Snakes on a Plane over Deadwood in 1973

Volume 9, Issue 83; 28 Aug 2006; last modified 08 Oct 2010

A few thoughts about movies and TV.

I haven't written anything here in over a week because I've been devoting every spare moment to building a system to finally, once and for all, scratch an itch that's been driving me just about to distraction: photographic metadata for all my images.

More about that later. If it works.

In the meantime, with the Deadwood season finale behind us (I'm gonna miss them on Sunday nights) and the fall TV season about to start up, I thought I'd put in a plug for the best new show of the summer: Life on Mars. Is he dead? Is he in a coma? Or is he back in time? I don't know (though I think the clues point to one of those answers pretty clearly), but I'm hooked. We've almost reached the end of the first season on BBC America here in the States, but I expect they'll run it from the beginning again. And I gather there will be another season in the UK next year.

I also enjoyed seeing Dr. Who again this summer. I'm not sure I like the direction they're taking things, really, or the gratuitous overuse of the sonic screwdriver, but nostalgia covers a multitude of sins.

And finally, what essay about entertainment these days would be complete without mentioning Snakes on a Plane? It's well done, in the sense that it's unflinchingly ridiculous enough to be fun to watch. And Samuel L. Jackson delivering the line you've been waiting for, with bravado and a completely straight face, will bring a cheer to your lips.

I have too much experience with, and I'm too fond of, snakes to have found the CGI convincing. (And the behavior of the snakes is absurd.) On the other hand, it was fun to pick out the live snakes. (If it turns out there weren't any, then the CGI was sometimes far better than I'm giving it credit for here.)