Snakes on a Plane [R]
Finally, it's here. After months of hype and parody and speculation, The Snakes Are In The House. And frankly, it's everything it needs to be.
Make no mistake. This is a Summer Movie. It has all the bells and whistles of a Summer Movie, except it has snakes. And Samuel L. Jackson. And snakes.
The snakes are hyped up, turbo-boosted, aggressive monsters that any herpetologist would never recognize. And for your R-rating, you get to see some pretty gruesome deaths. Even through inadvertent humor, though, the people on the plane continue to take this seriously -- and that holds the movie together.
Science takes a real beating at times. You don't want to ask too many questions about the chemistry of snakes or their ability to perform certain tasks. And snakes are NOT slimy! Their "slime" should NOT short out electrical circuits! Oh, but never mind. We're having fun.
There's almost a plot here, though I have to say that first-class passengers would be pitching a much bigger bitch than you see here. And will someone in Hollywood please buy the airlines some safety glass? Or Lexan? (grin)
A Sort of Classic
The other day American Movie Classics was showing The Poseidon Adventure, the original one. It and the more serious movie Airport (not to be confused with the parody Airplane!) invented a genre with a big name cast. Well I only knew two people in this cast: Samuel L. and Juliana Margelies (sp?) of ER fame. But the art of creating placeholder characters who represent certain types of people -- and meet their appropriate fates -- is in fine shape here. Tamper with FAA equipment or be rude to the flight attendants, and you'll either pay the price or have to earn your redemption.
There's glaring faults in the plot. If the snakes from below are coming down from above as well, and are also into the cockpit, why is the first-class section in the 747's hump free from snakes? Simple, because we gotta put the people somewhere. And I've never been in a 747 or studied the plans, but I think the moviemaker's plans were drawn by someone used to drawing D&D dungeons, with teleporting doors which lead to other places. (grin)
In the end, it doesn't matter. You know people will die -- gruesomely since this movie has to earn its R-rating with more than Samuel L. Jackson's signature line -- and you know the hero will prevail. But it doesn't linger on its grossness, and except for one, the snakes are conveniently forgotten before the plane lands at LAX. Stereotypes and comedic souls all intact.
The credits deserve special attention, because they split screen with a music video of what I've been calling The Love Theme From Snakes on a Plane. The musicians are quirky and attractive -- the white-haired girl looks like she's channeling Aimee Mann mixed with Deborah Harry -- it's got a good beat to it, it's got the signature line in it (possibly deleted from the version I saw on MTV2 the other night), it's got snakes, it's even got a cameo from Samuel L. himself. It was all interesting enough I had trouble looking at the first half of the credits.
Though there were open sneaks on Thursday night, Friday was opening day. With multiple screens at multiple plexes, there was no shortage of snakes in West Michigan. But it was a marvel that in the giant big screen Theatre 1 of Studio 28, we came into an empty theatre. And only two other couples joined us -- and they sat somewhere behind us in their preferred wing aisle seats. Since we were redeeming two READMIT tickets from the credits problem during World Trade Center, they weren't making a lot of money on us. I'm sure the film did blockbuster duty the rest of the weekend. (grin)
TRAILERS: Hmmm, they must figure that people going to see Snakes on a Plane want to see every ugly, disturbing horror flick coming out in the next year. Yuck. Don't want to see any of those.
Oh The Humanity
Cafe Press has some delightful Snakes on a Plane merchandise. Terrorist color threat warning... with Black for Snakes at the top of the chart. A row of aircraft windows with a cobra silhouette in one. A yin-yang symbol with the circles replaced with (1) a 747 and (2) a snake. "All Your Planes Belong To Us..." (a SF reference) "I'm Rooting For The Snakes." (big-fanged-grin)