[box cover]

Soul Plane: Mile High Edition

Though numerous movies have been created with the hopes of attracting an audience that knows how to inhale, few pictures seems so obviously conceived by those blunted out of their gourds as 2004's Soul Plane. The premise is simple: "What if black folks ran an airline?" The results are equally innocuous. Nashawn Wade (charisma-impaired Kevin Hart) loses his dog to an airplane mishap and is rewarded enough money to start his own airline, but for the first voyage he has the cards stacked against him. His pilot is Capt. Mack (Snoop Dogg) — who got his pilot's license after getting out of prison — and was hired by Nashawn's cousin Muggsy (Method Man), who turns the business section into a high rollers club with gambling and strippers. He's also haunted by the presence of his ex-girlfriend Giselle (K.D. Aubert) because he doesn't know how to express how he really feels about her, and never told her why they broke up in the first place. There's all sort of "wacky" subplots to stretch out the running-time: A couple (Brian Hooks and Loni Love) try to join the mile-high club; a man dressed in Arab apparel is intensely scrutinized by the entire plane; the flight attendants keep the passengers amused, being two hotties (Sofia Vergara, Sommore) and a gay man who's subtly named Flame (Gary Anothony Williams); a horny blind man (John Witherspoon) finds his sexual appetite sated by a potato; and the requisite white family called the Hunkees, with the father (Tom Arnold) flummoxed by his quickly wigga-fied son (Billy Pinkston), his about-to-turn-18-year-old daughter (Arielle Kebbel) who threatens to have a lot of sex once she's street-legal, and his wife Barbara (Missi Pyle), who's contracted jungle fever from a passenger with a large trouser snake. When Capt. Mack consumes one too many African mushrooms, the plot really comes into the fore as it tries to maintain its slight correlations to the much funnier Airplane. Directed by music-video veteran Jessy Terrero, the main problem with Soul Plane is that it doesn't have many comedians in it. Had it been anchored by Dave Chappelle or Rudy Ray Moore instead of the bland Hart it might have worked, but with most of the comic support coming from Snoop Dogg and Method Man, the jokes mostly miss. It's also funny how something that seems to be (or at least is trying to be) hip has jokes as broad as Borsch-belt humor. Ethnic stereotypes abound, but stereotypes in and of themselves aren't particularly funny, at least unless the audience is supposed to be so high that an aquarium would be as equally fascinating — if you have the fish tank and some chronic, it's better to stick with them. MGM presents Soul Plane in a "Mile High Edition" that adds footage that makes it unrated (those looking for gratuitous nudity are advised to look elsewhere, since scant skin is on display; arguably the seconds added are simply for promotional purposes) in anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1) and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Extras include a commentary by director Terrero, Tom Arnold, Kevin Hart, Gary Anthony Williams, and Godfrey, "Boarding Pass: The Making of Soul Plane" (26 min.), "The Upgrade," about director Terrero (5 min.), deleted scenes (3 min.), outtakes (2 min.), the "Survivor Safety Video" that plays in the film (2 min.), the theatrical trailer, a still gallery, and bonus trailers. Keep-case.

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