Welcome to my movie blog, containing reviews and articles. I've been writing since 2004 - with a short break during 2009.

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Here's a challenge for you. I want you to go to the cinema, watch Snakes on a Plane and try not to think of Airplane! How was it? Near on impossible? Me too...

I must say, I had a pretty savage dislike of this film before seeing it - unfair, perhaps, although it may just be reverse cinematic justice for all the people who already loved it. The reason: I hate hype - I make my best attempts to nuke any band-wagon that comes my way. It irritates me no end and I usually get very cross and sulky.

I would have seen Monster House, but a friend wanted to see this so, what the hell. I was going to take my fluffy beanie python (he's massive, we call him Monty) but alas, I forgot. To make up for it, I went to the newly installed pick and mix counter and bought an overpriced bag of jelly snakes instead. I proceeded to irritate my friends with them at every oppertunity. We were sitting behind a row of people more or less our age, who had had the same idea. Review time!

Snakes on a Plane
It's about...well...not to give too much away, there's this plane...and some...snakes...

So what of the film? Oh, utter crap of course. Lake Placid at altitude.

But it was entertaining. A bit Shaun of the Dead . Although nowhere near as funny. Quite a lot of the chuckles came from the ridiculousness of the entire thing (notably the opening shots and the last half minute) Lets put it this way - the snakes have made their way into the plumbing system, man goes to take a leak - if the ensuing situation makes you smirk, you're going to have a ball over this film.
When my sister heard we were going, she wanted to come too - I said we could sneak her in as 15, but she said she didn't want to lie. How noble, and thank the heavens because it was pretty unpleasant. Perhaps it was just because it was on a big screen, but the first death (nasty in itself) was well beat by the boils, bruises and foaming on the flight itself.
I think these people need reminding of their Scream survival rules - never drink or do drugs, never have sex and never, ever, under any circumstances say "I'll be right back", cause you won't...this is not one for people who don't like snakes. The entire cinema moved about an inch into the air at one point (entire cinema: 10-ish people)

The suspense does build well. We all know what's coming, so it's just a case of getting there. From the counter running down to 0 on the snake box, to the first spate of unnoticed nasty deaths you're just waiting for the moment when somebody realises they're there. Or rather, when Hero-FBI-Agent realises they're there and starts killing them and rescuing people.

It frequently wandered into cliche kingdom - not entirely deliberately, methinks. The main culprit of this was the opening scene at the airport, where we met our supporting cast. The dim blonde + toy dog (named Mary Kate - that got a laugh); the air stewardess whose last day at work it was; the FBI agent and his partner of 5 years (no prizes for guessing what happens to him then); the pilot and his co-pilot of 10 years (ditto) ; the two unaccompanied minors (their father: "Now you just go with the air stewardess now, boys - everything's going to be fine"); the Chinese martial arts expert...the whole cast of characters, well in place - lay your bets on who gets eaten first.

The logic wasn't so bad to say that it was an unbelievable premise to start with. One of my favourite lines was the gangster-boss justifying this mad plan with "Don't you think I tried everything else first?!" Exactly the question that we were asking...another great moment along the same lines was "You know all those security scenarios we ran? Well I'm smack in the middle of one we didn't think of".
spoilers->Now watch closely. The pilot is on his own in the cabin and he gets attacked by a snake. The co pilot is alone in the cabin and he gets attacked by a snake. The co pilot is then left alone in the cabin and he gets attacked by a snake. Once he's rescued, the co pilot is left alone in the cabin for a third time and he's finally killed by this snake! What a surprise! Didn't somebody work out that evidently the snakes could get into this area after all? And, like, do something about it... I also question the logic of using the flamethrowing device in the belly of an aircraft.
When the internet fuss broke out, they were given 5 extra days to insert the line (you know the one...) and up the horror content; thank goodness for it. I don't generally like films that freak me out, but if it had been any less nasty I'd have been as bored as hell. The tedious plot is spruced up by the ew-factor.

It all comes back down to Airplane! though. While SoaP wasn't played straight like the films the former was mocking, it did at some points decend into the same cliches and situations. "Activate the automatic pilot!" "Is there a doctor on board?" and even "Excuse me, but is there anybody on here who knows how to fly a plane?" The problem? I was watching one film, and being reminded of another, vastly funnier one. This isn't SoaP's fault - Airplane! is funnier than every film - just a bit of foul luck.
Overall - it could have been funnier (though it's not hard work to find unintentional giggles in this thought-provoking and highbrow drama, so far I've referenced 3 films similar to it, all three of which are far funnier), but the suspense and gore was all present and correct so I suppose all is not lost.

Best moment: "Great, snakes on crack!", "
oh, and the line (you know what line I mean!). Evidently, the whole cinema had been briefed that it had been added under fan pressure, and we dutifully giggled.

Was it good: Hell no! It was awful!
Did I like it: It was a fun way to spend an hour and a half, I'll give it that.
Recommended for: Friends on a not-too-serious night out
Don't watch if you: don't like snakes, or are about to go on a journey; have just seen Airplane!
Some fun in-flight safety cards are here, here and here
The best thing about this film? I now have more ammo for my survey of survivor movies. I've been keeping notes on the order in which character stereotypes die, and it's proving very interesting...I'll share it with you once I get more data.


Will said...

For me the best moment was Samual L. saying "Sporks?"

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