Joss Whedon's space-Western TV show Firefly only lasted about five minutes on Fox. But it was so damn good that it developed a sizeable cult following. That led to the feature film Serenity (Universal). In continuing the series, Serenity lost some of its depth, but the trademark Whedon combination of loveable characters, snappy dialogue, and gripping action made it to the big screen intact. The mediocre box-office will preclude future sequels, but hey, at least this one got made…

An honorable failure (but a failure nonetheless), The Brothers Grimm (Miramax) might find a decent second life on DVD, where Terry Gilliam's wilder flights of fancy—not to mention the comic chemistry of Matt Damon and Heath Ledger—can be extracted from the bloated story and general excess. The disc also contains deleted scenes, including an extended forest attack that Gilliam has jokingly referred to as "the world's most expensive DVD extra"…

A case study on how a great story gets "Hollywoodized," John Singleton's risible Four Brothers (Paramount) starts out as a compelling morality tale about former Detroit street toughs who consider revenge when their beloved guardian gets shot in a convenience-store robbery. But that's quickly abandoned in favor of a dubious vigilante action movie packed with chase scenes, over-the-top gunfights, and rampant misogyny…

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Adding noise to the current debate over evolution and intelligent design, The Exorcism Of Emily Rose (Sony) is curious mix of courtroom drama and head-spinning Exorcist knockoff, all geared toward the conclusion that the mysteries of faith trump the speculations of science. Though it's heavily weighted for the defense, which stands up for a priest charged with neglect for allowing a "possessed" woman to die under his care, Campbell Scott argues so convincingly for the prosecution that the filmmakers' case crumbles anyway…

The documentary The Wild Parrots Of Telegraph Hill (Docurama) didn't make the Academy Awards shortlist, but it was a favorite among many of 2005's arthouse patrons, who responded to its beautifully photographed, emotionally resonant story of a brilliant homeless man who becomes an advocate for San Francisco's avian wildlife.