Friday, August 25, 2006

How to Make Movie Critics Your Little Pony

In the run up to release, the studio behind Snakes on a Plane announced they wouldn't have screenings for critics. Possible reasons for this:

  • The movie stunk.
  • Critics don't "get" this kind of movie.
  • Critics are irrelevant to the success of this kind of film
  • Critics are irrelevant.

At the last minute they had some special screenings for critics -- and other critics went and saw it on their own. And the lesson was LEARNED. Critics fell over themselves giving the movie "good for the kind of movie it is" reviews. Snakes on a Plane has a 68% positive response rating at Rotten Tomatoes -- for comparison, Pirates of the Caribbean 2 has a 54% positive rating.

Just go to the Rotten Tomatoes page for Snakes on a Plane and you'll be treated with pull-quotes from the critics such as the following:

"If you can find a better time at the movies this year than this wild comic thriller, let me in on it. I'm there." -- Mick LaSalle SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

"This is an event. It’s a rare example of a film not just living up to the hype, but surpassing it. And it’s the best time you’ll have at the movies all summer, if not all year." -- Christy Lemire ASSOCIATED PRESS

I wound up seeing the film last Friday, and, as many critics suggest, I enjoyed it about as much as I expected to enjoy it. Samuel L. Jackson brought his energy. David Koechner was so funny that I now know his name.

It had that odd, patched-together quality of films with too many cooks. We're introduced to the bad-ass, heartless, baseball-bat wielding antagonist right at the beginning of the film, then a few minutes later see him kung fu-ing someone into unconsciousness -- then he disappears. Toward the end of the film Samuel L. Jackson is told, I believe over the phone, that the antagonist was captured by the police. Off screen.

Of course, that was actually the right choice because not a single person in the theater cared about the bad guy -- just the snakes.

1 comment:

Reel Fanatic said...

I was indeed worried too during the first 10 minutes or so when our generic ganster bad guy has a prominent role .. once they let Sam and the Snakes take over, however, I agree with those critics who said this one was just thoroughly fun