Black Snake Moan
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In this tale of love, loss and faith, Academy Award nominee Samuel Jackson and Christina Ricci seek redemption Down South through the power of the blues and the transcendence of an unlikely friendship.
The lurid scenario--a nymphomaniacal white trash nymphet (Christina Ricci) is held prisoner by a bitter bluesman (Samuel L. Jackson)--gives way to an affecting tale of redemption in Black Snake Moan, writer/director Craig Brewer's follow-up to the acclaimed Hustle & Flow. Lazarus (Jackson, Jungle Fever, Pulp Fiction) finds Rae (Ricci, Monster, The Ice Storm) beaten unconscious on the road in front of his backwoods house. After bringing her inside, he learns of her wanton ways and decides to exorcise his own demons by curing Rae of her sexual compulsion. Black Snake Moan could have been terrible, but Brewer takes his story seriously enough to dig into the genuine emotions of such a situation (though along the way he certainly flirts with sexploitation overtones--several scenes look like they were plucked straight out of a hitherto unknown 1970s trash classic). Ricci, Jackson, and the supporting cast (including pop star Justin Timberlake, giving a surprisingly good performance as Rae's boyfriend) treat the characters with respect, honesty, and humor. The result is off-kilter and maybe a little too fond of its sleazy cinematic forbears to truly hit the emotional notes it's after, but Black Snake Moan has considerably more substance than its marketing would suggest. --Bret Fetzer
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Keep in mind that the quality of what you see and hear also depends upon the quality of TV monitor you are using and its accompanying home theater processor and speakers. I have a pretty high end, esoteric system and am judging the Blu Ray off of that.
The video transfer is very good all around. Color grading is warm with a natural feeling and some slight color saturation. Nothing false about the coloration that I could detect. Deep blacks are everywhere and, for the age of this film, I was surprised that they were as good as they were. Contrast is excellent though some smaller details like hair and skin do not quite have the razor sharpness of films shot on video. This is not a bad thing as there is a definite filmic look to the movie. The transfer is very clean with no dropouts or aliasing and artifacts from beginning to end. The Mbps rate varies from the high teens to the low thirties. The video transfer is the star of the film....which it shouldn't be since the audio is such an important part of the movie. 5 Stars
This is why I gave the Blu Ray version of Black Snake Moan 4 stars. The film has a fantastic soundtrack and yet the producers of this Blu Ray have only used a lossy soundtrack rather than a more uncompressed lossless one. The 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack tends to be slightly uneven in the volume levels when it comes to dialogue. A few times I had to go to the remote to up the volume to catch what was being said. It's not that the dialogue is not transparent, it is, it is that the volume levels tended to go up or down. While all the dialogue is steered out of the center channel, the majority of the film's audio is contained to the front audio stage. Music is spread across the left front, center and right front of the audio stage quite nicely but there was very little use of any discreet directionality to any of the front surrounds and almost nothing to the side or rear surrounds. The sub LFE channel gets a great workout in many areas of the film, especially during the powerful music and thunderstorm scene. The audio should be the technical star of this transfer but there is no excuse for sticking a lossy audio codec to this Blu Ray. 4 stars.
Some fine extras on this disc and I can't say I have watched them all as yet. However, the documentary 'Making of' was one of the more interesting 'making of's' I have watched in some time. One of the extras explores the audio soundtrack and the musicians brought into the score which I found very interesting as well. Also included are deleted scenes and how the film is rooted in the blues, my favorite music genre.
Super happy that I finally have this film on Blu Ray. Super sad that they cheaped out by not transcoding the audio to a lossless soundtrack.
I hope this type of review covering only the quality of the transfer to Blu Ray has been of some Help to you in deciding your purchase.
to watch that don't cost you $20.00 a pop, and this is one of them.
Being a Blues,Jazz,Rock guitar player, I really fell in love with the simple 12 bar blues tunes that Jackson
I did leave another review of the soundtrack where I get into the guts (guitar tab) of main song.
This is a great watch, and at under $7.00, how can you go wrong.
It's definitely a strange story. But, it was compelling in a down home sort of way. I bought it after reading many reviews that heralded the acting. I found that I agreed with those acting reviews. All of the actors-yes. But especially Jackson and Ricci. And especially Samuel L Jackson. Initially, I saw it as purely an exploitation movie
and wondered why an actor of Jackson's stature would stoop to that level. He was wonderful in a really understated manner. The movie has heart. And for all the in your face brutality, it is warm and has enormous sensitivity. It is, in my opinion, an indy that hits the mark. Because it takes place in the deep South, many social elements dictate the course of events and the sound tract reflects that locale. Thumbs up.