“Snakes on a Plane (2006) is one of the best B-movies I have ever seen. The movie is about an unlikely surfer turned hero witnessing a crime of a wealthy mobster. All Sean wanted was to catch some great Hawaiin waves, but he was at the wrong place at the wrong time. The accomplices wish to take him off the map until a mainland agent from the FBI appears. Agent Neville Flynn is packing a Beretta, eventually realizing he would need it on the flight back to LA. The snakes on the plane are about to wreak havoc. The gang had placed them there to eliminate the surfer, but will they succeed?
The lack of effort in writing makes this movie special. It is an entertaining dumpster fire with silly censored lines about “monkeyfighting snakes.” The premise of the plot is nonsensical. Viewers know this and still are satisfied by the demanding action: snakes versus people on an aircraft. Essentially, I like that the film is blunt about its playfulness. The movie follows a typical format, showing a hero arising from unlikely odds. Essentially, I like that the film is direct about its playfulness. What movie can you laugh at and with simultaneously?
“The Mist”(2007) is a film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel of the same name. It all starts with a bad storm and a dense fog covering Maine. The protagonist likes art but also happens to be the lumberjack type. Davis and his son, Billy, drive to the grocery store when an odd mist is pouring from a mountain. Many people are stocking up from the bad weather in the store. It is not long before danger follows the town. Some entity is killing humans when they dare to enter the mist. The situation is supernatural, and Mrs. Carmody begins to brainwash people with religious fearmongering. The small group of characters that don’t succumb to the coercion is met with uncertainty and dread. Soon, they must leave the grocery store without alerting the carnivorous creatures. David and five other survivors hit the end of the road and are left to decide which fate is more favorable.
The ending is unexpected and a welcome, Lovecraftian twist. I genuinely enjoy most horror movies for the puzzle part of it: what is the best way to survive? I liked that this movie was realistic with the ending. Not always does the protagonist make all the right decisions or succeed just because he is the hero. I also found the end to be refreshing as a Lovecraft fan. In a way, the movie can tell us a bit about human nature and how we react under pressure.
I tend to shy away from anime unless it has dark themes. Cowboy Bebop (1998) follows an anti-heroic bounty hunter, Spike Spiegel. He does not have much baggage but does miss his love, Julia. Spike never has enough money despite being a notoriously skilled fighter and gunman. He learns that his past partner in the crime syndicate is causing problems and might know of Julia’s faults. The longer the show develops, Spike sees his flaws in his opponents. In the end, there is a battle as all is fair in love and war.
I resonate with each of the characters at times. I appreciated that Spike was apathetic and wished to just get by at times. It is realistic to feel down when outcomes are unfavorable. I also loved the music in the cartoon; it conveyed the neo-noir and western themes. The re-watchablity of Cowboy Bebop also makes it unique. Somehow, the writers mixed the old with new: space cowboys and good & evil. The ending is still debated today, though I believe a realistic conclusion is more acceptable in the long run.