Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Boa vs. Python (2004)
"In my book, people who play with snakes are creepy."- Monica Bonds (Jaime Bergman)
Stars: Jaime Bergman, David Hewlett, Adam Kendrick
Other Stars: Angel Boris, Kirk B.R. Woller, Atanas Srebrev
Director: David Flores
MPAA Rating: R for violence, sexuality/nudity and language
Run Time: 01h:30m:34s
Release Date: 2004-08-24
DVD ReviewNice artwork on the cover for this one—very promising, in a tacky B-movie kind of way. Too bad that scene, with two giant snakes battling each other in what appears to be some unnamed big city while a military helicopter fires a missile at them, doesn't appear anywhere in this particular movie. That's a bad omen in what is basically a low-budget exercise in "let's try to make a big snake movie without showing the snakes too often". In what is becoming a trend (Freddy vs Jason, Alien vs Predator), apparently the filmmakers thought a big boa versus a big python would have the same cachet, not realizing that the title sounds like a Discovery Channel documentary.
A loose, loose sequel of sorts to fragments of Python and Boa (so loose it barely merits a mention), the story here is built around an 80-foot python that escapes from its high-tech cage while being transported to oily tycoon Broddick (Adam Kendrick), who intends on using the snake to lure a group of wealthy hunters to a private range to hunt it. The escape prompts a slight change in locale for the money hungry Broddick, but the hunt is still on; unbeknownst to them, however, the FBI has brought in their own 80-foot scarlet queen boa—equipped with a GPS and video/audio feed implants—to track down the rogue reptile. Can you say "good plan"?
One of the heroes in this mess is former Playboy Playmate Jaime Bergman as Dr. Monica Bonds, who is some sort of dolphin expert that has perfected the aforementioned GPS/video/audio implants. I suppose there is some immediate degree of humor in connecting the well-endowed Bergman and implants, and sure enough the script tosses out a couple of fairly funny one-liners on the subject. For those concerned with the real—though unspoken—issues, Bergman does remain fully-clothed throughout (though she does have a pool scene early on). The same can't be said for Angel Boris, another Playmate, playing Broddick's gun-toting girlfriend Eve, and in a gratuitous bit of "we're adding this to get an R-rating to make it look different than when it aired on Sci-Fi Channel" nudity, she takes a leisurely, spongy bath and wanders around nude for a few minutes.
The other hero is studly snake expert Dr. Emmett (David Hewlett),and it is his 80-foot red boa, which he has named Betty, that has to get outfitted with Bond's implants (I love saying that). We get the usual love/hate bit between Emmett and Bonds—who knew dolphin and snake experts couldn't get along?—before they fall for each other, thanks to some underwater mouth-to-mouth.
Director David Flores, who worked as editor on both Boa and Python 2, does what he can with what was apparently a fairly low-budget, though his stab at making Eastern Europe look like the outskirts of Philadelphia just doesn't cut it. Most of the film is spent underground in a series of tunnels, with characters talking about and looking for the snakes, but far too little of the actual snakes themselves. Yet, for all of the required expendable victims (gee, I wonder if those rich hunters will all get killed?) and the usual sequel-friendly ending, Boa vs Python does have what is probably one of THE strangest scenes of recent memory. A pair of young lovers are parked somewhere, doing what young lovers do, when the big python decides to pay a visit. Let's see, how can I put this delicately? While performing a certain sex act, the anonymous guy is somehow pulled out of the car by the snake, without the girl knowing, I guess because she's in the throes of passion, with her eyes closed, enjoying the moment. The capper is when the giant flicking tongue of the python enters the equation, and you can probably guess the rest.
Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: C
|Aspect Ratio||1.85:1 - Widescreen|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: Boa vs Python has been issued by Columbia TriStar in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. Colors and fleshtones are rendered decently, and both look fairly bright and natural, though the black levels during the tunnel sequences are a bit on the murky side. Some grain and shimmer is evident in spots, slightly marring an otherwise acceptable but average presentation.
Image Transfer Grade: B-
Audio Transfer Review: Presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, this cheesy B-flick has a few moderate standout moments, but overall it is an average presentation of a film that could have benefited from a more aggressive mix. Surrounds do come alive a few times, as does the sub channel. Dialogue is fine, but it is the Jamie Christopherson score, sounding macho and militaristic, that really comes across the best.
A Thai 5.1 track is also included.
Audio Transfer Grade: B
Disc ExtrasFull Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Japanese with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
5 Other Trailer(s) featuring Anacondas: Hunt for the Blood Orchids, Boa, Kaena, Resident Evil 2, Starship Troopers 2
Extras Review: In addition to a few trailers, Columbia TriStar has included a free ticket to see Anacondas: Hunt for the Blood Orchids. I don't know if this is a good thing or bad thing (not having seen it) but the ticket does expire on 09/17/04—and if it is still in theaters then I will be surprised.
The disc is cut into 20 chapters, with a healthy selection of subtitle options.
Extras Grade: C+
Final CommentsEven if the world was clamoring for a showdown between two big CG snakes, this wouldn't be salvation. Even the presence of two former Playboy Playmates isn't enough to make this anything less than extremely disappointing.
Rich Rosell 2004-08-31