Black Snake Moan
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Black Snake Moan

4.2 4
Director: Craig Brewer

Cast: Craig Brewer, Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Ricci, Justin Timberlake

     
 

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When a weathered, God-fearing ex-blues musician finds the town nymphomaniac severely beaten and left for dead on the side of the road, he vows to cure her of her wicked ways in Hustle & Flow director Craig Brewer's raw and unflinching follow-up. Lazarus (Samuel L.

Overview

When a weathered, God-fearing ex-blues musician finds the town nymphomaniac severely beaten and left for dead on the side of the road, he vows to cure her of her wicked ways in Hustle & Flow director Craig Brewer's raw and unflinching follow-up. Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson) is a hard-living ex-blues guitarist for whom the troubled days are beginning to outnumber the good. Rae (Christina Ricci) is a 22-year-old sex addict whose wild ways are finally about to catch up with her. When Lazarus discovers Rae covered in dust and clinging to life on the side of the road, he takes her in and nurses her back to health; but Lazarus isn't your typical caregiver, he's more concerned for Rae's immortal soul than he is for her physical well-being. Now, after chaining Rae down and employing the power of the Good Book to curb the salacious seductress' hedonistic ways, Lazarus will be forced to confront his own darkest demons in order to save the soul of a woman whose one-way ticket to hell has already been paid in full. Now, as Lazarus wages a righteous struggle to redeem the soul of the fallen Rae while simultaneously ensuring that his own life hasn't been lived in vain, the situation threatens to explode as Rae's possessive boyfriend, Ronnie (Justin Timberlake) -- a roughneck Guardsman currently preparing for a tour of duty in Iraq -- comes searching for his missing lover.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
You have to hand it to Craig Brewer -- not only is he a filmmaker who isn't afraid to court controversy, but he's also a director who possesses the ability to coax incredibly fearless performances out of his actors as well. Love it or hate, Black Snake Moan isn't quite the slice of neo-backwoods exploitation that the lurid-looking trailers would suggest -- yet upon viewing the film, it's plain to see how Paramount Vantage would be at a loss as to how to market such a defiantly unique film. Equal parts pulpy guilty pleasure and soulful meditation on the pain of lost love, Black Snake Moan opens with two characters reeling from heartbreak and carefully moves forward to detail how they ultimately find the strength in one another to move beyond their suffocating setbacks. At its core, the film is a surprisingly tender two-piece character study that may surprise viewers who came in expecting a raunchy piece of unrepentant sleaze. Though no one who sees the film is likely to deny that it is by turns brutally funny, intentionally over-the-top, and playfully controversial, Black Snake Moan is also disarmingly endearing. From the tenuous romance that develops between Samuel L. Jackson's God-fearing bluesman and the town pharmacist (memorably played by S. Epatha Merkerson) to the dysfunctional bond between Christina Ricci's afflicted nymphomaniac and her anxiety-prone boyfriend (a woefully miscast but reluctantly tolerable Justin Timberlake) and the thunder-and-lightning musical exorcism that serves as the film's electrifying centerpiece, writer/director Brewer consistently impresses by allowing his characters to define themselves through their actions as well as their words. While any other actor spouting lines about redemption and wickedness would likely come off as merely laughable, one-time weary Pulp Fiction hitman Jackson delivers them with a conviction that, while undeniably humorous at times, also conveys an unexpected measure of gravity. It's almost impossible to imagine anyone else playing Jackson's role, and with Black Snake Moan, his fans are truly in for a treat. The same goes for Ricci as well, who becomes practically unrecognizable as the wickedness of her character's past clashes violently with the righteousness of her well-intending captor. Likewise, John Cothran Jr., Michael Raymond-James, and hip-hop producer-turned-actor David Banner all turn in memorable supporting performances as the large-hearted town preacher, the deceptive best friend, and the straight-shooting local drug-dealer. Though the plot itself isn't entirely unpredictable as the gears get into motion, it's a testament to Brewer's skill as a writer that one is never truly sure of precisely how the events will unfold as the pieces of the story gradually fall into place. For those who were curious just what Brewer would come up with next as the credits to Hustle & Flow began to roll, Black Snake Moan proves a satisfying follow-up that may prove to be far too original and unconventional for its own good.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/26/2007
UPC:
0097363461920
Original Release:
2007
Rating:
R
Source:
Paramount
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:55:00

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Samuel L. Jackson Lazarus Woods
Christina Ricci Rae
Justin Timberlake Ronnie
S. Epatha Merkerson Angela
John Cothran Reverend R.L.
David Banner Tehronne
Michael Raymond-James Gill
Adriane Lenox Rose Woods
Kim Richards Sandy (Rae's Mother)
Neimus K. Williams Lincoln
Son House Himself
Leonard Thomas Deke Woods
Ruby Wilson Mayella
Claude Phillips Bojo
Amy Lavere Jesse
Clare Grant Kell
Jeff Pope Batson
Charles Skip Pitts Charlie
Willie Hall Pinetop
John Malloy Gene
T.C. Sharpe Archie
John Still Herman
Jared Hopkins Auto Worker
Tosh Newman Conner
Cody Block Bryan
Benjamin Rednour Guardsman
Carnell Pepper Melvin
David Chapman Red
Jolynne Palmer Ella Mae
Raymond Neal Herschel
John Pickle Arty
Kim Justis Waitress
Cedric Burnside Himself
Kenny Brown Himself
Marc Franklin Conductor

Technical Credits
Craig Brewer Director,Screenwriter
Stephanie Allain Producer
Amelia Allain Cinematographer
Andy Black Sound/Sound Designer
Scott Bomar Score Composer,Musical Arrangement
Keith Brian Burns Production Designer
Liba Daniels Art Director
Dane A. Davis Sound/Sound Designer
Billy Fox Editor
Jeff Greely Camera Operator
Kimberly Hardin Casting
James Alan Hensz Asst. Director
Paul Sanchez Camera Operator
Adele Plauche Set Decoration/Design
Tina Kerwin Roesler Makeup
Ron Schmidt Executive Producer
Paul A. Simmons Costumes/Costume Designer
Winsome Sinclair Casting
John Singleton Producer
Amy Vincent Cinematographer

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Black Snake Moan 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the beginning, Rae's boyfriend goes out to war, and after only two hours of his absense, she hits the sheets, HARD. But after a night of sex, booze and drugs, Rae is left intoxicated, beat on, and near death when Lazaures "Samuel L. Jackson" finds her, finds out who she is, and chains her to his radiator. This is where it begins. The chain serves as her only chance to rid her of her wicked ways, as she spends days fighting to escape, and finally learning a lesson served southern style. The acting is the best i've seen this year, besides BUG. Every scene is gripping, intense, or hilarious. And by the end, you won't forget it. Brewer captured this movie with enough integrity to tear the house down. You even feel for Ricci as she goes through hell to make herself a better person. This is not to be missed. Even after waiting half a year to see this film from when i first heard about it, to my eager await for it on DVD because it never played in MIDLAND, MI i was still in love. By the way, i bought it before i even saw it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Director Craig Brewer loves the south and I’m 2 for 2 for loving his films. If this film were made in the late sixties, it would be an unabashed cult classic that we’d be boasting of for decades. Samuel L. Jackson delivers another solid performance complete w/ gritty guitar-playing. Christina Ricci delivers a well-acted performance, although she can be a bit annoying at times. I'm gaining even more respect for Justin Timberlake since the SNL skit and after seeing his performance in this movie, things have never looked better for him. Some of the scenes w/o Sammy can drag, but the movie's themes balance it out and make for an enjoyable time for all. I don't know how Sammy stumbled on the snake theme, but it's definitely working for him. Also, David Banner is in this movie .. his first starting role pretty much suites him. He’d done his character naturally to the point he didn’t have to act. I’m curious to see how far this rapper might go. The lighting, cinematography, music, film editing, and direction are absolutely stellar. The character development is so deep that you feel you actually understand them in their messed-up, crazy actions, and because of it nothing seems too far-fetched or out of the ordinary, even when it is. The movie presents itself to be about sex, but it is about far more than that. It is about loss, redemption, determination, and overcoming the mere physical pleasures in life to understand the deeper meaning of love. It is a film about music. While watching this, I found myself lost in the poetry of the old blues lyrics. By understanding the art of blues, the audience is able to more fully comprehend what this film is about. Much like 'Hustle and Flow' tried to explain what Hip-Hop meant to it's hard-core "real" fans, 'Black Snake Moan' shows how the free-style, yet structured world of blues can act as the guiding light to those lost in the realm of physical pleasure. Blues is playing what you feel, but never straying from the main form that got you there. In the movie, the camera might stray from the norm of what we're used to seeing, but it never completely loses us. The editing, lighting, and direction is freestyle, but not in an Oliver Stone 'freakishly annoying' kind of way. The blues is what leads to the final understanding between the two main characters. Music offers the understanding, redemption, and calmness through loss. This one is definitely not for everyone, as you might guess from the drugs, cursing, boozing, wild sex, assault, kidnapping, bondage, nearly naked people, frequent underwear moments, blues club dance moves and an overabundance of fringe religious bellowing. If you are a bit twisted, you will definitely see the humorous and campy moments and please don't take any of it too seriously. It is just a step up from Mr. Jackson's sub par "Snakes on a Plane" ... but the music is much better (except for the singing).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago