Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Snakes on a Plane

With the wife out of town and nothing to do last night, I turned on HBO and saw that the infamous Snakes on a Plane would be coming on next. I shrugged my shoulders, grabbed a Yunegling and some Wheat Thins, and plopped down on the leather sofa to be entertained for 90 minutes.

Maybe I should have had a few more Yuenglings, perhaps all 6 of them, because damn this movie was horrible. I understood the internet hype surrounding the film before its release. The title alone is B-movie awesomeness. But as most things with a built-in hype machine go, SOAP was a massive let-down.

First off, the film takes itself too seriously. David Ellis is no Spielberg, but he has directed decent movies before (Cellular, Final Destination 2). Maybe New Line should have gone with a real B-list director. Someone who could have really upped the cheese-factor like Fred Olen Ray (Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers) or Brian Trenchard-Smith (Leprechaun 4: In Space).

Ellis makes the film too polished, too pristine. A B-movie needs a dirty picture and lots of grain. Make this movie look like it was shot on a shoestring budget (not the $35 million it was made with) and make it look like it should have debuted late at night on the Sci-Fi Channel on a double-bill with Octopus.

The acting is a problem too. It's too normal.

Sam Jackson hams it up the best he can when the script lets him, but even he turns in a standard performance. Yes, his "I've had it with these muthafuckin snakes on this muthafuckin plane" line is great, but we need more, dammit! We need semi-flubbed lines! We need actors staring off into space when they're supposed to be looking at one another! Too bad that SOAP came out before Grindhouse, because done right, SOAP could have easily trumped that film in it's purposeful badness.

Yes, the gore is rather plentiful, and as you can expect, there are plenty of snake bites on rather unpleasant body parts. But as it stands, SOAP, while a bad film, is just too good and too serious to be the bad B-movie it wants to be. There's a reason this thing was a failure after it was released. I'm just glad I didn't spend a cent on this "phenomenon."

FILM SCORE: ** (out of ****)
BEST PARTS: High heel in the ear (not even snake related!)
STATUS: Failed B-movie phenomenon and for good reason.

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