The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Or evil snakes. Whatever.

Snakes Dancing

Some things in life just don't live up to the hype. Take the 2006 NBA Finals, for example. Or the "Awesome" Blossom. Or Midlake. There are those rare occasions, however, when something that's been hyped beyond belief actually lives up to its billing, exceeding all your wildest expectations and then some. Like the 2006 Rose Bowl. Or the Internet. Or boobs. And, thankfully, Snakes on a Plane.

We here at Dallas Observer headquarters have been anxiously awaiting the movie's arrival since news of it began to leak out earlier this year. We've been watching trailers on the Internet and badly impersonating the infamous "motherfuckin' snakes on this motherfuckin' plane" line, despite the fact that none of us had actually seen or heard it yet. We're even fascinated by the rip-offs, among them the straight-to-DVD Snakes on a Train that hit the shelves at Blockbuster this week, three days before the real deal. We all wanted to see Snakes on a Plane, but it's probably fair to say few of us thought it would actually be any good. We were wrong.

The 10 p.m. screening we attended last night at the AMC NorthPark may have only been half full, but the audience filled the theater with cheers, screaming wildly for the title credits before sitting nervously through an overly long opening sequence filled with "extreme" sports and all-too-brief glimpses at babes in bikinis. Luckily for us, director David R. Ellis was just setting us up for the good stuff: Asian gangsters. Flight attendants pulling their last tours of duty. A kickboxer. A hot couple joining the Mile High Club. The shy record nerd from High Fidelity playing a herpetologist. The guy from Good Burger. This guy. Samuel L. Jackson. Nudity. Thrills. Chills. Big snakes. Little snakes. Trouser snakes. In short, everything you could ever want in a popcorn flick and then some.

Let's make one thing clear--to get the full experience, you have to see Snakes in the theater, preferably with frat boys, screaming girls and guys that look like Harry Knowles. It's just more fun to cheer nudity and death in the company of friends, and last week a movie about dancing grossed $20 million in this country, which is appalling. So come on, folks, let's make Snakes on a Plane No. 1. --Noah Bailey

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