A little while ago, I wrote the following in response to various comments on a mailing list:
- Of course special effects aren't the reason we watch Firefly/Serenity. An sfx/CGI movie is not worth seeing. A wonderful movie with great characters and a great plot is worth seeing. That does not mean that magnificent visuals and beautiful use of sound are not worth experiencing also, and make no mistake -- Serenity has magnificent visuals and beautiful use of sound.
I don't care one iota how many CGI effects there are (CG or more non-CG, results are what matters) or how much money was spent on special effects. I care that it looks and sounds incredible, and you seem convinced that it doesn't. The movie shown in the 3 preview screenings did not have the incredible visual beauty and breathtaking
sound effects and score that the final cut has -- there were many enhancements in terms of things as simple as colour correction and as major as a complete musical score where only placeholder music was there before.
The powerful visual and audio experience really enhances what the movie is really about--the story and the characters. It's not the center-piece, but boy does it make a difference. The final cut deserves a good theatre.