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Blog // Thoughts
August 24, 2006

Snakes.. on a PLANE?

You can just imagine the film pitch – “we have this idea; snakes, on a plane.” Yes, but what is it about? About, it is about SNAKES … on … a … PLANE!!!” What happens? Well… No doubt we are in the middle of a trend of films where there is little plot beyond the […]

You can just imagine the film pitch – “we have this idea; snakes, on a plane.” Yes, but what is it about? About, it is about SNAKES … on … a … PLANE!!!” What happens? Well…

No doubt we are in the middle of a trend of films where there is little plot beyond the setup or pretext of the film and that pretext is contained in the title of the movie. Simple films, predictable scenarios easy laughs/thrills. Yawn.

Did I mention I’ve been catching up on Lost?

On top of this, we are also in the midst of a fascinating trend in fan/production interaction. At the better end (or at least the end I like), we have things like Serenity/Firefly and Arrested Development; at the other end we SNAKES on a melonballing PLANE!

Anyway, Henry Jenkins (a blog I’ve just started to track) has a very good discussion of the Snakes phenomenon, in particular the expectations of online marketing.

One interesting aspect of the Snakes marketing campaign has been the lockout of film critics (discussed in the most recent Mark Kermode podcast). I’m not convinced that film critics really function as gatekeepers anymore. The real gatekeepers are still the studios, especially with the big-hit lower risk strategy.

All this also gets me wondering about blogs and film reviewing and criticism. I think blogs have a big role to play here and not just in creating hype (though it is interesting to read about opening nights with already hardcore fans reciting lines). Probably the most regular emails I get about this blog are friends and aquaintences asking for more film and music reviews. There’s a hunger for meaningfully comment and uncovering of good work. Maybe instead of shrinking the role of reviewers, studios should expand it?

[tags] Snakes On A Plane [/tags]

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