UGPulse Reviews Black Snake Moan
Samuel L. Jackson in Hustle and Flow.

UGPulse Reviews Black Snake Moan

Another Song of the Year award?

By UGPulse
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First published: March 5, 2007

US Release Date: March 2nd, 2007

Trailer: Click here to watch the trailer

Director: Craig Brewer

Main Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Ricci, Justin Timberlake, John Cothran Jr, Michael Raymond-James

Genre: Drama

Christina Ricci as Rae in Black Snake Moan It is deep in the south and Lazarus(Samuel L Jackson) has just been abandoned by his wife and now it is his nightly liquor and the Blues that nurse his wounds. This servant of God is already mad and angry at the world... mad at his wife, her cheating ways and how she had used him and left him dry and spent.... This is when he comes across Rae outside his house. Her less-than-perfect lover Ronnie(Justin Timberlake) has just left for the army and she can no longer cope with life on her own. She is now half naked and unconscious on the road having been almost beaten to death. Lazarus brings her in and like a Good Samaritan he begins to help her in her recovery. It does not take him long to find out that she is actually the well known town slut. Apart from the wounds he is currently working on, he discovers that she has another disease.

"Girl got a itch... She's got that sickness... y'naw."

"What sickness?"

"She goes cr-a-azy."

Lazarus takes it upon himself to not let go of Rae until she is "right."

Justin Timberlake as Ronnie, Samuel L. Jackson as Lazarus, Christina Ricca as Rae
Justin Timberlake as Ronnie, Samuel L. Jackson as Lazarus, Christina Ricca as Rae.

Let me put it like this... at the end of the movie I looked to my left towards a friend who watched the movie with me and said, "Weird." At exactly the same time the man in front of me looked at his friend to his right and said the same exact thing.

Then as we were exiting the theater, two guys in their late teens were like.... "That was tight."

WARNING: this movie is rated R. A lot of sexual content and dirty language. One needs to have the stomach for this.

This is a hard movie to review because it is not your typical movie... it is strange as a movie and I think your average movie goers will not like this movie. The movie is about rotten surfaces and beautiful cores. And this is what the movie is too. It is bad(or very average) on the surface but if you look at it closely you will see what a good movie it is.

This sort of subject matter is nothing new to director Craig Brewer.

Samuel Jackson with Director Craig Brewer
Samuel Jackson with Director Craig Brewer.

Just like in Hustle and flow the movie covers characters that could be labeled as "society's filth." The story centers around a tramp who has slept with every man in town... well ALMOST every man in town. And just like Hustle and Flow, Black Snake Moan has a harsh beginning. Where it took about 20 minutes in Hustle and Flow, it takes about 45 minutes for the director to finally humanize the characters so that we can feel their pain. And again, just like Hustle and Flow is with Rap, Black Snake Moan is with the Blues.

Lazarus singing 'Black Snake Moan' to Rae
Lazarus singing 'Black Snake Moan' to Rae.

And just like Hustle and Flow, Black Snake Moan has this one song that is filled with symbolism (probably more so in this movie). Question is... is it enough for another Oscar? We already saw a rap song win an Oscar in Hustle and Flow... Is it time for the Blues in Black Snake Moan?

The movie itself is unique as it goes into areas not addressed by other movies. The acting is on point and perhaps an upgrade from Hustle and Flow, and even singer, I guess now actor, Justin Timberlake pulls it off- there goes another similarity to Hustle and Flow come to think of it. Ludicrus in Hustle and Flow- but unfortunately Ludicrus was disappointing in Hustle and Flow.

Samuel L Jackson does an excellent job with the Blues playing Lazarus character. You sort of like the character but somehow you want to punch him in the face, kick him, spit on him or something. This mixture of emotion about the character made him real. Christina Ricci also does a great job with her role. I am curious as to what the women will feel about this character.

In Hustle and Flow I was curious and perhaps doubtful of how the movie would be received for I felt it was a good movie that might unfortunately not get enough attention. I was wrong- they did pay attention.

Once again I am left doubtful. The movie is weird in the same way but perhaps a little weirder. I myself like that. The story line I think is slightly weaker, maybe too brief even though the movie was long enough. The acting is definitely better and that message of "goodness in everyone no matter what they seem to be on the surface" is very powerful- or at least to me. My biggest problem with this movie is that I had seen Hustle and Flow and I did not want to see it repackaged. There are simply too many similarities. What I liked about Hustle and Flow was the hidden message. The hidden message is what would make Black Snake Moan a good movie. But it is the same message... So its like going to see the same movie twice and this is where I was disappointed.

UGPulse Rating:

Click here to watch "Gotta Leave"
Click here to watch "Chained"
Click here to watch "Lazarus on Stage"

Marketing Stunts:
Has to be seeing the trailer of Christina Ricci in chains and the "Good Samaritan" who ends up chaining her. That definately gave me a shock... enough to go to the movies to see what happens next.

Christina Ricci, Justin Timerberlake and Samuel Jachson
interview each other on AOLBlackVoices

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By UGPulse
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First published: March 5, 2007
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