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"Snakes on the Plane" - is what a Summer Saturday Matinee "B" Movie should be... - CinemaDave

Aug. 19th, 2006 10:17 am "Snakes on the Plane" - is what a Summer Saturday Matinee "B" Movie should be...

"World Trade Center" is an excellent movie because of its storytelling, visualizations and truthful acting. "Snakes on the Plane" is a good movie because it knows that is nothing more than Summer Saturday Matinee "B" movie. Part thriller and mixed with parts action-adventure, "Snakes on the Plane" moves at a breakneck pace without feeling rushed featuring some funny throwaway gags that will make monster mavens bust a gut.

"Snakes on the Plane" opens with shots of Hawaii and an upbeat song titled "All I See is Sunny Skies." Suddenly, a prosecuting attorney is gutted, which is witnessed by Sean Jones (Nathan Phillips). When a federal department agent named Flynn (Samuel L. Jackson) takes Sean into protective custody, the arch villain plots to prevent Sean from testifying. Acting from a tip by informers, the arch villain sneaks venomous snakes aboard the plane in to the hopes of crash landing the commercial jet.

“Snakes on the Plane” follows the Alfred Hitchcock pattern of showing the audience danger when the characters are blissfully unaware of it. There are many bare feet in an airplane when snakes first begin slithering through the coach section. There is Freudian terror when a man goes into the bathroom to relieve himself.

The film maintains the clichés from modern horror movies. The first victims are pot smoking initiates of the mile high club. These horny hippies disconnect the smoke detector of the bathroom to smoke marijuana. As anyone who has seen a “Friday the 13th” or a "Scream" movie can testify, sex and drugs lead to a violent doom in a summer horror movie.

There are the archetype characters galore flying with “Snakes on a Plane.” There is a rapper superstar whose homeys refer to as the Howard Hughes of Rap, not because of his money and fame, but because of the rap star’s germ phobia. There is the loudmouth mean snob who the audience wants to feed to an anaconda. There are two brothers who torment each other, a loud fat woman and a little dog. While this flick is an ensemble piece, Samuel L. Jackson is the ring leader and gives a charismatic performance. With the leadership skills worthy of John Wayne combined with the cool of Richard Roundtree, Jackson knows when to act and react to his costars. Jackson's facial reactions to Kenan Thompson make the costar from “Saturday Night Live” a lovable character.

"Snakes on the Plane" does find time to provide some important social commentary. It turns out the snakes on the plane are not native to American or soil, much like the pythons who are eating our Florida gators in the everglades. Only a master mind of evil intentions could concoct a plot to have nature terrorize peace loving Americans.

As we come to the end of another disappointing Summer movie season, "Snakes on the Plane" provides hope for future Summer Saturday Matinee "B" Movie fun. The producers wisely listened to internet buzz and provided some audience satisfactory scenes. The groundwork is laid for a potential sequel, perhaps “Spiders on a Pleasure Cruise?”

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Comments:

From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 19th, 2006 08:07 pm (UTC)

"Snakes on the Plane"

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It would be difficult to avoid a snake infestation on an airplane in flight. Escape options are somewhat limited. It has a lot of horrific film possibilities. There are reports of snakes surviving high altitude flights in the wheel wells of jet aircraft, which is usually assumed to be fatal to most animal life.

A friend of mine in suburban Memphis, TN recently had to have a professional snake exterminator deal with a home snake problem. When the snakes were discovered in the house my friend and his family immediately refused to live in it until after the successful and expensive extermination.

This cloud had some silver lining because the invaders were king snakes, so named because they are immune to the venomous snakes they hunt and keep in check, but the bite of a king snake can infect, and it was only a matter of time until some of the venomous snakes in the area would get past the king snakes.

North Star
From:cinemadave
Date:August 19th, 2006 10:56 pm (UTC)

Re: "Snakes on the Plane"

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Wow! Thanks for the education...snakes are great phobic villians.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 20th, 2006 05:27 am (UTC)

Re: "Snakes on the Plane"

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Villainous snake roles go way back to the beginning in the biblical Garden of Eden story, but venomous snakes might may have some beneficial surprises. Some researchers think snake venom has a wide range of potential medical value.

A few years ago on PBS TV I saw a program featuring Bill Haast, director of the Miami Serpentarium. He's been milking snake venom for decades and has been bitten about 160 times, which is not as bad as it sounds for a man who's performed more than 3 million snake handlings.

Bill was close to 90 years of age when the program aired, but he was amazingly vigorous and looked much younger. I wonder if the bites and the antivenin he takes hold the key to the fountain of youth.

North Star
From:cinemadave
Date:August 20th, 2006 08:45 pm (UTC)

Re: "Snakes on the Plane"

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Thanks again North Star!
You reminded me of a lady who suffered from Lou Gehrig's disease. Sadly the snake venom vaccine did not work for her and she passed away near Christmas, 1978.

Given that it was nearly 30 years ago, it would be interesting to see what science has discovered about snake venom cures...or is it just another snake oil salesman?!?