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PHOTOGRAPHY

BLACK SNAKE MOAN
DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 115 minutes, audio commentary, thress featurettes, 5 deleted scenes with optional commentary
VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO: English 5.1, English, 2.0, French 2.0 Dolby Surround
Subtitles: English, Spanish
STUDIO: Paramount Vantage/ New Deal/ Southern Cross The Dog
RELEASE DATE: 6-26-2007

Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci shine in an odd and yet touching Southern drama about redemption and friendship. BLACK SNAKE MOAN could have gone in many directions that would have made it a really bad film or trash. It takes the high road as two people who have felt loss and lost their faith collide. Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson) is a god-fearing bluesman who takes in a wild young woman, Rae (Christina Ricci), after he finds her beaten up (and left for dead) on the side of the road. Lazarus takes it upon to cleanse Rae of her demons and even chain her to the radiator because Rae has the uncontrollable urge sometime to have sex with any man. She was sexually abused as a kid. An unlikely bond develops and it makes a bluesman want to play again for other people. It has it's dark moments and it's funny moments, but faith rings through it by the end. Justin Timberlake is OK as Rae's guy who goes off to the Army, but Ricci and Jackson still can outact him any day. BLACK SNAKE MOAN is a character driven movie with plenty of blues music. A uniquely different type of film for many to check out now.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Due to time contraints, I didn't listen to the feature audio commentary by Writer/Director Craig Brewer. The five deleted scenes are interesting (but they're not needed to tell the story- the final film has enough) with optional audio commentary.

Three featurettes are included on this DVD:

CONFLICTED: THE MAKING OF BLACK SNAKE MOAN chronicles the struggles of Craig Brewer to get HUSTLE AND FLOW made that finally lead the way to get BLACK SNAKE MOAN made. He came up with the stiory quite easily in this 28 minute featurette which only over half focuses on BLACK SNAKE MOAN.

ROOTED IN THE BLUES is about the recording of the music for the film while THE BLACK SNAKE MOAN talks about the song and how it was updated for the film. The trailer for the film isn't included and yet a photo gallery is.

FINAL ANALYSIS: BLACK SNAKE MOAN continues the trend of unique smaller films from Paramount Vantage. Watch it for the performances, a unique story, and the Blues music.

this DVD Review is (c)6-25-2007 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com