Before I get into the meat and gravy of this post, I would like to point out that, for the first time since my college years, my weekend actually began on a Thursday! Remember those days? God they were fun.
Let's see... a Thursday night Snakes on a Plane viewing, Friday night Bears v. Chargers preseason game at Soldier Field, Saturday night get together with my brother and future SiL (FSiL), and Sunday night 60th anniversary party for Katie's grandparents. It's a good weekend.
Oh, and it's also a good time because the Smashing Pumpkins are back in the studio, baby! Granted this iteration, as it stands, could just as easily be Zwan in that only Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin are back so far, but it's a good start and one I hope will get better as time goes by.
/mentally wills James Iha and D'arcy to come back... na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na/
Now to the good, slithery stuff... my review of the Snakes on a Plane experience.
Yes, I called it an experience as the viewing of this movie goes far beyond just what's on screen. Read on.
Here's the nutshell recap...
A late 20/early 30-something extreme sports freak named Sean Jones (Nathan Phillips) accidentally witnesses the murder of an L.A. district attorney at the hands of a long-investigated but never convicted mobster named Eddie Kim (Byron Lawson) while on vacation in Hawaii. Although Sean manages, barely, to get away, Kim is intent on finding him and it's up to FBI Special Agent Neville Flynn (Samuel L. Jackson) to keep him safe until Kim's trial commences in L.A. But first, they have to get back to L.A.
Kim still wants Jones dead so he loads his 747 with a time-release cage filled with hundreds of the world's most poisonous snakes that will get out when the plane is partway over the Pacific Ocean with no chance of being able to make an emergency landing. And thus we set the scene for Snakes.
And now for a new style of review for me. I shall call it the Spaghetti Western Deconstruction (SWD)...
Where to start with the Clint Eastwood Factor. It stars Samuel L. Jackson. When he's not pulling crap like The Man out of his butt, SLJ is the king of cool. We will always remember his badass self in films such as Pulp Fiction, Shaft, and the Star Wars prequel trilogy (yeah, not the best films, but he was awesome; and he had a lightsaber, so no backtalk or he'll go Jedi on your ass.) And Sam brings his calm, cool, collected self back to the big screen in this film. I never realized until going through some film stills a couple minutes ago, just how many times Sam busts out the "finger of doom." If you know Sam, you know what I mean.
The greatest thing about this film is the off-screen entertainment. My theater was about two-thirds full and 98% of the viewers were under the age of 20. If not for my dad and one other parent, my brother and I would've been the oldest people there watching it. And these kids are into it in a big way and this is something you will need to prepare yourself for. You may miss bits of the movie as the kids scream out loud at their favorite scenes. Expect it now and don't get pissy if you miss out. They're having fun and I'll grant them this opportunity this one time. These kids were all wearing custom-made T-shirts and brought in snake noisemakers and oversized rubber and cloth snakes to help celebrate the film's release. One industrious kid entertained us all in the preshow with a pair of three-foot cardboard wings that he wore on his arms and "flew" around the theater as other kids pelted him with the snakes.
Yes. I could see this becoming this generation's Rocky Horror Picture Show and it's just a matter of time before some independent theater owner announces he will bring the film back next year around Halloween for an interactive audience show. And it would works.
Oh Lee Van Cleef, you memory is present here today, isn't it? Yes, the film does have its problems. Plotholes abound in this film. Yes, we know how Kim finds out what flight Jones and Flynn are on, but how does that big ass crate get on board in that brief an amount of time? What would have happened if they were actually on the small, private prop plane that they were supposed to take? And, I'm sorry, but some other pieces of the crime were put back together far too easily and handily by the FBI agent handling the fiasco on the ground played by Will & Grace's Bobby Cannavale.
But we'll forgive you. Only because we had so much fun.
The reason for needing a section dedicated to Tuco (Eli Wallach) is because there are some things that can go either side of the fence depending on what kind of movie fan you are. To some they are good, to others they are bad. It's completely subjective.
Yeah, the acting is horrendously over the top in this movie. From Nathan Phillips' scared witness act, to Sunny Mabrey's screaming flight attendant, all the way down to the heavyset woman who winds up nearly having an orgasm from a snake climbing up her dress as she sleeps. You've got it all here.
Then there is the overall cheese factor of the entire movie. Yes, a little cheese never hurt anyone and SoaP is loaded with it. Thankfully, this movie never once tries to take itself seriously. It opens with one of the most ridiculous beginnings I've ever seen and ends the same way. Everything in between is an exploitation of every horror film cliche you can imagine short of busting out a hockey mask, machete, and razor glove. And the film revels in its cheesiness. It knows from the start that it's crap and that's the beauty of it. If you go in looking for schlock, you will find it.
I went into this movie expecting nothing and had a helluva good time. Yes, it is still a bad movie in the grand scheme of things. But we each have our favorite "bad movie." Mine is Hudson Hawk. As terrible a film as it is, I can't stop watching it and reciting nearly every damn line. And I can see myself kicking back and enjoying future DVD viewings of this as well.
However, I would recommend seeing this movie THIS WEEKEND. It's the audience that really makes the movie and, if you have a lot of teens in your area, that will heighten the moviegoing experience. The kids will be out in droves to see this movie this weekend. After that, it's anybody's guess. If you don't see it now, wait until DVD and then have a bunch of friends over and drink a lot while watching it. Maybe take a shot every time Samuel L. Jackson spouts out "muthafucka." That would get you nice and soused. I'll host!
One last note, shame on the iTunes Music Store and, probably, the movie studio, as well, for making all songs on the soundtrack "album only." I only want the song "Snakes on a Plane (Bring It)." Bastards.