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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Snakes on A Plane

Okay it is really quite simple, I know I am going to get it here, but the truth is I have already heard it all. I have heard all of the jokes, all of the commentary, all of the comments on message boards, and all of the hoopla. Virtually everything I have heard is about how bad this movie is going to be. One would suspect that, especially when taking into consideration that the plot and story line came about one night during Happy Hour at a local bar when producer David Berenson, in a joking conversation about the worst movie ideas possible came up with the concept of the movie which was originally called “Venom.”

One of the fun things about this movie is that Berenson decided to make that movie, and in the process found film greats like Samuel Jackson and Juliana Margulies to participate along with the direction of David R. Ellis who has worked on such varied films as, Harriett the Spy, The Jungle Book, The Man Without a Face and other various types of film. Sure most of his work in the past has been in the area as a stunt coordinator but in some ways that assists in his concept of what this movie is all about, fun.

I have to admit, this may be the funniest, laugh out loud, exciting thrill ride of the summer. Ellis understands action and provides it from the opening scenes until the closing credits. As much as I may get ribbed for this, I don’t know when the last time was that I had more fun at a movie. The surprising thing is that the majority of patrons, most of them far older than I at the matinee, which was a huge surprise, were having the same type of fun. What was even more surprising is that as thrilling and fun as the movie is, none of those much older than I didn’t have a heart attack. The movie was so fun, that after awhile I was able to enjoy and not be distracted by the person with turrets sitting in front of me. I am not kidding on this, it was one of the strangest movie experiences ever, but I have to admit that the individual’s partner made a great choice to take his friend to. After awhile, his outbursts just added to the humor of the movie. It was almost like a live action version of Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo. What made it so fun was that we were all reminded of the fact that we could have fun at the movies, especially a movie like Snakes on A Plane.

The premise, as crazy as it sounds works. A FBI agent, Sam Jackson is transporting back a witness who has witnessed the brutal murder by a evil crime lord. The only way the crime lord can take care of the witness is to have released hundreds of deadly snakes on a plane via timed mechanism on the return from Hawaii to LAX. From that point on, the movie makes fun of, plays with, every concept that has ever come from a B-Movie. It is in fact, its own willingness to not take itself seriously that makes this movie so much fun. Every imaginable way that you can think of a snake killing someone, it does in this movie. While some snakes are obviously CGI, others are real, and the truth is, the viewer just don’t care. There are enough jump out of your seat, prayer making scenes, you know where you yell, “Oh My God!” despite the fact that you are in a theater surrounded by people you don’t know to make one want to see this one again and again.

As I was watching Snakes on A Plane, I thought, “What are the spiritual overtones?” While I had to search, I really didn’t have to search far. The truth is, there is evil all around us, just as it was all around the characters in this movie. That evil represented by a serpent and/or snake in some ways is like the evil of Lucifer/Satan who represented himself as a snake in the Garden and has himself been called a snake. There is even the reminder in the movie The Passion of the Christ with Jesus crushing the head of the serpent. Well you might say that Samuel L. Jackson’s character is the Messiah character in this movie. On a mission to save the passengers on the plane from the certain death they face. There is even the prevailing line through out the movie, “if you listen to me you will live, if you don’t you will die.” Jackson’s character may play more of the Emergent Church Messiah Character than other characters, but he is still a deliverer, a warrior, one who attempts to bring about peace and salvation.

I have seen a couple of surprises this summer, for many kids, at least in my community, school started this week. This will be a great one for all ages that enjoy action and thrills to see, especially the kiddos looking at ways to finish up the summer. From the students who can deal with some of the language and sexual scenes prevalent in virtually all B-Movies, to the language and gore, to the adults who may have some of the same issues, this is a rollicking fun time. We won’t have to worry too much about how people react to all of the negative things that some will point out. I can’t imagine too many people trying to get crazy about doing crazy things with snakes. On a side note, even though I have 4 snakes for pets in my downstairs family room, after seeing this movie, it may be awhile before I get them out and hold them.

On a scale of 1-10 for the great time, enjoyable moments, and nearly perfect good time, I’ll give the number that most looks like a coiled up snake, a freaky good 8

Oh Yea, here is that contact information again.

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