Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Hot Club

My sincere condolences to Chris DeSessa whose dad Tony passed away last Friday. Chris was wondering if anyone knows the details on what 'Bubba Ball' was. One of Mr. DeSessa's nicknames was 'Bubba'.

Marcus Augustus told me that his friend doesn't like all the gadgets and gizmos on cell phones. The guy just wants a cell so he can make calls. Marcus told him "Oh the new ones are doing away with that option."

Louisiana Steve said (seriously I think) that Steam Alley is going to become a strip club. Marcus asked "Male or female?"

Frequent Flyer, Mike Module and I were discussing how language changes. I mentioned how the word 'disinterest' originally meant impartial, not uninterested. And then I added that the military popularized the word 'impact' as a verb. FF told me, "Now that you're retired, you have way too much time on your hands."

Fleet Feet Pete says he knows someone with a cockatiel. When you ask the parrot what happens to a naughty bird it says, "Chicken soup."

Pete also mentioned a trip to China with Steverino. Their host gave them a dish to eat and Steverino dug in with gusto. He told the host "Good chicken!' The man giggled and said "This chicken no fly". When pressed for what it was, the man added, "Water chicken.' Turns out it was frog. Steverino got as green as a frog and went to the bathroom to barf.

The Warden told me that was not a towel under his cap. It was a scarf.

Joe Paquette, a fellow fraternity brother (Kappa Delta Phi), and history teacher at Ponagansett High School, told us he recently visited Switzerland. He encountered a group of statues with figures from history known for furthering the cause of religious freedom. The most prominent of the statues was Rhode Island's own Roger Williams.

Grant and I were talking about director Peter Jackson. I told him that I've seen almost everything Jackson has done including the weird Meet the Feebles that includes actors as life-size animals. There is a syphilitic rabbit. Grant called it "Muppets gone bad."

Augie was talking about 2 singers I hadn't heard: Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen. The Silencer said she likes Eva Cassidy.



This is "the best serious fright film ever made about Bigfoot!" according to Fangoria. That isn't saying much because most of the films about Bigfoot, the Yeti and the Abominable Snowman have been abominable.

This is not a bad little movie. It won't scare any seasoned sick cinema-philes but that's only part of why we watch. There is a nude shower scene (Tiffany Shepis as Tracy). Thank God women have gotten over Psycho and have now returned to the showers.

Horror veterans Paul Gleason (Sheriff Halderman), Lance Henriksen (Ziegler Dane) and Jeffrey Combs (the 'clerk) have cameos and are here for comic relief. Since this film was made both Gleason and Henriksen have passed on to Horror Heaven.

The real star is Matt McCoy as Preston Rogers, a paraplegic after a rock climbing accident that killed his wife. He's in a wheelchair so the whole Rear Window thing is used. You will recognize McCoy who has been in a host of movies, including LA Confidential and was Lloyd Braun on Seinfeld.

The movie is written and directed by Ryan Schifrin. If that name sounds familiar, be aware that Lalo Schifrin did the music for the movie. So that would make Ryan Lalo's son. The music is fun itself with Schifrin resorting to screaming violins when violence is imminent.

Christien Tinsley plays Otis Wilhelm, an obnoxious oaf who is Preston's 'caregiver'. Otis is the doubting Thomas and also supplies some laughs. Tinsley is also important as the main man for Special Makeup Effects and Creature Design. I've seen better monsters (a big sheepdog with an ugly kisser and huge teeth), but I'm sure that Ryan Schifrin had a limited budget.

There are 5 women in the house next door as Bigfoot bait. They seem to have been chosen for their ability to scream rather than their acting acumen.

It's 94 minutes long and rated R for monster violence and gore, language and some nudity.


Decided to check this out and see whether it was decent. It is especially if you are squeamish about snakes (never my favorite critters). The idea of snakes on an airliner seems silly, but the screenplay by John Heffernan and Sebastian Gutierrez (from a story by Heffernan and David Dallesandro) actually suggests a semi-plausible reason: a mobster wants to wipe out a plane passenger who witnessed him murder a DA.

However the idea that the snakes have been sprayed with pheromones to make them aggressive is questionable. But where I lost credulity with the movie was when a snake expert admits that snakes are not indigenous to Hawaii. The plane is flying from Honolulu to LA. How did the mobster get the venomous snakes into Hawaii first so he could have them put on board?

Samuel L. Jackson does his usual turn as a smart-ass and smart-talking guy who this time is a FBI man. The witness, Nathan Phillips (Wolf Creek) as Sean Jones, is so poor that you want the snakes to bite him. Juliana Margulies is a flight attendant who is supposed to be a love interest for Samuel L. but the relationship is barely believable.

There is some nudity - a couple in the john joining the mile high club. The fornicators are the first victims naturally.

The music includes a song called Snakes On A Plane (Bring It) and another entitled Snakes On The Brain. There is a good song by Cee Lo Green (Gnarls Barkley) called Ophidophobia.

The director is David Ellis who was not the original director (not usually a good sign). Ellis is a child actor who got started in Disney films, but who has also acted as an adult. Ellis has done movie stunts and directed Final Destination 2.

The movie goes into a nosedive at the end when Kenan Thompson (Troy) has to pilot the plane. His flight experience consists of 2000 hours on a flight simulator - a video game.

There is some decent humor (not all of it unintentional) and a chihuahua that has a bad ending. A nasty passenger gets his comeuppance by a boa or anaconda (or Burmese python) that sucks on his head like a hard-boiled egg.

According to IMDb.com, 450 snakes were used in the film including a 22-ft Burmese python.
It's 105 minutes and is rated R for language, a scene of sexuality and drug use, and intense sequences of terror and violence.


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