When ex-blues musician Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson) finds the town nymphomaniac Rae (Christina Ricci) left for dead on the side of the road, he vows to nurse her back to health¡and cure her of her wickedness. Until then, she¡¯ll be chained to the immovable radiator in his home. But Lazarus has demons of his own: his wife just left him for his own brother. While Lazarus and Rae struggle to fix their broken lives, the situation threatens to explode as Rae's boyfriend Ronnie (Justin Timberlake) ¡ª a roughneck soldier just back from Iraq ¡ª comes searching for his missing lover.
The lurid scenario--a nymphomaniacal white trash nymphet (Christina Ricci) is held prisoner by a bitter bluesman (Samuel L. Jackson)--gives way to an affecting tale of redemption in Black Snake Moan, writer/director Craig Brewer's follow-up to the acclaimed Hustle & Flow. Lazarus (Jackson, Jungle Fever, Pulp Fiction) finds Rae (Ricci, Monster, The Ice Storm) beaten unconscious on the road in front of his backwoods house. After bringing her inside, he learns of her wanton ways and decides to exorcise his own demons by curing Rae of her sexual compulsion. Black Snake Moan could have been terrible, but Brewer takes his story seriously enough to dig into the genuine emotions of such a situation (though along the way he certainly flirts with sexploitation overtones--several scenes look like they were plucked straight out of a hitherto unknown 1970s trash classic). Ricci, Jackson, and the supporting cast (including pop star Justin Timberlake, giving a surprisingly good performance as Rae's boyfriend) treat the characters with respect, honesty, and humor. The result is off-kilter and maybe a little too fond of its sleazy cinematic forbears to truly hit the emotional notes it's after, but Black Snake Moan has considerably more substance than its marketing would suggest. --Bret Fetzer
Beyond Black Snake Moan
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Stills from Black Snake Moan (click for larger image)
"This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine . . ." An excellent, underrated movie betrayed by its atrocious theatrical poster, BLACK SNAKE MOAN works on just so many levels. Samuel L. Jackson is Lazarus, a farmer and natural blues guitarist living in rural Tennessee. Lazarus' wife has left him for his brother, and the bitter Lazarus veers like a skirling wind between self-pity, world-weariness, emotionally-charged violence, and religiously-fueled hopefulness.
One morning, he finds Rae (Christina Ricci) lying beaten, bloody, and naked in the road near his house. Rae is the girl in town with the "reputation"; the least perjorative way to describe her behavior is that she uses her sexuality as both a weapon and a shield, closing herself off from a trauma-scarred childhood. Consequently, Rae manipulates men and is victimized by them. Her boyfriend Ronnie has just been deployed with the Tennessee National Guard, and in her lonely misery, her evening companion has attacked her and dumped her off.
The lonely Lazarus takes Rae in, but realizing that she is delirious both from the beating and a raging fever, he chains her inside the house so she will not wander. Although Rae first tries to get away, she soon finds in Lazarus a kindred spirit, and the two become friends.
Unfortunately, the image of Lazarus holding the panty-clad Rae by a length of chain is the image the promoters chose to market this film. This sexually-charged, racially stereotyped symbolism undoubtedly ruined this film's reception. And it's a shame, because BLACK SNAKE MOAN is a splendid film with great depth. Of course, the mostly-naked Ricci is sexy in a trailer park way (it's said that she put herself on a diet of junk to acheive the sallow, sunken-eyed look which typifies Rae), but the relationship between Lazarus and Rae develops into a profoundly moving father-daughter bond as the film progresses.
It is not one-sided. Both Rae and Lazarus are able to collect the shards of their shattered self-esteem and rebuild their lives. In the Hollywood manner, all their complex problems are resolved by the end of the third reel, but nonetheless, BLACK SNAKE MOAN gives us a wonderful portrait of two deeply wounded people finding themselves in each other's eyes.
There are many women like Rae; and there are many men like Lazarus. It is the reality of their shared experience that hits home with such force. We know these people. On some level, we are these people. A film can accomplish nothing finer nor more meaningful and lasting than that. The blues soundtrack is a perfect underscore to what we see onscreen.
Unexpectedly good This movie has a serious theme which is sex addiction. It is a real problem that some people have particularly someone that has been abused...The performances were emotionally wrenching at times... people saying this movie was ridiculous are just not aware of what goes on around them. If I had seen this movie 10 yrs ago I probably would have thought it was ridiculous too... get out and meet some people is all I can say to that....
The chain, the anchor became a wonderful symbol and that is in some ways a better symbol of marriage than the rings we wear.
Overall I must recommend it quite highly....more info
Jerking the viewer's chain A politically incorrect melting pot of rural American culture, BSM manages to tackle social, sexual, racial, and political issues without an overly exploitative nature. With an intriguing storyline, an impeccable atmosphere, and great character development, not to mention the incredible performances from both Samuel L. Jackson as a believable southern bluesman named Lazarus and Christina Ricci as a promiscuous Rae, the production and acting are enough to make this a must-see.
Essentially, the movie is just as the previews showed it: a black, southern bluesman finds a scantily clad, waiflike, white slut beaten on the side of the road, and he chains her to a radiator. What's surprising, however, is that the chaining is more symbolic, more metaphorical than actually being provocative or sexual. In fact, it's probably asexual if anything; Lazarus does it to help the healing process, and, by the way, to keep Rae's "itch" from causing her to screw everyone in sight like an overzealous car dealer.
Facing the despair of a difficult, small-town, rural life, one in which each has to deal with past demons - Rae's combination of nymphomania, abandonment, and child abuse, Lazarus' betrayal at the hands of his wife and brother - the two undertake a healing experience together in which their souls are resurrected from an unfortunate demise.
The biggest problem I have with BSM is that it's supposed to be a tale of morality, but it's replete with hypocrisy, thereby tarnishing the message. So the female's carnal urges need to be controlled, but the male sexual urge can be the topic of a crowd-inspiring blues song? Aside from that, the clear racial and sexual messages are askew to say the least. The movie is set in a contemporary setting, but the overtones reek of northern superiority, presenting the premise that if Lazarus had called the police, there is nearly no doubt that he would have been charged, if not convicted - better to just chain the whore to the furnace! Last but not least, for a movie that presumes to teach moral, racial, and sexual lessons, the imagery of enslavement is inappropriate no matter which racial setup is used. Imagine the outcry if Jackson were replaced with Bruce Willis and Ricci were replaced with Gabrielle Union!
Along with a great blues soundtrack, the emotional plot of BSM makes for a pretty good movie. Ultimately, there is a hopeful, positive resolution for both main characters, and the drama is compelling enough to border on greatness. Highly recommended....more info
Aggressive and Perverse Aggressive and perverse, this film is a curve ball thrown with some serious attitude. From Ricci flicking-off a tractor in the opening sequence to Jackson chaining her to a radiator, it's hard to imagine this project being pitched (let alone green-lit); yet, Brewer somehow manages to elevate this unique story's violent and sexual subject matter through ingenius casting (with the exception of Timberlake) and the incorporation of a blues subtext. If it weren't for the compromises that it tragically makes in it's second act, this film would certainly be receiving much more attention. (7/10)...more info
Oh, Stop Your Moaning Okay, so I'm a good lil' boy who grew up in church. Okay, so this movie had all the signs of something quite...uh...un-churchlike. Here's the funny thing: Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci take part in a fantastic redemption tale.
"Black Snake Moan" starts its story with two hurting people who deal with their pain in very different ways. Rae, played by Ricci, is left alone when her boyfriend heads off to war, and finds herself giving way to her fleshly desires. There's not much hidden here, the rating is well-deserved, and yet there's little that's gratuitous. This is a woman looking for unconditional love in all the wrong places. Lazarus, played by Jackson, also wants the real deal of love, but he's been burned by his cheating wife and brother. He's withdrawn from everything.
Two people. Two lives, caught in the black snake's coils. And somehow, through a set of circumstances that are at once over-the-top and wholly believable, Rae and Laz forge a chaste relationship that leads them both through the storm of evil to the light on the other side. Both see glimpses of hope, but neither is guaranteed of grasping it. They must act in faith and move forward.
While jerking the chains of all who want to criticize, "Black Snake Moan" actually hides a beautiful tale of love and forgiveness. Even while performing his own tough love and intervention with Rae, Laz admits to his own weakness and deals with it. Both do a wonderful job of acting, with the music and the direction providing superb counterpoint to their emotional and spiritual journey. Timberlake is okay in his role, and the other supporting players do credible jobs.
This here is not only a well-told story, it's also much closer to the Jesus I know from the Bible than the one we often see camouflaged in overly pious renditions. When this black snake moans, it's good to know that Rae and Lazarus still want to keep that little light shining....more info
Brilliant!!!! I didn't know anything about this film prior too the, obviously, cheap marketing ploys. I'm another one of those "not what I expected" blokes. This is a really thoughtful movie. Ricci is brilliant and Jackson too. I've always appreciated Christina Ricci's affinity for the more quirky films (Pumpkin, Buffalo 66, Fear and Loathing, etc). I thought this was gonna be an attempt at something like that, a failed attempt at that (because of the crappy marketing). But there are so many different relevant themes permeating this movie is makes for something really fantastic. It's quite an experience. Like many, I think the only weakness was Justin Timberlake's casting. I'm not big on Timberlake anyways, but sometimes I don't mind the guy. But they could have done a little better with the role of Ronnie, even though Timberlake was okay. This movie is so many things in one; sinful and saintly, silly and serious, trashy and theological. All sprinkled with a little blues. But on the whole, I'd say it's just a very good movie. Watch it and be pleasantly surprised for yourself....more info
Mind-bogglingly RIDICULOUS! Well, I love both of the lead actors, and quite enjoyed having the camera walk over Christina Ricci's luscious half-naked body throughout, and the sex scenes she did were pretty hot. But as a whole, this film just kept getting more and more ridiculous and implausible as it goes along.
I'm a huge blues fan myself, always have been. But this film feels like an outrageous parody of the blues and the culture it comes from. About the first 1/3 of the film was somewhat palatable, then it just kept getting worse and worse, with some of the cheesiest dialogue and situations I've seen in a long time. All the more painful because there's zero irony anywhere to be found. The script and director seem to come from some kind of adolescent romanticism blended with hokey New Age therapy. Even Samuel L. Jackson's considerable talents as an actor can't save this one.
The only reason I'm giving this 2 stars instead of 1 is Christina Ricci's hotness......more info
What binds people together We meet two people, under unusual circumstances, who seemingly have nothing in common early in the film and watch them create an unbreakable bond between each other. Lazarus is middle aged, black man with unsteady employment and passion for blues (he plays guitar and sings in a local bar). Ray on the other hand is pettite, blond, promiscuous young woman without a clear direction in her life. As Ray gets badly beaten one day, she is found by Lazarus outside of his home who quickly discovers her insatiable taste for sex with any man that happens to be around. To teach her a lesson, Lazarus chains her to the radiator in attempt to force her self-realization and at the same time redeem himself from pain he feels after being abandoned by his wife of many years who leaves him for his younger brother. In spite of constant thugging between these two and Ray's unsuccessful attempts to seduce Lazarus in order to "free" herself from his chains these two create a strong bond without ever kissing each other. This is multi-layered, deeply emotional film that requires exploration who we are, why are we are the way we are and what external influences shape our personality and life decisions. Christina Ricci is wonderful in this strong performance. Her southern accent, big eyes and body language are amazing that make her performance flawless. Music in the film is wonderful. It is surprising to learn that Justin Timberlake (in a role of Ray's anxiety attack prone boyfriend) can act and he is quite good at it too. As for Samuel Jackson - he will not let you down....more info
Powerful movie with great acting I liked this movie more than I thought I would. I love Samuel L. Jackson and he is very believable in this role, and as a blues musician, well, he rocks!
Christina Ricci is also very believable as the tortured nymphomaniac who is so messed up that it's difficult to find sympathy for her at first.
If you have ever lived in a small southern town, you'll feel right at home with the characters here. Black Snake Moan gets the crazy balance between religion and sin that you find everywhere in the Bible belt. It's pretty much a story of redemption and love set against the racial/economic backdrop of the poor, rural south. But, it totally doesn't look like it! LOL--the chains, nudity, violence, and despair get all the attention!
This movie is definitely worth watching and talking about, particularly for people who live in this world. And, in many ways, that's all of us.
Amazing Movie An amazing movie that will keep your eyes clued to the screen. Featuring the talents of Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Ricci, and Justin Timberlake. This movie is one that has to be watched. Samuel L. Jackson plays a man who has been left by his women and is going through a rough time. He finds a women (Christina Ricci) lying in the middle of the street one day all beaten up and half naked. He nurses her to health and trying to help her with her problems. This is a great movie that should not be passed up. Plus you get to here Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci sing! Go get Black Snake Moan today! ...more info
CRAIG BREWER, OPUS 3 ***** 2006. Written and directed by Craig Brewer. An aging and religious bluesman decides to reform a wild young woman and chains her in his house. It's been a long time I haven't been so enthralled by a recent movie. Christina Ricci's performance is superior, the concert scene is exceptional and the snake metaphor a brilliant idea. Highly recommended. ...more info
Unbelievably full of 'soul'. This movie was painful, beautiful and full of soul. What looks like a swanky sex story on the surface turns out to be a touching, spiritual journey. The soulfull music chosen to accompany was a perfect choice as well, and Sam Jackson looked like he'd been born with a guitar in his hands. Christina Ricci plays a unique role, and very different from her 'little girl' days, as a damaged young woman clinging to an equally emotionally challenged young man played by Justin Timberlake. When her beloved leaves, the one thin thread helping her hold her life together is broken and she's back on the prowl, thinking sex is all that can save her from the wretched past. Beaten up and left for dead by the side of the road, Rae is rescued by a black man named Lazarus. It turns out Lazarus is a bit beaten up by life as well. I love how the 'chain' becomes a beautiful tether of love that helps ground these emotionally scattered people trying so hard to cope with all the pain in their lives. What a fantastic story!
More than what the ads promised I expected "Black Snake Moan" to be a kind of guilty-pleasure movie, something along the lines of a "Death Proof", "Planet Terror", or "Kill Bill". You know, trashy fun. But it's really much better than that. Yes, it has a half naked girl chained to a radiator. But it also has two damaged people reaching out to one another, a rich array of supporting characters, a couple of serious themes (in particular, how past abuse informs everything a person does for the rest of their lives), wonderful music, and top-notch acting. Sure, there's some trashy fun to be had, but it's a shame that the film's marketing team only played up that aspect in the ads and ignored the richer stuff. The film might have done a little better in theaters.
"Black Snake Moan" looks and sounds great on DVD, and there's a full array of extra features. Writer/director Craig Brewer is featured prominently in the extras, and he's an interesting guy to listen to. He's grounded, creative, and has a great sense of showmanship... but not at the expense of knowing what's really important in a film. I'll have to check out his earlier movie, "Hustle & Flow", now that I've seen what he can do. ...more info
terrible girl running around almost naked the whole time. these actors should be ashamed for making this picture..and that justin timberlake is a joke....more info
Blues Better than you expect. For a while the watcher is wondering just where this one is going. Jackson commands the screen and Ricci burns it up. The whole premises suggests something nasty, but it turns out to be a feel good movie. You can actually have a good time....more info
Theatergoer's Moan Contrived plot. Very unrealistic handling of psychological elements of the story -- Rae didn't "get" nymphomania because she was abused by Mom's boyfriend, nor was the behavior portrayed consistent with nymphomania. And she sure didn't get cured by being chained up, released, and talked to by an understanding blues player. Nonetheless enjoyable performances by the major actors. And who doesn't like tales of redemption?...more info
I will NEVER believe a newspaper movie critic again, but I do believe my dad. The Los Angeles Times gave this movie such a bad review, and the way it was described set my feminist heart on fire...I would see the billboards and think what a sexist piece of *&%#. That was a huge flaw on my part, to judge something without seeing it myself. But then, this week, my dad told me he saw it and he liked it very much. He and I are movie buffs...SO...
I was completely impressed with this movie!
Original script, with such evocative dialog. Samuel Jackson and Cristina Ricci were impeccable. The other actors, including Justin Timberlake, were all top notch and belivable.I will not recount the story line here, as I am sure other reviewers have done so, but this was a story with heart and soul, about love and respect and understanding crossing all lines. About falling to the pits of agony and despair and being loved and helped up. About the healing power of music.
The score deserves honorable mention all it's own. The BEST music I have ever heard! GET the soundtrack, I am ordering it after I write this.
This was a truly artistic film, with some very painful and violent moments but they did serve to tell the story.
I am very happy I saw this. ...more info
Surprisingly Hearfelt This movie really surprised me. It is about a woman named Rae who learns to love herself. At the beginning of the film, she is a waisted woman who allows men to use her to feel good about herself. She is basically destroying her own life because she doesn't know her self worth. The sex and nudity at this point in the film is so necessary because it shows the viewer just what a low and revolting person she has let herself become.
With the strange help of an unexpected friend, Rae learns to have faith in herself and realize that she is worth something. It was utterly inspiring and touching to watch Rae overcome her challenges in life.
This film is so great because the ending doesn't pretend that everything is suddenly all better. These people still have a lot of work to do, and a long way to go before proving themselves. The ending is so hopeful because we know the characters are trying as hard as they can to stay on the right track in life.
If you are interested in watching someone turn her life around in a strange and funny, but sincere way, you will surely like this movie. I think this movie is so inspiring in a surprising way....more info
Black Snake Moan - En Blu This is a very good movie with Christina Ricci and Samuel L. Jackson. It focuses on a woman who has a sex addiction who falls into the hands of Samuel L. Jackson after being beaten up. He tries to cure her of this addiction and get her back to a healthy lifestyle.
I saw this movie on cable, and in Blu-Ray it is just magical!...more info
Its Originality and Power Will Blow You Away Words can't describe the power behind the storyline of Black Snake Moan. In the sea of movies to feed the masses floats this gem that stands out like no other. I have never seen 'harsh' and 'surreal' blend as they do in this film. Even the unsaid elements compliment the viewer's ability to use their own imagination and power of reason. Impressive and artistic in every way, I was pulled deeply into the movie. For those who are still trying to decide on whether or not to taste this cinematic treat, it is graphic and definitely not for children....more info
Harsh yet hopeful for all of us In the racist South, the last thing an African American man needs is to find a half-naked White woman out on the road behind his home.
Yet, that is exactly what bluesman Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson) finds when he discovers Rae (Christina Ricci). The bruises don't just cover her face, but they run deep as well. Rae's a childhood victim of sexual abuse, who sublimates her shame in nymphomania. Laz is recovering from the ache of discovering his wife, Rose, has cheated on him--with his own brother.
After meeting, the two of them take on a journey of healing together that's harsh, but very real. There's a tenderness in Jackson putting a chain leash on Rae til she can gain some control over her own feelings--and come to realize what they mean. You want to cheer when Rae finally confronts her mother asking her--"Why did you let him do it? When did you know?"
And Laz as well begins to learn to move on and heal his own wounds. The differences in the two characters only highlights the fact that we all can begin again.
Jackson is one of those actors who totally loses me in his role. He can move from the assured FBI agent in "Snakes on a Plane" to an old, poor bluesman in the blink of an eye. His performance is so seamless you really don't see Jackson on the screen, but who he's portraying.
And Christina Ricci's part was amazing. For the most part, she was semi-naked on film--yet her inner character was peeled back like the petals of a rose as she began to regain her dignity and cover her exterior. This is not a role most Hollywood glam actresses would even want to try because it didn't cast her in a great light, but I think in the end she truly did triumph with her acting ability.
Very well done. I'm not sure I would want to do more than rent the film as I did. I would love to own the soundtrack, though!
An offbeat love story. This is one of the better films I have seen recently, and I thought it was very original.
Christina Ricci plays a very convincing part as the town tramp, basically. She sleeps with anyone and everyone, and is pretty much into the party scene, anyway, to make a long story short, One night one of her "dates" beats her up and throws her on the side of the road,
only to be found by Samuael Jackson.
After a little investigating, he decides he is going to help this girl, and so he literally chains her up in his little shack/house until he feels she is past her evil ways.
Of course she fights him on this , at first. But slowly and surely, a miracle happens and she begins to respect herself, and others.
The story is very touching, and it is a love story, but a love story of friendship between these two unlikely characters.
It is also a story of redemption that I thought was very touching, and I highly reccomend this movie....more info
Donna This movie is awesome, a little intense for the younger audience be aware! I liked it so much I got the sound track too. Samuel L Jackson, does a great job all around for this movie. ...more info
The Odd Couple Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci are two of my favorite screen actors. They're both quirky iconoclasts who occasionally make studio films, but always seem to really shine in offbeat, smaller pictures. The relationship between their two characters, Lazarus and Rae, is the heart and focus of this film. Both characters have been wounded by sex in ways that strangely complement one another: Lazarus has been betrayed by his cold, promiscuous wife, and Rae's history of sexual abuse has brought about her character's uncontrollable sexual compulsion.
Lazarus and Rae meet when Rae is beaten and left unconscious by the side of the road after humiliating one of the many suitors who take advantage of her compulsive promiscuity. Lazarus nurses her back to health, and then feels a self-righteous desire to "cure" her of her "illness", however, it is clear that he is trying to save himself somehow as much as he is trying to save her.
As much as Ricci and Jackson carry the film, a lot of credit is also owed to the soundtrack. The blues music wonderfully complements the emotions and circumstances of the two tormented characters. The songs speaks of sex, betrayal, sadness and redemption; the perfect musical complement to the themes of the film....more info
One of the Best I have to say that this movie was surprisingly WONDERFUL!! It was quite a refreshing change from the usual predictable movies out these days. A very creative story. I was glued to the screen and when it was over, I watched it again! I would recommend that anyone that wants to see something different watches this movie. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You might even cringe. It is great!...more info
An interesting story It was overall a good movie and in a way moved me how one man who was down on his luck could find happiness in something he loves, his blues music and have the power to help a girl change into a better person before she ended destroying herself completely....more info
Nasty, Gritty, Sweaty Redemption I knew I had to see this movie when I first saw the advertising art cruising past me on the side of a Los Angeles Transit Bus. A sweaty Samuel L. Jackson clutching a thick chain, while a near-naked Christina Ricci crawled on the floor. "Yup", I said to myself, "this looks unusual". I know this isn't a feminist-correct thing to say, but I swore right then and there to pay my $6 just to endorse the ad art. Since that time, I have acquired the DVD, and I still think that "Black Snake Moan" is a most unusual picture.
This is not a movie for the faint-hearted in many ways. Ricci's character, Rae, is a truly degraded soul - she can't drink enough or have enough sex to make her pain go away. It's not presented as theory, either - you have to watch this young woman doing some pretty rank stuff. I personally wanted to take some strong action to sober her up and straighten her out. Thankfully, Jackson's character, Lazarus, took care of this for me -- "I aim to heal you of your wickedness," he says to her, and that's a good thing.
Most of the action in this movie takes place in a pretty limited physical space - Lazarus' cabin. It realy does seem in some ways as though it could have been a stage play - maybe that's why so many people have remarked that it has a Tenneessee Williams feel to it. I kind of wish it had been written as a stage play - I would have been interested to see what interpretations a variety of actors would have brought to these roles.
The other reviews on this site will pretty much explain the rest of the picture. Some people apparently feel that the ending is unbelievable -- a bit too pat and happy. Me, I liked it -- heck, the entire film is unbelievable. Why complain about the happy ending? The blues music was wonderful -- there's a sequence where Lazarus is playing his guitar while a lightning storm goes on outside his cabin and Raew sits on the floor, clutching his leg. Wow, that was a fine sequence.
One reviewer here remarked on the "unrealistic" fact that Ricci's underwear/costume stayed white throughout and did not get all grimey. Personally, I appreciated that. I don't think that costuming choice on the director's part was pornographic - it was more like a courtesy to the viewers. There's enough grime and sweat in this picture, why add to it? Maybe the perpetually white underwear was symbolic of her basically pure soul. Or maybe not.
Great ad art, great music, clean underwear, lots of sweat and a happy ending. That's about it. Except that this is a film for grown-ups. ...more info
An improbable association The talented Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci both shine brightly as the main characters in the unlikely union of two abandoned individuals in the Craig Brewer directed drama, "Black Snake Moan".
Jackson stars as religious Southern farmer and erstwhile blues guitarist Lazarus who has been cuckolded by his wife for his brother. Jackson finds the severely beaten, half naked Ricci lying unconscious beside the road near his house. Ricci playing the lewd, lascivious town trollop Rae has been for years subjected to physical and sexual abuse. She'd also been abandoned by ber boyfriend, the anxiety ridden Ronnie played nicely by Justin Timberlake.
Jackson takes Ricci in determined to heal her and also exorcise the demons within her making her nymphomaniacal. Chaining her to the radiator he along with lifelong friend and preacher Reverend R.L. played by John Cothran Jr. strive to use religion to cure Ricci.
Ricci and Jackson provide each other with solace and rejuvenation as Jackson once again picks up his long forgotten guitar and Ricci is on her way towards normalcy in her life.
The movie which ended in satisfying but incredulous fashion provided for closure in the revitalization of two potential wasted lives....more info
Beautiful disc, okay film This film is not for everyone. Don't show it to your mother. But it is surprisingly entertaining. Christina Ricci is a superb actress, is overwhelmingly sexy, and her beautiful body is on generous display.
The DVD presents the film with a beautiful picture. Very clean, with excellent color and detail. Couldn't get much better.
Decent bonus material, but won't really knock your socks off.
If you liked the film, this is a nice DVD with which to preserve it for the future....more info
Different Jackson was very good, as usual, but the plot was pretty contrived. I found I was paying more attention to the sound track (which is outstanding) than the story line....more info
More than meets the eye... When I first saw the trailer for this movie I couldn't stop laughing. I had no idea what the movie was suppose to be about. All I saw was Samuel Jackson's character dragging Christina Ricci from a chain. It wasn't until I watched the movie from beginning to end that I realized it had a much deeper meaning behind it. Samuel L. Jackson's character, Lazarus, must overcome heartache after his wife leaves him for his brother. While Christina Ricc's character, Rae, is dealing with the loss of her boyfriend and some personal issues from her past. The two characters come together and ultimately redeem eachother. All of the actors in this movie are superb in their roles. Even Justin Timberlake was convincing. Just to give a fair warning, some of the scenes in this movie are very explicit. I've found that a lot of people are finding this movie very cheap and slightly offensive because of it's "rawness". I beg to differ. There is a great story here with real substance. I highly recommend it !!...more info
Good Acting; Boring film I found Black Snake Moan to be raunchy and boring. The plot never developed like I thought it would and the ending kinda left me hanging. Great acting by the cast but the story had no point, I got tired of Ricci running around in those dirty white underwear, and the whole chaining her up thing was dumb and pointless. Sorry but this one is not worth the money....more info
Black Snake Moan - Best film of the Year Director Craig Brewer follows up his stellar work in Hustle n Flow with another provocative southern drama but this time he takes us from the halls of hip hop to the down and dirty bars of the blues. Hustle n Flow was about a man with a dream, Black Snake Moan is about what happens to those who no longer have them.
This film is energized from beginning to end with the kind of images that will excite your senses and perhaps even make you a bit uncomfortable. If the thought of an intimidating black man chaining up a white woman to his radiator doesn't quite fit with your world perspective then this film is clearly not for you. Samuel L. Jackson is Lazerus, a man who just lost his wife of many years to another man. He speaks with the kind of authority and thunder that can only come out of the bible days. When he speaks other characters listen and that's just how it goes. Christina Ricci plays Ray a girl who wants nothing more then to just stay at home with her lover, played by Justin Timberlake, but when he goes off to war she goes into one of her many nymphomaniac fits and eagerly seeks out the most nearby rod on which to satisfy her urges. After one particularly bad night of drinking and sex she ends up on Lazerus' doorstep, beaten and knocked out, this is where both of their lives will change forever.
There are some very strong images in this film, besides of course the obvious one of Ray tied up in chains. Its like the south is getting revenge for all those years of slavery. It's a racially charged image and when it hits you you're not quite sure what to do with it. Even more so when she embraces them in order to calm down one of her carnal fits. Sexual tension is ripe in the air as Ray tries to tempt the noble Lazerus who finds enough strength to turn down her advances and try to truly help this lost soul. Lazerus never comes off righteous as he even admits to Ray that he is not a perfect man, in one particular scene he goes into a fit mistaking Ray for his wife ranting and yelling at her because he just couldn't hold onto her. Strangely now he gets his control over this one particular woman, although of course with the best of intentions.
These are just a few of the many underlying themes explored in the film. The situation itself is downright absurd but it's used to such amazing effect that it truly is the best way to explore the places most films dare not tread. Another strong point in the film is the music, its electric, it soulful and haunting. The blues is a living breathing element and theirs a reason the characters sing it and you can see them live it in every frame. Even Ray gets her chance to let out her woes in one very simple yet beautiful scene where she sings the only song she knows, "this little light of mine." Somehow within the confines of all this imagery the film manages to create some very real and lovely characters. Lazerus and Ray have formed a bond that will last a lifetime.
The film is shot like its straight out of a pulp comic book. The south is never stylized but it comes off raw and carries within it a spark of blood and dirt in every scene. It's got strong characters and a well-written script. Its the kind of film that will be long forgotten come award time but those who truly seek out films that are immersive experiences will find this movie and enjoy every minute of it.
Worth viewing I enjoyed the movie. It was a little different but good. Some reviewers say the "black snake" reference was sexual......maybe but if you actually watch the movie Laz is playing the guitar and refers to what he calls "the black snake moan". It shines light on a taboo subject, sexual abuse. It gives insight on why a lot of "loose" women behave as they do. If nothing else I'm sure it provokes thought about that. It does require you to think while watching the movie so if you like simple movies it's not for you. Some parts are stereotypical but the story overall is good....Worth checking out. ...more info
D.A.M. is all I can say..... and that is an acronym for dumb @ZZ movie. Jackson and Ricci's performances were on point. Timberlake's was only so-so but at least he was believable. Actually, the only problem that I had with this movie was the writing and the jumbled plot. The cast was there but the writers and the directors must have been on vacation. So much more could have been done with this film. I was just not impressed. I give it 2.5 stars for the cast. ...more info
black snake moan special and very artistic. Mr Jackson is by far the best black actor who can shape the role withing spilt seconds, and i rather see him in this direction of acting ...more info
Greens Grown with Love Over the last few years most of the films that I have watched have been international films with Japanese, South Korean, Chinese, and French films making up the majority. However, by concentrating on these foreign films I have recently felt that I have been doing a disservice to American films; therefore, recently I have been delving into a few "cult" American directors including Jim Jarmusch, Darren Aronofsky, and Noah Baumbach. Of recent, the film Black Snake Moan caught my attention because of a number of elements: it is a sleazy film taking place in the dirty south, I am from Georgia myself, it has strong ties with Blues music, and it stars the one and only Samuel L. Jackson and it is his presence that helped me overlook the presence of Justin Timberlake
The film opens with Rae, Christina Ricci, and her boyfriend Ronnie, Timberlake, making love before the latter leaves to serve in the military. Rae is a bit concerned about this not only because she is worried that Ronnie will get killed in action, but because she is quite the nymphomaniac. While Ronnie is present, the girl is able to keep her urges under control, but soon after he leaves, more often than not playing weekend warrior in the national guard and this time for a longer period of time, she feels a need in her nether region and goes after any man available with the local drug dealer Tehronne being her outlet for sex and drugs. Roughly at the same time Rae and Ronnie are enjoying their last few minutes together, Lazarus, Jackson, is meeting his wife at a small restaurant. It seems that Rose is tired of living with Laz within the small, dilapidated home that she shared with the blues guitarist turned farmer for twelve years so she shacks up with Laz's younger brother Deke. Obviously Laz does not take these circumstances very well, and later in the film threatens to Kill Deke with a broken bottle.
Angry that her man has left her, Rae goes to a party to get wasted and to find companionship; however, unfortunately, the man she meets is Ronnie's friend Gil who resents her for sleeping with the black Tehronne and for supposedly derailing his friend's life plans. After she makes a quip about his manhood, she is drunk and wasted on narcotics; Gil punches her in the face repeatedly and dumps her on a dirt road. The next morning Laz finds her and brings her into his home. After learning more about the girl from Tehronne, Laz takes it upon himself to "nurse" her back to health, but not only in body, but in spirit as well even if this procedure calls for chaining the nearly naked girl, she is only wearing a pair of skimpy white panties and a scanty t-shirt, to the radiator.
If the premise of the film, a sixty something year old black man chaining a twenty something year old white woman in his home does not raise enough eyebrows, Brewer's depiction of violence, although it might not be on the same level of R¨¦my Belvaux or Takashi Miike, is quite cringe worthy. However, the film does not fall into the same genre of other boondocks films such as I Spit on Your Grave (1978) and Deliverance (1972), because unlike these films, Black Snake Moan does not delve into debauchery. The character chemistry between Rae and Laz is quite touching especially after some of Rae's demons come to the fore.
Definitely not a film for everyone, Black Snake Moan with its seedy storyline might seem a bit harsh at first, but it is a film with a heart. Also, it is quite fun seeing Samuel L. shredding on that electric guitar! ...more info
Facile, stupid and intriguing in small parts Other reviews have written about the plot which is pure gumball and at the end of the film you wonder why did you bothered. It lacks credibility however in parts there are bits that get you in and the acting in some segments is enough to hold you in your seat.
Overall its 20% bleeding heart plot, 60% facile and that leaves 20% where the actors actually do a good job despite the direction and context of the whole plot, and the biggest surprise for me was Justin Timberlake. Why he took a role in this movie I don't know but for what it had to be I thought that he did a good job....more info
Great performances make up for lack of substance Lazarus Redd (Samuel Jackson) is left by his wife, Rose, after she states that living with him didn't allow her to live her own life. Laz is left bitter and alone, with nothing to fill him except his love of playing the blues.
Rae Doole, (Christina Ricci) has a $exual addiction disorder. When her boyfriend Ronnie (Justin Timberlake) leaves to join the military, Rae gets one of her "attacks" and goes on the prowl. One of Ronnie's friends gets his hands on her and beats the cr@p out of her, leaving Rae on the side of the road out near Laz's house. When Laz finds her the next morning, he takes her inside and steels himself to cure her of her demons while he fights his own.
There's some controversy over kidnapping, what with Laz chaining Rae to keep her from running off again, but somehow the movie works itself out and away from any evil involved in the action.
Can Rae change her ways? Can Ronnie overcome his anxiety issues? Can Laz exorcise his own demons? The plot comes out as the weaker point in this film, giving way to stellar performances by Christina Ricci and Samuel Jackson. Even Justin Timberlake does a decent job. Jackson and Ricci do their own singing in the film, without dubbing in other voices. The film has a real, southern feel to it.
Overall, the film didn't live up to the hype I'd heard about it, but was still a good enough film to watch. Rent before you buy. Enjoy!
Simmering Deep South Style Once you get over the initial seemingly ridiculous plotline of this film there is a lot of enjoyment to be had. Christina Ricci plays an incredibly brave role as a nymphomaniac who is left for dead on the side of the road after one two many sexual trists. Samuel L Jackson plays the damaged but moral rescuer who chains her to the radiator in his house and attempts to cure her wicked ways. There is some great tunes in this film with ol Samuel belting out some of his own along the way which i must admit is pretty darn good. Justin Timberlake again impresses as the anxiety ridden and troubled boyfriend of Ricci's character whose actions will have consequences for everybody. As silly as it sounds this film is well written and terrifically performed and has a very moral and decent undercurrent flowing throughout and has a lot to say about the healing power of love and care and redemption. Recommended for those who are after something a bit different and not just an excuse to watch Christina Ricci wonder around half naked for most of the film....more info