“It’s not Citizen Kane, it’s Snakes on a Plane”

This jewel was uttered by a guy sitting near me at the midnight showing of Snakes on a Plane at AMC Loews Boston Common Theater yesterday. Fifteen minutes before showtime, he was on the phone trying to convince a friend to come to the theater. It’s a shame his friend didn’t show.

That little couplet serves as the perfect review of Snakes on a Plane. It is also a no-contest rebuttal to any criticism of the movie. Do the first fifteen minutes of the movie exist only to get everyone on Pacific Air Flight 121 as fast as possible? Yes, but even that was a little long for some in the audience. Are some of the characters shallow, and are some of the actors really bad? Of course! Do the effects pale in comparison to Pirates of the Caribbean? Damn straight!

It is a little cheesy, a little scary, and quite a bit funny, all in the right proportions. Most importantly, it does not take itself too seriously. “Snakes” is a good B-movie, something I feel like I haven’t seen in a while. When was the last time you saw a really bad police interrogation scene?

Should you see Snakes on a Plane? Yes, but if you weren’t in Theater 16 on Thursday night you’ve already missed the greatest showing there will ever be of this movie. I invited my friend Mike to the show, and he brought a printout of the Snakes on a Plane Participation Script. Well before showtime, he helped the audience learn the key lines: anytime the asian bad guy finishes a sentence, yell “…in bed!”; anytime a sentence ends in “snakes,” yell “motherfucking snakes!”; anytime Samuel L Jackson yells at someone, add “...bitch!” for emphasis; etc. It was a little like a Rocky Horror Screening, except that nobody had seen the movie yet. So when the entire theater found out that adding “in bed” actually works for damn near everything the asian guy says, it was hilarity topped with the joy of discovery.

I wouldn’t trust any reviewer who wasn’t in a theater with the electric atmosphere and audience participation I experienced last night. The story of SoaP’s development and production has been one of collaboration between the filmmakers, the fans, and especially Sam himself. For this movie to work that collaboration must extend to the screenings as well. Putting the burden of the entertainment on the film itself is a dereliction of duty by the audience. So print out the wiki, bring some rubber snakes, and do your part!

Grab Bag for June ’05

look! photos!

Char in Kendall Square

Fanueil Hall on a warm day

Char at a restaurant

Char and I went to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. They have this awesome chinese house there that was brought over plank by plank from a rural part of China, but they didn’t allow photos there. Bastards.

Char at Peabody Essex Museum. Lots of Char in this update!

On the train

Look, someone who’s not Char. Peter being helped putting on a tie.

Red Sox Parade

Here is a panorama I took of the redsox parade the other weekend. The fullsize image is 11530×984 and 1.8 Megs, so be prepared. I used hugin, which is a powerful but awfully-written piece of software. It crashes, it doesn’t make sense, and then just when you’re about to give up it actually stitches together a proper panorama.

Here’s a slice of the image so you get an idea of what it looks like.

Ooooo scary

Char and I were coming home on the T yesterday on the redline going southbound. The train had just passed the Charles/MGH stop and was at Park Street. A voice came on the loudspeaker and said “the next stop will be Charles/MGH.” This of course makes no sense, since we just came from there.

The stop after Park is Downtown Crossing, and that’s where we were going to transfer to the Orange Line to get home. There’s an underground concourse that connects Park Street and Downtown Crossing, so we decided to get off the train and walk underground to the station.

Unfortunately, there were a bunch of police and fire officials at the underground concourse, and they told us we should walk to Downtown above ground. I asked if the station was closed too, or just the concourse. The policeman said yeah, the station’s still open.

At this point I was thinking a water main had busted and flooded the tunnel. The concourse might be flooded, making underground travel to Downtown impossible (or at least very wet).

When we got to Downtown (now above ground), there were more fire trucks, and more police cars. We tried to go into the station from one entrance, and the firefighter there said to use the other entrance. We used the other entrance, and _finally_ someone told us that, in fact, the whole station was closed after all. It’s amazing how poor the communication between these guys was over a mere 500 feet.

We ended up walking to Chinatown and taking the train from there.

Today I found this in the paper:

qdoba update!

Well thank goodness my site is the highest rated result for “boston qdoba” on google. I got an email today from an alert reader who found my site and says:

we seem to be in the same boat because I,too, am searching for a qdoba competitor and annas just doesnt cut it! A few days ago I was in the Copley mall and low and behold, there is a qdoba actually coming to the mall! Word has it that there are three of them coming to boston soonjust thought you might be interested.hope you enjoy it!

This is great news, and I will no longer have to pine for burritos I can’t have. I never mentioned this, but when Char visited me for Thanksgiving she actually brought a Qdoba burrito on the plane from wisconsin so that I could have one in Massachusetts. It was totally unexpected, and even nuked it was delicious. She’s a great gal.

Wasting no Time I See

It wasn’t until dad texted me yesterday that I even knew there was any snow on the way. It was bright and sunny, and I receive a message saying “you might want to park your car over here if there’s a snow emergency.” My street has unlimited parking, except in that case. I checked a few weather sites, and indeed they gave an ominous warning: CHANCE OF SNOW NEAR 100%.

Last night it began to snow, and today the gods are off and running with another fine winter.