Friday, August 18, 2006
Movies I Have No Intention Of Seeing, #38

Snakes on a Plane

starring Samuel L. Muthafuckin' Jackson, a bunch of deadly-ass snakes

directed by who really gives a shit?

Well, I'm getting started really late here. It's Friday, which means it's the day I do laundry. And rotate the potted jade plant in the window ninety degrees so my CIA handler knows it's time to pick up the microfilm. Such is the life of an American housewife. I'm like Kate Jackson in Scarecrow and Mrs. King, except a little less butch.

I'm a little torn about this Snakes on a Plane. I've covered it on the blog before, so I couldn't totally ignore it, but I just... I don't know what to say.

On the one hand, you have your Samuel L. Muthafuckin' Jackson. He of the resonant, licorice voice, the sleepy-eyed cool, the shiny, shiny scalp. He's in a situation fraught with mortal peril, in charge of keeping people safe, which you know means lots of shots of him telling white people to "Sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up!" which, for some reason, I find hugely entertaining.

On the other hand, you have a movie with a bunch of CGI snakes crawling all over non-Sam Jackson actors who mostly (from the clips I've seen) do a not-very-credible, non-Sam Jackson-level job making us believe there are actual snakes crawling on them. The two obvious problems here are that a) not every actor in this movie is Samuel L. Muthafuckin' Jackson and b) I don't care for the scary-type movies. I've mentioned it before, but whatever that mechanism is that gives people the adrenaline/endorphin rush from watching movies where the cat jumps on the piano in the dark or the plucky heroine opens the medicine cabinet, gets something out and then closes it again only to have the PSYCHO KILLER STANDING RIGHT BEHIND HER IN THE MIRROR, your beloved Pops seems to lack. Mostly I walk out of these movies with a bunch of neck-tension and a foul(er) mood.

So two hours (OK, an hour-twenty tops with this one) of people waiting to be eaten by snakes is not something that I think I would enjoy. But then you factor in that those being eaten are the non-Sam Jackson actors and I guess I can see where one might derive SOME pleasure at watching their grisly demise.

"But Pops," you're thinking, "we get that you're a total pussy. But what we want to know is: should we go see this movie? We look to you to make even the most basic and trivial decisions in our lives for us! Guide us! Lead us! If left un-instructed, we will surely die wallowing in our own filth, clawing at our eyes and cursing the heavens for having abandoned us to cruel, indiscriminate fate!"

To which I say--first of all--you people could stand to lighten up just a titch. Second, let's consider the facts. This is a Samuel L. Jackson movie, but that will only carry you so far. Mr. Jackson has the same affliction that dogs both Christopher Walken and Michael Caine in that they seem incapable of NOT taking a movie once offered. You get long careers, lots of money and impressively substantial resum├ęs that way, but you also get Jaws 4 or a Country Bears-level debacle on occasion. So this might be one of those.

It wasn't available for critics to screen, which usually is not a good sign. But maybe they figured they had enough buzz going forward and it wasn't so much critical acclaim that was going to drive their audience anyway, relying instead on a heady combination of myspace and pot.

Look, it's a movie directed by a stuntman and uses its premise for a title. Those are elements you usually only see in porn. Which I'm naturally inclined to favor.

Two (out of 3) on the Hot Babysitter Scale.

Coulda been a 3 if I weren't such a wuss. But what can I say, I'm no Kate Jackson.



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