Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Reptiles on a M#%!@#$F%$@&!%# Aircraft!

by Kevin Wolf

Has everybody by this point heard about Snakes on a Plane? May I assume so and consider the premise of this film and its internet buzz "as read"?

Ty Burr of the Boston Globe on Sunday had an idiotic article (click here to see link into the article [registration required]) about SoaP stating that Hollywood had "crossed a line" by soliciting fan input before the movie was finished and doing five days reshooting to incorporate fan-requested changes.

Burr's rather unnecessary quotes, pulled from Susan Sontag's "Notes On Camp" and sprinkled like jimmies across the page, would seem to indicate that the film shouldn't be taken too seriously. But his belabored article makes it clear that if Burr considers the movie a joke, he doesn't get the joke.

How can you write about movies and apparently not know that studios do test screenings and focus groups all the time - efforts which have resulted in movies having their endings changed, scenes redone to be more clear or more pleasing, and many other changes up to and including reshooting entire films?

It seems disingenuous to declare that fans can't have their say when the only change in the situation was a move from studio-controlled test marketing to an organic internet groundswell of interest. Burr's real complaint seems to be that those in elite positions - directors, actors, *ahem* movie critics - have had their authority usurped by mere proles.

If the movie's creators had some Grand Point to make or were struggling mightily to make Art, they'd have had only to ignore the opinions of anybody not directly involved and finish what they started.

When the project in question is Hollywood high concept of a low order, fan input can't possibly be the ominous development Burr intimates. I mean, come on. Snakes on a plane!

cross-posted to my bloggy blog


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