Saturday, August 19, 2006

Jackson, Samuel L. Retrospective

For two weeks straight, I have started the weekend by visiting Jackson. Last week was Jackson, Wyoming; this week was Jackson, Samuel L. I am, of course, speaking of the most anticipated movie of the summer: Snakes On A Plane. I'd like to say it was a journey of a lifetime; a tour de force; a cinematic marvel. But it really just wasn't that. Let's go through what you do get with Snakes On A Plane.

First, you get Samuel L. Jackson. In this movie Samuel L. Jackson plays Samuel L. Jackson, an aspiring actor pretending to be a cop. If there is one word you could use to describe Samuel L. Jackson it would be consistent. Just note the photos. Do you think it's easy to get the tip of the thumb square on the the first knuckle of the middle finger? Well Samuel L. Jackson gets it on there EVERY TIME. Not only that, he brings the profanity you've come to expect with the delivery that only he has perfected. I know, I know, the line has already become overstated to the point of uncoolness, but you wanted it and you got it.

Secondly, you get time distortion. Snakes On A Plane brings that total disregard for internal plot consistency that characterizes totally awesome B movies. The plane in Snakes On A Plane is traveling from Hawaii to Los Angeles. Dialog in the movie states that this is a five hour flight. The snakes are locked in the plane's cargo hold using a sophisticated auto-release lock. When the plane reached thirty-thousand feet, a six minute timer (fully equipped with ultra-cliche red seven segment LED readout) was triggered. When this six minute timer expired, the snakes were released and the carnage promptly ensued. The problem is that it takes a plane maybe fifteen minutes to reach cruising altitude. That fifteen plus another six is twenty; hell, let's round up, thirty minutes into the five hour flight. The snakes, infuriated by pheromones, are shown to wreak havoc almost immediately. When the plane's pilot becomes aware of the ensuing snake fiasco he, of course, is forced to press on to L.A. because it would take longer to turn back. I must conclude that a 747 flies much faster during its first hour than the remaining. This kind of classic WTF moment really separates the B's from the A's.

Lastly, you get snakes; not just snakes, but real live computer generated snakes. And I dare you to come up with a violent situation that these snakes did not participate in. Snake biting penis: check. Snake biting boob: check. Snake biting eyeball: check. Snake biting tongue: check. Snake coming out of dead man's mouth: check. Snake biting black man's ass: check. Snake biting snake: check. Snake being burned by makeshift flamethrower: check. Snake being impaled by harpoon gun: check. Snake being cooked in microwave: check. Snake being ejected from plane: check. Snake being enchanted by infant human shaking rattle: check. Snake constricting man to death and subsequently eating man from head down: check.

So there you go. You can thank me now or you can thank me later: I just saved you eight bucks. The beauty is that if you actually want to see snakes on a plane, you can still go see Snakes On A Plane and despite the spoilers just given, you will still reap maximum joy from the film. Happy penis biting.

[Updated 8/19/2006 14:01 - uploaded photos of SLJ b/c the links didn't work. May the MPAA not lay their vengance upon me.]

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