06 August 2006

The Glory of Summertime Snakes

It's 11 days and counting, folks. Eleven days until we get reminded of just exactly how incredibly stupid (and possibly how incredibly profitable) bad summer movie fare can truly be. Eleven days until "Snakes on a Plane" (and no, I'm not making that up...it truly is the title of a major film starring Samuel L. Jackson) hits the multiplex near you. (So for those of you who do Hollywood Stock Exchange aka HSX trading like me, there's still time to make your bets now and take your winnings on this one before the fall/winter releases take so many of us to the cleaners.)

If you're unfamiliar with the story (or are just really dense about what the movie may be about), here's a primer from CNN and Paula Zahn (courtesy of YouTube.com):

And the blog they mention: Snakes on a Blog . There are literally tons of counter-tidbits, etc., on there from dozens of readers and posters. Some of the emailable items from that blog, such as "Snakes on a Babe" for instance, include music so take precautions if reading the site from work. While I normally do not support this kind of nonsense theatrically, this is so damn campy (sorta like an expletive-ridden version of a John Waters met Jerry Bruckheimer movie) I think I probably will invest enough for a matinee showing. Truly I think this will both simultaneously show what I both love and both hate about Hollywood.

This is the reason why serious movies are NEVER to be released in the summertime anymore. (Reminder to self: send copy of this to Ron Howard, Imagine Entertainment Productions, Universal Studios, and any other idiots involved with releasing the wonderful, yet unseen, "Cinderella Man" from last summer. The people responsible for the marketing and release of that film last June should have been publicly pilloried.) But I have to admit also I'm curious as hell to see what effects the bloggers and 'unofficial' publicity agents on the web do to this movie's bottom line. If successful, I don't know if this can be transferred to more 'reputable' pics (such as Oscar® contenders and the like) later on in the year, but it definitely would be worth investigating for all of us armchair movie studio bosses and the like. And I have to also admit a biased love of the ability of these 'Snakes' bloggers to get script revisions...in this case, dialogue added for Mr Jackson. If some of the 'green lighters' in H'Wood would let their early reviewers (say from Ain't It Cool News aka AICN, for instance) help their movies with scripts and editing before their final release dates (in fact several times during production would help so many), I'd venture some movies' profits (and reviews) would significantly improve. Just a thought.

That said, I suppose we should just all be happy that many of the old-time greats of Tinseltown aren't around anymore to see this...Charlie Chaplin assuredly would have returned to vaudeville (and probably would have led a happier, albeit less profitable, life). I have just finished reading "Runnin' Wild", a wonderful book written by David Stenn about early screen star and original "It" girl Clara Bow. While that book revealed some of the promise that today's films could be, it also reinforced just how cutthroat and money-raking-at-all-costs the industry always has been. For what it's worth, I'm so glad "Snakes on a Plane" plotlines weren't available to be mined for Clara back in the 1920s...she invariably would have been dancing with them around her half-naked body while stealing the leading man, singing in a Brooklyn accent. Instead, all we'll get is CGI-created snakes slithering out of bras and clothes while Sam Jackson makes millions while yelling 'mutherfucker' while blowing their ever-lovin' snake heads off with a shotgun...in a plane, in the air, in a storm, as part of a 'terrorist midair attack'.

Good God, I'm in the wrong line of work.


twitches said...

I've heard so many jokes about this movie, I actually thought it had already been released and died a premature death.

And come on, you and I both know what really sunk Cinderella Man! ;)

wr said...

Zoe, now you know one of the reasons I am not a movie person. I realize that not being a movie buff is somewhat heretical for a person of my persuasion, but I just don't get most movies or the fascination they hold for the american psyche. Give me a bad book any day and I'll read that before seeing most movies.