artifacts or even banding.

AUDIO – 4.25/5

The movie includes a respectable if not standard DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. I initially thought this was going to be a bit too low key but as the movie went on, the levels kept going up and there was a fine amount of depth such as during a rainstorm as well as the score which made use of the rear channels fairly well with the center being relegated mostly for the dialogue.


OVERALL – 3.0/5

Serenity is certainly an oddball of a movie and although certainly the terrible critical reception didn’t help, it’s no wonder why the studio probably had a hell of time on how to market this, leading to a poor showing at the box office. As for me, yes it is a messy film and it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but damn if I didn’t have a fun and entertaining time letting it all in. I’d say this is worthy of a rental.




Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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