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Why I Won’t Be Seeing Snakes on a Plane

You’d have to be hiding under a rock this past weekend to avoid all the chatter in the blogosphere about “Snakes on a Plane”. People recounting how much fun they had at the show, all the fan participation, etc. But I didn’t go see the movie, and I won’t be doing so, and I wanted to say why.

Several years ago, while I was dating my (now) wife Rachel, I discovered that she had made a decision to not watch any Rated R movies. Rachel has always made me want to be a better person, and I look up to her in many areas. So, after some thought, I made the same decision, and I haven’t watched any Rated R movies since (about 6 years now).

Why the thing against Rated R movies? I think there’s just too much vulgar language, and inappropriate sexuality in movies (and entertainment in general), and I’m doing my small part to “vote with my wallet”. And you know what? My life hasn’t ended. There’s plenty of worthwhile entertainment out there.

The sad thing about Snakes on a Plane is that I was really looking forward to seeing it. It was originally going to be rated PG-13, but the studio actually went back and did a 5 day reshoot to add more foul language, nudity, and who knows what else, because people were apparently asking for it (beware some foul language on that IMDB page). I don’t know what is more dismaying – the fact that they went to the expense of doing a reshoot, or the fact that people were clamoring for it. :-(

Is there violence, vulgar language, and sexuality in PG-13 rated movies? Sure. In fact, it’s all over prime time broadcast TV, even. You’ve got to draw the line somewhere, and there have been PG-13 movies that I’ve avoided for the same reasons. Plus, there’s plenty of stuff out there that I consider to be mindless drivel (most pop music, lots of Disney TV shows targeted at kids, etc.) – I avoid that, too. :-)

I debated for a while about even posting this, but it’s been on my mind, and I wanted to say it. I don’t know if people are going to react with flames, or criticism, or what, but if nothing else, I hope it makes a few people think about how much undesireable stuff they’re swallowing in their TV and movie viewing. I’m not perfect, and I don’t think less of people who went to see SoaP or who make any other entertainment choice. But that kind of stuff is not for me, and it’s not for my family, either.

Want to watch something funny? Go check out “Happy Middle“, the new improv comedy video podcast from my friends Jason and Anna (of the Delta Park Project). They’ve got some SoaP parodies (and lots of other good stuff – subscribe to the feed!) that are hilarious, even without having seen the movie. See? Lots of good stuff to watch out there on the internets. :-)

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9 thoughts on “Why I Won’t Be Seeing Snakes on a Plane

  1. Pingback: Bloggers Blog: NSA Monitoring Blogs for Leaks

  2. Good for you. I don’t personally have an issue with sexuality or language in movies, but I really appreciate people who put their money where their mouth is. Most people just complain, as if that’s going to change anything. I made a decision a few years back to stop going to mainstream movie theaters because of the inclusion of paid commercials at the beginning of the movie (after the scheduled start time). I’m fine sitting through previews, but I shouldn’t have to pay to watch commercials. I even wrote a letter about it and was told that it was necessary for the theaters to be economically viable (which is laughable). Anyway, a few years later, lo and behold they stopped doing it, and I started going again. And in the meantime, it felt good to be taking action instead of just going along with everyone else and feeling bad about it.

  3. To be fair Josh, you’re not missing much. I saw it yesterday, and although I knew it wasn’t going to be a Hollywood classic, I never thought it would be as cheesy as it was. The plot line was pretty poor, as were the CG snakes :)
    There were some fun one liners (the obvious one I’m sure you know) but it seemed like it should have gone straight to DVD. The characters annoyed me too, especially as it was obvious who was going to hook up with who.

    Sorry for the film review :)

  4. Angel says:

    @Nathan – I think the whole point of the movie was for it to be cheesy.

    I don’t see anything wrong with putting your money where your mouth is. I think the world would be a boring place without a wide variety of entertainment, but I definitely would monitor my selection of entertainment if I had children in my home just as my parents did. I do enjoy R-rated and higher movies, but certainly don’t begrudge anyone who doesn’t.

  5. Hmmm, I have seen too many amazing R-movies that have left permanent marks in my soul to get with you on that decision. Life isn’t black and white and as our choices are dumbed down further and further by media-mega-moguls, I prefer to keep what small rights to pick and choose that I have left. One of my favorite rights is the one to get up and walk out on a movie or click the power off button 😉

  6. First of all, Snakes on a Plane should not be the movie that causes you to re-examine your convictions regarding entertainment. While we had a blast at the screening we had here at Pixar, it’s mostly a predictable, almost childish plotline, amateurishly written, staged in the most cheesy way imagineable, with lots of bad CG. And yes, it does have some gratuitous nudity thrown in, and gratuitous language.

    That being said, I think that ignoring movies simply because they are rated R is perhaps throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Movie ratings are created mostly for one reason: to warn people that their children might be exposed to something that they might not want them to be. Presumably as adults we are able to judge for ourselves what the value of a particular movie might be, and make our own choices as to whether we are going to enjoy it or be offended by it. I don’t feel the need to be protected from ideas that might be too strong for a fourteen-year old to understand.

    Me? I’m glad we have the choice between seeing Toy Story and Apocalypse Now. Between Star Wars and Animal House. Between Harry Potter and The Ring. Between Lord of the Rings and The Forty Year Old Virgin. My complaint is mostly not with sex or violence in the movies, but with just plain old bad film making.

  7. Lauren says:

    I totally agree with you!! I went to see snakes on a plane thinking it would be a fun corny movie to watch i didn’t know they changed it to a “r” movie. If i would have known that I wouldnt have gone to see it. I was totally uncomfortable during the sex scene in the airplane bathroom. One shouldnt feel uncomfortable while watching movies unless it is expected and i would not have complained if i would have expected that from a movie where i thought was going to be about snakes on a plane. even though i would not want to see nudity with men on screen either, but it really bothers me that women are so revelealed in the media (i kno that that is their choice) but it really just puts a name on all women when we all dont want that image….sex symbols.

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