Yes, I did it. Last night, I went to the 10pm screening of Snakes On A Plane. To my surprise, the theater wasn’t entirely sold out (to be fair, it was a massive AMC Theater in Times Square, and there were people in every row) — but we did have to wait in line, and there were people dressed up as pilots, people carrying rubber snakes, and TV cameras interviewing people and getting shots of the theater. So, after all the hoopla, what do I have to say? My friends, it was worth every penny.
The previews alone were worth at least 1/4 the admission. The very first preview was for another Samuel L. Jackson movie called — no joke — Black Snake Moan. THIS IS TRULY PURE MARKETING GENIUS AT WORK! The crowd went wild when we saw Samuel appear, and went even more wild when we saw the word “snake” in the title. Justin Timberlake is listed as being in the movie, but he wasn’t in the trailer (boo). Needless to say, the crowd got a little antsy, and during a preview for a new Denzel Washington movie (why is he always playing a cop?!), someone in the audience yelled out “this sucks!” to a roar of laughter. However, my favorite audience shout-out had to be right before it started rolling, when someone yelled “LET’S DO THIS!”
Oh yes, the audience participation was in its prime. During the opening credits, a real happy go lucky, sort of upbeat song plays and the entire audience started clapping along to the song! Of course, there was a wave of applause when the title credits came on the screen. I went in a bit afraid that there were going to be some real obnoxious assholes who wouldn’t shut up, but it was a lot of hissing (seriously), and whooping and clapping. Everytime Samuel killed a snake, kicked someone’s ass or said a killer line, there was screaming and applause — especially, of course, during the infamous “that’s it! I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane” line, which was as amazing as promised. Some people even gave a brief standing ovation after that line.
As for the movie itself…
The beginning is hilarious to me, because the shot during the opening credits shows sunny beaches and the ocean, Hawaii, to be exact. I immediately started thinking, “we’ve been duped into the biggest marketing prank ever! I bet there are no snakes and no planes, and this is actually just some lame ass surfing movie, and all the stills were fake!” (This turned out not to be the case, of course, but if anyone’s looking for any ideas…) Much like how I felt about Sin City, the acting is absolutely atrocious in the beginning: to the point where my friends and I were thinking, “I don’t know if I can sit through 2 hours of this.” However, also like Sin City, the acting quickly improved.
Now, I love cheesy action movies (case in point: example one, example two), and was expecting this to be something along the same lines. So, I admit slight disappointment at the lack of knee-slapping jokes & puns (I was thinking Batman & Robin here, people). I also admit a bit of shock at just how… gorey the movie is. There are some seriously gruesome deaths. That said, it certainly keeps you on your toes, thanks to some twists and turns that I legitimately did not see coming. This is the not a film where you know who’s going to live and who’s going to die within the first few minutes, nor is it easy to predict how and when people are going to die. There were a couple anti-climactic moments (specifically the co-pilot story-line, and how they handle the hugefuckingpython), but the constant “what the fuck”-ness of the rest of it more than makes up for that… and so does the simple fact that it’s a movie about Samuel L. Jackson taking on a (motherfucking) plane full of (motherfucking) snakes. Also, an appearance from Todd Louiso (aka Dick in High Fidelity) as the snake expert? Brilliant!
Please leave comments about your thoughts & viewing experiences. I’m interested to see how everyone reacts!

My friends and I are already thinking of ideas for the sequel, which I will post in a few days to give you all time to see it, since our sequel ideas include spoilers.
I love when movies have secret scenes at the end of the credits, and I was really hoping Snakes On A Plane would, but it doesn’t. However, the credits have something just as good: the music video for Cobra Starship’s “Snakes On A Plane (Bring It).” What makes this music video so golden, you ask? 1. The song, which you can download here. If you’re not addicted to it by the second or third time you hear the chorus, you might not have a soul. 2. Cameos from Pete Wentz and, of course, SAMUEL L. JACKSON. 3. I kind of hate to admit this, but:

Gabe Saporta (usually from the band Midtown) is pretty damn hot.

Lastly, just for fun: “Snakes On A Plane” user group. There were only three people when I joined, and now there’s 45. But 45? That’s still way too weak for an Internet marketing phenomenon.



Surprisingly enough, Snakes On A Plane isn’t the only movie opening today that I’ve been looking forward to. Also opening today (well, only in LA & NYC), is the film adaptation of Charles Bukowski’s novel, Factotum. I admit to never having read the novel (or any of his novels), but I’ve been reading Bukowski’s poetry since I was 16. I also have a fairly good sense of his back story, thanks to the fantastic Born Into This, which I saw twice. I’ve wanted to see Factotum since I first heard they were making a movie based on it, and tonight it starts screening at the IFC Center in New York, so I’m nothing short of pumped. This is going to sound silly, but when I saw the poster two weeks ago, I got even more excited. Even if I don’t end up liking the movie (which I doubt will be the case), I think I’m going to buy one:

There are five in all, and I can’t decide which I like more. I won’t ramble about this much more in case I decide to type up a review here after I see it, but I will give you a reading from his 70 Minutes In Hell. Charles Bukowski: “Bukowski Still At It” (download). After seeing Born Into This, I became sort of obsessed with Bukowski’s voice. It’s harsh, yet soft, like a smooth growl, like a friendly stray cat. Part of the reason I had to see the movie twice is because sometimes I would just let the sound of his voice wash over me, and I’d end up missing some of what he was saying. My favorite from this disc is actually called “Experience,” but I’m saving that one for a fall mix, so you’ll just have to be patient (or buy your own copy).