Monday, October 23, 2006

Frankly my dear, I love these MOTHERFUCKIN' SNAKES!

This past week, I saw the greatest movie that has ever been offered up to the gods of cinema. Better than "Gunga Din," "Casablanca," "Gone With the Wind," "Rear Window," "Schindler's List," "Behind the Green Door," "Robocop II," "Pooh's Heffalump Movie," "Showgirls (Director's Cut Special Edition)," "The Secret of N*I*M*H," "Slumber Party Massacre," "Dude, Where's My Car?" "My Bodyguard," "The Breakfast Club," "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace," and "Muppets Take Manhattan" combined!

I speak, of course, of "Snakes on a Plane!"

Never have I seen a greater return for my cinema investment! I mean, think about it. You hear the title, "Snakes on a Plane," and you begin to make a list in your sub-conscience of all the things that should appear in such a film. Taking into account the fact that it is simultaneously a horror film, adventure movie, airline disaster flick, black comedy, mob movie and nature show, here is a list of the first dozen or so things you assume will be in the movie:
  1. Mile High Club
  2. Federal Agent/Hero Cop
  3. Gratuitous ear-stabbing (with a high-heel shoe!)
  4. Snake-on-Snake violence
  5. Snake to the eye
  6. Last-second airliner swoop to prevent a crash
  7. Grizzled old stewardess
  8. Hero Cop's partner buys it
  9. Snake to the junk
  10. Snake eats annoying little yappy dog
  11. Privileged asshole businessman
  12. Explosive decompression
  13. Pilots die and passenger has to land the plane
  14. "Is there a doctor on board?" (There is. He's dead!)
  15. Privileged asshole businessman gets eaten by an anaconda
  16. Baseball bat Fu
I could go on and on, but the important thing is this: This movie has EVERYTHING! You cannot possibly come out of the theater unsatisfied with this film. It is a roller-coaster ride of absolute devotion to the audience. Everything is there for you, with no pretension.

Now, let me get into some of the background. This whole thing started with a couple of screen writers getting hammered and talking about formulaic movies. You know the ones I mean; spy signs on for one last mission, falls in love with the exotic contact he meets in Bulgaria, finds out he's supposed to kill an old friend who has gone over to the other side and now questions his own loyalty while boinking the hot chick with a far away look in his eyes.

If this sounds like a James Bond movie to you, you're wrong. It's more like TWENTY James Bond movies. Now don't get me wrong, I like the 007 movies as much as anyone (except the Timothy Dalton ones. Fuck Timothy Dalton. And as much as I loved Brosnan in the role, the storyline in "The World is not Enough" blew ass). I'm just saying that they've become a bit predictable of late. I truly hope that the remake of "Casino Royale" breaks the trend.

But I digress. So these dudes are talking about formulaic movies and how you simply take two or three basic elements, add a unique twist (or at least one that hasn't been used in a couple of months) simmer for 25 minutes and "Poof!" instant hit. So they asked themselves (or each other, or the pink elephant in the room, who knows? I told you they were drunk!) what are two things that most people are scared of? The answer:
  1. Snakes
  2. Planes
Holy crap. Instant classic! Snakes. On a plane. It's nothing short of brilliant!

Now, most drunken idiots would leave it at that. But these guys are creative types. So one of them bangs out a script over the weekend and the other guy gets a meeting at a studio with The Suits. They walk in and their entire pitch goes:

"Okay, check this out: Snakes. On a plane."

The Suits practically fall over each other trying to say yes, and we're off to the races!

So they bring in a director, who happens to be friends with Samuel L. Jackson. He calls up his buddy and says "Snakes on a plane, Sam. Snakes on a plane."

Sam is in. They start work on the film, but the director ends up leaving. But that's okay because the new guy is Sam's friend too, and he understands the greatness they are about to produce. Work continues.

Ah, but now The Suits begin to act like you would expect mindless automotons to act. They want to ensure the movie comes in at PG-13 so they get a wider audience. Jackson and the director are dead set against it and tell them that an R rating is the only way to go, but The Suits win this one.

Then The Suits start talking about the title. They think "Snakes on a Plane" is too trite and will drive the audience away. They want something cool like "Pacific Air 131!" Yeah! What a kick ass title! Mr. Jackson does not agree.

Knowing it's the right thing to do, Sam Jackson threatens to walk if they change the title. "I signed up for 'Snakes on a Plane' not some f***in' 'Pacific Air' B*** S***!" he says. This time The Suits cave. And to bring ultimate justice to the story, the PG-13 version sucks so much that all the focus groups hate it. They all cry out for the R rated content that The Suits were against in the first place. So a call goes out to all the actors and extras and they come back in and shoot some more scenes to make it appropriately R rated.

And the end result? The greatest film of all time. A film that, while short on story, thin in the plot area, and nearly bereft of any socially redeeming content, still delivers everything a movie-goer could possibly want or need from a film called "Snakes on a Plane!" GO SEE THIS MOVIE!

I can't wait for the sequel!

-Sage Words