Sunday, October 29, 2006

Snakes on a Plane

by Ryland Walker Knight

I was on that bandwagon from the beginning, spending quite a bit of time in the early part of the year helping to hype this B-picture beast. The excitement faded, as expected, and by the time my Grand Canyon adventure was over SNAKES ON A PLANE was low on my priority list. Also, I knew I wouldn't be seeing the movie opening night amongst a giddy crowd. So I approached last Wednesday night's screening with a little trepidation. Luckily a lot of college kids came out and paid $2 to see the movie with me and my girlfriend and Derp. We laughed a lot and had a grand time. There's a lot of slack direction, especially in the first act where it looks like the filmmakers shot each scene once from maybe two setups. And there's a few ingratiating "types", like the haughty, impatient Brit. But there's also Sam Jackson. Late in the film when the AC onboard the plane fails, a passenger tells Jackson, "It's getting hot in here," to which he shrugs, "I'm from Alabama--hadn't noticed." That line reading pretty much sums up the movie's tone: You came here for fun, now enjoy yourself, fool. And I did. It could never live up to the internet frenzied buildup but it delivers when you're surrounded by a whooping, cackling rowdy audience. And by the time Jackson gets to say it, that belly laugh excitement-release is, well, enough for me to say I can't wait to go to sold out midnight screenings as often as possible.

02006: 105 minutes: dir. David R. Ellis: written by John Heffernan & Sebastian Gutierrez

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