Some of the wonderful things rattling around in this full brain 'o mine. UPDATED EVERY TUESDAY AND THURSDAY (or at least twice a week)

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Black Snake Moan...

Well…I saw two movies with the girlfriend this last weekend…Zodiac and Black Snake Moan…I’ve decided to only review the better of the two, Black Snake Moan. Now…that’s not to say I didn’t like Zodiac. I actually liked it as much, but I’m a sucker for movies similar to it. I loved JFK, and Zodiac is kinda in the same vein, presenting so much evidence, that it’s going to take multiple viewings and a notebook of writings to really dissect what you’re seeing and getting all the players straight. So, I’ll revisit it again a couple of times upon DVD and I’m sure my love for the film will grow.

For those who care, I’d give Zodiac **** out of a possible *****.

Onto the main event: Black Snake Moan. This movie made only $4,143,199 in 1252 theaters this last weekend working out to $3309 per theater. In perspective, that was better than every movie in the top ten besides Zodiac at $5671 per theater, and Wild Hogs at $12078 per theater. I guess that just goes to show that you never bet against the drawing power of one Ray Liotta.

Anyway, let’s move onto the players. Black Snake Moan was written and directed by Craig Brewer best known for last year’s Oscar Nominated Best Movie: Hustle & Flow. Black Snake Moan is very much in the same vein, in that the story concentrates around an ethnic center, or in this case, where Hustle & Flow concentrated around one, Black Snake Moan concentrates on two. In Hustle & Flow, the audience watched and learned what it was like being a pimp in the hood. In Black Snake Moan, the audience gets taken on a journey through the south…encompassing everything from the Black South, to the Trailer Trash South, both of which are equally represented. Please keep in mind, there are spoilers ahead.

The audience follows the journey of two main characters: Lazarus, played by the excellent Samuel L. Jackson, and Rae, played by Christina Ricci. Mostly, you follow Lazarus living up to his name and rising from the ashes of his darkest hour to again find meaning in his life. His journey starts at the local café, where you find his ex-wife informing him that she’s leaving town with her new man. His journey leads him to his local bar where you find that he used to rock the joint playing the blues. You also find out that his wife’s new man (his own brother) won’t leave town until they have Laz’s blessing. From there, you watch Laz sink lower and lower as he drinks more and more, culminating in him digging out his only other outlet in life, his guitar, and belting out a heartfelt blues tune.

Rae is in a different sort of trouble. Her boyfriend, played by the actually decent Justin Timberlake, is leaving town to join the service. He’s the only thing keeping her in line, he’s the only thing that keeps her from scratching the sexual itch she gets on way to many occasions. In fact, as soon as he’s gone, within 2 minutes of screen time, she’s being plowed by a different guy. She’s a nympho, to the N’th degree. There’s an certain sweetness underneath though, like she just needs to be saved, but she’s not quite sure how or who is really out there to help her besides her now estranged boyfriend. She hits rock bottom the same night as Laz. She ends up beaten, half naked, and on his front yard. The rest of the movie is about their journey to help each other get back to something nice and pure in their own lives.

This movie has everything. Music plays an important part, and by music, I mean the Blues. The soundtrack to the film is superior, and I aim to seek it out. There’s comedy: yes, Sam Jackson does pull Christina Ricci around by a chain. Christina Ricci does attack a certain young boy in the movie…and there is plenty of laughs from its’ affect. There’s drama and violence: I swear I thought Sam was going to bite it at the end. I mean, he’s had so many great deaths. For those in the audience who care…there is nudity. No Sam Jackson ass…but there’s plenty of other naked bodies running around. Finally, there is a decent ending. It’s along the same lines of the ending of Hustle & Flow….not totally a completely happy one…but there’s hope. Plenty of hope provided.

Overall, I give it **** out of *****’s. Go see it. You’ll be surprised at just how much you’ll like it.

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