General · 2006-08-20

We gotcher snakes right here

A variety of health challenges, and not a little August distractedness — the summers are truly spectacular here — have kept me away from the blog, but I hope to remedy the situation properly soon. As something of a warmup, let me offer my first movie review in this space, for Snakes on a Plane (no spoilers, I promise):

It was much better than Airport. I’m going to see it again and again! — XMLgrrl

Here’s the thing. I don’t think most of the movies they make these days are meant for me, since I’m not a teenaged boy. And it was a little weird to have enjoyed SoaP so much, given that the previews at the showing I went to (the dead giveaway about what demographic they think you’re in) were for The Covenant, Beerfest, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. But SoaP has been a cult thing for months, and it was hard not to get swept up in it (send a “personalized” message from Samuel L. Jackson to someone you know! check out the awesome fan-created poster!).

So, here’s my verdict: They threaded the needle with this one. The acting is way better than you’d expect, done completely deadpan. The plot is silly but overall contributes to WSD; the action is gory in spots, hilarious in spots, and sometimes both at once. (I assure you, they did it on purpose.) There are a couple of good lines, rendered with much less scene-chewing than you’d expect, that I probably won’t be able to help repeating for years to come. It actually is reminiscent of Airport and its sequels, in a post-9/11, post-modern, quick-cuts way.

I used to think Jackie Chan’s First Strike was the funniest violent action flick I’d ever seen. It is hereby knocked off that throne, with SoaP lovingly installed in its place. It’s probably too late to resurrect the role that summer movies used to have in people’s lives back when the movies didn’t suck so much (or was it just that people had fewer entertainment options?), but if you used to like disaster movies, adjust your attitude and get to a theater to see SoaP before fall kicks in.