Black Snake Moan
Black Snake Moan is a movie you want to like even before you see it. The cast alone is engrossing--Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Ricci and Justin Timberlake. How can you go wrong? Well, you can!
Black Snake Moan is the story of a Southern town tramp (played by Ricci) who, after a night of boys and booze, ends up passed out on Samuel L. Jackson’s dirt road. Jackson’s character feels she;s a dirty little harlot who needs Jesus, so he decides to chain her to a radiator and reads her the Bible. The two characters develop a father-daughter relationship, Ricci’s character stops spreading her legs and Jackson’s character rediscovers the blues -- everyone is redeemed!
Black Snake Moan is Craig Brewer’s first film after the Oscar nominated Hustle & Flow, another film he wrote and directed. While Brewer is a great filmmaker, his actors are flawless and his vision is engaging, he is simply not as strong of a screenwriter. Sure, I get what Brewer attempted to do by having this white woman chained by a black man in the South (a subject that is stressed in the special features), however, by the end of the film the plot spirals a part with each emotional note falling wildly off-key. I would be interested to see Brewer direct a film that he did not write.
Fortunately, the special features are fairly entertaining. "Conflicted: The Making of Black Snake Moan" describes Craig Brewer’s vision as a screenwriter and a director. After hearing how passionate Brewer spoke about the project, I liked the film a little more. On the other hand, I think I just liked him more as a director, not the film.
Five deleted scenes are included, which are fairly good and could have somehow been worked in the final cut. The DVD also includes audio commentary by Brewer, who is an eloquent speaker and sells the film better than what the film actually is.
Music is a huge part of the movie and two short pieces tell that story: "The Black Snake Moan" and "Rooted in the Blues" are interesting takes on the importance of music and once again makes the viewer enjoy the film more.
Black Snake Moan is a deeply flawed film, but I would recommend at least putting it in the top ten of your Netflix queue.
- Audio Commentary 1. Craig Brewer Writer/Director
- Five Deleted Scenes
- Documentary 1. "Conflicted: The Making of Black Snake Moan"
- Featurette 1. "The Black Snake Moan"
- Featurette 2. "Rooted in the Blues"
DVD Release Date: June 26, 2007