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DVD Review: 'Snakes on a Plane'

PetsDVDs and MoviesMoviesMovie IndustrySamuel L. JacksonFBI

Like many people, I loved the ridiculousness of the title "Snakes on a Plane," but never actually saw the film when it was finally released, contributing to the lower-than-expected box office. Sure, it was over-hyped, but there was also just no way the film could live up to the campy scenarios in my mind. Even with lower expectations and lots of entertaining, snaked-themed extras, the DVD is still a letdown because the film simply isn't that good.

That's not to say there aren't a few funny lines. It's just that they're not worth watching the whole film to hear them. Hollywood badass Samuel L. Jackson plays FBI agent Neville Flynn, who is escorting key witness Sean Jones (Nathan Phillips) on a flight from Hawaii to Los Angeles so he can testify against gangster Eddie Kim (Byron Lawson).

"You know all those god**** security scenarios we ran? Well, I'm smack in the middle of one we didn't think of," Flynn tells an agent by phone. "Eddie Kim somehow managed to fill the plane with poisonous snakes."

Probably the only other halfway amusing line is "Enough is enough. I have had it with these motherf***ing snakes on this motherf***ing plane." It was added during reshoots, which is frankly exactly what it looks like.

The commentary includes far more people than is necessary beyond Jackson and the director. Most of it is the usual stuff, but they do address how there was an Internet outcry when New Line changed the title to "Pacific Air Flight 121," which prompted the studio to revert to the original title.

The "making of" and "VFX" featurettes show a little behind-the-scenes action, which looked like more fun than we're having watching the film. The snakes were a combination of live snakes -- which required a wrangler -- and CG for the "hero snakes."

If you don't have a snake phobia (or especially if you do), the "Meet the Reptiles" bonus is fairly intriguing. It identifies each of the snakes featured, including some of the "doubles" used in the film, demonstrates the snakes' mouse-eating habits and introduces you to Kitty, the lovely Burmese python in the film.

"Snakes on a Blog" examines the Internet phenomenon surrounding the film. New Line was fairly wise for not suing the bloggers, but rather encouraging them to be creative and eventually inviting the most active ones to the red carpet Hollywood premiere. Several websites are featured, but the most amusing is Blanksonablank.com, which challenges budding filmmakers to place animals on some form of transportation for a high-powered action film. "Raccoons on a Space Shuttle" anyone?

The gag reel has the expected flubs, bloopers and shenanigans, some of which should have been left in for the cheese factor alone. The deleted/extended scenes deserved to be cut from the film, but the accompanying filmmaker commentary also relates the true story about Romeo (the chihuahua in the film that got sacrificed) and how he ended up destitute and wandering the streets. Don't worry. There's a happy ending.

"Snakes on a Video" includes a making of the Cobra Starship video "Snakes on a Plane (Bring It)" and the video itself. The group -- made up of people from Midtown, Gym Class Heroes, Academy Is and some Swedish girl named Maja -- is a fairly appealing bunch that's slightly edgier than the Radio Disney types. The song is catchy, mainstream rock that has a fun concept but built-in limited appeal.

EXTRAS: Commentary by: director David Ellis, Samuel L. Jackson and more; deleted/extended scenes w/optional commentary; "Snakes on a Video" Cobra Starship; Featurettes: "Pure Venom: Making of Snakes on a Plane," "Snakes on a Blog," "Meet the Reptiles," "VFX"; gag reel; theatrical trailer; TV spot
PRICE: $28.98

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