Dave's Rating:


… balls-out craziness …

Who's in It: Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Ricci, Justin Timberlake, S. Epatha Merkerson

The Basics: You know how wild, horny nymphos are. They get that crazy itch, and they have to run around town sluttin' it up. And if they don't get what they need, they just writhe all over the ground and get the nobody-will-hump-me fever and wracking cough. That's when a wayward lady needs a guy who'll come along and do some Bible stuff to her, like chain her to a radiator to save her slut soul. Because that's in the Bible: "Thou shalt chain half-naked ho's to the radiator to make them stop getting wasted on Oxycontin and banging half the town's men."

What's the Deal? Do they give awards based on balls-out craziness? They should. This one would sweep that ceremony. In a world where safe, bland characters run around making sure everyone in the film's demographic finds them appealing, this movie dares to be wrong on almost every level. It's full of sexual mania, religious obsession, "devil made me shoot that woman" blues logic, as well as race and gender stereotypes that get punctured by the freaked-out comedy of Jackson and Ricci's performances. You will walk out of this shaking your head or laughing it off or swearing you just watched the wildest Driving Miss Daisy parody ever. But you won't not have an opinion.

To Trust Director Craig Brewer or Not to Trust Director Craig Brewer? He made Hustle and Flow, so he's all about making you feel for unlikable people. And I suppose that until he makes more movies, and we get a better sense of where he's coming from and what his pet ideas are, he deserves the benefit of the doubt. And I think I like being unsettled by his complicated Southerners. So for now, I'm going to vote in favor of him getting to keep making movies.

Who's Great: Ricci is the kind of actor you really believe in when she's crawling around in the dirt in her panties. And you don't feel like she's being exploited because there's a wildness in her that would probably bite your face off if you messed with her too much. Meanwhile, Jackson will do anything as long as he gets to battle Eugene Levy, snakes — whatever.

Give Yourself Smart Points If: You recognize bluesman Son House in the archival footage that opens the movie.


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