Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Of Snakes and Planes

No, I did not see "Snakes on a Plane" this weekend. And no, it was not because I'm a latent film snob. Believe me, I was strongly tempted to go on opening night and see if it lived up (or down) to expectations. But considering gory violence (even the fake kind), snakes, and planes freak me out independently of each other, I decided it would be masochistic to subject myself to all three in one movie...especially since I'm flying cross-country in less than a week. Even though I decided it would almost be worth the self-torture just to hear Sam Jackson bellow, "I've had it with these muthafuckin' snakes on this muthafuckin' plane!"

Well, it looks like I wasn't the only one who stayed away - much to the chagrin of all those pundits who bought into the hype and were poised to analyze the "Snakes" phenom as the blueprint for movie marketing in the digital age. So it goes: in the course of one unremarkable opening weekend, "Snakes" as a discussion topic has gone from red-hot buzz to yesterday's news. Personally, I don't think the folks at New Line should be too crestfallen. It ain't over yet - word of mouth is still the surest path to long-term box office success, and there are distinct signs that word on the street (or in text-messaging land) has been strong. In fact, judging from the reviews and online chatter, it sounds like a lot of viewers, prepared for a movie with no redeeming value whatsoever, were surprised to find unexpectedly effective shlock. I guess we'll see if the buzz proves to be good for anything in the long run.


On a much more serious note, I've been meaning to write a review of "World Trade Center" for the past couple of weeks and not making much headway. It's not that I have any difficulty discussing the film because of its subject matter. Rather the contrary: it seems like I'd rather talk about 9/11 films with others than dissect them in a vacuum. To that end, I direct anyone who wants my opinions to this discussion at Cinemarati.


Blogger echan said...

I don't view SoaP's $15 million weekend take as a paltry showing. Compared to something such as MI3, it doesn't seem like a lot of money. However, MI3 appealed to a mass audience, whereas SoaP had a core of loyal Internet fans who went to see it this weekend. Cult films don't have big first weekends.

What I find most odd is what one's perception of SoaP would be if one was not exposed to the Internet buzz. From the TV commercials, they try to make it seem like a serious, Diehard style thriller, while to the web community its a bit of rowdy, goofy fun.

Oh, and for my take on the movie, it felt like a zombie movie, except the zombies, were snakes on a plane.

1:34 AM  

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