Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Moan, Baby Moan

We watched Black Snake Moan over the weekend. It was a surprisingly good movie. I went in, expecting to be entertained and wound up with a whole lot more in the bargain. This music was full of passion, music, turmoil and… hope. It was simply outstanding. I will add this one to my personal collection.


Director Craig Brewer follows up his unexpectedly well-received pimp drama, HUSTLE AND FLOW, with this stylish tale of the unlikely connections that are forged when a lost soul attempts to cure a young nymphomaniac of her wicked ways. Set deep down south in a small Tennessee town, the film is titled after and largely driven by the force of blues music.

Pulsating with color and bold cinematography, the story forms a visual counterpart to a blues ballad. When divorced ex-musician Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson) finds Rae (Christina Ricci) badly beaten by the side of the road, he brings her to his house and chains her to his radiator. Rae has been a wreck since her boyfriend (Justin Timberlake) went off to war, and has spent her time getting into fights and being taken advantage of by just about every man in town.

Rae appears to be afflicted with a physical need for sex that no one can cure. As Lazarus watches Rae twitching with pain on his couch, he sees that the young woman's only chance at redemption is in his hands. While the premise is outlandish, and the film opens itself up for much moral criticism, BLACK SNAKE MOAN has its merits. Deliciously colorful, the film aches with rhythm and dances visually with its subjects.

Whether fetishizing Christina Ricci's emaciated body, or making Samuel L. Jackson look years older than he is in real life, the cameras do their job well. Both Ricci and Jackson offer strong performances that mark turning points in their careers.

BLACK SNAKE MOAN seems less concerned with how it will be judged than with embodying the sexuality and passion of blues music. No matter how many viewers the film may offend, it succeeds in creating a world that vibrates with desire and raw energy.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars



At 3:56 AM, Blogger lime said...

not sure i could watch that. i have big issues with the whole being chained up thing. soundtrack sounds like it might be awesome though.

At 3:56 AM, Blogger lime said...

oh yeah....and yahtzee! w00t

At 5:24 AM, Blogger James Goodman, Author said...

lol, yeah...it was a bit drastic to chain her up, but in the context it was done in, he really didn't have much choice. :D

At 6:51 AM, Blogger jillie said...

Lime....are you turning into a blog stalker??? LMAO...

Sounds like a very interesting movie. I think I'll have to check that one out. I really like Samuel L. Jackson. He's one of my favorite actors ;o)

At 6:52 AM, Blogger James Goodman, Author said...

Oh, yeah...I'm a big fan of Sammy L. I bet you'll enjoy it, Jillie. :D

At 10:30 AM, Blogger ciara said...

this was on cable last night...and i caught the last 20 mins. so i didn't get the gist. guess i'd better watch it when it comes on again. and hey, what about j.t.? was his performance not good? no mention of him..is he on the soundtrack? and did he bring sexy back to the movie? hahahahahaha :P~~

p.s. did you notice i 'borrowed' your idea to put 55s on myspace, too? :)

At 10:47 AM, Blogger Akelamalu said...

Not sure it's my kind of movie but you did a great review!

At 12:32 PM, Blogger James Goodman, Author said...

oh, yeah, Ciara. JT did a phenom job. :D and yes, I did notice. :D

Thanks, AK. It probably is an aquired taste. :D

At 1:20 PM, Blogger Palm Springs Savant said...

hey there...first time visitor...saw you on a few other blogs and thought I'd drop by to say hi.


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