July 23, 2007

Movie Review: Black Snake Moan


Black Snake Moan is a redemption story cleverly set in the hillbilly South. The acting is superb, including an excellent performance by pretty boy Justin Timberlake . Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson) and Rae (Christian Ricci ) are two lost souls, seemingly acting off impulses neither one can control. Lazarus, an elderly blues guitarist, is torn up that his wife left him for his younger brother. He turns to booze and music for comfort. Rae, young, white, and the town slut is addicted to sex and can barely wait an hour after her military boyfriend ( Timberlake ) leaves for his enlistment before her next dip.

Their lives intertwine one night, when Rae, high from a party, is raped and beaten and left in Lazarus's driveway. I know this sounds brutal, but this is not done in a heavy, depressing manner. On the contrary, this story has a whimsical tone peppered with lots of deep fried Southern flavor. Yes, Rae is attacked, but she doesn't seem to mind. She knows it's a natural outcome of her behavior and doesn't really seem to expect much more of menfolk, a clue to the truth about Rae's past.
Lazarus, raw from his wife's abandonment, decides it's his job to deliver Rae from herself.

July 05, 2007

Book Review: The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

Ruby is having panic attacks. Her boyfriend has broken up with her, none of her friends are speaking with her, her ride to school won't take her anymore, and her parents are sure she is feeling suicidal or anorexic. Welcome to the story of The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart, a masterful look inside the life of a teenage girl. This girl is every girl. Reading this book was like looking back at parts of my past, and it was amazing and painful to take the journey with her.

Lockhart writes truthfully on the way a girl thinks about boys. Ruby reveals pieces of her life one bit at a time. Her therapist asks her to create a boyfriend list: a list of every guy she has liked, dated, thought about dating, kissed, or had a special relationship with. Ruby isn't sure how this is going to help her solve her immediate problem: getting her boyfriend back and getting life back to normal. But as she examines each boy on the list, Ruby may discover she's not the victim she thinks she is.