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
More Music Stars on DVD
More DVDs with Samuel L. Jackson
Stills from Black Snake Moan (click for larger image)
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
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
Odd film, bad points outweigh the good. I rented this one thinking it was a "blues" flick. It was, in a way...
I liked the soundtrack a lot, some pretty sweet blues. The acting (even Justin TimberFlake!) was decent (esp. Ricci, Jackson, the guy who played the preacher, and the lady from "Law and Order"), and it was a hoot seeing Jackson perform a really nasty, dirty version of "Stagolee", but these pluses were far outweighed by things like a fairly incomprehensible story, graphic depictions of Ricci engaging in what I think amounts to bestiality, pretty crappy dialog and sloppy direction. I suppose it's worth viewing once, especially if you dig blues music, but I wouldn't recommend going out and buying this one "sight unseen"....more info
Alright film, but wouldn't go out of the way to see it. This film follows the unfortunate life of an abused woman named Ray who winds up getting into a predicament, and gets dumped for dead on the road outside Lazareth's house. Lazareth is an old blues man who has had a string of bad luck love also. Finding her give his something new to care about, and a chance for redemtion in both of them. Overall, this movie is rough around the edges, at times a bit long on some storyline, to short on another. It is well rounded and has a beginning and an end, but just didn't do much for me. It is worth renting to see the hype, but not worth an investment. ...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
Grindhouse Lives If almost naked Christina Ricci chained to a farmhouse by Samuel L. Jackson is not worth $20 and two hours I don't know what is. This is a film which like all grindhouse classics lives by its poster. The images of Ricci being walked through the Tennessee countryside held by an industrial chain by Jackson are still burned fresh in my mind 24 hours later. These scenes truly go down with Scarlet O'Hara's "with God as my witness" and "tomorrow is another day" scenes from `Gone With the Wind' as the greatest in film history.
`Black Snake Moan' is very effective as having the style and flow of an action movie with hardly any violence. The story itself is clearly a drama of the human character which combines the most sick and depraved of dark humor much like `Lolita'.
Jackson gives the performance of his life as a simple Southern folk farmer whose wife has just run away with his own brother. He's at the lowest point in his life.
Likewise Ricci is the result of a sexually abusive childhood and now lives as a drugged up nymphomaniac, literally sleeping with every man and boy she meets. The only stability in her life was her unstable boyfriend Justin Timberlake who has left town to join the army. (or the National Guard, it's unclear.)
The two tragic characters come together by Jackson literally chaining Ricci to his farmhouse. Ricci spends 90% of the film in nothing but a cut up T shirt and barely there white panties.
Forced to endure each other Jackson saves himself by saving Ricci and for the first time ever Ricci must survive without sex and drugs. But Jackson does provide her with rock and roll or blues.
While blues music is emphasized heavily in the trailers it is only about 10% of the film and more of a side element to provide ear candy.
The path to salvation is as narrow as a razor's edge. `Black Snake Moan' maintains its fast paced feel with eye candy and great directing while telling a rather simple but exciting story. "Jackson chains almost naked Ricci to his farmhouse." Now that's a narrative hook.
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!
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
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
That radiator was just as important as that chain. Black Snake Moan is really good American story telling that is usually accomplished by British productions. Memphis guy, Craig Brewer nailed it with his writing, direction and production staff. Ricci and Jackson are fearless and brilliant. The performances play like a chamber piece. I trust their instincts to invite me to explore some very dark, painful places of the human condition (except snakes on planes). I don't fancy movies about women being trapped by men anywhere, but Brewer and company turn that concept on its head with sex, the blues, drama, a lot of irony and even just simple humor. Who knew Justin Timberlake could act? This movie deserves a lot of recognition from movie lovers. It says a lot about the nature of fear, compassion and how a little inspiration (biblical or otherwise) can connect you to other people - or chaining them up. (The radiator does not get as much credit, but it was just as important to the script as that chain.) I love this movie because it is really crazy like a fox. Also, we get to see Jackson do something that he has never been allowed to be in other films. (Not spoiling this for people yet to watch.) Hustle and Flow, from the same creators, was OK in comparsion. This work is in a better league.
Take the time for the director's commentary. Brewer poured a lot of love into Black Snake Moan. Going through the movie with his stories of the shots and what inspired it is a treat that I enjoyed a lot like that of Guillermo del Toro's for Pan's Labyrinth. ...more info
Worth seeing again I saw this film on Cinemax last night and I think I need to see it again. What started as a taut, emotional, sexual rollercoaster ended up losing steam midway through and wrapped up too neatly for me.
Some incredible themes were explored in this film, mainly the exorcising of people's personal demons.
I absolutely loved the relationship between Rae and Laz, brilliantly portrayed by Christina Ricci and Samuel L. Jackson. Really, I think it's some of the best work either actor has ever done and the film is worth watching just for that!
And Justin Timberlake was surprisingly moving in his role. Very impressive!
And the blues! Oh! The blues! AWESOME MUSIC! I loved getting a taste of that culture.
But again, there was this weird drop in pacing about 2/3 of the way through and I really wonder what got lost on the cutting room floor. I'll have to give it another view to see what I might've missed.
Decent original film I didn't have any expectations for this movie. I was dissapointed to see Justin Timberlake in it, but Samuel L. Jackson did a great job, and Christina ricci was played the role well, but jez, she certainly enjoyed showing it all off throughout the film. you can read the other review for the story line, but this was different, and entertaining. Definitely worth renting, not bad for the collection. check it 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
Reference: Opera Recently I heard the meditation theme from the opera THAIS. Set in ancient times, it portrays a wanton woman who is redeemed by a monk. This film definitely tells the same story with a 3,000 year divide....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
Absurd, Southern-Fried Melodrama Never Transcends Its Audacious Premise It would be too easy to dismiss this strangely unsatisfying 2007 film entirely because I can't tell whether director/writer Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow) is trying to satirize the Southern gothic sensibilities of a Tennessee Williams potboiler or replicate the excesses of an early 1970's blaxploitation movie. Either way, he cannot seem to pull off his audacious premise which involves a cuckolded blues guitarist who enchains a nymphomaniac to his radiator. If the film was played out as over-the-top as the premise, then it might have had a fighting chance, but as it stands, Brewer is too ensconced in his chicken-fried fable to mine the potential black comedy in this hilariously preposterous exercise.
The hackneyed plot centers on the appropriately named Lazarus, a self-righteous man stinging from his wife's decision to leave him for his younger brother. Meanwhile, a skeletal nymphomaniac, Rae, is so distraught over her boyfriend Ronnie leaving for the army that she goes on a hedonistic meltdown involving alcohol, prescription drugs and indiscriminate sex. A violent episode leaves her unconscious on the road where Lazarus finds her limp body. The rest of the film focuses on how the principals change from the ordeal but not before facing a lot of inner demons along the way. However, unlike Hustle & Flow, I cannot really say that I cared about the fate of these misbegotten characters at the end. Brewer just can't seem to connect the absurdity of the central situation with anything resembling real life, which ironically may be exactly his point here.
The actors try hard to breathe empathetic life into the overripe characters, but they are ultimately defeated by the lurid dimensions of the story. As Lazarus, Samuel L. Jackson almost makes the situation palatable and even sings several blues numbers with surprising conviction, but Christina Ricci makes Rae a primal stockpile of white trash clich¨¦s on top of a condescending back story. Justin Timberlake is completely out of his league as Ronnie and neutralizes every scene he's in with his amateur standing as an actor. Look for former child star Kim Richards (Escape to Witch Mountain) as Rae's defeated mother and a doozy of a fight scene between the two in a grocery store. The 2007 DVD has plenty of extras including an enthusiastic commentary track by Brewer and a half-hour making-of documentary, "Conflicted: The Making of Black Snake Moan". There are a couple of shorter featurettes about the music and five deleted scenes....more info
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
Trust the art, maybe not the artist Upon second viewing, as with Hustle & Flow, I grudgingly acknowledge this is the work of a skilled and intriguing director. The style is high, the cinematography sharp, the story compelling and the acting exemplary. While I am no prude it is perhaps the display of so much unsafe sex, self-abuse, and the lurid nature of the luring that still makes me wince. The marketing of this film is simply deplorable. Christina Ricci herself characterized the ad campaign as a great disappointment. But at its heart and in all its particulars this is an accomplished and moving film, and the soundtrack is bloody fantastic. ...more info
"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.
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
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
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
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
As good as it gets: Great pace, superb acting, terrific story I saw a picture of Ricci kneeling on the grass with only scanty pants on in PLAYBOY. The snapshot--a key part of the movie--enticed me to see the
movie. I had not read any of the reviews or even dreamed of Sam Jackson's
versatility. So many have reviewed the movie in detail that I will
disappoint. Ricci's gutsy performance done with total abandonment and yet also grace has to been seen. Sam Jackson shows his versatility, firmness, tenderness and musical abilities in a role that no one else could play as well. There is a great supporting cast. The music adds to the movie and
brings some liveliness into a story that otherwise could have been very
cold. Seeing intermingling of races in a southern town is refreshing yet one has to wonder if this could happen in more liberated northern cities.
Yes there is some nudity yet it is essential and handled in a delicate
artistic manner. Those who want to drool at Ricci's anatomy will find the film disappointing. Those who appreciate superb acting and a lively moving plot will find Very Few Better. Atypical and great!
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
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
Justin Timberlake was unnecessary Christina Ricci has to be one of my favourite actresses. She's one of the few child stars that has managed to make a name for herself in adult films unlike some unmentionables, and not be known as Wednesday Addams anymore.
Black Snake Moan was a very strange film. Some of it didn't make sense, and Rae and Lazarus's relationship can be quite difficult to watch at times. For the guys, Christina appears topless (only her second topless scene since Prozac Nation), and wears very little. Tiny shorts, and a top cut in half was her wardrobe. Oh, and cowboy boots. The scene that sticks out was her walking along the road, and this giant truck behind her, hooting at her to get out the way, and she sticks her middle finger up.
Black Snake Moan's reviews/trailers do not do it justice. I watched it expecting something entirely different to what I've read about it. Samuel L Jackson was amazing, and can actually sing and play the guitar (which he learned while filming Snakes On A Plane.) Personally, I don't like his singing voice. The whole blues/jazz stuff really isn't what I would listen to on a day-to-day basis. What I did love was of course the song that is NOT on the soundtrack, and I am now desperate to get my hands on this song. If it is her, Christina has a really nice voice, singing "This Little Light Of Mine", although the song got stuck in my head and I couldn't get to sleep.
The story goes that Rae's boyfriend, Ronnie (played by the shockingly wooden Justin Timberlake) goes off to fight a war and leaves her behind. Sleep with her and leave her. While he goes, she goes off the rail, and sleeps with every man who comes near her. An addiction possibly? She also drinks and then one night takes something she shouldn't and gets beaten up by Ronnie's so called best friend. Lazarus finds her by the side of the road, and decides he needs to take care of her. Which includes chaining her skinny little self with a 40lb chain to the radiator. They shout, they scream, they gradually begin to understand and help the other.
The film does get a little waylaid towards the end. I wasn't sure about the ending. I was kinda hoping Ronnie's character wouldn't come back but he did with a (wooden) vengence. The film could have been so much better without him. Still strange, but better.
Christina plays the character of Rae brilliantly. After watching it I couldn't imagine any other actress who could have played this role. Yes, she was shockingly too skinny, but it was part of the character. (Although recent photos I've seen of her have made her look like a lollipop head.) The dirty blonde hair, the bags under the eyes, and the clothes just fit the character to a T.
While I wouldn't recommend Black Snake Moan to everybody (I think you have to be in the right frame of mind to watch a young girl being chained by an older man, and not think there's something snapped in his brain to make him do that), it is one of those strange movies that you have to pick up if it's not too expensive. It is worthwhile seeing, although it won't leave a lasting impression afterwards. Just that Christina is too skinny, and I NEED that song!...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
Moan No More This film originally caught my interest after I had seen a trailer for it on myspace. Admittedly, it was Justin Timberlake's appearance in what seemed a very odd film that was the true source of my interest. Later however, I read several very encouraging reviews that shed better light on the very strange subject matter and which also praised Timberlake's performance. I had been eagerly anticipating the film which I have finally viewed. I am even more pleased than I had expected. The trailer really did little justice to the small film which essentially turned out to be a love story. Christina Ricci was enjoyable and as strange as usual, Samuel L. Jackson was as commanding and charming as usual, but Timberlake was absolutely unusually vulnerable in his role. Perhaps Timberlake's lack of acting experience adds to my surprise, but I was very pleased to see Timberlake successfully attack a role that was real, dirty, and emotionally charged. He was utterly beautiful. Perhaps my only real complaint as to the performance of Timberlake was his weak accent, which seemed to fluctuate in and out, especially when accompanied by the very smooth and strong accent of Ricci's character. Additionally, his voice was as usual slightly distracting. While his smooth and sensual voice is pure gold for his music career, it can be quite distracting as a character attribute. Overall, however, I wouldn't have had it any other way.
**I just wanted to add that the deleted scenes should really be viewed as they actually add a lot to the characters, especially that of Jackson. Additionally, there is a cute little flashback between Ricci and Timberlake's characters. It is an enjoyable addition....more info
Black Snake Moan I never had a chance to watch this DVD due to the fact it would not play. I tried 3 different players with no luck. I returned it for a replacement. I received the replacement and it would not play either. Would love to have this DVD, but it has got to play. I think you receive a bad shipment. I've never had any problems with the many other DVDs I have bought from Amazon. Please check and see if you had any others returns of this DVD. Thank You
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
Good...but not great This movie was good, but not great. It was a bit slow and nowhere near as good as Craig Brewer's previous film, Hustle & Flow. Yes, Black Snake Moan was a little slow. It had it's exciting parts. It had great performances from Samuel L. Jackson, possible his finest since Pulp Fiction, and also from Christina Ricci. This is definately worth buying. ...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
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
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
Chained To The Radiator Blues Black Snake Moan isn't awful, but it didn't miss by much. Two fine performances, Ricci and Jackson, stop the bleeding. The blame for BSM belongs entirely to Craig Brewer who wrote and directed. Many of you will recall his earlier effort, Hustle & Flow, starring Terrence Howard as Djay, the pimp who couldn't slap straight. I don't know about you, but as far as I'm concerned, no matter how hard it is out there for a pimp, it's not hard enough. Hustle & Flow, despite a brilliant performance by Howard, was poorly conceived and very badly written.
BSN is just as ludicrous, but Brewer has cleverly reversed some cliches. Rae, Ricci, is a sex addict, while Lazarus, Jackson, is morally upright, fighting demons. When he chains her to his radiator - a slight, sexually charged white woman imprisoned by a large, imposing black man - the overtones of America's colorful past are loud. Most notable of all about this film is Ms. Ricci's body. After growing chubbier and chubbier apparently she has taken the bull by the horns and gone to one of those top-secret Hollywood fat farms. She looks fantastic. So much so that she must have had a clause written into her contract specifying that at least 90% of her on screen minutes be spent showing at least 80% of her skin. I'm not complaining but - enough already - you got the job!
For a film with a blues song as a title, and bonus features of Sun House, BSM gets low grades for music. With a show of hubris quite common today, Jackson actually sings and plays guitar, Ricci sings as well. This obnoxious arrogance calls to mind an obvious question - When was the last time you saw the Funkadelics perform Shakespeare in the park? From Walk The Line to Ray and so many others, actors feel qualified to sing, it's a mystery. Another puzzle is the highly charged name, Lazarus. While the biblical reference is obvious, surely Mr. Brewer knows the rule for naming blues musicians. After all, the song, Black Snake Moan, was recorded by Blind Lemon Jefferson in 1927. (Infirmity-Fruit-Name of President). A name like Gimpy Kumquat Taft would have served admirably.
Justin Timberlake is less horrible than one would expect (whew!) while S. Epatha Merkerson is wonderful as always. The third act, the resolution, is appallingly facile. Ricci is an amazing actress, she has a lot of room to work, and she shines. Jackson is blessed with on screen gravitas; he holds your attention throughout. If you can ignore the poor direction and sheer stupidity of the story, you'll enjoy the picture. ...more info
Decent Black Snake Moan was a decent film overall. I can see where there are those who may delve deeply into the core of a message that may or may not be there. It was a movie that I could take it or leave it. I guess it's a movie that you either love it or hate it. I'm stuck in the middle, undecided. Aspects of it pulled me in. Although it was difficult to really grasp what, who, and where the characters were and where they were going.
It was not a waste of time to watch this. However, I've seen better....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
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
"A surprisingly good movie" This was a surprisingly good movie that made you feel like you were there. Samuel L. Jackson was great as usual and Christina Ricci was not only physically attractive and a presence she was complex and much more than what she first appeared to be. I really enjoyed this movie and did not expect to be so entertained when I first heard about it....more info
NOT AS BAD AS THE TRAILER WOULD LEAD YOU TO BELIEVE, BUT............. Watching the trailer for this film I sat there rolling my eyes! When I saw this was coming on cable, I decided to check it out. While the film has some good performances, I never felt anything new was brought to light. I could see this girl had "daddy issues" in the opening credit. I give it credit for trying to be different, but it doesn't completely succeed. I never felt emotionally connected to anyone in this film.
The film is riddled with clich¨¦'s and political incorrectness too. Would this film have ever seen the light of day, if the roles were reversed? A white man holding a half naked black woman captive! I can see the movie executives writhing in their seats now! I mention this only because in these times, where everything is scrutinized to the point of absurdity, it's hard to believe we would see this sort of thing. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with any of this. I believe that political correctness should be completely done away with, along with any other censorship. Bring back my smoking cartoon characters, my stereo-typed ethnic characters, as it seems, "Political Correctness" is never going to be fair. It's only the biggest cry-babies that get the special treatment anyway.
If you think I'm wrong, why don't they stop making films that portray Italian American's as gangsters and ignorant store/restaurant owners? or German American's as ruthless and evil Doctors and Nazi's? or Irish American's as Drunken wife beaters?.... etc....etc. We either need to stop all stereo-typing or stop catering to whining cry-babies. Censorship and political correctness is just one step closer to a very bland and controlled world. A very boring place, if you ask me. OK....I'm bracing myself.......... ...more info
Cant miss A must see for any Samuel Jackson fan.Really a must see if your a Ricci fan....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
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
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!
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
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
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
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
A surprisingly wonderful story about redemption When I first heard of this movie I thought "Oh, Please. How stupid" When I saw it I was blown away. This is a wonderful story about how 2 people help eachother find redemption in an unusual way I grant. It isn't what you think at all and the ending is positive. And don't even get me started on the music. I bought the sound track right away. Don't be thrown off by the title or the cover art, give this film a chance and you won't be sorry....more info