Sunday, August 20, 2006

Snakes on a Plane: The Reality Behind It All


"I'm here tonight to present the award everyone's been waiting for: best movie. Now, this award holds a special place in my heart because next year I'll be winning it for Snakes on a Plane. Now I know, I know that sounds cocky, but I don't give a damn. I am guaranteeing that Snakes on a Plane will win best movie next year. Does not matter what else is coming out. The New James Bond... no snakes in that! Ocean's 13... where my snakes at? Shrek the Third... green, but not a snake. No movie shall triumph over Snakes on a Plane. Unless I happen to feel like making a movie called Mo' Muthafuckin' Snakes on Mo' Muthafuckin' Planes." -- Samuel L. Jackson at the 2006 MTV Movie Awards.

If you spent any of the last few months even reading a blog or watching any genre of television than you were well aware that Friday, August 18, 2006 marked the release of Samuel L. Jackson's theatrical thriller Snakes on a Plane. To fully understand and appreciate the phenomenon and popular culture genius that is Snakes on a Plane, one need not look any further than the influence (see: hype) that the blogosphere had a formative hand in crafting. As a proud inhabitant of this sphere of influence I couldn’t be any more elated.

There’s no good reason why a B-movie with average actors (sans Samuel L. of course) and an at best conventional plot should have grossed $8 million on its first day at the box office while commandeering the #1 spot –- and that, my friends, is the peculiar genius of Snakes on a Plane's success!

If the blogosphere and new forms of media can drum up so much chatter and excitement for such a seemingly trivial film that it becomes the matter that Chappelle skits are composed of (the golden standard of popular appeal), than what, I ask you, are its limits? As the most internet-hyped film of all time, the answer to that question remains to be determined, just as the full potential of the web remains to be tapped.

To put things in popular perspective, Samuel L.’s now infamous “Enough is enough, I have had it with these mother*uckin' snakes, on this motherfuckin' plane!” (see inset clip) is tantamount in pop culture lore to the Chappelle Show’s “I’m Rick James B*tch!” Both straddle the line –-perhaps cross it-- of linguistic propriety, while becoming legends in their own right for no very good reason at all.

The only logical explanation I can come up with for why I enjoyed this film so much has something to do with its absolutely effortless storyline (its really only about some snakes on a plane) and the fact that Samuel L. Jackson is the epitome of the angry black man. Think Nestle Snipes' Passenger 57 meets Airplane. Pure pop culture genius!

Give the public what they want and what they have been asking for.

No more, no less.

Words simply don't do justice in describing my giddy emotional state upon purchasing my movie ticket on Saturday night.

If nothing else, Snakes on a Plane has given the FSA an issue to worry about in addition to Al-Qaeda.

That's reason enough to shell out ten of your very hard-earned dollars and let yourself be enraptured in the very predictable drama that is popular culture -- rather, Snakes on a Plane.

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