Black Snake Moan
Review By: Joe

Black Snake Moan is a movie with a title that I think is just three words somebody put together and then said, "If I slap this on a film that has Christina Ricci in her underwear in it a bunch, people will go see it. Actually, I could even call it 'Red House Smell' or 'Fat Donkey Cry' and people will still see it."

This is true.

I don't usually go to see films in theaters because they look like they're gonna have some sexy female action in them. I mean, honestly, I think we all know there's a time and a place for these sorts of cinematic works and it's called your dorm room and/or apartment.


Still, amazingly enough, footage of Christina Ricci as a nympho southern skank with her hair bleached writhing around while wearing nothing but underwear and about three-quarters of a t-shirt is what, at the core of it all, got me into the theater. Ms. Ricci isn't even my go-to celebrity for having unrequited feelings of lust for, but she's always been hot, just not a totally standard kind of hot, and kind of a weirdo so she's for sure had a place in my...well, a place on my hard drive. HAHAHA. Oh, horrors.

I actually respect Christina Ricci's career because she does odd movies. I don't really even have to (nor do I feel like it) go beyond that she was in Buffalo '66 as an example, because that film is the bizniscuit (which someone can go define on Urban Dictionary for me right now, please, and make sure it is a GOOD DEFINITION, ASSHOLE). But, still, it's not like she isn't a babe or something, so when I saw her writhing around in her underwear, I said SIGN ME UP.

I'm not the only one like this. A friend of mine told me that he has a friend who basically said the exact same thing. Christina Ricci isn't exactly his favorite, but HOLY CRAP LOOK AT WHAT SHE'S DOIN'. And more power to her and the director, because the movie's pretty worth seeing and if it's Christina looking like the best damn trailer trash ever to grace the south that gets people in there, so be it.

Although it was initially the way Christina looked in the trailer (and in the posters I walked by every day when going to work and in the promotional shots I got off the internet) that hooked me, I was also interested in the movie because the concept, which there's a very good chance you've heard about at this point, was utterlytarded (this one I'm just gonna go put into Urban Dictionary myself and if you think I'm kidding go ahead and do a search on it in a day or two).

Basically, it's the south and Ricci is a nympho. Samuel L. Jackson finds her on the side of the road not far from his house, beaten and unconscious. He brings her inside, learns of her wicked habits and makes the decision to chain her to his radiator with a comically large chain until she done all been fixed up.

So, I saw potential, but I also saw a huge margin for error. Luckily, it mostly worked.

For one thing, the much lauded chain (and the much lauded Christina Ricci in her panties) isn't even in the film for nearly as long as you might think. You wait for it to come, it's in there for a bit, you get used to it as a plot device, and then it's gone again. Does it feel gimmicky? A little bit, perhaps, but not really. Plus, the comedy of the situation is played up because, I mean, in this case, it has to be. Anyway, I bought it enough to enjoy myself.

Now, although I mostly bought it, there was still a piece not fitting there for me. The film almost seems to be saying "huge, metal chains and blues music kick nymphomania's ass" and then just expects you to accept that as being the case. Like I said, I did, but some part of me was still thinking, "Um, why?" However, in nearly every other case, this is a strength for the movie; the general practice of giving you just enough information to understand the situation and make connections without leading you by the hand with overblown exposition. The film's quite well composed in that sense.

Aside from that, things move along briskly (a bit too briskly, perhaps?! HMM?!?), Samuel and Christina pull off some brilliant acting (the latter putting to shame every white trash character Jamie Pressly has built her career out of), and the movie takes some pretty cool risks. TO WIT! The only people who might be classified as "villains" aren't necessarily brought to justice, the people we're supposed to be rooting for show off sides of themselves that make us less inclined to sympathize with them, cursing is fairly liberal and makes use of "nigger" and "nigga" on multiple occasions, and everything wraps up almost as uncertainly as The Graduate. And lemme tell you, dat dere's a miiiighty grey area, folks.

If Children of Men, Smokin' Aces, and Black Snake Moan are any indication, there's been some damned impressive or, at the very least, ballsy movies as of late and here's hoping that won't die down because right now it's a pretty cool time to go to the cinema.

Oh, and here are all the other answers you want:

Yes, Justin Timberlake can act. He's not always great, but he's definitely not bad.

Yes, you do see Christina Ricci's boobs and it looks to me like they've been working out since their appearance in Prozac Nation.

No, I'm not wearing any pants.

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